Three Keys: Navy vs. American

Navy may be mired in the middle of a 1-13 rut but at least with the packed basketball schedule the next game, and the next chance for redemption, is only ever a few days away. Thus the Midshipmen and their 1-9 Patriot League record have a chance on Wednesday to avenge the 72-49 beat down they suffered in D.C. just one month ago. Here are three keys that will determine the outcome of the game.

1) Keep American under 60 points

American has a magic number this season, 60. When the Eagles have scored 60 or more points they are an impressive 10-4. When they have scored 59 points or less however they are an awful 0-11. This actually plays to Navy's strength somewhat for as bad as the Mids have been in some aspects of the game this year defense has not been one of them.

The Midshipmen actually rank 54th in the country in scoring defense giving up just a hair over 61 ppg. Logic then tells you that if they can shave two points of off that number, keeping American under 60, then a win could well be the result. Obviously this is easier said than done, but if the Mids keep taking care of the ball (just 11 turnovers per game) then a second league win could happen.

2) Stop John Schoof

John Schoof isn't going to be on any All-American list this year, but he did have a ridiculous game when Navy played at American in January. Schoof was an unconscious 8-of-10 from downtown on his way to 27 points in a game where the basket must have looked 15 feet wide every time he took a jump shot. Though Schoof has had a couple of other nice games, including 24 against Colgate, it would be unexpected if he went off on Navy again. That being said there is always that one opponent that a player feels good about taking on and if that is the case here then the Mids need to shut down Schoof early and deny him any open three attempts.

3) Play with pride

This is the penultimate home game for the 2012-13 Navy basketball team and it is fair to say this season has not gone as hoped. However, the team is still fighting, as seen in the nail biter with Army, and hopefully that level of pride in the jersey will be on display again here. Seniors on this team have only four games left in their college basketball career and their leadership will be crucial for the Mids to pull out a 2-2 split and end the season on a higher note than most expect.

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