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Navy & Loyola set for home-and-home this weekend

Midshipmen and Greyhounds men's basketball teams tip twice
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 17:30:01-05

BALTIMORE, Md. — It has been quite the start to this most unusual of seasons for the Navy Midshipmen.

"It’s special. I think our team has the makings of a very, very special ball group," said Mids guard Cam Davis.

Navy (10-2, 7-1) owns the best record in the Patriot League. Unlike most of the conference, they got an exemption to play non-conference games before conference play started.

"It put us a leg up ahead of everybody else and I think we’re reaping the benefits of it, for sure," said Davis.

"I got to be honest with you, I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball yet, which is kind of exciting for us," said Navy Head Coach Ed DeChellis.

This weekend they play in-state rival Loyola on back-to-back nights - Saturday in Annapolis at 12:00 p.m. and Sunday in Baltimore at 6:00 p.m.

"They’re probably the best 0-4 team in the country, honestly," said Davis. "They have so much talent."

Yep. The Greyhounds are winless so far. But their four losses are by a combined 7 points.

"We certainly are better than our record but at the end of the day you still got to win the games," said Loyola Head Coach Tavaras Hardy.

"We’ve put ourselves in the position to win each game. I think we’ve had a shot," said Loyola guard Luke Johnson. "Even without a ‘W’ we’re still right there and we know we are as a team."

The Hounds are led by forward Santi Aldama. The 6-foot-11 forward from Spain ranks third in the league in scoring with 19.5 points per game and first in defensive rebounds with 7.8 per contest.

"He’s extremely talented. He’s versatile. He brings a lot to the table," said Hardy. "To be honest, he’s just scratching the surface."

Now comes Navy.

"I expect a battle," said Hardy. "I expect both teams to come out, play with a lot of energy, play with a lot of swagger."

Loyola will get to play with Isaiah Hart in the lineup. Their most experienced guard is expected back from a non-COVID related illness. Navy, is expected to be without forward Daniel Deaver and guard Sean Yoder due to COVID contact tracing.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook