UAlbany men’s basketball flies to Dallas for battle vs. SMU

DALLAS – Before the holiday break, the UAlbany men’s basketball team will head to Texas for the first time since 2001, taking on SMU on Tuesday, December 20th at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) in the Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

The game will be broadcast online on ESPN3 and on the radio in Albany on 104.5 the Team with Rodger Wyland and Zach Bye.

UAlbany got back on the win column in its final non-conference home game of the year on Saturday, defeating St. Francis Brooklyn 87-60 to enter Tuesday at 7-5 overall.  SMU, as of Sunday, is at 8-3 overall and is playing Stanford on Monday night at home.

This is the first-ever meeting between UAlbany and SMU.  UAlbany fell to a different AAC opponent earlier in the year with a 74-51 defeat at Cincinnati on November 14th.  SMU hosted an America East team last season, defeating New Hampshire 98-44 at home.  UAlbany is playing its first game against an opponent outside of New York since December 3rd.

UAlbany is playing in the state of Texas for the first time since 2001 and first time under head coach Will Brown.  The Great Danes played two games in January of that year, falling to Texas-Pan American 84-69 on the 13th and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 107-78 on the 15th.

BOX OUT!

UAlbany is eighth in all of Division I in rebounding margin, averaging 10.1 rebounds more than their opponents.  It is more than three rebounds more per game than New Hampshire, second in the league.

Two UAlbany players stand in the top-10 in the America East in rebounds per game.  Greig Stire and Mike Rowley are both tied for fifth in the league with 6.5 rebounds a contest while Joe Cremo is tied for 14th with 4.8 boards a game.

WILL BROWN APPROACHING 250 WINS AT UALBANY

Into his 16th season with the team, Will Brown is just six wins away from 250 as the head coach at UAlbany.  He stands with a career record of 246-229, including five America East Tournament titles and seven seasons with at least 19 victories.

The longest active tenured coach in the league, Brown ranks fourth all-time in victories as coach of an America East.  He is three victories away from tying for third with Dennis Wolff, who had 249 victories with Boston University from 1995 to 2009.

PLAY IN THE PAINT, NOT THE PERIMETER

UAlbany stands with the best three-point field goal defense percentage in the America East, holding teams to 33.6% from behind the arc.

In addition, UAlbany has taken the least amount of shots from three-point range in the America East.  After 12 games played, UAlbany has taken 159 shots from three, over 75 less than the next conference team (UMBC, 243).

STREAKS

Mike Rowley, who scored points in every game last season, stands with a 61-game scoring streak, dating back to January 22, 2015.  He has also grabbed at least one rebound each of the past 78 games, including the entire 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

The first guard off the bench last season, Joe Cremo has scored points in each of his last 43 games going back to Nov. 19, 2015.

On the rebounding front, Greig Stire has earned at least one board in each of the past 48 games.

SCOUTING SMU:

SMU boasts the 20th ranked scoring defense in Division I, allowing 61.4 points per game.  A transfer from Duke, redshirt junior forward Semi Ojeleye is the leading scorer and rebounder with 17.6 points and 7.5 boards a game.  Running the point is sophomore guard Shake Milton, who averages 12.2 points and 3.8 assists each contest.

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