Home News Kentucky basketball: Five things about Albany Great Danes

Kentucky basketball: Five things about Albany Great Danes


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Five things to know about Kentucky basketball’s next opponent, the Albany Great Danes:

1. Albany is still looking for its first win

Saturday night’s 77-64 loss to Eastern Kentucky in Richmond dropped the Great Danes to 0-4 on the season. Before that, Albany had lost 77-56 to Towson (Nov. 9), 67-64 at LaSalle (Nov. 13) and 60-53 to Harvard (Nov. 17).

The Danes made just five of 24 three-point shots in the loss to Towson. They shot just 35.8 percent overall in the defeat. They did rally from a 36-23 halftime deficit against LaSalle but couldn’t pull off the win. Bad shooting reared its ugly head against Harvard when Albany was just 3-of-15 from three-point range.

Saturday night in Richmond, Albany was 5-of-18 from beyond the three-point arc and shot 40.4 percent overall. The host Colonels forced 14 turnovers.

[Albany men’s basketball website]

2. Albany has a first-year head coach in Dwayne Killings

Jerry Tipton profiled the 40-year-old Killings, who was once a ball boy for John Calipari at UMass. Hired March 17, the native of Amherst, Mass., was associate head coach at Marquette under Steve Wojciechowski before taking over at Albany. Before going to Marquette, Killings was on Fran Dunphy’s staff at Penn.

Killings replaced Will Brown, who went 315-295 and took the Great Danes to five NCAA Tournaments in his 20 seasons at Albany. The Great Danes had suffered three straight losing seasons under Brown, going 12-20 in 2018-19, 14-18 in 2019-20 and 7-9 last season.

Albany announced the hiring of Dwayne Killings as its head men’s basketball coach on March 17, 2021. Albany Athletics

3. Matt Cerutti is Albany’s leading scorer

A grad student from Huntington Valley, Pa., the 6-foot-4 guard is averaging 12.3 points per game. Cerutti came to Albany from Lock Haven University. Cerutti scored 17 points in the loss at EKU on Saturday. He has made nine of 17 three-point shots on the season.

Close behind is De’Vondre Perry, who is averaging 12 points per game. Perry is a 6-7 forward from Baltimore who transferred to Albany from Temple. He averaged 17.5 minutes per game and 4.3 points per game at Temple. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season.

4. Albany plays in America East Conference

Here are the America East members: UMass Lowell, Vermont, UMBC, Binghamton, Maine, New Hampshire, NJIT, Stony Brook, Albany and Hartford.

UMBC and Vermont tied for the league title last year at 10-4 while Albany went 6-6. But Hartford won the America East Conference Tournament, beating UMass Lowell 64-50 in the finals. Hartford lost to eventual national champion Baylor 79-55 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

[America East Conference]

UMBC is the team that as the No. 16 seed upset No. 1 seed Virginia 74-54 in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. It was the first time in the history of the tournament that a No. 16 defeated a No. 1 seed. UMBC then lost to Kansas State 50-43.

5. Background on Albany University

The University at Albany-State University of New York has an enrollment of 13,182 undergrads, 4,506 graduate students. A public research university, the school was founded in 1844. It was primarily a teachers college until the SUNY system was established in 1948.

The all-time winningest coach in women’s basketball history, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, played her first two years of collegiate basketball at Albany (1971-72) where her father was studying for his doctorate. She transferred to Indiana (1973-1975). VanDerveer won her third national title last season when Stanford defeated Arizona in the finals of the NCAA Tournament.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, an Albany native, lectured at the University of Albany in creative writing and journalism from 1974-82. He became a full professor at Albany in 1983. He won the 1984 Pulitzer for his novel “Ironweed,” set in Albany. The 93-year-old lives outside of Albany.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison was appointed to an Albert Schweitzer chair at the University of Albany in 1984. Her play “Dreaming Emmett” was performed there in 1986.

The late gay rights activist Harvey Milk earned a B.A. degree from Albany, as did Broadway actress Carolee Carmello.

This story was originally published November 22, 2021 6:00 AM.

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John Clay is a sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader. A native of Central Kentucky, he covered UK football from 1987 until being named sports columnist in 2000. He has covered 20 Final Fours and 37 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.
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