Men's Basketball to Open Season at Towson Friday
Junior Worth Smith
Nov. 6, 2013
Navy (0-0) at Towson (0-0)
Friday, November 8, 2013 | 7:30 PM (ET)
Towson, Md. | SECU Arena (5,200)
Navy Game Notes
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com)
Live Video | Live Statistics | Live Radio | Twitter Updates
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's basketball team will open the 2013-14 season at Towson on Friday night at the grand opening of SECU Arena. Friday's basketball arena opening will be a doubleheader with the Navy and Towson women playing at 5:00 PM.
Friday's Navy-Towson men's basketball game will be aired by WNAV Radio (1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com) with Pete Medhurst on the play-by-play and Michael Heary as the analyst. Live statistics and live video will be available
This is the 107th season of men's basketball at the Naval Academy.
Navy has an all-time record of 1,306-964 (.575).
Third-year head coach Ed DeChellis returns five starters from last year's 8-23 squad and welcomes nine newcomers.
Navy was picked to finish 10th in the Patriot League preseason poll by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Patriot League has expanded to 10 teams with the addition of Boston University and Loyola.
Junior forward Worth Smith is Navy's leading returning scorer and rebounder. Smith averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds last season. Smith also ranked third in the Patriot League with 1.2 blocks per game and was sixth with 1.1 steals per game.
Smith became the only Navy player behind David Robison to score 500 points, grab 300 rebounds, 150 rebounds, 30 blocks and 30 steals.
Sophomore point guard Tilman Dunbar is back after averaging 9.5 points and 4.9 assists. Dunbar ranked second in the Patriot League in assists and set the freshmen single season record.
Dunbar ranked seventh in the nation among freshmen with 4.9 assists per game.
Dunbar also set a Navy record for most games started by a freshman (31).
Dunbar was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team last season.
Sophomore forward Will Kelly came on strong late in the season and started the final 10 games.
Kelly averaged 5.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in the last 10 games and had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against Lehigh.
Junior guard Brandon Venturini is back after making 67 three-pointers last season and averaging 8.8 points.
Venturini had the third-best jump in scoring average of any Patriot League player from 2012 to 2013. Venturini increased his average by 6.0, from 2.2 to 8.2 points per game.
Sophomore guard Kendall Knorr averaged 20.4 minutes last season and 5.8 points.
Knorr sunk 31 three-pointers, ranking second on the team in the category. The 31 three-pointers were the eighth most in program history by a freshman.
Knorr ranked sixth in the country last season in free throw percentage by a freshman (minimum 30 attempts). Knorr shot 86.7 percent from the line (26-of-30).
Navy will carry two seniors this season in guard Thurgood Wynn and forward James Loupos.
Wynn started 28 games last season and averaged 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 16.7 minutes.
Wynn has played in 79 career games.
Loupos started 12 games last season, averaging 2.5 points, 1.9 rebounds in 15.3 minutes.
Loupos has played in a team-best 89 career games.
Navy welcomes nine freshmen to the program this season. Four plebes to watch will be guards Michael Brown and Grant Vermeer and forwards Edward Alade and James Hemphill.
The story of the 2012-13 season was taking care of the ball and defense. Navy averaged just 11.3 turnovers per game, the fewest in school history by over two turnovers per game, while ranking 17th nationally.
Navy also excelled on the defensive end of the floor, where Navy allowed just 60.9 points per game, the third-lowest total in school history and the lowest for a Navy squad since 1962.
The Mids ranked 42nd nationally in scoring defense, their lowest rank in over 30 years.
Navy enters the 2013-14 season having made at least one three-pointer in 305 consecutive games.
Navy in Season Openers
The Navy-Towson contest will be Navy's 107th season opener.
Navy is 78-28 (.736) all-time in season openers and 2-0 under Coach DeChellis.
Navy has won two straight season openers and three of its last four.
Navy defeated Marymount, 75-48, to open the 2012-13 season and bested Longwood, 78-70 in the 2011-12 season opener.
The Mids opened the 2008-09 season at Towson, falling, 86-68.
Navy is 0-1 all-time on November 8. The Mids lost at Texas, 83-52, on Nov. 8, 2010.
Towson has been picked as the preseason favorites to win the Colonial Athletic Association.
Towson had the biggest turnaround in NCAA history last season. Towson was 1-31 in 2011-12 before going 18-13 (13-5 CAA) last year.
Towson placed second in the CAA standings but was banned from postseason play due to low APR scores.
Senior forward Jerrelle Beninom, the 2012-13 CAA Player of the Year, returns after averaging 17.1 points and 11.2 rebounds last year. Beninom played at Georgetown during his first two seasons.
Senior forward Marcus Damas is also back after averaging 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Towson has also added Vermont transfer guard Four McGlynn. McGlynn made 68 three-pointers at Vermont in 2012.
Towson played two exhibition games this preseason. The Tigers defeated Mansfield, 85-65, and defeated Bloomsburg, 86-65.
Senior Rafriel Guthrie scored 32 points in the win over Mansfield.
Towson head coach Pat Skerry enters his third season at Towson. He came to Towson after a stint as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh.
Skerry was named the 2013 CAA Coach of the Year.
Series History vs. Towson
Towson leads the all-time series against Navy, 7-4.
However, Navy won the last two meetings in 2010 (89-84) and 2009 (87-70).
Towson holds a 3-2 edge in games at Towson, but this will be the first game in the brand new SECU Arena.
Navy is 98-61 all-time against schools that are currently in the CAA.
Navy was a member of the CAA from 1986 to 1991.
Only two current Navy players have seen action against Towson, seniors Thurgood Wynn and James Loupos.
Navy will next face Saint Francis U on Monday at 7:00 PM. The game will be played on Veterans Day and will be contested in the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pa. about 30 miles from Saint Francis U's campus in Loretto, Pa. Navy is 2-1 all-time against the Red Flash, who were 5-24 last season.