UAlbany adds muscle to basketball lineup

The Great Danes announced that Will Harris, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward, has transferred in from t
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University at Albany head coach Will Brown would love to use his newest recruit right away, but he will have to wait a full season before unleashing a player he calls the most physical in program history.

The Great Danes announced that Will Harris, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound forward, has transferred in from the University of Virginia, where he played the last two years. He must sit out the 2008-09 season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Harris, a native of Corona, appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons for the Cavaliers. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds as a sophomore, but he missed the last 14 games of the season because of a back injury. As a freshman, he played all 32 games, and averaged 3.6 points and 3.2 rebound per game.

Harris was ranked among the top 100 players in the nation coming out of high school. At Maine Central Institute, Harris scored 26 points per game. The next season, he poured in 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds per game for Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

“We could probably use his Atlantic Coast Conference toughness right now, but we’ll have to wait until next season,” said Brown. “We’re very excited to get Will Harris in our program. You don’t get kids like this too often at our level. We got a player who was on track to be a good player in the ACC. He was looking for a bigger role at a program where he could be successful, and that’s fortunate for us.”

Brown said Harris’ versatility will cause problems for opposing defenses in the America East Conference.

“He can play so many pos­itions. He could play the 2, 3, 4 and even the 5. He’ll probably play the small forward position for us, but at

6-6 and 235 pounds, he’s a major matchup problem. The good thing is that he can practice all year with us, and that will help him and our program,” said Brown.

Although Harris is a physical specimen, his forte is on the per­imeter.

“He’s a perimeter player who shoots the ball well and handles it well,” Brown said. “But he’s so physically strong. He is the most physical presence since [former 7-foot, 280-pound center] Kirsten Zoellner. In fact, he’s probably the best physical presence we’ve had in our program.”

WOMEN SET SCHEDULE

The University at Albany women’s program announced its non-conference schedule this week, and it will be headlined by three opponents that earned berths in the NCAA tournament a year ago.

UAlbany will play the California Golden Bears on Nov. 14, the Marist Red Foxes Nov. 16 and the Cornell Big Red Nov. 18.

Virginia Commonwealth University of the Colonial Athletic Assoc­iation is one of four non-league opponents that will play the Danes at SEFCU Arena. The Rams won a school-record 26 games last year and advanced to the second round of the Women’s National Invit­ation Tournament. UAlbany also hosts Richmond (Nov. 22), Detroit (Dec. 1) and the New Jersey Inst­itute of Technology (Dec. 9).

In addition, Albany will compete in a four-team tournament at Texas-Pan American on Dec. 28-29. Montana State and Troy will also travel to Edinburg for the two-day event.

Other non-conference foes include Colgate, Army, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Rhode Island.

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