It was pretty awesome on those raised up courts that you see all the time now at NCAA Tournaments. He has covered college basketball for 43 years, including 39 Final Fours. So no matter what the deficit that we had, we knew we could get out of it. We became the darlings of that year, with Steph being our guy, our leader. Stephen Curry led 10-seed Davidson to the Elite Eight in the 2008 NCAA tournament after scoring 40 points against Gonzaga, 30 against Georgetown, 33 against Wisconsin and 25 against Kansas. But there has 100% been moments where he was the best basketball player on the planet, which is just mind-blowing to be able to say that. The Wildcats charged ahead 49-45. That was the 2008 season Calipari and Memphis nearly won the national championship. He averaged 32 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 steals while shooting 44% from beyond the arc over those magical four games. NCAA college basketball coverage at And, you know, he really never wavered on that commitment. Coming in, there was no entitlement. But, the way he did things, the way he handled himself, you saw that he exuded confidence. Stay up to date with the latest in college basketball recruiting news. Dell and Sonia were there. Would Sixers’ Daryl Morey offer multiple first round picks and young players in a blockbuster trade? Entirety of 2021 women's tournament to take place in one location, West Virginia climbs in new Power 36 rankings. Ten years later, the images of that March still warm Davidson. But I mean, even if I didn’t watch those games, I could tell you just there’s the thing about Steph is that any moment of time, we knew that he could string multiple baskets together and get us on a roll just because of his knack for scoring. I think for them, it was probably very deflating. His career ended with an NIT second round loss at Saint Mary’s. Seeing a guy I knew most of my life, playing for the team I loved, and then being able to be a part of it even though I wasn’t necessarily on the court for those minutes. Plus more Golden State Warriors news from around the web. At that point, it was all right, “let’s get him the ball.”. Curry that day on the feeling that anything he put up was going in: “I try to have that feeling every time I shoot to ball. The Wildcats finished the 2007-08 season 29-7 (20-0 in conference play) and were the No. We both understood what he meant to our recruiting. Still, he has one second guess, and it’s not the final play. 3 Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2008 (Midwest Region). Wide left. Brendan McKillop: I don’t want to keep saying the word surreal, but it was. I think it sped them up a little bit. So it gave us hope. Curry had a fantastic run while at Charlotte Christian, helping the team to three conference championships, three state tournament appearances, and was named to the All-Conference and All-State teams. We use the pressure and that kind of invited them into shooting quick 3s. He had to come in and earn his spot. 3/24/2008 1 They can take that memory for the rest of their lives, it will be so cherished and so treasured.”. Coach McKillop and coach Fox zeroed in on Steph as their top recruit. Richards: We knew how talented they were. They did not lose again in the regular season. A week later, Kansas was national champion. Richards: With this quarantine that’s going on, I actually popped in a couple of the old tapes a while ago just to kind of buy some time because there’s not much going on. Take that shot again, and Jason Richards makes it any day of the week. Davidson was down six points in the second half with the Jayhawks seemingly taking charge, when a reserve named Bryant Barr came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers in two minutes. You don’t want to shoot not to miss, you want to shoot to make it.”. Stephen Curry leads No. The Selection Committeeseeded the entire field from 1 to 65 within four regionals of 16 teams; Mount St. Mary's, as the winner of the play-in game, automatically received a 16 seed. In March 2008, Stephen Curry and Davidson College—total undergraduate population: 1,674—beat Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 11 years ago today, Stephen Curry put the nation on notice vs. Gonzaga. Kansas answered back for a 59-53 lead with 1:15 to go, but a four-point Davidson possession – free throw, Jayhawks losing the rebound of a second missed free throw out of bounds, Curry 3-pointer – cut it to 59-57. Curry that night: “It’s pretty cool to give him something to be happy about and cheer about, and just entertain him.”. Both teams went blow-for-blow throughout the contest. Davidson Best Tournament Performances. He reportedly only received a walk-on offer from his father’s alma mater, Virginia Tech University. Coach Fox: a lot of people thought Davidson has no shot of winning those games. And as we’re walking off the court after our first warm-up, this guy is in front of me, and he’s doing flips, I mean legitimate flips, that you see gymnasts do as he’s walking into the locker room. The odds are against them, but they've been there before. Because we knew we were right there, we had terrific senior leadership. “He got doubled teamed and flipped the ball back to me with one second left. Against Gonzaga, we were down. Thomas Sander was fouled with 58 seconds left on the clock. The Davidson Wildcats, looking the part of the upstart as much as ever. The official 2008-09 Men's Basketball schedule for the Davidson College Wildcats. It kind of broke down their rhythm. And Coach McKillop, he’s a New York City guy, so he’s tough. The Jayhawks, free of Davidson at last, jumped into each other’s arms, and soon after headed for San Antonio for the Final Four. But when you go back home to his house after the game, he’s the same Steph that was joking in your office 10-15 years ago. He makes that 3, and what was critical about it, is that it got the lead into single digits. Curry goes for 30. He had led the nation in assists that season, as Robin to Curry’s Batman. He was ready to get going right away. 2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas, who had made it to the Final Four the year before. Then he moved to a big city stage, then moved to an off-Broadway stage. It was a close game. “We would have had another shot at Carolina, which we had lost to by four to begin the season,” Richards said. Coach Mckillop: It was Easter Sunday. It was more about the run as a team, than that one specific play.”. He got us in the huddle and just kind of said, “hey, just smile, have fun, because that’s what it’s all about.” I think he kind of lifted a weight off our shoulders at that point to where we started to chip away possession after possession. We go out to Anaheim to play UCLA, and we jumped out to a 15 or 17-point lead. But the legacy of 2008 was there for good. We knew he was going to be a very important piece to our success at Davidson even when he first stepped foot on campus. But everyone had a part in winning those games, which was just incredible. March 21, 2008. He catches it in full-stride with a new shot clock. We want to prepare ourselves for the NCAA Tournament.’ So that’s when coach and the staff at Davidson put together that non-conference schedule. Even as good as Wisconsin was defensively, we were able to get the shots that we want to get on offense, which is just a kind of soothing feeling, and that is that when we were writing our plays, we’re getting the ball where we wanted to. I was doing the scout for the Kansas game, and I’m watching them beat Villanova by I think 30, so I’m literally scared to death. They had a lot of abilities, from the talent on their team that we didn’t have. Watch all of his top shots and plays from the Wildcats' memorable Cinderella run. This is an oral history of the lead up to Curry’s explosion and the remarkable run Davidson went on in March of 2008. Too bad, Davidson’s fairy tale couldn’t have lasted one week longer – as it did two years earlier for George Mason, as it would two years later for Butler. Curry that day: “It hurts a lot to get so far, be this close to the Final Four.”, MORE: Naismith Award 10 semifinalists announced |. “I kept my head down, did my job,” he said. NCAA Tournament Scores — Mar 28, 2008. I think that speaks volumes of his upbringing in his household and Mr. and Mrs. Curry, raising Steph and their children. They’re going to go on their run, we’re going to go on our run, but no matter what, we can’t let the deficit kind of derail us from the way we play Davidson basketball. After a Kansas miss, the Wildcats had 17 seconds left, and one last chance. I’m a New York guy, so Broadway, to me, is the most important. Davidson drew a … The 2008 NCAA Tournament The Wildcats finished the 2007-08 season 29-7 (20-0 in conference play) and were the No. Tournament Appearances: 14. Even though Davidson fell short of the Final Four, Curry was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament’s Midwest Region. He took the nation by storm, and ran with it.”. Coach Fox: I love going out to the Bay Area to watch him play. Matt Matheny and Jim Fox were absolutely spectacular. And out of the blue, he gets up, maybe halfway through our presentation, and says, “I want to come to Davidson.” Matt and I drove home, and it was as if we didn’t need our car. The Jayhawks switched every screen that was set for Curry, giving him little-to-no space to even possess the ball. I was playing by the numbers, doing what I thought was right.”. Having that confidence going the second half and then once again, Steph went on a flurry to kind of open it up to nine points. We’ve seen what he was capable of over those past two years. And he had a business-like work ethic, bring my hard hat and lunch pail to workouts, individuals, to practice every day. Davidson with Coach McKillop had been consistently good, near the top of the Southern Conference, so when some of those guys left — some really good players — people thought Davidson was going to die down. The 2008–09 Davidson Wildcats men's basketball team represented Davidson College in … 10 seed in the Midwest Region. When you see Steph has that look in his eye and continue to just a shot-after-shot, it was only a matter of time that we got back in the game. He’s just on another level in there. Shoot a quick-3, we would come down, and Steph would make one from deep. ... 2008: DAVIDSON. And he can’t off a last shot. About logos. Sweet 16, No. “One thing I do remember is we weren’t nervous,” Richards said. 2 seed Georgetown leads Davidson 46-29 with 17:52 left. The play was to be a high screen to get Curry some space to shoot. The one thing we did was that we made a huge adjustment, X’s and O’s wise; we wanted to speed them up a little bit. Second round, No. 10 Davidson vs No. Steph’s college coaches and teammates reflect on when he introduced himself to the world. The Badgers lead the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 53 points a game. It was one of the things where we lost focus. All top-10 teams on the docket. But, with the honor and the integrity that the Curry family always has, they wanted none of that. By then, Davidson was the perfect Cinderella story. Davidson 82, Gonzaga 76. We had maturity. Curry’s individual 2008 NCAA Tournament numbers are ridiculous. Davidson’s deficit found itself down 46-29 just over two minutes into the second half. Final Fours: 0. It was like we just smacked them in the face. But there was something else going on that spring. Davidson Wildcats. He contributed 20 points against Georgetown, 13 assists against Wisconsin. We had a tough-mindedness that I think is a unique skill for a team. It was just really special. He was a sponge to coach McKillop; he was a sponge to the rest of us who had been there and played two years of college basketball already. “There was no Twitter really, there was no Instagram, there was no Snapchat. We thought we had a chance to beat them, just like we did any other team in that tournament. That’s why we were in the positon we were, the last 10 seconds of the clock, down two.”. Richards: It’s disappointing because we wanted to win the game. 3 seed Wisconsin and Davidson are tied 36-36 at halftime in Detroit’s Ford Field. March Madness predictions: Here's how your bracket will do if you only pick the better-seeded team. And one other thing about Davidson of 10 years ago. He’s still the same person. He was ready to drive down to talk to these coaches. The pivotal 3 Steph made was at the top of the key. So when the shot didn’t go in, I was just thinking about the game. Steph wound up accepting a scholarship close to home, joining the Davidson Wildcats, a school of just 1,700 students at the time, for the 2006-07 season. I spoke with Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, assistant coach Jim Fox, teammates Jason Richards and Brendan McKillop, as well as former Georgetown player and current Denver Nuggets executive, Jon Wallace. 2008 NCAA Tournament. We were on TV, we were in the paper. Davidson went 29-5 overall in Curry’s freshman year and lost in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Steph gets the rebound, takes one dribble and throws it on the money, like a Tom Brady pass to Thomas Sander in full sprint, he shoots the layup and gets fouled. So the fact Steph took the nation by storm, it was newspaper articles, people texting, people calling and leaving voice messages, sending emails. “He was put on the national stage because of the competition he had,” McKillop said. We knew he was going to play in the NBA. Coach Fox: Georgetown presented a lot of different challenges. Francisco Alonso was named MVP of the tournament. NCAA Tournament Scores — Mar 23, 2008. Davidson. It was Ford Field (home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions). And one other thing about Davidson of 10 years ago. 7 seed Gonzaga leads No. Seven years later, Curry was in his first NBA Finals, beating the superstar who stood and cheered for him that night in Ford Field. Everyone on our team had an integral part in their roles and winning those games. You watch him handle himself with the media and the people and the fans. Especially working in college basketball this time of year, it obviously brings back memories, but I don’t sit back here and think what if, because I’d drive myself crazy. And we go out on the first play, and I’ll never forget this. They miss a shot. Our feeling was that, “man we got to get Steph the ball, if we don’t have him touch the ball on the way up the court, he might not get it back.”. I think Steph had been going back on defense because he thought they would get the rebound, not realizing Andrew could actually get that board. Featured ... he was a skinny kid at Davidson who shocked the world. So it just kind of worked out in their favor. It was a close contest through the first 20 minutes and the game was tied 36-36 going into the break. 1 seed Kansas, 59-57, with the Jayhawks desperately holding on at the end, double-teaming Curry the last possession. “In 2008, when you think about it, Facebook had just started,” Richards said. As a senior, Curry hoped to get a Division 1 scholarship to continue his career and showcase his phenomenal shooting ability. The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is an annual single-elimination tournament featuring 65 teams representing all Division I Conferences in the nation. I kind of watched those games almost as just a fan. Stephen Curry’s first foray into the national spotlight came in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. At Davidson, at that point in time, we didn’t really recruit a lot from the area around Charlotte. Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry recalls the best memories from his 2008 NCAA Tournament run with Davidson. As a point guard, you got to have a feel for who you need to get the ball to, and obviously, Steph started to get it rolling. Then Bleacher Report senior writer Howard Beck joins … He hit his first free-throw, and missed the second, leading to an offensive rebound by Davidson. 40 PTS 14-22 FG 8 … PNC Arena (Raleigh, North Carolina) - Neutral Site. Richards: From Davidson to where he is now, I’d be lying to you If I said we all thought this was going to happen. Elite Eight, and the long, glorious ride finally ends against No. Coach McKillop knew he had to get his superstar a touch with the game on the line. Coach McKillop: They were doubling Steph every time he touched the ball in the half-court, so he hadn’t really possessed the ball in roughly six minutes. 'March Means More': Remembering Stephen Curry's 2008 NCAA Tournament Run Thomas Duffy @ @TJDhoops. That was the overall goal as a team. Steph found one of his most trusted teammates for the final shot. Social media wasn’t a big thing. You watch him be Steph Curry, the world superstar. So I knew going into those games, the likelihood of getting on the court was slim to none. “I certainly don’t have any desire to go back and look at some of that footage that might make me second guess.”. We knew the only way to compete with them was just to play our game stick, to our principles. In both games, we played our best basketball in the second half, and we’re going to be okay. “It changed my life,” McKillop said. Post-Season NCAA Tournament. We had it for those two successive weekends.”, But he hasn’t watched the Kansas game. “We had played UCLA. By Curry’s sophomore year, Davidson’s basketball program was establishing itself at the national level. Jason was fatigued, so I took him out. I didn’t watch any of the games. In 2008… They didn’t want to hear anything about it. That was a big adjustment that we made. If so, it’s dead. He drew a foul on it. Coach McKillop obliged and set-up non-conference games against powerhouse programs. Curry spent part of the summer playing with Team USA’s U-19 World Championship squad that earned a silver medal, playing alongside the likes of Patrick Beverley, De’Andre Jordan and Michael Beasley. It was the kind of feel-good underdog story that puts the heart into March. broke down the all-time leading scorers for each one. But that play also got better because Stephen played the lead role. Glory can be fleeting. Giannis Antetokounmpo Agrees to Five-Year, $228M Super Max Extension, Josh Richardson and his quickly found comfort with the Mavericks, Grizzlies 123, Wolves 104: Case of the Monday’s. Coach always called it to grab the golden ring and win a big game like those ones. Not just the basketball players at that time, but basketball players from every generation, alums from every generation, community people from every generation.”, MORE: Xavier basketball approaching history as first-ever Big East title is within reach vs. Providence. He scores 25, but has to shoot 9-for-25 to get them. Knowing Steph, we played baseball together when we were growing up and knew each other from the time we were nine. Also, of what Jason Richards was doing, I think he had 13 assists, no turnovers and just the overall team effort. He’s a better person than he is a basketball player. Stephen Curry scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half and little Davidson upset mighty Georgetown 74-70 on Sunday to reach the NCAA tournament's round of 16. After pulling off a second-consecutive upset, Davidson was set to take on the third-seeded Wisconsin Badgers in the Sweet 16. Now he’s director of basketball operations at Pittsburgh. Georgetown vs. Davidson Box Score, March 23, 2008. Next up for the Wildcats was a date with the No. And when the Wildcats hit the Sweet 16, the school offered free bus transportation and ticket to any student who wanted to go to Detroit. However, basketball is a game of runs. It had worked against Georgetown. He never forgot where he came from. We were sitting on a cloud that entire ride home. His game took a big leap, and I think that’s a lot of people have to understand is in the summertime, that’s when you make your progress as a player, and Steph made a huge jump. Thanks to original video provider. It was close through the opening 10 minutes, but the Hoyas began imposing their will over the final eight-and-a-half minutes, taking an 11-point lead into the break. We stayed late Friday, just the coaches, to watch Kansas play. Note: Insider gets you ready for the NCAA Tournament with complete scouting reports on all 65 teams and in-depth bracket analysis to help you project the field all the way to San Antonio. “Coach asked us if we wanted to play a tough schedule, we knew we had the team coming back,” Richards said. And, you know, all of a sudden, you played North Carolina, and about two or three plays cost you the win. The first and second round games were pl… Curry was a 3-star recruit coming out of high school and didn’t’ end up pursued by many traditional NCAA basketball powerhouses. Everyone knew where the ball was going, including the Jayhawks, who double-teamed Curry. He shot the ball amazingly. I mean, we circled him as our top guy, felt he could be somebody that changes our program. The Wildcats weren’t dead yet. We had that, and of course, Stephen was the master of that. Plus, you can follow all the games on your desktop with our discreet RealTime Scoreboard.. 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