2007-2008 Davidson Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #29
Conference Rank: #1 Southern
2006-07: 25-5, 17-1, 1st South
2006-07 postseason: NCAA
Davidson only lost five games last season and three of them were in November to Michigan, Missouri and Duke. They lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Maryland, but this group will not accept a first round lost this time around. Stephen Curry, Jason Richards and Max Paulhus Gosselin are a dynamic group of guards. Curry averaged 21.5 points per game as a freshman and basically turned what should have been a rebuilding year for the Wildcats into a great season. He will not sneak up on anybody this year and the opposition should know by now that Curry needs to be covered well beyond the three-point arc. Richards ranked second in the nation in assists, averaging 7.3 per game and the senior has no reason to not be better his second year as a starter. Unlike his backcourt mates, 6-6 wing Paulhus Gosselin will not do a lot of scoring, but he will do a little of everything else.
Improving on the 29-5 record may not be doable, but this is a better team than last year. Not only do the Wildcats return all five starters, they return their top ten minute earners. John Falconi averaged just 3.0 minutes in 18 contests his senior season and Lamar Hull just 1.2 minutes in ten games and those are the only two departures.
The Wildcats do not really need much help, but they have a few players who could make an impact this season. Brendan McKillop, the latest of Coach Bob McKillop’s children to play for him, will add some depth at the point guard position. Like most in the McKillop family, Brendan is a smart player and a quality shooter. Aaron Bond, a 6-5 wing, is a solid athlete who will slash his way to the basket with ease. It will be difficult for either to see too many minutes this year, but the returning backcourt spent a lot of time on the floor last year and having a couple more guys who can step in when the starters need a rest will be very beneficial. Ben Allison will have some time to get used to life in North Carolina after playing some ball in England. The 6-9 forward could surprise this year, but with every other player back, it is unlikely he will see too many minutes.
Who to Watch:
The backcourt will get all the press, but the frontcourt is nothing to scoff at either. Thomas Sander and Boris Meno are back after combining to average 24.2 points and 14.6 rebounds on the year. Both are capable shooters from long range, but it is Sander who is a more dynamic athlete and defender. And if you are thinking that Sander and Meno must be undersized since we are talking about the Southern Conference that is not the case. Both are listed at 6-8 and 220 pounds and just because they can hit the long ball, does not mean they will not battle in the paint. Andrew Lovedale will be the main big man off the bench and will help out on the glass when Sander or Meno need a break.
William Archambault could spend some time at the four as well, but the 6-6 sophomore is more geared towards being a shooter off the bench. Archambault averaged 7.9 points with most of those points coming from long range. Bryant Barr showed flashes of his shooting skills as a freshman. If he can become a bigger contributor, it will at least allow the backcourt to get some more rest. And it will be important to keep the players fresh down the stretch. Curry and Richards both averaged over 30 minutes per game and finding some production from Bond, McKillop and Barr will help out immensely. Either way, this is a team that should dominate the conference and head into the NCAA Tournament with a decent seed. After that, it falls on the senior leadership at the point and the hot hand of Curry for the Wildcats do some damage in March.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Jason Richards, Senior, Guard, 13.5 points per game
Stephen Curry, Sophomore, Guard, 21.5 points per game
Max Paulhus Gosselin, Junior, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Thomas Sander, Senior, Forward, 13.2 points per game
Boris Meno, Senior, Forward, 11.0 points per game