Just minutes prior to tip-off against UMBC the Naval Academy announced that they have suspended sophomore point guard, Tilman Dunbar (Woodbridge, Va) indefinitely. Dunbar, who leads the team in scoring (11.9 points per game), assists (5.0), and minutes (30.9), has been suspended indefinitely for breaking unspecified Naval Academy rules.
Navy coach Ed DeChellis says that they take the code of conduct at Navy very seriously saying, “Our standards are little higher and you can’t deviate from those and we take them very, very seriously.” He added, “For a coach that is refreshing and hopefully it will be a learning experience for all of us and we’ll move on and be better for it.”
DeChellis says that he has coached at two other programs that are “civilian schools” where the rules and codes of conduct are important too. He says about the Navy’s strict regulations, “I don’t think we are asking our kids to do something that everybody else doesn’t do.”
Dunbar had scored in double figures in four of the Midshipmen’s last five games, including a team high 28 versus The Citadel on December 4. With his absence the team promoted junior guard Earl McLaurin to the starting lineup. Prior to tonight’s matchup against UMBC, McLaurin had played at most 13 minutes in a game against non D-1 program Goucher back in mid-November.
Junior guard Brandon Venturini says “The school has got concepts and things like that and you’ve got to follow them, it’s part of going to the Academy.” Venturini and Worth Smith will be called upon in the absence of Dunbar.
There is no timetable set for Dunbar’s return says Coach DeChellis, “It rests with the Commandant’s Office right now so we’ll see what happens in hopefully a short period of time.”
Dunbar wasn’t the only player suspended, sophomore guard Phil Guglielmo (Springfield, Va). Guglielmo had only played one minute in one game on the season.