Guys who played their college basketball in the New England Small College Athletic Conference don’t have these kinds of stories. NESCAC hoop players grow old telling stories of that opponent who is now president of a bank, or the time they swiped the ball from that guy who is now a hot shot attorney.

NESCAC players don’t tell the story of the time they blocked a shot of the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player.

Colby College grad Andrew Cohen has that story, though. Well, he probably does. Andrew?

“I’m almost positive I blocked a shot. I’d like to believe it was Curry,” Cohen said.

Actually, when the Mules played at Davidson College on Nov. 21, 2006, Cohen blocked two shots, so let the legend go that one of those shots was from current Golden State Warriors Superstar and MVP Stephen Curry.

Curry was a freshman at Davidson when that game was played early in the 2006-07 season. At the time the Wildcats hosted Colby, Curry was just six games into his college career. He was considered a solid freshman player with a nice shot. Nobody thought he’d become one of the best players in the world.


Curry’s line for the Colby game, a 99-69 Davidson win: 29 points on 10 of 24 shooting, including 9 of 20 from 3-point range. The nine 3-pointers in a game is still a Davidson record, Curry tied the mark in a November, 2007 game against Appalachian State. Curry was almost half of Davidson’s gaudy 3-point production that night. The Wildcats made 19 of 52 3-points against Colby. Even Falmouth native Bryant Barr, also a Davidson freshman that season, made a pair of threes and scored 10 points.

“We didn’t know we’d be playing against a future NBA MVP,” Artie Cutrone, a guard on Colby’s 2006-07 team, and one of the players whose job it was to defend Curry, said. “We became Davidson fans a little bit. I’m surprised to see how dominant he became.”

“Obviously, he had a quick release,” Cohen said. “We didn’t know he’d be like this. I remember Curry having absolutely no restraints as to when he could shoot the ball.”

How did Colby, a Division III school in Maine, end up playing Davidson in the first place? It’s all who you know. Then Colby head coach Dick Whitmore had been talking with Davidson assistant coach Matt Matheny, now the head coach at Elon, about scheduling a game for a few years.

“We had talked to them a couple years previous, but couldn’t get together on a date,” Whitmore said.

Two years earlier, in 2004, the University of Maine at Farmington played at Davidson, and lost 103-33. It was rare, but not unusual, for Colby to play a Division I team from time to time. Whitmore recalled playing the University of Maine, Dartmouth, and Central Connecticut, among others, when he coached the Mules.


“We knew our guys were excited about playing a Division I team,” Whitmore said.

In scouting Davidson, Whitmore focused on point guard Jason Richards and the Wildcats’ size. The Mules used various zones, a 2-3, a triangle and two. Curry started out slow, and in the first half, the Mules made a run, cutting Davidson’s lead to 25-22. It was then that Curry became Curry. The Wildcats close the first half with a run of their own, and led 37-23 at the break. Davidson got even hotter in the second half, and pulled away. Early in the game, Curry’s shots came primarily from the corner, Whitmore said.

“When they moved him around, he started making more shots,” Whitmore said. “He had that catch and shoot skill that was the best I’ve ever seen.”

Curry’s shot came so quickly, the Mules weren’t fast enough to close out and get in his face before the shot was in the air. The Mules played guards similair in size to Curry, who at the time was approximately 6-foot-1, but they never saw a player with that kind of speed or quick release.

“You couldn’t close out quick enough. You think maybe he’s not open, but he’s always open,” Cutrone said.

“The bottom line was, those guys were in a different class of basketball than us,” Cohen said.


Davidson played Colby two days after a loss at Missouri and 10 days before playing at Duke. Colby’s next game was a 79-55 win at the University of New England. As Davidson continued its season, which ended with a loss to Maryland in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Mules followed Curry closely. When Curry and the Wildcats made it to the Elite Eight the following season, they had a small contingent of fans in Waterville.

“Our guys had a ton of respect for him,” Whitmore said. “We’ve followed him all the way along.”

So let one of Cohen’s two blocks that night be on a fearless Curry driving to the basket. These stories aren’t often told in the small gyms of the NESCAC. It’s only right the story gets bigger and better each time.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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