Stephen Curry didn’t waste any time dwelling on Davidson’s first loss of the season. He made sure his teammates didn’t either.
After another outstanding effort that included a career high in assists, Curry will look to keep the No. 24 Wildcats’ offense rolling on Monday when they host Florida Atlantic in an NIT Season Tip-Off consolation game.
Curry got Davidson (3-1) off to a great start following its surprising run to the regional finals of the NCAA tournament last season, averaging 31.0 points in wins over Guilford and James Madison.
But while Curry had a career-high 44 when the Wildcats traveled to Norman to face No. 12 Oklahoma on Tuesday, he didn’t get much help. No one else had more than 10 in an 82-78 loss to the Sooners.
In Davidson’s next game, though, Curry made sure he’d have some help. In addition to his 30 points, Curry, continuing his transition to point guard, handed out a career-high 13 assists Friday as the Wildcats routed Winthrop 97-70.
“I guess he’s really struggling at handling point guard, huh?” coach Bob McKillop said.
Curry leads all Division I players so far with 34.0 points per game, and he’s in the top 10 in assists (8.8) and steals (4.5) per game as the Wildcats are averaging 95.3 points.
“So far (playing point guard) has been working,” Curry said. “It’s clicking, our chemistry is growing every game. We know where we are on the court and where everybody likes the ball. It comes from practice and working really hard.”
Aside from Curry, senior forward Andrew Lovedale has been the Wildcats’ most consistent player. He’s averaging 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds, and Lovedale had his best game in the win over Winthrop, finishing with 20 points and 15 boards.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Curry’s transition to the point has been the lack of a drop-off in his shooting. Curry shot 48.3 percent from the floor last season, but has increased that to 51.2 percent so far in 2008-09. He’s also hit 18 3-pointers and is shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Curry says he’s still working to cut down on his turnovers, though he only has 11 in the four games.
“I’m still making mistakes out there, making careless turnovers,” Curry said. “I’ve got to figure out how to control the ball a little better. I think in transition I’ve got it pretty much where I need to be.”
Florida Atlantic (3-1) is coming off its most lopsided win of the season, 77-59 over UMKC on Saturday. Under former St. John’s head coach Mike Jarvis, the Owls are off to their best start in 20 years.
Four players combined for 66 points in the win over the Kangaroos, led by 18 from freshman guard Shavar Richardson.
“Guys came to play,” Jarvis said. “The team is getting better, there’s no doubt about it. I could feel a lot more energy tonight. I felt it was a good team effort on both ends of the court.”
Senior guard Paul Graham III, the team’s leading scorer at 17.0 ppg, had 16 Saturday to become the school’s sixth all-time leading scorer.
Davidson and Florida Atlantic have never met previously.