Jan. 12, 2009
* CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- For the first time in program history, the Navy men's basketball team has landed in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, earning 67 points to grab the No. 25 spot in the weekly poll. Navy enters Wednesday's game with Lehigh with a 12-4 overall record and has won four games in a row.
The Mid-Major Poll, which is voted on by mid-major coaches around the country, is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit League, Sun Belt and West Coast.
Navy is off to its best 16-game season-opening run since the 1998-99 team began the year 16-4. The Mids are off to their hot start, thanks to a strong defense that is allowing foes to shoot just 40.2 percent from the field, ranking 65th nationally in that category. The Mids have also excelled in close games, posting a 7-1 record in games decided by five or fewer points, while owning an 8-0 record in games played at Alumni Hall.
After opening the season with a loss to Towson, the Mids rattled off seven wins in a row, including road wins at William & Mary and Penn. After dropping tight games against Virginia Tech, Canisius and 18th-ranked Villanova, Navy has responded with four wins in a row entering Wednesday's contest with Lehigh.
Navy is boasting a balanced offensive attack as three players (Kaleo Kina - 19.6 ppg; Chris Harris - 15.9 ppg; Adam Teague -- 10.9 ppg) average in double figures and three more players score at least 6.0 ppg.
Butler, St. Mary's, Gonzaga, Illinois State and Davidson are the top five teams in the poll. Navy opponents American and Texas-San Antonio are among others receiving votes.
Navy will take to the road for its next two games, battling Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., at 7:00 pm on Wednesday night, before taking on Lafayette on Saturday at 1:00 pm in Easton, Pa.
# GO NAVY #