Mids Aim For Third Straight Win on Saturday at Tulane
Nov. 30, 2012
Game Notes | Live Video ($9.95 / month) | Gametracker | Twitter Updates
Navy (4-4) at Tulane (5-2)
Saturday, December 1, 2012
New Orleans, La. | Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) | 4:00 PM (ET)
All-Access Video: TulaneGreenWave.com ($9.95 / month)
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM / www.wnav.com)
Radio: WTOP (1050 AM)
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS (CH. 134), XM (Ch. 198)
Announcer: Pete Medhurst
Series: Tulane Leads, 1-0 (Nov. 22, 2011; Tulane, 57-55)
Saturday's Game Basics
After playing at home for just one game on Wednesday, Navy returns to the road again to kick off a three-game roadtrip on Saturday, when it travels to the Big Easy to face Conference USA member Tulane at 4:00 PM (ET). The Midshipmen enter the contest with a 4-4 overall mark following its second straight win, a 54-49 decision over IPFW, while Tulane comes into the contest with a 5-2 mark after a 69-57 victory over Loyola (La.) on Tuesday. The contest will be streamed online as part of Tulane's All-Access platform ($9.95 / month), while Pete Medhurst will handle Navy's radio call on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM), WTOP (1050 AM) and SIRIUS (Ch. 134) and XM (198) satellite radio. All the links, including live stats and Twitter (@NavyAthletics), will be available on NavySports.com.
Five Things To Know
1) Navy has already surpassed last year's win total (3) when it won its fourth game of the year on Wednesday with a 54-49 victory over IPFW. Navy's .500 record (4-4) is the program's best November record since the 2008-09 team (19-11 overall) went 5-1 during the month. All seven of Navy's wins during the Ed DeChellis era have come during the month of November (7-9 during the month).
2) Through Wednesday night's games, Navy ranks 13th in the country in scoring defense, limiting its opponents to just 53.4 points per game. The Midshipmen have held seven of their eight opponents to 54 or fewer points with four of them scoring 49 or fewer points. Just one opponent, UAB, has scored more than 55 points against Navy this year.
3) Navy has done a great job sharing the basketball this year, compiling 103 assists on its 167 made field goals. Navy ranks 38th nationally in percentage of assisted baskets at 62.9 percent. The Mids are attempting to have an assist-to-turnover ratio of greater than 1.00 for the first time since 1996-97. Navy is off to a good start having 103 assists against 96 turnovers (1.07) so far this year.
4) Speaking of turnovers, Navy has done a great job so far this year taking care of the ball. The Midshipmen are averaging just 12.0 turnovers per game to rank 61st nationally and is on pace to have the lowest turnover average in school history by a large margin (1987 - 13.4 per game). The Midshipmen are +2.50 in turnover margin and have recorded 11 or fewer turnovers five times already this year.
5) Navy's outside shooting is getting hotter as the weather cools down. Over the last two games, Navy is 14-of-29 (.483) from three-point range having gone 7-of-16 (.438) vs. Delaware State and 7-13 (.538) against IPFW. Navy is shooting 34.8 percent from distance this year which is significantly better than last year's school-record low 28.1 percent. In the recent two-game span, Brandon Venturini and Kendall Knorr are a combined 12-of-19 (.632) from beyond the three-point line.
IPFW Post-Game Notes
Navy won its second straight game for the first time since the start of the 2011-12 season with a 54-49 decision over IPFW on Wednesday night at Alumni Hall. Navy led from start to finish, holding off every IPFW charge in the second half for the five-point victory.
Navy would surge to a 14-2 lead six-plus minutes into the game and after the Mastadons whittled the lead to 18-16, Navy scored the last six points of the half for a 24-16 halftime lead.
IPFW would close to 31-30 with 10:41 to play when freshman Kendall Knorr used a five-minute scoring spree to fuel an 18-6 run and give Navy a 49-36 advantage with 4:30 left. Knorr scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in a five-minute span to lift the Navy offense.
After IPFW cut the lead to 52-49, Worth Smith connected on two free throws with 3.0 seconds left for the final margin. Navy left the door open for the Mastadons with poor free throw shooting as the Midshipmen went just 7-of-14 (.500) from the charity stripe.
Knorr tied a freshman school record for most made field goals in a game without missing when he went 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 from three-point range for a career-high 15 points. Brandon Venturini added 11 points and Worth Smith chipped in with 10.
Navy was outrebounded, 36-26, but had just 11 turnovers to IPFW's 17. The Mastadons became the sixth team this year (out of eight) to shoot under 37.0 percent from the field against Navy, shooting right at 37.0 percent. Navy shot 44.4 percent from the field, including 10-of-19 (.526) in the second half, the highest percentage for a half this season.
Navy won for the first time since Feb. 26, 2011 against Colgate when being outrebounded. Navy had lost 23 straight games when being outrebounded. The Mastadons outrebounded Navy by 10, 36-26.
Navy also won for the first time since that same game against Colgate when its opponent shoots more free throws than the Midshipmen. Navy had lost 19 straight games when that happened, dating back to Feb. 26, 2011. IPFW had 15 free throw attempts to Navy's 14.
Navy snapped a 20-game losing streak when being held to 59 or fewer points, dating back to a 57-52 decision over Lafayette on Feb. 12, 2011.
Navy made at least 50.0 percent of its three-point attempts in a game for the first time since an 89-84 decision over Towson on November 24, 2010 (11-of-22 from 3-pt. range). The Midshipmen went 7-of-13 (.538) in Wednesday's win over IPFW.
Navy had three players score in double figures for the fifth time this year. When Navy has at least two players in double figures this year, the Midshipmen are 4-2.
Navy has now surpassed last year's win total with its fourth win of the year on Wednesday night against IPFW. Navy went 3-26 last year.
Navy has had six different players score in double figures this year and four different players have led the team in scoring. Navy does not have a double-digit scorer this year, but has nine players averaging between 3.3 and 9.6 points per game. Twelve players average between 9.0 and 30.3 minutes per game.
Navy is one of the youngest teams in America, boasting six freshmen and six sophomores on its current roster. Navy returned just 13 years of collegiate experience on its roster entering the season. In the season opener against Marymount, Navy's five starters had 22 career starts between them with Worth Smith accounting for 17 of them.
Over the last three first halves of games (Prairie View A&M, Delaware State, IPFW), Navy held its three opponents to 51 combined points (17.0 ppg) while foes shot just 19-of-77 (.247) from the field and 6-of-39 (.154) from three-point range. All three opponents scored 20 or fewer points in the first half (Prairie View A&M - 15; Delaware State - 20; IPFW - 16).
Meanwhile, Navy's offense has heated up in the second half of the last two games. The Midshipmen are 21-of-40 (.525) from the field in the second half of the last two games, shooting over 50.0 percent in both contests. The two occurrences mark the only times this year that Navy has shot over 50.0 percent in a half.
Following Wednesday's win over IPFW in which Navy committed just 13 fouls, the Midshipmen are now down to 35th nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (14.8 per game). The Midshipmen committed just eight fouls in the win over Delaware State last Saturday, tied for the second fewest in a game in school history.
Navy enters Saturday's game with Tulane ranked 13th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 53.4 points per game. The Midshipmen are 35th nationally in points allowed per possession (0.86) and just Delaware State, TCU and UAB have been above 0.90 points per possession. Last year, Navy held just 7-of-29 foes to 1.00 points per possession or less.
Navy also ranks fifth nationally in three-point percentage defense (.228). The Mids had been second entering the contest with IPFW, but the Mastadons went 9-of-22 from deep to increase opponents' percentage by 33 percentage points.
Navy held its fourth straight opponent to 54 points or less when it limited IPFW to 49 points on Wednesday. That is the first time since Feb. 2000 that has happened. The last time it happened in five straight games came in Feb. 1986, the year Navy made a run to the Elite Eight.
Navy's bench has been outstanding this year and was once again in the win over IPFW, scoring 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 10 rebounds, six assists against three turnovers in 69 minutes of action. For the season, the group is averaging 21.6 ppg and 15.4 rpg while shooting 59-of-143 (.413) from the field and 25-of-62 (.403) from three-point range in 80.5 minutes per game.
Navy's highly-regarded freshmen class has also not disappointed, leading all classes in scoring with 188 points (23.5 points per game). The class is shooting 68-of-164 (.415) from the field and 18-of-45 (.400) from three-point range while dishing out 45 assists against 37 turnovers, for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.22. The school record for points scored by a freshman class was by the freshman class of 2010-11 with 762 points. The school record for average points scored per game by the freshman class was in 2005-06 at 25.7 ppg.
Navy's freshmen rank second (Tilman Dunbar), fourth (Kendall Knorr), ninth (Phil Guglielmo) and 10th (Jerome Alexander) among Patriot League freshmen in scoring, and are first in assists (Dunbar), fifth in rebounding (Will Kelly) and second and third in steals (Dunbar, Knorr).
Navy has struggled all season long from the free throw line, connecting on just 62.2 percent of its free throw attempts, including just 26-of-50 (.520) over its last four games, two of which were decided by two points (losses to Prairie View A&M, TCU). Navy's free throw percentage ranks 302nd (out of 347 teams) in the country and is on pace to be the fifth-worst percentage in school history.
Sophomore Brandon Venturini has taken over the team lead in scoring with an 11-point effort against IPFW, bumping his average to 9.6 points per game. He has scored in double-figures in four of the last five games, averaging 11.4 points per game in that span while shooting 14-of-35 (.400) from three-point range during that time. Over the last two games, he is 9-of-14 (.643) from the field and 7-of-11 (.636) from three-point range while averaging 12.5 points per game in just 24.0 minutes per game. He ranks fourth in the league in three-pointers made with 18, and among sophomores nationally, he ranks fifth nationally (through Wednesday night). Venturini scored 74 points in 26 appearances as a freshman. He already has 77 points in eight games this year.
Freshman Tilman Dunbar continues to play at a high level running the point, leading the Patriot League in assists (5.4 apg) while ranking seventh nationally among freshmen. He owns a 1.95 (43-to-22) assist-to-turnover ratio and has had at least six assists in four games already this year. He dished out a freshman school-record 11 assists (tied) in a 75-52 win over Binghamton. For the season, Dunbar's 43 assists are 41.75 percent of all of Navy's assists, the third-best mark nationally for a freshman. He needs just 16 assists to enter the single-season top 10 list for assists by a freshman.
Freshman Kendall Knorr had a big game in Wednesday's win over IPFW, tallying a career-high 15 points to lead Navy to the five-point win, 54-49. It wasn't the amount of points he scored, it was how it happened that helped Navy to the victory. With the Mids leading 31-30, Knorr scored 13 points in a five-minute span to fuel an 18-6 run and lift the Midshipmen to victory. He made all six of its field goal attempts (three of them were three-pointers) and became just the third freshman ever (Derrick Wall vs. Lafayette on Feb. 22, 1992; Cliff Rees vs. Richmond on Jan. 10, 1985) to make six field goal attempts with no misses, and the first player in general since Jeremy Wilson vs. Lehigh on Feb. 14, 2010. Knorr leads all Patriot League freshmen in three-pointers (12) while ranking 18th nationally among freshmen.
Sophomore Worth Smith ranks third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding but is off to a slow start in the 2012-13 season. One year after earning Patriot League all-rookie team honors, averaging 6.9 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and shooting 44.3 percent from the field, Smith is averaging just 8.1 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Smith started to show signs of turning it around against TCU with a 14-point, nine-rebound performance, but he came down with food poisoning on Wednesday night in South Padre and was still feeling its effects in games with Prairie View A&M and Delaware State (4.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4-of-11 FGs).
Junior Thurgood Wynn has started all eight games for Navy this year, averaging career highs in points (4.9) and rebounds (4.3). The only regular to shoot over 50.0 percent from the field last year, he is struggling a bit this year, connecting on just 34.2 percent of his shots. However, he has already surpassed his career high in rebounds for a season (34 this year, 32 as a sophomore) and is averaging 4.3 rebounds per game after setting a career high with 1.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He is averaging just 17.8 minutes per game, meaning he is averaging 9.6 rebounds per game per 40 minutes.
Playing With The Lead
Over the last three games, Navy has held a lead for 110 minutes and 29 seconds (of a possible 120) minutes, or 92.1 percent of the time. Opponents have led for three minutes and 30 seconds, or 2.9 percent of the time (Prairie View - 2:49; Delaware State - 0:41; IPFW - 0:00).
Navy has led for more than half the game (20 minutes) in six of its eight games this year and at least 15 minutes in seven of them. The lone exception was UAB (led for 0:00).
Tulane leads the season series with Navy, 1-0, after topping the Midshipmen last year in Annapolis in November, 57-55.
Navy led 55-53 with just over four minutes to play, when the Green Wave scored the last four points of the game and a Jordan Brickman three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark. Both teams shot under 40.0 percent from the field and were right at 26 percent from three-point range. Tulane recorded nine more field goal attempts and four more baskets and that was the difference.
Navy is 18-23 all-time against Conference USA, having already lost to UAB, 82-63, earlier this year. The Midshipmen are just 1-2 all-time against teams from Louisiana.
# GO NAVY #