Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thirer out as AD at Binghamton

After the fallout that has taken place at Binghamton over the past week with six men's basketball players being kicked off the team, you almost expected what happened Wednesday to occur.

Athletic Director Joel Thirer resigned on Wednesday.

This all started a week ago, when former Troy High star Emanuel 'Tiki' Mayben was arrested in his hometown on drug charges.

Five more players were then kicked off of the team two days later.

"I am very proud of my 21 years of service to Binghamton University at the opportunities that I've had to provide leadership for intercollegiate athletics and the other programs under my charge," said Thirer in a statement.

Thirer said he'll remain a tenured professor, but Jim Norris, an associate athletic director, will take over as interim athletic director.

Also in that statement, Binghamton President Lois DeFleur said she has directed men's basketball coach Kevin Broadus to provide her with a recruitment and supervision plan for the basketball team.

She added that an external consultant will audit the athletic program to make sure it complies with America East and NCAA policies and procedures.

You have to wonder if winning the school's first America East basketball tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament was worth all of this.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Wilson joins UAlbany staff

University at Albany men's basketball coach Will Brown announced the hiring of former player Brent Wilson ('08) as the team's director of operations.

Wilson will take over for Ken Dagostino, who left two weeks ago to become the head coach at Hudson Valley Community College.

Wilson was a two-time captain for the Great Danes and a former America East all-conference selection.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native is 16th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,178 points, 14th in career rebounds (596), third in career 3-point field goals (229) and first in charges taken (that's not an official statistic).

Wilson certainly knows that program and that should help Brown and the rest of his staff because the season is right around the corner.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Binghamton blowup

According to the Press & Sun Bulletin, Binghamton University has released five more student-athletes from the basketball team in the wake of Troy native Emanuel 'Tiki' Mayben being arrested on Wednesday.

D.J. Rivera, Malik Alvin, Corey Chandler, Paul Crosby and David Fine have all be released from their athletic scholarships by the university.

Rivera was a second team all-conference selection along with Mayben.

This is a huge shakeup to a team that won the America East Conference Tournament last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s important that everyone who is playing for Binghamton University and for me to be on the same page as to what kind of commitment we expect of our student-athletes, both on and off the court,” Binghamton Bearcats Basketball Coach Kevin Broadus said. “There’s only one captain steering this ship, and that’s me. If any of the young men in our program don’t respect the decisions that have been made or the rules we have in place, then they need to move on with their lives."

Broadus received a contract extension through the 2013-14 season back in June and after a lot of turmoil surrounding the program, I wouldn't be surprised if something came down on him.

Here's the link to the Press & Sun story.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Paul Booker

I caught up with red-shirt tight end Paul Booker on Thursday and judging from practice, the team was still high on their victory from last weekend over #20 Maine.

Booker caught the second pass of his career against the Black Bears and caught the first touchdown of his career and the first passing touchdown of the season for the Great Danes, a 22-yard rollout pass from senior Vinny Esposito.

I'm sure everybody was going crazy after that win on Saturday.

PB: Definitely. It was a huge win, great win for the program.

What was Saturday night like for you guys?

PB: After we won, it was pandemonium. We went out and had fun. It was great in the locker room, turned the techno (music) on and start dancing.
It was a great night.

How big was it to get the team's first win?

PB: It was definitely a big confidence booster going into conference and getting a win over a CAA team.

Your first catch came against UMass, the second catch (a touchdown against Maine) must have been a lot sweeter?

PB: It felt a lot better after we won. Then, I got to brag about it.

Did you think a touchdown would come this quickly for you?
PB: I thought I had to wait a little bit, get a few more catches and then finally get one, but it came so I'm happy.

How is the league schedule different from non-conference games?

PB: We're expected to win and we have to go out there and stay focused. We can't get a big head because we beat a CAA team, we just have to go out there stay focused and dominate the rest of the conference.

What's this week been like after the big win?

PB: We've been having great practices, but we can't get big heads. We have to come down a little bit and focus.

Is there a big difference between a league game and a non-league game?

PB: The speed against the CAA teams is different and we have to practice so hard and gameplan. This week, has been the same pretty much, but just less emphasis on it. We've been playing these teams for years, so we have a good idea of what they're going to bring.

Have the guys been talking about the 13-game league unbeaten streak?

PB: There hasn't been too much locker room talk, but at the same time it's in the back of our heads and we want to keep that going definitely.

What was the atmosphere like on Saturday, especially playing in front of the home crowd for the first time?

PB: It was a huge crowd and I had about 30 friends and family there and the whole Guilderland "Red Sea" there, all the players. It was just a great atmosphere to play in.

What has been like for you Guilderland guys (quarterback Andrew Smith) who are contributing this season?

PB: You get a lot of people out here, a lot of local people, a lot of friends and family coming out to see us, even if we really didn't know them, people are coming out here to see us play.

What was the best reaction you got after scoring the touchdown?

PB: I went back into the locker room and came back out and it had to be my mom (Sandra), sitting there screaming with her nice little purple glasses on. She was sitting there waiting for a hug, that had to be the best part.

(UAlbany Athletics)

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Mayben dismissed for BU hoops team

It didn't take long for action to come from Binghamton University against former Troy High star Emanuel 'Tiki' Mayben.

This afternoon, the university came down on Mayben saying that their senior point guard was dismissed from the team because of his arrest Wednesday night.

Mayben faces felonies for selling and possession of cocaine and was arraigned Thursday morning in Troy City Court.

In a statement, Binghamton President Lois DeFluer said...

“I am reiterating to our Athletic Director Joel Thirer and (Basketball) Coach Kevin Broadus that we will not tolerate this behavior in our student athletes. This behavior does not reflect the quality of our program and the hundreds of student athletes at Binghamton University. We appreciate that Coach Broadus has given second-chances to athletes but our program can not take these risks and I have made this clear to both Thirer and Broadus.”

Thirer made it quite clear that Mayben was no longer a member of the basketball team.

“Emanuel Mayben has been permanently dismissed from the men’s basketball program. His arrest is both shocking and disappointing," Thirer said. "Our University and department will not tolerate this type of behavior. It’s a privilege to be a student-athlete and represent this University and we will not allow that privilege to be abused. Our coaches need to recruit student-athletes who value the opportunity that’s being given to them and I have communicated that directive to Coach Broadus loud and clear.”

The Press & Sun Bulletin is also reporting that Mayben had been cited for marijuana on Sept. 13 by a state university police office.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mayben arrested

The Troy Police Department sent out a release saying that as a part of an IMPACT Detail investigation they came across Emanuel 'Tiki' Mayben.

The police had a two count indictment against Mayben, 22, for the Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the 3rd degree as a result of a three month investigation by the Special Operations Unit.

The police went to arrest Mayben this evening and he was found to be in possession of 3.4 grams of an off white powder that field tested positive for cocaine and he was also charged with CPCS 3 and CPCS 5th Degree, both felonies.

Mayben, a former Troy High standout, seemed to have restored his basketball and academic career after playing one season at Hudson Valley Community College and competing last year at SUNY Binghamton.

Mayben was a America East second team selection for the Bearcats, who won the America East Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.


Siena Sneak Preview

There was a nice turnout tonight at the Siena Sneak Preview.

While it's still about two months until games begin, it's nice to see that there is some thirsting for college hoops.

The men's and women's team were both introduced to the crowds on Wednesday night.

I was impressed that men's coach Fran McCaffery made it a point to single out Ronald Moore and say that this team is his this season.

I was then impressed with the maturity (not that I didn't expect it) from Moore in his answers about the subject.

“It’s definitely a great honor, but at the same time, I know that I’m not the only captain out there because I have other senior leadership out there with me,” Moore said.

Other things of note:
  • Ryan Rossiter got the loudest cheers when McCaffery said he has bulked up to 235 pounds
  • McCaffery said that Kyle Downey was recovering from an injury he sustained over the summer
  • McCaffery said that Justin Smith, a walk-on from East Greenbush, who is 26 years old, could be the best defensive guard the team has

My favorite quote from McCaffery was "Our days of sneaking up on anyone are over and we know that."

McCaffery told the media he has been "very impressed" with the freshman class and thinks the addition of Davis Martens was a great final sign.

McCaffery told me that living up to the expectations will be hard, but they are good expectations to have.

“It is going to be hard to go (to the NCAA Tournament) every year because the other teams are so good,” McCaffery said. “I think what we have to come to expect is that we’re going to be challenging every year and we’re going to have a shot and then what we have to do is schedule appropriately so that if we stumble in the conference tournament, we’re still looking at an NIT bid."

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Meet the "Firefly"

Former Siena guard Tay Fisher has been asked to join the Harlem Globetrotters training camp which starts Thursday, Sept. 24.

Fisher is one of six rookies who will be joining the veterans for spots on the team.

Here's what they say about Tay, whose nickname is "firefly."

Joining Coley will be Tay “Firefly” Fisher, a 5-9 sharpshooting dynamo out of Siena College. A 2008 Globetrotters draftee, he helped lead the Saints to the 2007-08 MAAC regular season and postseason titles and a stunning 83-62 upset of SEC power Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Fisher, who hails from Kingston, N.Y., shot a blistering 44.4 percent from three-point range his senior season.

The training camp wraps up on Oct. 5.

Good luck to Tay.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Siena fills in schedule

Here's the full schedule for the upcoming 2009-10 Siena men's basketball season.

2009-10 Schedule
Day Date Opponent Location Time
Fri. Nov. 13 at Tennessee State Nashville, Tenn. 8:30 p.m.
Tue. Nov. 17 NORTHEASTERN^ HOME 12 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 21 at Temple! Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Tue. Nov. 24 DELAWARE! HOME 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 27 vs. St. John’s! Philadelphia, Pa. 6:15 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 28 vs. Brown! Philadelphia, Pa. 4 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 2 at Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga. 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 5 UALBANY+ HOME 8 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 7 at Iona* New Rochelle, N.Y. TBA
Sat. Dec. 12 at Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 8:05 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 23 RIDER* HOME TBA
Tue. Dec. 29 ST. JOSEPH’S HOME 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 2 MOUNT ST. MARY’S HOME 7 p.m.
Mon. Jan. 4 at Loyola* Baltimore, Md. TBA
Sat. Jan. 16 at Fairfield* Bridgeport, Conn. TBA
Sun. Jan. 24 at Manhattan* Riverdale, N.Y. TBA
Thu. Jan. 28 at Saint Peter’s* Jersey City, N.J. TBA
Sat. Jan. 30 at Marist* Poughkeepsie, N.Y. TBA
Fri. Feb. 5 IONA* HOME TBA
Fri. Feb. 12 at Niagara* Niagara University, N.Y. TBA
Sun. Feb. 14 at Canisius* Buffalo, N.Y. TBA
Fri./Sat Feb. 19/20 at ESPNU BracketBusters TBA TBA
Fri. Feb. 26 at Rider* Lawrenceville, N.J. TBA
All times are Eastern Standard Time
All home games in BOLD CAPS and played at Times Union Center, Albany, N.Y.
+ Doubleheader with Siena women
! Philly Hoop Group Classic (Games in Philadelphia played at The Palestra)
* MAAC Game

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Dave Casale

On Thursday, I had a chance to talk with senior safety Dave Casale. Casale, a captain, is a graduate of Troy High and had seven interceptions last year.

Casale is one of the anchors of the defensive unit for the Great Danes (0-2), who take on Maine at 4 p.m. on Saturday in a game that can be seen on Time Warner channel 3.

What was the team's mood after the UMass game?

DC: We realized that we have to turn the season around and we have to do it quickly. We have to start taking care of the little things and really getting on everyone in order to turn the season around.

Did you almost wish you could press the reset button after the bad start against UMass?

DC: It seemed that way, but then again with four minutes left in the third quarter, the score was only 20-7. We had opportunities to get back in the game, deep in the third quarter and we just didn't take advantage of them. Our turnover ratio was just completely unacceptable. It's not possible for us to win a game with the amount of turnovers we had and lack of turnovers the defense got.

What's the biggest thing you guys have to correct?

DC: We just have to get rolling. Defensively, we have to start swarming to the ball and not letting their offense get any momentum, especially in the beginning of the game. Offensively, they've been harping on keeping control of the ball.

How tough has it been walking around campus, going to class and knowing that you're 0-2 and that's not where you want to be?

DC: It's tough, but we can't dwell on this loss. I think we thought about the Georgia Southern loss a little too long and we realized after film on Sunday that the past is past and we have to look forward and work on improving the future.

You've played these tough teams early in the year and the record hasn't been that great, but this isn't time to panic is it?

DC: We're definitely far from panicking. You have to take it one game at a time and come Saturday, our goal is to go out and get a win and hopefully that win will spark more to come.

Are you extra excited for the home opener?

DC: We're really excited. Everyone has a ton of people coming to the game. It's exciting to play in front of people you know and people that support you.

You're a little banged up, any chance you won't be out there on Saturday?

DC: No. I'll be out there. I'm not going to let my hamstring hold me back.

(UAlbany Athletics)

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Danes vs. Tar Heels on ESPU and more...

I stopped by UAlbany today to do some football stuff and Sports Information Director Brian DePasquale gave me a few notes.
  • UAlbany's basketball game at North Carolina, on Wednesday Dec. 30, will be televised on ESPNU.

  • Jamar Wilson, the basketball team's all-time leading scorer has been in town and will likely be in town the rest of the week

  • Wilson, UAlbany men's basketball coach Will Brown and UAlbany football coach Bob Ford all spoke on Thursday at the Varsity Club Luncheon.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Around the East

Colleague Adam Samrov does a good job working on's Around the East column so I read it to get ready for all things RPI and Union.

I pulled it up this evening at the office to find this.

“You’re always nervous for the first game, but now we’re coming up here to a multi-million dollar facility and you want to put a decent product on the field,” RPI coach Joe King told Andrew Santillo from the Troy Record.

Here is the link.

Samrov used to work for our sister paper in Saratoga and now is the managing editor of the Bennington Banner.

Give his column a read sometime. It's pretty good.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dagostino named coach at HVCC

Ken Dagostino, who spent the last two years with the University at Albany as their Director of Basketball Operations, will be introduced as the new head coach of the Hudson Valley Community College men's basketball team on Wednesday.

Dagostino played basketball at Iona College and was a former star at Guilderland High School.

He takes over for Andre Cook, who left over the summer to take the job at St. Edwards (Tx.)

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Friday, September 11, 2009

RPI opening ECAV

This story looks ahead for Rensselaer's $114 million facility. The football fields opens Saturday. Look out for our special 12-page insert in The Record on Saturday.

Andrew Santillo
The Record

TROY — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will unveil their new athletics upgrade today in the East Campus Athletic Village, but there are more changes on the horizon.

All of the new facilities are just the first of what was planned to be two phases of their $114 million project.

While the second phase isn’t scheduled to be started for a couple of years, it will include a natatorium and an indoor field house.

“We had always planned to have a hiatus between Phase I and Phase II,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “We want to break it in and really get it going.”

Even with the economy turning upside down 18 months ago, the school was able to push through with the project because nearly all of the money had already been raised.

Still, Dr. Jackson’s ability to get the project done and on time was appreciated by the Institute’s staff and students.

“Her commitment to finish Phase I was a major decision for Rensselaer and certainly the athletic department,” said Rensselaer Athletic Director Jim Knowlton.

While the complex is officially opening with today’s football game, the school has combined Alumni Reunion Weekend and Homecoming for an entire Grand Opening of the facility on Saturday, Oct. 3.

On top of a carnival-like atmosphere and a massive tailgate hosted by President Jackson, the football team will be opening their Liberty League schedule against Rochester, the women’s soccer team will play Vassar and a doubleheader of the women’s and men’s hockey teams playing at Houston Field House is scheduled.

“The alumni and the alumnae are just totally thrilled,” Jackson said. “That’s why we’re combining the official dedication of it with Alumni Reunion Week. It’s going to be a blast.”

The second phase of the facelift will also continue renovations to the hockey team’s home.

“I enjoy the construction part of it and its part of the way you continue to upgrade your athletic department, providing good facilities for the student-athletes,” said Knowlton.

The school is also looking at improvements for the baseball and softball teams, while no solid plan has been set.

The first phase is a majority of the project and its affect will be felt throughout the campus and the community.

“The sports that can be played here and in the arena and on these other fields (Harkness and Renwyck), plus the fact of having all the space for the coaches, plus the locker rooms for all these sports, it covers a lot of the waterfront,” Jackson said. “Therefore, we felt we could do a bit of a hiatus, but a few years from now, we intend to move on along with the rest.”

The buzz is certainly growing and the East Campus Athletic Village is not even completed.

“People are quite excited,” Jackson said. “I think it will help to bring our alumni home again.”

Be sure to look for The Record’s second insert, which will talk more about the new facility and will be released on Oct. 3 in conjunction with the Grand Opening, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

(RPI Athletics)

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Andrew Smith

On Wednesday, I caught up with University at Albany red-shirt freshman Andrew Smith, who was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week after piling up 239 all-purpose yards and leading the Great Danes in rushing (99 yards) in their first game against Georgia Southern, 29-26 loss.

Smith was a dynamic player, both running and passing as a quarterback at Guilderland High School and was selected to The Record's All-Area First Team selection on defense in 2007.

After sitting out last year, he was able to show his talents in week one for UAlbany.

(We have the same initials so I'll just keep my questions in regular type and the answers in italics)

It's been a long time since you were in a game, were there any nerves?

AS: Every game that I was in during high school, I would get a little nervous. I saw a quote one time that said, 'The day you stop getting nervous before a game, is the day you stop playing.' I was nervous before high school games and then this one was unreal. There were like 20,000 people there and it was another stage that I've never experienced, especially since I've been out of the game for a year. There were a lot of nerves going, but after I got that first hit, I was ready and it felt good to get out there finally again.

What's it like when you finally stepped on the field for the first time?

AS: The first time I got in was the punt, which was the fake and felt really good - first play you get to take it that far, it definitely helped out a lot with the process. I just went in and felt like this was where I belong and what I should be doing. I wouldn't trade it for the world. It was the greatest feeling I've had in a while. It felt good, especially since I want to represent Section II, being a Guilderland guy, (Paul) Booker and I want to go out and represent Guilderland. It felt good, I feel like I did it, but it's the first step to a long future, I hope.

You came so close in the game. What was the mood like coming on the trip home?

AS: These last couple of seasons we've played some good competition. Last year, we had four CAA teams and they're considered the best conference in D1-AA. We're going down there and they have six national championships, but we thought we could win because they're struggling to find their identity. Usually we're content with being close to those teams, but this year it wasn't a good mood because we felt like we should have won the game, especially considering how many turnovers and mistakes we made. I feel like we should have won the game, everyone on the bus felt that way and the coaches did too. It was good to go down there and people didn't expect to be that close, but I felt like we should have won. It wasn't a good mood, but the future looks bright for us this season.

What's the mood like this week in practice?

AS: They have a good program over there. We played them last year and kept it close. They know we're physical and I know they respect us. They're a good team and they have a couple of good guys on defense from looking at the scout. The mood's good, positive, we're going to go in there and do what we have to do. We thrive on playing at other team's stadiums because we're not going to roll down and die and we like playing in a big stadium. We're going to go in there confident and positive. We expect to win. We don't want to keep it close, we want to take this one.

Are you hoping the secret is still a secret and you can catch UMass by surprise?

AS: I doubt that's going to happen. Georgia Southern had no clue, but I know UMass saw the film and so I don't expect them to be surprised when I step in. I expect them to key on me on some of the trick stuff, so I have to play harder I guess because it will be harder than Georgia Southern, but I expect that.

What was the reaction from friends and family after a good first game?

AS: They were all happy, family, parents and Guilderland community because (fellow Guilderland High School graduate Paul) Booker got the start (at tight end). They were all really happy. My mom was really excited.

The Great Danes (0-1) take on the Minutemen (0-1) at 6 p.m. on Saturday. UMass lost to Kansas State 21-17 in the first week.

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Saints add Martens

Well it may be the offseason for college basketball, but Siena coach Fran McCaffery and his staff worked quickly and efficiently to fill the scholarship that they got when senior Cory Magee was ruled a medical exception for the 2009-10 campaign.

The Saints added Davis Martens, a 6-foot-9 forward from Germany on Tuesday.

Here's a report I found on Martens from when he went to school at The Patterson School (NC) in high school.

Davis Martens (Patterson) - Martens is a 6'9" PF, with a nice frame. He showed some versatility in this game, hitting a couple turn around jump shots in the post and stepping outside to knock down a three pointer. Martens has a nice release, with plenty of rotation on the ball. He needs to develop his post game, but did show progress from the last time I saw him; using his left hand (off hand) around the rim. He is not a dynamic athlete, but does run the floor well and is fluid in his movements, but he is not an explosive leaper.

He sounds like he will be able to play the up and down game that Siena likes to play, but to really be help the Saints he'll have to develop that inside game to give McCaffery another big body with Ryan Rossiter, Alex Franklin and O.D. Anosike

Martens will turn 20 this Saturday.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Magee's playing career over

Siena senior Cory Magee has been a declared a medical exception as a result of the post-concussion syndrome which caused him to miss all of last season according to a release from Siena College this afternoon.

Magee will remain with the team as a student assistant coach.

"Although I'm obviously disappointed that my Siena playing career is over, I'm extremely happy to be give the opportunity by the College to serve as student assistant coach," Magee said. I'm not sure if coaching is in my future, but it will be a great learning experience and I am looking forward to a fresh start. The toughest part of last was that I did not know what the future would hold. Now, I have a clear understanding of what my role will be."

Unfortunately, this couldn't have happened to a nicer kid.

Cory, who is from Fairport, which is just out side of Rochester, was always happy to talk with the media, and always had a smile on his face, even last year while he was going through this difficult time.

"Cory has made tremendous contributions to our program since his arrival and he will continue to do so," Siena coach Fran McCaffery said. "He played a huge role on the court in his first two seasons with the team, but more important, he is one of the finest young me I have ever coached. He has an extremely bright future and I look forward to working with him in this critical new role."

Magee (left) is seen below celebrating the team's 2008 NCAA Tournament victory over Vanderbilt.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The dirt on the Danes with Tim Bush

On Wednesday, I caught up with Saratoga Springs native and red-shirt senior wide receiver Tim Bush.

Bush caught 67 passes for 794 yards and five touchdowns in 2008. Bush is a legitimate No. 1 receiver and despite his size (5-9, 185 lbs.), he is a definitely a big play guy.

With the big season opener against Georgia Southern right around the corner, I wanted to see how the team was preparing.

TB: To be absolutely honest with you, it's been four weeks of preseason ball and I've seen these faces too much, the same colors every single time I come out on the football field. It's going to be pretty exciting going out there and seeing some different color jerseys. Our team as a whole is excited for that. We're ready for the challenge. We don't see ourselves as an underdog coming into this game, we just think of it as a challenge that we have to overcome. We have a lot of great veterans and starters on both sides of the ball and I think we can get it done.

AS: How is this week different now that you're game planning for a different team?

TB: During preseason ball, we only watch film on ourselves. We watch our scouting against our defense. Afterwards, we get a good 30 minutes after our meetings to Georgia Southern. It gets us all pumped up, knowing that these are the kids we're going to be going up against. Especially in the secondary, they have pretty decent corners, but our receiving corps has came along and we just want to showcase what we have.

AS: How does the start of classes change things (Classes began Aug. 31)?

TB: I have to lift at 6 o'clock in the morning, then I have a 7 a.m. meeting, then I have classes all day and then I have to practice for another 2 and 1/2 hours. It's not a short day. It's a very long and tedious day. It's hard.

AS: What are the guys saying to get psyched up against a team that on paper is the heavy favorite?

TB: Our team is a bunch of kids that are very disciplined, play very, very hard and just play to the whistle. We don't care what goes on in between each play. We know that when the time comes to make a play, we'll make one. That makes our team very, very deadly and we have nothing to lose. Overall, our team is just very excited for this game.

AS: It will probably be hotter down there. You guys do anything this week to simulate that?

TB: It's nice that this week is supposed to be a little warmer. It was a little cooler yesterday, it's supposed to be warmer today. It's pretty much about being prepared. There's nothing you can do about that. We're going down there, yeah the temperature is going to be hotter, but most of our team has been hydrating to be prepared for the game on Saturday.

AS: There's going to be a lot of people there. You guys do anything to simulate that?

TB: Not really. It's not like a Montana setting where they're (the fans) right on top of you. They're a little further back. It's a horseshoe stadium I heard. We don't expect it to get to a point where it gets so loud we can't here our cadences and here the calls of our quarterback and likewise for defense.

AS: What are your expectations for this season?

TB: I expect myself to have a great season, everybody does. Every single person who is a starter wants to have a great season. It's all about the opportunities that are giving to me by (Offensive Coordinator) Coach (Ryan) McCarthy, the playcalling and our quarterback Vinnie Esposito. Him and I have developed a huge trust in one another. If our offense gets in a whole, I want to be that go-to guy to keep our offense on the field.

(UAlbany Athletics)

I also talked with Coach Bob Ford and senior running back David McCarty for Saturday's game preview.

Ford told me that the only injuries are junior linebacker and Troy native Chris Blais, who is out four weeks with a injured thumb and Queensbury native Jeff Benway, who is having surgery on his hand.

Look for our story on Troy native Dave Casale in Thursday's paper.

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