Blog Entry

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

Posted on: February 21, 2009 4:41 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2009 4:44 pm

The nation tuned in to see Stephen Curry.

Now everybody is talking about Gordon Hayward.

The Butler freshman finished with a career-high 27 points and nine rebounds in the Bulldogs' 75-63 victory at Davidson in which he outshined Curry's star while introducing himself to a country that doesn't see enough Horizon League basketball. Despite the hostile environment and big stage, Hayward looked comfortable from start to finish. He made six of 12 field goal attempts and 11 of 12 free throws, further proving that his decision to focus on hoops instead of tennis was a wise one.

And he was a pretty good tennis player, too.

"This is the first time he's really been playing basketball for 12 (consecutive) months because he's been such a good tennis player for so long," Butler coach Brad Stevens said Saturday afternoon by phone, noting that his 6-foot-8 wing spent many summers playing tennis instead of basketball, which explains why Hayward was an unheralded recruit according to most scouting services. "He's a good player and an easy guy to coach. He's a great kid and a great student, and it's fun to be around guys like that."

As for Curry, well, he looked out of sorts.

He played for the first time since spraining his ankle last weekend and appeared to have no rhythm or feel, though it would be wrong not to give Butler some credit for making things difficult. No question, the Bulldogs did a great job on the All-American. But Curry missed a lot of shots he usually makes and actually started 0-of-8 from the field before finishing 6-of-23 with 20 points and seven turnovers.

Still, Stevens never felt comfortable, even late.

"Steph is so good," he said. "You're just sitting there saying, 'Please don't be another chapter in this book.' Up 13 with four minutes to go or whatever, that's what you're thinking. 'Please don't be another chapter in this book.'"

To Butler's credit, it was not.

Instead, the Bulldogs exited Belk Arena with a nice road win.

And they looked like a team worthy of keeping their national ranking.


Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2009 10:52 am

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

Hayward is a really nice player. Solid shooter, active, Kyle Singler without the pastry and probably a better shooter from 3. Curry's ankle was a mess. He was clearly not the same guy until it loosened up. Even then, his accelleration in transition just wasn't there. He's not been caught from behind on the break all season and had it happen about 4 times. He just didn't have that extra gear. Not too many guys are going to have all their stuff a week after that type of sprain. The one thing Curry's injury does point out, is just how good he is when he's healthy. He doesn't have anywhere near the support Blake Griffin has with Willie Warren, Tyler Griffin, etc.  

Butler is a pretty solid defensive team, I'd hate to be a 2,3,4 seed and have to play them on the weekend. They are very good.

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2009 4:17 pm

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

Agreed, Heyward was a revelation...hard-working on D and hit most of his open shots on offense. Lots of enthusiasm, too. Just the kind of player that always keeps Butler, Davidson, Gonzaga viable threats in the NCAAs. 

And IMO, Butler's D took Steph Curry out of his game...he had a ton of turnovers, even if his shooting was rusty from the injury.

BTW, does this Davidson nosedive (3 losses in their last 5) cheapen Duke's and Purdue's Ws over them? I'd say yes, but I know in how much high esteem you seem to hold Duke, so I'm guessing it won't affect their ranking one bit in your eyes.

Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2009 11:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2009 10:00 pm

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

I read that it should be fixed by Monday. Nice avatar.

HEY GARY, Please don't knock Washington out of your Top 25 (and 1). UCLA had that game circled since they lost in Montlake, (today proved it), and the Dawgs came out today and took care of biz against a fired up Trojan team. They still deserve to be ranked, IMHO.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2009 8:36 pm

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

This is how the stupid rating system works. If someone rates your post 5 stars, then your rating goes us. If no one rates your post, it goes down.

Which is why I try to give out as many 5 stars as possible.

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:06 pm

CBS Sports Superstar Rating

Hey Gary,

Even you, the biggest of all superstars on CBS Sportsline, are no longer a superstar.  What's up with that?  What a joke is the new criteria for user ratings!  I couldn't even glog the game today because I lost my superstar rating.  Bummer.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2009 5:45 pm

Hayward, not Curry, the star on this Saturday

This shouldn't be a surprise to people who follow Indiana high school basketball. I mean he did win a state title last year, and the track record of kids coming out of the state of Indiana isn't exactly poor. Take a look at the last few NBA drafts, and take a look at how many D1 players Indiana produces. Don't be surprised when it happens again next year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or