Southern Conference Championship
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by Rick Dimon
2007 Southern Conference Championship
#1 Davidson Wildcats Wildcats (28-4,
17-1 SoCon) vs. #3
G Jason Richards, Junior G Dontaye Draper, Senior
G Stephen Curry, Freshman G Marcus Hammond, Sophomore
F Max Paulhus-Gosselin, Sophomore C Philip McCandies, Senior
F Thomas Sander, Junior F David Lawrence, Senior
F Boris Meno, Junior F Jermaine Johnson, Sophomore
Bob McKillop, Davidson – McKillop is in his eighteenth season as the head coach of the Wildcats, and this year has arguably been his finest effort ever. He’s already been recognized as the 2007 Southern Conference Coach of the Year. And why not? The Wildcats lost seven seniors from last year’s NCAA Tournament team and were subsequently picked to finish fourth in their half of the conference heading into this season. McKillop and company scoffed at such a notion in the form of posting a 17-1 record in Southern Conference play and earning the #1 seed for this tournament. McKillop is looking for his fourth NCAA Tournament bid (1998, 2002, 2006).
Cremins, College of
How They Got Here
Davidson defeated UT-Chattanooga 78-68 in the quarterfinals. The Cats sleepwalked through the first half before star freshman Stephen Curry woke up in the second frame to help Davidson escape. Davidson defeated Furman 91-68 in the semi-finals that was a blowout pretty much from the beginning. Curry poured in 30 points on 9-of-14 shooting (6-of-10 from beyond the arc) while Jason Richards added 20 points and seven assists
January 6 at
Davidson: Davidson 81,
Keys to the Game
Davidson – Curry has started slow in each of Davidson’s first two tournament games, with nerves clearly affecting him in the quarters and foul trouble sidelining him against Furman. He was the Freshman Player of the Year in the conference and narrowly missed out on outright player of the year to UNC-Greensboro’s Kyle Hines. Sure to face a hostile pro-Charleston crowd, Curry will have to come out much stronger in order to take the Cougar faithful out of the game.
Point guard Jason Richards, a first-team All-Southern Conference selection, just needs to keep doing what he has been doing. Richards is second in the nation in assists, can score in bunches when necessary from both from long range and by slashing to the basket, and is the absolute glue of this offense.
You can bet Wildcat defensive specialist Max Paulhus-Gosselin will be hounding Draper all day. If he gets the upper hand in this matchup throughout the day, the Cougars will have little to no chance at pulling off the upset. Davidson played incredible defense against Furman (especially in limiting the Paladins to 15 first half points), so Bobby Cremins will have to come up with a way to beat Paulhus-Gosselin and the rest of the Wildcat wall. It certainly won’t be easy, so the Cougars will have to be patient and wait to pull the trigger until they find good looks at the basket.
to be feeling good about taking care of
business with ease earlier in the evening, and then watching
If any team can recover from such a game in less than 24 hours, the Cougars are not it. They’ve been going just seven deep the entire year and that will not change in the midst of the conference tournament. Cremins will go with what got him here, whether they have gas in the tank or not.
try to lure the Cougars into playing as
hectic of a pace as took place throughout the Charleston-Appalachian