UAlbany Men's Basketball Challenges Louisville on ESPNU
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The UAlbany men’s basketball team flies to Kentucky to play its final game in the Gotham Classic, taking on Louisville on Wednesday, December 20th at 9 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center, shown nationally on ESPNU.
This is the final non-conference road game for UAlbany before the start of America East play in January.
Jordan Bernfield and Dino Gaudio have the call on ESPNU and WatchESPN from Louisville. In addition, Rodger Wyland and Brian Mariano will be on the radio for 104.5 the Team.
As of Sunday, UAlbany is the #4 ranked mid-major in country, while Louisville is receiving votes in each national ranking poll.
America East representative UAlbany got back in the win column on Saturday night with a 68-65 comeback victory over Canisius, resuming its top start in its Division I history at 11-2. Louisville, from the ACC and receiving votes in both national polls, has won four straight games, the last an 81-72 victory vs. Memphis in the Gotham Classic feature game in New York City, to come in at 8-2 overall.
UAlbany is 2-1 in the Gotham Classic, with wins over Bryant and Siena and a defeat at Memphis. Louisville is 3-0 in this tournament with wins against all three of the above.
This is the first-ever meeting between UAlbany and Louisville. UAlbany last game against an ACC opponent was on December 31, 2014, a 58-46 defeat at Pittsburgh. UAlbany last played a Power Five opponent on November 11, 2016, an 87-81 win at Penn State. The last time Louisville took on an America East member was November 17, 2015, an 87-52 win vs. Hartford.
HOT SHOOTING TEAM: Through 13 games in the season, UAlbany stands with the third highest scoring offense in the America East, earning 78.9 points per game, including six 80+ point games, with a league-best 48.3% field goal rate.
UALBANY RANKED #4 MID-MAJOR IN NATION: UAlbany is ranked #4 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 on December 11th, released every Monday. UAlbany is also the top-ranked mid-major team in the state of New York and in the America East. UAlbany has stood in the top-10 each of the past three weeks.
BOX OUT!: Through 13 games, UAlbany has outrebounded its opponents in all contests, standing with the second-best rebounding margin in the America East at +9.5. UAlbany and Auburn are the only teams to outrebound their opponents in all games to begin the year. First in the league is New Hampshire at +9.7. Greig Stire (7.8) and Travis Charles (5.5) stand in the top-12 in the America East in rebounding.
FIRST 6-0 START IN DIVISION I, SINCE 1985-86: This season, UAlbany earned its first-ever 6-0 start in its Division I history, the first three wins against opponents picked to finish top three in their respective leagues in the preseason: Iona, Boston University and Yale. UAlbany’s 11-2 start is the best in its Division I history and top since the 1993-94 season, when UAlbany began the year 18-1.
The last 6-0 start for UAlbany came in the DII era in 1985-86, being achieved in two seasons since 1956-57.
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.
THE WALKING BUCKET: Nicknamed the “Walking Bucket” by head coach Will Brown after the win over Colgate, Travis Charles has earned double digit points in 11 of 13 games this season, averaging 14.9 points per contest and shooting 61.3% from the field. He is also averaging 5.5 boards a contest.
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 LOUISVILLE: Currently under acting head coach David Padgett, Louisville reached the NCAA Round of 32 last year. A preseason watch list member of the Citizen Naismith Trophy Award, junior forward Deng Adel shoots 49.2% for 16 points a game. 6-foot-10 junior forward Ray Spalding nearly averages a double-double a contest with 10.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
KEYBANK KEYS TO VICTORY (#KEYBANKKEYS):
--Against the Power 5: UAlbany has past victories vs. Power Five foes Washington and Penn State.
--Get to the Glass: Each side has a positive rebounding margin: UAlbany at +9.5, Louisville at +4.7.
--Watch the Blocks: UAlbany has the higher FG% at 48.3%, with Louisville being first in DI with 8.5 blocks per game.