Mano-a-mano: Danes Dig in for BPG Victory

No. Fear. (UAlbany Athletics)

When “the most man to man defense we’ve played all season” is combined with “Jacob Iati,” my instinct is to engage the shelter-in-place drill.

But not on Saturday night. In the biggest game of the year, the much maligned Jacob Iati did his part to save the Big Purple Growl and, perhaps, prevent the season from going into a tailspin. After the very start of the Maciel three point barrage, the Danes were passing the ball around the perimeter with little prospects for attack. Then Jacob Iati stepped up back, and from 5 feet behind the line uncorked that patented full body Iati arcing shot and draining it. And of course, after the 7-20 from the line night, assassin Jacob Iati drilled two FT’s while UA fans could hardly see straight, being that they were on the verge of a nervous breakdown and/or cardiac arrest.

Not Enough can be said about the Aussie. Luke Devlin has back to back double doubles, he’s active inside, stretching the defense with his three point threats. He’s scrapping down low and he’s blossoming into his role at the four.

Treasure the Rock: Mike Black did what he’s supposed to do. And it was beautiful. He made a huge impact on the game, took enough shots, was active in getting to the rim, but most importantly, his best line of the year: 7 assists, zero turnovers. Keep it coming, Mike.

Will’s Man: Coach Brown loves the man to man and he switched to it against Hartford to counteract their three point barrage. Very solid move, that’s how they killed us last game and they really have no alternative to chucking up threes. Sabia was out, so who knows if it would’ve cost UA the game, but doesn’t matter. Will again has his players in a good position to succeed (just nothing was falling during the brutal first half stretch, cough logan cough) and the defensive strategies have been sound.

Timmy rollin' with MJ's clean dome look (Troy Record)

The Clean Dome? Tim Ambrose rolled with the clean dome, or at least a fresh cut, and wore it well. I’m a fan. Imposing, powerful, a threat from deep, twenty points, hitting the glass, a few too many turnovers, but we just have to live with that. Keep in mind, UA relies more on Tim than any other player in the conference conference (he leads the league in possessions %).

Book of Genesis: Goodness, Genesis Marciel scares the crap out of me. Is he only phenomenal against UAlbany or something because I never hear about him otherwise. At 6’9, he can drain from the perimeter and in a six possession stretch he hit three in a row, including a third that was highly contested by Devlin. Thankfully, he missed a few more decent looks that would’ve been devastating. If he figures out how to play a more balanced game, he’d be impossible.

Two I’s in Team: Iati hustled like crazy out there and the total team effort did what it had to to hang on. After so many blown leads and close loses, to put away a team at home energizes the fan base, raises the confidence, and hell, puts us alone fourth place in the almost comically weak AE.

Until the MECCA…

~ by TheMidRangeGame on February 6, 2011.

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