Fresh­man im­presses in David­son scrim­mage

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DAVID SCOTT [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com

Ob­ser­va­tions from David­son’s pre­sea­son RedBlack bas­ket­ball game Satur­day at Belk Arena:

It was only a 20-min-ute scrim­mage with the sea­son opener against Cleve­land State still 2½ weeks away, but true fresh­man Luka Bra­jkovic made his pres­ence felt. Bra­jkovic, a 6-foot-11 for­ward from Aus­tria, scored 15 points and had seven re­bounds, lead­ing the Black team to a 39-19 vic­tory. Coach Bob McKil­lop would like Bra­jkovic to add 10-15 pounds to his 220-pound frame, but he’s got the skills to contribute im­me­di­ately. Bra­jkovic made 7-of-9 shots in 18 min­utes, most of them com­ing on deft in­side moves. He also ran the floor well, tak­ing a long pass from Jon Axel Gud­munds­son for a layup.

McKil­lop de­cided to per­haps stack the Black team with three starters – guards Gud­munds­son, KiShawn Pritch­ett and Luke Framp­ton – against a Red team fea­tur­ing sopho­more guard Kel­lan Grady (seven points, four re­bounds) and a bunch of fresh­men. McKil­lop wanted to see how his two pre­sea­son All-At­lantic 10 se­lec­tions – Grady and Jon Axel Gud­munds­son – played against each other. McKil­lop also wanted to see how Grady’s lead­er­ship skills have pro­gressed, play­ing with fresh­men Mike Jones, David Cz­er­apow­icz and Nel­son Boachie-Yi­adom.

Framp­ton, a red­shirt fresh­man who missed last sea­son with a knee in­jury, scored nine points, hit­ting 3-of-7 shots, all 3-point­ers. His out­side shoot­ing will be key for the Wild­cats.

McKil­lop said it’s all-clear health-wise for se­nior cen­ter Nathan Ekwu, who missed last sea­son with a knee in­jury, and Pritch­ett, who has been trou­bled with knee prob­lems for much of his ca­reer. McKil­lop said for­ward Du­san Ko­vace­vic (knee) is al­most ready to re­turn to full-con­tact prac­tice.

light mo­ment came when the Black team’s Framp­ton stuck his head in a Red team hud­dle in the lane af­ter a free throw. Framp­ton backed out quickly, smil­ing. As­so­ci­ate head coach Matt McKil­lop, who had di­rected Grady to briefly gather the Red team, quickly told Grady that such a hud­dle is il­le­gal be­tween free throws any­way.

Gud­munds­son, who

filled the box score on a reg­u­lar ba­sis last sea­son, did so again Satur­day, scor­ing eight points (al­beit on 2-of-11 shoot­ing), grab­bing five re­bounds and hand­ing out five as­sists.

TheWild­cats will wear Un­der Ar­mor gear this sea­son, end­ing a years­long re­la­tion­ship with Nike. The Un­der Ar­mor deal was fa­cil­i­tated by for­mer David­son star Stephen Curry, one of the com­pany’s top en­dorsers.

TheWild­cats play a “se­cret scrim­mage” next Satur­day at Ten­nessee. The Wild­cats-Vols scrim­mage has be­come an an­nual af­fair put to­gether by McKil­lop and Ten­nessee’s Rick Barnes.

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