Oct. 18, 2007
Patriot League Release | Schedule | Roster
BALTIMORE, Md. --
The Patriot League's eight men's basketball coaches, including Navy fourth-year coach Billy Lange
, gathered at the ESPNZone in Baltimore's Inner Harbor Thursday morning for the league's annual media day. Flanked with media members, the league's coaches answered questions about the upcoming season, while several student-athletes representing their respective institutions also spoke with reporters from the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.
In addition to the question and answer sessions, the 2007-08 Patriot League Men's Basketball Preseason Poll was unveiled. The Midshipmen, who turned in a 14-16 record under Lange a year ago, were selected to finish seventh in the conference according to the poll which was voted on by the league's coaches and sports information directors.
"We have taken great pride in where we were and what we have become," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "Our focus is on one team and that team is Navy. We can't get worried about preseason polls and where we rank. We just have to work on getting better every day in practice. This group has shown tremendous enthusiasm and energy so far this year, and its just an exciting time right now for the league and our team."
"Bucknell and Holy Cross have been up there for awhile, and it definitely gives up something to shoot for. We want to get to that level," said senior captain Greg Sprink (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.). "I'm a senior, so this is my last hurrah. When I was an underclassman, I may not have taken it as serious because I knew I would have more chances. But now that I am a senior, I can see how important it really is now to go out on a high note. As a captain, I am trying to get everyone to take it serious this year and play to the level they can. After going through it as an underclassman, I'm trying to get them to not wait until they are upperclassmen to really make a difference. This team has the talent, togetherness and attitude to do that."
Lange welcomes back six letterwinners and over 75.0 percent of its scoring from last year, while six of the top eight scorers return. Sprink led the team with a 16.9 ppg average, junior Kaleo Kina
(Phoenix, Ariz.) was second on the team in scoring (9.2 ppg), while junior Adam Teague (Hickory, N.C.) was fourth (7.4 ppg). Junior Bryce Brigham
(Bellevue, Wash.) and sophomores T.J. Topercer
(Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Chris Harris
(Mechanicsville, Va.) also scored better than 3.5 ppg a year ago.
Meanwhile, Sprink was named to the five-player Preseason All-Patriot League Team, joining Holy Cross center Tim Clifford, Lehigh guard Marquis Hall, Army guard Jarell Brown and Bucknell guardp John Griffin. Hall, a sophomore, is the only underclassman named to the squad, while Clifford was voted Preseason Player of the Year.
Sprink, the top returning scorer in the Patriot League at 16.9 ppg (17.9 ppg in league games), is the first Navy player since Chris Williams in 2000-01 to be named to the preseason all-league team.
Navy opens the season on Nov. 9, at Longwood in Farmville, Va., with tip time slated for 7:30 pm. The Mids' home opener will be Nov. 14, against Northeast Conference preseason favorite Robert Morris. For ticket information, please call 1-800-US4-NAVY.
# GO NAVY #