Think of Davidson and the mind’s eye sees transition offense, motion in half court and a host of deadly perimeter snipers draining three pointers. For a minute, do not discount defense. It is very much a priority in coach Bob McKillop’s scheme of things. It is something he preaches and all told, wants improvement from last season.
“Defense is part attitude, technique and strategy,’ McKillop said a few weeks back. “It is not something you turn on when the bright lights come on.” The Davidson mentor also likened defense to preparing for a Broadway show. Individuals have roles and are vital for everything to come together.
“In a show you learn steps, recite lines and learn the tune(s),” McKillop said. “Then as a group you have to put it all together. One functioning unit.” In his estimation, from the stance, position and various fundamentals in practice all the way up to a game plan, it is a collaborative effort. “Defense,” McKillop added, “is something you do every day.”
Last season the Wildcats finished 16-14 (18-8 A10). In overall numbers the offensive efficiency was a stellar 113. On the defensive end they checked in at 102. Teams strive to keep the number on the defensive end under 100. An elite defense, something McKillop aspires, would be in the low 90s.
The following chart gives the top five A10 teams from last season (conference games only) in the defensive efficiency category.
For the record Davidson checked in at eighth with a 102 efficiency.
In the season opening 82-73 victory over High Point on Wednesday, the offense clicked at a 121 efficiency. Defense? Too high for McKillop’s liking at 107. The major culprit permitting High Point to shoot 9 of 17 for a torrid 53% from downtown. Next up for the Wildcats is Texas on Monday. McKillop admits spending 2-3 hours a night planning the next day’s practice. Rest assured most of that planning will be focused on the defensive end. Especially the perimeter.