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UAlbany Men’s Basketball: A Season in Review

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UAlbany Men’s Basketball: A Season in Review

ALBANY, N.Y. – University at Albany men’s basketball (19-15, 9-7 AE) concluded its season last week in the NCAA Second Round in Orlando, falling 67-55 to overall No. 1 seed Florida; but the Great Danes have much to celebrate from the 2013-14 season.

THE TEAM

NCAA Tournament

  • The Great Danes earned their first Division I NCAA Tournament win in four appearances on March 18, downing Mount St. Mary’s 71-64 in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.
  • In that win, UAlbany went 27-for-47 (.574) from the field to record its second-best single-game field goal percentage of the season.
    • For the first time all-time, UAlbany won four postseason games
    • With the victory, the Purple & Gold finished the season 13-0 when scoring 70 points or more.

America East Tournament:

  • Will Brown’s squad won the America East Conference Tournament for the second-straight year.
  • Once again as the No. 4 seed, the Great Danes matched their achievement from last season as the lowest-seeded team to win the title.
  • For the second straight time UAlbany defeated the No. 1 seed at home in the semifinals and the No. 2 seed on the road for the championship.
  • The Great Danes are 4-0 in the league championship game.
  • UAlbany became the fifth America East school to win at least four titles, and improved its tournament record to 14-9.

America East Regular Season:

  • In the opening game of the conference slate, the Purple & Gold hit a Division I program-high 16 threes against Hartford for an 81-56 win.
  • The game against the Hawks marked the first time four players made multiple threes since an 81-77 win against Maine in 2011.
  • UAlbany ranked second in the nation at the beginning of conference play in free throw percentage (.781).
  • The Great Danes downed Stony Brook at home 77-67 on Jan. 29, handing the Seawolves their first league loss of the season.
  • UAlbany’s win against Stony Brook on Jan. 29 was the first regular season victory at SEFCU Arena since 2008.

Nonconference:

  • The Great Danes faced three nonconference opponents for the first time, Drake, Holy Cross and NJIT.
  • UAlbany posted its top free throw percentage in non-conference play all-time since joining the Division I ranks (.775).
  • The Purple & Gold averaged 11.9 turnovers per game, its lowest average all-time in Division I non-conference play. The Great Danes committed 155 turnovers in 13 games, the fewest for the program since the 2004-05 non-conference schedule.
  • For the ninth season since joining the America East, at least three players averaged double-digits in scoring, including Peter Hooley (14.2 ppg), Sam Rowley (13.3 ppg) and DJ Evans (11.8 ppg).
  • Peter Hooley was the first sophomore since Levi Levine in 2003-04 to lead the Great Danes in nonconference scoring (14.2 ppg).

Charitable Contributions:

  • Several UAlbany men’s basketball players participated in “Movember,” a fundraising effort for men’s health causes including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
    • “Movember” is a term combining “mustache,” and “November.” Men participating in the Movember movement shave on Oct. 31, and grow mustaches throughout the month of November.
    • The Movember cause began in Australia, and has become popular among Aussies over the years.
  • The team also lent its support to the Coaches Cure Cystic Fibrosis movement in February.  
    • The Coaches Cure CF initiative aims to bring awareness of Cystic Fibrosis to the college basketball community in a similar manner to Coaches vs. Cancer.
    • Seton Hall spearheaded the initiative in 2011, and Providence College and Iona have since held awareness days of their own.
    • With a silent auction, donations and the SEFCU Money Machine, UAlbany men’s basketball helped Coaches Cure CF raise nearly $ 5,000.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

On the Court:

  • Senior center John Puk became UAlbany’s Division I program leader in career blocks on Dec. 4 against Holy Cross with 77.
    • He tallied his 100th career block on Feb. 12 at UMBC.
    • Puk concluded his career with 112 blocks, and a single-season Division I record 44 in 2013-14. He led the conference overall and in league play in blocks.
  • DJ Evans made an impressive run in the NCAA Tournament, nearly averaging a double-double in two games.
    • Evans averaged 21.5 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game against Mount St. Mary’s and Florida.
    • The senior also shot 56% from the field (14-25) in the NCAA Tournament.
    • Evans went 12-13 (.923) from the free throw line in the final two games of his career.
  • Peter Hooley became the first sophomore to be named the America East Tournament Most Outstanding performer in 15 years.
    • The guard averaged 23.7 points per game in three games, as well as a 52.2% three-point shooting clip and a 48.9% field goal percentage.
    • He scored 30 points in the quarterfinal win against UMBC, becoming the first America East player to score at least 30 points in a game since 2011. And he did so in just 20 minutes of play.
    • The sophomore scored 22 points in the first half of the semifinal match-up against Vermont. The last time a Great Dane scored 22 in a half was Jason Siggers in Burlington on Jan. 13, 2007.

Off the Court:

  • David Wiegmann became the first Great Dane to be nominated for the Allstate NABC Good Works Team. He was one of 75 nominees in NCAA Division I.
  • Peter Hooley garnered Capital One NCAA Division I Academic All-District First Team honors. The Great Danes had a representative on the All-District for the fourth straight year.
  • Men’s basketball posted the highest cumulative team GPA of any UAlbany team after the fall semester (3.37).

America East Awards:

  • UAlbany garnered three All-Conference selections and two All-Academic selections.
  • The Purple & Gold has had more All-Academic selections than any other team in the league all-time with 14.
  • The Great Danes earned four weekly awards. Hooley, Gary Johnson and Sam Rowley all earned Player of the Week honors, while Dallas Ennema was named the league’s Rookie of the Week in December.

COACH BROWN

  • In his 13th season, Coach Brown earned his fourth America East title in 2013-14.
  • Brown won his 100th America East regular season game on Feb. 15, 74-63 against Maine at SEFCU Arena.
  • With a six-game America East Tournament winning streak, Will Brown has now won more league titles than any active conference coach.
    • The only coach to win more league titles was Jim Calhoun at Northeastern with five.
    • Brown has made UAlbany the top team in terms of winning percentage in the tournament, at 14-9 (.608). 


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UAlbany Men’s Basketball: A Season in Review