Navy Notables – 12/23/14

Good morning.  It’s gameday, so we’re gonna keep this one really short.

Navy men’s basketball picked up a big win over Towson last night after having lost 4 of their prior 5 games.  The game saw the return of Worth Smith to the lineup, who had been out since the opening game against Michigan State with a knee injury.  His impact was immediate and substantial.  Smith had 13 points in the first half en route to 20 for the game.  He also added 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 28 minutes of play.  Brandon Venturini also had a big game with 19 points.  Defensively, Navy held Towson to just 29% shooting from the field.  Navy will open Patriot League play on New Year’s Eve when they host Loyola at 4pm.

Mid-morning update:

The final tally: 10,800 ticket sold, including 7,000 donated.  BZ, tell your squad leader.

Quick hits:

  • Over at SI.com, Nelson Rice has a great piece on Keenan Reynolds.  It weaves interviews with parents and coaches through his performance at the Army-Navy game this year.
  • If you need some doom and gloom to get you in the right mindset for tonight, you can go read a couple of stories about how Rocky Long has fared against Navy and Air Force.

#BeatSDSU

Navy Notables – 12/19/14

Good morning – we’re less than a week away from Christmas, so that means we’re just days away from the bowl game!  If you can’t go, you can still donate tickets.  As of Wednesday night, the Navy Athletics Facebook page reported that we have ticket donations from each of the 50 states and are less than 1,000 away from selling 10,000 total tickets to the game.  That’s really something.  The fact that Navy’s fan base continues to gobble up tickets to bowl games is a major reason why Chet and company were able to consistently line up bowl games while we were an independent.  And it’s a big reason why Navy will always be in the running for the most attractive American bowls in the future.

Continue reading “Navy Notables – 12/19/14”

Navy Notables – 12/15/14

Sir, there are 362 days until Navy beats Army to make it 14 in ’15, Sir!

Good morning!  I hope everyone has recovered from watching the Army-Navy game this weekend.  It was a fantastic outing in Baltimore – one that I can not wait to repeat in 2016.  Don’t get me wrong, the Linc is a fantastic venue for the game.  But I do love the ease of getting in to Baltimore and home in one relatively short day.  Having College Gameday there made it all that much better.  FYI, if you were at the game and forgot to record Gameday, you can still catch it archived on watchESPN.  Also, if you were at the game, you may have missed the tease that lead in to the broadcast on CBS.  Go watch it now – it was great as always.

Continue reading “Navy Notables – 12/15/14”

Navy Notables – 12/5/14

It was a pretty quiet yesterday in Navy sports news, so we’ll be brief today.

In case you missed them, there were a couple of pieces on the blog yesterday you should read.  Mike addressed Army’s absence at the Army-Navy media luncheon and explained why Chet said what he said.  Later in the day, slhnavy91 took a look at the Poinsettia Bowl and who the potential opponents may be.

Alabama’s Rivals site has a nice article on the Kelly family playing football at Navy and Bama.  Mike Kelly is a youngster outside linebacker for the Midshipmen, while older brother Ryan is a junior and 2-year starter at center for the Crimson Tide.

Quick Hits:

Navy Notables – 12/4/14

The bench for Navy women’s basketball came alive on Tuesday and lead the Mids to a come-from-behind 55-51 victory over visiting Towson.  After struggling to 30 points in the first 31 minutes of the game, the ladies outscored the Tigers 25-10 in the closing 9 to secure the victory.  Of the 55 points scored by Navy, 42 came off the bench.  It was not a game for those who like to see effective shooting: Towson was 0-14 from three while Navy shot just 5-of-26.  And both teams shot below 37% for the game.  But when it came to crunch time, Navy got the hot hand.  Over those final 9 minutes, Navy was 50% from beyond the arc, 64% from the field, and 82% at the free throw line.  This victory ends a six game home stand where the Mids went 5-1.  This weekend they fly out to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of games against Portland State and Oregon.

Men’s basketball fell at home last night to previously winless Penn 57-46.  It was pretty much over by halftime as the Quakers closed on a 28-11 run.  Navy did clamp down in the 2nd half, allowing just 19 points.  But the Mids were themselves just 33% from the field in the final 20 minutes, including a paltry 2-for-12 from three.  This isn’t the start to the season we may have expected after watching Navy hang with Michigan State in the opener.  But we also didn’t expect so many injuries.  As Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette writes, Navy Coach Ed DeChellis has used a lot of freshmen in a year when we expected to have more depth.  Yes, it’s disheartening, but the team should be healthier for the start of Patriot League at the end of the month.

Men’s soccer senior defender Joseph Greenspan has been selected as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the top individual award in collegiate soccer, by the National Coaches Soccer Association of America (NSCAA).  This continues a string of accolades for Greenspan, who won his second consecutive Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year award this year.  He is one of just two defenders among the 16 semifinalists.  Greenspan anchored a Navy defense that had a 0.65 goals against average and tallied 9 clean sheets in 20 matches.  We’ll keep an eye out for the announcement of All-American teams, as Greenspan is sure to be present on a good many of those as well.

Women’s soccer senior defender Jade Seabrook was named to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for the third consecutive year (a 1st for Navy).  Previously, Seabrook had been named the Patriot League defender of the year.  She lead the team in minutes played with 1,832 and tallied 11 points on 4 goals and 3 assists.

Senior men’s basketball guard Kevin Alter has been nominated for the Allstate NABC Good Works Team.  The award is designed to recognize student-athletes who are involved with their communities and dedicate their time to helping others.  Alter volunteers with Covenant House, a homelessness shelter in Washington DC and works with his hometown (Rumson, NJ) to raise money for Homes for Our Troops.

Quick Hits:

Navy Notables 12/02/14

Since news is a little slow this time of the year, we’ll start branching out to cover some topics that impact other service academies and our future conference when they pop up.

Junior defensive end Will Anthony was named the independent defensive player of the week.  Against South Alabama he recorded 12 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss.  His third quarter sack was the first solo sack of his career and ended a South Alabama drive.

There have been some peeks at what the theme for the Army Navy uniforms will be.  It appears that the First Navy Jack – perhaps better known as the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag to civilians – will heavily influence the design.  I’m just going to leave this here…be sure to wipe up your drool.

Boise State was, once upon a time, going to be a conference mate of Navy’s in the Big East.  But they headed back to the MWC for a sweetheart TV deal.  Two years in, some MWC athletic departments are realizing just how bad the deal to get them back was.  UNLV, for example, has gotten zero “bonus” money, while Boise has pulled down $3.7 million.  That gulf will only widen if Boise gets the access bowl this year, since the deal allows them to keep half the $6 million payout.  Air Force has fared only slightly better than UNLV.  Despite going 9-3 and beating both Boise and CSU, the Falcons got zero “bonus” this year, leaving their 2 year total at a paltry $300k.  That’s a hard pill to swallow for an athletic department that is reported to have an annual budget deficit of $26 million.

Quick Hits:

Navy Notables – 12/01/14

Good morning!  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  We have a few things to catch up on thanks to the holiday, so read up!

No news was bigger than Navy locking up the Poinsettia Bowl bid with a “why must you do this to my heart after I just ate nothing but turkey and pie for the last 24 hours” win over South Alabama on Friday afternoon.  Geoffrey Whiteside fumbled with 4:30 to go, giving South Alabama a chance to tie it late with a touchdown and a 2 point conversion.  And they did.  Twice.  But both were called back for penalties.  Brendon Clements picked off the third try and Navy got the onsides kick to seal the deal.  It was another record setting day for Keenan Reynolds, as his 3 touchdowns put him 1st place all-time for rushing TD’s by a quarterback with 61 total, surpassing Colin Kaepernick and Eric Crouch who had shared the record at 59.  Reynolds has at least 14 games left in his career, putting the all-time rushing record of 77 (held by Wisconsin’s Montee Ball) clearly in his sights.

Navy will face a Mountain West team in the Poinsettia Bowl, which gets the 2nd pick after the Las Vegas Bowl.  We’ll do a post later this week on possible opponents, but in the interim, if you can’t go to the game, head on over to NavySports.com and donate tickets so a military member can go in your stead.

It was an up and down weekend for the Navy men’s basketball team.  On Wednesday evening, the Mids overcame a sluggish and error prone first half to beat Penn St.-Harrisburg 67-42 for its second win of the season.  Freshman Jace Hogan came off the bench and lead the team with 14 points in 17 minutes of action while forward Edward Alade came one rebound shy of a double-double as he added 11 points.  But Navy would fall to Saint Francis University 85-62 less than 72 hours later as the Red Flash seemingly couldn’t miss a shot.  Navy was actually 50% from the floor, but St. Francis U was a blistering 65.4%, including an unreal 70.4% in the first half.  Navy’s home to host Penn on Wednesday before heading south to play The Citadel on Saturday.

The women’s basketball team won a pair of games over the weekend while hosting the Navy Classic.  The ladies defeated UNC Greensboro 71-64 in a game that had quite the dichotomy of halves.  After an opening 20 minutes that saw the Mids go into the break trailing 23-21, the Navy offense exploded for 50 2nd half points (the most ever in a half for a Stefanie Pemper Navy squad) to grab the victory.  That game was followed by a 60-51 win over Grand Canyon on Saturday, the 3rd win in a row for the team and 4th in 5 games.  Freshman Taylor Dunham was named to the all-tournament team after putting up a combined 26 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.

Quick Hits:

Navy Notables – 11/26/14

You all have read how Mike and I loved the Veterans Classic.  Tonight, you can go behind the scenes with CBS Sports when they air “Hoops Confidential: Veterans Classic” at 9pm on CBSSN.  The half-hour long show follows VCU, Tennessee, and Michigan State players and coaches as they get a look at the Yard and what going to a service academy entails.  Additionally, Edward Alade (this blogger’s favorite player on the team thus far) was followed to provide a look at a typical day.  As Mike said yesterday, the Veterans Classic is just the gift that keeps on giving.  For those who miss it, fret not.  It will re-air on Thanksgiving night at 11:30pm and on Friday morning at 11:30am.

Yesterday we talked about the Navy men’s lacrosse schedule for 2014.  Today it’s the women’s turn.  A 17-game slate was announced, including games at powerhouses Virginia and Duke in addition to 7 other road games.  The Cavs and Devils finished 2014 ranked 10th and 11th, respectively as Duke reached the NCAA quarterfinals and Virginia made it to the Final Four.  The ladies didn’t win the Patriot League title for the first time in 5 years in 2014 after being knocked out in the semis by Boston University (revenge is set for March 21st in Boston).

Navy women’s basketball defeated George Mason last night in Alumni Hall, 84-79.  As the team’s SID Justin Kischefsky pointed out, that was the 2nd highest point total in regulation for a Stefanie Pemper coached Navy squad.  Navy held a 6 point lead at the half and went on an early run in the 2nd to open up a lead that got as big as 18 with under 8 minutes to go.  The Patriots made a furious rally, but were never able to get closer than 4 points with 24 seconds to go.  The Midshipmen were 11-of-28 from three, which proved to be the difference as the Patriots held the edge in rebounds, 2nd chance points, free throws made, and turnovers.

Quick Hits:

  • Navy Men’s basketball returns home tonight to face Penn State Harrisburg.  Tip is at 7pm and is available for viewing on patriotleague.tv.
  • 4/C Josh Hughes of the Squash team was named the NAAA Athlete of the Week.  His 5-game win in the 5th position helped the team defeat #10 Princeton for the first time since 1985, a string of 19 defeats.
  • The Akerson Tower club level at NMCMS is on schedule to be finished by the end of the year.  The two hospitality suites will be used outside of football to host receptions and other functions.