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Old 07-10-2008, 05:13 AM  
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Stephen Curry works on leadership
Davidson star preparing for move to point by playing with stars

Ask Davidson wunderkind Stephen Curry how he has spent his summer and he starts ticking off names and places the way he knocks down jump shots.

Chris Paul's basketball camp in Winston-Salem. Paul Pierce's camp in Los Angeles. Steve Nash's point guard camp in New Jersey. Most recently, LeBron James' elite camp in Ohio.

What, no Kobe?

"If he had one, I'd be there," Curry, 20, says.

Before you get the idea that all the attention that came with Curry's heart-stealing performance during Davidson's charmed NCAA Tournament run has gone to the junior's head, think again.

Sure, Curry has been nominated for an ESPY award as the breakthrough athlete of the year and he gets recognized away from Davidson's leafy campus now.

But when he's asked if it's true that he hit a jumper Monday night to beat a team that included James and Paul in a pick-up game, the answer must almost be pried from Curry.

"Yeah, I did," he says, chuckling softly.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop has received regular updates. Kansas coach Bill Self and Texas coach Rick Barnes each made a point of telling McKillop this week how impressive Curry was at James' camp.

"I'm getting rave reviews," McKillop said.

This is a pivotal summer for Curry, who is likely to show up on some first-team All-America squads when preseason basketball magazines hit the stands. As a sophomore last season, he averaged 25.9 points and set the NCAA season record with 162 3-pointers.

Having made the Wildcats the darlings of the 2008 NCAA Tournament by scoring 40 points against Gonzaga, 30 against Georgetown, 33 against Wisconsin and 25 against Kansas, Curry is spending the offseason preparing to transition from shooting guard to point guard.

It's the position Curry played throughout high school at Charlotte Christian. He moved to the two-guard spot at Davidson while Jason Richards played the point, creating a dynamic backcourt pairing.

Much of what Curry accomplished last season was facilitated by Richards' feel for the game and understanding of how to incorporate his teammates into McKillop's scheme.

It's a task that now falls to Curry, who played the point in brief stretches last season. McKillop's son, Brendan, is also expected to factor into the point-guard mix next season.

McKillop says he feels good about the position, pointing out that Curry's best minutes in the regional final game against Kansas in March came when he was playing point guard.

"He's a guard, and a guard has to do everything for us," McKillop said.

Curry, meanwhile, continues to study tapes of Davidson's late-season games, concentrating on Richards' role. He will have the ball in his hands more often, adding to his on-court responsibilities.

"In our system, if the point guard passes it, he moves and finds the ball again in different spots on the floor," Curry says. "I'll have the chance to do the things I did last year. I can still come off a screen and get my shot or have the ball in my hands late in the shot clock. It's a matter of being more comfortable making attack moves."

When Curry's father, Dell, asked his son what he learned from the summer camps, Stephen Curry mentioned two things -- making better decisions and keeping smaller players in front of him on defense.

The closest Stephen Curry comes to bragging is when he talks about his defense.

"I've learned I can play better defense than I thought," he said.

Curry has used his access to the game's best players to ask them questions. He said he spent two days working on using ball screens at Nash's camp, and he picked the brain of the two-time NBA most valuable player about how he reads the court, absorbing as much as he can.

Curry also has focused on the weight room. And he has grown to 6 feet 3, his father said.

"He has seized every opportunity to get better," McKillop said. "He's not content to be the great player he was. The ball is still bouncing, the weights are still clanging, the sweat is still dripping."

McKillop expects to make some subtle adjustments this season to accommodate Curry's ability to score. Still, Curry is expected to be the player who puts the offense in motion.

"When you're a shooter, if you don't have the shot, you give it up," Curry says. "When you're a point guard, you have to be aggressive and attack the paint to make the easy play. Don't try to hit the home run every time. Sometimes you have to force the issue but you want to limit your turnovers and unforced errors."

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #2
kepp kepp is offline
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I loved seeing this kid explode in the tourney. I hope he does really well for himself.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:44 AM   #3
Lzen Lzen is offline
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The kid is pretty freakin' incredible. Just goes to show how good Kansas was on defense to hold him to only 25 points.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:51 AM   #4
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Kid's a baller. Couldn't imagine if he was bigger. He reminded me of that 12 year old you see at the mall or in the park with the ball in his hands working his handles for real'
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