|Davidson's Curry faces stingy Purdue defense|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 19 December 2008 14:23|
The nation's leading scorer will be tested when No. 22 Davidson plays No. 13 Purdue in the Wooden Tradition on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Curry averages 31.3 points per game, despite going scoreless against Loyola (Md.) and its junk defense that allowed his teammates to shine in a 30-point win. Curry has scored more than 40 points three times this season, including two of his past three games.
But Purdue has something for him. The Boilermakers were ranked fifth nationally in field-goal percentage defense (.348) and 15th nationally in scoring defense (57.0) entering Friday's games.
``Aggression, physicality, an ability to disrupt any kind of flow and rhythm, energy,'' were the words Davidson coach Bob McKillop used to describe Purdue's intense man-to-man style.
the Beijing Olympics - meets Southern Illinois (4-5).
The Davidson-Purdue game matches two programs on the rise. Davidson (8-1) is coming off a season in which it reached the Elite Eight after beating Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. Purdue (8-2) has reached the second round of the NCAA tournament the past two seasons after finishing 9-19 in coach Matt Painter's first campaign.
For Davidson to make Purdue another big-name victim, Curry likely will need an equally big game. His primary defender will be Chris Kramer, a rugged former high school football star who was the Big Ten defensive player of the year last season.
Keaton Grant and Lewis Jackson also are likely to spend time guarding Curry. Grant, a 6-4 junior, combines size and strength. Jackson, a 5-9 freshman, is Purdue's quickest player.
But guarding Curry will be extra difficult because he finds his teammates, too. He's had 10 or more assists three times and ranks ninth nationally with 6.8 assists per game.
``You have to plan for a lot of different things, because he's a special player,'' Painter said. ``The thing that separates guys when you talk about good to great is he takes people with him.''
someone to compare him to.
``I played with Glenn Robinson,'' Painter said. ``I watched a lot of things get thrown at him, and I watched him smirk a lot because the great ones have answers, and Stephen Curry's a great one.''
Andrew Lovedale, who averages 13.9 points per game, is the only other Davidson player who averages double figures in points.
Purdue features a more balanced attack. Robbie Hummel, the preseason Big Ten player of the year, averages 15.6 points per game and is coming off a career-high 25 points last Saturday against Indiana State. E'Twaun Moore averages 14.3 points, JaJuan Johnson averages 11 and center Nemanja Calasan averages 9.9 points.
Both teams are after their first victory against a ranked team this season. Purdue's losses are to Oklahoma in the NIT Season Tip-Off final and Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Davidson lost to Oklahoma, despite Curry's 44 points.
McKillop isn't worried that the Wildcats haven't beaten a Top 25 team, and beating Purdue won't matter to him if his team doesn't improve.
``The greater joy for me would be for us to get better,'' McKillop said. ``We took that as sort of a mantra last year - just get better. Don't worry about winning, just get better. As the season progressed, things took care of themselves.''