College Basketball Preview: Matt McKillop takes over for father at Davidson

Foster Loyer returns for the Wildcats

Davidson guard Foster Loyer returns for the Wildcats, who will be led by Matt McKillop after his father, legendary coach Bob McKillop, retired after last season. (Brian Westerholt / AP Photo)

For the 34th consecutive season, a McKillop will be leading the Wildcats. But for the first time since the 1988-89 season, it won’t be Bob McKillop. The legendary coach retired after leading Davidson to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in his career, and his son Matt will take the reins after being on his father’s staff since 2008.

2021-22 record: 27-7 (15-3 Atlantic 10)

Top players: Leading scorer Foster Loyer returns to try and help Davidson defend its Atlantic 10 title. Loyer, a redshirt senior guard, averaged 16.2 points last season, ranked second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage at 43.8% and was named to the preseason A-10 first team. Fellow starter Sam Mennenga (8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds), a redshirt junior forward from New Zealand, made 51.9 percent of his shots last year.

Key additions: Six-foot-9 Reed Bailey, a three-star recruit from Massachusetts, is the big freshman addition to the Wildcats. Davidson also added transfers Connor Kochera (William & Mary, 10.9 points, 4.8 rebounds in 2021-22) and David Skogman (Buffalo, 8.0 points, 6.3 rebounds).

Departed players: The Wildcats lose three starters from last year’s team in Hyungjung Lee, Luka Brajkovic and Michael Jones, meaning bigger roles for Grant Huffman and Desmond Watson.

Expectations: Matt McKillop doesn’t enter his first year running the Wildcats with an empty cupboard with Loyer and Mennenga providing veteran scoring. That said, Davidson lost some key pieces and was picked to finish sixth in the A-10 by the league’s coaches and media.