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December 21, 2007

NC State has defensive game plan for Curry

Former NBA star and Virginia Tech sharp-shooter Dell Curry was one of the best outside shooters of his generation.

Davidson's Stephen Curry hasn't been phased by growing up in the shadow of his father. The younger Curry is carving out his own niche as one of the top outside shooters in the country.

NC State shooting guard Courtney Fells, who is five inches taller than Curry, will likely get the first chance at slowing him down.

"[Curry] is constantly moving and they are setting screens for him," NC State men's basketball coach Sidney Lowe said. "He does a nice job of reading the screens, when he has a step-back move when he catches the ball to clear some space. All he needs is a look. It is going to be a lot chasing and good solid man-to-man."

The 6-foot, 180-pound Curry has upped his scoring average 4.5 points to 26.0 a game, ranking ninth in the country. So much for a sophomore slump.

He has already topped 30 points twice, pouring in 38 on 9 of 16 shooting from 3-point land vs. Appalachian State on Nov. 26, and 32 in the loss to Charlotte on Dec. 5.

Curry's long-range prowess has resulted in four games where he has hit five 3-pointers or more. He is shooting 49.2 percent from the field, 44.7 on 3-pointers and 90.9 on free throws.

"He is one of those players that we have gone over this now for four days [in practice], that you don't leave him, you just don't leave him," Lowe said. "He is a guy that if you are two feet away, you are too far, it is too late. Don't give him the opportunities."

Curry has struggled in Davidson's three losses to North Carolina, Duke and UCLA, which were by a combined 22 points. He has shot a combined 22 of 58 for a 37.9 percentage, averaging 19.7 points a game against the "Big Three."

"When you play against the team that just knows how to play basketball, it is always going to be tough," Lowe said. "Those games against Duke and Carolina, they executed their stuff and get some easy baskets and some open looks. The other thing, is that they play hard. It is never over [against them]."

Davidson preview

NC State 2007-2008 roster

Davidson roster

Davidson schedule/results

Game facts

Nonconference - Davidson (4-5) at NC State (5-3)

Game time: Friday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m. - RBC Center, Raleigh

Television: FOX Sports Net South

Probable starters

NC State

PG - 12 Farnold Degand (6-4, Soph., 7.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.9 apg)
SG - 4 Courtney Fells (6-5, Jr., 8.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.6 apg)
SF - 11 Gavin Grant (6-8, Sr., 13.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.6 apg)
PF - 33 Brandon Costner (6-9, Soph., 9.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg)
C - 1 J.J. Hickson (6-9, Fr., 18.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg)

Davidson

PG - 2 Jason Richards (6-2, Sr., 12.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 9.0 apg)
SG - 30 Stephen Curry (6-0, Soph., 24.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.2 apg)
G - 14 Max Paulhus Gosselin (6-6, Jr., 2.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.0 apg)
PF - 15 Thomas Sander (6-8, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.7 apg)
C - 5 Boris Meno (6-8, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg)

Scouting Davidson

Location: Davidson, N.C.

Nickname: Wildcats

2006-2007 record: 29-5 overall, 17-1 Southern Conference

2007 postseason: Lost 82-70 to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

Coach: Bob McKillop, 315-223 in 18 years overall and at Davidson

The all-time series with NC State: NC State leads 68-13

Last meeting with NC State: NC State won 84-80 on Dec. 9, 1995, in Raleigh

Notes

Davidson: Richards leads the nation in assists per game with nine, reaching double figures in four games including 12 vs. Charlotte ... Davidson ranks third in the country with 11.2 3-pointers per game, and second in assist-to-turnover ratio with 1.60 ... McKillop is 4-37 against ACC opponents in his 18 years coaching the Wildcats, and have lost 15 straight.

NC State: Hickson leads all ACC freshmen in scoring (18.0 ppg) and is third in rebounding (8.3). He also leads the ACC among all players in field-goal percentage with .708 ... Grant needs three points to pass Coach Lowe into 38th place on the all-time scoring list. He has 1,045 career points ... NC State is last in the ACC in turnover margin with -4.25 a game, amassing 120 turnovers, while forcing 86.



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