Sunday, November 29, 2009

Observations from the Navy Win

I debated and debated whether or not I wanted to make the trip. The advent of the internet allows us to watch most games on the road - and I knew I could see this. Plus my family wasn't able to make the trip as my daughter was participating in the Christmas Parade. She ended up lighting the tree with Governor Rendell, so I was sorry that I missed that. But I was really happy to have made the trip. It was well worth it.

  • Navy's Alumni Hall is a top-notch facility. The whole military academy thing is pretty cool. Because of security you have to park off campus - and they shuttle you onto the site. I don't have a Department of Defense sticker, so I parked at the football stadium and they bussed me and the rest of the crowd to the Arena. Alumni Hall has two distinct seating levels, which only the lower bowl was open on Saturday night. I found the section behind the Mount bench, and saw numerous familiar faces.
  • There is a comment on here that the Mount was 25 points better than this Navy squad. As fans, I think we need to be extremely careful about our expectations for this squad. Especially with Will Holland out with an injury. Now, was the Mount the better team? Yes, absolutely. But I thought this Navy team was better than American and probably better than Loyola. The game was in their building - and they beat us last year. Getting a W was a good thing.
  • The Mount did make it look fairly easy real early. The offense was sharp and balanced and the defense was taking Navy out of its gameplan.
  • The lead was nine at halftime, but Navy made some key adjustments at the break and turned up the defense in the second half, and essentially took away the perimeter from the Mount. It allowed some penetration, but the Mount missed some shots. 
  • I wasn't overly impressed with Chris Harris in the first half. He missed a good portion of it with fouls and missed every shot he put up. He did not get to the free throw line. I'm pretty sure it was his mother I saw talking loudly into a cell phone on the concourse level, "No he's not hurt, he is just playing terribly."
  • I give a lot of credit to Navy's resurgence in the second half to Harris. The Midshipmen were playing against one of the best defenses they will face this year - and Harris was being guarded by Jean Cajou - who I fully expect to win NEC defensive player of the year. Still the guard managed to work extremely hard off the ball and score 15 points in the 2nd 20 minutes. I think he worked so hard that he might have run out of gas a bit - and his 2-for-4 performance from the free throw line in overtime - breaking a consecutive made streak of 38, might have been a result. 
  • Still, the game never should have gotten to overtime. The Mount led by six and was at the free throw line to make the lead seven with just under two to play. However, they didn't score the rest of the way and Navy converted some chances and was able to tie the score.
  • The Mount got a decent shot from Shawn Atupem working on the low block at the end of the game. But his 8 footer fell off the rim and it went to overtime.
  • Credit the experience and the composure of the Mount in overtime for the victory. Here they were having led the whole way and fighting desperately to hold the lead on the road and all of a sudden the game was tied. But Jeremy Goode got the team started in overtime, and Jean Cajou hit a key three-pointer as the shot clock expired to provide some needed seperation in ot.
  • Also, the Mount staff gave the game ball to Tayvon Jackson - and it was for a deserved effort. Tayvon continued his run of recent strong performances with a 5 point 8 rebound effort. However, if I was making the choice my vote very well may have gone to Kelly Beidler. The senior seemed to get every rebound down the stretch and in overtime and finished with 14 caroms. He also had 4 blocks and 5 steals to go along with 9 points.
  • Goode and Cajou led the scoring efforts with 17 and 16. The foul shooting was better although it could have been better. Still all in all, this was a good win on the road against a team that I think will probably win more than it loses in the Patriot League. I'll be interested to see the Navy result with Quinnipiac on Monday night.
The Mount now travels to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas on Monday. The game will be broadcast on MASN.


  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Some thoughts to add to your MSM-Navy analysis - Thompson was good at defending in the paint but still needs to get cracking offensively. Team rotation suffering without Holland; the entire chemistry has changed. Krajina needs more development, but the first game he hits the first three ball may give him some needed confidence. Jackson playing well. Atupem not taking over the games as many thought he might. Finally, Mount not varying well enough between perimeter game and inside scoring, plus the speed game they showed early on not as prevalent.

  2. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Went to the Navy game. Sat next to some Navy officers. They were expecting Harris to get another 37 points! Cajou was tireless in defense and the fouls against MSM were, in some cases, phantom calls.