On Saturday in Cleveland, Davidson and St Bonaventure both picked up close victories during the afternoon segment of the Legends of Basketball Showcase. The Wildcats survived a narrowly missed three-quarter court heave to beat Ohio 72-69, behind fifteen points from Grant Huffman, ten points in crunch time from Reed Bailey and some first half shot making out of Connor Kochera and Bobby Durkin.
After that, the Bonnies beat Akron 62-61, thanks to a final possession defensive stop by Chad Venning and Barry Evans that let Mika Adams-Woods' falling-over floater stand as the game-winner. Here are two major takeaways from each of their performances as non-conference play comes to an end.
1. Reed Bailey has taken a big developmental leap
Bailey remains listed as a guard despite his 6'11" stature but early in his sophomore year, he is beginning to shed that label. His stats so far certainly tell the story of a player who is beginning to put his size to good use. Bailey has gone from 3.5 two point attempts per game to 5.7, he's already taken more free throws in eleven games this year than he did in thirty-one last year and his rebounding has nearly doubled (2.8 to 5.4 per game).
But today, in the absence of Davidson's starting center David Skogman, Bailey was forced to man the post in crunch time and responded with ten points in the game's final three and a half minutes, all coming in the paint or at the free throw line. Coach Matt McKillop noted that Bailey's excellent play drove the Wildcats to keep going to Bailey in crunch time. A year ago, Bailey was unable to make plays in the paint but on Saturday, he started to play like a center.