Navy men's basketball opening Patriot League play at Loyola Thursday night

The Navy men’s basketball team is eager to end a three-game losing streak, but the Midshipmen’s next opponent is enduring an even longer skid.

Loyola (5-6) has dropped its last four games and six of its last seven. The Greyhounds and Navy (5-6) will meet Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Reitz Arena in Baltimore in the Patriot League opener for both teams, but Midshipmen coach Ed DeChellis said there is a caveat to Loyola’s losing streak.

“I think if you look at their schedule, their schedule is very, very difficult,” DeChellis said Tuesday. “If you play Connecticut and West Virginia on the road, you’re going to have a hard time beating those two teams. And St. Joe’s is a very good team. And Stony Brook, I watched that tape yesterday, and I thought they were very, very good. So I think the schedule got to Loyola. And then they played Miami [on Monday]. So they played three games that are really challenging to win.

"They lost a couple at home that I think they were hoping to get, but St. Joe’s is good and Stony Brook is good. So they haven’t lost to bad teams. They’ve lost to good teams and for them, they’re probably looking at the schedule and going, ‘OK, our first conference game is Navy, and it’s at home. We’ve got to have it.’ So I’m sure they’re going to come with a certain level of intensity and toughness and a sense of urgency. We’re back on the road, and we’ve got to have that same sense of urgency.”

The Greyhounds are making their debut in the Patriot League, which adds an element of unfamiliarity for the programs that have been long-time mainstays of the conference. But DeChellis said online video makes it easy for any coach to scout an opponent.

“I think at this time of the year, there’s enough data and info on each team that you play,” he said. “We know who the good players are and what they’re running and what they’re going to try to do, and they know what we’re going to do. So, it’s about execution.

"I don’t care if this is the first time that you play them as a conference opponent or not. There’s so much information out there now on each team that there aren’t any real secrets. So we’ll line up and try to do what we want to do and they’ll line up and try to do what they want to do.”

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