Good news: Navy hoops losing streak is over … until November

Worth Smith

All-Patriot League rookie Worth Smith, here shooting over a Siena defender Nov. 16, 2011, will lead the Mids into the 2012-2013 campaign. (US Presswire photo by Mark L. Baer)

OK, maybe “over” is a stretch: The Midshipmen ended their season Wednesday night with an 87-63 loss at Bucknell in the opening round of the Patriot League tournament, keeping their losing streak alive at 22 games, tops in college basketball.

Navy (3-26) will have eight solid months to adapt and overcome; the full 2012-2013 schedule likely won’t be released until August at the earliest, and games won’t begin until shortly before Thanksgiving — the Big East could add 27 football teams by then, give or take.

Four quick silver linings for Navy fans who, at this point, would probably settle for bronze. Or tin:

1. Youth movement: Freshman forward Worth Smith earned a spot on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team and led all active (read: not suspended or resigned) Mids in rebounds (146, or 5.0 a game) and blocks (22). Junior guard Jordan Brickman had a team-best 64 assists. Sophomore guard Isaiah Roberts, an all-rookie choice last year, played in all 29 games, started 18 of them, led all active players with 33 steals and put up a team-best 20 points in Wednesday’s finale.

2. Even younger youth movement: A caveat here — every recruiting class looks good on paper, or else it wouldn’t be a recruiting class. Still, The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital’s Bill Wagner has a fine roundup here of what to expect out of next year’s freshmen, a recruiting class that will include a number of prep school standouts.

3. Let’s get this over with: Navy is 77-28 in season openers, including a 78-70 win over Longwood to start this season. Starting off strong is always important, but even more important when you’re trying to bury the longest losing streak in school history.

4. Academy rivalry update: Army’s season — also over.


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