Nov. 10, 2011
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Navy (0-0) at Longwood (0-0)
Friday, November 11, 2011
Farmville, Va. Willett Hall (1,807)
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM / www.wnav.com) | Play-by-Play: Pete Medhurst
TV: None | Streaming Video: www.NavySports.com (FREE)
Series: Navy leads, 8-0
Friday's Game Basics
Navy will open the 2011-12 season on Friday night in Farmville, Va., when it faces the Longwood Lancers beginning at 7:00 pm. The contest will air on WNAV (Annapolis - 1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com) with Pete Medhurst handling the call courtside. Coverage will start at 6:45 with the Navy Basketball pregame show.
Longwood returns four starters from last year's team that went 12-19 overall and won its last four games of the season.
Leading the way is senior forward Antwan Carter, who is likely the top Independent player in the country. Carter averaged 18.2 ppg and 9.5 rpg while making over 57 percent of his field goal attempts. He ended last season by averaging 29.0 ppg and 17.5 rpg in the last two outings.
He will be aided by Jeremiah Bowman (12.2 ppg and 4.3 apg), Martiz Washington (10.4 ppg and 85 three-pointers) and Durann Neil (8.7 ppg).
Longwood averaged 76.3 ppg a year ago while allowing 82.3 ppg. Opponents shot 48.4 percent against the Lancers and outrebounded Longwood by over six boards a game.
Series History With Longwood
Last Year vs. Longwood (Box Score: Navy, 87-70)
Navy leads the all-time series with Longwood, 8-0, and has outscored the Lancers by an average margin of 10.5 points per game. The eight-game winning streak against the Lancers is the longest current active winning streak for a Navy team against one opponent. Four of the eight meetings have been determined by at least 16 points. This will be Ed DeChellis' first meeting against Longwood.
scored 20 points and J.J. Avila
added 19 to lead Navy past Longwood, 87-70, at Alumni Hall on Jan. 4, 2011.
The Mids trailed 45-34 early in the second half before outscoring Longwood 53-25 over the game's final 18 minutes. The Midshipmen shot 69.0 percent (20-of-29) from the field in the second half after shooting just 27.3 percent (9-of-33) in the first half. Navy made 7-of-12 three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes and all 10 of its free throw attempts.
Navy forced 26 turnovers, turning the Lancer mistakes into 34 points.
and Greg Brown
added 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Antwan Carter tallied 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds for Longwood.
Navy vs. The Independents
Navy is 8-1 all-time against this year's Independents. Navy has played just two of the five Independents. Navy played both Seattle U. and Longwood during the 2010-11 season. Cal State-Bakersfield is the only other independent school in the country.
Navy enters the 2011-12 season as one of the youngest teams in the country with just two starters and five letterwinners returning from last year's team that went 11-20 overall and 6-8 in the Patriot League standings, good for a fourth-place tie.
Leading Navy back will be its three award winners from last year in Jordan Sugars, J.J. Avila and Isaiah Roberts. Sugars was named second-team All-Patriot League last year after averaging 16.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Sugars is a consensus preseason all-Patriot League selection by every national publication as well as by the league coaches and sports information directors.
Sophomore J.J. Avila was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year after leading the league's freshmen in almost every statistical category in 2010-11. Avila was just one of four freshmen nationally to average 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 2.0 rpg in the 2010-11 season.
Isaiah Roberts joined Avila on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team after averaging 5.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 1.2 apg a year ago. Navy head coach Ed DeChellis is hoping that Roberts can possibly slide over to the point guard position after starting 14 games last year as the shooting guard.
Navy has not shot over 50.0 percent since Jan. 22, 2011, vs. Army, a span of 10 games.
Navy has made at least five three-pointers in 11 straight games, dating back to Jan. 19, 2011, vs. Holy Cross, when the Mids went 1-of-25 from beyond the arc. Navy has made a three-pointer in 245 straight games dating back to Jan. 30, 2003, vs. Colgate.
Navy forced 19.1 turnovers per game last year, turning opponents miscues into 547 points (17.6 points per game). The 19.1 turnovers forced per game were the second most in the country.
Navy is 0-2 on November 11, losing by an average of 19.5 points per game. This season's start marks the fourth-earliest season opener in school history (last year vs. Texas, 2007-08 vs. Longwood, 2006-07 vs. Loyola, Md.).
Navy is 143-85 all-time against the State of Virginia (Division I only). Navy used to play Richmond, James Madison, William & Mary and George Mason regularly when it was a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) from 1986-91.
Navy went 6-5 in its last 11 games last year. Navy started the year 5-15 with eight of the losses coming by single digits.
When Navy shoots a higher percentage than its opponent in its last seven seasons, the Mids are 59-13 overall.
Navy is 56-18 since the start of the 2004-05 season when shooting more free throws than its opponent.
Navy is 74-32 under since the start of the 2004-05 season when scoring 70 or more points. When held to 69 or fewer points, the Midshipmen are just 18-82 since the start of the 2004-05 season.
In order for Navy to improve this year, the Mids must improve in four major areas that plagued Navy last year. They are areas that DeChellis stressed during his time at Penn State and already here in preseason workouts at Navy.
Navy ranked 333rd out of 336 schools nationally in rebound margin (-9.4). The margin was a school-record low, easily surpassing the school record set in the 2009-10 season (-6.5).
Navy shot just 39.3 percent from the field to rank 320th nationally. The 39.3 percent was the lowest mark for a Navy team since the 1953-54 season and the third-lowest percentage in school history. Navy shot just 29.4 percent from behind the three-point line, the lowest percentage in school history while ranking 281st nationally.
Even though Navy ranked 10th nationally in turnover margin, Navy was 291st in turnovers per game (15.3).
Lastly, Navy needes to get better on the defensive end. The Mids allowed 72.7 points per game last year, ranking 282nd in the country.
Navy Season Opener Facts
Navy owns a brilliant 76-28 (.731) record on opening day, but is just 3-9 since the 1999-00 opener and 7-13 (.350) in openers since the 1991-92 season, the year Navy joined the Patriot League.
Prior to Navy joining the Patriot League, the Midshipmen went 69-15 (.821) in 84 season openers.
Navy has lost three straight season openers to Texas (2011; 83-52), Radford (2010; 76-65) and Towson (2009; 86-68). The average margin in the three games is 20.0 points per game.
Navy's last win in a season opener came in the 2007-08 opener, when Greg Sprink scored 28 points to lead Navy past Longwood on the road, 88-72, on Nov. 9, 2007.
Including this year, Navy's last six season openers have come away from the friendly confines of Alumni Hall.
Navy is hoping to ride new head coach Ed DeChellis' streak in season openers, as the first-year coach has won six straight season openers and is 11-4 in 15 previous season openers. He went 5-2 in seven openers at East Tennessee State and 6-2 in eight openers at Penn State, and his teams have held opponents to 61 points or less in nine of the last 11 season openers, including three straight years.
A Navy coach has not won his debut since Dave Smalley topped Baltimore, 65-59, to start the 1966-67 season. Five consecutive Navy coaches have lost their Navy coaching debuts. The previous 18 coaches in school history have gone 12-6 in their first game on the Navy sideline. Ironically, the previous five coaches all started their Navy coaching careers away from Annapolis.
DeChellis Takes Over Navy Hoops Program
On May 23, Navy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk announced that Ed DeChellis was hired as the program's 19th coach in school history. DeChellis took over for Billy Lange, who left Navy to take the associate head coach position at Villanova. Lange served as the head coach for seven seasons, compiling a 92-115 record.
DeChellis arrives at Navy from Penn State, where he led the Nittany Lions to a runner-up finish in the Big 10 Tournament, a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance and a 19-15 overall record. In 2009, DeChellis guided his alma mater to an NIT Championship and a school-record 27 victories while being named the league's Coach of the Year. He arrives in Annapolis with a 219-231 in 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
DeChellis was just the sixth coach since 1995 to leave a BCS school for a mid-major program.
Navy Enters Year With Little Experience
When Navy takes the court in 2011-12, it will do so as one of the nation's youngest teams. Navy will have three seniors, one junior, six sophomores and six freshmen on the traveling roster. The total amount of games played by the nine returnees is just 306, with 87 of them coming from senior captain Jordan Sugars.
The combined number of starts by the nine returnees is just 102, with 53 coming from Sugars.
Navy ranks as the 10th-youngest, least-experienced team in America for the upcoming season. Of Navy's 16 players on the roster, 12 are freshmen or sophomores and the lone junior, Jordan Brickman, did not play basketball his first two years at Navy.
Navy Trio to Carry Load
Senior Jordan Sugars and sophomores J.J. Avila and Isaiah Roberts appear to figure prominently this year in Navy's offense.
Navy returns just 57.6 percent of its points from last year, returning 1,217 of its 2,113 points. Of the 1,217 points coming back, the trio accounted for 980 of them (80.5 percent).
Sugars About to Join Elite Group
Senior guard Jordan Sugars is about to join an elite group of Navy players to score 1,000 points and grab 500 career rebounds. Just eight players have done so previously, the last one being Greg Sprink in 2008. Sugars can become just the third Navy player in the Patriot League era to reach the milestone.
Sugars also enters the 2011-12 season with 155 three-pointers, needing just 45 three-pointers to become the fourth player in school history with 200 career three-pointers. Over the last two seasons, Sugars is 146-of-388 (.376) from three-point range and has made at least five three-pointers in a game seven different times during his career.
He needs just 11 rebounds to reach the 1,000-point / 500-rebound marks, as he scored his 1,000th point last season. Standing just 6-3, Sugars could become the shortest player in Navy school history to grab 500 rebounds.
With 485 points and 111 rebounds, Sugars would become the fourth player, and first during Navy's Patriot League era, with 1,500 points and 600 rebounds.
Sugars is the second returning leading scorer in the league, and his 1,015 points make him 74th on the Patriot League list, good for third among active league players. Sugars has scored in double-digits in 25 of his last 26 games, including seven straight games to end the 2010-11 season.
Sugars is one of just three players returning nationally to average 16.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and connect on at least 60 three-pointers. The two others are UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson (21.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 66 3PM) and Missouri State's Kyle Weems (16.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 66 3PM).
Always Near the Top
Navy is 30-26 in the Patriot League since the start of the 2007-08 season, posting the third-best Patriot League record during that four-year span. The 30 wins are the third most in the Patriot League during that span, behind American (41-15) and Bucknell (32-24). From the 2001-02 season through the 2007-08 season (seven years), Navy won a combined 32 PL games.
With Navy tying for fourth and American placing second in 2010-11, the two teams are the only programs in the league with top-four league finishes in each of the last four years.
Over the last eight years (including this year), Navy has been selected sixth or lower in every preseason poll to date. And in six of the seven years, Navy has outperformed its preseason placing. The lone exception came in the 2005-06 season, when Navy was picked sixth and finished seventh.
Class of 2014 Back For More
Last year's six-member freshmen class scored 762 points, the most for a freshmen class in school history. The group averaged 24.6 points per game, just shy of the 25.7 the freshman class of 2006 averaged for the school record.
Leading the way was forward J.J. Avila, who earned Navy's first Patriot League Rookie of the Year Award and was the second Navy freshman to ever win a league Rookie of the Year Award (David Robinson - 1984). He was joined by Isaiah Roberts on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team, giving Navy two all-rookie selections for just the fifth time ever. Five freshmen in all played at least 25 games and three plebes tallied at least 100 points (Avila, Roberts, Brennan Wyatt).
Inside The Numbers
Navy went 8-8 in 2010-11 when a player scored at least 20 points. When a Navy player failed to score 20 points, the Mids went 3-11.
Navy used 10 different starting lineups during the 2010-11 season. The most contests that one lineup started was six games.
Navy went 9-6 last year when scoring 70 or more points. The Mids were just 2-14 when being held to 69 or fewer points with wins over George Washington (64-57) and Lafayette (57-52).
What's Coming Back
Navy returns roughly 60.0 percent of its production from last year after graduating four seniors that played in a combined 379 career games.
The Midshipmen return 1,217 of their 2,113 points scored from last year (57.6 pct.).
Navy returns 62.9 percent of its 980 rebounds from last year (616 rebounds returning).
The Midshipmen return just 55.5 percent of their 387 assists from a year ago (215 assists returning).
The area that Navy returns the most is three-pointers made (67.8 pct.) and three-point attempts (66.9 pct.).
The category that Navy returns the least is free throws made (49.3 pct.) and free throw attempts (50.6 pct.).
From The "Did You Know" Category
The NCAA-approved, standard three-point line is 25 years old this year and Navy played in the first game featuring the line. The No. 9-rated Midshipmen faced 17th-rated North Carolina State in the 1986 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in Springfield, Mass., on Nov. 22, which tipped off the 1986-87 college basketball season.
Trailing by two at 84-82, the Wolfpack's Kenny Drummond ironically buried a three-pointer with 14 seconds left to lift N.C. State to an 86-84 victory. The Midshipmen were led by David Robinson with 36 points.
Navy was 3-of-4 from long distance in the contest, while North Carolina State went 10-of-20.
Navy senior guard Jordan Sugars, sophomore forward J.J. Avila and freshman guard Donya Jackson were all mentioned as Patriot League award winners by several preseason publications.
Sugars, the league's second-leading returning scorer (16.0 ppg) and fourth-leading returning rebounder (6.0 rpg) was selected first-team preseason All-Patriot League by The Sporting News, Lindy's, Athlon, Rivals.com and the Patriot League.
Meanwhile, sophomore J.J. Avila, the 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, was selected to the second team by Lindy's Magazine. Lindy's said, "Avila, Navy's first Patriot League Rookie of the Year, can't sneak up on anyone anymore, but has the talent to be better this year."
Lastly, freshman guard Donya Jackson was named as the Patriot League's Top Newcomer by The Sporting News. Jackson was a two-time Baltimore Catholic League Defensive Player of the Year and averaged 22.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 6.0 apg a year ago at Mercersburg Academy.
Crafton to Blog For CollegeChalkTalk.com
Now entering its third full season, the National Coaches' Diary Series - the first and only of its kind - is stronger than ever, having grown from 50 coaches in year one to over 85 coaches from 25 different leagues today, and Navy men's basketball associate head coach Jason Crafton will once again participate during the 2011-12 season.
Each coach provides regular insight into his respective team or tackles hot-button issues in today's game, giving readers a glimpse into the life of a coach at the highest collegiate level.
Navy men's basketball associate head coach Jason Crafton will compose a monthly blog for the second straight year and his first video entry will be posted in the next couple of weeks. Crafton will compile an entry for the website about once every six weeks with his first entry should be coming out around Novemeber 4.
Crafton remains the only service academy coach to write for the site.
What's Coming Up
Navy returns to Annapolis on Sunday, Nov. 13, for its home opener at Alumni Hall against Penn State Altoona, beginning at 4:00 pm. It marks the second straight year that Navy hosts a Division III school in its home opener, defeating Neumann College, 74-62, last season.
Navy then hits the airways for the first time in 2011-12 as it faces traditional power Siena in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, November 16.
Navy will play four of its first 12 games (before Christmas) away from the friendly confines of Alumni Hall.
# GO NAVY #