College Basketball Notebook: Curry named SoCon player of year
The college basketball notebook …
SPARTANBURG, S.C. ó Stephen Curry, the nation’s leading scorer from Davidson, has been voted the Southern Conference player of the year by sports media who cover the league.
The group also picked Ed Conroy of The Citadel as coach of the year and Harouna Mutombo of Western Carolina as freshman of the year. The awards were announced Wednesday.
The league starts its postseason tournament Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn., with Curry and the Wildcats favored to win their fourth straight tournament title.
Curry is averaging 28.4 points a game this season to help Davidson to an 18-2 mark in SoCon play.
Curry is also part of the all-conference first team. He is joined by Noah Dahlman of Wofford, Andrew Goudelock of College of Charleston, Stephen McDowell of Chattanooga and Demetrius Nelson of The Citadel.
DURHAM ó Duke may be short-handed because of injuries heading into Sunday’s matchup with second-ranked North Carolina.
Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek were day-to-day with injuries sustained during the win against Florida State, the team said Wednesday. Thomas, a 6-foot-8 junior, sprained his left ankle in the first half on Tuesday. Zoubek, a 7-1 junior, suffered a broken nose.
The seventh-ranked Blue Devils have been without point guard Nolan Smith, who missed two games with a concussion suffered in last week’s win at Maryland.
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Another week, another South Carolina showdown in the SEC.
A week after trampling Kentucky to take over first place in the SEC Eastern Division, the Gamecocks could take a big step to wrapping up the East and getting a bye in the league’s upcoming tournament when they face Tennessee tonight.
“It’s sort of like a rerun,” South Carolina first-year coach Darrin Horn said Wednesday. “We’re in the same spot we were in last week.”
And his club responded in a big way, throttling Kentucky 77-59 on Feb. 25 in front of a sold-out Colonial Life Arena.
This time, the stakes are even bigger. Tennessee (18-10, 9-5) and South Carolina (20-7, 9-5) are tied for the division and the winner would have the top spot all to itself with just one game to play.
TUCSON, Ariz. ó Lute Olson said farewell in a press release last October. Tonight, Arizona’s Hall of Famer will have a chance to do it in person.
The Wildcats will honor Olson at halftime of their game against California on the court named for Olson and his late wife, Bobbi.
“It’s going to be a very emotional night from my standpoint, to be down courtside,” Olson said Wednesday. “I guess it’s the reality that the time here is done. It’ll just be a finality to it that’ll be very obvious to me.”
THREE IN A ROW?
CINCINNATI ó With one more win, No. 17 Xavier can join the small company of Atlantic 10 heavyweights.
The Musketeers (23-5, 11-3) can win at least a share of their third straight regular-season championship tonight by beating Dayton, a run of titles unmatched this decade in the A10. Not since UMass and Temple were stringing them together in the 1990s has a school dominated the league for so long.
ROCK HILL, S.C. ó The only thing on fire for Winthrop in the final basketball game of its season was the team bus.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports that the Eagles’ bus caught fire as the driver warmed it up in the final minutes Tuesday night of Winthrop’s 76-68 loss at UNC Asheville in the quarterfinals of the Big South Conference tournament.
Officials say the bus heater apparently started burning and ignited a fuel line. No one was hurt, but the Eagles trip home was delayed while a new bus was found.
Winthrop finished the season 11-19 and won’t go to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004.