Friday, November 14, 2008

Working out the Kinks

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Guilford


The Davidson men’s basketball team officially opened the 2008-09 season (in front of SELLOUT crowd) with a 107-83 win over Guilford (late, late, late) Friday night.

It was a game that didn’t exist on the “tentative” schedule, and one that made for a long day in Davidson athleticville, tacked on to the end of a volleyball match. (I tried to get into my apartment with my work key tonight. What does that mean? Sidebar: I'd very much like to wish a congratulations and happy birthday to the Davidson student who sang the National Anthem AND managed to have her 21st birthday Tuesday AND Friday. If only I had been so smart.)

After Tuesday night’s (shaky?) exhibition win over Lenoir-Rhyne and just before the team’s heavily-anticipated trip to Oklahoma for the first round of the preseason NIT, it became a needed game.

After Tuesday’s night (lackluster?) win, there were some questions swirling. There were kinks exposed; wrinkles that needed to be ironed out.

The trademark defense? A bit pedestrian?

The shooting? Average?

The ball control? Yikes?

And rest assured, the Guilford game wasn’t perfect, but you gotta feel a lot better about life with one of these in your pocket for a rainy day or a trip to Oklahoma, no?

The defense? Stifling. The Quakers went home with 39 turnovers. 39! The ‘Cats scored 55 points off of those turnovers and posted 25 (25!) steals.

The shooting? I think you’d be safe to say the new arch won’t negatively affect certain Wildcats, as four reliable Davidson shooters finished with at least a pair of treys.

And oh, the ball control... The good guys’ assist to turnover ratio: 18-14. The others: 13-39.

And yet, one particular line rises above the rest: 29 points, 10 assists, 1 (1!) turnover, and 9 steals. Three rebounds and a block on 9-for-20 shooting. Only one Wildcat has ever recorded a triple-double, so you can be sure I lobbied that He be put back in to get it. (But, come’on. He’s So Close. Puuuuh-lease.)

But, Friday night wasn’t about triple-doubles. Friday night was about working out the kinks. And from the malfunctioning shot clock to our malfunctioning printer on press row, there were plenty of kinks. Eventually, we got the clock back on and the printer back in action.

And some of those stat lines suggest the other kinks are working themselves out, too.

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