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Future of the Program

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Congratulations to Will Brown and Lee McElroy!


I am so happy to hear that Will Brown will be continuing as head of the men's basketball program. I am very happy that Lee McElroy negotiated honestly with Will Brown and that McElroy will continue to lead our entire athletic program. The future looks very bright for all aspects of UA athletics, and we can continue to look forward to more progress in the years ahead.


Now that the negotiations have successfully concluded, we need to continue our path toward greater achievements and respect from the Division I world. One concrete (no pun intended relating to our campus construction) way in which we can show development is to get a fair contract with Siena on the basketball games.


Brown and McElroy, you have now demonstrated to the community and beyond that you are both excellent negotiators. Now get us a fair contract with Siena, a contract which I think expired this season. It's about time we got the respect we deserve. We are far different from where we were just three years ago when the previous contract expired. If Siena can travel down to lowly Division I-novice NJIT this seasons, then it can become the away team in the coming season against us. I leave it up to you two gentlemen to hammer out the details.


Once again, gentlemen, thanks for showing us in the recently concluded negotiations just how far we have come in such a short time.

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I would sure love for, just once, Siena to come to the SEFCU Arena. I would imagine that it would be one of the more electric games in our program's history. It probably won't happen, and, instead, we'll get a 50/50 split of ticket sales, or something to this effect, for the game at the Times Union Center, but it sure is nice to think about a Siena vs. UAlbany game on our own campus!

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I'm wondering what other peoples expectations are for next season.

Now that the coaching situation is resolved time to look forward. I think we are all in agreement that next year is a rebuilding year. Here are some of my predictions and things that could/will happen


1. I think we will be in the top half of our league, UVM, BU and UMBC are my top three with us finishing a close forth with at least a over .500 record.


2. In order for us to be successful the role players Lillis, Wilson, Iati, Connelly will definitely have to step up and pick up the slack. I think our front court might be our strength next year. I'm glad we have three starters returning as well as two team captains.


3. Gifford and Yocum's development will be key. Gifford has a strong desire to get better and I know he will. As long as he follows what coach tells him to do and he works hard the sky is the limit for him. Yocum I would expect to see him get more minutes. The kid has the potential to be what Connelly was this year.


4. Bring in the old guard with Jamar and Siggers now gone Anderson, Knight, Ross and Iati need to step up. IMHO Anderson has the best shot to have a break out year next year. The kid has the size and skills to fill the shoes of Siggers, he had some really good moments this year the move to the basket against UVM at home, and the three pointer against St. Bonn are some examples. A summer of conditioning, drills and strength building will do wonders for the kid.


I'm glad we still have Iati I would look for him to start next year and give time to the new guard coming in.


Ross is boss as far as I'm concerned; he will still be coming off the bench as a defensive role player. Hopefully he can contribute on the offensive side with some major dunks.


Knight I'm not sure what to make of him, my guess he will see more time next year. The guy definitely has the three ball going on but I'm not sure what else he has.


5. The NEW GUARD, I don't want to start blowing up freshman recruits but everything I here about Ambrose and Raffa makes me smile. Ambrose "Big East Caliber", Raffa avg. 30 points a game. My only concern is how will they mesh with the rest of the players and how will both transfer in from the high school game to the college (in particular Will Brown’s system), I guess only time will tell. I think the important thing for us fans to do is realize that its going to take time and it will be difficult to replace a player like Jamar. We should not put the pressure on these new players. As for the other recruit Allen I'm looking forward to seeing his versatility at 6'6. I look for him to play the role Anderson did this year coming off the bench and adjusting to the college game. I think out of the three recruits he will have the least amount of pressure to come in and help out immediately.

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I think I would call next year a "reloading" year as opposed to a "rebuilding" year, courtesy of Coach Brown. :)

The only other thing I might add is my own personal prediction (subject to, and it will, change throughout the summer) regarding next year. I think we'll be top 3 and not top half. I think the kinks, and there are always some at the start of each year, will be worked out by the time conference play starts (that is the goal each year!).


1, 2, & 3 (in alphabetical order): Albany, Boston, & Vermont. If I had to guess, I might say: (1) Boston University/UAlbany; (2) UAlbany/Boston University; and (3) UVM (keeps its backcourt and Blakely and Tripani, but the two big guys graduate). The bottom line is that the conference is just plain getting stronger and tougher. We're starting to see 2-3, and maybe even 4, teams that can really make a run for the regular season title! I was suprised this year to see UVM at 15-1 and us at 13-3. Kudos to both UVM and UAlbany for pulling off fantastic records in a tough conference.


UVM is still going to be very tough next year, but I think we really match up well with them now. Ross and Lillis on Trimboli and Trapani, perhaps, and our frontcourt should be also stronger than theirs next year (Blakely (sp?) of UVM looks pretty good and primed for a starting role, no?). Perhaps a smaller lineup will serve us well next year against UVM because Trapani likes to wander out and shoot 3s. Trapani is pretty thin (i.e., doesn't seem like a post-up type of guy); maybe a Billy Allen or Reid Anderson can guard him. Just a thought, but what do I know!!


4-9: Not sure yet! (Haven't looked at the rosters yet to see who is going and who is coming in ... .)

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