Albany Great Danes

Peter Hooley, Jr., Jameel Warney, Jr., Mike Rowley
Associated Press

VIDEO: America East’s #OurHouseRules trick shot campaign

Leave a comment

With the start of college basketball’s regular season just over a week away, the America East Conference began a special campaign via social media. The #OurHouseRules campaign features each of the nine member schools, with a player (or players, in one instance thus far) from each team making a shot they’d use in a game of HORSE.

The schools are doing this in alphabetical order, so defending tournament champion Albany was first with senior guard Peter Hooley getting things going. Hooley, whose three-pointer in the final seconds of the America East title game sent the Great Danes to the NCAA tournament, successfully drop-kicked a shot in from just beyond half court.

Up next was Binghamton’s J.C. Show, who hit a shot from half court while sitting on the floor.

Hartford’s Taylor Dyson made his shot from the Chase Family Arena stands, with Maine’s Aaron Calixte and Isaac Vann combining on an alley-oop with Calixte making the pass.

UMBC, UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Vermont are the five teams who have yet to submit their shots, with UMBC now on the clock to do so. This is a pretty cool idea, especially when it comes to getting the fan bases excited for the start of the season. Who doesn’t like a good trick shot?

h/t Fox Sports

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

Leave a comment

Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.

Albany’s Peter Hooley to give commencement speech at school’s graduation in May

AP Photo
Leave a comment

One of the most powerful stories of the 2014-15 season was that of Albany guard Peter Hooley, whose shot with less than a second remaining gave the Great Danes a win over Stony Brook in the America East title game. Hooley’s heroics came less than two months after the passing of his mother from a lengthy bout with colon cancer, and just over a month after he’d returned to the program.

Hooley’s story serves as inspiration for many, and as a result the school has selected him to give the undergraduate commencement speech at graduation next month.

“It’s an honor for me to speak on behalf of our graduating class,” Hooley said in the release. “I’m looking forward to congratulating everyone on our last four years together, as well as wishing the Class of 2015 the best going forward.”

This is the latest honor bestowed upon Hooley, who also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in March and the school president’s Outstanding Senior Award. While a number of schools bring in public figures for commencement speeches, Albany’s move has the potential to be even more meaningful as the graduates will see one of their own at the podium.

Albany losing three to transfer

Albany v Oklahoma
Leave a comment

America East champion Albany is losing three players to transfer, head coach Will Brown confirmed in a report from Tim Wilkin of the Times Union.

Leaving the program are freshman guards Wheeler Baker,  Max Twyman and Mike Wells. While the 6-foot-5 Twyman and the 5-foot-10 Wells only appeared in 15 games total this season, losing the 6-foot-2 Baker is tough for the Great Danes.

Baker showed flashes as a quick-burst scoring option off the bench this season but he was likely going to be stuck behind Peter Hooley, Ray Sanders and Evan Singletary in the rotation next season. Baker appeared in 30 games and averaged 5.6 points, 1.4 rebounds per game for Albany during the 2014-15 season.

Albany is coming off of three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, as they finished last season 24-9 and 15-1 in the America East.

TaShawn Thomas, No. 3 seed Oklahoma overpower No. 14 seed Albany

1 Comment
source: AP

Oklahoma must have learned from the problems its fellow No. 3 seeds faced on Thursday as the Sooners held off No. 14 seed Albany for a 69-60 win in the East Regional on Friday night. After witnessing Big 12 conference mates Baylor and Iowa State fall to No. 14 seeds the previous day, Oklahoma jumped out to a 37-28 halftime lead and never let the Great Danes get close enough to strike late in the game.

Senior big man TaShawn Thomas had 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead the Sooners while junior guard Buddy Hield chipped in 15 points. Forward Ryan Spangler just missed a double-double for Oklahoma with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Albany (24-9) made it a game late and it looked like we would have another exciting finish for a 3-14 matchup. Guard Evan Singletary’s 3-pointer with 2:02 left cut the Oklahoma lead to six, but the Great Danes never got closer as the Sooners closed the game with four free throws.

Peter Hooley led four Albany players in double-figures with 15 points. Singletary (13 points), forward Sam Rowley (12 points) and guard Ray Sanders (11 points) also had solid scoring games for the Great Danes.

The Sooners (23-10) advance to face the winner of Providence and Dayton in the Round of 32 on Sunday.

Introducing Cinderella: Meet the Albany Great Danes

AP Photo
Leave a comment
AP Photo

Conference: America East

Coach: Will Brown

Record: 24-8, 15-1 America East

Rankings and ratings:

Kenpom: 128
RPI: 116
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: Albany is projected as a No. 15 seed in our latest bracket.

Names you need to know: Sam Rowley (14.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg), Peter Hooley (13.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg), Evan Singletary (13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.8 apg)

Stats you need to know: Albany does two things really, really well: they’re 12th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage, and they’re 25th nationally in defensive free throw rate. They’re not going to beat themselves.

Tendencies: Albany is about what you would expect from a mid-major conference champion. They like to control tempo, they have skilled but undersized big men, they’re fundamentally sound but not all that athletic, they can hit threes.

Big wins, bad losses: The Great Danes have one win over a team ranked in the KenPom top 100 — Yale — and lost to both UNLV and Providence. But since the calendar turned, Albany has lost just one game.

How’d they get here: Albany came from seven down in the final two minutes to beat Stony Brook in the America East title game. They were also the outright America East champs.

Outlook: Albany is going to have their work cut out for them when they get into the NCAA tournament. They’ve probably done enough to play their way out of the the play-in games, but they are still at risk of being a No. 16 seed. Either way, pulling off an upset over a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed will not be an easy thing for them to do.

How do I know you?: The Great Danes have made the NCAA tournament each of the past three seasons, although their only win came in last year’s First Four.