UAlbany Menís Basketball Begins America East Play at UMass Lowell on Thursday Night
LOWELL, Mass. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team is set to begin its America East slate on Thursday, January 5th in Massachusetts against UMass Lowell at 7 p.m. in the Costello Athletic Center.
The game will air online on AE on ESPN3. Rodger Wyland and Zach Bye will have the call on the radio on 104.5 the Team in the Albany area. For those looking to attend the game in Lowell, tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors.
Thursday is the conference opener for eight of the league’s nine teams. UAlbany is the only team of the nine members that will play its first two league games on the road.
UAlbany enters league play having won its last two games, coming off a 69-59 home victory over Cornell on Monday for a 9-6 overall record. UMass Lowell also defeated Cornell in its last game, winning 98-96 in overtime last Thursday in Ithaca to stand at 5-9 overall.
Since UMass Lowell joined the America East in the 2013-14 season, UAlbany leads the Division I series against the River Hawks 5-1, taking the last five meetings including an 86-61 win in Lowell on February 24th, 2016. All-time, UAlbany has a 10-7 edge in the series.
UAlbany has won its last six conference openers dating back to the 2010-11 season and is playing UMass Lowell in its league opener for the first time ever. The River Hawks have picked up wins in their last two conference openers.
UALBANY PREDICTED TO FINISH THIRD IN AMERICA EAST IN PRESEASON POLL
UAlbany is predicted in the league’s preseason coaches poll to finish third in the America East Conference in the 2016-17 season. UAlbany picked up 49 points in the poll.
Vermont is predicted to finish first in the preseason poll with six first-place votes and 62 points. New Hampshire is at second with 58 points. After UAlbany, the rest of the poll is filled out by, Binghamton (37), UMass Lowell (31), UMBC (29), Stony Brook (27), Hartford (23) and Maine (8).
WILL BROWN APPROACHING 250 WINS AT UALBANY
Into his 16th season with the team, Will Brown is just two wins away from 250 as the head coach at UAlbany. He stands with a career record of 248-230, including five America East Tournament titles and seven seasons with at least 19 victories.
The longest active tenured coach in the league, Brown ranks fourth all-time in victories as coach of an America East. He is one victory away from tying for third with Dennis Wolff, who had 249 victories with Boston University from 1995 to 2009.
THE DYNAMIC DUO
Joe Cremo and David Nichols had been a strong scoring pair this season, with each standing in the top-10 in the America East. Between the two, they have 11 20+ point games and a combined 26 double digit scoring contests this season.
SAME STARTING FIVE
UAlbany has played the same starting five in 14 out of 15 games this season. Joe Cremo, Marqueese Grayson, David Nichols, Mike Rowley and Greig Stire have been the starters in all but one game this year.
UAlbany is 9th in all of Division I in rebounding margin, averaging 9.6 rebounds more than their opponents. It is more than a full rebound more per game than New Hampshire, second in the league.
All told, UAlbany has outrebounded its opponents in 11 out of 15 games and has only once been outrebounded by more than three in a game. UAlbany is 8-3 this season when it has more rebounds than its opponent.
PLAY IN THE PAINT, NOT THE PERIMETER
UAlbany stands with the second-best three-point field goal defense percentage in the America East, holding teams to 33.9% from behind the arc.
In addition, UAlbany has taken the least amount of shots from three-point range in the America East. After 15 games played, UAlbany has taken 210 shots from three, 75 less than the next conference team (Vermont, 285). UAlbany averages 14 three-point attempts a game, almost six less than any other America East team per contest.SCOUTING UMASS LOWELL:
UMass Lowell is second in the America East with 78.5 points scored per game. The top rebounder in the league, redshirt junior forward Jahad Thomas stands in the top-five with 16.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 3.8 assists per contest. Senior forward Tyler Livingston shoots 43.9% from three-point range and picks up 12.6 points and 4.8 boards a game.