Jan. 15, 2013
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Holy Cross (8-8, 1-0) at NAVY (6-11, 0-1)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | 7:00 PM (ET)
Annapolis, Md. | Alumni Hall (5,710)
Streaming Video: Navy All-Access
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com)
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS (Ch. TBA)
Announcers: Pete Medhurst (play-by-play), Michael Heary (analyst)
Tickets: 1-800-US4-NAVY / available at Alumni Hall ticket window
Series: Holy Cross leads, 35-18 (HC, win-4)
All fans without a Department of Defense sticker affixed to their vehicle will need to either park outside of the Naval Academy and walk through the security checkpoint or else ride the free shuttle bus to and from the matches. The shuttle bus will originate from and return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (parking is $5 per vehicle).
Season-ticket holders are able to park on The Yard, as they should have received a pass from the Naval Academy for entry onto campus.
Navy Hosts Holy Cross in Search of First League Win
The Navy men's basketball team (6-11, 0-1) looks for its first Patriot League win of the season when Holy Cross (8-8, 0-1) pays a visit to Annapolis and Alumni Hall on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM (ET). This will be Navy's first home game since a Dec. 30, 2012, contest against Albany, a span of 19 days.
Navy has lost five games in a row overall, with four of the decisions coming by 10 points or less. During that span, opponents have shot 50.5 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range while averaging 66.4 points per game. Navy, meanwhile, is averaging just 57.0 points per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field in the same span.
Leading the Navy attack is a freshman duo (Tilman Dunbar and Kendall Knorr) and a pair of sophomores (Brandon Venturini and Worth Smith). Dunbar leads the Midshipmen in scoring (10.6 ppg) and assists (5.3 apg) while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Venturini is averaging 10.2 points per game while sharing the Patriot League lead in three-pointers made with 44. Smith contributes 9.1 points per game and leads the team in rebounding at 5.7 per game. Knorr is chipping in 6.9 points per game and is shooting 40.6 percent from three-point range. The quartet has scored 626 of Navy's 1,009 points (62.0 percent).
Navy head coach Ed DeChellis (Penn State, 1982) is in his second year at Navy, owning a 9-37 record in Annapolis. He has undertaken massive rebuilding projects at East Tennessee State, Penn State and now Navy, owning a 228-267 career record in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach. He will coach his 500th career game on January 26, 2013, vs. Colgate.
Milan Brown (Howard, 1993) is in his third year as the head coach of Holy Cross, boasting a 31-43 record at Holy Cross and a 126-145 career record in his 10th season. Prior to Holy Cross, Brown was the head coach at Mount St. Mary's, where he led The Mount to the 2008 NCAA Tournament as well as a spot in the 2009 Northeast Conference Tournament title game.
Holy Cross leads the all-time series, 35-18, and owns a 29-17 advantage since 1991-92, the year Navy joined the Patriot League.
Navy is 11-10 against the Crusaders in Alumni Hall, but has lost the last two meetings here by a combined 33 points.
Holy Cross has won four in a row by a combined 48 points and six of the last seven games. Only five of the last 15 meetings have been decided by single-digits.
A Navy Win Will...
Snap a five-game losing streak overall.
Be Navy's first over Holy Cross since an 83-80 win in Annapolis on Feb. 17, 2010.
Improve Navy to 13-9 in 22 Patriot League home openers; Navy enters with a 12-9 league home opener record.
Navy is 12-9 in Patriot League home openers, but is just 3-7 in its last 10 Patriot League home lid-lifters.
Navy has lost two straight Patriot League home openers by a combined nine points. The Midshipmen fell to Bucknell in the 2010-11 league home opener, 71-64, and last year to Lafayette, 65-63.
This is the first time Navy will face Holy Cross in its Patriot League home opener.
Navy's .340 winning percentage against Holy Cross is the fourth lowest for Navy against one opponent with a minimum of 10 meetings. Navy is just 18-35 against the Crusaders. The 35 losses are also the fourth most against one opponent.
Navy's three-win improvement from last year to this year is the 16th-best improvement from one year to the next in school history. The school record is a nine-game improvement from 1992-93 (8 wins) to 1993-94 (17 wins).
Navy's 15-game conference regular-season losing streak is the second longest in the country behind South Carolina State's 18-game streak in the MEAC.
Navy has used four different starting lineups this year after using 17 different lineups in 29 games a year ago. Through 17 games last year, head coach Ed DeChellis started eight different lineups.
Navy owns a 76-60 (.559) Patriot League record in Alumni Hall. Navy is in his 22nd year of basketball at the facility.
Navy has shot over 45.0 percent from the field six times this year (4-2 record) after doing so just six times in 29 contests a year ago.
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 year came in 2008-09 (.412).
In addition, Navy's 36.6 three-point percentage would be the highest since the 1993-94 season (.388). The percentage is currently the fifth-highest total in school history and is 85 percentage points higher than last year's final percentage of 28.1.
When Navy shoots 45.0 percent or better from the field, the Midshipmen are 4-2 this year and 7-5 under Ed DeChellis. When shooting under 45.0 percent, the Midshipmen are 2-9 this year and 2-32 under DeChellis.
When opponents shoot over 45.0 percent, Navy is 0-7 this year. When opponents are under 45.0 percent, Navy is 6-4. During the DeChellis era, the numbers are 1-25 (when over 45.0 percent) and 8-12 (when under 45.0 percent).
When opponents shoot a higher percentage than Navy, Navy is 1-33 under DeChellis and 0-8 this year. When Navy shoots a higher percentage, Navy is 8-4 overall and 6-3 this year.
Navy is 2-18 under DeChellis when having more turnovers.
Navy is 1-6 this year when allowing 60 or more points and 2-26 under DeChellis.
Navy is just 1-15 on Saturdays under DeChellis.
Navy's defense has slipped in the last five games, as opponents have shot 112-of-222 (.505) from the field in victories by Northern Kentucky, Albany, IPFW, Norfolk State and Lafayette.
For the season, Navy has allowed just five teams (UAB, Northern Kentucky, Albany, IPFW, Norfolk State) to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field this year, but it has happened in four of the last five games after occurring just once in the season's first 12 games.
Over the last four games, opponents have made 39-of-97 (.402) of its three-point attempts. In the first 12 games, opponents made just 63-of-243 (.259) of its three-point attempts.
Nonetheless, Navy's 59.2 points per game allowed currently ranks third on the school's all-time list. It is currently the lowest average in the shot clock era (1985-86).
Through 17 games, Navy's freshmen are averaging 24.1 points per game while shooting 147-of-328 (.448) from the field and 34-of-92 (.370) from three-point range. The 410 points scored account for 40.6 percent of Navy's scoring this year.
When Navy's freshmen class scores over 30 points in a game, Navy is 4-2 this year with losses coming to Mount St. Mary's and Albany. When held under 20 points, the Midshipmen are 1-6 with the lone win coming against IPFW. The group is on pace for 748 points (31-game season) which would be just 14 points shy of the school record set by the 2010-11 freshmen (762 points).
Navy's sophomores have averaged 31.5 points per game over the last four outings. In the first 13 games of the season, the class averaged 20.8 points per game.
Nine different players have accounted for 44 double-figure scoring games this year. Of those 44 double-figure scoring games, 40 of them have come from freshmen or sophomores.
Navy's bench has outscored its counterparts, 350-311 (20.6 to 18.3 per game). Navy has outscored its opponents' bench in 11 of the 17 games, posting a 5-6 record in those occurrences.
Navy has had issues rebounding the ball and it shows in second-chance points. Opponents have scored 191 second-chance points (11.2 per game) off of 183 offensive rebounds, averaging over a point per offensive rebound.
Last Time Out: Lafayette 64, Navy 47 (Jan. 12, 2013 | Easton, Pa.)
Lafayette used runs in both halves to hand the Midshipmen a 64-47 setback in the Patriot League opener for both teams on Saturday in Easton, Pa.
Navy sprinted out to a 14-8 lead with 11:32 to play in the first half, but made just two of its last 13 field goal attempts as Lafayette used a 17-4 run over the remainder of the half to take a 25-18 lead into the locker rooms.
Then after Navy cut the lead to two points at 32-30 with a 10-0 run of its own, the Leopards countered with a 23-4 spurt to take their largest lead of the game at 54-33 with 7:42 to play.
Navy would crawl to within 12 points (57-45) with 2:40 to play, but Lafayette scored the next seven points to put the game out of reach.
Brandon Venturini led Navy with a career-high 23 points, the most for a Navy player since J.J. Avila scored 26 last year against 10th-ranked Missouri on Dec. 10, 2011. Venturini connected on seven three-pointers, the seventh most for a player in school history, while attempting 15 trifectas, tied for the most in school history.
Venturini went 8-of-17 (.471) from the field and 7-of-15 (.467) from three-point range. The rest of the team went 10-of-31 (.323) from the field and 0-of-8 (.000) from long distance.
Navy had just two assists against 10 turnovers in the first half. In the second half, Tilman Dunbar had all six of Navy's assists.
Navy's bench scored just nine points, the second-lowest total of the season (six against TCU on Nov. 20).
Navy's freshmen scored just 13 points, the third-lowest total of the season (11 vs. IPFW and Tulane).
Assists / Turnover Information
Navy currently owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.04, 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 ranks 44th nationally and second in the Patriot League in fewest turnovers per game, averaging just 12.2 per contest. At the current rate, Navy will record its lowest turnovers per game average in school history, and commit just 377 turnovers, the fewest in school history.
Navy's two primary point guards of freshmen Tilman Dunbar and junior Brennan Wyatt have combined for 120 assists (7.1 apg) against just 68 turnovers (1.76 ratio). The duo ranks 1-2 on the team in assists, and Wyatt paces the squad with a 2:31 (30:13) assist-to-turnover ratio.
The rest of the squad has just 96 assists against 139 turnovers (0.69 ratio).
Navy has made 29-of-72 (.403) three-point attempts over the last three games and recorded double-digit three-pointers in games against IPFW (10) and Norfolk State (12). The 12 three-pointers made and 30 three-point attempts against Norfolk State were the most in the brief Ed DeChellis era.
The last time Navy made 10 or more three-pointers in back-to-back games came on Jan. 22-26, 2011 vs. Army (11) and American (11).
Navy is 73-of-184 (.397) from three-point range in the last 11 games, and has shot over 50.0 percent from deep four times.
Can't Close the Deal
Navy is 3-20 during the Ed DeChellis era in games decided by single-digits. In games decided by three or fewer points, Navy is 0-7 and is 1-10 in games decided by five our fewer points.
This year, Navy is 1-7 in games decided by single digits and 1-4 in games decided by five points or less.
Despite owning a 6-11 overall record, Navy has outscored its opponents, 1,009 to 1,007, and has won five of its six games by double-figures. Just four of Navy's 11 losses have come by double-digits and none more than 19 points (UAB).
To The Point With Tilman Dunbar
Tilman Dunbar has moved into a third-place tie (with Brian Walker) for most assists by a freshman in school history with 90. The school record is 96 set by Cliff Rees in 1985.
Dunbar ranks third among the NCAA's freshmen in assists per game (5.3) and is one of four freshmen nationally to average 10.0 points per game and 5.0 assists per game. He is trying to become the first Navy player (any class) since Erik Harris in 1991 to average 10.0 points per game and 5.0 assists per game for an entire season.
Dunbar is one of seven players in Patriot League history to earn four straight Patriot League Rookie of the Week accolades. The previous six went on to win Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors.
Dunbar is one of four freshmen in school history to tally 175 points and 90 assists in the same season, joining Kaleo Kina (2006), Brian Walker (1994) and Cliff Rees (1985).
Dunbar dished out 11 assists against Binghamton and 10 against Bryant. Those totals rank tied for first and sixth on the single-game assists list by a freshman.
Dunbar has accounted for 90 of Navy's 216 assists, a percentage of 41.67 percent, which is the second-highest percentage of team's assists among the country's freshmen (Texas' Javan Felix -- 51.63 percent).
Dunbar and Bucknell's Mike Muscala are the only players in the league to lead their teams in scoring and assists.
Venturini Having Breakout Season
Sophomore guard Brandon Venturini entered the season with just 74 career points and having made just 29.3 percent of his 58 three-point attempts (made 17).
However, Venturini's work ethic has paid off ranking first on the team, and tied for first in the Patriot League, having made 44 three-pointers while ranking second on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg) and third in assists (25).
He saw a streak of 12 straight games with a three-pointer end against Norfolk State. Even with that, Venturini is shooting 33-of-73 (.452) from three-point range over the last 11 games. He has made 21 three-pointers in his last six games (21-of-47; .447), including the zero against Norfolk State.
He connected on seven three-pointers in the loss to Lafayette, tied for the seventh-most in a game in school history. The seven three-pointers are the third most for a Navy player against a Patriot League foe and his 15 three-point attempts tied a school record.
Of all returning players in the Patriot League, Venturini ranks second in point per game improvement from last year to this year (7.4 points per game; 2.8 last year to 10.2 this year) behind Lafayette's Dan Trist (7.4 point per game improvement).
In addition, Venturini ranks tied for third nationally in three-pointers made by a sophomore (44).
Knorr Gives Mids Another Trifecta Threat
Freshman guard Kendall Knorr came in with a reputation of a strong shooter and through the first 17 games of his career, nothing has been done to change that notion.
Knorr is 26-of-64 (.406) from long distance, ranking ninth in the Patriot League in three-point percentage and 10th in three-pointers made (26). He leads all freshmen in three-pointers made and is second to Army's Kyle Wilson (.413) in 3-point percentage.
Knorr has moved into 10th place on the Navy freshman three-pointers made list (26) and his 40.6 percent from long distance is the third-highest percentage by a freshman in school history.
Kendall Knorr needs just 33 points to join Tilman Dunbar as freshmen with 150 points. Seven sets of freshmen teammates have previously scored 150 points in a season, while three of them have each scored 200 points in a season.
The Bomb Squad Hits From Deep
The duo of sophomore Brandon Venturini and freshmen Kendall Knorr have given the Mids a pair of sharpshooters from long distance. The duo is a combined 70-of-178 (.393) from three-point range on the season.
Over the last 12 games, the duo is 56-of-129 (.434) from long distance, accounting for 56 of Navy's 79 three-pointers in that span.
They have accounted for 70 of Navy's 105 three-pointers on the season, or 66.7 percent. Sophomore Kevin Alter is third on the squad with 10 three-pointers.
Smith Nears Rare Feat
Sophomore forward Worth Smith is nearing some very exclusive company at Navy. Smith needs 48 points, 47 rebounds and eight blocked shots to become just the third player to score 400 points, grab 300 rebounds and block 50 shots by the end of his sophomore season at Navy. He would join Gary Price (1981-82 seasons) and David Robinson (1984-85 seasons) on the list.
In addition, Smith is one of two Patriot League players this year with 150 points, 80 rebounds, 15 blocked shots, 15 steals and 10 assists, showing off his versatility, joining Colgate's Murphy Burnatowski on the chart.
# GO NAVY #