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From the Other Side: DavidsonCats.com’s Bill Cobb

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The College Basketball Invitational offers Creighton a great opportunity to extend the season and gain valuable experience heading into next season. The Bluejays are taking the tournament one game at a time, and Monday night that means welcoming the Davidson Wildcats to Qwest Center Omaha.

The Wildcats defeated a tough James Madison team that ranked high in the Colonial Athletic Association in the first round of the CBI. Bill Cobb, one of the moderators of DavidsonCats.com, stopped by WBR to help familiarize CU fans with the Davidson program.

White & Blue Review: Many fans know of Davidson because of Stephen Curry and the team’s run in the NCAA Tournament a few years ago, but what is some of the other history of the Davidson basketball program?

Bill Cobb: The Wildcats have been to the Elite Eight a total of three times, twice under Coach Lefty Driesell and once under current Coach Bob McKillop. Back when Lefty was coaching, we were a consistent national power with several top 10 finishes.

And folks forget that we went to several post-season tournaments under McKillop before Steph arrived and I feel confident that we will go to several more in the next few years. In short, we have been good a long time.

A couple of other tidbits — we are one of the smallest schools in the nation that competes at the Division 1 level. We have about 1,800 students — all undergraduates. We also have consistently one of the highest, if not the highest, basketball graduation rates in the nation.

WBR: After tasting the NCAA Tournament, how do fans handle not being a part of it this year? Is the program on stable footing?

BC: Coach McKillop has been here for 22 years. I can’t imagine a more stable program.

Of course we would like to be back in the NCAA Tournament this year. We’ve been several times in the last decade and it has been a blast each time.

WBR: Who does Creighton need to contain on Monday night?

BC: We really don’t have a standout player with regards to scoring. Our minutes are distributed among nine or ten guys. Jake Cohen has had some excellent scoring games in the last month or so, as have J.P. Kuhlman and Nik Cochran. Brendan McKillop can really shoot the ball. De’Mon Brooks and Clint Mann can rebound and bang with the best of them.

Actually, Clint is from Kansas. Creighton is relatively close to home for him. He may have a big game — hope so.

Davidson may have the toughest guard/forward in the nation in Will Reigel — a walk-on from Charlotte. Good things happen when Will is on the court.

WBR: The Wildcats appear to distribute minutes pretty well between players. Is it because of the talent that the time is so spread out or is it just to keep fresh players in the game?

BC: I would imagine a little bit of both.

WBR: What weaknesses can Creighton exploit on Monday night?

BC: We are not the most athletic team that Creighton will have played this year. However, we were athletic enough to beat a good Nebraska team earlier this season.

WBR: With Davidson being out on the east coast, they probably have a lot of opportunities to play quality opponents. How often do they actually play teams west of the Mississippi like Creighton?

BC: We traveled to Anaheim and Seattle in the last couple of years to play UCLA and Gonzaga. I wish those schools would have returned those games

WBR: The Creighton fanbase gets accused all the time of being Creighton basketball fans and Nebraska football fans though it isn’t exactly true. With being so close to North Carolina and Duke, do you have that same problem with Davidson basketball fans being Duke or Carolina basketball fans as well, or is the fanbase comprised of pretty loyal Wildcat fans?

BC: Many of our alums attend graduate, medical, or law school at UNC or Duke. Many of us have had family members (one of my sisters) and high school mates that attend these schools as well. However, with just a few exceptions, most Davidson fans wouldn’t care if Duke or UNC basketball programs were swallowed up by a big sinkhole. We are known to have fanatical fans — many of whom are proud to have been tagged as “Lunatic Fringe” by our coaching staff.

WBR: What is your final prediction? What will Davidson need to do to get a win in Omaha?

BC: Davidson will need to hit some perimeter shots early and often. We will also have to keep our “bigs” out of foul trouble.

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