As college basketball teams begin to take to the hardwood with the hopes of a complete and close to normal season, the University at Albany men's basketball team is getting use to their new coach, Dwayne Killings. Saturday, I got to spend some time at the Great Danes practice.

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Coach Killings and his assistants have been very kind to invite me to see the team workout several times since he and the staff arrived to campus. However, Saturday was the first official full team practice for the 2021-2022 season that I have seen.

Maggie Bean

In my experience, one can tell something about a coaching staff by observing how the head coach communicates directly and through their assistants to their student-athletes. Coaching is teaching, especially in early October for basketball. Freshman are learning how to listen, while seniors and grad students are trying to fly.

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Coach Killings and his assistants, Hamlet Tibbs, Matt Griffin, and Dannton Jackson have a fun flowing style of coaching. Critical instruction was followed with a positive reason why the player should be doing what they are being instructed to do. It was their desired "mentality." Everyone is accountable for everyone.

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It was cool to watch their blend of individual coaching styles deliver the messages with one goal, one possession at a time, one day at a time. It's a mentality that will get them them where they want to be.

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Absolutely, everyone in the SEFCU Arena on Saturday wants a men's basketball America East Championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament but that achievement can't happen in October. However, the foundation of such aspirations are being built now. It will be an exciting season for sure. You can go to ualbanysports.com/tickets to purchase tickets.

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