By: Chris Lynch
After two lackluster performances to open the Patriot League season, the Boston University Terriers return home to play their first home conference game of the season. They host the Navy Midshipmen at The Roof tomorrow, in their attempt to finally win a Patriot League game this season.
Navy is having a surprisingly good start to the season. They were predicted to finish low in the Patriot League this season, with Campus Insiders predicting the Crusaders to finish last. They come in with the second best overall record among Patriot League teams, and a 1-1 record in conference play. They lost their opening night game at Bucknell in an 88-58 blowout, and scratched out a victory at home against Holy Cross, 65-60.
Navy has leaned on its defense this season. The Midshipmen offense is the second worst in the conference, at 63.1 points a game. Only two players are averaging double digit point totals. Shawn Anderson is leading Navy with 12.5 points a game, and Jace Hogan is averaging 10.8 points a game. Navy is also the worst three point team in the nation, averaging only 29% from three point range. They only average 4.2 made three pointers a game, against BU’s 8.8 made three pointers a game. Navy struggles to score.
However, the Midshipmen have the best scoring defense in the conference, allowing only 61.5 points a game on the season. They also out rebound their opposition 36.4 to 29.9 so far this season. They are the second highest rebounding offense and the highest rebounding defense in the conference. Navy’s defense also averages 3.9 blocks, most in the conference. The Navy defense is stingy, and will make the BU offense work.
If BU can match Navy on the defensive end and can get and make open three pointers, they will stand a chance of winning.
Navy has one other major advantage over BU; lineup consistency. Navy has four players who have started every game, and one player who has started 12 of 15 games this season. Because of numerous injuries, BU has not had a consistent starting lineup. The only player who has started every game is John Papale.
Cheddi Mosely has started every game he has played in, but he’s been dealing with a few injuries that kept him out of a game. Kyle Foreman has also started most games he’s played, but has been hampered by injuries as well. The frontcourt has been the most injured, and the team has struggled because of that.
BU holds a better field goal percentage and a better three point percentage than Navy. They do have a more efficient offense, but they are mistake prone. They have the second worst turnover ratio in the Patriot League, at -2.2.
If BU finds open shots and makes them, Navy will have a difficult time keeping up. BU will need to limit their turnovers and not help the Navy defense. If they do so, they will get their first conference win of the season. If they don’t, they will go to 0-3 in conference play.