It's unfortunate, but true. And well-known. Quick guards and star shooters will provide teams flash and even put up a good percentage of a team's points, but in the end, a win will (usually) come down to the big men.
Such is the case with No. 22 Stephen Curry & Co. (5-1) as they take on the unranked N.C. State Wolfpack. Curry may be averaging 29.2 points and dishing out some seven assists per game, but Davidson's Andrew Lovedale can't compete with Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley (and even C.J. Williams) inside. Sure, Lovedale has some help from forward Stephen Rossiter, but Costner and McCauley, who combine for an average 16.3 boards, will prove to be too much for the mid-major big guys.
You can argue that N.C. State, though undefeated, has only played four games and hasn't faced the competition Davidson has. You can even argue that Curry will find some way to either put up big numbers, as he showed with his 44 points against Oklahoma, or, if the Wolfpack find a way to shut Curry down, he'll use the defense to his advantage and get his teammates involved.
Said N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe: "[Curry's] one of those guys that you're not going to stop, but you have to make it tough for him. If he misses his first two, you can't give him an open look on the third one. You've got to force him to take tough shots."
But Curry cannot compensate for the Wildcats' lacking talent inside in comparison to N.C. State. Remember what happened last year around this time? Davidson lost in Raleigh 66-65. Curry dropped 29 points and went 7-for-15 from beyond the arc. The Wolfpack, however, put on one of their best shows inside, outrebounding the Wildcats 40-25.
So far this season, N.C. State has held its opponents to an average 53.8 points, plus McCauley is coming off two straight double-doubles, the last of which included 15 rebounds against UNC-Greensboro on Sunday. N.C. State outrebounded the Spartans 49-37.
See where I'm getting at?
"We're certainly more aggressive on the boards now," Lowe said. "Ben has been unbelievable on the defensive boards, an area he thought he really needed to concentrate on. We're taking care of the basketball and defensively we've been pretty good."
Curry is an unbelievable player and leader, but he's playing a game where height and strength inside matter - a lot.