Friday, October 12, 2012

UAlbany moving forward, not looking back

J.S. Carras - The Record
ALBANY - It wasn't the first time somebody had asked the question and Mike Black knows it won't be the last.

How will the University at Albany men's basketball team cope with the loss of its two top scorers from a season ago?

The question is even tougher since, both Gerardo Suero and Logan Aronhalt were slated to be part of the Great Danes this year. Suero left to play professionally and Aronhalt is now at the University of Maryland, for a graduate year of study.

“We wish them the best…They’re not here anymore," Black said. "We have a new team, new players and we’ll be fine.”

Suero and Aronhalt combined for 35.3 points per game last year. This year's team will likely be more concentrated on defense.

“We’ll find a way to make up that," Black said. "We’re going to be more defensive minded this year.”

Suero averaged 6.9 free throws made per game, something that coach Will Brown believes the team will miss greatly.

“That’s the only thing that I think we might miss from last year’s team is Suero’s ability to get to the free throw team,” Brown said.

Losing their two top scorers means everyone will have to step up, starting with Black.

“I think Mike’s as good as any player in the league," Brown said. "Mike will be our leading scorer, he’ll be our go-to guy. That’s already been addressed with this team, but his game doesn’t need to change.”

Black averaged 13.4 points per game last season, in addition to being the point guard and running the offense.

“I know I can score with the best," he said. 

UAlbany has three new players this season, all junior college transfers, in Dave Wiegmann, D.J. Evans and Gary Johnson.

Evans is a pest on defense and really quick, Johnson is a slasher, who can score and Wiegmann is a solid rebounder, hard worker and good shooter.

“We expect the new guys to contribute a lot this year," said Black.

The Great Danes know they were close last year, coming up short on a last-second shot by Stony Brook, in the semifinals. That is all the motivation they need to work hard in preparation for this year.

“It definitely did give me that extra motivation going into my senior year, knowing that this is my last chance and everything can change in 0.2 seconds," said senior Blake Metcalf.

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