Thursday, February 18, 2010

A rare blowout for Davidson's McKillop

-- Davidson fans might want to look at Wednesday's lopsided loss against Wofford as an odd kind of compliment to the Wildcats, at least for the kind of sustained excellence the program has enjoyed over the years under coach Bob McKillop, the Southern Conference's all-time victories leader with 217.

Look at the 22-point, 73-51 loss (in which Davidson made an all-time low 13 baskets) to the Terriers this way:

It's taken 21 seasons -- since 1989, when he came aboard -- for a McKillop-coached Wildcats team to lose a Southern Conference game by more than 20 points. Their previous worst loss to a league foe under McKillop was an 18-point home defeat against The Citadel last season.

Davidson (13-13, 8-6 SoCon this season) hadn't lost a home conference game that badly since 1975, when the Wildcats fell to East Carolina 110-78 in old Johnston Gym (the Wildcats did lose a designated home game -- played in what's now Bojangle's Coliseum -- 87-64 to Marshall in 1978).

Wednesday's loss was Davidson's most lopsided in conference play -- home or away -- since 1984, when the Wildcats lost 85-57 at Chattanooga.

It was also Davidson's worst home loss since a 76-51 defeat against Georgetown in 2004.

-- Some of Davidson's problems Wednesday against Wofford didn't stem from atrocious shooting (the Wildcats made a school-record low 13 baskets and shot 29.5 percent). They were also attributable to first-half foul trouble. Forwards Jake Cohen and Steve Rossiter and guard Will Archambault each had two fouls and spent lots of time on the bench.

According to McKillop, foul problems -- especially when they're offensive -- mean more than simply not having key players on the floor.

"An offensive foul not only means a loss of the ball, but it's a step in the direction of the bonus and a foul against one of your players," said McKillop. "But it's also deflating because you don't get a shot at your basket." -- David Scott