Russell Davidson, Jordan Lowe lead McKenzie

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 6, 2003

Shooting longnrange threenpointers is no problem for McKenzie's Senior Shooting Guard Russell Davidson.

If the sharp

shooter misses, he is confident that his Tiger teammate Senior Center Jordan Lowe will muscle his way to snag the rebound and bank the errant shot back into the goal for an easy score.

With that type of teamwork, McKenzie's varsity basketball team should give its competitors fits this season.

Davidson, 6 foot, 175 pounds, is expected to lead the Tigers on the hardcourt as they attempt to make a second consecutive appearance in the Class 1A state playoffs. The 18nyearnold shooting star has played on McKenzie's varsity team since the seventh grade, which has helped him earn respect from opposing teams.

"He's got a lot of basketball skill," firstnyear Head Coach Curd said. "He's a great scorer, but he's also a great passer. He's one of those players that makes everybody around him better. Sometimes I have to get on to him for over passing. He's too unselfish when it comes to the basketball. He'll pass up a fournfoot shot to try to get a onenfoot shot. He's an allnaround basketball player. He can get up and defend somebody, he can shoot it from the outside, he can penetrate and also dish it off for the assist."

Davidson led the Tigers with 15 points in their seasonnopening loss to Class 1A state runnernup J.F. Shields on Tuesday. Curd believes Davidson will have to take more control on the floor to be successful in his final season.

"He's got to play his game," Curd said. "He's got to realize that sometimes he may have to take more of the scoring load. If he'll take the leadership role as a senior and realize what comes with that, I think he'll be successful."

Davidson isn't only confident in Lowe, but the rest of his teammates. He said improvements in every player are evident this year.

"Our defense is better than it was last year," Davidson said. "We're more physical and we're shooting better."

Doing anything and everything he can to help the Tigers win this season are Davidson's goals. He believes repetition will help himself and his teammates to improve and find success.

"We've got to keep practicing and do a lot more shooting," Davidson said. "We missed a lot of shots under the goal the other night and that's what hurt us. We've got to practice our free throws too."

Since Davidson is expected to score a bulk of McKenzie's baskets this season, Curd's newly implemented offense is somewhat designed around the scoring phenom.

"The offense runs through him (Davidson)," Curd said. "He's our No. 1 scoring option. When teams key on him, he makes great passes to teammates for layups and assists. He's not a one-dimensional scorer. He's one of those type players that can score 20 to 25 points and seven or eight assists and rebounds a game. It wouldn't be out of the question for him to get a triple-double."

Lowe, 6nfootn2, 175 pounds, will act as McKenzie's workhorse underneath the goal this year. The 17nyear old is the biggest player on the Tigers' roster.

"We've basically got two post players, Jordan and David Davidson," Curd said. "Jordan is the closest thing to size we've got inside."

Size isn't the only threat Lowe possess on the opposition.

"Jordan's a hard worker, he's all over the floor," Curd said. "He plays hard and practices hard. He's got some athletic ability, but he's real gritty, diving on the floor for loose balls. He's fearless."

As does Davidson, Lowe said his teammates have improved during the offnseason. He believes those improvements, experience and leadership will be the key for the Tigers to be victorious.

"Just about every one of us can shoot and we've got pretty good defense," Lowe said. "I think we're going to be pretty good. We've got four senior starting and one junior. We made it to the first round last year, but got put out by (J.F.) Shields. I think we can get further than that this year."

Stellar defensive performances will also be needed Lowe said.

"We've got to play better defense," Lowe said. "We didn't have it all down yet. Some of the people weren't popping out to where they're supposed to like on threes. We've got to box out and keep other teams from getting rebounds."

Lowe scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds against J.F. Shields. If Lowe continues to play physical on the court, Curd believes he will accomplish a lot.

"He's got to keep playing with the effort he gave me the other night," Curd said. "He's got to keep on playing hard, getting after it and competing on the boards. He's got to keep that bulldog-type attitude and he'll be fine. His hustle is probably as hard as I've seen a player play that I've coached on the basketball court. He's mature, experienced and one of those lead by example type kids."