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Navy Men's Hoops to Play Host to Academy Rival Air Force Friday Night

11/27/2003 - Men's Basketball
Navy Men's Hoops to Play Host to Academy Rival Air Force Friday Night

Files associated with this release:
Navy-Air Force/James Madison MBB Notes (N28-30)
Navy MBB Stats (N28)
Navy MBB Player Updates (N28)

Junior Taj Mathews dealt out a career-high eight assists in the Mids home opener against Belmont Monday.

Game 3

Navy vs. Air Force

Friday, Nov. 28, 2003 - 7:30 p.m. EST tip-off

Alumni Hall (5,710) - Annapolis, Md.

Radio: 1430 WNAV (Bob Socci)

TV: None

Officials: Announced Game Day

Series History: Tied, 11-11

Navy (0-2) Probable Starters

# Pos. Player PPG RPG

15 F Leonard Green, So., 6-5, 215 4.5 5.5

32 F Matt Fannin, So., 6-6, 215 8.0 5.0

44 C Carlton Baldwin, , Fr., 6-6, 215 2.5 1.0

5 G David Hooper, So., 6-5, 230 8.5 6.0

24 G Jeff Charles, Sr., 6-4, 200 10.0 6.0

Navy Coach Don DeVoe: In his 12th season at the Naval Academy, DeVoe (Ohio State '64) owns a 179-140 record. In now his 31st year as a collegiate head coach, he has produced a 507-368 mark.

Air Force (1-0) Probable Starters

# Pos. Player PPG RPG

10 F A.J. Kuhle, Sr., 6-5, 189 0.0 2.0

33 F Joel Gerlach, Sr., 6-6, 205 15.0 7.0

40 C David Peterson, Jr., 6-8, 205 2.0 1.0

11 G Tim Keller, Jr., 6-3, 185 12.0 5.0

15 G Antoine Hood, So., 6-5, 189 15.0 3.0

Air Force Coach Joe Scott: In his fourth season at the helm of the Falcons and as a collegiate head coach, Scott (Princeton '94) owns a 30-56 record.

Air Force

2003-04 Record: 1-0

Last game: W, 63-40, vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Navy-Air Force Series

The Mids and Falcons have battled on the hardcourt in each of the last 11 years with Friday's contest the 23rd in the series. The series is tied at 11 wins apiece with the Mids winning three of the last-four contests. Last year, the Falcons stopped the Mids' three-game winning streak with a 56-43 triumph over Navy in Colorado Springs. Navy owns a 7-3 record against the Falcons in games played in Annapolis. The last contest the Mids dropped to Air Force in Annapolis was a 64-63 decision N30, 1997. Rivals on the hardcourt throughout the 70s, the series was discontinued following the 1977 season.

Navy-Air Force

Series Tied, 11-11

Home: 7-3 Road: 3-8 Neutral: 1-0

Date Result Site

J13, 68 L 98-88 Annapolis

J11, 69 L 73-47 Colorado Springs

J15, 72 W 55-53 Annapolis

J13, 73 L 66-55 Colorado Springs

J12, 74 L 54-47 Annapolis

J11, 75 W 51-48 Colorado Springs

J10, 76 W 69-58 Annapolis

J8, 77 L 81-79 (3OT) Colorado Springs

D21, 85 W 70-53 Tokyo, Japan

N27, 93 W 77-63 Annapolis

D6, 93 L 82-70 Colorado Springs

N26, 94 L 85-76 Colorado Springs

D10, 94 W 60-50 Annapolis

N25, 95 W 89-87 Annapolis

D9, 95 L 75-69 Colorado Springs

N30, 96 W 78-59 Colorado Springs

N30, 97 L 64-63 Annapolis

N28, 98 L 97-88 Colorado Springs

N27, 99 W 93-78 Annapolis

D2, 00 W 64-62 Colorado Springs

N24, 01 W 71-53 Annapolis

J4, 03 L 56-43 Colorado Springs

Falcon Bullets

- Junior Tim Keller has made 18-consecutive free throws dating back to last year.

- Air Force's 63-40 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in its opener marked the largest margin of victory in a season-opening game against a D-I opponent in the program's history.

- Senior forward Joel Gerlach has started 77-straight contests for the Falcons.

- The Falcons' 33 boards against APB marked the most in a single game during the Joe Scott era and the most since F26, 2000, when Air Force recorded 38 against UNLV.

- Sophomore forward Nick Welch is set to return after sitting out with a knee injury.

Last Time out ...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Air Force used a stifling zone defense and a barrage of backdoor layups to defeat Navy, 56-43, at Clune Arena last January.

Air Force, which snapped its three-game losing streak against the Mids, was led by A.J. Kuhle's 16 points and seven assists, while Tim Keller chipped in 12 points and four assists along with a game-high six steals.

Air Force jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game before Navy finally got on the board over five minutes into the half on a Mitch Moore layup. The Mids pulled to within three on David Hooper's jumper with 7:57 left in the first half. The Falcons, ranked third in the country in fewest turnovers committed, did not turn the ball over in the opening stanza en route to a 28-18 lead.

Navy's 18 first-half points were the fewest points scored in a half this season by the Mids.

Air Force scored the first-four points of the second half to build a 14-point advantage. However, Navy trimmed the Falcons' lead to 41-34 with 10:01 remaining on a Moore jump shot. Air Force's first-six made field goals in the second half were all layups.

With Air Force ahead 44-37 at the 9:24 mark, the Falcons put the game away with a 12-0 run over the next-six minutes before Navy's Laramie Mergerson scored with 3:03 remaining to stop the run. The Falcons finished the game with 19 assists, while committing just five turnovers. Navy out-rebounded the home squad, 37-23, including a 9-3 advantage on the offensive glass.

Navy's starters combined to score just 16 points in the game, as the Mids were held to their lowest point total since their season-ending 59-41 loss to Holy Cross last year in the Patriot League Tournament. Moore came off the bench to lead the Mids offensively with 12 points, while Scott Long tossed in nine points along with a game-high 12 rebounds.

Game 4

Navy at James Madison

Sunday, Nov. 30, 2003 - 2 p.m. EST tip-off

JMU Convocation Center (7,156) - Harrisonburg, Va.

Radio: 1190 WBIS (Bob Socci)

TV: None

Officials: Announce Game Day

Series History: James Madison leads, 13-10

Navy (0-2) Probable Starters

# Pos. Player PPG RPG

15 F Leonard Green, So., 6-5, 215 4.5 5.5

32 F Matt Fannin, So., 6-6, 215 8.0 5.0

44 C Carlton Baldwin, , Fr., 6-6, 215 2.5 1.0

5 G David Hooper, So., 6-5, 230 8.5 6.0

24 G Jeff Charles, Sr., 6-4, 200 10.0 6.0

Navy Coach Don DeVoe: In his 12th season at the Naval Academy, DeVoe (Ohio State '64) owns a 179-140 record. In now his 31st year as a collegiate head coach, he has produced a 507-368 mark.

James Madison (1-1) Probable Starters

# Pos. Player PPG RPG

2 F David Cooper, So., 6-7, 215 7.5 4.5

30 F Dwayne Broyles, Sr., 6-6, 190 17.0 7.0

50 C Chris Cathlin, Fr., 6-7, 215 4.0 8.0

21 G John Naparlo, So., 6-3, 180 1.0 1.5

32 G Chris Williams, Sr., 6-2, 185 8.5 2.0

James Madison Coach Sherman Dillard: In his seventh season at the helm of the Dukes, Dillard (JMU '78) owns a 87-86 record. In nine years as a collegiate head coach, he has produced a 116-138 mark.

James Madison

2003-04 Record: 1-1

Last game: L, 74-57, vs. West Virginia

Navy-James Madison Series

Once hardcourt rivals, the Mids and Dukes rekindle their series Sunday in Harrisonburg which last saw the two teams play in March of 1991. JMU leads the series, 13-10, including the first five games of the series and seven of the last eight. Navy has won just twice in Harrisonburg over the years. The last Navy win was M2, 1991, an 85-82 overtime victory in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in Richmond. The last Navy victory at JMU was J10, 1987 (95-70).

Navy-James Madison

James Madison Leads, 13-10

Home: 6-4 Road: 2-8 Neutral: 2-1

Date Result Site

J28, 81 L 73-55 Harrisonburg

J27, 82 L 59-49 Annapolis

J26, 83 L 73-63 Harrisonburg

M11, 83 L 72-58 Richmond, Va.

J14, 84 L 65-59 Harrisonburg

F11, 84 W 79-73 Annapolis

J12, 85 W 79-65 Annapolis

F9, 85 L 65-62 Harrisonburg

J9, 86 W 85-54 Annapolis

F8, 86 W 63-51 Harrisonburg

M1, 86 W 81-67 Annapolis

J10, 87 W 95-70 Harrisonburg

F5, 87 W 73-71 Annapolis

M1, 87 W 85-64 Hampton, Va.

J27, 88 W 73-63 Annapolis

F24, 88 L 66-63 Harrisonburg

J7, 89 L 64-60 Harrisonburg

F1, 89 L 74-71 Annapolis

J20, 90 L 76-52 Annapolis

F17, 90 L 80-54 Harrisonburg

J23, 91 L 81-80 Annapolis

F19, 91 L 106-86 Harrisonburg

M2, 91 W 85-82 (OT) Richmond, Va.

Duke Bullets

- After losing eight of its 12 letterwinners from last year, James Madison is newcomer-heavy with four sophomores and six freshmen.

- The Dukes have been picked to finish eight in the CAA according to the media and coaches' polls.

- Freshman Ray Barbosa produced 28 points in his debut, the best performance by a JMU freshman in his first-collegiate game ... he is averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game.

- Though Dwayne Broyles is just 3-for-12 from three-point range, he ranks seventh on JMU's career three-point chart for makes (116) and attempts (319).

Remembering the Days of the CAA

Navy In the CAA

Year Overall CAA

1983 18-11 3-3

1984 24-8 6-4

1985 26-6 11-3

1986 30-5 13-1

1987 26-6 13-1

1988 12-16 6-8

1989 6-22 1-13

1990 5-23 4-10

1991 8-21 2-12

Past CAA Champions (Navy Yrs)

Year Regular Season Tournament

1983 William & Mary James Madison

1984 Richmond Richmond

1985 Navy/Richmond Navy

1986 Navy Navy

1987 Navy Navy

1988 Richmond Richmond

1989 Richmond George Mason

1990 James Madison Richmond

1991 James Madison Richmond

Records Still Held By Navy

(Individual - Game)

Points: 45 by David Robinson

vs. James Madison, J10, 87

FGM: 21 by David Robinson

vs. James Madison, J10, 87

FGA: 40 by David Robinson

vs. James Madison, J10, 87

Rebounds: 22 by Vernon Butler

vs. George Mason, M3, 84 (tied)

Blocks: 14 by David Robinson

vs. UNC Wilmington, J4, 86

Records Still Held By Navy

(Individual - Season)

FTA: 163 by David Robinson, 1986

Records Still Held By Navy

(Team - Season)

3FG%: 49.5% (53-for-107), 1987

Scoring Margin: +15.1, 1986

Navy's CAA Honorees

1984: Vernon Butler

David Robinson, Rookie of the Year

1985: Vernon Butler, First Team

D. Robinson, First Team, Player of the Year

1986: Vernon Butler, First Team

D. Robinson, First Team, Player of the Year

Kylor Whitaker, Second Team

1987: D. Robinson, First Team, Player of the Year

Doug Wojcik, Second Team

1988: Cliff Rees, Second Team

1989: Eddie Reddick, Second Team

1990: Eddie Reddick, Second Team

1991: Erik Harris, First Team

Navy's All-CAA Defensive Team

1987: David Robinson

1988: Byron Hopkins

1991: Erik Harris

Navy's All-CAA Rookie Team

1987: Byron Hopkins

1988: Eddie Reddick, Joe Gottschalk

Navy's All-CAA Academic Team

1987: Neal Fenton

1989: Joe Gottschalk

1990: Sam Cook, Doug Fee, Joe Gottschalk

1991: John Haase

Navy Seeks First Win of 2003-04

The 0-2 Midshipmen will look to pick up their first win of the 2003-04 campaign this weekend when they play host to Academy rival Air Force Friday night, followed by a road contest at James Madison Sunday afternoon. The Air Force-Navy battle is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Hall, while Sunday's contest is slated for a 2 p.m. start in Harrisonburg, Va.

Navy not only is playing two games in three days, by Sunday it will have played three games in seven days.

Media Notice

Because of the Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints football game Sunday afternoon, 1430 WNAV will not carry the Navy vs. James Madison basketball game. Instead, local Annapolis station 1190 WBIS will air the basketball game with Bob Socci calling the action.

Navy-Belmont Recap

Navy scored the first bucket of the game, but Belmont went on to score the next 20 points en route to an 88-71 victory over the Midshipmen.

Senior guard Steve Drabyn scored 14 of the Bruins' first 18 points of the game which included all three of his triples.

The Mids, who were held scoreless for six minutes, snapped Belmont's run when Ofori came off the bench to connect on a three-pointer at the 13:25 mark. That triple sparked a 14-0 run by Navy where Ofori would go on to knock down two more three-pointers.

Down six points with eight minutes to play in the first half, a three-pointer by junior guard Taj Mathews started another Navy run. Junior forward Laramie Mergerson was 1-for-2 from the line, while sophomore David Hooper knocked down a jumper to knot the game at 27-27 with 6:42 remaining in the half.

The two teams exchanged baskets before a triple by freshman guard Josh Goodwin gave the Bruins the lead for good at 5:32 in the first half.

Notes from Belmont Contest

- Freshman Carlton Baldwin made his first start of his young career.

- Sophomore forward Matt Fannin produced his first double-digit scoring game of his career with a career-high 13 points ... he also tied is personal high of six boards.

- Junior Taj Mathews dealt out a career-high eight assists, the most by a Midshipman since last year's Eastern Michigan contest (D28) in which teammate Kwame Ofori dished out eight.

- Belmont's 12 triples tied a Navy record for most three-point baskets made by an opponent ... Wake Forest (2002), Holy Cross (1993) and Michigan (1987) share that record with Belmont.

Break the Streak

Only two teams in Navy's 98-year history have started the season 0-3. In Don DeVoe's first season at the Academy (1992-93), the Mids started the year 0-5 before a one-point decision (57-56) over Eastern Washington gave Navy its first victory of the year. One might be shocked to know that the 1999-2000 squad which produced a 23-6 record also started the year 0-3, losing to Rice, Wake Forest and Richmond.

The 1992-93 team is the only team in school history to start the season 0-5.

Upcoming Milestones

Going into the Belmont contest, several Mids are on the verge of hitting milestone scoring and rebounding marks. With four boards against South Carolina (N21), sophomore forward Matt Fannin reached 50 for his career, while also posting his 80th-career point.

Scoring Pt. Pts. Need for

Kwame Ofori 157 43 200

Taj Mathews 94 6 100

Matt Fannin 93 7 100

Jason Fernandez 77 23 100

Rebounding Reb. Reb. Need for

Jeff Charles 74 26 100

Taj Mathews 64 36 100

Matt Fannin 56 44 100

David Hooper 52 48 100

Navy Vs. the Mountain West

Navy has played four of the eight members of the Mountain West Conference and owns a 12-15 (.444) record against those teams. Outside of Air Force, the Mids own just a 1-4 record vs. the remaining Mountain West squads. Its lone win was a 73-58 victory over Utah in 1962.

Opponent Navy vs. Last Mtg.

Air Force 11-11 J4, 03: L, 56-43

UNLV 0-1 D29, 86: L, 104-79

San Diego State 0-2 J3, 84; L, 88-81

Utah 1-1 M14, 97; L, 75-61

Navy has not played BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico or Wyoming.

Navy Vs. the CAA

As a former member of the Colonial Athletic Association, Navy has played all 10 current members of the conference. The Mids own a 101-164 (.381) record vs. teams from the CAA. Navy has played more games against William & Mary (57) than any other team in the CAA. The Tribe are the last team in which Navy has played from the CAA, that being a D22, 00, 85-69 decision in favor of the Midshipmen. Additionally, since leaving the CAA following the 1990-91 season, Navy's lone opponent from the "old" CAA has been William & Mary.

Opponent Navy vs. Last Mtg.

Delaware 22-8 J4, 93: L, 79-58

Drexel 2-3 D19, 94; L, 82-64

George Mason 9-14 M4, 91; L, 93-86

Hofstra 6-2 N23, 91; L, 85-62

James Madison 10-13 M2, 91; W, 85-82

UNC Wilmington 11-6 F2, 91; L, 87-76

Old Dominion 2-6 F13, 82; L, 81-55

Towson 1-6 N24, 96; L, 76-68

Va. Commonwealth 0-2 J9, 80; L, 87-67

William & Mary 38-19 D22, 00; W, 85-69

Nonleague Ledger

In 12 years of coaching the Midshipmen, Don DeVoe has led his Navy squads to a 74-81 (.477) record against non-Patriot League competition. After a dismal 3-9 mark his first campaign, Navy has produced eight or more nonconference victories in four of the last seven seasons. The Mids have struggled the last two campaigns, producing a combined 9-21 (.300) record in nonconference action.

Year-By-Year Nonconference Record Under Devoe

Yr. W L Pct.

1992-93 3 9 25.0

1993-94 5 8 38.5

1994-95 8 4 66.7

1995-96 6 8 42.9

1996-97 8 7 53.3

1997-98 6 9 66.7

1998-99 11 3 78.6

1999-00 10 4 71.4

2000-01 8 8 50.0

2001-02 5 10 33.3

2002-03 4 9 30.8

2003-04 0 2 00.0

Overall 74 81 47.7

Don DeVoe

Don DeVoe (Ohio State '64) is in his 12th season at the helm of the Navy basketball program. During his tenure in Annapolis, he has amassed a 179-140 (.561) mark. In the process, the Mids hae not only captured at least a share of five Patriot League regular-season titles and three tournament crowns, but they have also advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times. DeVoe has been named Patriot League Coach of the Year three times, including after a record-breaking 1999-00 campaign by the Midshipmen.

One of only 29 active coaches in college basketball to lead three different teams to the NCAA Tournament, DeVoe has compiled a career record of 507-368 (.579) in now his 31st season. He claimed his 500th-career victory in last year's season opener (N22) in a 68-56 triumph over UCF. At the time, he was just the 17th active coach to achieve 500 wins and the 59th all-time.

DeVoe's teams have certainly established a well-balanced attack over the years. Since the 1994-95 season, Navy is 114-22 (.838) when it scores at least 70 points in a game and 40-86 (.317) when it doesn't.

Prior to his arrival at the Naval Academy, DeVoe served as the head coach at Virginia Tech, Wyoming, Tennessee and Florida. He began his coaching career as an assistant to Bob Knight at Army in 1965.

Several of DeVoe's former players and assistant coaches have moved on to become Division I head coaches. Tom Asbury (Pepperdine and Kansas State), Allan Bristow (Charlotte Hornets and Richmond Rhythm), Coleman Crawford (Akron), Emmett Davis (Colgate), Tom Deaton (Tennessee Tech), Jim Hallihan (East Tennessee State), Tom Marryott (Navy-women), Mack McCarthy (Tennessee-Chattanooga and VCU), Sonny Smith (VCU and Auburn) and Charlie Thomas (San Francisco State) all either worked or played for DeVoe.

DeVoe is married to the former Ana Garcia and they have three children -Donna Lee Roberts, Elliott Dean, and Ana Lise.

The Dean

With 31 years of head coaching experience in his back pocket, Navy head coach Don DeVoe owns more career wins than any other active coach in the Patriot League with 507. In turn, he also has more wins at Navy than any other league coach has at his respective institution. DeVoe has also produced more wins in Patriot League action than any other coach in the history of the league. He also owns more Patriot League Tournament victories than any other active coach.

Home sweet Home

For the second-consecutive season, Navy will play 15 of its 27 regular-season contests in the friendly confines of Alumni Hall. Last season, the Mids played eight of its first-11 contests at home. This year, Navy will play eight of its first-12 games at Alumni Hall, including two sets of three-straight games - D13 Gettysburg, D18 Washington (Md.), D20 Ohio and D27 Mount St. Mary's, D31 SMU, J3 Loyola (Md.).

Alumni Hall

The Mids have traditionally been known as a strong home court team. Navy was 15-2 at Alumni Hall during the 2000-01 campaign, winning 15 in a row while boasting a 6-0 league mark at home.

Navy is 59-20 (.749) against Patriot League foes and 56-26 (.683) versus nonconference opponents under head coach Don DeVoe (115-46, .714). In DeVoe's first-two seasons in Annapolis, the Mids were a combined 10-7 (.588) against league opponents at home. Since then, Navy has produced a 49-13 (.790) record against league teams at Alumni Hall.

321 out of 321

The Mids are averaging 27.5 turnovers per game, the worst average in Div. I basketball this season. While Navy ranks 321st, it has plenty of company surrounding it. Nicholls State is tied for 316th with its average of 26.0, Davidson is 319th averaging 26.5 and Cleveland State is 320th averaging 27.0.

Road Woes

Over the last six years, the Mids have posted a 24-39 (.381) record on the road, versus a 53-22 (.707) mark in games played at Alumni Hall. Over the last three seasons, Navy has produced a 3-22 (.120) road mark and an 0-5 neutral site record.

Yr. Home Road Neutral

1998-99 12-2 6-4 1-1

1999-00 15-2 7-4 1-0

2000-01 11-3 8-9 0-0

2001-02 8-6 2-10 0-4

2002-03 7-8 1-11 0-1

2003-04 0-1 0-1 0-0

Total 53-22 24-39 2-6

Lack of Points

The 40 points were the fewest points scored by a Navy team since Feb. 10, 1979 (729 games) when the Mids lost at Penn State, 43-40, and it was the worst loss suffered by the Mids since Nov. 22, 1999, when Navy lost to another Dave Odom-coached club, Wake Forest, 90-55.

Scoring Turnabout

After scoring the fewest points in 24 years, Navy equalled its point total against South Carolina (N21) in the first half of the Belmont contest (N24). The Mids scored 40 points in the first stanza against the Bruins and turned in 31 points in the second half.

oh Those Turnovers

Navy turned the ball over 30 times against South Carolina (N21), the most turnovers by the Midshipmen since their 33-blemish match-up at Lafayette, F11, 2001. Despite its 33 TOs, the Mids lost the game by just nine points.

Breaking Milestones

After producing his 500th-career win in last year's season opener, Navy head coach Don DeVoe is quickly embarking on two additional milestones. He is 21 wins from recording his 200th victory at the Naval Academy, and nine wins away from 100 in Patriot League play. In doing so, he would become the first coach in Patriot League history to reach 100 conference wins.

Navy Firsts

Four Navy players earned their first varsity minutes in the Mids' season opener at South Carolina (N21). Sophomore forward Leonard Green not only played in his first varsity contest, he was awarded a starting forward position. In addition to Green, freshmen Carlton Baldwin, David Rhoiney and Calvin White earned playing time.

Green, Not So

Navy sophomore forward Leonard Green had no signs of inexperience in the Mids' season opener at South Carolina (N21). In his debut, Green produced four points and seven rebounds, while adding team highs in assists (3) and blocks (2). With that effort, few would know it was his first varsity performance. He followed up with a five-point, four board effort, while adding a pair of assist in Navy's home opener against Belmont (N24).

On The Boards

Despite a sizable height difference between the Midshipmen and Gamecocks (N21), Navy held its own on the boards. The final stats showed the two teams each grabbing 37 rebounds, after Navy owned a four-board (20-16) lead at halftime.

Charles Fulfills New Role

Navy senior Jeff Charles has been summoned to run the point for the Mids this season. In the Mids' exhibition (N16), Charles scored 16 points, while adding 14 boards, seven assists, four blocks and two assists. Against South Carolina (N21), Charles produced a career-high 13 points, eight boards, two assists, a block and a steal. He was 6-for-9 (.667) from the field, the most field goals he has made in a single game in his four-year career. His eight caroms also were a career best.

Hey Ref, How About a Foul?

The Midshipmen were awarded just five trips to the free throw line at South Carolina (N21). It marked the fewest free throws taken by Navy since F3, 1996, when the Mids were 3-for-4 against Bucknell. Perhaps the more alarming stat in that contest was the fact the Bison were 31-for-40 from the charity stripe in a 72-60 Bucknell victory in Lewisburg.

In that same season, the Mids were sent to the free throw line just three times against William & Mary, while the Tribe were 11-for-19.

Youth Exposed

The team Navy put out on the court in its opener was one of the youngest in Academy history. The Mids dressed three seniors, three juniors, five sophomores and four freshmen. Obviously the four freshmen had never competed in a varsity game, but neither had two of the five sophomores dressing. Leonard Green and Kelvin Boatner were members of Navy's junior varsity squad last year, while Mike Higgins played in 20 games as a freshman, but that was three years ago. He's been away from basketball for two years fulfilling a Mormon Mission. Taj Mathews is the lone junior with experience. Classmates George O'Garro has played a combined 22 minutes in six contests, while Laramie Mergerson has played 98 minutes in 17 games. The senior class has a fair amount of experience, but all three players are back court products.

Higgins Homecoming

If the name Mike Higgins sounds familiar, you are right. But if you don't recall hearing his name from PA announcer Greg Davis over the last few years, you'd be right, as well. The sophomore forward out of South Jordan, Utah, entered the Naval Academy in the fall of 2000 and should be graduating with this year's three-member senior class. But Higgins left the Academy following his freshman year to complete a two-year Mormon Mission in Eastern Europe, primarily in the region of the Czech Republic. He returned to Annapolis this past summer and has been working to get back in shape and regain his shooting touch.

Navy In Season Openers

Navy has not fared well in season openers played away from the Academy under Don DeVoe. In fact, the Mids are 0-7 in openers played on the road since 1992, including their 33-point loss to South Carolina (N21) in Columbia. The Mids have been outscored, 532-434, on the road and have outscored their foes, 396-318, at home.

The Mids have won just two of their last-seven openers.

Season Openers Under DeVoe (5-7)

Home: 5-0; Road: 0-7

1992-93 @ St. Bonaventure L 83-74

1993-94 Air Force W 77-63

1994-95 @ Air Force L 85-76

1995-96 Air Force W 89-87

1996-97 Coast Guard W 84-51

1997-98 @ Wake Forest L 67-43

1998-99 Rice W 78-61

1999-00 @ Rice L 70-64 OT

2000-01 @ Texas L 79-65

2001-02 @ Rice L 75-72

2002-03 UCF W 68-56

2003-04 @ South Carolina L 73-40

Mids Claim Exhibition Win

The Navy basketball team posted a four-point, 77-73 victory over Team Champion N16 in its only exhibition contest of the year. Three Mids recorded double-figure scoring marks, including sophomore David Hooper who produced a team-high 28 points. Hooper at one point was 5-for-5 from behind the arc. In addition to his five triples, he was 7-for-14 from the field and 9-for-10 from the charity stripe. Senior Jeff Charles took over the point guard position this year and his debut was stellar. He recorded 16 points, 14 boards, seven assists, four blocks and two steals. Finally, freshman Carlton Baldwin made an impressive debut, as well, as he pitched in 10 points, seven rebounds, two block and a pair of steals.

Future Officers

Navy's three seniors recently submitted their service selections for which they will fulfill upon graduation this May. Team captain Jason Fernandez will be a supply corps officer, while Jeff Charles has requested surface warfare and Kwame Ofori has selected submarines. The Mids will find out their final duties Friday, F6, the eve of Navy's home basketball contest vs. Lehigh.

Service Selections Offered


Aviation - pilot, flight officer

Nuclear Propulsion - ships, submarines

Restricted Line and Staff Corps - intelligence, cryptology, medicine, civil engineering, supply, aviation maintenance, meteorology/oceanography

Special Operations and Special Warfare - explosive ordinance disposal (EDO), mine countermeasures, operational diving and salvage, explosive ordinance management, SEALs

Surface Warfare - conventional, nuclear powered


Marine Corps

Ground - infantry, armor, artillery, logistics, engineering, communications-information systems, financial management, military police

Aviation - pilot, flight officer, air command and control, anti-air warfare, aviation maintenance, aviation supply

Staff Changes

Over the summer, the Navy coaching staff underwent a bit of a facelift. Former assistant Tom Marryott earned a coaching opportunity he couldn't refuse - the head coach of the Navy women's basketball team. Meanwhile, Nathan Davis parted ways for a position at Bucknell.

In July, Dave Wojcik and Blake Flickner were added, while former Academy standout Matt Sladky came aboard as an assistant coach and junior varsity officer representative. Wojcik, the younger brother of former Naval Academy guard and assistant coach Doug Wojcik, guided Wheeling Central Catholic High School to back-to-back West Virginia State Championships in 2002 and 2003. Prior to his success on the high school level, he served as an assistant coach at Loyola College (Md.) and Xavier under Skip Prosser, who is the head coach at Wake Forest.

Flickner came to the Academy from Colorado State where he had been on staff since 2001.

A lieutenant in the United States Navy, Sladky returned to the Academy over the summer and has volunteered his time to the basketball program. A three-year letterwinner (1996-98) for the Mids, he averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds under Don DeVoe.

Happy Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1953-54 team in which Ben Carnevale led to the NCAA Tournament East Region which claimed wins over 19th-ranked Connecticut (85-80) and Cornell (69-67) before losing to eventual National Champion La Salle (64-48).

Additionally, it's the 45th anniversary of the 1958-59 squad which also played in the NCAA Tournament East Region. That squad beat No. 9 North Carolina in the first round, 76-63, and Boston University, 62-55, in the second round before dropping a 70-56 decision to St. Joseph's.

Finally, it was 10 years ago that Don DeVoe led the Mids to the NCAA Tournament in his second year at the helm of the Navy program. After defeating Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament championship game, Navy met No. 5 Missouri in Ogden, Utah, where the Tigers defeated the Mids, 76-53. It was Navy's first NCAA Tournament bid since the 1986-87 campaign, David Robinson's senior year.

Diaper Brigade

Nine new faces joined the Navy basketball team this fall, with four of those players - Carlton Baldwin, Thom Knapp, David Rhoiney and Calvin White - on the dress list for this weekend's games. The other five freshmen are Dan Callis,Mike Glasby, Tim Henderson, Ronald Lewis and Clint McCrary.



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