Getting the Point. After a season of woeful play at point guard for the Midshipmen, freshman Tilman Dunbar (Paul VI) has seized the position and leads Navy in scoring (21 points) and assists (12). “He can break some defenses down,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said. “We just didn’t have that in the past.”
Hot and Cold. In Navy’s opening-game win over Division III Marymount (Va.), sophomore Brandon Venturini and freshman Kendall Knorr hit a combined 7 of 13 from beyond the arc, but against Siena, the duo had more trouble getting free and went a combined 0 for 11 from deep. “We locked into the two shooters,” Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro said. “I don’t think Venturini and Knoor got too much.
Size matters. Sophomore Jared Smoot (6-10, 240) was a non-entity last year, collecting 15 points and 30 rebounds in 147 minutes. This season, however, Smoot has shown major improvement. In 46 minutes, he has scored 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Interior play still was a problem Sunday as Siena’s pair of 6-8 frontcourt players – O.D. Anosike and Imon Silas – combined to hit 8 of 10 shots and grabbed 24 rebounds.
4. Tenacious D. It’s only two games in, but Navy is contesting more shots and playing more disruptive defense than last season. Navy opponents have shot 33 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from beyond the arc. Last year the Mids foes shot 47.2 percent overall and 37.5 from the arc. “We have a little more athleticism on the floor. We’ve got a little more toughness on the floor,” DeChellis said.
5. Streak Buster. Next up for Navy is Binghamton (0-2) of the America East Conference. The Bearcats lost their first 27 games last year. This is an opportunity for Navy to end its 23-game losing streak against Division I opponents.