Scouting Albany

IL Wildcat

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Albany Great Danes
America East Conference
Head Coach: Will Brown (13 seasons: 215-215, 67-35 last 3 seasons)

2014-15 Record: 24-9 (12-5 away)
Won America East Tournament with win over Stony Brook 51-50
Lost to Oklahoma 60-69 in NCAA-T ourney

Schedule: this is their first game
11/13/15 at Kentucky, Lexington, KY, Rupp Arena , 7:00 pm EST (TV: SEC Network)

Starters lost from last season: 1
F Sam Rowley 6-6 230 Sr 13.9pts, 7.6reb, 1.8ast, led team in blocks and steals also

Probable Starters
G #1 Ray Sanders 6-4 210 Sr (9.7pts, 4.6reb, 2.2ast, 36.8% from 3)
F #43 Greg Stire 6-7 240 So (2.0pts, 2.0reb, no 3pt threat- new starter)
F #10 Mike Rowley 6-8 230 Jr (3.8pts, 4.4reb, no 3pt threat)
G #12 Peter Hooley 6-4 200 Sr (13.7pts, 3.0reb, 2.3ast, 34% from 3)
G #0 Evan Singletary 6-1 195 Sr (13.0pts, 3.6reb, 2.8ast, 40% from 3)

Bench
F #24 Dallas Ennema 6-6 210 Jr (4.9pts, 2.0reb, 32.6% from 3)
C #22 Richard Peters 6-11 270 Jr (2.3pts, 2.3reb, no 3pt threat)

Stats from last season
Points per game 65.3
Points allowed 60.5
Scoring margin +4.8
Field goal pct .438
Field goal pct allowed .421
3-point FG pct .358
Free throw pct .758
Rebounds per game 33.6
Rebounds allowed 29.2
Rebounding margin +4.4
Assists per game 10.6
Turnovers per game 11.5
Turnover margin +0.8
Assist/turnover ratio 0.9
Steals per game 5.7
Blocks per game 1.6

Analysis: Albany definitely represents a significant step up in competition from the 2 exhibition games. In fact, this team may be the best of the mid-majors UK is playing this season. NJIT would be right there with them. This is an America East team that has won their tournament and automatic qualifier for 3 straight seasons. They are picked second in the conference this season, right behind Stony Brook. They return 4 starters from that team that made the NCAA-T last season and lost to Oklahoma by 9 in their opening round game.

Albany lost 2 players from last season’s team. One is very significant and the other, not as much. Sam Rowley, an Australian player, was a 6-6 230lb do-everything senior for the team last season. He led the team in nearly every statistical category other than 3pt shooting percentage. He led them in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals. He will be sorely missed, without question, and is likely a significant part of the reason Albany won the conference tournament for 3 straight years. The other guy Albany lost was a 6-2 guard named Wheeler Baker. He was a back-up shooting guard who played about 15 minutes per game and was a pretty good shooter at around 38%. He transferred to the University of North Dakota last May. He was a key sub but who would have provided depth, but his position will be covered well with the remaining players. (lack of playing time is likely why he transferred)

There is no question that this team’s success is found in its backcourt. Hooley, Singletary, and Sanders form their 3-guard line-up, and they all are returning starters. Peter Hooley is the guy getting most of the attention in the preseason. He’s on the watch list for the Lou Henson POTY Award given to the top mid-major player. He is another Australian transplant who has played well for Albany. He was second in scoring last season and second in assists as well. He missed 3 weeks last season while going back home to Australia for a leave of absence, otherwise he might have led the team in both those categories. He’s the guy who hit a late three against Stony Brook to send Albany to the Dance last March.

The player who stirs the drink for the Great Danes is 6-1 195 Senior Evan Singletary, who started every game a season ago. He’s a guy who can do it all from the pg position. He was third in scoring (but not by much), 1st in assists, and the best 3pt shooter on the team at 40%. He shoots it well but he also likes to use his quickness to get into the lane and finish inside. The 3rd guard in this line-up is yet another senior, 6-4 210 Ray Sanders is another returning starter who started every game last season. He shoots 36.8% from 3 but at 6-4 210 he likes to get inside and mix it up a bit more. Much of the success of this team will depend on the success of these guards. The same can be said for the UK game. They will go as far as these 3 guards can take them.

In the frontcourt, the best returning player is the brother of the guy who led the team last season. Another Australian, Mike Rowley is 2 inches taller than his brother. He’s 6-8 230 and a very strong guy. His scoring ability doesn’t match his brother, but he’s in the game primarily as a defensive stopper and rebounder, which he can do pretty well. I wonder how he will do against UK’s taller, longer front line players. He’s strong enough to keep UK off the block pretty well, but he may struggle with Skal’s length. The guy replacing Sam Rowley in the starting line-up at the power forward position is Greg Stire. He played 10.6 minutes a game last season in a limited role, but playing behind Sam Rowley didn’t get him on the court much. He’s a 6-7 240 senior who is probably on a short leash against UK. The reason I say that is because they have a 6-11 270 center named Richard Peters who could come in. (actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albany give Peters a start because of his size. Peters actually has more experience and started several games for Albany last season. I had him pegged to start but the Albany game notes list Stire as the starter. I guess we’ll see. The other guy on the bench plays the 3 and 4 spots, that’s a guy who may have dealt with some teasing growing up because he is named Dallas Ennema. I’ll refrain from the middle school humor running through my head.

Albany is a very deliberate team in the half-court. They will not try to run with UK at all but will try to be more efficient than the Cats in fewer possessions. They add to that efficiency a solid defense as well. They only scored 65.3 point per game last season and they allowed only 60.5. So, if they have their way, the game will be in that range against UK. This game should be a very interesting match-up for UK and will test their mettle, especially in its half-court sets. I don’t think UK will have much success running in this game and getting out on the break, though I definitely believe they should push the tempo as much as possible. It’s likely this game will provide fans a preview of whatever shorter rotation Calipari may want to employ. I don’t think the margin will be enough early to get everyone into the game who might get playing time in a romp. Although, if there are players missing, as I've read about this afternoon, that might change.

In the final analysis, Albany’s guards will be a strong challenge for UK, but they won’t be able to keep Kentucky off the glass on either end of the floor. They will likely control the tempo fairly well. I doubt our Cats will even see 80 points in this game, much less 100. However, Albany’s strength is UK’s strength. At best, Albany could hope to play close to even in the backcourt. (they will struggle with that, too) But their bigger trouble is that they don’t have an answer for UK’s frontcourt players. We may see quite a bit of zone for that very reason. Kentucky will have to defend in this game for the full clock because Albany won’t force bad shots. Unfortunately for Albany, that clock isn’t as long this season, so that will hurt them in the long run of this game. The Cats will have to execute in the half court and defend for 25-30 seconds most times down the floor, but I think UK has too much fire power for Albany to contain, especially if the refs call the game like we’ve been told they will. It may take a little while for UK to solve Albany, but I think they’ll pull away for a fairly comfortable win.

Prediction: Kentucky 74 Albany 56
 
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MdWIldcat55

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(In my Butthead voice) They have a player named Ennema?

Good analysis. Hope you are right. I always get nervous facing competent mid-majors early.
 
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MdWIldcat55

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great analysis . You are correct NJIT and Albany are the best 2 non major conference teams we play and so they present a good challenge. My predictions ( if Briscoe plays which I suspect he will)

UK 82 Albany 62

UK 77 NJIT 64
Briscoe? What's up with Briscoe? You mean Ulis and the 'Walking Boot?'
 

Dakota25

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Nov 24, 2014
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This game makes me a little nervous. I will feel so much better Saturday night after a couple wins over tourney teams. Right now I know uk should win, but I'm nervous.
 

ulismyman

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People forget we dont have Andrew this year to slow the game down...Ulis keeps the ball moving...neither game is close
 

4UK

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People forget we dont have Andrew this year to slow the game down...Ulis keeps the ball moving...neither game is close
Yes, we are so lucky. It would really suck to have a point guard who started every game for a team that went to two straight Final Fours. [eyeroll] Amazing that he's no longer here, and you still managed to get an Andrew dig in. Give it a rest man.
 
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Bkocats

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Yes, we are so lucky. It would really suck to have a point guard who started every game for a team that went to two straight Final Fours. [eyeroll] Amazing that he's no longer here, and you still managed to get an Andrew dig in. Give it a rest man.
I know Ulismyman is a big Tyler fan - but he does have a point; Andrew was awesome, IMO - but his style DID dictate a slower pace. It's nothing against Andrew at all, nor does it diminish his accomplishments at UK. It's simply a matter of how he played.

That's the nice thing about Cal - and we've all discussed this before. He adapts to his players' strengths. Ulis does like to run more - and he has a quickness that Andrew lacked. Both of the Harrisons were stronger rather than agile. Ulis is the opposite.
 

ulismyman

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Im not a twin basher we dont make either final four without them....that being said i prefer this current style better...winning 85-60 over 65-40. Just a personal preferance
 
Jul 26, 2003
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Their coach said 'they would not be intimidated.' Serious about beating us. Will they be the intimidators with our young guys playing their first real college game?
 

MdWIldcat55

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How many threads have to be ruined by the same toxic nonsense? I have guys on ignore and still can't avoid a thread about TONIGHT'S opponent Albany being turned into an indirect attack n Cal and a direct attack on a pair of Wildcats who led us to two Final Fours.

BACK TO ALBANY. Can anyone remember whether Albany runs mostly zone on defense, and if so, what kind? I'm guess they'll pack it in with a 2-3 or some variation and hope Kentucky is off from the outside -- not a bad strategy against a team of young kids wired about playing their first game in many cases.

One good thing for Kentucky -- the shortened shot clock. Five seconds doesn't sound like much per possession. But what it means is that each game has a theoretical minimum number of possessions -- if each one goes to the last second -- of 80. That's up from 68.5. So each team is going to get at least six and more likely eight or ten extra possessions because of the five second change. That favors teams with more offensive firepower -- Kentucky in this case.
 
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TheDude73

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Let's not forget the shot clock is now 30 seconds. And this new crop of Cats are pretty quick - all of the guards quite a bit quicker than both Harrisons (not a dig at them, just an observation). Additionally, the dribble drive has returned. So I don't really know how Albany plans on "slowing" down the game, and truthfully will be surprised if they succeed at all.

UK will score at least 90 in this game and overwhelm "experience" with speed and tenacity. Sorry Albany.