UAlbany, who has won 3 out of their last 4 games, raced out to 24-7 lead over the Mountain Hawks and never looked back. Dre Perry led the Great Danes scoring attack with 18 points, while blocking 3 shots and snatching 2 steals on the defensive side. Freshman Justin Neely was a monster on the glass, grabbing 14 boards while adding 11 points of his own.
Head Coach Dwayne Killings and the Great Danes men's basketball team are still getting to know one another. The media guide clearly states that 16 of the 22 players, coaches and staff are new to the program. More often than not, the cohesion that enables them to win college basketball games takes time for the players and the coaches to develop. Monday night in Chestnut Hill in Boston, the UAlbany Great Danes took a huge step in that process.
Monday night the UAlbany Great Danes continue their lesson plan under Coach Killings. Their non-conference schedule is a bear. Killings is aware but sees the benefits. "Monday presents a tremendous opportunity to compete against an ACC opponent on the road. As we continue our journey through this season, I am excited to see the growth of our program and players against a tough and versatile Boston College team" said Killings.
Nobody told Dwayne Killings that it would be easy taking over a Division I basketball program. Add in 9 new student-athletes to the program and an entirely new coaching staff, and the equation appears tougher in front of the rookie head coach. That's the way that the 40 year old head coach appears to like it.
Tuesday night, a new era of UAlbany men's basketball began. Dwayne Killings was named the Great Danes head coach in March. He was replacing 20 year head coach in Will Brown, who posted a 315-295 career record for the Danes with 5 trips to the NCAA tournament. When the university decided they wanted a fresh face at the helm of their men's basketball program, Athletic Director selected Killings, who was the associate head coach at Marquette University. The 40 year old from Amherst, Massachusetts packed up his family and headed to Western Ave. and the SEFCU Arena.
One coach will take the sidelines for the very first time in the lead chair. The other looks to secure an allusive MAAC Championship that has been snagged from his team's grips the past two seasons. Fans will eagerly return to their seats that have collected dust since March of 2020. Tuesday night, empty basketball venues will be a thing of the past for the Capital Region's two Division I basketball programs.
Ok, maybe I don't like polls very much, especially when they are mid-major Division I polls. There are always so many variables. First, they are done by coaches, who are not always the most objective folks when it comes to other programs or coaches. Now throw in the new "Pandemic" rosters, featuring 6th year grad students and the "wild west" in recruiting created by the NCAA transfer portal, well, fans could be in for some of the best basketball we have seen in these conferences, maybe ever.