Curry enjoyed a sensational sophomore season in which he led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight as a 10th seed, upsetting higher-ranked Gonzaga and Wisconsin and coming within a miracle 3-pointer of the Final Four. He could’ve tested the NBA draft but came back for his junior season.
“Just realizing that I wasn’t ready for that jump yet,” told Prodigal Magazine at the time. “I’ve been blessed to have my dad play 16 years in the NBA, so he can give me his insight about when the right time comes to go to the next level and what I needed to do to get better, so I wasn’t rushed into a decision. I love college and I love my teammates so it wasn’t a hard decision to come back. It’s something I wanted to do and it’s worked out so far. I’ve had the opportunity to get better and make my game a whole lot better.”
Instead of rushing to the money and fame – and responsibility of pro ball – Curry realized there was no rush to leave school early. There were still things to work on. Namely, his ability to he get his teammates involved on a more regular basis.
Instead of averaging under three assists as he did in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Curry averaged 5.6 assists as a junior.
By this time, he had quieted enough of the doubters and proven enough to be drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the seventh pick in the 2009 draft.
“To know that I took a different route to get here, in the end, with the way I was able to play at Davidson and the story we made and playing against, as you said, the Dukes, the Carolinas, and almost making it to the Final Four,” said Curry, reflecting on his journey. “It makes it a pretty special to realize that you’ve got a dream come true to make it to the NBA.”
Of course, Curry isn’t just playing in the NBA. He’s a star.
Over the last two nights, Curry has dominated headlines around the country, scoring 38 points at Indiana on Tuesday and a staggering 54 the next night against the Knicks at The World’s Most Famous Arena.
He’s caught fire from pretty much all over the floor, shooting 32-of-48 overall and a blistering 18-of-23 from distance.
“Once I started seeing that 3-ball go down in transition, all sorts of spots on the floor, I knew it was going to be a good night,” Curry said after his 54-point outburst.
Fans will remember the game as further proof that Curry’s shooting exploits are, indeed, for real.
People who truly understand the type of shooter – and player – that Curry is will remember it differently.
Curry’s shooting abilities are so lethal that his coach isn’t even surprised that he scored 54 points at the Garden. It’s just not that crazy for him to witness this because he has seen what Curry is capable of in practice.
More than just his shooting abilities, though, the smallish kid from Davidson has matured into the NBA player that many never believed he could become. Curry is one of the leaders of a dangerous, playoff-bound team.
The scariest part?
With his even-keeled approach, you know he’s just going to keep working, keep learning and continue to improve.
“I’m just trying to stay as consistent as possible, like I’ve done over the first 52 games,” Curry said during All-Star Weekend. “Balancing scoring, running our offense. Defensively, I think the point guard position is one of the toughest positions in the league when it comes to the talent that you face every single night. You have to stop the other guy as much as possible.
“I don’t have any expectations numbers-wise or anything like that. At the end of the day I know whether I played well or not and if I can say that consistently, then that’s fine.”
With 24 games left in the season, Curry is well on his way to being able to check off another item on a long list of personal accomplishments.
Jeremy Bauman is an aspiring shooting coach and scout who writes columns and blogs for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.