#76 Davidson Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Davidson Wildcats

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #76
Conference Rank: #7 Atlantic 10

Davidson Team Page#76 Davidson Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Davidson Basketball Tickets

Last season Davidson did their usual thing, picking up a nice win or two during the non-conference slate and then dominating the Southern Conference. The Wildcats went 15-1 in conference play and entered the SoCon Tournament on a 12 game winning streak. However, Davidson lost an overtime thriller to Western Carolina in the conference tournament and had to settle for the NIT, where they lost to Missouri in the first round. There will be no 15-1 conference record for Davidson this year though. The Wildcats are still a strong program, but they are moving to the Atlantic 10 where the competition is about to get much, much tougher.

2013-14 Record: 20-13, 15-1
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Bob McKillop
Coach Record: 472-292 at Davidson, 472-292 overall

Who’s Out:
Coach Bob McKillop does have three starters to replace too. De’Mon Brooks was a superb athlete who could attack the basket with ease. He led the Wildcats with 19.0 points and 7.1 rebounds. Tom Droney stepped up his game during his senior season and the 6-6 guard averaged 10.2 points and 3.3 assists per game. Chris Czerapowicz is the other lost starter. His shooting was inconsistent during the 2013-2014 campaign, but Czerapowicz still averaged 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. Little used Joe Aase is the only other departure.

Who’s In:
Coach McKillop brings in three versatile power forwards to help fill the void lost by Brooks. Peyton Aldridge is a surprisingly good passer for a 6-7, 205 pound forward and that ability is a great fit for this team. Of all the freshmen, Aldridge appears most ready to contribute. However, Nathan Ekwu could be the team’s best shot blocker from day one and can at least help out in that department this season. Oskar Michelsen has some international experience with Finland and is more of a big 6-9 wing that a true power forward. Davidson wants big guys that can shoot and Michelsen certainly falls into that category. The backcourt adds Rusty Reigel and Jordan Watkins. Watkins is a big time scorer and for now could emerge as a solid scoring option off of the bench.

Who to Watch:
Davidson does return a solid core of five players with significant experience. Brian Sullivan and Tyler Kalinoski are both prolific outside shooters who averaged double digits in the scoring column a season ago. Sullivan knocked down 90 three-pointers during his first year with the Wildcats after transferring in from Miami (OH). Kalinoski connected on an amazing 45.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and led the team with 3.5 assists per game. Jack Gibbs and Jordan Barham spent last season coming in off of the bench. Gibbs had a very promising freshman campaign, averaging 6.8 points and 2.1 assists. Starting or not, Gibbs will see starter minutes. Barham is a good slasher and a quality rebounding 6-4 guard. Not a shooter, Barham does nearly all of his scoring around the basket. The only big man back with significant experience is Jake Belford. The 6-9 junior is a very good outside shooter, but will be asked to do more on the glass this time around.

Final Projection:
Davidson will be competitive in the A-10, but this is not the best team the Wildcats have had in recent years. There is a major lack of depth and experience in the frontcourt. In year’s past, this program could get away with playing small, but that is not going to fly in their new conference. Many opponents will be able to take advantage if Coach McKillop wants to put his best five players on the floor since his best five are generally short. Last year while running a four guard lineup, at least Davidson had the 6-7 Czerapowicz. Now they have freshmen.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Brian Sullivan, Junior, Guard, 12.9 points per game
Tyler Kalinoski, Senior, Guard, 11.0 points per game
Jordan Barham, Junior, Guard, 5.8 points per game
Peyton Aldridge, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Jake Belford, Junior, Forward, 6.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.5 (26th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.8 (251, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.7 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.8 (313, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (23, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.6 (53, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (116, 4)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (190, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (94, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (95, 2)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews