Looking Ahead to.......Albany!!!!

by Rogabee

With a new season upon us,  we at YukuDukes be doing early season previews on all the OOC opponents this year.  First up...Albany in the RACC.

Albany is coming off a 19 win season in the America East under head coach Will Brown, who has been with Albany for what seems like the stone age (ok...it will be Brown's 12th season) after he took over when he was only 29 years old.  What's more impressive is that Brown's 19 win season came with no seniors getting minutes.  However, the Dukes won't be facing a true veteran team, as two of Albany's best players won't be back.  Gerardo Suero turned pro, and Logan Aronhold transferred to Maryland to persue a Master's degree.

One thing is certain, and that is that the RACC (approx. 4,500 capacity) will be rocking.  Only top-10 conference team (St. Bona) has travelled to the RACC in the last 10 years, and this will be one of the biggest home openers - if not the biggest home opener - in recent history for the Great Danes in terms of the opponent.  Combine that with the experience of the Great Danes who return all but two players and it seems like a recipe for a potential close game and road loss, but the Dukes are quite capable of pulling off a win.

Albany's Key Returners:

Mike Black (6-0 PG):  The team leader in minutes played and the floor general.  Black is as much a three-point shooter as a slashing PG. 

Blake Metcalf (6-9 C):  Only a 29% FT shooter (so we know who to send to the line...), Metcalf looks on the statsheet like solid, efficient, but not great player.  Shooting a terrific 59% from the field while grabbing 70 offensive boards, look for Metcalf to try to assert himself where the Dukes look to be weak.

Luke Devlin (6-8 PF):  Hobbled at the end of the year with a left knee contusion, Devlin averaged 6 and 4 despite not being able to play more than 20 minutes in his last seven games.  Reportedly having a high basketball IQ, Coach Brown told ESPN that Devlin "likes to play physical" and "has range to the three-point arc and is very clever in the low post. He possesses a very strong feel for the game, plus can pass the ball."

Jason Guerrier (6-4 G/F): The upcoming junior played behind Devlin and Aronholt last year. Took advantage of the opportunities he did get when he was given the chance to prove himself with the injuries, scoring over 11 ppg in the final six games of the year.

Key Losses: 

Gerardo Suero (6-4 G): A do-it-all type of star for the Great Danes. Suero not only lead the team in points, he also lead the team in rebounds and was second in assists. Suero is a playmaker who tries to get to the FT line at record rates, but with it comes turnovers in masses (#4 in the country).  However, Suero wasn't fond of playing much defense, and gave up his share of points.  It surprised me that he tried going pro so early as players in the America East with only one year of experience in D1 (he was a JUCO transfer) rarely go pro.  Suero went undrafted in the NBA Draft.

Logan Aronhalt (6-3 SG):  Primarily a three-point shooter, Aronhalt shot 36% from three and 89% from the line last year.  He was limited by injury near the end of the year and was forced to undergo surgery on his knee at the end of the season.

Incoming Recruits:

Dave Wiegmann (6-7 JUCO).  Selected Albany above RMU per scout.
DJ Evans (5-9 JUCO PG).  Selected Albany above South Alabama.


Albany's offense was perhaps the best offense in the America East last season.  Unfortunately, their defense was among the worst in the country, but some of that may be rectified without Suero.  Last year, the Great Danes not only did not force turnovers (only 12.7 per game), their opponents effective shooting percentage was ranked 295th in the country.  The one thing the Great Danes won't do is foul often, which may not be the best matchup as Ferry's teams like to win games at the FT line and by drawing fouls.  I haven't seen an Albany game since Albany made the dance 3-4 years ago, but Coach Brown used to have good offensive rebounding teams and emphasize the offensive glass.