Kentucky basketball: 10 years removed from Elite Eight run, Steph Curry still at center of Davidson hoops

BOISE, Idaho — As Davidson celebrated its upset win against Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, the school’s most famous alum, Steph Curry, called to FaceTime with the team.

It’s been 10 years since baby-faced Curry and his Davidson Wildcats beat Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to advance to the Elite Eight. The Golden State Warriors star, two MVPs and two NBA championships removed from those glory days, is still the face of Davidson basketball.

No. 5 seed Kentucky and No. 12 seed Davidson will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night in Boise, and Curry is about the only thing Kentucky players know about their opponent.

“The imprint that he put on our program is probably the greatest imprint that any alum could put on a program or a school,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. Davidson College, no matter where you go in the United States or across the world, the recognizable name is Steph Curry.

“And what’s wonderful about that is that Steph Curry has taken ownership of that. Steph Curry has never, ever separated himself from the spirit of Davidson College that was part of his upbringing.”

When Kellan Grady was 11, his dad gave him a magazine with a picture of Curry shooting.

“And that’s when I got exposed to Steph and the 2008 team,” Grady said. “And he and I and the rest of my family would watch every game. And at halftime I’d mimic his shots in the backyard.”

Now Grady, a Boston native, is a freshman point guard for Davidson. He’s averaging 18 points per game on 51 percent shooting. He and the Wildcats (21-11) sealed Davidson’s 14th NCAA Tournament bid with a win in the Atlantic 10 championship game.

And it’s only fitting that Davidson — following the Curry mold — is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. The Wildcats have nine players shooting 37 percent or better from distance.

Wednesday happened to be Curry’s 30 birthday

“Happy birthday to Steph if he’s listening to this!” senior forward Oskar Michelsen said. “He’s a great role model for us and we’re all trying to live up to the status he’s created.”

Now, 10 years later, if Davidson is to make another magical run, it’ll start by beating Kentucky.

“It’s crazy that was 10 years ago, but it’s definitely motivation for all of us,” Grady said. “We believe we’re capable of making a run as well.”

The post Kentucky basketball: 10 years removed from Elite Eight run, Steph Curry still at center of Davidson hoops appeared first on SEC Country.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.