Navy Basketball a Lesson in Frustration

With a sixth loss in a row the Mids men's basketball team is writing its only lesson in futility in 2014. A season that had started pretty brightly at 5-3 has turned into a nightmare for all involved as the Midshipmen have lost 11-of-13 and are consistently putting together some of the worst performances in all of division I.

With a sixth loss in a row the Mids men's basketball team is writing its only lesson in futility in 2014. A season that had started pretty brightly at 5-3 has turned into a nightmare for all involved as the Midshipmen have lost 11-of-13 and are consistently putting together some of the worst performances in all of division I. The problems are many and varied, but here are a few areas where the Mids must improve, and quickly, if they are to have any chance of ending the season on a more positive note.

1) Find a third scorer

Just looking at the box scores it is plain to see what the Mids biggest problem is. Junior forward Worth Smith has been solid, putting up 11.1 points per game. Junior guard Brandon Venturini has also done his fair share by averaging 10.7 each time out. Unfortunately after those two have done their work there is no help from anyone else.

A huge part of this problem came when starting point guard Tilman Dunbar was suspended for the rest of the season. The loss of Dunbar hurt on two fronts as Navy both lost its primary distributor while also having to switch Venturini from the two guard spot to the point, nerfing his scoring ability. If Navy is to win anything the rest of the way someone is going to have to step up and find a way to average double digits from here on out. If either Zach Fong or Tim Abruzzo can back up their impressive work against Boston in the clash with Army then Navy might have their man.

2) Defensive letdowns

Purely by the numbers the Mids are actually pretty solid defensively. They rank second in the Patriot league in scoring defense and hold opponents under 65 points per game. In most situations this would be good enough to give your team a shot to win every time out. The issue here is that as the Mids do not score a lot the margin for error is paper thin.

The Mids have been great defensively in the first half of games, but the attrition of the 40 minutes seems to wear them down to the point that they loss that effectiveness as the clock winds down. This is not helped by the Mids inability to keep other teams off of the foul line. Whether through substitution rotation or through a change of scheme this second half defensive let down has to change.

3) Lack of confidence

If there is a team in the country that believes in their ability to win less than the Mids right now I have yet to see them. Against Boston the Mids were within striking distance as they trailed by just five points with three minutes to play. Down the stretch though the whole team tightened up and Navy missed nine of its last ten shots to make the game look like a blowout.

With Army coming up next on the schedule this is the perfect time to get some of that confidence back. These all Military games are ones where the form book can be thrown out and Navy will have extra incentive to win after they were bested by five on their own floor in January. If the Mids can channel the play which had the game with Boston close late then we will see if adrenaline can overcome confidence and lead Navy to a much needed win.

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