Notes and observations from Bucknell's 78-63 win at Navy
If you have not seen Navy's offense, it really is different. There is nobody in the low post, only occasionally someone in the high post. Basically they put five guys around the arc, then make cuts from one side of the arc to the other. There is very little in terms of trying to make cuts actually towards the basket. instead, they throw it around the outside, then usually fire up a three.
Even their two-pointers tend to be long jumpers. Of Navy's first 24 points, the closest shot was from 10-feet. The rest were either threes -- six of them -- or within a foot of the arc.
Talk about good anticipation. On John Griffin's first personal foul, which came with 12:26 to go in the first half, the ref actually blew the whistle before Griffin made contact. The call was correct, but premature.
Somebody ought to clue the Patriot League folks on a secret Major League Soccer learned long ago. When your building is far from full for a TV game, try to make sure you fill the seats on the side opposite the cameras to create the illusion of a bigger crowd. Navy reserves the first four rows at center court for brass and they are only about half full, which doesn't look good on TV.
Speaking of TV, is it true the U in ESPNU stands for Unavailable? Don't have the stats, but it doesn't seem ESPNU is available in many more homes than CSTV was. That doesn't mean it has not been a good move for the league shifting networks. The ESPN branding does present a stronger image and unlike CSTV, ESPNU does not force games to be played at odd times so it can show women's curling.
A Clif Colbert layup with 5:47 to go in the first half marked Navy's first points in the paint, after their first 28 came outside or at the foul line.
Bucknell had two buckets wiped out in the first half. The first came on a questionable charge on Justin Castleberry. The second came on an offensive interference call on Chris McNaughton, who tipped in a Jason Vegotsky miss. The refs ruled the ball was still in the cylinder when McNaughton touched it.
That call brought a furious protest from Pat Flannery, who was nearly to halfcourt when assistant Nathan Davis reeled him back in.
The officials stopped the game and checked a replay on a monitor at the scoring table. On the scoreboard video screen, it appeared the officials got the call right.
It has been total domination on the boards by Bucknell in the first half. The Bison hold a 22-11 edge on the boards, with 8 offensive caroms to 1 for Navy.
Bucknell 39, Navy 37
Scoring: Bucknell -- John Griffin 8, Stephen Tyree and Chris McNaughton 7 each, Jason Vegotsky 6
Navy -- Greg Sprink 10, Adam Teague 6
Shooting: Bucknell 14 for 29 (48.3 percent) 5 for 12 on threes
Navy -- 12 of 27 (44.4 percent), 7 of 15 threes
Points in the paint: Bucknell 16, Navy 4
Turnovers: Bucknell 9, Navy 5
Points off Turnovers: Bucknell 11, Navy 14
The answer to who would pick up Donald Brown's minutes appears to be Patrick Behan. Behan has been part of a three-man rotation with McNaughton and Mastropaolo in the 4 and 5 spots.
Stephen Tyree played 12 minutes in the first half, picking up a career-high already with 7 points on 3 for 3 shooting. That is one of the answers to who will pick up some of Brown's scoring. He also has 4 rebounds, answering that part of the Brown question.
Navy was 6 of 10 from the arc the first 11 minutes, 1 for 5 after that.
If the game comes down to the wire, somebody will look back at what happened when Abe Badmus was at the foul line with 15:11 to go in the half. Badmus missed the free throw and the rebound was tipped out of bounds. The refs stopped play when the clock showed 15:06 and reset it to 15:08, meaning the carom and tip took 3 seconds. No word on whether or not Navy had borrowed Duke's clock guy for the night.
Bucknell opened the second half with an 11-3 run and stretched it to 18-6 over the first 7 minutes of the half. All six of Navy's points came on threes by freshman guard Chris Harris, who added another at the 12:18 mark to account for all 9 of the Mids points in the half. At that point, Navy was shooting 3 for 9 in the half, 7 of the shots being threes. Bucknell was 7 for 10 in that span, 3 of 5 at the arc.
Navy's Greg Sprink joined the Midshipmen's 1,000-points club with a three at the 8:52 mark of the second half.
Navy might be in last place in the standings, but its pep band is easily tops in the league. It's all brass, save the drummer on a trap kit -- not a woodwind in sight. Alumni Hall's new scoreboard is also the best in the league. The video screen actually looks like television, unlike that low def. thing in the corner of Bucknell's Sojka Pavilion. It hangs above the middle of the floor, offering every fan a good view and they are great about showing replays. All in all, it just adds to the first class feel of Alumni Hall. Your tax dollars at work, eh?
Bucknell walk-on George Medrano scored the first points of his career on a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left.
Bucknell's 78 points were the second most allowed by the Mids this season. Only Penn (79) has scored more.
Labels: BU, Navy, notebook