College Sports

Why Davidson will play point guard ‘by committee’ this season

Davidson sophomore KiShawn Pritchett (20) will be one of three Wildcats who will take turns playing point guard this season. He is a former Lake Norman High standout.
Davidson sophomore KiShawn Pritchett (20) will be one of three Wildcats who will take turns playing point guard this season. He is a former Lake Norman High standout. Tim Cowie/

The Red team beat the Black team 48-42 in Davidson’s annual preseason scrimmage Saturday at Belk Arena.

Here are six observations from the 20-minute scrimmage as the Wildcats continue to prepare for an exhibition Friday against Hampden-Sydney (Va.) and their season opener Nov. 10 against Charleston Southern:

1. The Wildcats are usually one of the nation’s more prolific and accurate 3-point shooting teams. That could well be the case again this season. Both teams combined for 37 3-pointers in the scrimmage, with the Black team making 8-of-21 and the Reds hitting 5-of-16.

2. With last season’s starter Jack Gibbs graduated, coach Bob McKillop said the Wildcats’ point guard spot will be manned by sophomores KiShawn Pritchett and Jon Axel Gudmundsson and highly regarded freshman Kellan Grady – any and all of whom might be on the court at the same time.

“It will be by committee,” said McKillop. “At times, whoever is closest to the ball will take it up (court). Or I will designate that in a timeout. We feel comfortable with that. We might start all three of them and judging so far this preseason, those three will start.”

If that’s the case, figure the other two starting spots going to senior forward Peyton Aldridge and sophomore forward Dusan Kovacevic.

Pritchett had the most impressive game of the three point guards Saturday, scoring 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting with two rebounds and four assists. He also blocked a shot by Grady. 

3. Grady, a highly regarded freshman, comes to Davidson with college-ready size: 6-foot-5, 195 pounds. He started slowly Saturday, but gradually worked his way into the game, scoring 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting (3-of-5 3-pointers) and two assists.

“He’s adjusting to the college game,” said McKillop. “He found that out when he went down there with KiShawn and got his shot blocked.”

On one possession, Grady pushed the ball up the left side on a fast break and found senior guard Jordan Watkins alone in the corner.

“J!” Grady shouted at Watkins before whipping the ball to him. After Watkins took the pass and drained a 3-pointer, Grady clapped and pointed at Watkins.

4. McKillop also said he’s happy with the development of Kovacevic, who scored 12 points and had a game-high seven rebounds.

“He’s very skilled,” McKillop said. “He scored with his back to the basket and he moved the basketball. We have a concept where you ‘pass through the window,’ like a quarterback throwing when the receiver is only open for a short period of time. Dusan really throws it through the window well.”

5. The surprise of the scrimmage might have been 6-4 freshman Carter Collins, a freshman from East Chapel Hill High. Collins had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, making 2-of-4 3-pointers and pulling down two rebounds.

“He’s rangy and might be our best in a ‘Horse’ contest, aside from Peyton,” McKillop said. But he’s got great quickness and changes speeds very well. He gets a lot of touches on the ball with his length.”

6. McKillop loves the international flavor of his roster, which features players from Serbia (Kovacevic), Nigeria (forward Nathan Ekwu), Iceland (Gudmundsson), Finland (forward Oskar Michelsen) and Sweden (forward Will Magarity).

David Scott: @davidscott14