But you can’t just discredit the way Steph played. March Madness: 31 questions for college basketball’s best month, “Taking Jason Richards out with 7:42 to go in the game and a seven-point lead. However, basketball is a game of runs. I liken him to a great Broadway performer. 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. Curry spearheaded a 16-2 run that saw him complete a four-point play, connect on a 3-pointer and then finish off a three-point play that gave Davidson a 60-58 lead, its first since the opening minute of the game. Coming in, there was no entitlement. Coach Fox: Georgetown presented a lot of different challenges. NCAA Tournament Scores — Mar 28, 2008. 3/24/2008 1 The odds are against them, but they've been there before. Brendan McKillop: I think for anyone to project for him to have the success he’s had, I don’t think that would be possible. The Wildcats blow them away with a 37-20 second half to win 73-56. A "play-in" game determined which of the two lowest seeds would play in the first round of 64 against a top seed team. It was like we just smacked them in the face. Few people, especially Davidson fans, will forget where they were the day the last time these two teams met, which was in the 2008 NCAA Tournament Elite … When your best player works the hardest and exudes that kind of confidence. He catches it in full-stride with a new shot clock. NCAA.com broke down the all-time leading scorers for each one. The Davidson players wanted to test themselves against the best teams in the nation. It was more about the run as a team, than that one specific play.”. We never had such a calming and peaceful feeling as we prepared for Kansas. That sounds ancient, but people started getting noticed because we were everywhere. Was there a Giannis dream? But against Wisconsin, we were tied, and I felt like we felt pretty confident we could win. We knew he was a special talent. Davidson’s program has stayed solid, but the Wildcats have not won an NCAA Tournament game since. Ten years later, the images of that March still warm Davidson. They defeated East Tennessee State. Coach Fox: They were the last game of the day on Friday. 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. We’ve got good news with the season around the corner. Do you think Steph’s going to say, “okay, let’s hold it out, call a play and get a great shot?” No, he just fired it in. 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. Steph’s college coaches and teammates reflect on when he introduced himself to the world. The Wildcats made it to the 2008 NCAA Tournament, where Steph’s All-Word performance introduced him to the world. The Wildcats had not won an NCAA Tournament game in 39 years. 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. Roy Hibbert got into foul trouble that game. Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners. And that was us, that was Steph, and that was what we call a dagger. “One thing I do remember is we weren’t nervous,” Richards said. “I certainly don’t have any desire to go back and look at some of that footage that might make me second guess.”. 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. That guard was Steph Curry, an eventual three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP. 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. We kind of pressured them just to where we just tried to get the ball out of their point guard’s hands. He hit the go-ahead bucket with 1:04 to go, on a play coach McKillop remembers fondly. He had led the nation in assists that season, as Robin to Curry’s Batman. They did not lose again in the regular season. So it just kind of worked out in their favor. … Curry hits 33, is picking up legions of new fans, including the familiar face applauding from his courtside seat. Coach Fox: I think what he was able to prove to himself is how good he could be with all those players on that under-19 team. Steph sprint’s from half-court to the arc, Andrew looks, which he did instinctively and habitually because all of our guys did, for Steph at the arc. 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. CBSSports.com is your college basketball scores and news source. ... 2008: DAVIDSON. In March 2008, Stephen Curry and Davidson College—total undergraduate population: 1,674—beat Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Coach Fox: I love going out to the Bay Area to watch him play. But the other thing is, they were big. He just was relentless in going after that rebound, got the possession, and immediately looked to the arc for Steph. He hit his first free-throw, and missed the second, leading to an offensive rebound by Davidson. The Bulldogs led the Wildcats by 11 points in the second half, but Curry went off, bringing Davidson back from the dead. You don’t want to shoot not to miss, you want to shoot to make it.”. Curry goes for 30. Even though Davidson fell short of the Final Four, Curry was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament’s Midwest Region. Davidson. The 2008–09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 10, 2008, and ended with the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament's championship game on April 6, 2009, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.The season saw six different teams achieve the AP #1 ranking during the year (just one shy of the NCAA record). March 21, 2008. The first and second round games were pl… Featured ... he was a skinny kid at Davidson who shocked the world. He’s still the same person. TEAM BESTS. In both games, we played our best basketball in the second half, and we’re going to be okay. “We had played UCLA. That was the overall goal as a team. Davidson drew a … They were a lot taller than us at every position. Davidson held a 49-45 lead after Bryant Barr, who remains one of Curry’s closest friends, connected from deep. Coach McKillop: Three Gonzaga players, I think, went after Andrew Lovedale, our power forward. Brendan McKillop: Going into the locker room after that, and just like the range of emotions, you know we tried to understand how great what we had accomplished was, but also, you know, everyone was heartbroken, and we fully expected to win that game. But, the way he did things, the way he handled himself, you saw that he exuded confidence. Seven years later, Curry was in his first NBA Finals, beating the superstar who stood and cheered for him that night in Ford Field. 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. 1 seed Kansas, 59-57, with the Jayhawks desperately holding on at the end, double-teaming Curry the last possession. Tournament Appearances: 14. By Curry’s sophomore year, Davidson’s basketball program was establishing itself at the national level. I was playing by the numbers, doing what I thought was right.”. “People around the basketball world knew how good Steph was, but that put him on the map, because everyone watches the NCAA Tournament. It’s only going to prepare us for what we wanted to do in March. He scores 25, but has to shoot 9-for-25 to get them. He had to come in and earn his spot. And Coach McKillop, he’s a New York City guy, so he’s tough. “I’d be lying to you if I said that shot didn’t replay in my mind every couple of days. We both understood what he meant to our recruiting. 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 contributed 20 points against Georgetown, 13 assists against Wisconsin. And one other thing about Davidson of 10 years ago. By the time they hit the NCAA Tournament, they had won 22 in a row. Championships: 0. It changed the life of the coaching staff and all the players who were part of that roster. An oral history of Steph Curry’s historic run at the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Draymond Green and James Wiseman are back at practice. “If we wanted to be the best, we had to play against the best. Richards: His freshman, my junior year, we went to coach Coach McKillop and said, ‘you know, we want to play a tough schedule. “It all started when his defender tripped and Kansas was kind of in a scramble and running around,” Richards said. Coach always called it to grab the golden ring and win a big game like those ones. Davidson’s deficit found itself down 46-29 just over two minutes into the second half. Richards’ game-winning 3-point attempt was off, ending Davidson’s Cinderella run in the Elite Eight. Wallace (played for the Hoyas and had 12 points in the game): We saw how Steph led the comeback the game before against Gonzaga. We knew he was going to play in the NBA. They didn’t want to hear anything about it. “There was no Twitter really, there was no Instagram, there was no Snapchat. That summer, he went and played with Team USA. We had a tough-mindedness that I think is a unique skill for a team. 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. Coach Fox: Oh, it was awesome. And, you know, he really never wavered on that commitment. Curry that night: “It’s pretty cool to give him something to be happy about and cheer about, and just entertain him.”. They had Patrick Ewing’s son and Roy Hibbert, who was a first-round pick, and a host of other outstanding players. He took the nation by storm, and ran with it.”. His career ended with an NIT second round loss at Saint Mary’s. Now he’s director of basketball operations at Pittsburgh. I had the experience of going to an alumni luncheon in Charlotte, maybe in October, and boldly proclaim that Steph Curry was going to be one of the greats ever to play basketball at Davidson. In the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Stephen Curry carried his Davidson Wildcats into the Sweet 16 over the second-seeded Georgetown Hoyas. We felt as if we had emptied our tank. NCAA conference tournament schedule: Tracking March Madness automatic bids, “That was Steph Curry’s coming-out party,” teammate Jason Richards would say a decade later. He makes that 3, and what was critical about it, is that it got the lead into single digits. The Wildcat sophomore making a lot of the magic was named Stephen Curry. The Wildcats charged ahead 49-45. “I want to say about 1200 of the 1700 went,” McKillop said. That’s why we were in the positon we were, the last 10 seconds of the clock, down two.”. Richards would graduate that spring. Glory can be fleeting. Against Gonzaga, we were down. 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. Wide left. That was the 2008 season Calipari and Memphis nearly won the national championship. Yeah, it was deep. 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. He is so old he covered Bob Knight when he had dark hair and basketball shorts were actually short.The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions. Richards: When we started to chip away and make our run, the entire arena started cheering for us. Coach McKillop and coach Fox zeroed in on Steph as their top recruit. The son of former NBA player Dell Curry, Steph was a scrawny teenager who stood 6’0 and weighed 160 pounds. We use the pressure and that kind of invited them into shooting quick 3s. And for us, on the bench just sitting there in awe of what he was doing. 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. I’m a New York guy, so Broadway, to me, is the most important. Because we knew we were right there, we had terrific senior leadership. Coach McKillop: I remember we went to his house on a midweek afternoon. Watch all of his top shots and plays from the Wildcats' memorable Cinderella run. Richards: We went into halftime with Wisconsin tied. “It still is a very vibrant, very vivid, exhilarating memory that touches everyone in the Davidson community. Coach McKillop obliged and set-up non-conference games against powerhouse programs. Davidson drew a first-round matchup against the seventh-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs. It was an open look. And he had a business-like work ethic, bring my hard hat and lunch pail to workouts, individuals, to practice every day. Coach McKillop: They would shoot a quick-3, and we get a run out lay-up. Win-Loss: 8-15. 2 seed Georgetown leads Davidson 46-29 with 17:52 left. We were on TV, we were in the paper. He has covered college basketball for 43 years, including 39 Final Fours. Coach Fox: Wisconsin that whole time said, “we shut down this guy, we’re winning the game.” All of a sudden, no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try, they’re unable to do it. “He got doubled teamed and flipped the ball back to me with one second left. The Wildcats weren’t dead yet. We had that, and of course, Stephen was the master of that. However, the Jayhawks went on a run of their own and held a six-point lead with just over a minute to go. Stephen Curry leads No. “In 2008, when you think about it, Facebook had just started,” Richards said. Everyone knew where the ball was going, including the Jayhawks, who double-teamed Curry. 10 Davidson by 10 points in the second half in Raleigh. So it gave us hope. We knew he was going to be a very important piece to our success at Davidson even when he first stepped foot on campus. And one other thing about Davidson of 10 years ago. Coach McKillop knew he had to get his superstar a touch with the game on the line. 10 Davidson vs No. 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. But they have a chance to change that Thursday. The 2008 NCAA Tournament The Wildcats finished the 2007-08 season 29-7 (20-0 in conference play) and were the No. And we go out on the first play, and I’ll never forget this. 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. That’s what kind of the whole season was, a build-up to March.”. You think what if I did this on this possession and that possession? He reportedly only received a walk-on offer from his father’s alma mater, Virginia Tech University. 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. Curry played one more season with the Wildcats before becoming the ninth-overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Wildcats storm back to win 74-70. PNC Arena (Raleigh, North Carolina) - Neutral Site. There were rumors that Davidson wouldn't be in the NCAA Tournament at all if it didn't win the Southern Conference Tournament. 'March Means More': Remembering Stephen Curry's 2008 NCAA Tournament Run Thomas Duffy @ @TJDhoops. 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. 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. He shot the ball amazingly. Still, he has one second guess, and it’s not the final play. It was just really special. The Jayhawks, free of Davidson at last, jumped into each other’s arms, and soon after headed for San Antonio for the Final Four. Final Fours: 0. The 2008 NCAA tournament was the eighth NCAA tournament with a 65-team bracket, prior to the introduction of the 68-team bracket that featured the First Four in 2011. The game was played in North Carolina, giving Davidson home-court advantage. Both teams went blow-for-blow throughout the contest. 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. The way that that run happened, we’re even a couple of minutes into the second half. That is demoralizing, that eats at you a little bit, they start getting tighter. Sweet 16, No. Richards: His game changed significantly from his freshman to sophomore year in terms of what he was able to do on the basketball court. Coach McKillop: Stephen started on a Community House stage, a local community stage. Well, now he’s on a Broadway stage. By then, Davidson was the perfect Cinderella story. 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. I mean, we circled him as our top guy, felt he could be somebody that changes our program. A week later, Kansas was national champion. 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. I went to mass before the game and said a little prayer. Wisconsin vs. Davidson Box Score, March 28, 2008. 3 seed Wisconsin and Davidson are tied 36-36 at halftime in Detroit’s Ford Field. We knew he would have a long career, but to see him continue to grow and master his craft, it’s fun to watch. He averaged 32 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 steals while shooting 44% from beyond the arc over those magical four games. Thursday, it’ll be Kentucky having to deal with them, and would now be a good time for John Calipari to tell his guys about 10 years ago? LeBron James. NCAA Tournament. Believe me; we were realistic; we saw that roster, we watched their tape. And then, all of a sudden, before you know it, it was 15 points. Richards: It’s disappointing because we wanted to win the game. It was the kind of feel-good underdog story that puts the heart into March. These are the essential Steph Curry college basketball stats, moments and best quotes from his career at Davidson. It’s the pinnacle. Elite Eight, and the long, glorious ride finally ends against No. “It changed the life of Davidson basketball. I did see the play when (Mario) Chalmers hit his shot (to save Kansas in the title game with Memphis), but I stayed away from TV.”. You watch him be Steph Curry, the world superstar. NCAA Tournament Scores — Mar 23, 2008. Also, of what Jason Richards was doing, I think he had 13 assists, no turnovers and just the overall team effort. But the feeling that we had, was that Steph comes from a tremendous family, and he was excited to come to Davidson. Coach Fox: I know SEC and ACC team coaches that were definitely trying to tell him, “hey, you don’t have to go there, even though you signed your letter of intent with Davidson, all you got to do is go to prep school for you get out of that.” So they were giving him the way to do it. Three-point play, and we never look back. That was a big adjustment that we made. Then he moved to a big city stage, then moved to an off-Broadway stage. And just like when he was at Davidson, he’s a superstar, but he was just a normal guy, and nothing’s changed. It’s a skill and mental ability, but that tough-mindedness, I’m convinced, is one of the true tests of greatness. Shoot a quick-3, we would come down, and Steph would make one from deep. There was no doubt people were doing that. Plus, you can follow all the games on your desktop with our discreet RealTime Scoreboard.. Also, don't miss Blue Ribbon's analysis of Davidson and all 65 teams. The only team in the Final Four we hadn’t played was Memphis. “He was put on the national stage because of the competition he had,” McKillop said. If so, it’s dead. But, with the honor and the integrity that the Curry family always has, they wanted none of that. You watch him handle himself with the media and the people and the fans. March Madness predictions: Here's how your bracket will do if you only pick the better-seeded team. Richards: When he came in as a freshman, coach McKillop knew right away what Steph had in him. As a senior, Curry hoped to get a Division 1 scholarship to continue his career and showcase his phenomenal shooting ability. 2008 NCAA Tournament. And, you know, all of a sudden, you played North Carolina, and about two or three plays cost you the win. But that play also got better because Stephen played the lead role. The 2008–09 Davidson Wildcats men's basketball team represented Davidson College in … Georgetown vs. Davidson Box Score, March 23, 2008. 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