NIT: Davidson opens tonight
By Pete Iacobelli
COLUMBIA ó Stop Stephen Curry? Not likely, according to South Carolina’s Darrin Horn, the next coach faced with shutting down the Davidson star.
The Gamecocks (21-9) get their chance against Curry and the Wildcats (26-7) while opening the NIT tonight.
“We have to find a way to get excited, get some momentum coming into tomorrow and go from there,” Curry said.
Short of double-teaming the baby-faced junior ó remember the wacky triangle-and-two defense employed by Loyola that held Curry scoreless in Davidson’s November blowout ó Horn said he expects Curry to leave the Colonial Life Arena with some eye-catching totals.
“I don’t know if you’re going to stop a guy that shoots 20-plus times a game and puts up 30 all year long,” Horn said. “I think the key against someone like him, hopefully, you make him work for everything.”
It’s a strategy several schools from big conferences have tried against Curry with varying effect.
In Curry’s second college game, he hung 32 points on Michigan. He closed his freshman season with 30 in an NCAA tournament loss to Maryland.
Curry only got better as a sophomore. He scored a combined 73 points against Triangle powers North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State. Then, after another Southern Conference championship, the Wildcats and Curry put on an NCAA tournament show that captivated the country.
Curry torched Gonzaga for 40 points, Georgetown for 30 and Wisconsin for 33 as Davidson advanced to the Elite Eight. The Wildcats eventually fell to Kansas, ending a run many hoped would become a sequel this season.
Instead, the SoCon’s regular-season champions fell in their tournament semifinals and were left out of the NCAAs.
Curry watched the entire selection show, gaining hope when CBS flashed one of his highlights during the opening. However, he left downhearted and upset.
“The excitement we brought last year, maybe people were looking forward to seeing if we could make another run at it,” Curry said. “But it didn’t work out that way. Somebody else is going to have to make that story now.”
Maybe Curry’s next chapter could come in the NIT.
“It’s not what our goal was coming into this season,” he said. “But you have to be happy to be able to play another game and try to extend the season as far as you can.”
Curry’s likely to face South Carolina’s own speedy, savvy shooter in SEC first-teammer Devan Downey, who led the league and was tied for third in the country at three steals a game.
Horn expects Curry will be fronted by several Gamecock defenders throughout, all with the intent of wearing down the 6-foot-3 son of former NBA standout Dell Curry.
“I don’t know anybody who said, ‘Oh man, they completely shut them down,’ ” Horn said. “Good players find a way to do what they do.”
By Bret Strelow email@example.com ATLANTA ó Two grandsons accompanied Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski onto the ceremonial platform, where he stood... read more