UAlbany Men’s Basketball: Danes have mix of vets, newcomers

Polar opposites in terms of playing styles, University at Albany juniors Logan Aronhalt and Blake Me

Polar opposites in terms of playing styles, University at Albany juniors Logan Aronhalt and Blake Metcalf have each grown in their leadership roles.

Now in their second season as co-captains of the men’s basketball team, Aronhalt and Metcalf are more familiar with their respons­ibilities and are expecting big things from an intriguing mix of veterans and newcomers.

Aronhalt, a 6-foot-3 swingman, was the second-leading scorer for the 16-16 Great Danes last season at 14.6 points per game, while the 6-9 Metcalf, a tough, physical

defender, was the first big man off the bench, averaging 4.0 points and 4.8 rebounds.

They will be two of the cornerstones of a UAlbany team that was picked fourth in the America East Conference preseason coaches poll, but could finish higher if its newcomers mature quickly.

”I think we have something to prove,” said Aronhalt at Wednesday’s annual basketball media day. “Obviously, we always want to be the best, but I think being picked fourth gives us an edge. Last year, they picked us eighth, and we finished tied for third. I think last year was a huge step up for us from two years ago.”

Aronhalt has grown accustomed to his new role, both as a leader and as a perimeter scorer.’

“I was always a scorer in high school, but my game has changed at the college level,” said the Zanesville, Ohio, product. “I was never a pure shooter or much of an outside shooter in high school, but when I got injured here in my freshman season, I changed my game.”

When Aronhalt missed the entire 2008-09 season because of an assortment of foot injuries, he spent much of his rehabilitation time working on his outside shooting.

“It was a process of just working at that part of my game,” he said. “In high school, I was the kind of scorer who drove to the rim more and hit short jumpers. Now, I’m more known for my perimeter game.”

Aronhalt canned a team-best 73 three-pointers and shot 37 percent from beyond the arc.

He said that a summer trip to Canada, where the Great Danes won four of five games and averaged nearly 90 points per game, lifted UAlbany’s confidence level.

“We played well in Canada,” he said. “Now we know that we have a nice group of veterans and some talented new guys, as well. We scored a lot of points in Canada. I wish we had a 24-second clock like we had on that trip all the time. But the best thing was that we played well off each other, and our chemistry clicked. I think that trip gave us a lot of confidence.”

While Aronhalt has matured into a big-time scorer, Metcalf’s leadership role has taken a different track.

“Last year, when I was named a captain, I was honored, but I was never taught how to lead,” said the Camby, Ind., native. “Coach [assist­ant coach Brent] Wilson showed me how to lead. I’m more comfortable calling guys out now. I know how to put my foot down. I try to get our focus up and our energy level up. There’s a huge difference between game leadership vs. practice. In games, you don’t need to get the guys pumped up. They already are, but you need to be vocal during stretches and drills at practice. You need to have a different attitude.”

Metcalf knows this group of Great Danes will score plenty of points, but he wants their calling card to be defense.

“I hope to see us defend,” he said. “We have so many scorers on this team, but I want to show people we can defend and do the little things to win.”

UAlbany, which opens up Nov. 11 at Pittsburgh, will most likely start Aronhalt, junior guard Mike Black, 6-10 sophomore center John Puk and 6-8 sophomore forward Luke Devlin among the veterans. The fifth starter should be 6-4 junior swingman Ger­ardo Suero from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

UAlbany head coach Will Brown believes Suero could be the leading scorer on a team of great shooters.

“He’s naturally a very gifted athlete,” said Brown. “He’s not a shooter, but more of a scorer who is a great passer and a very confident player. There is a language problem right now, because he doesn’t understand a word of English, but give this kid 7-8 games, and I think you’ll see just how good he is.”



11 – at Pittsburgh, 14 – vs. Brown in Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at Syr­acuse, 4; 15 – vs. Syracuse or Manhattan in Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at Syracuse, 4 or 7; 21 – Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at TBA; 22 – Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off at TBA;



5 – at Siena, 7; 7 – COLGATE, 7; 17 – at Cornell, 2; 19 – at St. Francis, N.Y., 7; 23 – DARTMOUTH, 2; 28 – at Maryland, 8; 31 – at Mount St. Mary’s, 3:30.


2 – HARTFORD, 7; 5 – at UMBC, 7; 8 – at Stony Brook, 2; 11 – NEW HAMPSHIRE, 7;

14 – MAINE, 7; 16 – at Boston University, 7; 19 – at Vermont, 7; 25 – BINGAMTON, 7;

28 – at Hartford, 4.


1 – UMBC, 7; 4 – STONY BROOK, 7;

6 – BOSTON UNIVERSITY, 7; 9 – at New Hampshire, 7; 11 – at Maine, 2; 15 – VERMONT, 7;

18 – Sears BracketBusters at UAlbany, TBA; 23 – at Binghamton, 7.

Home games in CAPS.

Categories: College Sports

Leave a Reply