Jan. 4, 2013
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Navy (6-9) closes out its non-conference portion of the 2012-13 season by traveling to Norfolk, Va., to face Norfolk State (6-10) on Saturday at 5:00 PM at Echols Hall. Pete Medhurst will handle the Navy radio call on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com, SIRIUS Ch. 85), beginning at 4:45 PM. Live video and live stats are available via links on NavySports.com(.)
Navy enters the contest as losers of three straight games by an average of 8.0 points per game. The Midshipmen have struggled on the defensive end in the last three outings, as all three teams have shot exactly 50.0 percent in each game. For the season, opponents are shooting just 40.2 percent from the field against the Midshipmen, while averaging 57.9 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Navy offense has scored at least 60 points in five of its last six games after reaching 60 points just four times in the first nine games of the season. Navy is 5-4 this year when scoring at least 60 points in a contest.
Freshmen Tilman Dunbar continues to pace the Midshipmen, leading the team in both points (10.7 ppg) and assists (5.4 apg). Sophomores Brandon Venturini (10.0 ppg) and Worth Smith (9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) follow, while freshman Kendall Knorr contributes 7.1 points per game. As a team, Navy is shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three-point range.
Last year's NCAA Tournament cinderella, Norfolk State, enters Saturday's contest with a 6-10 overall record and as losers of five straight. However, the five losses came at Illinois (64-54), North Carolina State (84-62), Iona (100-72), East Carolina (74-63) and Ball State (62-61). The Spartans are 2-0 in MEAC play, having defeated Savannah State and Sourth Carolina State.
Norfolk State is led by Pendarvis Williams, who averages 12.0 points per game. Williams scored 20 points in last year's contest against Navy. Malcolm Hawkins averages 11.8 points per game and Rob Johnson contributes 9.6. Freshman Rashid Gaston averages 8.3 ppg and 6.7 rpg.
Navy head coach Ed DeChellis (Penn State, 1982) is in his second year at Navy, owning a 9-35 record in Annapolis. He has undertaken massive rebuilding projects at East Tennessee State, Penn State and now Navy, owning a 228-266 career record in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. He will coach his 500th career game on January 26, 2013, vs. Colgate.
Anthony Evans (St. Thomas Aquinas, 1994) is in his sixth year at Norfolk State, owning an 84-92 record. Evans led Norfolk State to a stunning 86-84 victory over second-seeded Missouri in last year's NCAA Tournament and was named the MEAC's Coach of the Year a season ago.
... Norfolk State leads the series with Navy, 1-0, defeating the Midshipmen, 71-65, last year on New Year's Day in Annapolis.
... Navy is 12-8 (.600) all-time against the MEAC.
... Navy has lost five of its last six games to MEAC opponents. Navy defeated Delaware State earlier this year, 63-53. Prior to that victory, Navy had lost five straight games to the league dating back Dec. 30, 2009 vs. Coppin State (78-75).
... Navy is 144-86 (.626) all-time against the state of Virginia. The Midshipmen have played 13 Division I teams from Virginia.
... Navy is 12-8 (.600) all-time on January 5. Navy's last game on the date came in 2009, when the Midshipmen defeated an Ernie Nestor-led Elon squad, 66-62.
A Navy Win Would...
... be Navy's second straight over a MEAC opponent.
... 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 (0-9 since).
... give Navy a win over a team that played in the previous year's NCAA Tournament for the first time since beating Mount St. Mary's (2008 Tourney) on Dec. 9, 2008.
With Saturday's game against Norfolk State, Navy will be the only school in America to play both of last March's Cinderellas in the NCAA Tournament. Navy plays both No. 15 seeds that won NCAA Tournament games last spring. Norfolk State, which knocked off No. 2 seed Missouri, 86-84, and Lehigh, which defeated Duke, 75-70, both appear on Navy's schedule.
Navy is looking to avoid its first four-game losing streak of the season. Navy has lost three straight games by a combined 24 points. Navy is currently on its second three-game skid of the season. Navy responded out of its previous three-game losing streak with three wins in its next four games.
Navy has shot over 45.0 percent on the offensive end six times this year. Last year's squad managed to accomplish that feat just six times all season. The Mids are 4-2 this year when shooting over 45.0 percent from the field.
Navy's defense has slipped in the last three games, as opponents have shot 64-of-128 (.500) from the field in victories by Northern Kentucky, Albany and IPFW. For the season, Navy has allowed just four teams (UAB, Northern Kentucky, Albany, IPFW) to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field this year, but it has happened in each of the last three games after happening just once in the season's first 12 games.
Over the last three games, opponents have made 23-of-59 (.390) of its three-point attempts. In the first 12 games, opponents made just 63-of-243 (.259) of its three-point attempts.
Just six teams have scored 56 points or more against Navy this year (UAB - 82; Monmouth - 66; Mount St. Mary's - 72; Bryant - 59; Albany - 71; IPFW - 68).
Navy's three-win improvement from last year ranks as the fifth-best improvement (so far) from last year to this year behind Bryant (six), Towson (five), Santa Clara (four) and Canisius (four). Navy went 3-26 last year, but is already 6-9 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 42.9 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 36.8 three-point percentage would be the highest since the 1993-94 season (.388). The percentage is currently fifth-highest total in school history and is 87 percentage points higher than last year's percentage of 28.1.
Navy currently owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.08, 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).
Of Navy's 40 double-figure scoring games this year, freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 36 of them. Freshmen have accounted for 17 of the double-figure efforts.
Navy's freshmen have scored 368 points this year, an average of 24.5 points per game. The school record for points in a season is 762 set by the freshmen of 2010-11 (this year's juniors). The class scored a season-low 11 points in the loss to IPFW on Wednesday. When the freshmen class scores at least 30 points, the Midshipmen are 4-2 on the season.
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 15 games of the season a year ago (3-12), Coach DeChellis used seven different starting lineups.
Navy is 3-19 under Ed DeChellis in games decided by single-digits. In games decided by three or fewer points, Navy is 0-7 and 1-10 in games decided by five our fewer points.
Brandon Venturini -- Has 14 three-pointers in the last four games ... scored a career-high 17 points vs. IPFW ... has four straight double-figure scoring games (13.0 PPG) ... has made a three-pointer in 12 straight games ... made his 50th career three-pointer in the loss to IPFW (41 career games) ... ranks third in the Patriot League in three-pointers made (37), is 41st nationally and is sixth among the nation's sophomores ... is 33-of-79 (.418) from three-point range in the last 12 games, after starting season 4-of-17 (.235).
Tilman Dunbar -- Has been voted Patriot League Rookie of the Week four straight times ... has had at least five assists in 10 games this year, including in six of the last eight games ... ranks second nationally among freshmen in assists (5.4; Texas' Javan Felix -- 6.5) ... second in the Patriot League in both assists (5.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76) ... one of five freshmen nationally to average 10.0 PPG and 5.0 APG ... ranks seventh on the Navy freshman single-season assists list (81), needing just nine assists to tie for third ... also ranks tied for 26th on the Navy freshman points list (160) ... one of five freshmen in school history with 150 points and 75 assists in a season.
Worth Smith -- Scored a career-high 17 points in the loss to IPFW ... averaging 13.5 PPG while shooting 12-of-23 (.522) from the field in the last two games ... has led the team in rebounding in nine of the last 11 games ... is shooting 58-of-120 (.483) from inside the three-point line this year ... has 40 career blocked shots in 44 career games ... during his career, Smith has led the team in rebounding 19 times; rest of roster has led team in rebounding 12 times combined.
Kendall Knorr -- Named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Dec. 3 ... became the 50th freshman in school history to score 100 points in a season, when he scored eight points vs. IPFW ... in two games vs. IPFW, he made his first nine shots vs. the Mastodons (6-6 in first meeting, started 3-3 in second meeting) ... has 23 three-pointers, needing just three more to move into 10th on the school's freshman three-pointers made list ... is shooting 14-of-26 (.538) from the field and 9-of-19 (.474) from three-point range in the last five games (8.8 ppg) ... is 19-of-20 (.950) from the free throw line ... his 41.8 three-point percentage is the third-best percentage by a freshman in school history (of players with a minimum of 30 attempts).
# GO NAVY #