PB&Js and Rolling Rock

I awoke in a cold sweat last Monday night, not because I forgot to turn my heat down, or had just broken a fever, but because I realized that my current budget may not be capable of sustaining the barrage of expenses that March Davidson Basketball requires.  My credit line needs to be able to pack enough punch to get me wherever I need to go, at an instant, should Davidson’s dance extend through multiple rounds of play. 

Fearing the worst, I began packing lunches a week ago, forgoing my midday Baja Fresh burrito for a risky salmonella-tainted PB&J and a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt (you can buy about 10 of these for $3 at the local Teet).  Becoming increasingly desperate last weekend, I walked past my staple Sam Adams and Magic Hat in the beer aisle, and hastily grabbed a six-pack of vomit-flavored Rolling Rock, knowing that those $3 saved could be the difference between a fully-loaded sausage and a stale pretzel during halftime of Davidson’s Sweet Sixteen game. 

I know that Davidson, and all dominant teams for that matter, maintains its success by adopting a game-by-game approach to the season, but with the Wildcats achieving win #20 last night against UNC-Greensboro, I’d be foolish not to start prepping for the road that lies ahead.

After spending recklessly on a couple of draft brews after watching the Wildcats’ ugly romp in the Coliseum last night, I returned home determined to renew my focus, and forced myself to suffer through the recap of last season’s  final loss to Kansas. 

With the pain from that bitter defeat recalled, and my March fervor for Davidson reawakened, I e-mailed my long-lost partner Base Rich, asking:

man. 

can we do it again?

seriously.

Expecting little in return to appease my now rabid obsession with avenging last year’s disappointment in Detroit, I arrived at work with a six-paragraph reply in my inbox.  I’ll save the nitty gritty details for Base Rich’s next post, but his conclusion was apt:

We can definitely do it again.  We won’t if we shoot like we did last night.

Last night.  The ugly: 38% from the field, 6-27 from three, 15-27 from the line, 13 turnovers.  Can’t get much worse.  Still won by 21 points. 

Last season, the Socon regular season yielded a total of eight 20+ point wins for Davidson.  This season, six of our last seven Socon games have resulted in 20+ point victories.  Still seven games to go.  I like where this is headed.

4th Watts

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One Response to PB&Js and Rolling Rock

  1. Belk42713 says:

    Can we repeat? We would all like to. Here is what is standing in our way.
    #1. Tournament play is about having outstanding guards and outstanding defense. Outstanding defense means being able to shut down an opponent in the last three minutes of a game. Last year, Curry and Richards were possibly the best guard combo in College basketball. They complimented each other perfectly. So did 6’8″ Sander and 6’8″ Lovedale. Curry has actually improved greatly this year, as hard as it is to imagine. Brendan, Max and Bryant combined are the equal to Jason but we cannot shrink them into a single player and they cannot all be on the court at the same time. So our first problem in repeating is that we do not yet have the guard tandem and the team defense to pull it off. We let Charleston score about their season average in Belk. The fact that we held last years Kansas team to around 50 points was a reflection of the outstanding defense we had. Steve and Max are great basketball players and help in shutting down opponents forwards. As a team we do not appear to be able to consistently slam the door shut on opponents at crunch time. We also do not seem able to “put a team away” and not let them back into the game. We get a lead and let it slip away.
    #2. Surprise. Last year no one knew about us. We were not scouted. Every broadcaster resisted remembering anyones names except Curry. They figured we would loose the next round so why clutter up ones mind with names of players that you will never hear from again. No more. Now teams design defenses to stop Curry. They know our strengths and weaknesses. Because of the favorable publicity this year we are the bullseye. We are the benchmark against which every Southern Conference team is compared against. Curry has one or two 6’7″ guards in his face very second. We don’t have a second “go to guy”.
    #3. Offensive Boards – last year Lovedale and Sander seldom gave up repeated offensive put backs. Now Lovedale is focusing on scoring and defenses can block him out and there is no one else to go to. Our starting 5 is 6’8″, 6’7″, 6’6″, 6’4″ and 6’3″ is small. At crunch time we can’t get slaughtered on the boards. I do not know if one of our 6’9″ forwards is ready to step in at crunch time and own the boards. Kansas, last year, killed us with their 7′ center down the stretch. Is there enough time to develop a Allison or a Nelms or a Ben Eze into a consistent defender? With opponents ganging up on Curry and Lovedale at crunch time, what about putting Allison as a guard and Ben-Eze as a forward at crunch time?

    Coach McKillop has done a great job again this year. The lose to CoFC on national television in front of the home town crowd was painful.

    We may not repeat this year but for a tiny school, that is consistently ranked in the top 10 colleges academically, to be able to play competitively with many schools whose only function is to be a farm teams for the NBA, we do very well.

    The NCAA Tournament Selection committee is very fickle. Now that we have lost to a low RPI team (CoFC), if we loose the southern conference tournament and get blown out by Butler, we may not make the big dance. For now we must win the Souther Conference Tournament first. We have to be ready for a ferocious tournament. Despite all the hype around us, I do not believe the selection committee will pick two teams from the Southern Conference.

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