Singletary a huge asset for Danes

Will Brown knows all about junior college basketball players. He compiled a 90-10 record in three se
Wheeler Baker of UAlbany collides with Kevin Degnan of Fairfield during Monday night's game at SEFCU Arena.
Wheeler Baker of UAlbany collides with Kevin Degnan of Fairfield during Monday night's game at SEFCU Arena.

Will Brown knows all about junior college basketball players.

He compiled a 90-10 record in three seasons at Sullivan County Community College from 1998-2001, and his last Generals’ squad reached the NJCAA championship game.

So it’s no surprise that Brown has dipped into the JUCO ranks several times in his 14 years as UAlbany head coach, and he’s found numerous diamonds in the rough.

Such is the case with this year’s find, Evan Singletary, who produced another outstanding performance to spark the Great Danes to a 77-66 victory over Fairfield in Monday’s non-conference game at SEFCU Arena.

Singletary, who went scoreless in the first half, poured in 21 second-half points and finished with five assists and just one turnover in 31 minutes. He was 7-for-12 from the floor, 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and 3-for-4 from the line. More importantly, he scored 11 consecutive points for the Danes to power them to a 59-40 advantage over the Stags with 11:33 remaining.

“I was just feeling it,” said the Moberly Area Community College transfer. “Every time the ball came off my hand, I felt like it was going in.”

Although Singletary was 0-for-4 in the first half, he said he made a slight adjustment in the final 20 minutes by leaping a little higher on his jump shot.

“My teammates kept finding me,” he said.

“He’s able to make the big shots when we need them,” said senior forward Sam Rowley. “He’s a good leader, and he’s made the transition from JUCO ball to DI, which is not that easy to do.”

Singletary admitted that the JUCO game is much different than DI.

“In JUCO, they just roll the ball out for you,” he said. “Here, it’s more team ball. I once scored 37 points in a JUCO game, but coach hasn’t tried to change me much. He keeps telling me to be aggressive.”

Brown has turned many JUCO transfers into assets down through the years. His first point guard was Earv Opong, and Jason Siggers was an integral part of an NCAA tournament team. There were many others.

“I’ve been a JUCO coach before. It’s all about fit,” he said. “They say when you get a junior college kid, the first year is an adjustment year, and then you hope you get a good second year out of them. I try to get a good two years.

“I think JUCO kids are mature and hungry. When I told Evan that, as the point guard, he had to be an extension of the coach on the floor and he was responsible for players when they weren’t in the right spot, he was a little overwhelmed. I think he’s feeling comfortable now.”

The Danes were in control most of the way and shot 52.8 percent from the floor. Rowley contributed 14 points and eight rebounds, while Peter Hooley connected for 19 points and five assists.

“Simplifying things for this team has helped,” said Brown, whose 5-6 Danes have won three in a row. “Less thinking, more competing. We’re starting to figure it out now.”

Fairfield, of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, drops to 4-7. The Stags stayed within striking distance in the first half thanks to strong three-point shooting. They finished 10-for-22 from three-point range.

Kevin Degnan scored 13 points, and Marcus Gilbert added 11 for Fairfield.


Kirkland 3-7 2-2 9, Mar. Gilbert 3- 5-6 11, Sidibe 1-4 0-0 2, Nelson 2-6 0-0 6, Rose 3-5 1-1 7, Segura 2-3 0-0 5, Threatt 2-4 2-4 7, Johnston 1-4 0-0 3, Smith 1-2 0-0 3, Degnan 5-10 0-0 13, Mal. Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51 10-13 66.


S. Rowley 6-11 3-3 14, Peters 1-4 0-0 2, Singletary 7-12 3-4 21, Sanders 1-4 2-2 4, Hooley 7-11 5-6 19, Green 0-0 -0 0, M. Rowley 2-2 0-0 4, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Egharevba 0-1 0-0 0, Twyman 0-0 0-0 0, Ennema 1-3 2-4 5, Baker 3-5 0-0 8, Stire 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-53 14-19 77.

Halftime: UAlbany, 34-29. Three-point goals: Fairfield 10-22 (Kirkland 1-1, Mar. Gilbert 0-2, Nelson 2-4, Rose 0-1, Segura 1-1, Threat 1-1, Johnson 1-4, Smith 1-2, Degnan 3-6); UAlbany 7-17 (Singletary 4-6, Sanders 0-1, Hooley 0-3, Ennema 1-3, Baker 2-4). Rebounds: airfield 26 (Mar. Gilbert 5, Degnan 5), UAlbany 32 (S. Rowley 8). Assists: Fairfield 11 (Rose 3), UAlbany 15 (Singletary 5, Hooley 5). Total fouls: Fairfield 17, UAlbany 15. Officials: Kevin Ferguson, Clarence Armstrong, Adam Vandenburgh. Attendance: 2,143.

Categories: College Sports

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