First-year Coach Paul Evans took one look at his 1980-81 schedule and nearly fainted. The Mids' season could end before it starts, for they open against Maryland, then take on such highly regarded teams as Holy Cross VMI, Robert Morris, Alcorn State (in the Senior Bowl Classic), Missouri and San Siego State, all on the road.
"We could have a good year if we can do well in our first 10 games," said Evans, who replaces the fired Bob Hamilton. "If we come out of that with a 3-7 or 2-8 recored and play bad, we could be in for a long, tough season. Even if we lose most of them. That stretch will give us a good indication of how we'll do this year."
Evans inherits the nucleus of the team that afinished 14-13 and took Old Dominion to the wire in the ECAC South final (Navy lost, 62-51, in overtime). The Mids are not particularly quick or big inside but play excellent man-to-man defense.
Evans' will relinguish sophomore guard David Brooks, the ECAC South rookie of the year, of his ballhandling duties this season and allow him more freedom to put up jump shots. Brookes led the team in scoring with a 12.0 average and Evans believes the 6-foot-1 sophomore can average 20 points per game.
But Brooks suffered a broken bone in his shooting hand during a scrimmage Nov. 15 and will wear a cast for another week. He definitely will miss the Maryland game and could be out a while longer.
Evans will try senior Kevin Cotherman (2.3 points) at the point. Should that move fail, Brooks may go back to point guard with senior 6-2 Chuck Greene (10.0) moving to the wing position.
"The three of them will play equyal time," said Evans, whose seven-year 126-50 recored at St. Lawrence University earned him the Navy job.
Evans wants the Mids to run. To do that the Mids must be more aggressive off the backboards. Evans likes his front court. Center John Geshay (11.9 points, 7.0 rebounds) is the bet of the bunch and he will be expected to improve both of last year's figures. Joining the 6-7 Geshay on the front line will be 6-6 sophomore Rich Davidson (4.0 and 3.7) at one forward and either 6-6 senior Myron Simons (4.9 and 6.3) or 6-6 sophomore Jim Whitesides (2.0 and 1.0) at the other. Whitesides began last season as a jayvee.
Evans has also been impressed with the play of three plebes: 6-4 Mike Jones, and all-Met from High Point, and 6-7 Gary Price and 6-1 Robert Romaine, and excellent passer. All three could challenge for starting berths by season's end.
"I have always used seven and eight men and I like the depth here." Evans siad. "We want to go inside a little more but if that doesn't work, then we'll resort to our outside game. We do have some good shooters. . . . Right now, they're trying to learn a new system and gain confidnce in one another. They've worked hard and I know they're sick of playing against one another. We could have a good year, it just depends on how well we play in that first 10-game stretch."
Strengths: Experience in the back court, good ball handlers and shooters; experience and dept on the front line good defense.
Weaknesses: Lack of overall team speed and a tough big man inside; Mids must get some scoring from their front line.
Assessment: If the Mids play well in the first half of the season and Geshay and Brooks get some scoring help, they could have a good season. Evans may have to depend on plebes to share some of the scoring and rebounding burden.