Thursday, February 26, 2009


By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Greensboro

No one on the corner has swagger like us. Again.

Collective exhale.

This is how Wildcat nation is feeling after the Davidson men’s team’s 70-49 win over UNC Greensboro Wednesday night at Belk Arena.

Around here, things have been just a little off lately. After the loss to the College of Charleston Feb. 7, we weren’t even sure how to run the post-game. You see, the winning team goes first. And well, suddenly, that was not the Wildcats.

I put down my thoughts after that loss, and then suddenly, it’s been four games since. Some of that is due to the fact, sure, that’s it’s easier for me not to write when it isn’t all roses and kittens around Belk Arena, but mostly it’s due to the fact that it’s officially baseball season at Wilson Field. (Four games this weekend if you need to get your fix.)

I really meant to write and share my thoughts after the four games in between Charleston and last night, but life happened.

I made the trip to Furman, but ended up writing the game story. And then there was that thing with the ankle heard round the world. Though I will tell you that my Valentine’s Day dinner at Chick-fil-A with SID Marc Gignac, Davidson play-by-play extraordinaire John Kilgo, and color guy Kenny Loggins was pretty special. (Complete with a cappella singers in tuxedos, free cheesecake and carnations.)

And what can I say about The Citadel game? If you are looking to read negative reviews, sorry, you just won’t find them here. That’s just not what I do. The players and coaches are friends and colleagues, and for all, I have deep respect. Except when I lose in darts. And anyways, that’s what the Internet is for.

And as I was glancing over the stats and making the post-game books Saturday after the Butler game, I was thinking about six losses. And how many teams in the country would love to have six losses. And how I could easily name the six, but not more than a handful of the 23 wins.

And last night... Last night just felt right. Felt familiar. Didn’t it?

The Joker ended up with 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes.

There were highlight-reel worthy dunks from Frank Ben-EASY (the people love some Frank Ben-EASY, eh?) and the Big Cat, fan favorites Can Civi (happy birthday from the D-Block... A-maz-ing.) and Will Reigel making steals and layups.

And that NASTY four-point play.

But mostly, there was a win.

And there was Swagger. Again.


By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Georgia Southern, Elon

How fun is it for you to watch him play every game?, comes the question from my newest friend, court side (yes, court side) at the 90-78 win over Elon Monday night.

I think his question is rhetorical, but I answered anyways. It’s a lot of fun.

Later, I got a text message from a high school friend. Lauren, is that you on the end of the table at the Davidson-Elon game? ...Yeeees, what are you doing here?

I came with some friends. To watch Curry, came the response.

It’s weird, isn’t it, when worlds collide? Makes me think about how three years ago, I didn’t know Stephen Curry existed.

About how, being from Charlotte, I was familiar enough with Davidson’s basketball tradition to take the job. About how I heard, don’t expect much this year, we lost a ton of seniors and scoring... blah blah blah.

I didn’t really know Coach McKillop, but I heard him talking about this freshman, this Stephen Curry. And I heard about how unusual this was for him.

I remember first noticing Jason Richards, thinking this kid is pretty good. Not knowing that he was only just arriving, too.

And I will always remember when they arrived.

I can’t remember people not knowing about Stephen, but I remember that first season when the media requests started pouring in for “Steven Curry.” Sometimes, Steph-On. But never Steff-in.

I can’t remember Stephen Curry, before he became a fixture in the SID office. I remember Stephen, DOBO Jeremy Henney and Will Bryan making a mask of Jason for PTI. Explaining who Charlie Rose is, and why he should make good choices about clothing for national television.

I remember, after Detroit, probably after the summer, discussing this blog. Someone said, you should do it without saying his name all season.

Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t notice, but I took the challenge.

There’s no way you can come up with 30 nicknames, he says, mocking me.

And yet, every week... What are you gonna use this time? He will inevitably ask.

I have no idea. I’m going to need you to do something funny or inspiring before you leave today. And he will try.

They weren’t all great, and The Cheese probably doesn’t care for the one that seems to have stuck, but this is the story as we have written it. His story.

It’s going to take something great, something extraordinary, to get your name mentioned, is his challenge.

I wanted 50 points, but Saturday, 30 needed 30 to become the all-time leading scorer in Davidson history. I think we can all agree that’s extraordinary.

You can’t script this stuff.

And while I made notes on all 30 points, the moment is what we’ll remember. Nearly turned over, Stephen saves it, and with a jumper in the paint, becomes the greatest in Davidson history.

The ensuring ovation leads me to believe you think he’s fun to watch, too.

Monday at Elon?

It was fun to watch the whole lot of Wildcats, wasn’t it? Going into the do-or-die Southern Conference tournament, I very much like looking at the final box score. I very much liked another impressive outing from SteVe Rossiter. The WL. (Yes, I did the claws from my faux seat on press row). WILL. Andrew.

It was fun.

What’s next?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball at Wofford

After a stunning game (I would not, could not say the L word) against the College of Charleston in Belk Arena on Saturday afternoon, the WILDcats rebounded nicely with a 78-61 win at Wofford Thursday night.

The SID party bus left Baker Sports Complex around 4 p.m. and arrived in Spartanburg one (amazing) road-trip CD later, and just in time for Chick-fil-A in the press room.

We settled into our seats, which, because we were needing so many of the few spaces available for non-TV folks, ended up on the official scorer’s table. I don’t know how I feel about sitting next to you guys, SID Marc Gignac jokes. (I think.)

I go over the names with the P.A. guy (Me: It’s STEFF-in. Him: Yeah, I know.) and give him the probable starting lineups.

“I’m not usually that excited about coming to these games,” he tells me. “But today, I’ve been ready all day. I made plans to drop off my car and get to the game early. It’s like having a front-row seat for something the rest of the nation wishes it could see.”

Then he gives me a cookie. And I think we could be friends.

Wofford is having its second-ever sellout, and first of the season, thanks to this Wildcat traveling circus, so you could say they aren’t quite used to this.

Excuse me, ma’am. Do you know where my seat is? A Terrier fan asks me as I head down the stairs to the table.

No sir, I’m sorry. I don’t work here.

From my seat, I am asked more questions I cannot answer. When is the anthem? Where do I put this microphone? THAT THREE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A TWO!! Sub, sub, sub.

I like being close to the action, but really, I just wanna watch the Charlotte Bobcats’ Rhythm Cats and eat my cookie in peace.

On the court, the game doesn’t start out the way I prefer, either, with the Terriers taking a 2-11 lead.

But an 8-0 Davidson run, punctuated by the first three of the night from I can’t Believe it’s not Butter, (You know because he’s on a roll. Da dum dum, ching.) puts the ‘Cats within one. That momentum, though, is stifled by a circus three from Wofford’s Jason Dawson as the clock winds down, and the Terrier dance troupe hits the floor for a performance, appropriately, to Britney Spears’ Circus (YES!).

After the insanely long horn (ah, now I remember this guy), a full-court pass from D.O.B.O. TI (subsequently very pleased with himself) and the cheerleaders throwing McDonalds cheeseburgers (way better than T-shirts), WILL Archambault hits a floater to cut the lead to three, 16-19, at the 11-minute mark. To chants of “U-S-A. U-S-A,” no less, from the students. Did they check the roster? They are gonna tire of that chant quickly, I predict.

Andrew LOVEdale converts on an and-one play to knot the score at 19, and Land o’ Lakes sinks a pair of freebies later to keep it tied at 23, but that ‘Cats can’t seem to shake those Dogs.

Butter Buds decides — because that’s pretty much what it looks like — to score 11 straight points (inspiring assistant SID Matt Harris to protest “Stop hitting me!” MY bad...), and get Davidson in position at the half, trailing just 41-36.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I’m always nervous when trailing. I feel a lot better when the WL, MAX and Country Crock hit three straight 3’s to open the frame, and even better when Parkay’s floater in the lane puts the ‘Cats up a pair, 47-45, grabbing the first lead of the night with 17 minutes to go.

Davidson grabs a 10-point lead almost effortlessly, and Wofford takes a quick T.O. The music gal cues Rocky, and you have to give her credit for trying, but no, this one belongs to the ‘Cats.

Run the clock, Steph! Run the clock, (naturally with the lead at 15 and just two to play) come the instructions from the bench.

And yet, there is a pass to Steve Rossiter and another to a wide-open Andrew LOVEdale for an easy two. And 25 seconds left on the clock. In the timeout, there is good-natured laughing and plenty of “Sorry, Coach, I tried” looks.

Afterwards, Wofford head coach Mike Young grabs the mike and thanks his fans for coming. And thanks Davidson for making it happen. Class act. And then he wants to know where to put the microphone.

“How many points did he end up with?” A woman asks over my shoulder. “And I don’t need to tell you who he is, right?”

No ma’am. 39.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Big-Time Atmosphere

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball at UNC Greensboro

Thirteen conference games into the season, and the ‘Cats’ 75-54 win in Greensboro is the first road conference contest I’ve been able to make.

From tales told of the other six (and the details I’d read on Spartanfest), I brought a pretty high level of anticipation to the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday night.

I’ve been to the Greensboro Coliseum before, though, it didn’t look very familiar as the Sports Info Sable arrived. The bounce house wasn’t inflated yet (major bummer), but the tailgaters would not be deterred by the 20-degree weather.

After getting directions (ish) from the guy in the bright orange jumpsuit, we made our way into the arena. Sort of. First we went looking for the media entrance at the Southeast corner (compass, anyone?), and after going through the boat/hot tub show, down the ramp, up the ramp, through security (where my laptop had a nasty encounter with the concrete floor) and past the mascot holding room (love a half-dressed mascot) we found the media room. (Hooray!)

We settled into our spots on press row, directly behind the Wildcat bench — assistant SID Matt Harris alongside the Davidson broadcasting team, and I, rubbing elbows ( can’t blame a girl for trying) with the NBA scouts in attendance.

I haven’t sat by you at a game yet this year, I tell Matt. This will be fun. (Mostly for him.)

Yeah, but I’ll be writing about scoring runs, and you’ll write about ushers in Tuxedo vests.

Touche. But, did you see those guys??? A-maz-ing.

I make a joke (also, amazing) about how Greensboro SID Mike Hirschman is running a tournament game, and sure enough, the table workers demand I pour my Diet Pepsi into a Gatorade cup. Last time I checked they played for the same team, but OK, yes, ma'am... just one second.

The game gets underway, off to a bit of a shaky start, with Greensboro jumping out to a 7-1 lead. I’m very much enjoying my seat behind the bench, especially as Coach McKillop burns an early TO to have a quick conversation with his team, who promptly responds with a 16-0 scoring run (See... I can do runs, too.)

It is in the middle of this when The Dilemma goes to the line for three tries, only to miss two and draw chants of “Overrated.” Time on the clock, 13:36.

(Other arena happenings of entertainment value: The Wave. To which a scout asks, Am I in a time warp? A ‘Hair Ball’ graphic on the board. After a miss, and Steve Rossiter offensive board, put-back and foul call.)

“I think that’s what happened to me, too,” interjected Steve Rossiter, who made 6-of-11 gimmies. “I thought they were chanting at me.”

Rossiter earned his way to the line, though, time after time, finishing the night with career-highs in points (14) and rebounds (13), in what his coach called his most complete game as a Davidson basketball player. Greensboro head coach Mike Dement called him relentless, a player that just runs through you, afterwards.

The Spartans chipped away, answering with their own scoring run of 13-8, to cut the lead to just 26-20. A missed breakaway layup, halting a 5-0 mini-spurt, would have given Greensboro, and this crowd, new life.

But Davidson allowed just a pair of baskets for the rest of the half, as six different playas (including a nice Dan Nelms steal to Andrew LOVEdale dunk,
The Dilemma'san alley-ooooop to MAX and spectacular hanging layup) put the difference at 37-24 at the break.

After a halftime performance featuring the Zooperstars! Alex Frogridguez (easily the best with a 50 cent impersonation), Lebronco James and Whale Gretzky, things picked up right where they left off, and the ‘Cats started to build on their lead.

Basketball is a game of runs, though, and Greensboro would mount one final challenge, cutting the lead to just six on a pair of free throws by Daniel Oliver. Another missed opportunity for the Spartans, this a missed dunk (don’t waste your shots, Damian Eargle, name of the game winner), and the ‘Cats were off to the finish line for their 43rd straight SoCon win in front of 11,687.

“It was a big-time atmosphere,” McKillop said post-game. “A first-class environment. For the Southern Conference to have this is very special. Congratulations for putting on such a great event.”

And on Saturday, the ‘Cats get another big-time stage as Dick Vitale and ESPN2 come to town for the Cats v. Cougars match-up. Another big-time atmosphere. Wear Black.

Monday, February 2, 2009


By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Western

I didn’t write this column after the last home game. (And I’m still surprised (thanks for reading!) how many people noticed.)

Sometimes the time gets away from me, and my thoughts are no longer ...timely.

Sometimes I let other people write, or take submissions from pseudo-sports information staff members. (Thanks, Tim Cowie! Will B!)

And sometimes, I just can’t find any inspiration. (I know, I know. I’m getting needy.)

And so, I posed this question to a certain POY-Candidate/Sports Info Temp after the Furman game. How do you keep the energy up when you’re up by 20, 30... 35 on somebody? Do you ever just hit the court and think, um, yeah, this one is over? Before tipoff?

No, no, NO. You never think that, comes the horrified reply.

Luckily, I am far from indicative of the pulse of the team, but after spending a good part of Saturday afternoon shouting (kind words!) at my TV, I am a little less inclined to feel such. (COME ON LOBSTAH!!!! ...YEEEEES!)

But last night, well, that was inspiring.

I’m not sure what exactly made the difference. Was it the pair of road games? Was it the near-scare at Samford? Was it the weather?

Whatever it was, there was a lot of energy in Belk Arena last night.

On the court, the players were feeding off it. And, as Western entered with a decidedly physical approach to their game plan, the Wildcats responded by making it rain indoors.

The WL, the youngest McKillop, WILL. Lots of threes. Lots of hands making claws. (!)

And that guy. Assuming this was in your scouting report, but if there’s someone you’d probably not wanna (elbow, er) anger, he’s, um, the one with the 30 on his back, because he will drop in 12 points in, say, 1:27? (I did math.)

It’s loud in here, no matter what the score. There’s chest-bumping. Table slapping. And there’s a guy in full-body purple spandex. (Think Spiderman in purple. I’m thinking the costumed White Lobstah vs. the purple wonder at halftime. But this is why I do stats, not promotions.)

And that mega-swat by Andrew LOVEdale before the break? That one nearly brought the house down, and has me (SO) excited for Saturday’s visit from Dickie V (OH, ARE YOU SERIOUS? THE BIG CAT, BAAAAAABY!)

The off-that-poor-guy’s-back inbounds play in the next period, from The Temp might be too much for the guy to handle... Is it Saturday yet?

And if the half-time margin of 49-31 isn’t enough, the ‘Cats open the second period with 12 straight courtesy of five different playas and roll to the 89-65 win in what was easily the most balanced offensive display I can recall.

With no use for his T-shirt, the purple guy surrenders it to MRS. Curry and slinks off.


Blog on Davidson Athletics

Welcome to the official blog of the Davidson Wildcats! Take an inside look at the world of college athletics from Davidson players, coaches and staff.

Search This Blog