Davidson-Furman Preview: Wildcats Look For Season Sweep of Paladins

Steve AugerAnalyst IIFebruary 13, 2009



Davidson Wildcats (21-4, 14-1) at Furman Paladins (6-18, 4-11)


Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009 – 4:00 PM EST


The Davidson Wildcats, fresh off of a 17-point drubbing of Wofford, look to complete their two game road trip with a victory when they visit the Furman Paladins on Saturday afternoon.


The victory over Wofford put the Wildcats back on track after they suffered their first conference loss of the year last weekend to the College of Charleston.


This will be the second meeting of the season between the two schools. Davidson annihilated Furman back in January by a score of 83-43.


Davidson will use their well balanced offense to make life difficult for Furman.


Stephen Curry averages 29.1 ppg and dishes out 6.1 apg while Andrew Lovedale scores

12.2 ppg and averages 8.8 rpg to anchor the front line. Steve Rossiter helps out on the glass to the tune of 6.3 rpg.


Besides unleashing Curry on helpless opponents, Davidson also shoots it from behind the arc quite well as four players convert at better than 37 percent.


For Furman to have a chance, they must control the pace of the game. The Paladins only score 61.2 ppg. That’s a stark contrast to Davidson’s conference leading 80.3 ppg.


Leading scorer Justin Miller (13.4 ppg) will need to double his outpoint in an effort to stay close to Curry.


Since Miller is the only Paladin player to average double figures, Furman must have career games from Justin Dehm (9.7 ppg), Bryson Barnes (7.5 ppg), and Alex Opacic (6.8 ppg).


The Paladins must also be much more accurate with their threes. Connor Nolte leads the team but shoots at only 34.7 percent.


In addition to making shots, Furman must control the back boards in order to limit Davidson’s possessions. Since no player averages more than 4.8 rpg (Barnes), the Paladins will have no choice but to gang rebound.


Current line: Davidson -17.0


Davidson is only 11-11-1 against the spread on the season but they’ve been favored by double-digits 18 times this year. In those games, they are 10-8. However, they’ve failed to cover three of the last five after covering four straight.


Furman is 8-10-1 against the spread—6-9 as an underdog—but they’ve covered four straight as an underdog.


If Davidson was good enough to bury Furman at home by 40 points, then winning by more than 17 on the road should be a walk in the park.


Steve’s pick: Davidson -17.0