Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#799 East Carolina -2 vs.
#800 Navy 138.5
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 8:30pm EST
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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Teams
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W/L
ATS
O/U
PPG
OPPG
#799 East Carolina University
#800 United States Naval Academy
1-0
0-1
13-18
14-16-1
14-17
19-12
67
66
74
72

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This article covers a past game!

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East Carolina meets Navy in a non-conference matchup. Navy does play football in the AAC, but their hoops program resides in the Patriot League. East Carolina is an AAC school in all sports. They defeated VMI, 80-68 at home to open their season on Tuesday. The Mids lost at George Mason in overtime on the same day, 68-55 in overtime.

These two teams meet from Annapolis in the Veterans Classic from Alumni Hall at the Naval Academy.

Good start for Pirates

ECU was 10-21 overall last season and a pathetic 3-15 in the American. Joe Dooley returns to the program after going 67-73 in four seasons. He coached in the late nineties and had some success. That's a word that's been foreign in Greenville since they joined the new AAC (23-67) in 2014. Jeff Lebo was the coach for their last winning campaign, which produced 23 wins.

The Pirates struggled in the first half against VMI, trailing 38-36, before pulling away with 44 points in the second half to win by 12. Forward Jaylen Gardner led the Pirates with 28 points and 11 rebounds with two blocks. The 6-7, 225-pound forward led ECU with 16.3 points and 8.5 rebounds last season. Tristan Newton (6-3, 185), a freshman guard, added 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting (3-5 3pt) in his college debut. The Pirates shot 53.4% from the field and outrebounded the Keydets by nine. They also shot just 14-of-24 from the line (58.3%).

“I thought we had jitters like we expected, especially early in the game," said Dooley after the game from 247sports. "I thought we were very sped up offensively, which a lot it is attributed to them with the switching man they played. We got a little discombobulated for a while offensively, turned it over and missed some layups. I thought our defense changed in the second half and I thought the freshmen guards did a great job in the second half keeping the ball in front of them and obviously Tristen made some really good plays. ..."

DeChellis needs a strong season

Navy finished last season with a 12-19 record and was 8-10 in the Patriot League (T-6). They return just one starter from last season's squad, that lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament. At some point, former Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis is going to need to get the Mids back on track. He's 100-50 in Annapolis in eight seasons although Navy is not an easy place to win and the football program certainly takes center stage.

The Mids gave a strong effort in the opener at George Mason, but were outscored 16-3 in overtime to fall to 0-1. Evan Wieck and Cam Davis had 14 points apiece, while Greg Summers added 13 and eight boards to lead the Mids, who shot just 36.2% from the field (4-20 3pt).

“Great effort by our squad,” DeChellis said in The Baltimore Sun. “I like the way we were resilient and had a chance to win the game. We just didn't make the play we needed to make to win it.”

Wieck is a 6-8, 235-pound senior who averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds last season. The key player is Davis, a 6-1 junior guard who averaged 9.8 points and 2.4 rebounds as a combo guard, but will be relied more to handle the point this season. Sophomore guard John Carter Jr. (8.4ppg, 5.2rpg) struggled in the opener scoring just two points on 0-for-7 from the field but is certainly capable of producing.

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Basketball is about chemistry and you need five players on the same wavelength to win. East Carolina added 11 new players to the roster and while they won their opener, it's going to take time for this team to gell. Navy has more experience and is playing at home, which never hurts. They played well enough to win their opener on the road against an Atlantic Ten team. That's something to build on against a bad AAC squad.

Prediction: Navy -1

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Picking totals is never easy early in the season, but fortunately you have two veteran coaches. Dooley is going to want to push the ball. They did it well against VMI, but Navy will dictate tempo here at home. The Mids can't afford to get in a run-and-gun matchup with the Pirates. Both teams also struggled to make threes in the opener so expect this to be a grind-it-out defensive battle.

Prediction: Under 137
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!