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Previewing Davidson

2008 Scouting Report / 2007 Scouting Report
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster


Davidson Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%51.893Turnover Rate19.370Off Reb Rate35.0112FTM/FGA24.6190Davidson Offense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%52.993Turnover Rate16.67Off Reb Rate30.7248FTM/FGA13.2340











I hate playing perimeter-oriented teams because defending teams that shoot a ton of threes and rarely turn the ball over is a nightmare. And considering where the glaring weaknesses in the Wolfpack's defense lie, it's a doubly scary proposition. More than 44% of the Wildcats' field goal attempts this season are coming from beyond the arc, a proportion that is the 20th-highest in I-A.

The 16.6 TO percentage they've posted is pretty remarkable when you consider they've already played Duke, Carolina, and UCLA--three teams that excel at forcing turnovers. Davidson kept its TO% under 20.0 in each of those games, a nice run regardless of the opponent, but particularly impressive against those three, all of which routinely force teams to turn the ball over 25% of the time.

If there's one thing NC State has made clear in regards to forcing turnovers, it's that having more available bodies doesn't matter when none of those players have the requisite skills for generating steals and creating other mistakes. That sounds obvious, but I can't imagine I was alone in expecting us to improve in this area once we had the luxury of a deeper bench. Instead of improving, we've actually gone in the other direction; the defense ranks 339th in turnover rate, this after finishing 329th last season. We continue to do a great job of keeping teams off of the free throw line, so it seems that we have not changed our defensive philosophy from a year ago. We're no more aggressive in attempting to disrupt opposing offenses than we were in 2007 when restraint was the order of the day. It no longer has to be this way, but in all likelihood, it is going to stay this way. We've added more pieces, but we haven't added the right pieces.

The Wolfpack defense relies entirely on unforced errors, and that's no way to make a living when you rebound as poorly as we do. We've scraped by on the strength of FG% defense, but that's not going to be enough come conference play.

Now that I've spent three paragraphs on the subject, you can expect Davidson to turn it over a bunch on Friday. Cheers!

Starters:

Jason Richards (6-2, 190) -- It's good to be the point guard on a POT; Richards ranks 11th nationally in assist rate and averages more than 10 assists per 40 minutes.

Stephen Curry (6-2, 185) -- Yet another guy we're seeing who assumes a huge offensive workload. He's handling it fine, just as he did as a freshman; even with all of the responsibility, Curry's shooting percentages--inside and out--are excellent. He won't turn the ball over or get to the line much, although I could say that about anyone on the roster.

Max Paulhus Gosselin (6-6, 195) -- I don't know about you, but I look at a name like this and think there's gotta be a few good anagrams in there. Amusing Ox Phalluses; Hapless, Anxious, Glum; Expos Alums Languish (like Tim Raines on the HOF ballot!).

Anyway, Gosselin's usage is very low, which is probably a good thing considering the horrible start he's off to.

Thomas Sander (6-8, 220) -- Good offensive rebounder who'll step outside and take more threes than he probably should. After shooting 32.9% in 2007, he's only hit 25% of his 3FGAs this year.

Boris Meno (6-8, 220) -- An excellent rebounder at both ends, and he's the only starter aside from Curry who is taking an above average proportion of shots.

Bench:

Bryant Barr (6-4, 185), Andrew Lovedale (6-8, 215), Stephen Rossiter (6-7, 230), and Will Archambault (6-6, 220) should see the bulk of the spare minutes. Barr and Archambault will be bombing away; Lovedale and Rossiter will stick to two-point land. Rossiter has been quite efficient in his limited opportunities.


Davidson Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%49.4136Turnover Rate23.062Off Reb Rate27.73FTA/FGA30.956Davidson Defense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%55.1302Turnover Rate24.478Off Reb Rate29.244FTA/FGA41.5266











Opponents have killed the Wildcats from outside (42.2 3FG%), and while that's sure to come down, it's not all bad luck, as they were soft along the perimeter last year as well.

Ken Pomeroy's prediction thingy has the Pack winning by four. I'm feeling pessimistic, so give me the Wildcats by 10.