Navy Closes Out Homestand Wednesday vs. Binghamton
Jared Smoot ranks seventh in the Patriot League in rebounding (6.5 rpg).
Nov. 13, 2012
Binghamton (0-2) at Navy (1-1)
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Annapolis, Md. | Alumni Hall (5,710) | 7:00 PM (ET)
All-Access Video: NavySports.com ($9.95 / month)
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM / www.wnav.com)
Radio: WTOP (1050 AM)
Announcers: Pete Medhurst (play-by-play), Michael Heary (analyst)
Tickets: 1-800-US4-NAVY / NavySports.com
Series: First Meeting
DOLLAR CONCESSION SPECIALS -- Select items at the concessions stands will only be $1.
CANNED FOOD DRIVE -- Donate a non-perishable good and get into the game for only $3 a person.
AUTOGRAPH SESSION -- The Navy Hockey team will sign autographs at halftime of the game.
All fans without a Department of Defense sticker affixed to their vehicle will need to either park outside of the Naval Academy and walk through the security checkpoint or else ride the free shuttle bus to and from the matches. The shuttle bus will originate from and return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (parking is $5 per vehicle).
Season-ticket holders are able to park on The Yard, as they should have received a pass from the Naval Academy for entry onto campus.
Wednesday's Game Basics
Navy looks to bounce back from Sunday's 54-49 overtime loss to Siena when Binghamton comes to Annapolis for the first meeting between the two teams on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 PM (ET) from Alumni Hall and tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY or online at NavySports.com(.) The contest will be available on the radio dial on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM, wnav.com) and WTOP (1050 AM) with Pete Medhurst and Michael Heary providing the call courtside. It will also be streamed online as part of the Navy All-Access platform and live stats and Twitter updates will be available as well.
In Search of a Milestone Win
Navy will be looking for its 1,300th victory all-time on Wednesday in its 106th year of basketball. The Mids have played 2,241 games, owning a 1,299-942 record (.580).
Binghamton fell to 0-2 on the season with a 58-49 loss at home to Brown on Sunday. The Bearcats dropped their season opener, 71-45, to Loyola, Md., on Friday night.
The Bearcats struggled last year, finishing with a 2-29 record and a 1-15 mark in the America East Conference. However, first-year head coach Tommy Dempsey came to Binghamton after seven strong years at Rider and has the program back on the upswing.
Binghamton is averaging just 47.0 points per game and is shooting 33.0 percent in their two losses so far. Leading the way is guard Jimmy Gray, who paces the Bearcats in scoring (9.5 ppg) and assists (3.0 apg).
Taylor Johnston and Rayner Moquette average 8.0 points per game each and four other players average at least 4.5 points per game.
Binghamton is getting outrebounded by an average of 12.5 rebounds per game.
Wednesday's game will be the first meeting between the two squads.
Navy has played five of the nine teams currently in the America East Conference, owning a 13-12 mark against the league.
The most common opponent has been UMBC. The Midshipmen own an 8-4 series lead against the Retrievers, but are 5-8 against the eight other teams in the league.
Boston U. will be competing in its final year in the league, as it will join the Patriot League next season, meaning Navy will play the Terriers at least twice a year.
Navy's will also play Albany from the America East this year, as the Great Danes come to Annapolis on December 28.
Siena Recap / Post-Game Notes
Siena outscored Navy, 7-2, in overtime to hand the Midshipmen a 54-49 loss at Alumni Hall on Sunday afternoon. The loss denied Navy's bid to start its second straight season with a 2-0 mark.
Navy trailed by six with just a minute to play, but Tilman Dunbar scored four straight points and Jerome Alexander hit a 19-footer with 20 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
The two teams combined to shoot just 7-of-45 (.156) from three-point range and 1-of-13 (.077) from the field in overtime. Unfortunately, Navy went 0-of-8 from the field in the extra session.
Navy lost its third straight overtime game in its 54-49 loss to Siena, dating back to last season.
Navy is now 39-49 all-time in overtime games, and 27-43 in games decided in one overtime session.
Navy's two points in overtime tied a school record for fewest points scored in an overtime period, set two other times (Nov. 28, 2009 vs. Mount St. Mary's; March 1, 1980 vs. Old Dominion).
Navy's 49 points were the fewest scored in an overtime game since Jan. 30, 1982 (a 47-46 loss to William & Mary), a span of 48 overtime contests.
Ten different players played at least 10 minutes.
Department of Defense
Yes, we know it is early, but Navy has put up some pretty good numbers on the defensive end, showing a new commitment to that side of the ball.
The Midshipmen lead the Patriot League in scoring defense (51.0 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.330) and is second in three-point percentage defense (.167). Teams have made just 36-of-109 shots against Navy and 6-of-36 three-point tries.
Nationally, according to the stat service BBState.com (through Monday's games), Navy ranks high on the lists.
Of teams that have played at least two games, the Midshipmen are 11th in the country in scoring defense behind Mercer (two D-III games), Loyola, Ill., Minnesota, TCU, Texas, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Valparaiso, Seton Hall and Delaware State.
On the field goal percentage defense list, Navy is tied for seventh behind Minnesota, Iowa State, Texas, Seton Hall, Hawai'i and Rider.
Navy held its second straight opponent to under 55 points, the first time that Navy has done that since Dec. 17-20, 2006 (Delaware Valley College and Washington, Md.). The last time Navy held three straight opponents under 55 points was Feb. 14-26, 2000 (four games).
Navy held Siena to just 32.7 percent from the field, the lowest percentage for an opponent since George Washington shot 31.0 percent on Dec. 5, 2010. The percentage is the lowest in a Navy loss since Mount St. Mary's shot 27.9 percent in a 62-58 Mount win on Dec. 3, 2007.
Freshman Class Gives Spark
The Navy freshman class showed off its talent this weekend, combining for 50 points, 21 rebounds, 13 assists and four steals in just 158 minutes of action. The group is shooting 20-of-49 (.408) from the field.
In Sunday's loss to Siena, freshmen scored the last 14 points of regulation, spanning the last nine minutes. Dunbar had 10 of the points while Alexander had the other four.
Tilman Dunbar became the second straight freshman (Kevin Alter vs. Longwood last year) to start the season opener at point guard when he did so against Marymount. He was the 17th freshman all-time to start in a season opener. In addition, he was the fifth freshman to do so at point guard (Alter, Corey Johnson in 2004-05, Erik Harris in 1987-88, Bruce Grooms in 1976-77).
Kendall Knorr became the first freshman to score in double figures in a season opener since Trey Stanton and T.J. Topercer each scored 17 points in the 2006-07 season opener against Loyola, Md. Knorr finished Friday's game against Marymount with 13 points.
The group boasts three of the top five scorers on the team and its 50 points account for 40.3 percent of Navy's scoring so far this year.
With no one superstar on the roster, Navy may have to resort to a more-balanced attack in 2012-13. That seemed to suit the Midshipmen just fine as eight different players are averaging between 5.5 and 10.5 points per game. On the rebounding front, six players average between 3.5 and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Taking Care of the Ball
Navy has turned the ball over just 25 times this year, including just 10 times in the loss to Siena on Sunday. The 25 turnovers are the fewest in the first two games of the season since the 2006-07 team also had just 25 turnovers in the first two games. Prior to that, it came in the 1985-86 season (24 turnovers).
Against Siena, Navy had just three turnovers in the second half and overtime and none in the last 14:49 of the contest.
Navy also boasts an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.04 (26-to-25). Navy hasn't had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.00 or better since 1996-97.
Dunbar Does It
Head coach Ed DeChellis may have finally found his point guard of now and the future in freshman Tilman Dunbar. The speedy plebe from Fairfax, Va., and powerhouse Paul VI Catholic, leads the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg).
In the win over Marymount, Dunbar's seven assists were the most for a freshman in a season opener in school history, surpassing the six set previously by Scott Holden (1993-94 vs. Air Force) and Erik Harris (1987-88 vs. Mount St. Mary's). In addition, his seven assists tied for the eighth most by a freshman in a single game in school history.
Then in the overtime loss to Siena, Dunbar scored 13 points with five assists against just one turnover in 35 minutes of action. He scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half and overtime with 10 of them coming in the final nine minutes of regulation, which enabled Navy to rally and send the game into overtime.
Through Monday's games, Dunbar ranks second in the Patriot League in assists (behind Lehigh's Mackey McKnight) and among freshmen nationally, he ranks fourth in the country in assists per game.
Ventu-THREE-ni Has Great Floor Game
Sophomore guard Brandon Venturini may have struggled from the floor against Siena, but he picked it up in other areas. The 6-0, 180-pound sophomore grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists and grabbed two steals in the loss to the Saints. He became the first player to grab 10 defensive rebounds since Jordan Sugars grabbed 10 defensive rebounds against American on Feb. 24, 2010.
He also became the first guard with 10 rebounds and five assists in the same game since Kaleo Kina had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists against Bucknell on Feb. 7, 2009.
Venturini currently ranks 20th in PL in scoring (9.0), 11th in rebounding (5.5), fourth in assists (4.5) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.50). He has nine assists against just two turnovers and has surpassed his career high in assists in each of the last two games.
Venturini had a big game in the season opener against Marymount, pouring in a career-high 16 points with a then-career-high four assists against no turnovers in 27 minutes. He connected on 4-of-7 three-point attempts, also setting career highs in both categories.
It marked the first time in his career he led the team in scoring and he scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half. He entered the contest with just 74 career points and he upped his career scoring average 0.5 points after Friday's performance.
Starting Backcourt Doing It All
The starting backcourt of Tilman Dunbar and Brandon Venturini have accounted for 21 assists against just seven turnovers so far this year for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.00. The duo had 11 assists against four turnovers against Marymount and 10 assists against three turnovers versus Siena.
Combined, the pair is averaging 19.5 points per game, 10.5 assists per game and 7.5 rebounds per game in 62.5 minutes of action.
Knorr Knocks Them Down
Despite struggling against Siena, Kendall Knorr showed what kind of shooter he can be as well, as he scored 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 4-of-4 from the free throw line in his first career game against Marymount.
Knorr had a perfect first half, making both of his field goal attempts (both three-pointers) and all four of his free throw attempts. On all four of his free throw attempts, the ball did not touch the rim.
His three three-pointers were the most for a freshman in a season opener since Trey Stanton had four and T.J. Topercer had three against Loyola, Md., to tip off the 2006-07 season.
He made his two three-pointers in the last minute of the first half, including a buzzer-beater from the left corner. He also had a buzzer-beater before halftime against Slippery Rock that went in, but was waved off after an official replay.
Including the Slippery Rock exhibition contest, Knorr has scored 25 points with eight rebounds on 7-of-17 three-point attempts in just 49 minutes of action. He has attempted just one two-point field goal in the three contests.
Big Men Getting Better
Navy's two primary centers had big games last Friday to help the Midshipmen to victory, and their development is key to this year's success.
Centers Jared Smoot and Will Kelly combined for 11 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks while going 5-of-5 from the field in just 31 minutes.
Smoot recorded career highs in points (9), rebounds (7) and blocked shots (2) while Kelly scored two points and grabbed six rebounds in his first career action against Marymount.
Against Siena, the pair combined for eight rebounds in 43 minutes.
So far this year, the duo has accounted for 13 points, 21 rebounds and two blocked shots in a combined 74 minutes of action, an average of 6.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg between them. Per 40 minutes, the pair is averaging 7.0 ppg and 11.4 rpg, numbers that DeChellis would take in a heartbeat from the center position.
Making Big Plays in Big Games
Over the last two games, the Midshipmen have shown the ability to make some big plays.
None was bigger than freshman Jerome Alexander's 19-foot jumper with 20 seconds left against Siena that tied the game at 47, sending the contest into overtime. He became the first freshman since Corey Johnson hit a 30-footer with no time left in the Patriot League Quarterfinals against American on March 4, 2005, to send a game into overtime or to win a game on a field goal with under 30 seconds left.
Kendall Knorr hit a three-pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded against Marymount, which capped off a 19-0 run and gave Navy a 45-24 halftime lead.
Tilman Dunbar connected on lay-ups with 54 and 32 seconds left in regulation to help set up Alexander's shot against Siena. Navy trailed 47-41 with a minute left against the Saints.
It should come as no surprise that the trio has made big shots. Dunbar played on one of the top high school teams in the country last year and won a game in the prestigious Alhambra Tournament with no time left on the clock. Alexander dominated late in the stretch of the 2011 Virginia State Championship game, and Knorr was instrumental in his team's appearance in the state title game as a sophomore.
# GO NAVY #