Tuesday, January 13, 2009

McKillop giving Curry needed assist

Davidson sophomore guard Brendan McKillop has been gradually improving, but that was never more obvious than in Monday night’s 70-52 Wildcats’ victory at Appalachian State.

With guard Stephen Curry in foul trouble — he played only 18 minutes, 11 fewer than in any other game this season — McKillop kept the team steady. He also contributed 13 key points, with three assists, one of Davidson’s 11 steals and one turnover in 22 minutes.

“Every game he’s really gotten a lot better,” Curry said of McKillop, his backup at the point. “He’s been more comfortable with the ball and handling pressure. When they see him bring up the ball, teams send two guys to try to trap him and harass him a little bit. And I think he’s really been able to handle that and get the ball up the court and get teammates open.

“And lately he’s looking for his shot more, which is another threat that he has. He can spread the defense out and all of a sudden get in the cracks and get assists, so he’s really stepped up and allowed me to move back to the two guard (occasionally). So it’s big for our team.”

McKillop’s 13 points were one shy of his career high, and his three assists tied his highest previous total. But perhaps most importantly, his improved ability to run the offense can take enormous pressure off of Curry, who already has to be the team’s primary scoring option.

McKillop is the son of coach Bob McKillop, but he’s also a player, something he proved again Monday night.

-Stan Olson