Jan. 1, 2013
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Navy (6-8) begins its non-conference stretch run by opening the 2013 calendar year with a trip to Fort Wayne, Ind., to face IPFW (6-9) on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7:00 PM (ET). Tickets are available at the Gates Sports Center entrance on Wednesday night, and the contest will be streamed online on NavySports.com (through IPFW All-Access). In addition, Pete Medhurst will handle the call courtside on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM and WNAV.com).
Navy enters the contest looking to snap a two-game losing skid, both of which came at the friendly confines of Alumni Hall. The Midshipmen, which have already doubled last year's win total with six, is 1-3 in their last four games after winning three of their previous four games from Nov. 24 to Dec. 5.
After shooting 57.0 percent in three games from Dec. 5-10, Navy has struggled in the last two games, shooting just 40-of-105 (.381) from the field in falling to Northern Kentucky (55-46) and Albany (71-61). Navy is just 10-of-31 (.323) from three-point range in that span and has been outrebounded by a combined 68-49 margin.
Leading the Navy attack is freshman point guard Tilman Dunbar, who leads the team in scoring (11.2 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg). Sophomores Brandon Venturini (9.5 ppg) and Worth Smith (8.8 ppg) and freshman Kendall Knorr (7.0 ppg) each average at least 7.0 points per game.
IPFW enters Wednesday's contest with a 6-9 overall record having lost consecutive Summit League games to IUPUI (88-74) and Western Illinois (62-50). The Mastodons have lost five of their last six games after starting the season 5-4. However, IPFW enters the Navy game with a 4-0 home mark with wins over Rochester, Judson, Miami (Ohio) and Kennesaw State.
Frank Gaines leads IPFW in scoring with an 18.9 points per game average. Luis Jacobo and Mario Hines average 9.5 ppg and 9.1 ppg, respectively. The Mastodons are outrebounding their opponents by 5.0 rebounds per game, paced by Hines' 5.7 per game.
Navy head coach Ed DeChellis (Penn State, 1982) is in his second year at Navy, owning a 9-34 record in Annapolis. He has undertaken massive rebuilding projects at East Tennessee State, Penn State and now Navy, owning a 228-265 career record in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. He will coach his 500th career game on January 26, 2013, vs. Colgate.
Tony Jasick (Mars Hill, 2000) is in his second year as the head coach at IPFW after serving as an assistant / associate head coach for seven years prior to being named the head coach before the 2011-12 season. He enters the contest with a 17-28 career record, all at IPFW. He was at Middle Tennessee State prior to his time at IPFW.
... Navy is 1-0 against IPFW, defeating the Mastodons, 54-49, on November 28, 2012, in Annapolis.
... It marks the first time since the 2007-08 campaign that Navy will have faced a non-conference team twice in the same season. Navy defeated Longwood twice during that season.
... Navy is 2-0 all-time against current members of the Summit League, defeating Western Illinois in the 1984-85 year.
... Navy is 13-5 (.722) all-time on January 2, having won eight of its last nine games on the date, dating back to 1997.
... Navy is just 3-10 all-time against teams from the state of Indiana (1-1 vs. Butler, 1-7 vs. Notre Dame, 0-2 vs. Valparaiso, 1-0 vs. IPFW).
... This is Navy's first trip to Indiana since losing to No. 8-ranked Notre Dame, 67-53, on Feb. 4, 1980, in South Bend.
A Navy Win Would...
... allow Navy to sweep the season series vs. IPFW.
... be Navy's second road win of the season, surpassing last year's road win total of one victory.
... give Navy seven non-conference victories for the first time since 2008-09 (11).
... be Navy's first win in January since Jan. 29, 2011.
Navy is looking to avoid its second three-game losing streak of the season when it travels to Fort Wayne, Ind., to face IPFW on Wednesday night. Navy has lost consecutive games to Northern Kentucky (55-46) and Albany (71-61). Navy previously lost three straight games to UAB (82-63), TCU (47-45) and Prairie View A&M (42-40) on Nov. 18-23.
Prior to Navy's current two-game losing streak, Navy had shot a combined 57.0 percent (81-of-142) from the field in three games against Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's and Bryant, averaging 73.0 points per game.
However, in the last two games against Northern Kentucky, Navy has shot just 40-of-105 (.381) from the field and just 10-of-31 (.323) from three-point range while averaging 53.5 points per game. Navy has averaged just 13.5 free throw attempts per game in the last two games after averaging 20.3 attempts in the previous three contests.
Navy's defense has also slipped in the last two games, as opponents have shot 40-of-80 (.500) from the field in victories by Northern Kentucky and Albany while averaging 63.0 points per game. Navy has allowed just three teams (UAB, Northern Kentucky, Albany) to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field this year, but two of them have come in the last two games.
Over the last two games, opponents have made 15-of-38 (.395) of its three-point attempts. In the first 12 games, opponents made just 63-of-243 (.259) of its three-point attempts.
Navy ranks 22nd nationally in scoring defense (57.2 points per game), 69th in field goal percentage defense (.396) and 19th in three-point percentage defense (.278).
Just five teams have scored 56 points or more against Navy this year (UAB - 82; Monmouth - 66; Mount St. Mary's - 72; Bryant - 59; Albany - 71).
Navy's three-win improvement from last year ranks as the fourth-best improvement (so far) from last year to this year behind Bryant (five), Canisius (four) and Towson (four). Navy went 3-26 last year, but is already 6-8 this year.
Navy's three-win improvement is already the ninth-best yearly improvement in school history. The school record is a nine-win improvement from 1992-93 (8-19) to 1993-94 (17-13). Since the 1997-98 season, the win increase is the second-best improvement behind 2005-06 (10-18) to 2006-07 (14-16).
If the season ended today, Navy's 42.5 percent shooting from the field would be the highest percentage for the Midshipmen since the 2000-01 season (.441). The highest percentage since that season came in 2008-09 (.412).
In addition, Navy's 35.3 three-point percentage would be the highest since the 2006-07 season (.358).
Navy currently owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.10, ranking third in the Patriot League. The last time Navy had an assist-to-turnover ratio better than 1.00 came in 1996-97 (458 assists, 450 turnovers; 1.02 ratio). The school record is 1.36 set in 1986-87 (585 assists, 430 turnovers).
Navy has struggled on the glass lately, being outrebounded, 68-49, in the last two games. Among the 68 rebounds by opponents have been 20 offensive rebounds, which were converted into 25 second-chance points. Navy is getting outscored this year in second-chance points, 164-92, an average of 11.7 points per game to 6.6 points per game.
Navy's bench was outscored for just the fourth time this season when Albany's reserves outscored Navy, 32-14. The Midshipmen bench is outscoring their counterparts, 280-259 (20.0 ppg to 18.5 ppg). Navy's bench is shooting 43.3 percent (94-of-217) from the field and 38-of-93 (.409) from three-point range.
Of Navy's 38 double-figure scoring games this year, freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 34 of them. Freshmen have accounted for 17 of them.
Navy has used just three starting lineups so far this year, one year after using 17 lineups, the third most in the country. Through the first 14 games of the season a year ago (3-11), Coach DeChellis used six different starting lineups.