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Open Scrimmage - 10AM Saturday

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Albany, N.Y. – University at Albany basketball coach Will Brown announced on Monday that the program will conduct a Purple-Gold intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 30 at University Gymnasium in the Physical Education Building on campus. The one-hour scrimmage will be held from 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to UAlbany’s home football game.


The Great Danes have all five men’s starters back, including top scorers Levi Levine and Jon Iati, who averaged 14.3 and 14.0 points per game, respectively. Iati, a 5-foot-9 sophomore, was last year’s America East rookie of the year. Jamar Wilson also returns after missing nearly the entire 2003-04 campaign following knee surgery. Wilson averaged 18.9 points as a freshman when he was the conference’s top rookie and a second-team all-league selection. Loyola transfer Lucious Jordan, a 6-foot-2 junior from Albany, N.Y., is expected to see major minutes after leading the Greyhounds in scoring with a 13.2 average in his final season with the program.

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We were guessing there were around 100 people or so for the scrimmage. Becker and Martineu from Fox Sports were the only local media I recognized.


I know there were other posters there and I hope they'll fill in the gaps in my memory. It was tough to get a handle on what was going on with 7 new players and Wilson back.


The best news was Jamar Wilson. He looked healthy and was on the floor diving for loose balls so the knee seems fine. He split defenders a couple of times in the open floor and drove into the lane, hung in the air and shot like we saw him do often his freshman year. After the scrimmage he came into the stands to shake hands with the crowd and to thank them for coming-he's a great ambassador for the program and a class act.


Lucious Jordan looked great. After not having seen him play for a while I forgot how good he is. He and Wilson were on different teams for the scrimmage but the two of them together will be scary. He hit a bunch of threes and drove to the hoop against Wilson several times. Really strong and he threw down a terrfic dunk on a fast break.


Really liked what we saw of Brent Wilson. He shot the ball well and held his own rebounding. Nailed a bunch of threes and overall I thought he looked the best of the freshman.


Iati looked like he added some muscle this year. Popped some 3s as expected. He was playing tough D on Lillis who it looked like they were auditioning for the backup PG spot. Lillis looked good handling the ball but I don't think he shot much.


Zoellner will cause some problems for people. Caught the ball well down low and can shoot over just about anyone guarding him. The thing that impressed me for a guy who hasn't played alot was that he seemed to pass real well from the double team. A couple of times the defense collapsed on him when he had the ball and he found the open guy who then nailed an open three.


Brown said after the scrimmage about Zoellner that it's tough to gauge post players offensive abilities in a scrimmage situation because there was so much up and down and guys aren't used to playing with a big guy. He said in a game situation they would have called some plays for him.


It seemed the same thing for Dyson who was solid. He looked tenative to me a few times when he caught it and just looked to get rid of it. He did make a nice move against Zoeller in the lane to get the basket and get fouled. He hit a couple jumpers in the lane. Big and strong but overall I don't think he played as much as B.Wilson.


Admittedly I was looking mostly at the newcomers but Levi looked good. Leaner than last year and handled the ball better. Wyatt was Wyatt. Didn't see a ton of Q but he looks a little more comfortable handling the ball than he did last year. Dribbled through traffic a couple of times which I don't recall him doing in the past. Knotts knocked down some shots as well.


I don't know if they kept stats on the game but it seemed like Perry took alot of shots. Camped out at the three point line and was as good a shooter as advertised. I don't know if it was bad defense or what but he seemed to have knack for getting open.


Of the freshman I expected the least from Bauman. He is very thin but he made some terrific passes. Of the four freshman it seemed Lillis and B. Wilson got the most time but Bauman was better than I thought. I'm not sure I saw him take a shot himself but he set up some easy baskets for other people.


Courtney Johnson played some as well. He looks to have improved his scoring and he looked to score when he knocked down some open shots. Hopefully he'll find his way onto the court on a regular basis.


After the scrimmage Brown, J. Wilson, Levine and Jordan had a Q+A in the hall of fame room. Brown was asked about his starting five and he said his finishing five was more important to him that his starting five. He said this team will not have trouble scoring and we will not have to live with any seven minute scoring droughts like last season. He said with a healthy Jamar Wilson last year the team would have won double digit games. He didn't offer any predicitions on wins for this year.


He was asked about who his point guard would be and I don't remember his answering. I think there alot of options open with three weeks of practice left.

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Dane Pound - as usual thanks for keeping the board abreast of the happenings.


What, do you feel, was the mood of those who attended the scrimmage and the Q+A?


Did you feel most were optomistic or pessimistic about this team and the upcoming season?

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This team is going to be good. They will need to:

1. Understand their individual roles and accept them

2. Learn to win - hopefully all the new players can help there

3. Play great defense. They have the talent to put up big numbers

4. Establish a point guard. I know many on this board think Iati is a PG - I happen to think he is a 2. Don't know that there is a PG that can distribute - think pass first and shoot second.

5. Big men learn to accept the ball in the post and to distribute from the post - that will lead to open 3's and easy lay ups.


I can see Brown playing many different combinations of players this year - based on opponent and game situation. Biggest challenge will be the kids accepting that.


I'm trying hard to contain my optimism given that they only won 5 games last year.

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Didn't make it myself, but the best story is DP telling me that Brown had his players write their expectations for the year in scoring and playing time; when he added them up we'd be scoring 208 ppg using about 440 player-minutes per game. Maybe we'll have to play uptempo just to tire everybody out and spread the playing time around.

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Dane Pound and Reeder "Thanks " for the info.


We haven't even played a game this year, so this may be a stupid question, did anyone ask about next year's recruiting!


I think this years team potentially can be very good but I think next year's team should even be better, especially if the staff keeps recruiting with the success it seems to have had. Next year will be Zoellner's last and we could probably use another center/power forward or 2, very hard to get at this level.


It would be great for them to come in and develop behind "Der Big Man" and Dyson, who should have the opportunity to learn behind Zoellner and maybe with Zoellner at times.

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Brown mentioned the kid from New Jersey and also said that they are near a commitment on a 6'7" inch kid from Chicago who will be a force. He said that both are big and strong players. He is excited about these two guys because he wanted to bring in two recruits - to replace Wyatt and Q who graduate - who were both big and strong to bring more muscle to the front line.


I attended both the game and the Q&A. I would say that there is a lot of cautious optomism. Team speed was impressive. We should be able to run with anyone because of the depth. I watched Zoelner closely; thought he was a bit tentative at times; was impressed by the way he used his body and his forearms - very strong & will not be pushed around.

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I'm watching the UA/ Wagner game on TV and just listened to Brown's Halftime interview.


Brown seems very upbeat and happy with his current team. He seems relaxed and confident they will do well.


There was no hesitation when he answered questions.


He seems to be very impressed with Brent Wilson the 6'8" freshman, saying he has been practicing well and is probably the 3rd best perimeter shooter on the team. While stating that he also said he was 3rd behind Iati and JC transfer Perry. I guess he answered my question as why bring in another guard especially a JC guard. If Zoellner is an impact player in the AE Brown brought in Perry to make sure not to many teams get the opportunity to double up on him.


With Iati, Perry and Wilson plus the fact that Levi has been an effective 3 point threat it will be real tough to double on "Der Big Man".

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Brown seemed excited about the size/abilities of the two potential early signees mentioned above (although he spoke with a little hesitation about finalizing the deal ... we'll wait for confirmation) ... B. Wilson looked impressive ... Dyson is a big kid, but i'd be surprised to see him in the starting lineup for 11/19 or 11/23

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Brown was asked the same question during the Q+A and he didn't really answer. Probably just because there is so much new talent to evaulate.

My guess for the starting five would be:


J. Wilson





After watching Saturday it would be tempting to find a way to get Brent Wilson in there. My only concern would be Levi playing against bigger PF and defending them. His ability to shoot and Zoellner's size will really cause problems for people.

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