ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Davidson first-year assistant basketball coach Matt McKillop has already learned one of the golden rules for young assistant coaches.

The head coach is always right - especially when the head coach is your father.

"I've been around him long enough and he's convinced me over the years that he's usually right and I'm wrong," said McKillop, who played four years for his father. "There are times when I have a suggestion, but I rarely disagree."

During any Davidson basketball game there are three McKillops on the bench. The head coach Bob, elder son Matt and his youngest son Brendan, the Wildcats' sophomore point guard.

Basketball is a family affair for the small private school north of Charlotte which became one of Google's top searches in March after the Wildcats sprinted through the NCAA tournament to the Elite Eight.

Their connection has always been basketball, not hunting, fishing or working on cars.

"I don't think my dad has every held a fishing pole," Matt joked. "If it didn't make me a better basketball player, then my dad didn't push me into it."

Almost every dinner conversation - pasta with meatballs and sausage cooked by mom, Cathy, is a family favorite - intertwines with the sport.

"So much of what we do in our lives revolves around basketball in some capacity because friends, family, colleagues, are all involved," the coach said. "In some capacity it dominates the conversation."

The conversations can involve the most recent game, a practice, and opponent, different defenses, something amazing by Stephen Curry or how Brendan has been playing lately.

His role as the reserve point guard increased last week after Curry sprained his left ankle at Furman, did not play in a loss against The Citadel and looked slow in a loss to Butler. The youngest McKillop was averaging 5.4 points per game heading into Wednesday night's 70-49 win over UNC Greensboro.

"His biggest shortcoming coming into the year was experience," the head coach said. "He didn't get much playing time as a freshman and was not able to get that during his first year.

"He got that this year through November and December and the more he plays the better he gets."

The more Matt coaches, the wiser he gets.

"He has that wonderful ability to see things as a player and coach," the head coach said. "He can give you the mindset of a player but also see it as a coach.

"The older we get, sometimes we lose sight of what the players are thinking."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT