April 20, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's basketball team capped off its 2008-09 season with an emotional team banquet held Sunday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Mids celebrated their most successful year since 2000-01 with a 19-11 overall mark and a third-place finish in the Patriot League standings, posting an 8-6 record. The senior class, which was Billy Lange's first recruited group, was honored and team awards were handed out.
The Mids recorded a 19-11 overall mark, winning the ninth-most games in a season in school history. The Mids completed a perfect non-conference home slate with a 7-0 record and finished 12-3 at home, the fourth-most victories in Alumni Hall history. A big reason for Navy's success at home came from its fans, as Navy ranked first in the league (league games only) in attendance, averaging 2,949 fans for its seven Patriot League tilts. Navy is 20-9 over the last two seasons at home.
After dropping the season opener to Towson, Navy rattled off seven straight wins, the longest streak since the 1999-00 season and Navy's 7-1 start was the program's best since starting 8-0 in 1984, David Robinson's freshman year. Navy would lose two games in a row just twice this year and sported a seven- and five-game winning streak during the course of the season.
Navy led the league in scoring for the fourth time in the last five years, averaging 71.0 ppg, while allowing just 68.6 ppg. Navy also limited its opponents to connect on just 41.0 percent of their field goal attempts, the lowest mark since the 1999-00 season.
On the NCAA leaderboard, Navy ranked 87th in win-loss percentage (.633), 62nd in field goal percentage defense (.410), 77th in three-pointers per game (7.2), 42nd in three-point field goal percentage defense (.316) and 64th in free throw percentage (.724). Individually, Kaleo Kina was 66th in scoring (18.0 ppg), Chris Harris was 43rd in three-pointers per game (2.8), 62nd in three-point percentage (.368) and 37th in free throw percentage (.848). Adam Teague was 89th in three-pointers per game (2.5) and 19th in three-point percentage (.424).
Senior Kaleo Kina
(Phoenix, Ariz.) was honored with a pair of awards on Sunday, winning the David Robinson Award (awarded to a men's basketball player of the graduating class who has done the most for the team over his playing career: "To recognize that member of the men's basketball team who contributed the most to the team's success over his playing career.") and the Charles McDonough Most Outstanding Team Player Award (awarded to the men's basketball player whose performance, ability and statistics had the greatest impact throughout the season). Kina had a sensational senior season, being named first-team All-Patriot League and to the NABC All-District 13 first team. Kina led the Patriot League in scoring (18.0 ppg) and was sixth in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and fourth in assists (3.8 apg). He surpassed 1,000 career points in the win over Howard and finished his career seventh on the career scoring chart (1,528), sixth on the career assists ledger (392) and third on the career steals list (183) while playing in 118 games (fifth all time) with 105 starts (second all-time). He became the first player in school history to average 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.0 apg and the only player in school history with 500 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in a season. Lastly, he was one of eight players nationally to average 18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.0 apg this season.
Senior Brian Richards (Stevensville, Md.) was named the Kevin Sinnett Academic Achievement recipient (awarded to the men's basketball player who demonstrates work ethic, commitment and pride in the classroom and in his efforts to represent the team in the academic arena) after a good senior campaign. Richards owns a 3.16 cumulative GPA in ocean engineering and has owned a 3.00 GPA or better in five of his first seven semesters. Last year, Richards was named to the NABC Honors Court for his success in the classroom. On the court, Richards appeared in 16 games, averaging 0.8 ppg and 1.2 rpg. He scored six big points in Navy's 77-64 win over Colgate on Senior Night.
Senior Clif Colbert (Grand Prairie, Texas) was earned the team's Defensive Player of the Year (awarded to the men's basketball player who performed exceptionally as an individual and team defender. The award is given for his attitude to NAVY DEFENSE). Colbert, who played much larger than his 6-4 frame, had the speed and quickness to defend on the perimeter, but also had the physicalness and toughness to guard bigger men in the paint. Colbert recorded career highs in minutes played (20.9), points (6.2), rebounds (5.3) and assists (0.6). He ranked ninth in the league in rebounding (sixth in offensive rebounding), despite playing the 40th-most minutes in the league. He also recorded 29 steals on the season ranking third on the team in that category.
Sophomore Mark Veazey (Lilburn, Ga.) was named the team's Most Improved Player (awarded to the men's basketball player who demonstrated a desire and will to improve for the benefit of himself and his teammates). Veazey had a strong sophomore season ranking fourth on the team in scoring (7.9 ppg), second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and first in blocked shots (33). In league games only, Veazey averaged 8.7 ppg and shot 54.3 percent from the field, good for third in the league. He started 19 games as a freshman, but averaged just 3.1 ppg and shot just 36.4 percent in 14 league games. He already has 71 career blocked shots in just 59 games and recorded double-doubles this past year against St. Francis (N.Y.) and Colgate.
Senior Adam Teague (Hickory, N.C.) earned the Rear Admiral Marryott Award (the highest honor bestowed upon a Navy basketball player, it is awarded to the men's basketball player who embodies what a Navy basketball player is about. He plays for Navy while demonstrating a commitment to character, to leadership and to his teammates). Teague had an outstanding senior season, ranking third on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg), fourth in rebounding (4.8 rpg), fourth in assists (40), second in blocked shots (16) and fifth in steals (21) while playing the third-most minutes. He connected on 75 three-pointers this year, the fifth most in a season in school history and the most in the country this year for a player 6-8 or taller, and his 189 career three-pointers and .390 career three-point percentage rank fourth on the all-time lists. He also finished his career ranked 26th on the career scoring chart (869 points). Teague served as the team captain this year and played a vital role in the team's chemistry, focus and overall efforts on and off the court.
Entering next season, head coach Billy Lange will welcome back three starters and four letterwinners as well as Romeo Garcia, who started his freshman year but missed almost all of last year with leg injuries.
# GO NAVY #