Davidson earned a level of national respect with its 72-68 loss to North Carolina on Wednesday night, and now the Wildcats have another six days before they take the court again at Western Michigan. Until then, here are some notes from Wednesday’s game:
-- The six-day layoff will help, because the Wildcats are banged up. An underrated part of last season’s success was the team’s health, because Davidson players rarely played at less than 100 percent. But Wednesday night, Boris Meno (shoulder), Max Paulhus Gosselin (upper respiratory illness) and Stephen Curry (wrist) all weren’t at top speed because of injury. Curry (37 minutes) and point guard Jason Richards (39 minutes) also played heavy minutes, so they can use a bit of a break.
-- Meno’s injury impacted the Wildcats offense the most. Davidson coach Bob McKillop said Meno’s sore shoulder affected his missed dunk, and it might also have played into why he did not attempt a 3-point shot, which could have helped keep North Carolina’s interior players away from the basket.
-- McKillop called Stephen Rossiter one of the team’s most improved players before the season, and Rossiter gave Davidson a lift Wednesday. He might get more minutes against Western Michigan if Meno’s shoulder is still ailing.
-- At least one former NFL coach was impressed by the Wildcats. A co-worker told me that Marty Schottenheimer kept hearing about the Tar Heels during the game, but then pointed to the Davidson bench and said "that’s one (heck) of a team right there."
-- Reserve Bryant Barr played only two minutes against the Tar Heels, and the Wildcats could have used his outside shooting. Davidson had trouble getting shooters open looks all night with screens, and Barr hasn’t been able to create his own shot.
-- The Wildcats showed a lot of dedication Wednesday night, but they’ll have a hard time topping Davidson fan Mike Reed. Reed decided Wednesday morning to attend the game, so he left his job in Cartersville, Ga., to come to Charlotte. He made the 280-mile trip to make tip-off, and then made the trip home after the game. He’s done it before – Reed has season tickets – and he said he’ll be back for the Wildcats’ Dec. 1 game against Duke.
-- Kevin Cary
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