Report from Courtside of the Jimmy V ClassicPosted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2008
Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the NEC and the MAAC Conferences. He attended the Jimmy V Classic in Manhattan last night.
NEW YORK CITY – A few notes from last night at the Jimmy V at the Garden. Stephen Curry is unselfish. Ok, he took 27 (44%) of his team’s 61 shots. He did hand out 10 assists and looked for his teammates as much as possible. Curry is a rare talent and when a basket is needed, Bob McKillop wants the ball in his hands. Down the stretch he thrilled the 14,000-plus crowd to one those vintage performances that will be discussed for some time. Curry hit four big shots in the final five minutes. One brought his Davidson team within one, two tied it and finally a big trey that gave the Wildcats the lead for good. Curry ended the night with a game high 27 points but was most gratified with his team’s 68-65 victory. At 9 of 27 from the floor he missed his share of shots. But he won over a new legion of fans and the admiration of media members covering his game live the first time.
Villanova had their first major test of the year. Actually, they faced Rhode Island in the Hoop Group Classic but didn’t get the challenge they expected. Texas provided the test . It would be harsh to say the Wildcats failed. Let’s say it was an experience to learn from. Notably, you can’t go 16 of 25 from the line against a marquee opponent. The 19 turnovers were also a problem for Jay Wright’s club.
Texas posed a huge problem with three 6-10 players in the rotation. The Texas ‘bigs’ are collectively not the greatest skilled players but they can bang and wear you down. Nova’s Dante Cunningham had another nice performance, battling inside and putting up a team high 23 points and 12 boards. Dwayne Anderson added 9 boards in relief. The 6-6 senior swingman will have to step up and help inside on a regular basis once Big East play unfolds with a succession of physical challenges. A.J. Abrams of Texas had a game high 26 points and registered a number of them in the stretch with the game in the balance.
FANS GOD LOVE THEM
The baseline press tables give you a great look at inside play and have the fans right behind you. During the first game WVU fans were blasting officials’ decisions. I softly made comments to my press row neighbor why the call or no call was good. As they got louder and more vehement, my press row neighbor (seriously) said ‘Ray is an official and can explain that’. They didn’t ask for an explanation, nor, thankfull, get on my other basketball affiliation of officiating.
The ‘Nova game brought three young ladies and a gentleman behind me who during the game asked me questions and traded insight on their beloved Wildcats. One of the ladies had the amber liquid flowing liberally and even offered to buy me a beer. I declined. There was a drive home ahead and how can you be sipping a brew at press row? Thank you anyway if you are reading this.
In any case the Nova group was animated, insightful. And pretty good on the officials.