Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Peter Hooley breaking through for UAlbany

ALBANY - Peter Hooley knew that Hartford was in trouble as soon as he made his first few shots on Saturday evening.

Hooley posted career-highs in both points (18) and rebounds (12) on the way to his first career double-double, as the University at Albany downed Hartford 56-46.

“I would say everything, regarding me, is confidence," said Hooley on Monday.

Hooley's insertion into the starting lineup has been met with much success for the Great Danes (5-1, 16-4), who are now in first place in the America East, following Vermont's loss Tuesday evening at Maine.

“He creates a lot of stuff for us in our offense," said fellow guard Jacob Iati.

Hooley was going up against a familiar face on Saturday, in Hawks sophomore Corban Wroe, also a native of Australia.

When Hooley got off to such a good start, Wroe was surprised.

“You’re not supposed to be able to score the ball," he said.

“Funny how things change," Hooley told his "good mate" from back home.

UAlbany is 4-0 since Hooley and Sam Rowley moved into the starting lineup and those two have been very productive.

Hooley gets the rim effortlessly and as coach Will Brown said, he was playing north/south and attacking the basket on Saturday.

“If teams are going to shadow Jacob or shadow Mike (Black), there’s going to be a lot of openings for Peter to drive the ball," said Brown.

Hooley was set to make an impact last season before a stress fracture in his left foot kept him out after the first three games, forcing him to redshirt. Hooley was kept off the court for seven months and all he could do was lift.

“People don’t realize he’s still a freshman," said Brown.

Hooley was recruited for his all-around game, but he showed he can shoot the ball a little, making three treys in the Hartford win. 

“He’s a rhythm shooter," Brown said. "When he can get his feet set, he shoots it well.”

Hooley said he's at his best when he keeps everything simple.

“I always forget that I’m a freshman and I still have a lot to learn," he said.

Hooley has shown his passing prowess throughout the year. He's got 54 assists, second only to Black (58) on the team.

“When I was scoring a lot of points earlier in the year, I said a bunch of times it was because of Pete and Mike," Iati said. "I always threw him in the mix because he gets to the rim great.”

Hooley hasn't reached his potential and that could be a scary thought for opposing teams in the America East.

“Peter’s his own worst enemy," Brown said. "When he maintains his focus, he’s tough to handle.”

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