Campus Insiders Partners with Patriot League on Digital Network – – Patriot League Official Athletic Site

Campus Insiders Partners with Patriot League on Digital Network – – Patriot League Official Athletic Site.

The Patriot League will be launching a digital network, complete with highlights, studio shows, on-demand content, and over 500 live events during the 2013-14 school year. This is on top of the conference’s existing TV contract with CBS Sports Network. All for free, too, so no more shelling out Patriot League All Access money just to catch a couple away games.

Good news. Now go upgrade to broadband.

Links 6/6

– The Annapolis Capital is reporting that three members of the Navy football team have left the school. They are Center Dale Howard, Fullback Mike Patrick, and linebacker Jarvis Cummings. All three were back-ups on the depth chart, with Howard and Cummings listed as #2 at their positions, while Patrick was 3rd string. While this doesn’t hit the top-line, it certainly undermines depth at those positions.

– Navy Women’s Lacrosse team captain Kierstin King has been selected to play in the IWLCA Senior All-Star Game on June 16th. She joins two other players from the Patriot League, Lehigh’s Leigh Ann Torcivia and Colgate’s Courtney Miller.

– The Big East is looking towards the Poinsettia Bowl for possible western expansion of their bowl game tie-ins starting in 2014. Their current bowl inventory does not reach the Mississippi River, with the westernmost bowl game being the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. The MWC has an agreement with the Poinsettia Bowl that expires in 2013. With Navy scheduled to play in the bowl game in 2014 (if bowl eligible), such a match-up could give us a preview of league play in 2015.

The demo for NCAA Football 13 has hit the PS3 and Xbox 360. While this normally wouldn’t be huge news for our blog, there’s a hook. Users who share the demo with friends will unlock Nike Pro Combat uniforms for five teams: Ohio Shate, LSU, Boise State, Stanford and…wait for it…Navy. That’s not bad company to keep.

No word yet if there is a combat coaching mode for Air Force fans.

Links 5/23

Inside Lacrosse is reporting that Richie Meade will be named as the first head coach of the new lacrosse program at Furman. It’ll be weird seeing him on another college sideline, but we all knew it would happen at some point. Good for him, and good for Furman.

Navy won the Patriot League Presidents’ Cup for the 2011-2012 academic year. It’s the first time Navy has won. Bucknell had won the last six, with the Mids finishing second in five of those years. Navy doesn’t play Patriot League football, field hockey, or softball, and only recently added women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis. Both of those programs have become very successful very quickly, and their rise (along with the rise of women’s programs in general) helped to finally push Navy over the top. I’ve never worried much about the Presidents’ Cup, but it’s a nice to get a bit of affirmation for a great year by the athletic department.

— Speaking of the rise of women’s lacrosse, Cindy Timchal shall now be addressed as Hall of Famer Cindy Timchal.

Not all the news is good. As the kids say, “smh.” Sperry had dropped on the depth chart this spring thanks to the rise of Jonathan Wev, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have fought back. At the very least he would’ve provided experienced depth for a defense that had none last year. I hate the offseason.

— On to the conference expansion mess… The headline here says “Texas AD not for expanding,” but that’s not really the impression I get from reading the article. The way I read it, DeLoss Dodds is just trying to remain noncommittal, either for the sake of not tipping his hand or just not wanting to set off a firestorm of rumors based on his comments. Like this. I do believe that Big 12 expansion is far from a given, though, especially after their recent monster television deal. Would Florida State and Clemson really add that much value? Would a championship game make enough money to offset splitting television revenue by two (or more) additional teams? Maybe, but I don’t know if that’s a certainty. Let’s hope not.

— The Big East’s league meetings are wrapping up today, but there is plenty to talk about already through days 1 & 2:

  • The most interesting (and important) bit is that NBC and Fox both gave presentations on why the Big East is appealing to them. I don’t know what was contained in those presentations (or where that lovely $2 billion number came from), but I suspect that it pretty much sounded like the last few paragraphs of this. I’m telling you, this conference has the potential to make money if it can just stay together.
  • Speaking of which, one report is saying that “multiple sources” expect Air Force or BYU to join along with Navy in 2015. Well, OK. I don’t know if anyone’s “expectations” are really worth mentioning, since these stories change by the day. I’m going to need to see a lot more smoke before I believe there’s a fire there. If we’re just going to speak hypothetically, then either one of them would be a good addition. Air Force would be better for Navy, although BYU would be better for the league. The best-case scenario would be to add both of them plus Army, but don’t hold your breath. Of the two, BYU might (somewhat surprisingly) be the most likely since they are facing most of the same challenges as an independent that Navy had. I was a big fan of BYU’s independence (still am, actually), but a lot has changed even in the short time that they made that decision. I’m sure that BYU is at least keeping their options open. As for Air Force, I get the feeling that they’re content with attempting to rule the tattered remnants of the Mountain West. A Gazette column calling them “cowardly” is surely on the way.
  • Divisional alignment possibilities were also discussed, although no decision was made. I had always assumed that it would be an east-west split, given that Boise State and San Diego State were both adamant about having a western partner for the conference. I still think it makes the most sense, although I’m also sure that neither Louisville nor Cincinnati get giddy over the thought of joining a western division. All I want is for Navy to be in the same division as UCF so we can create a rivalry trophy out of George O’Leary’s severed head on a stick.
  • The championship game for the conference will be played on-campus instead of at a neutral site. GOOD.

Links 5/18

— Filed under “obviously we all know nothing about anything,” SMU fired AD (and former Navy associate AD) Steve Orsini. As an outsider, the move is a bit of a shock since it appears on the surface that all of SMU’s athletic vectors are up. This is one of those things reminding us that when all we know is what’s on the surface, we don’t really know anything at all. One writer in Fort Worth panders to his audience by wondering if TCU’s successes influenced the move. Kate Hairopoulos reports the far more likely scenario that it was more about clashes with SMU’s president, R. Gerald Turner. Whatever the reason, I can’t imagine that Orsini will be out of a job for long.

— It’s official: Old Dominion is joining Conference USA. As Navy people, a lot of us have spent considerable time in & around Norfolk and are quite familiar with ODU. This is crazy! In a good way, though. I’ve only recently become used to the idea of the Monarchs having a football team. But a I-A team? Bananas. I’d say to get them on the schedule, but that’ll be hard to do once Navy is in the Big East. But it HAS to happen, right? Meanwhile, Pete Medhurst wonders what it means for the future of the CAA.

— Pre-Snap Read continues with its look at every I-A program, including Navy opponents Central Michigan and Troy (plus a bit more on Troy).

— I’m telling you, it’s consolidation.

Lafayette lacrosse coach Terry Mangan resigned. The Leopards had half of a good season in 2010. That’s about it.

A life well lived.

— Finally, I will be a guest on the Three Point Stance show tomorrow, talking Navy and the Big East and whatever else comes up. It’s archived afterwards, so you don’t need to plan your Saturday night around me. Because you know you were totally thinking about it.

Weekend of Champions

Watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight (Go Caps!), I remembered that Navy is home to some new Patriot League Championships thanks to an excellent showing this past weekend. A few quick words on each:

Women’s Lacrosse – Six years ago, Navy did not have a Varsity Women’s Lacrosse team. Now Navy is home to a three-peat Patriot League champion. And as if winning three titles in a row isn’t impressive enough, the Mids went undefeated in league play this year. With a season record of 17-2 (a season opening loss at High Point and late March loss the only blemishes on the schedule), Navy now heads to Oregon for a play-in game to the NCAA tournament.

Golf – Winning the title for the first time since 2008, Navy now has 6 of the last 14 titles. And there could be no sweeter way to win it than edging out a 3 stroke victory over Army. With the win, Navy earns an automatic bid to the NCAA regionals in mid-May.

Men’s Tennis – Two championship titles at the expense of Army? In my Navy sports? It’s more likely than you think. The Navy men took down Army 4-1 in Annapolis to claim the league crown. Navy held serve on it’s #1 seed through the tourney and will now move on to the NCAA tourney, where Florida (12th seed out of 64) awaits. This is Navy’s 5th Men’s Tennis title in the last 6 years.

Not bad for a weekend, huh?

Loose Change 3/14/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • Did I mention my March of Dimes walk?
  • Ken Niumatalolo added one more assistant to his coaching staff, hiring former Harvard wide receivers coach Mike Judge to be the new fullbacks coach. The announcement was a bit of a surprise, as Ivin Jasper was originally supposed to coach both the quarterbacks and the fullbacks. I don’t know what changed there.
  • It’s time for this year’s College Football Hall of Fame elections, and once again Wayne Hardin is on the ballot. You may be interested to know that Pat Tillman is as well. Chet Moeller, unfortunately, is not.
  • The Mid-Majority listed its picks for conference award winners. The blog agrees with the Patriot League’s pick for Player of the Year in Greg Sprink, but endorsed Jeff Jones for the coaching honors.
  • It’s spring break at USNA, and the women’s soccer team is spending it in Spain.
  • Spring break also means a trip for the lacrosse team, and for the second straight year they’ll be heading to Dallas. Coming off their best performance of the season against Lehigh, the Mids will look to keep their Patriot League momentum rolling tomorrow when they play Holy Cross at Texas Stadium. A little bit more on the event here. I liked it better when the team went to Orlando on spring break, but I’m biased.
  • Yale Eckert tossed a one-hitter against Iona. And they use aluminum bats!
  • There was a piece in the Washington Times about the Foundation.
  • Matt DaSilva at Lacrosse Magazine ponders whether the Navy women’s lacrosse team will be 16-0 at the end of April. We will find out just how good these Mids are when they take on defending Patriot League champs Holy Cross this weekend.
  • Mike Preston, who is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, discusses how much of a crock it was for the NCAA to have given an extra year of eligibility to last year’s Duke lacrosse seniors.
  • And finally, Mansfield certainly seems to be generating a lot of hoopla for their new sprint football team. But to give you a feel for the current state of sprint football, we have this:

    Steve McCloskey, Mansfield’s director of athletic operations and information, explained that the CSFL season generally includes seven or eight games, and there are no playoffs. The Mountaineers will not compete against Army and Navy this season as the players there “are in training year-round. Their programs are elevated,” McCloskey said.

    He added that the university and the CSFL mutually agreed to give the Mountaineers two years to get ready for the service academies, but Mansfield could play Army and Navy as soon as next season if the Mountaineers think they’re ready.

    It takes two years just to get ready to play the service academies? Come on, it’s not like they’ll do any worse than Princeton. (Oh, and pay no attention to the part in the article that says Cornell won the league this year).

Busy Weekend

BASKETBALL: After Wednesday’s win over American, Saturday’s 73-62 loss to Colgate was a real letdown. So much for first place; American beat Lafayette and claimed the regular-season Patriot League crown. Their reward is a first-round game against Holy Cross, whose loss to Lehigh on Saturday clinched the Crusaders’ descent from first to worst. Don’t think that Holy Cross is the worst team in the league, though; while I’d still rather have the Patriot League championship and automatic NIT bid under our belts, for the purposes of the league tournament it might have been better to finish second. Then again, maybe not; Army’s 54-51 win over Bucknell pushed the Bison into the 7 seed and a first-round matchup with Navy. No matter what their league records are, it just doesn’t feel like playing Holy Cross or Bucknell is much of a reward for finishing on top of the conference.

Navy’s likely 2nd round matchup, should they beat Bucknell, would be against Colgate. If Navy wins this thing, they’ll definitely have earned it. The tournament starts Wednesday at the home courts of the higher seeds. The official tournament bracket is here.

BASEBALL: Navy might have been picked to finish first in the Patriot League, but over the weekend they had their hands full with the Ivy League. The Mids dropped two out of three to Dartmouth and fell to 3-3 on the year. Be more careful on your home run trots, Mitch!

LACROSSE: Navy beat Mount St. Mary’s 12-5 on Friday night. After an initial MSM posession that took up about half of the first quarter, Navy’s attack finally came alive. Nick Mirabito had a hat trick and two assists, while Tim Paul added a two goals to go along with two assists of his own. It was a somewhat unremarkable game, although it was a bit disturbing to see the Mount win 14 of 20 faceoffs. Navy’s next five games are all against Patriot League opponents, beginning with Lafayette on Saturday.

Speaking of the Patriot League, Army dominated Air Force 12-4 on Saturday, while Bucknell scored their own 8-7 overtime win over Ohio State. Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite sleeper team, Colgate, needed overtime to get by Canisius, 12-11.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE: Navy beat Niagara 21-5. I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about women’s lacrosse, but when a team in its first varsity season wins its first two games by a combined score of 42-15, it’s noteworthy. Yes, Niagara was 1-12 last year. But it’s good to know that the Mids are at least on a different level than that.


Navy 83, American University 68   (Team Stats)
NAVY 25-63 39.7 15-38 39.5 18-22 81.8 30 15 15 18 8 2 10 20
AMER 24-50 48.0 6-15 40.0 14-21 66.7 39 25 14 13 21 4 3 19

In The Last Amateurs, John Feinstein made it clear that rest of the Patriot League didn’t like Navy. At the time the book was written, Navy was the powerhouse team in the conference, had the newest, flashiest arena, and generally just won a lot of basketball games. Other teams resented Navy, and that resentment manifested itself in many ways. Navy was the best team in the conference for most of the ’90s, but it has never had a conference Player of the Year. But things are different now. Now Bucknell has a new arena of their own and has set the new high water mark for accomplishment in the Patriot League. Holy Cross won the conference last year, and beat Notre Dame in the first round of the NIT in 2005. Navy, on the other hand, is just starting to emerge from what might have been the worst stretch in program history. Nobody seems to have the same disdain for Bucknell and Holy Cross that they once had towards Navy. The hard feelings towards the Mids must have thawed by now, right? Well, maybe. Greg Sprink only made second-team all-conference last year despite putting up solid numbers. As the league’s best returning scorer and all-around player, he was shunned for Preseason POY honors in favor of Holy Cross’ Tim Clifford. Now maybe Navy never had anyone that should have been named Player of the Year. Maybe Sprink didn’t deserve first-team recognition last year. And maybe league coaches and SIDs figured that Holy Cross would be the league favorite this year, so they just named the best player on the best team as their preseason POY. Maybe. But if Greg Sprink doesn’t win Patriot League Player of the Year for 2007-2008, you’ll know that it’s rigged.

In the most important Navy basketball game in over half a decade, Sprink had one of his finest performances. Navy took down American last night, 83-68, to grab a share of first place in the Patriot League with one game left to play. Navy now owns the tiebreaker with AU and can clinch the regular season title with a win in the season finale or an American loss. With the regular season champion ensured a place in at least the NIT, Navy has a chance to earn its first postseason appearance in a decade. Greg Sprink led the team in scoring (34), rebounding (5), and assists (7). He hit 6 3-pointers, worked inside to get to the free throw line, and kicked the ball out to open shooters. It was a complete game.

The same can’t really be said for the Mids as a whole. Reading the wrong stats in the boxscore can give you a very different impression about how this game went. American dominated Navy on the glass early, and ended up with a 39-30 rebounding edge. The Eagles shot a whopping 48% from the field to Navy’s 39.7%, thanks in large part to several way-too-easy buckets scored by American players standing all alone underneath the basket. But Navy took much better care of the ball. American had 21 turnovers, while Navy had only 8. 10 of those turnovers were the result of Navy steals. The Mids were less efficient than AU when it came to shooting the ball, but thanks to their defense, they had more opportunities. On this night, quantity was better than quality.

This wasn’t the first time this year that turnover differential has been the deciding factor in a Navy win. In fact, it has been the norm in conference play. Why is that? I think I have an answer. Navy is a team that has rarely had an inside presence. Athletic big men are the most scarce commodity in all of basketball, and unless they are either undersized (Hassan Booker), very unpolished coming out of high school (Sitapha Savane), or prone to growth spurts (David Robinson), those types of players have much higher-profile offers than from Navy. Offensively, it’s easy to see how Coach Lange makes up for this; by running and shooting threes. On the other end of the court, it’s a little tougher. Most undersized teams try to mask their deficiency by hunkering down in a 2-3 zone to try to make it difficult for their opponents to get the ball to their big men. Lange takes the opposite approach. Rather than attempt to cover up his team’s lack of an inside presence, he concedes it. Navy doesn’t play underneath the basket. Instead, the Mids push their defense to the perimeter. This is why Navy stinks at defensive rebounding– we don’t have anybody around the basket. It’s also why the numbers aren’t nearly as bad on the other end of the court. Navy is outrebounded by an average of 2.3 boards per game on the defensive glass. But on the offensive end, that differential is only .6 rebounds/game. The Mids are in better position on offense.

There aren’t really any big men to exploit Lange’s strategy in the Patriot League other than Tim Clifford. While the Holy Cross center lights up the scoreboard whenever he plays the Mids, the rest of the league doesn’t have much more of an inside presence than Navy does. Navy’s defense gives up some easy backdoor layups sometimes–and a lot of rebounds– but it also generates 9.2 steals per game, good for 1st in the conference and 20th nationally. Rather than try to hide his team’s weaknesses, Billy Lange has chosen to take the fight to his opponents by emphasizing Navy’s strengths. And now he’s one game away from putting Navy back on top.

That loss to Howard feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?


Loose Change 2/22/08

Odds & ends you may have missed over the past week:

  • Admit it. You go to eBay once in a while just to look at old Navy football program covers like this one:

If you do, you’ll appreciate this blog entry about Army-Navy covers of years past.

  • The Patriot League lacrosse coach interviews continue with Army’s Joe Alberici and Colgate’s Jim Nagle.
  • UConn football coach Randy Edsall talks about Big East expansion and his desire to play Army here. No comments about why he dropped Navy, though.
  • Wrestling recruit Bailey Whitaker was in the finals of the Tennessee state tournament, as was football recruit Jabaree Tuani-McKissack.
  • Bill Wagner wrote about 3-point rainmaker Chris Harris.
  • Navy baseball starts up this weekend with the Mids taking on Air Force in Millington, Tennessee. The preseason Patriot League favorites will unfortunately have to go a few weeks without the services of all-world pitcher Mitch Harris, who jammed his shoulder in an intra-squad scrimmage last week. If the Supe wants to can Herndon because he’s afraid of injuries, maybe he should consider banning home run trots, too.
  • The lacrosse season is underway, which means that the Sun’s Faceoff blog has finally come out of hibernation. The Sun also talks about Navy’s 2-0 start here. “Well-rounded” is a nice spin, I guess.
  • If you haven’t seen our new lacrosse uniforms yet, you can get a look here.
  • Last weekend, Delaware crunched UMBC in a lacrosse doubleheader held here in Jacksonville to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Next year, event organizers want to make it a “service academy challenge.”
  • The ESPN mothership is going to show a regular-season lacrosse game for the first time. AKA an ESPNU infomercial.
  • Don’t tell Chet, but Paul Johnson says that he did “all he could do” at Navy.