Tuesday, February 26, 2013

UAlbany has taken long road to success

J.S. Carras - The Record
ALBANY - Mike Black and Blake Metcalf enjoyed the bus ride back from Webster Bank Arena on Saturday evening.

The University at Albany had just won its 20th game, becoming just the third team in the program's Division I history to do so.

Black and Metcalf can remember when they lost 20 games -- 25 to be exact, during their freshmen season (2009-10).

“It means a lot," said Black, a senior guard. It’s a good feeling to be one of the best teams in Albany history.”

The team also knows that the previous two teams to win 20 games, went on to play in the NCAA tournament.

“We hope we can continue the path," said Black.

During that freshman season, coach Will Brown decided to go with some of the young guys, including Black and Metcalf to try

“I think we struggled mightily that year," Brown said. "But I think it helped those guys develop, it helped them get better and they went from the poor season they had as freshmen to winning 16, 19 and then 20+. They’ve made great strides and they’ve developed and they helped this team and our program get back to where we want to get back to, which is winning 20+ games. I think Mike and Blake deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve endured and how hard they’ve worked.”

The team's win total has increased the past four seasons, doing so again this season after losing its top two scorers, Gerardo Suero and Logan Aronhalt, from last year.

“We’ve kept getting better," Black said. "We’ve kept putting work in and it’s good to see that all the hard work pay off.”

As their collegiate careers wind down, Black and Metcalf hope they can achieve one goal that has eluded them -- win an America East tournament title. To this point they've been a part of 62 victories and they hope a few more are on the horizon. 

“It’s been four great years," said Metcalf.

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