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Mark Singelais's Blog Entry for 2007-10-31

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The new entry in the T-U blog for today contains a lot of information directly from Coach Brown.


Here's the text of the entry with my subcategories:


Who Are the Probable Starters?


"UAlbany’s starting five and more

October 31, 2007 at 1:50 pm by Mark Singelais, Staff writer


"UAlbany coach Will Brown said today at Media Day if the season began tomorrow, his starting five would look like this:


"Power forward - Brent Wilson, 6-8, Sr.

Small forward - Brian Connelly, 6-8, Jr.

Center - Jimmie Covington, 6-7, Jr. or Brett Gifford, 6-11, So.

Point guard - Brian Lillis, 6-5, Sr.

Shooting guard - Jerel Hastings, 6-5, Jr.


"All are returning players except for Hastings, a Dallas native who transferred from Lon Morris College in Texas.


"The Great Danes open at Bucknell Nov. 10."


Who Will Replace Jamar?


"Brown was asked if, after 2 1/2 weeks of practice, he is closer to finding a go-to scorer to replace Jamar Wilson, the best player in program history.


“'Not as far as a guy that can go out and get 20 (points a game),' Brown said. 'What I have found out is we have a bunch of guys that understand how to play, that can read the defense and that will be able to make enough plays to get open shots when we need to. It just might not be four guys standing on the baseline watching a guy (Wilson) go one-on-one and wow the crowd.'"


Past Scrimmage vs LIU


"Brown also talked about Sunday’s closed scrimmage against Long Island, on the condition he didn’t give out any scores or statistics, in compliance with NCAA rules.


“'I thought it went well,' Brown said. 'We started 6-5, 6-5, 6-8, 6-8, 6-10, and (Long Island) started 6-foot, 6-foot, 6-foot, 6-5, 6-8. We knew they would try to push the ball down our throat and spread us out. I thought we did a pretty good job overall. We were physical. We got a lot of high percentage shots. We rebounded very well. And I think their small lineup struggled against our big lineup. And our big lineup did a very good job against their quickness. I really liked what I saw, but Saturday (at St. John’s) is another challenge for us.'


Which Team Member Does Brown Like This Season?


"Brown singled out Connelly for his performance in the scrimmage.


“'Connelly was terrific and the minutes I played (6-7 freshman forward/center) Al Turley, he was dominant,' Brown said. 'Other than that, I think everybody else was solid.'”


Coach Also High on Iati


"Another bright spot was senior guard Jon Iati, coming off back surgery, who was able to play 15 minutes.


“'He does what he does,' Brown said. 'He banged down open shots.'”


"Iati said he anticipates playing against Bucknell.


“'I feel pretty good,' Iati said. 'I haven’t really had any problems making it through the full practice. I feel a little sore. Just give me an ice bath, and I’m good. I’ll be good for Bucknell, and hopefully, the whole season. I still have a little scar tissue in my back from the surgery. The trainers are really working hard to work that out.'”


I know that Media Days tend to be very optimistic on the team's chances for the season, but, give the coach's usual candor, I believe he sees very positive developments for the team this season.

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Holy crap. That line-up must be GOOD if Coach Brown feels they're still quick enough to play with the smaller line-ups from other teams (especially in the conference) that we play.


That's a BIG line-up..like NBA-ish big. Two 6'5" guards..a 6'8" small forward and a 6'11" center (or Jimmie, of course).




And I like seeing Lillis still as the starting PG. I would have to assume others are getting big minutes if this is the starting 5 cause we'd have a relatively inexperienced team next year otherwise.

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Will said on Wyland's show that Connelly could play the 3, 4, or 5, while Lillis could be the 1, 2, or 3


He said on Murphy that Connelly might get 30 minutes a game.


The scrimmage sounded good, but keep in mind that LIU is the preseason last-place pick in the NEC. Maybe St. John's will be a more telling test.

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Josh Martin will start at pg.This kid is a steal u guys will luv him.


Probably next year, ya. I'll assume he gets some quality minutes there this year to prepare for it. It's just too tough not to start at PG a senior, 2yr starting PG (for a team that made back-to-back trips to the National Tournament) that we have with Lillis.

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What it is u guys never seen josh let loose.trust me SCRAP: STARTS. Also luv Lillis game very good player.


Scrap...is a frosh...PERIOD.


Going from Simon Gratz to playing at Bucknell...is a whole lot to ask a PG. Scrap will be playing the PG eventually, even this season, but game one...he doesnt start. Too much on the line (MOMENTUM) for that.


Frosh...all of 'em, make rook mistakes.

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the more i look at our roster, the more i think we have the best depth in the conference...which is why despite losing Jamar etc...we can easily win this conference


I don't know about easily but I do think we can contend and I wouldn't be surprised if we won the confrence. I'm not picking them first, but I am picking us in the top 3. Look out next year though, obviously allot can and probably will change between now and then but I love how we are set up by coach Brown and the rest of the staff.

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We all have our favorites for our own reasons.


Lillis has paid his dues and until Brown feels Josh is ready Lillis is a fixture at the point. Brian probably would rather be at the three.


I think the biggest difference between HS and AAU and DI ball is just paying attention to detail and being able to execute what the team is trying to do.


From all I hear Josh is a fine talent but also remember Timmy Ambrose was even higher rated coming out of HS. If guys like this learn the team concepts (and I'm not talking about being selfish) they'll get time.


From everything I heard and read Brown feels he has to play Connelly, he very impressed with Hastings. Brent (All Rookie and twice All Conference) and Lillis (DPOY) are locks to start. We are going to start 1 of the 3 post men.


Last I heard you can only start 5 and until one of the freshman practice so well that Brown has to change his line up I can't see Martin and/or Ambrose staring early in the season.


Now all bets are off if we struggle early in the season with the big lineup. If the big line up is winning there is no reason to change.


No matter what Josh is going to get the opportunity to play alot.


I beieve - it's not who starts that really counts it's who finishes when the game is on the line.


I can't wait to see what our starting line up is in our first game.

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This is fun stuff. Can't wait for two weeks when we can see these guys play instead of reading about them. The freshman will have plenty of time to change Coach Brown's mind about who starts between now and March.


The thing I liked from what Coach Brown said "the minutes I played (6-7 freshman forward/center) Al Turley, he was dominant."


More about today from the UA site:


Albany, N.Y. – The University at Albany men’s and women’s basketball programs held their annual media day luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 31 in the SEFCU Arena Athletic Hall of Fame Room. Capital Region media were invited to engage in a question-and-answer session with head coaches Will Brown and Trina Patterson as well as selected student-athletes.


The two-time defending America East Conference Champion men’s team posted a 23-10 record last year. The Great Danes are embracing the challenge of defending their conference reign and returning to the NCAA Tournament. When commenting on having the proverbial “target on his team’s back,” Coach Brown explained that he looks forward to meeting the task.


“It excites me that we have thirteen kids in our program that have people whispering about how good they can be,” says Brown, whose team has registered 20-plus wins in back-to-back campaigns. “We want to see our seniors go out in a good fashion and I don’t see them allowing this team to take a step back.”


Senior captain Brent Wilson, a two-time All-America East Conference selection, echoed his coach’s sentiments in looking forward to meeting the expectations following consecutive NCAA berths.


“It’s exciting to be in this position, said Wilson, who become the program’s 28th 1,000-point scorer this season. “It’s nice to have a target on our backs now, especially since my first year we were thought of as a win on everyone’s schedules – it’s good to be here in my final season.”

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