Favor Curry

O, BY THE WAY

Davidson star plans to return to college

On deciding whether to go pro

April 01, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

So which college basketball team would you rather be a fan of today, Davidson or Memphis?

OK, it's something of a trick question.

Or, at least, deciding on the answer can be tricky.

Davidson, a 10th seed from the Southern Conference, was eliminated Sunday night from the NCAA men's tournament by Kansas in a two-point game, 59-57, in which the underdog Wildcats had the ball for the last shot. Just didn't work out.

Meanwhile, Memphis, a No. 1 seed, rolled over Texas, 85-67, on Sunday and stormed into the Final Four with a chalk field that includes fellow No. 1 seeds, Kansas, UCLA and North Carolina.

So you'd rather be a Memphis fan, right?

But consider this: Memphis freshman Derrick Rose, an incredible talent who played gangbusters in getting his team to the Final Four, is pretty much assured of entering the NBA draft while Stephen Curry, Davidson's sparkling shooting guard who can play the point on occasion, announced that he's returning to college for his junior year.

None of that is to suggest what the prospects will be for either team a year from now in college basketball's last-man-standing free-for-all, if that's the primary reason you invest yourself in college sports.

But if you're the type of fan who appreciates watching young athletes mature and play their hearts out for a concept as corny as alma mater, I think those Davidson fans are just as fortunate today as those pulling for Memphis.

Yep, the 37-1 Tigers are still in the fight for college basketball's grail - and in spectator sports, that can be all that matters ("We're No. 1!"). But should the Tigers fail, their season will wind up like 64 other tournament hopefuls - with a loss. And they won't have Rose next season despite those pleading chants of "One more year!" from Tigers fans at the end of the Texas game.

Meanwhile, Davidson followers can look forward to another season of the smooth-operating Curry - perhaps with even a few more muscles on that slender 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame - making three-pointers, driving the lane and representing his university.

In declaring his intentions to postpone a pro career, Curry, the son of former NBA star Dell Curry, said something absolutely shocking for a young athlete these days: "I don't think I'm ready."

Talent and honest self-awareness. Wow.

So who's the lucky one? Memphis or Davidson? Depends on where you place value.

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