The article noted how the sport has a “soft” opening, with games in random locations and at random times just as the NFL is hitting its home stretch, college football conferences are being decided, and the NBA and NHL are opening up with big marketing pushes behind them.
Amongst all this is it easy to see how college basketball gets lost. This sweeping generalization also applies to Navy men’s basketball this season. The Mids have surged out to the best start to a year in recent history, but with Keenan Reynolds being in the Heisman Trophy discussion and the football team setting a wins record and winning another bowl game it has gone largely unnoticed. In truth, you would have to be a pretty high-level Navy sports fan to even known that the Mids are 10-5 on the hardwood as conference season begins to pick up.
Navy did not help the general feeling of apathy around the start of the season by coming out of the gates slowly. The Mids dropped their first two games (Florida and Charleston) before turning around and rattling off seven wins in a row. This included a couple of wins on neutral courts over Jacksonville and IPFW before going down to No. 24 Oregon to stop the streak. Since that point, Navy has alternated wins and losses over the last five games, but after losing the opening game in conference play at Bucknell it was important the Mids bounce back at home to Holy Cross on Saturday. The result was a 65-60 Navy win as Shawn Anderson scored 16 points on 50% shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
This team is vastly improved from where it has been for the past few seasons. The seven-game win streak was the best such record since 2008 and there is a general feeling that this squad can do some damage in the Patriot League in 2016. This feeling is best exemplified by the reaction to the 88-58 loss to Bucknell in the conference opener. Head coach Ed DeChellis came out after the game and said, "We didn't do any of the things we talked about. We didn't defend, didn't rebound and didn't take care of the ball." There is a hunger within this team to be the best Navy has offered in years and defeats like this can be learned from. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes, now that folks are actually paying attention.