Will Brown, The Exorcist

Just. Too. Good. (Times Union)

The oft repeated stat about Will Brown is that he is in his tenth season, making him the longest tenured coach in the America East… a fact that made many wonder if he had outstayed his welcome. No one was thinking that on Saturday night. After five straight years of losing at the hands of Siena, games that have again and again served as a measure of the state of the UA program, Will was finally able to exorcise the demons with one of his the finest coaching jobs ever at Albany. He had a week to prepare his players and they executed perfectly. Expect the Fire Will Brown trolls to simmer down…

For Brown’s entire time as UAlbany, the Danes have run a methodical offense and defense. Not Saturday night. The change was obvious as Tim Ambrose and Mike Black pushed the tempo again and again, eager to throw the “first punch”. Will told his squad “we are going to throw a lot of punches.” They did.

As a benchmark, the 2OT game against Detroit was only 77 possession while UAlbany had 80 possessions in 5 less minutes against Siena. This aggressive game plan helped flip the Albany’s biggest deficit into their favor: Free Throw Rate. Coming into the game Albany had a dismal Free Throw Rate, but against Siena they got to the line thirty seven times. That was the game. It was at the free line that Albany clawed back from the deficit at the end of regulation, finishing with three straight three throws. Cannot say enough about this adjustment by Will Brown, foul shots taken against Siena has been one of their weaknesses and Coach turned his guys lose to prey on it. I’d love to see Will Brown continue to deploy the press and up tempo game, not to mention it’ll help fill up SEFCU.

“Stretch” Aronhalt: Once each game, Logan just hits an unstoppable grove and all of a sudden he’s single handedly stretched the lead to 15. Logan did a wonderful job running of screens and hitting some mid-range shots after his blistering perfect start to the game. The fade away jump shot over Rossiter in OT (9:00 mark in highlight video below) is beautiful. Look at the way the net kicks up.

Plymouth Rossiter: Especially in the second half,  Rossiter was a rock inside for the Saints. He posted a typical 28 – 13 night, but it make a difference on the glass. The Danes work on the offensive and defensive boards was identical to their season averages.  Rossiter grabbed a lot of boards on his own, but the team effort by the Danes did a good job to contain him.

And lets hear it once again for, Tim Ambrose. What a masterful game. And the scary part is that he got better as the game went on- he continued to keep up the pressure but without wasting as many shots. At half he was around, don’t hold me to this, 4-12 and he finished the game 9-18 FG and 8-12 from the line.

No one celebrates and injury, but it was a turning when wrecking ball Ambrose knocked Owen Wignot out the game with an aggressive, but clean, offensive move. In the pre-game analysis, I pointed out that Wignot’s low usage was could be an advantage for Albany because when he has had the ball in his hands, he’s been very effective. He games out the hottest Saint, scoring their first five points before he was knocked out. Once he was gone, it became even easier for Tim Ambrose to bully his way to the hoops.

Great to see Blake Metcalf be the load in the post that he should be.

Player of the game, for my money, has to again go to Mike Black. Life without Black is a sad, cold, turnover-filled place that makes me hate basketball. For him to gut it out on one bum ankle was the only reason Albany could be on the same floor. Black told The Record:

“It was really killing me, but I was trying to block it out, trying to be tough. My team needed me to win this game, so I just tried not to think about the ankle.”

There’s no “C” by his name, but the kid is a leader. We’re in good hands going forward… but maybe not for Monday against Yale.

 

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on December 6, 2010.

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