UAlbany Post-Season Awards

How You Like Me Now? (UAlb Ath)

Brian Lillis Heart of Champion

If this award had existed before the start of the season and not just five second ago no one, no one would have guessed that it would go to Timmy Ambrose. Before the season started, I put him on the highly inclusive “Honor Roll” but felt inclined to include the note: “I’m not writing him off yet!” Everyone was ready to usher out the Tim Ambrose Era. Will Brown had him coming of the bench because he was a liability, the crushing failure of the last season couldn’t help but fall on our number one guy. The board was ready for his numbers and minutes to dwindle- anything to stop his turnovers from continuing to mount. Instead, he dedicated himself in a way we never saw before- he became the motor of the team. Many times he looked like the only guy out there trying and Will Brown repeatedly told him at the half to lay into his teammates who weren’t supporting him. He carried this team to a monumental LCC win, he hauled them to victory when it seemed like the rest of his team was trying to toss it away (CCSU) and when the final second ticked off in Hartford, he left everything on the floor. He finished the fourth all-time scorer in UAlbany history and after a career where he was criminally under-appreciated and over relied on, Ambrose walks away one of the most talented players to ever wear the uniform.

Minutes Up and Production Up. Beautiful. (StatSheet)

Jon Iati Talent Maximization Award

This goes to our double-double machine Luke Devlin. The lad is not fleet of foot. Hell, he’s the slowest kid on a team slow kids. But he was always willing to put his neck (or more specifically, his noggin) on the line for a basketball. He has a nice jump shot, but there’s no way to explain how he is such a terror on the glass.

“This Is A Young Team” Award for Retired Excuses

“This is a young team.” Yes, there will be no seniors on the team next year, but this group has logged a lot of minutes. If Will Brown blames a loss on youth, Lee McElroy should break up the post game interview with Rodger and fire Will on the spot. This is not a jest.

Club Trillion Award

Derrek Tartt. Tartt’s twitter provided insight throughout the year of what it’s like to be inside the head of a player buried on the bench behind 5-6 Jacob Iati.

The More Things Change…. Award

Kenpom final rankings. This year UAlbany finished 242. Guess what they finished two year ago? 242. So are we on a historic rise? Or are we just recovering to mediocrity after an awful anomaly of the season (292). Hate to say it, but until we prove we can make a step forward without Ambrose… I’ll fear it’s the latter.

Kirsten Zoellner Tree in the Paint Award

John Puk. That lanky red shirt freshman awkwardly wearing dress clothes last year turned out to be… decent?? I was highly skeptical a red-shirt freshman would have any impact, but he leapt over both Lindfors and Metcalf into the starting line up. He trailed off towards the end of the year, but he was surprisingly athletic and altered a lot of shots in the middle– heal up big fella.

Start Running Wind Sprints Award

Logan Aronhalt. You’re healthy– now figure out how you can become a stud spot up shooter/scorer for 25 games next year, not 15.

Click Clack Will Harris Award for Hype:

Jamar Wilson. He joined the One Bid Wonders live chats last week and he was talking big BIG things about Suero, our incoming swingman recruit. “Most talented player ever at Albany.” He’s throwing around NBA talent. And I think he means the National Basketball Association. That’s a serious, serious claim that is toying with our hearts and souls, Jamar. (He also mentioned that some people think he has a questionable work ethic)

Doc Sauers Longevity In Coaching Award:

Will Brown is doing just enough to stay around. He’s got one year left on his contract and might be able to swing an extension. My opinion? Let him go lame duck next year- he has zero seniors next year, so it won’t hinder his ability to give out scholis he doesn’t have (/recruit players for positions in rotation he doesn’t have). It should help keep the intensity that returned to the team this year.

Be The Future (UAlb Ath)

Purple and Gold Nation Psychic Friends Award:
I had Jabbi on my pre-season second team and Chris Martin as my sleeper first round pick– as Martin tears through the AE tournament, that is looking pretty reasonable.

Clutch McClutch Award:
Billy Allen retired and gives his aching back some rest– but his ability to “pinch hit” at the end of games and knock down free throws (not to mention that trey in Detroit) was unbelievable. ONIONS!

Creed Award for the surprising member of the supporting cast:
Ralph Watts, we’ll be happy to have you back next year. A month into the season with Watts starting in the place of the injured Black, I couldn’t see a spot for him on the team. Since then, though, he’s managed to make good on his size and solidified his value with the dunk to finish the game against Maine.

“I Believe I Can Fly” Award

This team was lost without Mike Black in the dark ages that seem so long ago against American and Iona, but once back, he struggled to assert himself. But when he got going, he was one of the best players in the league. Quick and a great shooter, Black has a chance (/ we’re probably screwed if he isn’t) to work himself into the 1st team all conference discussion. I’d love to be able to see him improve his ability to finish in the paint.

(Update: How could I forget!) The Mark Sanford Gone AWOL Award :

Russell Moore. So much promise– Moore, opening day starter over Ambrose. He was (according to Will and glimpses we saw) the best defender on the team, but he never got comfortable. He left school before the end of the first semester, rumored to be chasing his ladyfriend back home. Runner Up: Theo Hatcher. Great name, great dimensions, never stepped onto the floor.

Jamar Wilson MVP Award: Ambrose. You’ve joined a select group of AE 1st teamers, Tim (Jamar, Siggers and Lillis). Our blogging opponent from Xavier said you held your own and could even start for the Musks– finally fulfillingthat A-10 billing you came into the league with. Enjoy your ride off into the sunset.

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on March 10, 2011.

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