Colonial Athletic Association
"PLEASE MR. POSTMAN"
(COACH: PAUL EVANS)
Hey Coach, look what I learned last summer," shouted Navy's David Robinson as he walked across an Annapolis parking lot—on his hands. Robinson, about 9'4" upside down and 6'11" right side up, is the center of the Middies' hopes this season. With all five starters returning from last year's conference champions, there's clear sailing ahead.
Perhaps the best pure center in the college game, Robinson, who averaged 11.6 rebounds and 23.6 points per game last season while shooting 64.4%, picked up 15 pounds over the summer. At the same time, he gave Navy fans some anxious moments. Robinson had to decide whether to switch schools or face Navy's postgraduation five-year service commitment. He'd rather fight.
Navy surprised a lot of teams, but there will be no sneak attacks this time around. The Middies led the nation in field goal shooting (54.8%) in '84-85, while their harassing defense forced opponents to shoot 42.5%, sixth-lowest in the nation. Taking the double-and triple-team heat off Robinson is 6'7", 235-pound forward Vernon Butler, who last season averaged 18.4 points and 9.1 rebounds. "He can't jump over the Sunday Times, but he works his butt off," says coach Paul Evans.
Evans had his strongest recruiting class ever, and the Mids need it. With St. John's in the NIT and possible tournament games with DePaul, Syracuse and Georgia Tech—Robinson may have to learn to dunk with his feet.