Wednesday, May 29, 2013

MAAC tournament back to Albany 2015-17

ALBANY – Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball is coming back to Albany.

On Tuesday, the MAAC Council of Presidents voted unanimously to return the league’s men’s and women’s postseason tournaments to the Times Union Center in 2015, for a three-year stay.

“We’re going to flourish as a school, as the league flourishes,” said Siena President Fr. Kevin Mullen, who was delighted with the decision to return to the Capital District.

Since the tournament departed Albany in 2011, the attendance figures have suffered significantly. In 2010, a record crowd of 53,569 crowd watched Siena capture its third consecutive tournament title. In the three years following, the total crowd has been just 55,261. Last year, at the MassMutual Center, in Springfield, Mass., the tournament drew just 14,394 fans, the lowest number in three decades.

“The bigger question is – do MAAC fans travel?,” said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. “They travel to here, as well as anywhere.”

The tournament will still be held in Springfield, as planned, in 2014, but then will be held at Times Union Center from 2015-17.

“It’s huge,” said Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber. It’s enormous.”

Albany was one of two finalists, along with Bridgeport, Conn., which hosted in 2011. The other two proposals came from Springfield and the Izod Center, in the Meadowlands.

The arena has guaranteed $250,000 per year to the MAAC, a number much smaller than the millions the tournament has produced for the city in previous years.

The city of Albany has hosted 15 of the past 24 tournaments, dating back to 1990. Siena has won the tournament four times when it has been played on its home floor. Even when Siena wasn’t strong, the tournament has still produced sufficient attendance totals.

“The Capital Region fans have proven they will come out and watch college basketball,” said Siena Athletics Director John D’Argenio.  

The biggest reason the league decided to leave in Albany was the idea of playing on a neutral court, but as the league found out, that came at the cost of having more fans in the building.

“It hasn’t worked particularly well,” said Ensor.  

Only three times has the overall attendance of the league tournament topped 50,000, and all three of those came in Albany (2010, 2009, 2000).

“There is something special about this city and it didn’t take me long to realize that,” said Siena women’s basketball coach Ali Jaques.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

UAlbany possibly to become full CAA member

The University at Albany made an announcement last August that its football team would compete in the Colonial Athletic Association, starting in the 2013 season.

The decision was viewed as a step up by many, as that league has had more success on a national level that the Great Danes previous league, the Northeast Conference.

Now, it looks like UAlbany could become a full member of the CAA.

The UAlbany Athletic Department released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"At this time, the reports that we are moving to the CAA are untrue. We remain a partner of the America East and we have no further comment on conference affiliation at this time."

That makes it seem like this is a bit premature, but the words "at this time" seem to indicate the situation is fluid and could change

The full-time CAA members are Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, Towson, UNC-Wilmington and William & Mary. Charleston is also set to join the league in the fall.

Associate members in football include Villanova, Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and currently UAlbany.

The Great Danes first CAA football game is scheduled to take place at brand new Bob Ford Field, on September 14, against Rhode Island.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Transfer Patrick Cole joins Siena

The Siena men's basketball team will have a lot of new faces next year, along with a new coach, in Jimmy Patsos.

One of the newest faces is Coppin State transfer Patrick Cole.

Cole should provide some offense for the Saints, as he averaged 10 points per game for the Eagles as a freshman, but he will sit out the upcoming season per NCAA rules.

Cole joins Marquis Wright, Maurice White, Lavon Long, Javion Ogunyemi and also Michael Wolfe (who wasn't mentioned in today's story) as new players to arrive with Coach Patsos for next season.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

RPI baseball in Division III NCAA Regional

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute baseball team has advanced to the Division III NCAA tournament. The Engineers are participating in the New York Regional, an 8-team double-elimination tournament at Falcon Park in Auburn.

Here is a link to the story on the team that ran in Wednesday's paper. RPI plays Cortland Wednesday evening, in a game that was supposed to start at 7:45 p.m., but play has already been shifted because of weather.

Here is a link to the Regional homepage, which has links for Live Stats, Twitter links, Radio feeds and everything else you can want. 

Photo Contributed

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Denver takes down UAlbany in NCAAs

The University at Albany lacrosse team went down on Saturday, in the first round of the Division I men's lacrosse NCAA tournament, losing 19-14 to Denver.

It still was a great year for the Great Danes, which had the top offense in the country and sophomore Lyle Thompson is still a candidate for the Tewaaraton Trophy.

Rich Clarkson and Associates

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

VIDEO: Lyle Thompson a Tewaaraton finalist

ALBANY - Lyle Thompson has had an incredible season for the University at Albany.

The sophomore attacker leads the country in scoring and hopes to lead the Great Danes far in the NCAA tournament. On Thursday, Thompson was named one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy, given annually to the best play in college lacrosse.

Thompson, who is seven points shy of setting a new single-season NCAA record, was chosen along with North Carolina's Marcus Holman, Syracuse's JoJo Marasco, Cornell's Rob Pannell and Princeton's Tom Schreiber.

One of those men will win the award on May 30.

UAlbany meets Denver, in the NCAA tournament, on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., on ESPNU.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Siena lacrosee two wins from MAAC title

J.S. Carras/The Record
The Siena men's lacrosse team takes to the field Friday evening in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals.

The Saints play the Dolphins of Jacksonville in a game that can be seen on, and on tape delay on Time Warner Cable Sports.

In the other semifinal, top-seed Marist takes on Detroit.

The championship game is on Sunday, at 1 p.m., and can be seen live in the Capital District on Time Warner Cable Sports.

The Siena women's team is also in the MAAC semifinals, held at Marist College. The Saints play top-seeded Canisius on Friday afternoon.

Below, is video of junior midfielder Mike Battaglia, a Shaker High grad, talking after practice on Wednesday, about the upcoming tournament.

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RPI's Mike Hermann signs with Chargers

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute quarterback Mike Hermann had orginally reached a free-agent agreement with the Oakland Raiders, but now he's headed to their AFC West rival.

Hermann will head to workouts with the San Diego Chargers later this month, where the two-time Liberty League Offensive Player of the Year will be fourth on the depth chart, behind  Philip Rivers, Charlie Whitehurst and Brad Sorensen.

Jeff Couch/The Record

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