Midwest Region notes: Curry has Hoyas' attention

By Yahoo! Sports Staff
Yahoo! Sports

RALEIGH, N.C. – It's hard to be inconspicuous when you are averaging more than 25 points a game.

It's even harder when you delivered the most stunning individual performance of this NCAA tournament, scoring 40 points in a first-round upset, dropping in 30 in the second half and eight three-pointers total.

No, Davidson's Stephen Curry won't sneak up on Georgetown when the teams meet in a Midwest Region second-round game Sunday at RBC Center.

And no, Hoyas coach John Thompson III isn't busy trying to concoct a revolutionary approach to halt the sophomore shooting sensation.

"We are going to do what we've been doing all year," Thompson said Saturday. "You're not going to reinvent the wheel. We have certain fundamentals that we try and stick to. You have to pay special attention to him and how they get him the ball. But I'm not going to try and come up with a special Davidson, Curry defense."

The standard defense of second-seeded Georgetown is pretty strong.

The Hoyas lead the nation in field-goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 36.7 percent. And the experienced backcourt combo of Jonathan Wallace and Jessie Sapp wouldn't be classified as vulnerable or intimidated.

"It's going to be fun." Wallace said of matching up with quick-draw Curry.

Thompson also stressed that the 10th-seeded Wildcats are not a one-man team. Curry's backcourt partner Jason Richards leads the country in assists, averaging eight a game. And the rest of the Davidson squad does a fine job of setting screens for Curry and quickly finding him behind the three-point arc off of offensive rebounds.

"(Richards) sets the table for everything," Thompson said. "He makes life a lot easier for the shots that Curry gets, for the open looks that everyone else gets. But all of the sudden if you have three, four, five guys focusing on Curry, everyone on the court can make a shot. They are a veteran team, a poised team."


Davidson, meanwhile, has its own area of concern, stopping 7-foot-2 Georgetown center Roy Hibbert.

Hibbert, who averages 13.6 points and 6.5 rebounds, could cause some major issues for a team that starts no player taller than 6-8.

"We've faced some good big guys this year and I think we played pretty well against them," Wildcats forward Thomas Sander said. "I think we do a great job as a team, rallying around each other and playing defense against these big guys."

Davidson yielded 14 points and 14 rebounds to Tyler Hansbrough in a 72-68 loss to North Carolina earlier this season. And UCLA’s Kevin Love had 12 points and 12 boards in beating the Wildcats 75-63.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop doesn't dismiss the large challenge against Hibbert.

"He's a challenge because we haven't faced someone his size all year long," McKillop said. "But I'd be foolish not to allude to the fact that our guys have played against Kevin Love and Tyler Hansbrough just to name two pretty darned good players. Not that we did anything extraordinary against them, but we hung in there and learned some valuable lessons."

– Gerry Ahern


TAMPA, Fla. – Siena's scouting report could be quick work for first-year assistant coach Andrew Francis.

Francis spent two seasons as a video coordinator and administrative assistant for Villanova before Wildcats coach Jay Wright recommended Francis for a full-time position on coach Fran McCaffrey's staff at Siena.

"(Francis) quit a full-time job in business to be a video coach for $10,000 a year," Wright said. "Basically he was paying us to work at Villanova. He didn't want to leave. He would have stayed another year. I really appreciate Fran taking a chance on him."

Francis isn't the only Villanova-Siena connection. Saints assistant Mitch Buonaguro served as an assistant at Villanova under coach Rollie Massimino from 1977-85.


Forward Dwayne Anderson celebrated Villanova's 75-69 win over Clemson on Friday laying on his back in the locker room.

After playing 22 minutes, a cramp crept up his left leg, then his right leg before his entire body began to cramp. Trainers took a dazed Anderson to the training room where he received an IV.

"I was laying back on the training table, and I couldn't see the score but I could see what was going on," Anderson said. "I'm trying to stay calm and cool and collected, but I just wanted to get back out there so the fellas know I'm still supporting them."


Siena's Kenny Hasbrouck is one of three Hansbrough brothers in the field, at least according to television announcers.

Hasbrouck's name has been mangled by many. He has been called by the same surname as North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough and his brother Ben at Mississippi State.

"We're all related," joked Hasbrouck, who scored 30 points against Connecticut. "They called me Kenny Hansbrough, Kelly Hasbrouck, Kenny Has-brock," he said.

Siena guard Tay Fisher was also misidentified as Taj Fisher.

"It's all right. It's always good to hear your name almost close to being said right on TV," Fisher said.

Television was a much kinder to Western Kentucky guard Tyrone Brazelton. Former coach Bob Knight, recently added to ESPN's college basketball coverage team, called his pass to Rogers for the game-winner against Drake one of the best passes he had ever seen. Brazelton drew two Drake defenders before kicking it back to Rogers.

"Any time anyone of that caliber says that, you take it in and relish moment," Brazelton said.

– David Fox

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