Remember this line, because you'll hear it all season: For the Naval Academy, the 1987-88 basketball season will always be known as the year 1 A.D. -- After David.

Few players have had the impact on a program, or a conference, as David Robinson had on Navy and the Colonial Athletic Association. Robinson took a nationally unrecognized program, placed it on his 7-foot frame and carried it to new heights, the least of which was three consecutive CAA championships.

Even the CAA's preseason guide acknowledges, without Robinson, "there's not a guaranteed draw for Colonial basketball. No household name for the marquee. No preseason all-American pick."

Robinson is gone to fulfull his military service commitment and then to join the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. Gone, too, are the 28.2 points and 11.8 rebounds he averaged per game last season. Second-year Coach Pete Herrmann is faced with the task of recreating his own basketball universe.

"We don't mention it at all. We don't mention the loss of {point guard Doug} Wojcik and Robinson," Herrmann said. "You can't. You have a new team, new players."

The Midshipmen may miss Wojcik, Navy's all-time assist leader, and forward Carl Liebert as much as Robinson. Last season, Wojcik averaged 7.3 assists per game and ran the offense efficiently. With backup guard Neal Fenton transferring to Lehigh, Navy will give the ballhandling duties to either junior Rich Brennan or one of two freshmen -- Erik Harris from St. John's High School Washington, D.C. or Mel Davis from Chicago.

Senior guard Cliff Rees is the leading returning scorer (11 ppg last season). But Navy's best pure shooter may be freshman Joe Gottschalk, a 6-2 all-state guard from Iowa who averaged 20 points a game last season.

"A lot of people think because David's gone, we don't have any athletes, {it's} back to mediocrity," Rees said. "We'll still work it inside, but we have to work it inside to more people."

Those people include forward Derric Turner (6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg last season) and center Byron Hopkins, a 6-9 sophomore. Herrmann likes freshman Darren Morningstar, a 6-9, 210-pound forward from Washington.

"We really have, probably, three big players in Turner, Hopkins and Darren Morningstar," Herrmann said, "that are good-sized players. We're looking at that lineup, and {6-5 sophomore Matt} Nordmann at strong forward."

"We're not holding our heads down," Turner said. "All teams' goals are to win the conference. That's our goal. . . This is a totally new team. We'll be okay if everyone keeps working and keeps their heads up."

Guard Bobby Jones and forwards Craig Prather and Ed Reddick will lead the reserves for Herrmann, who has to deal with the expectations produced by consecutive 26-win seasons and NCAA appearances (including an advance to the final eight in 1985-86).

Navy's schedule has been dramatically scaled back from last season's. North Carolina State, Michigan State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Kentucky and Miami (Fla.) have been replaced by Mount St. Mary's, Slippery Rock and Towson State. But the Midshipmen play Iowa and Toledo in December tournaments, games Herrmann hopes will allow him to get a read on his young squad.

"We've got nine games before the conference," he said. "They will either gain confidence from these early games, or they'll struggle. Teams are ready to play Navy now." SCHEDULE

November: 28, at Mount St. Mary's 7:30; 30, Slippery Rock, 7:30.

December: 4, vs. Iowa at Iowa Amana Classic, 9 (Cal-Irvine vs. Jacksonville, 7); 5, at Iowa Amana Classic, 7 or 9; 7, Towson State, 7:30; 28, vs. Toledo at Toledo Blade Classic, 8:30 (Butler vs. Iowa State, 6:30); 29, at Toledo Blade Classic, 6:30 or 8:30.

January: 4, The Citadel, 7:30; 6, Lafayette, 7:30; 9, at Richmond, 7:30; 13, William and Mary, 7:30; 16, at East Carolina, 8:30; 18, at UNC-Wilmington, 7:30; 23, George Mason, 7:30; 25, Maryland-Baltimore County, 7:30; 27, James Madison, 7:30; 30, at American, 7:30.

February: 1, at Delaware, 8; 6, Richmond, 7:30; 10, at William and Mary, 7:30; 13, East Carolina, 7:30; 15, UNC-Wilmington, 7:30; 17, Fordham, 7:30; 20, American, 7:30; 24, at James Madison, 7:30; 27, at Army, 2.

March: 1, at George Mason, 8; 5-7, at CAA Tournament in Hampton, Va.; tba.