Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scouting the Great Danes

Exchanged emails this week with the fine folks at Purple and Gold Nation this week about the upcoming game with Albany this weekend. They were kind enough to answer some questions about the Great Danes for me and I did the same over at their website.

Here are the questions I posed for them. You can read my answers to their query here

  1. It seems like Albany has started the season in a positive manner. What is the feeling around the program?

Tenative, but good. The squad is spectacular at letting teams stick around then hanging on for dear life. Slowly building a winning tradition, but our sophomore guards look, our young backcourt has been steady, if unspectacular, Will Brown's seat has bought himself time from the fan base, etc.

  1. Give us a feel for SEFCU Arena? What does SEFCU stand for anyhow?

SEFCU on December 18th is going to feel quite spacious. The student turnout will be low and hopefully the weather holds off so we can muster a decent crowd. I couldn't find SEFCU's expanded acronym in two google clicks, so I gave up, but it's a federal credit union that has bought the privilege to rename the building once known at the RACC. It's a safe bet to say the last three letters in SEFCU stand for federal credit union. South East?

  1. Albany sort of took the place of Siena on our schedule this year. We see you beat the Saints. I guess that is a pretty big rivalry?

Thanks for reminding us, no really, though. For the first time in 6 years it's a game that we can talk about with pride. It was a sweet, sweet feeling and far and away the signature win of our season. The arena in downtown Albany is packed every year for the game and this year's did not disappoint.

  1. From the looks like Albany is a pretty guard oriented team - as least offensively. Is that fair to say?

Incredibly so, there is not much offensive to be found outside the big 3: Black, Ambrose and Aronhalt. Freshman forward Luke Devlin has shown some range, but he's really only got hot once this year and Blake Metcalf is a by the book garbage man who has had a few nice games, but there is no one inside to lose sleep over.

  1. The Mount has had problems surrendering offensive rebounds this year. Who do they need to keep off the glass?

Music to my ears. That's been one of our strengths this year as Devlin, Metcalf as well as a few of the guards done well on the offensive glass. Our inside guys are not particularly athletic, so if you can establish position, it's certainly possible to negate their effect.

  1. After starting the season with 5 losses in 6 games, you've won 3 of 4. What has changed?

Mike Black's ankle. 10 or so minutes in with a ten point lead at Cornell, he went down with a badly sprained ankle and everything hit the fan until he came back (except when FDU graciously allowed Logan Aronhalt to launch an aerial assault over its zone). He's our best ball handler, a good defender and shooter and the players behind him cannot hold their own on a D1 level. Having three offensive threats and another player who could push the tempo makes a world of difference.

  1. After winning just 7 times a year ago, you've almost gotten to that number before the new year. Is this a team that was expected to be this much better this quickly?

One of Will Brown's more apt lines about this team is that it would get beaten by last year's team in a pick-up game, but would win a real game. This team plays harder, works harder, and so far, wins more. Logan Aronhalt's finally healthy and we found out the coaches weren't lying to use when they said he could really shoot the ball. We were bracing for the worst and we witnessed a few hideous games with Black injured, so every win feels huge right now. But this team still has a lot to prove, UA has had fast starts over the last couple years- this team must win games in conference before we can assess how much “better” they are.

  1. Your personal thoughts and a prediction on Saturday's game?

Gotta go for the win. Everybody's bogged down with finals, so it'll be nice to be playing at the home crowd. Tim Ambrose is playing the best ball of his career and singe-handedly rescued this team from a demoralizing loss last week. Mike Black was really frustrated last game by some stellar CCSU defense, so I'm curious how he'll bounce back. I think we're going to see Logan Aronhalt return to form with a big scoring night at he leads the Great Danes to a 68-60 victory..

We thank them for their time and wish Albany much success with the basketball season. Starting of course on Sunday.

Send an email to

1 comment:

  1. Excellent retrieval of opponent analysis Raff!!!!!