Game Preview - Albany

UAlbany Basketball comes to UW

So far so good for Washington as they prepare for Albany in a final tune up before the non-conference schedule gets much harder. The game against the Great Danes will take place Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. PST in Alaska Airlines Arena and will be aired live on the Pac-12 Network. As it was with UW's 85-63 win over Loyola-Maryland, this game is part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

With Seton Hall and potentially Ohio State on the horizon, Washington must not overlook America East Conference contender Albany. With a win over Duquesne and a loss at Ohio State to start the season, the Great Danes will look to build off of their CIT appearance last year and make a run and clinching at the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007.

Despite Will Brown's squad losing their two top players from last year (Gerardo Suero, who tried to go professional, and Logan Aronhalt to a transfer to Maryland), the Great Danes have a solid core revolving around Mike Black's return. Black, considered to be the best point guard in the America East Conference, is averaging 17.5 points, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals through the first two games this year and averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals last year. The 6-foot senior, who hails from Chicago, will almost never leave the court but does a good job of limiting turnovers as well.

Another senior, Jacob Iati, will also look to continue his unprecedented hot start. Averaging 35 minutes, the 5-foot-10 guard out of Pennsylvania has put up 11 points, four rebounds, 2.5 assists and one steal a game so far. However, in previous years, the fifth year senior has only maxed out at 13.5 minutes a game.

Another new contributor, John Puk has put up nine points on 67 percent shooting and 7.5 rebounds a game thus far. Last year, when the 6-foot-10 center was 30 pounds heavier, the Iowa native only averaged 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds. If the big man can stay out of foul trouble, he will pose a threat for the UW frontline.

Brown, who has been at the helm with Albany since the 2001-02 season, has compiled a 148-180 record for the Great Danes while taking them to two NCAA tournament appearances. Previously, the Dowling graduate was the head coach of Sullivan County Community College in New York.

As for Washington and Albany, this will be the first appearance between the two schools, with Albany only having been a D-I school since the 1999-00 season.

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