PC's Curry ready to run revamped Friars
But there was nothing Curry could do about it. He was hurt and he couldn't come back soon enough to make a difference for the 2007-08 PC team that was in dire need of a point guard.
"I couldn't help, it was real tough, I wanted to help, but I couldn't, it was a tough time to watch all of it," Curry said.
Curry played 36.4 minutes a game for the Friars in 2006-07. He averaged 15.3 points per game, dished out 120 assists and had 97 turnovers and 34 steals. He was named All-Big East honorable mention.
He sat out the first nine games of last season with a stress fracture in his right foot. He finally tried to play against Sacred Heart on Dec. 19 but lasted only eight minutes. He didn't play again the rest of the season.
"I just kept playing on it and then I broke it," Curry said. "I tried to let it heal on its own. We thought I could do that and then come back [later in the season]. But it was too painful for me to play. So we shut it down.
"I was working out and then it broke again and so I had to have surgery. I was told I should have had the surgery right away but I didn't have it until March."
At that point it was too late to save coach Tim Welsh's job. Not having an experienced point guard for a team of shooters made it extremely difficult for the Friars to get any real flow last season.
"It was tough because I felt a big responsibility for this team and our goals were set beginning the season [to make the NCAAs]," said Curry, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining. "I was trying to rush back to play and it was just frustrating to see your friends, my brothers, and see them after losses. It hurt me. I wanted to be there to help then."
Curry had surgery in March around the time that Welsh was fired. He was anxious to find out who the next coach would be. He thought it would be George Mason's Jim Larranaga but then was thrilled when he heard it was Drake's Keno Davis. Curry said he followed the college basketball season and was well aware of Davis' success at Drake, especially his reliance on 3-point shooting and scoring plenty of points.
Teammate Geoff McDermott said having Curry back makes a huge difference and is the reason the Friars are confident they will contend for a top spot in the Big East. But Curry is being cautious.
"We have a lot of talent, but it's raw talent and [Davis] still has to develop [us] to where we should be. We have a lot of work to do," Curry said. "We want to be at the top of the Big East this year and I think we have the talent to do it. We have the experience and now it's about us coming together and doing it."
Curry had been participating in individual workouts this month and found himself just "running around" a lot. He said he's anxious to play but he needs to take it easy over the next month.
"It was a very humbling experience getting hurt and sitting out and I don't want anything freaky to happen," Curry said. "I'm more hungry now. I just can't wait to play."
In their nonconference schedule, the Friars are loaded with eight home games. But there are a few potential traps, like CAA co-favorite Northeastern to open the season Nov. 15 and dangerous but must-win rivalry games against in-state Brown (Dec. 3) and Rhode Island (Dec. 6). The one true road game is at Boston College (Dec. 20).
But the Friars' nonconference schedule will be scrutinized by what happens at the Anaheim Classic on Nov. 27-30. The first-round matchup against Baylor, a possible preseason top-25 team, could be one of the most important pre-conference tournament first-round games. PC will need that one to advance to possibly play Arizona State (which plays Charlotte) in the second round. The rest of the field includes possible NCAA teams Saint Mary's, Wake Forest and UTEP (Cal State-Fullerton is in it as well) -- and it could provide plenty of critical power-rating points. This is a classic case of how playing the right teams in this event could prove to be important come March.
In Big East play the Friars face Villanova twice, but didn't catch a break in having to go to Connecticut and Louisville for two of their conference road games. That's why picking off at least two quality wins among four games away from the Dunkin' Donuts Center (three in Anaheim and one at BC) will be critical to a possible NCAA bid as long as there aren't any embarrassments at home.