Preview & Prediction: By Fairway Jay
In what should be a very good game, North Carolina State (4-0) takes on Davidson (5-1) in an early tip-off at Bobcat Arena in Charlotte. These teams live in the shadow of the likes of Duke, North Carolina and to a lesser degree Wake Forest in their own state. However, Davidson comes into the game with a #24 national ranking and NC State returns a trio of players who are capable of leading this team to the NCAA tournament this year. Last year NC State beat Davidson in Raleigh 66-65, one of only seven losses suffered by Davidson.
I wrote a preview on Davidson before last year’s NCAA Tournament discussing the uncanny talent of Stephen Curry and how Davidson was robbed by the NCAA committee as a no. 10 seed and that they were very capable of making a deep run through the NCAA Tournament. They did just that as Stephen Curry put on a four-game performance rarely seen. The super talented son of former NBA player Dell Curry is averaging over 29ppg and 7apg for the Wildcats, despite scoring zero points last game against Loyola Maryland. Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos chose to double team Curry no matter what he did. Curry solved this problem by standing in the corner and letting his teammates destroy Loyola essentially playing a game of backyard 4 on 3, as Davidson won 78-48. Curry gets help on the inside from senior Andrew Lovedale (over 14ppg and 10rpg) and junior Stephen Rossiter, and both will have their hands full against a talented and experienced NC State frontline.
NC State is led this season by a pair of big, strong experienced inside players in Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner. McCauley’s production slipped last year following a solid sophomore season, as freshmen star forward JJ Hickson was featured. But this year he’s averaging over 15ppg and a team-high 9rpg. Costner is averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds, and the Wolf Pack are led in scoring by consistent 6-5 senior guard Corey Fells (16ppg). Point guard Javier Gonzales has improved and is more comfortable distributing rather than shooting, and the team appears to be more cohesive and together in the early going with Hickson gone to the NBA.
Davidson is getting much more notoriety this season and playing their neighboring ACC schools helps them both in competition and exposure. Curry has provided a rare talent and ability at this very small school, and he’ll be the difference maker again as Davidson gets their redemption in another close contest.
Winner: Davidson Margin 2-6 points
- Bracketology: Selection Sunday Projection
- Bracketology: Saturday Night NCAA Tournament Projection
- Non-BCS Top 25: Creighton, Colorado St Rise
- College Basketball Top 50: Indiana Ends Regular Season #1
- Non-BCS Top 25: Valpo Replaces BYU
- College Basketball Top 50: Maryland and Iowa St Drop Out
- Non-BCS Top 25: Davidson In, Wyoming Out
- College Basketball Top 50: #2 Gonzaga Hits All-Time High
- Non-BCS Top 25: Air Force, Davidson Making Moves
- College Basketball Top 50: Another Week, Another #1
About Fairway Jay
Previews & Predictions
Jay Ginsbach, also known as "Fairway Jay’"joins the CHN team and staff this season from Sportsmemo.com. He’ll provide his insight and expertise covering the college basketball scene with periodic thoughts from a Las Vegas perspective.