ALBANY — While a 0-3 start wasn’t what the UAlbany men’s basketball team was looking for from its opening batch of games, the Great Danes came out of those games confident they had addressed what was the top question for the club heading into this season.
That question: How does UAlbany replace Ahmad Clark?
Especially as last season went along and injuries mounted for the Great Danes, head coach Will Brown’s squad increasingly relied on its then-senior guard who led UAlbany in a variety of categories. As a senior, Clark averaged 16.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
And, through UAlbany’s opening games, redshirt senior Jojo Anderson and junior Jamel Horton have combined to provide a solid replacement for Clark.
“I think our point-guard position is going to be OK,” Brown said after UAlbany’s loss to Niagara last week. “You look at the combined numbers of Anderson and Horton, pretty good.”
In that game, Anderson totaled nine points and three assists in 23 minutes, while Horton had 10 points and four assists in 26 minutes. On the season, Anderson is averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 assists per game, while Horton is averaging 8.7 points and 1.7 assists per game.
Anderson started UAlbany’s first three games. Against Niagara, Brown debuted playing both the point guards together, a combination that Brown has said he likes and wants to use in spurts this season to give the Great Danes some extra quickness and ball-handling ability on the floor.
Brown also likes the different skills and approaches of Anderson and Horton. Each point guard brings something different to the floor when leading the Great Danes.
“Jojo’s a very offensive-minded point guard, as far as he likes to score the ball,” Brown said. “Jamel is more of a facilitator who can really defend. So I think they complement each other well.”
Anderson missed nearly all of last season, his first with the Great Danes. He suffered a knee injury during the preseason, then only appeared in six games before undergoing a second surgery related to his initial injury.
Meanwhile, Horton joined UAlbany ahead of this season as a transfer from Pratt Community College in Kansas. Among other offers, the junior had offers from America East rivals Stony Brook and UMBC before opting to join the Great Danes.
UAlbany is next scheduled to play Jan. 2-3 at Vermont in its second series of America East Conference play. The Great Danes are 0-2 in league action.