Albany Fans Came Out in Force to Support New Hoops Coach
Tuesday night, a new era of UAlbany men's basketball began. Dwayne Killings was named the Great Danes head coach in March. He replaced 20 year head coach in Will Brown, who posted a 315-295 career record for the Danes with 5 trips to the NCAA tournament. When the university decided they wanted a fresh face at the helm of their men's basketball program, Athletic Director selected Killings, who was the associate head coach at Marquette University. The 40 year old from Amherst, Massachusetts packed up his family and headed to Western Ave. and the SEFCU Arena.
Killings and his staff have been pounding the pavement since they got here, asking everyone and anyone to come and support them. Last week, the new head coach held a Town Hall meeting with the students in the university campus center. Over 100 students showed up to hear from the new coach. Tuesday, the students showed up by the thousands to watch him do his job.
The houselights dimmed in the SEFCU Arena. The capacity crowd rose and waved glowing purple sticks and cheered their 2021-2022 UAlbany Great Danes and their new leader Mr. Killings.
The first Great Dane basket of the Killings era and his branded "Mentality" was a slam dunk by Bucknell University grad transfer Paul Newman. The crowd of 4215 erupted.
Killings and most everyone in the building was hoping for the storybook ending. Towson University is a Colonial Athletic Association program. It is a higher ranked conference and program. It was a tall task for the team that returned 6 players from last year's roster.
The Great Danes hung tough, down only 7 at the half. In the second half, the Tigers took a big bite out of the Great Danes. Overall, Towson dominated the paint, scoring 42 points to UAlbany's 22 and Towson forced 14 turnovers and converted 21 points from those Great Dane mistakes. Towson ended up winning by a score of 77-56.
It was a fun experience at the SEFCU on Tuesday. The Great Danes take on La Salle on Saturday at 4pm in Philadelphia. I'll be on the call on 104.5 The Team immediately following the UAlbany football game vs. Morgan State University. That game is at 1pm at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium.