Jump to content

UAlbany Athletics- America East-
SOCIAL MEDIA: UAlbany Facebook- UAlbany Instagram- UAlbany Twitter- UAlbany Blog-
MEDIA: Albany Student Press- America East TV- ESPN3- Schenectady Gazette- The Team 104.5 ESPN Radio- The Team 104.5 ESPN Radio Archive interviews- Times Union College Sports- Times Union Sports- WCDB- WOFX 980-
WINTER SPORTS LINKS: College Insider- Pomeroy Ratings- Real TimeRPI-
SPRING SPORTS LINKS: Inside Lacrosse- Lax Power Backup Stick-
OTHER FORUMS: America East Forum- Any Given Saturday Forum- Championship Subdivision forum(1-AA Discussion) The Hen House - Siena Forum- Stony Brook Forum- Vermont Forum

From Rags to Riches

Recommended Posts

Some pieces of the article.


Rags to riches … to madness

By Thomas Neumann

Page 2


Just about any college basketball coach will tell you that recruiting is the key to success.........


Recruiting is especially significant to a program struggling to escape the depths of losing, whether it's a downtrodden giant trying to rebuild or a fledgling trying to find its footing at the Division I level.


Several schools in this year's NCAA Tournament field have reinvented their images and built their programs from square one. At the top of the list are Washington State, Texas A&M and Albany......


But recruiting successfully is more easily said than done when you represent a program best known for losing -- or worse, unknown entirely. You need a completely different approach than the teams you recruit against.


"We try to find the hidden gems -- the kids that fit our system," said Washington State coach Tony Bennett, who was a Cougars assistant before succeeding his father, Dick, this season. "We try to find them early in the process and just be real with them."


And maybe, just maybe, you land that pivotal player who makes it easier to recruit others. Winning becomes realistic. Recruiting becomes easier. Winning becomes a reality.






Washington State

• 2002-03 (7-20, 2-16)

• 2003-04 (13-16, 7-11)

• 2004-05 (12-16, 7-11)

• 2005-06 (11-17, 4-14)

• 2006-07 (25-7, 13-5)*




• 2002-03 (7-21, 3-13)

• 2003-04 (5-23, 3-15)

• 2004-05 (13-15, 9-9)

• 2005-06 (21-11, 13-3)*

• 2006-07 (23-9, 13-3)*




Texas A&M

• 2002-03 (14-14, 6-10)

• 2003-04 (7-21, 0-16)

• 2004-05 (21-10, 8-8)

• 2005-06 (22-9, 10-6)*

• 2006-07 (25-6, 13-3)*



*NCAA Tournament berth



For Albany, the challenge was even bigger. It was a Division III program until 1995 and competed in Division II until 1999. Albany then played two seasons as a Division I independent before gaining admittance to the America East Conference.


What have Will Brown and Albany gotten themselves into? Two NCAA Tournaments, that's what.After going 90-10 in the junior college ranks, Will Brown became Albany's interim head coach -- the program's fourth coach in six years -- in December 2001 and had the interim tag removed after that season. Now, the Great Danes, who won only 37 games in their first five Division I seasons, are headed to the tournament for the second consecutive year.


"We basically started from scratch," Brown said. "Plenty of times I wondered what I had gotten myself into."


The turning points came with a home victory over America East heavyweight Vermont in Brown's first season and the recruiting of guard Jamar Wilson. Brown sold Wilson, now a senior, on becoming the face of Albany basketball and putting his stamp on an emerging program.


"The young man was crazy enough to believe the sales pitch," Brown said.


Behind Wilson, a two-time America East Player of the Year, Albany had a chance to become the first No. 16 seed to topple a No. 1 by taking a 12-point, second-half lead before losing to Connecticut in last season's tournament. The Great Danes got back to the Big Dance with their first-ever win at Vermont on Saturday, earning a No. 13 seed........................

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...