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Sacred Heart Postgame

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sloppy game to watch. However, glad we got the W.


The refs I am sorry were terrible. Not just against us, but the other way around as well. I was almost glad Coach B got the technical foul. He made his point very clear!


Big ups to B-Conn, who was awesome today. Some big defensive stops and nice shooting. Had 8 points in the first 8 minutes of the game.


Sets up nice for Siena. I know Coach B is going to want to work on things, but I will take 4-1 going into the TU Center.

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My new theory on our officiating is if you get a dunk on the offensive end, you're pretty likely to get called for a foul when you go back on defense. I'll keep monitoring to see if it holds up but was true for the most part today.


I may have lost track but did both Brent and Brian Connellyhave two fouls in the first half? It seemed like they were on the bench for long stretches. The bench is fantastic, 33 points came from them today.

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The T was not on Will. It was a bench T!

Judging by the reactions as viewed from the third row of the north end zone, the technical was called on O'Donnell who seemed in disbelief by the call.



It absolutely was! Will was not to happy about it. Worst crew-- EVER!

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Yes, it was ugly, but I think it was a good game for us in many respects: 1. SH played a very aggressive style, offensively and defensively, maybe the most aggressive of any team I've seen us play this year. It took a while to adapt but our guys did. 2. After two consecutive blowouts, it was good to have a close one - one that we won - in order to maintain a sharp edge. I believe a team can become a bit benumbed when it becomes too easy (ala NE Patriots last night?). 3. It was also a good win because they had to overcome some "odd" officiating. I wouldn't call it the worst officiating ever (I think of Laubenstein officiated games of the past). The players did not let the poor officiating deter them. 4. A game like this engaged the coaching brain trust to come up with a solution to deal with what seemd to be a well coached opponent. They came through. There was also a lot of teaching going on during the game. That's something I've noticed that a lot of coaches don't bother to do during games.


As far as individual players are concerned: Lillis is a BASKETBALL PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!! I've been impressed with him since the intrasquad scrimmage four years ago and he has more than lived up to expectations in his career at UAlbany. Josh Martin exudes great confidence when he runs the point, and without a bloated ego. Also, watch him when he comes off the court; he's always asking questions of the coaches. He is not averse to learning. That's often a tough transition for high school stars, i.e going from prima donna to being a journeyman having to learn the game all over again. Connelly has become a star. He does everything. Covington doesn't score much but he does all of the other things that go un-noticed, and may be our best freethrow shooter along with Iati. Hastings plays great defense and plays within himself offensively. Ambrose is a complete player and will be a joy to watch over the next four years. The spectacular dunks aside, he has a nice touch to his shots. I didn't think so after watching him in the intra-squad scrimmage but since then I have become a believer. Agree with Dane96 that Gifford is steadily developing more confidence and will be a steady and strong if not spectacular post player. It's clear that no one on this team will lead the league in scoring and that, as Martha would say, "is a good thing." It really speaks to the strength of this team - DEPTH.

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From the Times Union (.com) this morning:


More thoughts from UAlbany-Sacred Heart

November 26, 2007 at 9:08 am by Mark Singelais, Staff writer

UAlbany coach Will Brown was asked after his team’s 75-57 win over Sacred Heart on Sunday whether he’s surprised his team is off to a 4-1 start, its best since joining the ranks of Division I in 1999-2000.


“Yeah, life without Jamar (Wilson), right?” Brown quipped. “Am I surprised we’re off to a 4-1 start? After our two scrimmages (against Long Island and St. John’s), no. After our first game at Bucknell, probably, yeah. But we were really our toughest opponent those first two games against Bucknell and Central Connecticut. We were terrible offensively in those two games. The good thing is, we’re not even close to reaching our potential as a team. We’re going to continue to get better. Our goal is Saturday night to become 5-1 (against Siena).”


While the Great Danes are better than a lot of people thought (including me), their fast start is also due to an easier schedule thus far. Last season, UAlbany faced Connecticut and Virginia Commonwealth among its first six games. Two years ago, the first five games included losses to UCLA, Florida and San Diego State. It’s hard to get off to a good start playing those kinds of programs.


So easing up on the schedule a bit is helping UAlbany’s confidence. Although it will get tougher starting on Saturday at Siena. Then come long bus trips to Delaware and St. Bonaventure, followed by road games at Duke and Iowa State, mixed in with a home game against Boise State.


Get ready for a week of Brown playing up his program as a huge underdog against Siena, which has beaten the Great Danes five of the six times they’ve playing since renewing the rivalry in 2001, including overtime and double-overtime triumphs the past two seasons.


“Play ourselves up as (underdogs)?” said Brown, repeating the question. “I mean, geez, they beat Stanford. I don’t know. We’re going to talk and see if we’re going to show up on Saturday or not. We might take the week off and just watch film. Who do we play after Siena? We might focus on Delaware this week. We’re not sure what we’re going to do.”


In case you hadn’t guessed, Brown’s tongue was planted firmly in cheek when he made those comments.


Getting back to Sacred Heart, Brown was pleased his team played as well as it did defensively without foul-plagued senior guard Brian Lillis, the reigning America East Defensive Player of the Year, on the court for long stretches of the second half. And Brown threw a compliment the way of junior guard Jerel Hastings, a junior college transfer.


“What’s funny is, I really think if he embraces and believes it, we might have somebody on our own team that can challenge Brian Lillis for Defensive Player of the Year, and that’s Jerel Hastings,” Brown said. “I think he’s a tremendous on-the-ball defender. But he hasn’t fully realized (it). He’d like to be more involved offensively, which we’re encouraging him to do, but I’m trying to get him to understand that he can be a big-time asset to us because he can guard guys one-on-one like very few guys when he puts his mind to it.”


There were 17 lead changes in the first half as Sacred Heart took a 32-31 halftime lead. Junior forward Brian Connelly said the Great Danes renewed their commitment to defense in the second half.


“I think the first half, our biggest problem was our defense,” he said. “On offense, I think we were playing pretty well. On defense, we lost our assignments all the time and I don’t think there was a lot of communication out there.”


Brown said the Great Danes gave up far too many transition layups and dunks off turnovers in the first half, which led to a stern halftime speech.


“We had some nice exchanges at halftime,” Brown said. “I think the guys knew exactly how I was feeling and how I thought we really played. The biggest thing is, you get to wear this uniform so few times in a career that you really have to wear it with pride. When games are over, you can’t get them back. The biggest thing for us is, if you’re going to practice four or five times a week and only play twice a week you really need to enjoy those 40 minutes you’re playing. I tried to get them to realize we were cheating ourselves individually and collectively because we weren’t playing at a high level. We weren’t playing Albany basketball and we changed that and did that in the second half.”

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I decided that since I never played the game competitively (unless you count C.Y.O. where I stunk) that my analysis would be better served by using random thoughts. So, here goes:


1.) I loved the Gifford steal on the outlet pass, but I do not think the team looks at him as an option on the offensive end.

2.) Ambrose has pretty small feet.

3.) Is there a rule for fixing the net when it hangs on the rim? In the first half the officitang crew waited for it to get fixed by the ball.

4.) Sitting under the basket I could really appreciate how "true" Brent's free-throw shooting is. Center cylinder consistently.

5.) They need to come up with a few new half-time games as I have grown bored with the dance-off and the TV theme song game. Where's the toilet paper toss?

6.) Having attended B.C. for two years Corey Hassan epitomizes my definiton of the prototypical B.U. student, and may have been happier there.

7.) Still on Hassan, I loved the two young adults in the student section asking him about Icebox and the rest of the Little Giants, a reference to his similarity to the toe-headed QB in the flick.

8.) Ambrose can sky, Martin has confidence, and Connelly shows a lot of emotion.


Other than that I think it's bed-time...

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