Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Albany (7-22, 2-12) at Black Bears (18-9, 10-4)

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
Alfond Arena, Orono

Looking at Albany's individual statistics, it's hard to figure this team is 2-12 in America East and 7-22 overall. Three players are shooting between 33 percent and 45 percent on 3-pointers, six players average between 3.7 rebounds and 5 rebounds a game. But proof that basketball comes down to being a team game is shown in two key stats: opponents field goal percentage and turnovers.

The Danes have 106 more total turnovers than their opponents and are allowing opponents to shoot .439 percent from the floor; a lethal mix.

This is a team, however, that was picked to finish third in the pre-season coaches poll. They are dangerous and, under Will Brown, have established themselves as a hard-nosed team that will fight for rebounds and compete.

The Danes and Maryland-Baltimore County will meet in the conference tournament play-in game on March 4. The winner of that game will play either Stony Brook or Vermont.

Danes to watch:
Will Harris (6-5, Sr. forward) ... 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 39 percent on 3-pointers
Mike Black (6-0, Fr. guard) ... 6.6 points, 45 percent on 3-pointers
Tim Ambrose (6-0, Jr. guard) ... 13.3 points, 5 rebounds, 33 percent on 3-pointers
Scotty McRae (6-8, Sr. forward) ... 6.1 points, 4.5 rebounds

For UMaine to win: keep hammering the boards and keep Albany off balance with a "spread the wealth" offense ... Look for UMaine to post up with its taller guards, too. Gerald McLemore (6-3), Junior Bernal (6-5) and Terrance Mitchell (6-3) have a size advantage on Black and Ambrose. ... Get a whiff of the finish line. Black Bears should be motivated to the hilt with the chance to clinch third place (with a win vs. Albany) and/or stay in the running for a share of the league title (if things fall right).

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