Oct. 22, 2009
Lange Interview | Harris Interview
Navy Men's Basketblog -- October, 2009
Finally Underway (October 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm)
Well, another season of Navy's men's basketball is upon us. With the weather the way it has been the last week, it sure feels like basketball weather. As the sports information contact for water polo and men's soccer, who are having excellent seasons by the way, I am a little behind. This idea just came up to me today, to try and introduce a new avenue to keep fans updated on the happenings of Navy men's basketball.
First things first. A new feature this year on NavySports.com will be more All-Access interviews, dedicated to all sports. Be sure to check out the free interview (linked above) on All-Access, featuring head coach Billy Lange and senior team captain Chris Harris.
The Navy men's basketball media guide is finished and at the printer, and the Navy basketball poster should be back to our office sometime within the next week. Don't forget next for next weekend's football game against Temple, that the men's basketball team will be signing autographs, taking pictures, doing Halloween kind of things, etc... in the concourse level throughout the game.
Practice is obviously up and running. It actually started last Saturday morning at 9:00 am promptly with the first of approximately 105 practices (hopefully a run into March will increase that number). The team looked very loose and excited to get going, and several players really stepped up their games over the summer and preseason workouts. I know Coach Lange is very excited about what this team will be this year, and there are a lot of interchangable parts. The team appears to possibly have the best depth in Lange's six years in charge, and while the team lacks the superstar it has had the last couple of years, Lange is excited about the offensive continuity this team has shown early on.
Listened in on Coach Lange's interview with the Voice of Navy Basketball, Pete Medhurst, yesterday for the Navy Sports Magazine Show (which will be online as part of Navy All-Access at www.NavySports.com). An interesting quote from Lange about Navy having the league's leading scorer in each of the last three years: "It was not by design. It just happened that way. Greg (Sprink) and Kaleo (Kina) had great years when they led the league in scoring. This year, I think this team will be more balanced. We may not have that one go-to guy, but will have several guys that can have good offensive seasons."
If you haven't been over to Halsey Fieldhouse to check out the new weightroom utilized by the Navy men's basketball team, it is quite impressive. Former Navy basketball player, Carl Liebert, who played on the 1986 and 1987 NCAA Tournament teams and is now the CEO of 24-Hour Fitness, recently gave a generous gift for the new weight room in Halsey Fieldhouse and 24 Hour Fitness has recently signed on as a corporate sponsor for the Naval Academy Athletic Association.
Navy assistant basketball coach Jason Crafton played in his annual alumni game at Nyack College a couple of weeks ago. According to Crafton, a 2003 Nyack grad (a Division II school just outside New York City), he scored 11 points with five assists. He did not, however, lead his team to victory, as his squad dropped a tight three-point decision.
Every practice so far this year has been attended by a select group of observers -- high school coaches. Today a group from southern New Jersey came to watch. On Monday was a group from Pittsburgh. "It says a lot about our program and what we are doing that these coaches would drive some ways to come watch us. We are honored to have them here and are glad they come to visit. It helps us create a good relationship with them as well. If they ever need any thing from us, they know we are here."
Several alums made news this summer, most notably David Robinson and his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Robinson, who owns virtually every scoring and rebounding record at Navy, was inducted as part of argubly the greatest Hall of Fame Class ever, joining Michael Jordan, C. Vivian Stringer, Jerry Sloan and John Stockton. Robinson was actually honored by the Hall of Fame in 2008 as well, as he was a co-recipient of The Mannie Jackson Human Spirit Award. In addition, Robinson and teammates Doug Wojcik and Veron Butler were named to the CAA's 25th Anniversary Team (http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/100709aab.html). It's quite an honor and the list reads like a Who's Who in the CAA's rich basketball history.
Another alum, Hugh Kilmartin (1968) was named to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame (http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/100709aac.html) in the student-athlete category, which honors distinguished individuals who had outstanding careers as players or coaches, who excelled in the classroom and, in the case of players, following graduation, have been highly successful in their careers - and in the case of both players and coaches - have made strong contributions to society. In his three years at Navy, Kilmartin averaged 10.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game in 56 career contests. During his senior year, he averaged 13.6 points per game and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and almost 70 percent from the free throw line. In addition, Kilmartin was selected as a Third-Team Academic All-American as a senior. He was the first of three members of the Navy men's basketball program to earn the accolade from the College Sports Information Directors of America during its over 50-year existence.
Don't forget to purchase your season tickets for the upcoming year. You just can't beat the price of $130 for 26 home games (men's and women's). That is just $5 per game for a pair of teams that figure to challenge for NCAA Tournament berths this year! Also, purchasing a sesaon ticket allows you access to drive onto the Yard on game days and park right outside Alumni Hall, a great value in itself.
The last thing I want to mention is that there are many new and exciting avenues to follow Navy basketball this year. Fans can now follow Navy Athletics on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/navyathletics), on Twitter (http://twitter.com/NavyAthletics) and via email updates (sign up at NavySports.com). In addition, head coach Billy Lange can be followed on Twitter as well (http://twitter.com/blange2). Don't worry, I will work on him to update his profile more... Basically, all the ways you can follow Navy Athletics can be found here (http://www.navysports.com/multimedia/guide-to-multimedia.html).
Thanks for reading. We'll update you next week with some more news!