Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clay's Corner - Episode 1

Three. Point. Dell. Cinderella is Born.
By: Clay

I recently posed a question to a good friend of mine. My buddy didn’t respond with an answer, but rather, “WOW.” I had asked him, “What are your top three favorite 'Curry moments?'"
Initially, some people might ask, “What is a ‘Curry moment’?” However, in my circle of friends, if you don’t know what I am talking about, there is a good chance you are no longer my friend.
I asked the question without really thinking of my own answer, which I thought would be a fun entry for the great blog that is “Neutral Spite.”
After a lot of thought and inner struggle, I came up with my top three Curry moments:

(More than) Honorable Mention:

Rainbow three in Buffalo over Maryland big.

And 1 vs Wisconsin. LeBron goes nuts.

35 foot 3 vs NC State with LeBron in atandance. 44 points. Win.

#3: Three, Steal, Stepback, Three
This explosion of excellence happened in Belk Arena against UNC Greensboro in 2007-2008 season. The people in Belk and Davidson knew about the ‘Legend of Steph’ well before the rest of the nation got to know him later that year in March. The cult superhero was more than a basketball player to the fans in Davidson, he was the new face of the program. Hell, he was the face of the program after lighting up Maryland for 30 points in Buffalo the previous March. But on this day, Davidson faced SoCon ‘power’ UNCG. The game was a classic, with Davidson keeping a slim margin ahead throughout the day. This all changed though with about 10 minutes or so left in the game. Then PG Jason Richards brought the ball up, found ‘The Kid’ in the corner for a three. The crowd went nuts. The next thing you know, long pass down the court. Somehow, #30 was already down the other end of the court. Steal Curry. The place is a madhouse. Push the ball, cross up defender (possible break ankles), step back, put up a rainbow three. Buckets. 6 points, 12 second. Utopia. Zombie nation hits hard. This was an unreal moment that several people kept on their TiVo's for months to come. PS: great rally towel design, props to whoever designed that (me).

#2: Steal, Set, Pump, Flyby, Splash
This was tough to decide. My number two moment had to be from the tourney, and I went with this play over the miracle slice and dice through the Georgetown D and the 4 point play vs. the Hoyas. If you don’t know what “flyby” is, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog. Seriously. With LeBron James in the crowd, Steph officially embraced being a superstar and seemingly started to entertain even more (if that is possible). After 2 amazing wins in Raleigh, the ‘Cats found themselves facing the best defensive team (Wisconsin) and player (Flowers) in the tournament, or so we heard leading up to the game at Ford Field. Not so fast my friend. Steph blew up again, but this one moment had even the true ‘Witnesses’ shaking their heads in disbelief. I’m not going to get into it, but just take a look, hard to argue with this one.

#1: Three. Point. Dell. Cinderella is Born.
I don’t know if I even need to describe this. Making the journey down to Raleigh became a memory of a lifetime after this “shining moment.” After the Big Cat tracks down a long rebound on the baseline, he find Curry for a three off the left elbow. The shot was magical in itself, but the aftershot was even better. A kid with a passion for the game, taught to him by his father, was acknowledged in this moment. Shot. Point. Dell. Cinderella. All of us have dreamed of making a play that will last through time, Steph had his moment. For those of us in the upper deck, not knowing that the point happened until we got home and watched the game again, only strengthened what was at that point, the greatest Davidson Basketball memory of all time. Sure he was pointing at Dell, but I think every Davidson fan took that as saying “that one was for us.” He had his moment, but it certainly wasn’t his last…
What are your top three Curry moments?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

SoCon Opener

Belk Arena is sold out for tonight's Southern Conference opener against the UT-Chattanooga Mocs. Davidson is currently a 21.5 point favorite in Vegas over the team picked to win the other division of the SoCon. UTC has played a tough schedule so far, facing Tennessee and Missouri on the road, and playing neutral site games against Southern Cal and Memphis. All losses. It's not going to get any easier tonight, folks. The Cats smell blood. Max is back from his suspension, it's a sellout, and I think the Cats take this one 87-59 in front of a loud crowd.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is Davidson a one man team?

Nobody can stop The Kid. That has already been established. Even when the rims of MSG tried to stop him on Tuesday night in a 9-27 shooting performance, he found away to become The Normal Steph again in the last five minutes, take over the game, and get the W. Just 27 points and 11 assists on an abnormally off night.

Despite all the attention Curry gets on a national stage, and on this blog, make no mistake... This is not the Davidson Currys. Two days ago, one of the top headlines on was that the Cats would be without G Max Paulhus-Gosselin, a guard averaging a measly 3.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Many of the fan comments on that article resonate a "who cares" attitude. After all, the guy is a starting guard who doesn't score 4 points a game and is shooting 16% from deep. To those in the know, this is the beauty of this team.
Yes, there is the dramatic, un-boo-able ring leader who brought droves of random basketball fans into MSG just to see him play. But there is so much more.

Davidson is not successful without the following pieces of the puzzle:

MPG. Paulhus-Gosselin locks down the other team's best player and is good for at least 1 five-second call a game from an inbounds play. That alone is a possible 6 point swing.

Big Cat. Lovedale, who has never consumed a carbohydrate, recently measured at -43% body fat and just finished benching 850lbs, has become a warrior underneath. Although I am skeptical of the spinning Jordan-esque fade-away jumpers, the guy plays defense like a Velociraptor and has vastly improved his play around the basket and his FT shooting. Currently averaging a double double.

Rossiter. How many charges can you take? Steve is battling it out with the graduated Thomas Sander for the spot in the Guinness Book of Most Charges. And when the Cats have needed a big rebound, he's gotten it many times so far this year.

Barr/Archambault. One of these guys is good for 10 a game. With Curry attracting two defenders, one of these guys is open to light you up.

And watch out Southern Conference. The Cats have two freshman big guys waiting for you.

This is a TEAM. Worthy of more than the #22 ranking. Nation, we are NOT who you thought we were.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


How could you miss this?

#22 Davidson vs. West Virginia @ Madison Square Garden, 7pm, ESPNHD

The Cats are presented with a new test tonight as they will be without glue guy/lockdown defender Max Paulhus-Gosselin due to an automatic 1-game suspension due to being ejected vs. NC State for a flagrant foul 8 minutes in.

Next in line to try and stop The Kid: Senior G Alex Ruoff 6'6" 220lb. Good Luck. Try hard, because the entire nation will be watching, and an army of Wildcats has been deployed to the greatest city on earth.

To those of you watching on TV: Listen closely- this will sound like a home game.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Can anyone stop The Kid?

Is there any better way to start off than by asking the question: "Can anyone stop Steph?"

Guilford? 29. And 10 dimes. In 29 minutes.
James Madison? 33.
#6 Oklahoma? Got whacked with 44 on their home floor. And that was only the 33 minute version.
Winthrop? 30. And 13 dimes.
FAU? Eh, 39.

Loyola. Loyola was able to stop Stephen Curry from scoring...but at the expense of 2 defenders--at ALL TIMES. Loyola's resident-genius Coach Jimmy Patsos puts together the strategy of all strategies:

"I know what we'll do. Lets have 2 guys hug him the whole game in the corner of the court, and let the rest of our inferior team play 3 x 4."

(photo courtesy of the AP)Unfortunately for Patsos, Davidson ran the power play quite effectively to the tune of a 40-8 run and a 30 point victory.

So who's next? Oh... Saturday's game against Sidney Lowe and the N.C. State Wolfpack. Packed house, Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The tailgate started at 7:00am for the Noon tip. It was a blustery 34 degrees. Yet the techno beats were flowing, three separate bonfires were burning, Phi Delts were dancing on top of SUVs, the National Anthem was sung, and an unnamed assistant coach gave a fiery pregame speech. To the tailgate. Before 8:30am. Does it get any better than this?

Onto the game and our question at hand. Can anyone stop this guy? Lowe's strategy was to rotate four "fresh" defenders on Curry to try and wear him out. Well, Sidney, you got worn out --to the tune of 44. Again.
(photo courtesy of Jeff Siner, Charlotte Observer)You weren't the only thing worn out last Saturday, Sidney. So were the insides of LeBron's palms. King James leaves his hotel room on Saturday morning to watch THE KID. And he does it with kid-like enthusiasm. With every last Curry bucket, LeBron (sitting 8 rows in front of me) would raise his hands, seemingly peering over at and taunting fellow Cavalier and ex-Wolfpacker J.J. Hickson.

With Steph's dagger three to put Davidson up four with a minute left, LeBron gets up out of his chair, throws the arms towards the sky, turns towards the baseline, does the high knees, and gives it up for THE KID.

Next on the schedule is WVU. Tuesday night. 7pm. ESPNHD. In the Garden. MSG. The saga continues....and the affirmative answer to the question remains unfulfilled....Can anyone stop him?