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UAlbany Men's Basketball Hosts Iona for 2017-18 Home Opener

UAlbany Sports Information   11-09-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team is set to begin the 2017-18 season at home at the SEFCU Arena, taking on reigning MAAC champion Iona on Friday, November 10th at 7 p.m.  November 10th marks the beginning of the college basketball season.

Tickets for the game start at $15, with parking available in the Dutch Lot for $5.  For more information, contact the UAlbany ticket office at 518-442-DANE or online at ualbanysports.com/tickets.

The game will be broadcast online on AE on ESPN3, with Rodger Wyland and Jeremy Friel on the call.  Brian Mariano will have the radio call on 104.5 the Team.

Both teams have been in a postseason tournament each of the past six seasons.  UAlbany earned a trip to the 2017 America East title game and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last year, finishing at 21-14 overall and 10-6 in its league.  Iona is the two-time defending MAAC champion, earning an automatic berth into the 2017 NCAA Tournament, concluding at 22-13 overall and 12-8 in conference play.

This is the first meeting between the two programs since 2010.  Iona won that contest 86-65 in Albany on November 23rd and leads the all-time series 2-0.  This is the first of four games between UAlbany and a MAAC opponent, while Iona has only UAlbany as a scheduled America East opponent. 

UAlbany opens with three of its first four games at home, plus it is the first time since 2012 that the Great Danes open the season at SEFCU, a 69-66 victory over Duquesne.  Iona’s first six games are away from its home of New Rochelle.

UALBANY PREDICTED TO FINISH 2ND IN AMERICA EAST PRESEASON POLL: The UAlbany men’s basketball team has been predicted to finish second in the America East Conference in the 2017-18 season in the preseason coaches poll.

UAlbany finished tied for third place last year with a 10-6 record.  Finishing 21-14 overall, the Great Danes defeated Hartford and Stony Brook in the AE Tournament to earn a berth in the title game, falling to Vermont. 

Vermont, the defending America East champion, was unanimously picked to finish first in the league with eight first-place votes and 64 points.  UMBC was predicted at third with 45 points while Stony Brook is at fourth with 38.  The rest of the poll is filled out by New Hampshire (37), a tie between Binghamton (29) and UMass Lowell (29), Hartford (16) and Maine (8). 

NICHOLS, CREMO NAMED TO AE PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Two UAlbany players, David Nichols and Joe Cremo, have been selected to the 2017-18 America East Preseason All-Conference Team.  UAlbany tied for the most amount of representatives on the seven-member preseason all-conference team with Vermont.  Nichols earned America East All-Conference First Team honors last season while Joe Cremo was placed on the Second Team.

NICHOLS NAMED TO LOU HENSON AWARD WATCH LIST: UAlbany junior guard David Nichols has been named to the 2017-18 Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch List.  The Lou Henson Award is given each year to the top Division I mid-major player.

STREAKS: Greig Stire has earned at least one board in each of the past 71 games, including a single game record 15 rebounds at Hartford on January 22nd, 2017.

Joe Cremo has scored points in each of his last 66 games going back to Nov. 19, 2015.  Cremo has also dished out at least one assist in each of the past 30 games.  David Nichols, scoring in each game all of 2016-17, is on a 37-game scoring streak.  Stire has scored in 25 consecutive games while Travis Charles has a 20-game scoring streak.

UALBANY TO COMPETE IN GOTHAM CLASSIC: UAlbany will be competing in the in-season round robin tournament Gotham Classic, composing of four games at campus sites. 

UAlbany will host Bryant on December 6th to begin the tournament, followed by the Albany Cup vs. Siena on Decmeber 9th at the Times Union Center.  UAlbany then has games at Memphis on December 12th and at Louisville on December 20th.

The tournament is headlined by a contest between Memphis and Louisville on December 16th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The Gotham Classic has been played since 2012, with UAlbany making its first appearance.

BASKETBALL IN ONE HAND, DEGREE IN THE OTHER: Two UAlbany players have earned their undergraduate degree and suit up as graduate students this year.  Travis Charles graduated from UAlbany in 2017 with a B.A. in African Studies, while Alex Foster graduated from Bradley in 2017 with a degree in sports communication.

SCOUTING IONA: Iona is the favorite to win the MAAC in the preseason coaches poll.  Two Gaels were named to the All-MAAC Preseason Second Team: junior point guard Ricky McGill leads the team’s returners with 10.5 points and 5.1 assists per game, while senior guard Deyshonee Much shoots 38.5% from three, picking up 9.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. 

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