ALBANY – As UAlbany men’s basketball fills out its 2023 recruiting class, the word that pops up over and over again that’s drawing prospective players to head coach Dwayne Killings’ program is “family.”
The two most recent verbal commits to the Great Danes, Zane Adnan and Cornelius “Boog” Robinson, both cited the family atmosphere around the team as the biggest reason why they chose to become Great Danes.
“It’s such a family environment there,” Adnan said. “Just the way they connect to you, to the team, to the community and the people, it’s super impactful and it’s something I want to be a part of.”
“I just got the family feeling,” Robinson said. “The Albany coaches were consistent, and I just fell in love with the place.”
Adnan, a 6-foot-2 guard from The Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, and Robinson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Camden High School in Camden, New Jersey, both announced their commitments to the Great Danes earlier this week.
They become Killings’ second and third commits for the 2023 recruiting cycle, joining Jack Margoupis, a 6-foot-8 wing from Cushing Academy in Massachusetts who made his verbal commitment in August.
As a junior, Robinson averaged 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds on a Camden team that won a Group 2 New Jersey state championship. He did that playing alongside a pair of five-star college prospects in guard D.J. Wagner and big man Aaron Bradshaw.
Robinson, who chose UAlbany over offers from Fairfield and Monmouth, said he’ll bring big-game experience, versatility and toughness to the Great Danes.
“That big-time atmosphere, a lot of different big games, I think it’s all prepared me for college,” said Robinson, who got his nickname “Boog” from his mother when he was very young. “What I bring to the floor is toughness, and just how hard I work. That’s what I try to bring every day when I’m on the court.”
UAlbany was the first and only Division I offer for Adnan, reaching out at the end of his summer 2021 AAU season, and while other offers never came despite some interest, his relationship with the Great Danes’ coaching staff was a throughline during the entirety of his recruitment process.
“UAlbany, they just stuck with me ,” he said. “Ever since they offered me, coach Killings and [assistant] coach Dan [Madhavapallil] have been sticking with me all the way through. The biggest reason I committed was down mainly to the coaches.”
Adnan said that the family feeling he found within UAlbany’s program has already spread to next year’s recruiting class. He and Margoupis took their official visit to campus at the same time, and he and Robinson began texting back and forth after both announced their commitments.
On the floor, as a versatile guard, Adnan said he’s equally willing to play on or off the ball, and is eager to find whatever role he can fill to help his team win.
“I’m a straight-up winner,” he said. “If I’m on a really good team, I’ll find my role. I’ll play defense, I’ll be gritty, I’ll make winning plays, take charges, get a clutch rebound, hit some catch-and-shoot shots. . . . I find a way to have an impact on the floor, no matter the situation.”
UAlbany is set to open its 2022-23 season Nov. 7 at Towson.