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Davidson Wildcats

NCAAB – ATLANTIC 10

Davidson Wildcats Stats

Arena: John M. Belk Arena
Coach: Bob McKillop

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Davidson Wildcats

Team Summary

The Davidson Wildcats are 10-2 on the season and on their way to yet another successful campaign under eventual Hall of Fame coach Bob McKillop.

This season, they are once again led by an experienced lineup of program mainstays. The scoring is mainly handled by junior guards Hyunjung Lee (17.5 points per game) and Foster Lover (15.2 points per game). Seniors Michael Jones and Luka Brajkovic also both average double figures at roughly 12 points per contest.

True to historical form, Davidson is so formidable due to their offensive efficiency which ranks inside the top 25. While some people simply know Davidson as the school that Steph Curry attended, few realize that the school has been very good through McKillop’s tenure. The Wildcats are currently sixth in the nation in offensive effective field goal percentage while 22nd in the nation in offensive turnover percentage at just 15.4%.

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Wildcat History

The Davidson program was formed in 1908 and has amassed a winning record throughout its existence. The Wildcats overall record is an impressive 1,500-1,243. The program has been a part of a quartet of different conferences. Apart from their current home in the Atlantic 10, they have also been a part of the Big South, Southern, and Independents.

Davidson has won 37 championships in their history. The program has amassed 24 regular-season titles and 13 conference tournament titles. Their most recent came in 2014-15 when they won the Atlantic Ten regular-season outright with a 14-4 conference record. That team landed a #10 seed in the NCAA tournament but was bounced in the first round by Iowa in a game that wasn’t close.

The Wildcats have only made a single tournament appearance since that drubbing, which was also a first-round exit.

2022 Key Stats

Apart from the above-stated statistics from this season, perhaps the biggest reason for Davidson’s success is and has almost always been their ability to shoot the basketball. Once again this season the Wildcats are not only one of the top shooting teams in the nation, they are the top shooting team in the nation at 42.4% from behind the three-point line.

You may recognize the old saying: Good Teams win, great teams cover. Davidson covers in 2022. The Wildcats are an impressive 10-1 against the spread on the season and are outperforming the number by a ridiculous +5.2 points per game

While that number is not nearly sustainable, covering is nothing new under Coach McKillop. Going all the way back to 2003, the Wildcats are the second-best team in the Atlantic 10 at covering the spread. Davidson is 289-250-12 overall against the number during that time.

If you look at just their home games, they become the best in the conference statistically at 56.5%. Their average margin of victory at home (which includes losses at negative points) is an outstanding +15.5 points per game.

The Wildcats have even logged a winning number in true road games, covering over 51% of the time.

Championships

While Davidson has certainly made their fair share of post-season appearances for a mid-major, they have never won a championship.

The Wildcats have made fourteen NCAA tournament appearances between 1966 and 2018 and posted a tournament record of just 8-15 in those games.

Davidson has also made appearances in both the postseason National Invitational Tournament and the College Basketball Invitational. The Wildcats have appeared in the NIT four times since 2014 and nine times overall with their most recent appearance coming in 2021. They have lost in the first round in each of their last four appearances and are 3-9 overall.

The Wildcats’ lone CBI appearance came in 2011 when they defeated James Madison in the first round before being sent home by the Creighton Blue Jays who were led by a freshman named Doug McDermott.

Important Davidson Events

Perhaps the first significant event in program history other than its inception was in 1936 when the Davidson program went from being an Independent to the Southern Conference. This was the start of the program finding its footing in the college basketball landscape.

In 1960, the program hired Hall of Fame coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell and the results were nearly immediate. Driesell took over a team that had gone 5-19 and quickly turned the program into a Southern Conference power.

On February 1st, 2006, Coach McKillop and Davidson signed a 6-2 165lb guard out of Charlotte Christian that was ranked 256th in the nation and the 52nd best point guard in the class. That player was Steph Curry.

ESPN developed a ranking program in the early 20-teens which ranked college basketball programs over the past fifty years. Of the 309 programs that were eligible for consideration, Davidson was ranked #44.

Top Players in Program History

As stated above, Davidson is more than just Steph Curry’s alma mater. Coach McKillop has marched some incredibly talented players through the Wildcat program over the years. Most notably and recently being Kellan Grady.

Grady, a 6-5 wing, is spending his fifth collegiate season at Kentucky but the once 97th ranked recruit in the nation spent four seasons at Davidson, amassing 2,002 total points. That number is good for 16th in Atlantic 10 conference history.

The program has produced other star players under McKillop such as Jack Gibbs, Peyton Aldridge, and NBA champion Dick Snyder.

Historical Coaches

As mentioned above, the program really took off once Lefty Driesell arrived. His first season was 1960-61 at just 29 years of age. Driesell went just 9-14 but that would be the last time he would experience a losing season until 1995-96. He would end up with a 176-65 record at Davidson winning the Southern Conference five times and going to three tournament appearances.

Driesell left the program in 1969 and the program almost immediately took a step back. Over the next 18 seasons, the program saw just two NCAA tournament appearances, losing in the first round both times.

Following a 7-24 season in 1988-89, the program hired Bob McKillop, a former Davidson assistant who had been coaching at Long Island Lutheran High School for ten years. The Wildcats went 4-24 in his first season but saw improvement in each of the following four seasons. Davidson eventually made the NIT in 1994.

Davidson was and is McKillops only division one coaching job at he has made the most of it. The 71-year old Queens, NY native has amassed 618 career victories at Davidson. He is an 8x Southern Conference Coach of the Year and won the award for the Atlantic 10 in 2015.

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Davidson Wildcats FAQs

Who is Davidson’s All-Time leading scorer?

Stephen Curry is the all-time leader in scoring at Davidson with 2,635 points in just 103 games played.

Has a Davidson player ever recorded a triple-double?

Only a single player in Davidson history has ever recorded a triple-double. On December 28th, 1973, John Falconi recorded 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Where did Lefty Driesell coach after leaving Davidson?

Driesell became the head coach of Maryland following his time at Davidson. He won 348 games for the ACC school over his 17 seasons in College Park. He later led basketball programs at James Madison and Georgia State before retiring in 2003. He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Who is Davidson’s All-Time leading rebounder?

The all-time leading rebounder in program history is Mike Maloy, who played from 1967-1970. Fred Hetzel is also worth mentioning as he holds records for rebounding average (14.8) and rebounds in a game (27)

When did Davidson join the Atlantic 10?

After returning to Independent status for a couple of seasons in the late ’80s, Davidson rejoined the Southern Conference until they joined the Atlantic 10 prior to the 2014-15 season.

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