Grab your shovels it’s game day! Maine visits UAlbany 1/12

Thoughts leading up to the game from a collection of folks around the UAlbany basketball world:

Andrew Santillo of the Troy Record chips in the “unbiased local sports writers” angle:

The last few days, UAlbany has been working on their offense.  The Great Danes have struggled in their last team putting points on the board and that has concerned coach Will Brown. UAlbany has averaged just 45 points against Vermont and Hartford, something that has to change. “The team that can find the most ways to get the easiest baskets is usually the team that is going to win,” Brown said. Like the team, senior Tim Ambrose has had his two lowest scoring games in the last two games. Ambrose, who is averaging a team-best 16.4 points per game, has totaled just 14 points in the past two games. He will have to pick it up against the conference’s stingiest defenses. Maine allows just 66 points per game, fourth best in the league. The Black Bears have already beaten Penn State and UMass, in addition to playing against Maryland and Notre Dame, so they are battled tested heading into America East play. Troy Barnies was named the conference’s player of the week for the second straight week, after averaging 21.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in two games last week.

Brian Fessler just clocked in his 50th UAlbany away game this past weekend- if that doesn’t certify you as a UAlbany “Road Warrior” then I don’t know what does. Here are the thoughts on the Maine game from the man who has seen just a touch less of live UAlbany hoops this season than Will Brown (follow him on Twitter at @fessland):

Like everyone else I’m sure, I hope to see the offense get back on track. I think the front court will be the key to that. If the Danes can start squeezing at least 15-20 points out of Devlin, Puk and Metcalf on a regular basis, that should take enough pressure off the ‘big three’ to allow them to do what we all know they’re capbable of. I’d also like to see the Danes win the battle on the boards. While Maine has a high FG%, we should have a noticeable size advantage. Most importantly, I hope to see a win!

Yo Damien from the Big Purple Fans provides us the view from the student section:

I’m Gonna be stuck in Connecticut with family for the snow, they’re saying 18-24″ in my neck of the woods, so unfortunately I’ve gotta miss this one. I give a salute to you and anyone else who makes it out to the game ahead of time for such dedication.

I was left dumbfounded after the Hartford game so in an attempt to numb the pain from our recent trip in New England, I’d like to take a look an equally perplexing and unpredictable matter…the 2010-2011 America East basketball conference.
Currently 2 teams have a winning record (pat yourselves on the back UVM and Maine). Binghamton, at 2-0, is the only team who hasn’t yet lost a AE game while UMBC (0-2) boasts the only winless conference record. In between? 4, 2-1 teams, 2 at 1-2, and UNH is at 1-3. After less than 2 weeks of conference play it’s safe to say…nothing. The league is starting to resemble the theme of most preseason predictions: unpredictability.
It is very, very early and I do realize there is only so much room for separation at this point, but perhaps in the bigger picture a 20 point road loss to hartford isn’t so alarming. Of all the conference games so far, road teams have won just a combined three games. Just maybe coach Brown was on to something when he said conference play was about taking care business at home and merely stealing what you can on the road.
With all that said, tonight’s home match-up with Maine would sure pacify the citizens of purple and gold nation much better than talking about how mediocre the entire conference really is. Turnout for the game will likely be down due to both the team’s recent struggles, and the newest foot of snow on the ground. Don’t expect many, if any, students yet either as classes don’t resume for another week. Perhaps this is a good thing though, just in case things get “hartford ugly” tonight. Maine is good (It’s all relative), but we are home (again, sort of) and I’d like to think Hartford was a worst case scenario kind of game…so I’m going to say Maine wins a close one. This is a very winnable game for Albany, but the reality is the team has not played anywhere near their potential in weeks and the flaws of this team will not go away overnight.

Out of the Enemies Mouth:

My guess is that Albany will bounce back against a Black Bears team on its way home from Baltimore and it’ll be a tight game. UMaine’s depth should be the difference.

The Last PAGN Word:

A terse explanation from our foe, Dan over at Black Bear Pit, but I’m inclined to believe he’s on the right path. At home, I expect a bounce back game from the Danes, but I’ll take it a step further and say that Tim re-establishes himself as a first team All-Conference player. Our eggs are all in the Tim Ambrose basket this season, so we might as well embrace it! Drive safe tonight and go Danes!

~ by TheMidRangeGame on January 12, 2011.

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