Even with the loss of Jack Gibbs, expectations were lofty for Davidson this season with a strong class of seniors. The Wildcats had one of the more peculiar non-conference schedules in the Atlantic 10. Unlike Dayton, the Wildcats didn’t face a single team ranked in the 100s according to Kenpom. The Wildcats faced 4 teams in the Top 100, and the rest were ranked 200 or worse. While Davidson was unable to win any big games and dropped a few they should have won, it’s hard to gauge how this team will fair in Atlantic 10 play.
Davidson really didn’t have any. The Wildcats’ best win has to be over Akron on a neutral court, but that really doesn’t give this team any kind of boost. Davidson had great opportunities throughout November and December to get that marquee win it needed; Nevada, North Carolina, and New Mexico St. were all teams that Davidson played tightly, at least for some portion of the contest. Moving forward though, Davidson has to accept that it didn’t grab a key win out of conference and must look to bounce back in league play.
Davidson definitely had a couple. Losing on the road to Appalachian St. 78-62 was a tough look for the Wildcats, especially because they trailed the entire game. And even though it was technically a true road game, Davidson couldn’t have been too happy with a loss at Hawaii. Those are 2 losses against teams ranked worse than 200 in Kenpom. Meanwhile, Davidson’s best win is over Akron, a team that ranked 209th according to Kenpom.
Non-Conference Grade: C-
Did Davidson look better than a C- in non-conference play? Absolutely. But on paper, the Wildcats didn’t do much. Losses to Appalachian St. and Hawaii are real stingers, and a 1 point loss to a really good New Mexico St. team is still a loss. The Wildcats are still ranked as the 3rd highest A-10 team in Kenpom, so they might be a contender to finish top 3 in the league this year.