Nov. 2, 2012
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's basketball team opens its 2012-13 season on Sunday, Nov. 4, when it faces Slippery Rock in an exhibition game, beginning at 12:00 PM in Alumni Hall. The contest is open to the public and admission is free.
Live video will be available for free on NavySports.com, and live stats and Twitter updates will also be provided.
Navy returns two starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team, while welcoming in seven freshmen that will see their first game action of their careers on Sunday.
Leading the Navy offense will be returning starters Isaiah Roberts (Jr. / Pennsauken, N.J.) and Worth Smith (So. / Mooresville, N.C.). Roberts had a strong end to his sophomore season, becoming just the second sophomore (Greg Sprink - 2006) to win team MVP honors since 2005. Over the last four games of the season, Roberts averaged 16.0 points per game, 1.8 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game and 2.8 steals per game while shooting 24-of-44 (.545) from the field and 12-of-17 (.706) from the free throw line, while surpassing his career high in points three times. His finest performance may have come in the Patriot League Quarterfinals against Bucknell, when he scored a career-high 20 points, dished out five assists, grabbed four steals and snared three rebounds. He was 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range against the Bison, which came one game after a 19-point effort against Bucknell in the regular-season finale.
Smith, meanwhile, also had a strong season in 2011-12 and will be relied on heavily during the 2012-13 campaign. He has added about 15 pounds to his frame and should give the Midshipmen a versatile, inside-outside presence. He was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team a year ago after averaging 6.8 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. He played the last half of the league season with a stress reaction in his leg, forcing him to essentially compete in only games while practicing very little. He had offseason surgery to correct the issue and is fully healed from the injury. Smith finished the year with 197 points to rank 20th on the all-time Navy freshman scoring list. His 146 rebounds were the ninth most by a freshman and he also ranked fifth in blocked shots (22), fifth in minutes played (721) and sixth in double-doubles (3).
Other returnees include Brennan Wyatt (Jr. / Greensboro, N.C.), James Loupos (Jr. / Skillman, N.J.), Thurgood Wynn (Jr. / Bethesda, Md.), Brandon Venturini (So. / Allendale, Mich.), Jared Smoot (So. / Crown Point, Ind.) and Kevin Alter (So. / Rumson, N.J.).
Newcomers that figure to see significant action this year include Tilman Dunbar (Fr. / Woodbridge, Va.), Will Kelly (Fr. / Mount Laurel, N.J.), Kendall Knorr (Fr. / Concord, N.C.), Phil Guglielmo (Fr. / Sprinfield, Va.), Ryan Spadaford (Fr. / Rockville Centre, N.Y.) and Earl McLaurin (So. / Charlotte, N.C.).
Slippery Rock enters the 2012-13 season as one of the favorites in the NCAA Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) after recording a 17-10 mark a year ago, including a 14-8 record in the league, which is one of the most-competitive Division II leagues in America. The Rock returns four starters, including 2012 All-PSAC-West second-team selections Devin Taylor and Tabari Perry.
Taylor, a senior forward who was named to the All-PSAC-West Preseason Team, led the PSAC in rebounding last winter with a 9.8 per game average and ranked 19th in scoring with a team-high 13.5 points per game average.
Perry, a junior forward, was third on the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game and second in rebounding at 7.0.
Also returning for The Rock are starting point guard Aubin Reeves, the No. 2 scorer on the team with a 9.6 points per game average; starting center Luiz Santos, who scored 6.5 points per game and tied Perry for the No. 2 spot on the team's rebounding chart with a 7.0 per game average and sixth man John Bayardelle, who averaged 7.5 points per game.
Slippery Rock led the country last year in rebounding margin (+10.9) and was fifth in field goal percentage defense (.380). Slippery Rock boasts a roster with seven seniors.
The Midshipmen will open their season on Nov. 9 when it hosts Marymount at Alumni Hall at 7:00 PM. For single-game and season-ticket packages, call the Navy Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-US4-NAVY or visit online at NavySports.com(.)
# GO NAVY #