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UAlbany vs. Iowa State, 12.30.2007 (8pm)

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“Is this heaven?” “It’s Iowa.”


December 28, 2007 at 5:40 pm by Mark Singelais, Staff writer



You might remember that dialogue from the 1989 baseball film, “Field of Dreams.” It could also apply to UAlbany seniors Brent Wilson and Brian Lillis, who make their homecoming on Sunday when the Great Danes (5-6) play at Iowa State of the Big 12 in Ames, Iowa.


Wilson hails from Cedar Rapids, while Lillis is from Urbandale. Following custom, UAlbany coach Will Brown scheduled the game to get his seniors a trip home before they graduate. Wilson’s hometown is about two hours from Iowa State; Lillis’ family lives about 40 minutes away.


The Great Danes were flying to Iowa today, although as of a few minutes ago, they were still in Detroit because of a delay of 90 minutes and counting.


Before Thursday’s practice, Wilson and Lillis both talked about what it means to come home.


“It’s exciting,” Wilson said. “It’s an opportunity to get home and play in front of our friends and family for the first time and for us to get back to .500 and get a high note before head into (America East) conference play.”


Wilson said he and Lillis are expecting at least 100 people, if not more, to be in attendance on their behalf on Sunday. Terry Lillis, Brian’s father, said he and his wife have bought 60 tickets at $12 apiece ($720) in the student section behind one basket because Iowa State students are on break.


“They’re Christmas gifts for our family,” Terry Lillis explained.


While Wilson stayed in Albany for Christmas, Brian Lillis spent the holiday with his family in Iowa and came back on Wednesday, only to return to the Hawkeye State two days later.


“It’ll be a different experience,” Lillis said. “It’s more than just me looking forward (to it). It’s all my friends and family back home that can never see me play in college.”


When the Great Danes did land in Des Moines, they were to head to the Lillis home for a dinner of chicken and steak tonight.


UAlbany head coach Will Brown only expressed regret he wasn’t able to get Lillis and Wilson two games in their home state. A proposed second game against the University of Iowa fell through, which was unfortunate for the two UAlbany players, who both grew up as big Hawkeye fans.


“Iowa had no interest in playing us at the time,” Brown said. “That’s when Steve Alford was the coach … It’s disappointing, but I’m glad we’re going to be able to get them home. They’re going to be able to play in front of friends and family. I know we’ll have a pro-Albany crowd, or a better than normal crowd for a game like this out in the Midwest.”


One who won’t be there is Lillis’ sister Jennie, a former all-Big Ten player at Iowa who is now an assistant with the Marquette women, who play in a tournament at Dartmouth this weekend.

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Good to see I won't be alone at ISU on Sunday. First UA game I'm attending since graduating. Can't wait.


No, far from it. It looks like this has the chance of being one of the better Dane crowds at a regular season OOC road game outside of Albany.

Nice Blog entry. Field of Dreams in Iowa is a great place and I have enjoyed all my previous visits in the state. I would also have liked 2 games out there, but I still am making the trip.

Now, lets see if we get a game report to follow up the blog report or if the TU is cutting corners again by failing to send a reporter to Iowa in order to pay for putting their name on the River Rats arena.

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Talking about nausea. While in Iowa - don't be surprised if Rudy and Hillary are in the student section pretending to represent NYS.

Rudy has abandoned Iowa. Hil and Bill were rumored to have been at the airport to meet the team.


I don't know if I want to be sickened at potential political pandering or shocked that the Clintons actually know we exist.

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