Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stephen Curry: Big Gun in the NCAA Sweet 16

Jason Richards decided to do a little crisis counseling when Stephen Curry, of the underdog and upstart Davidson University team, was missing shots and being frustrated by Georgetown University's tough and highly rated defense.

"If you're not going to have fun in the NCAA tournament, there's something wrong with you," Richards said to Curry during a timeout. "We just kind of stayed relaxed, got him to smile finally, and I think that really got him going."

As a result, Curry scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half, and 10th-seeded Davidson surprised everyone and rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit to stun No. 2 seed Georgetown 74-70 on Sunday, March 23rd qualifying the Wildcats for a improbable spot in the round of 16.

Davidson (28-6), which hadn't won an NCAA tournament game in 39 years before Friday, faces No. 3 seed Wisconsin in the Midwest Regional in Detroit.

"I'm a dreamer, and I've been a dreamer my whole life," says Wildcats coach Bob McKillop said. "For me to not think we could get to this moment, would be selling myself and the people who are behind me short."

Davidson has been an NCAA tournament surprise behind a player the top schools thought was too short and too weak. Curry, the son of former NBA 3-point specialist and former Charlotte Hornet Dell Curry, wanted to go to his father's alma mater, Virginia Tech. But no major school offered Curry a scholarship.

Since enrolling in Davidson, he's grown a much needed four inches to 6-foot-3, and his sensational second-half performance Sunday helped put Davidson in a spot it hasn't been since Lefty Driesell led the school of 1,700 students to two regional finals in the 1960s.

"I have confidence to shoot the ball every time I shoot it," said Curry, who missed 10 of his first 12 shots. "In the open court, that's my game — get my feet set and knock down shots. ... When I start getting my shot going, it does feel good."

Jason Richards, who had 20 points of his own in the win against Georgetown, will have to remember what he did for Curry the next time he experiences a shooting slump.

No comments: