April 9, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's basketball team celebrated its 2006-07 season on Friday night at the annual team banquet held at the Bo Coppedge Room in Alumni Hall. Head Coach Billy Lange honored Navy's lone senior, Calvin White, and handed out several team awards.
In his third season as Navy's head coach, Lange guided the Mids to a 14-16 overall record, producing the most wins for the Navy program since the 2000-01 season. The Mids finished 4-10 in the Patriot League, good for a tie for sixth, and fielded a roster that was the youngest in the League. Five of Navy's losses were to teams that reached the NCAA Tournament and seven were by single-digits. In addition, the squad played a team in the regular-season that reached the Final Four (Georgetown) for the first time since David Robinson's senior year (1987 - UNLV). Lastly, Navy won its fifth straight, and 24th of the last 27, Star Games against Army, when the Mids knocked off the Black Knights, 76-68. The game was played in front of a regionally-televised CBS audience and 5,247 fans at Alumni Hall, the ninth-largest crowd in the venue's history.
Individually, Navy had two players that earned All-Patriot League honors. Junior guard Greg Sprink (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) was Navy's first All-League honoree since 2002, when he was voted to the All-Patriot League second team. Freshman forward Trey Stanton (Friendswood, Texas) was named an All-Rookie Team honoree, the fourth such honor in Lange's three years at Navy.
As a team, Navy showed dramatic improvement on the defensive end. The Mids ranked 45th in the country in scoring defense (62.7 ppg), one year after finishing 231st. The Mids were 21st in free throw percentage (.747) and 24th in three-pointers made per game (8.67). Sprink was 28th in the country in free throw percentage (.864). Navy set school records for three-pointers made (260), three-pointers attempted (726) and free throw percentage (.747).
Sohomore guard Kaleo Kina (Phoenix, Ariz.) and junior forward Ben Biles (Cramerton, N.C.) were the recipient of the evening's first award, the Kevin Sinnett Academic Achievement Award. The award is presented to the player who demonstrates work ethic, commitment and pride in the classroom and in his efforts to represent the team in the academic arena, Kina owns a 2.57 GPA in his three semesters so far with his GPA rising each semester he has been at Navy. Kina, an economics major, ranked second on the team in scoring (9.2 ppg) and led the team in assists (81) and steals (52). Biles has recorded a 2.78 GPA in five semesters at Navy, including a 3.63 GPA during the fall. Biles, who is majoring in economics, appeared in seven games, yanking down five rebounds during the year.
Awarded to the player who performed exceptionally as an individual and team defender, freshman Derek Young (Seat Pleasant, Md.) was the recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The award was given to Young for his commitment, focus and energy to playing Navy defense. Young appeared in 28 games, drawing one start and grabbing 10 steals in just 169 minutes of action, an average of almost 2.50 per game per 40 minutes. Young was inserted into games in crucial defensive situations and was an outstanding defender in practice as well.
The Most Improved Award was given to sophomore Adam Teague (Hickory, N.C.) who demonstrated a desire and will to improve for the benefit of himself and his teammates. The award represents a commitment to being the best player one can be through responsibility, positive energy and passion. Teague was a17-game starter as a freshman, but came off the bench in 2006-07 and saw his game take off. One of Navy's most accurate shooters, the 6-8 forward ranked fourth on the team with a 7.4 ppg average, despite playing just 22.6 minutes per game. He shot 44.7 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from long distance, connecting on 43-of-117 from beyond the arc. Teague is also an outstanding passer, ranking fourth on the team in assists and recording an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.00, one of four players with an assist-to-turnover ratio of at least 1.00.
Junior guard Greg Sprink was the recipient of the Charles McDonough Most Outstanding Team Player Award, given to the player whose performance, ability and statistics had the greatest impact throughout the season. The award marks the second straight season that Sprink has won the award after tying for the league lead in points per game at 16.9. Sprink became the 17th player and just the fifth junior in school history to score 1,000 points and his 507 points this year were the 10th most in school history and third most by a Navy junior. He became the first Mid to lead the Patriot League in scoring in league games only, averaging 17.9 ppg and added a 4.8 rpg average for the season, pacing the Navy squad. Sprink connected on 66 three-pointers this year, the second most in school history and his .864 free throw percentage is the third highest ever. On the career charts, Sprink ranks 16th in scoring (1,132 points), 13th in points per game (13.8 ppg) and second in three-pointers made (161) and attempted (435). He is on pace to become just the third player in school history to score1,000 career points, grab 500 rebounds and dish out 200 assists, joining past Navy greats Vernon Butler and Kevin Sinnett.
Senior Calvin White (Loveland, Colo.) won the final two awards of the evening as he was the recipient of the David Robinson Award, which recognizes that member of the graduating class who has contributed the most to the team's success over his playing career, as well as the highest honor bestowed upon a Navy basketball player, the Rear Admiral Ronald Marryott Award. Awarded to the player who embodies what a Navy basketball player is about, he not only plays for Navy, but demonstrates commitment to character, to leadership and to his teammates. White, who showed improvement throughout the course of his senior season, appeared in 15 games with one start, but saw the majority of his playing time late in the year. He scored two points with four rebounds, one assist and one steal on the year, but made significant contributions on and off the court as a leader. Despite ending his playing career on Feb. 28, White has remained active with the team in postseason workouts.
# GO NAVY #