Basketball Scouting Report: Bryant

GO NAVY! BEAT BRYANT! (Then find a television that will show CBS's broadcast of a certain football game at 3:10 p.m. Eastern time.) The Navy men's basketball team gets to take the court at an early hour on Saturday. The Midshipmen can take care of business without having to worry about missing their brothers on the gridiron. This is "First Things First Saturday" for Navy basketball.


BRYANT AT-A-GLANCE

After games against Notre Dame and Ohio State, Bryant should be feeling confident coming into its matchup with Navy on Saturday.

Featuring one of the nation's top scorers, the Bulldogs enter at 6-5 on the season. Like Navy, they rely on a few performers who play a lot of minutes. More than anything else, each team's studs will decide this one. Role players just don't figure to have much of a role in this contest.

Starting Lineup

Forward – Dan Garvin –
Freshman, 6-6, 205; 2013-14: 5.4 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game

Garvin is on the floor predominantly for defense and rebounding. He doesn't present much of an offensive threat. He doesn't shoot that well, either, and has a tendency to drift to the perimeter, taking him out of the flow of Bryant's halfcourt offense.

Forward – Alex Francis – Senior, 6-6, 205; 2013-14: 15.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 apg

Francis is the clear post-up weapon for the Bulldogs, the player who gives this team an adequate amount of scoring punch on the low blocks. He also gets to the free throw line regularly. If Navy can find a way to bottle up Francis, the Midshipmen can force Bryant to live on the perimeter.

Guard – Corey Maynard – Senior, 6-3, 185; 2013-14: 9.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.6 apg

Maynard serves as the distributor on the team; he's the only Bulldog averaging over three assists per game. He's not a great scorer, but he can put in buckets if he's asked to and the moment demands something more from him.

Guard – Joe O'Shea – Junior, 6-4, 190; 2013-14: 9.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

O'Shea doesn't do any one thing extremely well, but he does contribute in a variety of ways. He's a respectable shooter who contributes on the glass as well. He's third in the pecking order in the starting five, however.

Guard – Dyami Starks – Junior, 6-2, 195; 2013-14: 21.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.4 apg

Starks is a gunner – there are no two ways about it. He averages almost 17 shots per game and ranks in a tie for 19th in the nation in scoring. However, that's his biggest attribute; Starks isn't as aggressive in other parts of his game.

Keys to the Game

1) Contain Starks early.
These aren't teams that are going to feature a ton of prolific offensive talent. Starks's numbers suggest he is, but 22 points on 17 shots isn't fantastic. Keep him from getting hot early – that's Navy's mandate on defense. If the Midshipmen can do that, they have a shot at winning.

2) Protect the paint. Bryant shoots a ton of threes. While the Bulldogs don't shoot the three very well as a team, they're still content to launch treys. If Navy can take away the easy baskets inside, the numbers suggest Bryant will struggle to consistently score.

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