Saturday, October 31, 2009
Danes fall on the road
The loss makes it tough for the Great Danes to win their third consecutive league title as the Blue Devils will have to lose in their final games.
Friday, October 30, 2009
CCSU's Wanket injured
Matt Straub has the story here.
The Blue Devils like to use both Wanket and fellow senior Aubrey Norris, but it looks like Norris will be the only quarterback available when UAlbany plays Central Connecticut tomorrow afternoon.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The dirt on the Danes with David McCarty
McCarty: "I'll play"
"I'll definitely play," said McCarty after Thursday's practice, the only practice he's participated in this week. "How much depends on how I feel and how the coaches feel."
I'll have more from McCarty and on the Great Danes big game against Central Connecticut State later this evening.
SI: Siena in at No. 20
Siena is after No. 19 Dayton and before No. 21 Mississippi State.
Fran McCaffery's club, which was picked to win a third consecutive conference crown on Tuesday, starts the season ahead of such team as Georgia Tech and former Siena coach Paul Hewitt, Louisville, Florida and UCLA (oh, and ahead of Syracuse, which didn't make the top 32).
You can read the article here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Danes picked third
That's a pretty good projection for a team with a lot of unknowns.
One thing the Great Danes do know is junior guard Tim Ambrose, who selected to the all-conference first team along with Boston University's John Holland and Corey Lowe, Vermont's Marqus Blakely, Stony Brook's Muhammaed El-Amin and Hartford's Joe Zeglinski.
Boston University was the top choice, receiving eight of nine first place votes and undoubtedly UAlbany coach Will Brown's vote because he pretty much always votes for the Terriers to finish first.
Boston U. has a new coach in Patrick Chambers and so the expectations are still high.
Vermont was chosen to finish second and UAlbany third.
No surprise that defending champion Binghamton was picked last and word is they are not attending media day, obviously to not have to answer questions about their offseason that was full of turmoil.
Here's the entire list.
1. Boston U. (8)
2. Vermont (1)
4. Stony Brook
5. New Hampshire
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
MAAC Preseason Teams
Greg Logins, Canisius
Frank Turner, Canisius
Darryl Crawford, Manhatan
Novar Gadson, Rider
Mike Ringgold, Rider
Greg Nero, Fairfield
Jamal Barney, Loyola
Wesley Jenkins, Saint Peter's
Alex Franklin, Siena
Ryan Rossiter, Siena
Bilal Benn, Niagara
Tyrone Lewis, Niagara
Ryan Thompson, Rider
Ronald Moore, Siena
Edwin Ubiles, Siena
MAAC Preseason Player of the Year
Ryan Thompson, Rider
MAAC Men's Poll
Siena women ranked No. 8
"I think one of the reasons we were picked eighth is because we have a lot of unknowns," said Castelli, who is entering her 20th season as head coach.
Senior Allie Lindemann was selected to the preseason third team.
Monday, October 26, 2009
UAlbany football receiving Top 25 votes
The Great Danes (5-0, 6-2) are No. 32 if you string out the teams in The Sports Network's poll.
Either way, UAlbany has another shot to make a statement when they play their toughest conference opponent, Central Connecticut State (4-0, 6-1), on the road this Saturday at 12 p.m.
Remember, the Great Danes have won 18 straight Northeast Conference games.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Purple & Gold Scrimmage
It was interesting for me seeing a lot of new players playing for the first time.
I was impressed with freshmen Gavin Glanton and Derrek Tartt and I think a lot of the others have some promise.
The team will scrimmage tomorrow, but without Johnson who was suspended by coach Will Brown for both scrimmages and the first two games of the season for an incident over the summer.
I was also impressed with junior Louis Barraza, who is finally healthy and made three 3-pointers in the second half.
I was a little shocked with how thin senior Will Harris looked.
Harris was the Great Danes player who was hit with the flu and has lost 10-12 pounds.
Brown says he is leaner and Harris said he feels faster.
"I definitely feel lighter," said Harris, who also sported a headband, after the scrimmage.
Some of the big plays from the final 30 minutes of the scrimmage (I was late coming from a RPI football game).....
- Senior Scotty McRae had a nice dunk over junior college transfer Fran Urli on a pass from Ambrose.
- Harris blocked Barraza on a 3-pointer and went coast-to-coast for a lay-in
The play of the scrimmage was definitely when Johnson lost freshman Mike Black with a killer crossover and then spotted up and canned a jumper.
That brought oooh's from the crowd and a smile from Black.
"I told him I made him dance a little bit," Johnson said. "Just a little friendly fire."
Here are some more comments from Brown after the scrimmage.
"I thought we did some good things. We have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket and do some different things, which is nice to see, but again the real test is tomorrow, when we scrimmage."
"The two guys that have been playing the best out of all of our new guys leading into this afternoon were Derrek Tartt and Fran Urli. Those guys have been playing the best and Blake Metcalf has been rock-solid for us and other guys have shown consistent flashes. Gavin Glanton gets better every time he steps on the floor and he plays so darn hard."
Friday, October 23, 2009
Ubiles feeling better
- Veteran assistant Mitch Buonaguro is running practice because Fran McCaffery is recovering from a minor surgery. "I'm gonna enjoy this," Buonaguro said to me about running practice. Buonguro was a coach at Fairfield from 1985-91 and has coached in more than 1,000 career games. McCaffery is expected back on Monday.
- Assistant coach Andrew Francis spent a lot of time before practice with freshman Davis Martens working on low post moves. Martens isn't allowed to play for the first 12 games, but once he's in, it looks like he'll be able to make an impact.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Lewis appears in SI
(SMI)Lewis, who spent two years at Blair Academy (NJ), was listed at 5-foot-7 and weighed just 170 pounds, but rushed for 1,368 yards and 22 touchdowns as the Cadets went 12-1.
Lewis, who is now listed on the Pitt web site as 5-8, 195 lbs., was also named a mid-season all-american by SI.
Here's the link to the story.
UAlbany hoops on TV
Here are the games.
Nov. 9 (Mon.) at Syracuse (ESPNU) 9 p.m.
Dec. 30 (Wed.) at North Carolina (ESPNU), 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 (Sun.) vs. Yale (TW3), 4 p.m.
Jan. 10 (Sun.) vs. Vermont (TW3), 4 p.m.
Jan. 24 (Sun.) at Stony Brook (AE-TV/MSG+), 12 p.m.
Jan. 27 (Wed.) vs. Hartford, 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 (Sat.) vs. Boston U.^, 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 (Tue.) vs. New Hampshire (TW3), 7 p.m.
Feb. 19 (Fri.) vs. Stony Brook (AE-TV/MSG+), 7 p.m.
The women's game against Vermont on Feb. 6 (4:30 p.m.) will be broadcast as a doubleheader with the men's for the annual Big Purple Growl game.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Purple & Gold Scrimmage
Here is the rest of the release from the school.
Albany, N.Y. – The annual Purple and Gold men’s basketball intrasquad scrimmage will be held at the University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena on Saturday, Oct. 24. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Admission is free for both the general public and students.
The festivities include an introduction of head coach Will Brown and his coaching staff and members of the 17-player team. UAlbany’s dance team, cheerleaders and Damien the Dane, the school’s mascot, will make appearances. Music will be provided by DJ Don Juan.
At halftime of the scrimmage, there will be a half-court shot contest for $5,000, the opportunity to win an iPod, the SEFCU Money Machine contest, where a lucky fan can win up to $500, the Northwoods Inn Drawing for a ski package, and performances by two campus dance groups.
UAlbany opens its season on Monday, Nov. 9 against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, as part of the 2K Sports Classic, benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer. The opener will be televised on ESPNU at 9:00 p.m. The Great Danes will also be hosting the 2K Sports Classic sub-regional on Nov. 20-22 at SEFCU Arena. Robert Morris, a 2009 NCAA Tournament participant, Detroit and Alcorn State will travel to the Capital Region for the three-day event.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
UAlbany holds on
Big games for quarterback Vinny Esposito, Tim Bush and Hoosick Falls native Jason Poore.
The win gives UAlbany their 17th consecutive Northeast Conference victory, a conference record.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Moore out of first practice
Moore's right eye was poked earlier in the week and he said he should be ready to go by Monday.
"They want me to take it easy," said Moore at the team's media day on Friday. "I feel as though I'm ready to come back, but there's nothing wrong with missing a few days before I get back out there."
Some other notes from Media Day
- In his introduction of the team, Siena coach Fran McCaffery said this is the most talented team in Siena history. I think the word he used was "clearly." I'm not the man to argue but those are strong words for a program that has just won a game in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.
- McCaffery did add that losing Kenny Hasbrouck, the team's best player and best defensive player isn't good, even if the this team has more overall talent.
- McCaffery said the team will embrace its honor to be ranked in the Top 25 in some publications, something his players agreed with. "We don't want to shy away from it, we're proud of it and we're going to work as hard as possible to stay ranked," Moore said.
- McCaffery had high words for sophomore Kyle Downey, saying that he could be someone first off the bench to replace guards. "He's a shot maker. He's in great shape. He trimmed down and I think feels really good about his game now and I think he's ready to take that next step."
- McCaffery also said that Steven Priestley and O.D. Anosike have to play to give Alex Franklin and Ryan Rossiter a spell in the frontcourt. Once Davis Martens becomes available after 12 games, that will give the team more frontcourt depth.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Media Practice and jammed fingers
Kudos to University at Albany men's basketball coach Will Brown and the rest of his staff and the school for hosting a little event today that saw 15 media members go through a simulated practice, one day before the real team practices for the first time in 2009.
Brown said he took the idea from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who has done it for the past couple of years.
It was really a great look into something we don't really see all that often.
Brown usually has his team locked down like Fort Knox - we can talk to them, but we can't watch practice, so this was even more helpful.
This was the first time I had the opportunity to go into the team's new locker room, which is top-notch for sure.
I was pretty shocked with how in-depth the scout was for the team we were looking at - Villanova - and how many calls the players have to memorize. Let's put it this way it was enough calls to make your head spin.
The scout that we watched was pretty long and very detailed.
Brown said the team would normally watch that scout three times before a game, two days before then the day before and then before the game on game day, usually during a meal.
I was also super impressed by the work that assistant coach Chad O'Donnell does.
Brown said that to prepare for their season opener, Nov. 9 at Syracuse, O'Donnell will watch all 14 of Syracuse's non-conference games from last year, their games in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and then Iowa State games from 2007-08 because that's where transfer Wesley Johnson is from.
Here's some other notes from Coach Brown on his team for the 2009-10 season.
- Brown said two players had been under the weather and I have to assume the one with Swine Flu is the one Brown is referring to when he says that a player lost 15 pounds and "he's going to struggle the next couple of days" or the first few days of practice. Brown went on to say "he'll practice tomorrow, how effective he'll be is another story"
- Brown did a quick roundup of what he thinks of the league and he said Boston University is in the top tier, Albany in his mind is in the top of tier two and then wouldn't get into any other team specifically.
- Brown feels the point guard position will be stronger and those players will know what is expected from them. He expects the turnovers to go down and that Mike Johnson and Mike Black will start as the primary point guards, but Derek Tartt and Ralph Watts can also play there. Brown also said that he will have Tim Ambrose ready to play the point for the Syracuse game because of the 2-3 zone they're expecting to see.
- Red-Shirt freshman Logan Aronholt has been cleared to do everything since Oct. 1 and he's out on the floor. Brown says he has the talent to have been an all-rookie guy. Brown also said he saw Aronholt go down the middle of the lane and dunk in a workout recently. "I haven't seen that explosiveness from him since we recruited him."
- With a large roster of young players, the idea of red-shirting players is one that Brown wants to figure out. He said Thursday he will red-shirt John Puk and he'd love to find one or two more before the season begins.
Friday, October 9, 2009
The dirt on the Danes with Rich Duff
What has been clicking defensively for the last two or three games?
RD: We have eight senior starters on our defense, so we’re all pretty experienced. Our front seven are playing really well. We’re obviously stopping the run. The first couple games teams were running the ball all over us, but the past three games, they haven’t really done much since the Maine game, the second half of the Maine game. We’re playing well right now.
Was the second half against Maine a turning point for the defense?
RD: At the end of the first half, we had a goal line stand and we’ve had four goal line stands since then. We’ve been pretty jacked up since then.
What’s Homecoming week like and how is it different from any other game?
RD: I guess. It depends on who we’re playing. We’re pretty excited to play Duquesne because they gave us a tough match last year. Last year, we played Saint Francis (Pa.) and not to downplay them, they’re improved this year, but last year, we weren’t that excited. This year, we’re pretty excited because Duquesne gave us trouble last year. They threw the ball for like 350 yards on us and that’s one of main focuses this week, to not let that happen again.”
With Duquesne do you have to take the pass or run away first?
RD: Our goal is always to take the run away first and force them to pass, make them one dimensional. They’re one tight end (senior Sean Bunevich) isn't playing this week and he’s the one that tore us apart last year and they have a transfer from Michigan State (wide receiver Dave Williams) and our main focus is to stop him.
Is this a defensive team of playmakers?
RD: Our four linebackers, I think are really good. Our d-line is doing really well and our secondary has been getting some picks lately. We’re forcing a lot of turnovers since the Maine game and making a lot of plays.
In the preseason did you have a sense that this would be a good defense?
RD: With eight starters starting on defense, we thought we were going to be pretty experienced and ready to go. We’ve all been there before and had a lot of game-type situations.”
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Two UAlbany athletes have Swine Flu (updated)
The student paper is reporting a football player and a basketball player have come down with the virus and the university has taken steps to clean the area where they would have been.
The two students have been sent back to their places of residence.
“The university knows about it. They have taken the precautions to not have them on campus one way or another,” said UAlbany Sports Infortmation Director Brian DePasquale. “They are being treated and also steps were taken within our athletic department to to clean those areas where they may have been so that others do not get in contact with the virus.”
Update: UAlbany football coach Bob Ford said the player suspected to have H1N1 from his team has not been confirmed to have the disease.
The player is a transfer who has not played this season and would not be playing in Saturday's Homecoming game against Duquesne.
Sports Information Director Brian DePasquale said that both student-athletes would be away from the campus until at least Monday before they could even possible return to practice.
He then said that they must be fever free for 24 hours before they can return to the practice field.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The dirt on the Danes with Kevin Richards
Richards, a Clifton Park native, was chosen as a second team All-Northeast Conference selection for the past two seasons and is the only starter from last season on the offensive line back in 2009.
First I want to say, hopefully, this blog entry doesn't cost Richards.
As Sports Information Director Brian DePasquale told me, the offensive line has this policy: if you get interviewed, you have to buy bagels for the rest of the lineman.
With that aside, here's what Kevin, who got married this past July, and I discussed on the upcoming game at Saint Francis on Saturday.
Talk about getting ready for another conference game.
KR: It might seem more meaningful, but we have to approach it just like it was a non-conference game because when we play our non-conference games, they say we're playing up. With the conference this year, there's a lot more parity. Saint Francis, on film, has looked so much better than they have in years past, so we really have to attack it the same way and I think we have so far.
This is your first 1 p.m. game of the year. How does that make preparation different?
KR: I think a lot of time with the night games and the 4 o'clock kickoffs, there's a lot of sitting around, just waiting to get to the field. Hopefully, we'll wake up at the same time and we'll just do everything a lot quicker. If anything, maybe that will get us going a little quicker, we've had some late starts the last couple games, so hopefully in the first half we'll get something going.
Does being on the road change anything?
KR: I think at this level it's really the team that matters. The home field advantage isn't necessarily anything. When people come out to our games, it's great. At the Maine game, we had 5,000 people there and that was a great day and something that I think contributed to the win. Coach Ford says all the time, we'll play anyone, anywhere, it doesn't really matter.
You're the elder statesman on this offensive line.
KR: Yeah (laughing). I'm pretty old. (Richards turns 23 on Oct. 29)
The offensive line lost a few guys from last year. How do you feel like the unit is coming along?
KR: I think it's come along well. We have a lot of young guys and a lot of first-year starters and only a couple guys last year had some playing time, but we all work together, it's one unit and we have to try to pick it up. We have some tight end help, Chris Kenneally is the senior on that side, so he helps those guys a lot and then we have (David) McCarty running behind us. That makes us look a lot better. The young guys realize that if they just play as hard as they possibly can, then he'll make them look good.
It's starting to get cold. Is there anything weather-wise that you'll do to prepare?
KR: Watching the film of us against Saint Francis from last year, it was a torrential downpour. It was like a monsoon out there. We'll play anywhere, any weather, it doesn't matter. Two years ago, we had an epic against Stony Brook, where there was lighting and it was a five-hour game, so that stuff doesn't really faze us.
Are you waiting for that big breakout running game?
KR: With these young guys, we're knocking on the door. It's going to come, it's just a matter of getting it. Now that we're in conference, it has to come sooner than later.
- Coach Bob Ford said that sophomore guard Kyle O'Keefe is dealing with some shoulder issues and that they'd have a better idea of where he was at practice today
If you think the players are taking Saint Francis lightly (UAlbany has never lost in 10 meetings), they certainly aren't acting like it.
- “They’re definitely a better team than they were last year,” said sophomore Eddie Delaney. “I think they’re average o-lineman has put on 15 pounds since last year.”
- “They don’t look lost out there, they look in good shape, they look physical, they look like no Saint Francis team I’ve ever seen," senior Justin Brancaccio said. "They look like they’re up there with the top teams in our conference.”
RPI's Hermann not practicing
While I was there, freshman quarterback Mike Hermann was in shorts and a long sleeve fleece with a baseball cap on - no pads.
Hermann has been named Liberty League Rookie of the Week three times in a row and has thrown for 559 yards and four touchdown and also rushed for 205 yards and five touchdowns for the Engineers (3-0).
Coach Joe King actually started fellow freshman Tanner Boucher in the season opener against Endicott, but Boucher hadn't played until the final series against WPI last Saturday.
I know Coach King and his staff are comfortable with Boucher playing, but missing Hermann would make Saturday's game against Rochester (0-3) even a little more interesting.