Navy came out on fire against Longwood, and fought back into the game in the second half against Drexel. You might have let these two performances give you hope for the season. If you did, I am so sorry. Your hopes were probably dashed last night as you watched Robert Morris run the Mids out of Alumni Hall, 93-77.
It is obvious that Navy is a very fundamentally flawed team. You can’t play up-tempo basketball if you can’t rebound. You just can’t. It leads to far too many wasted possessions when you chuck up a bad 3-point attempt but can’t hit the glass to get a chance for a second, better shot. RMU had 11 more shots from the floor last night than Navy. That’s 11 more chances to score. If you are weak on the boards, then you need make the most out of each and every possession. That means working for a shot instead of gunning the first slightly-open 3-ball you can get off of your fingertips, then having a long rebound turn into a layup on the other end. Anyway, moving right along…
The Good: Let me get back to you on this one.
The Bad: OK, so how much time do you have?
Navy was outrebounded 50-28. FIFTY to 28. By a team that was actually smaller than the Mids. Grabbing 22 more rebounds allowed RMU to outscore Navy 27-5 on 2nd-chance points. The smaller Colonials also held a 42-28 advantage in points scored in the paint.
Navy followed up a 9-30 performance from 3-point range against Drexel with a 7-27 night against Robert Morris. Believe it or not, that stat is deceptively good. Navy made their first two threes of the game, then made their last two in garbage time. That means that there was a stretch through most of the game where the Mids were 3-23 from beyond the arc. That’s 16-57, or 28%, in the last two games. On 2-point field goals, Navy has shot 33-72, or 46%, during that same stretch.
Birddog Expert Analysis: Stop chucking so many goddamn 3-balls.
The Good: Dude, give me a minute, OK?
The Ugly: I can only assume that it was technical difficulty that prevented the game from being shown on Navy All-Access. The women’s game didn’t show either. While I should probably be grateful for not having my eyes stained with the image of this debacle, I hope the kinks are ironed out in the future.
I wrote about the solid start that Mark Veazey had in his first two games, and the Patriot League agreed, naming him their first rookie of the week. Mark had a bit of a market correction last night with 6 turnovers. He did have 8 rebounds, though, so he’s still doing what is asked of him. Freshmen are going to have these kinds of games and make mistakes once in a while.
By the way, Robert Morris was picked to finish second in the NEC’s preseason poll. Who was picked first? That would be Sacred Heart. The Pioneers lost to Army on Monday night, 64-49.
The Good: OK, I got something. I thought that Scott Brooks might not start last night since he seemed to struggle in the first two games. Well, he did start, and he responded with 12 points and 5 rebounds on 4-5 shooting in 20 minutes. His free throw shooting was shaky, but Brooks showed his first flash of the young season.
Next up: Off to San Antonio to play UTSA in the Alamodome on Saturday night. I’ve seen Navy football play Tulane in the Superdome a couple of times. The first time was 7-8 years ago, and the only word I can use to describe what it was like to see so few people watching a game in a building so huge is “creepy.” If that was creepy, then seeing Navy play basketball against UTSA in the Alamodome is going to be a straight-up haunted house.