Albany Academy basketball coach Brian Fruscio is not a happy man.
He should be ecstatic, considering he returns the nucleus from a powerhouse team that swept through the Colonial Council undefeated and finished 19-4 overall.
But Fruscio’s Cadets won’t be playing any league games this year and instead will play an independent schedule. Albany Academy has also been moved up from Class A to Class AA for sectional play.
“I’m a Colonial Council guy,” said Fruscio, who played his high school ball at Watervliet for the legendary George Mardigan. “Not playing in the Colonial Council will be very different for me.”
“We’ve had to go out and find a lot of games to fill our schedule. It’s made our scheduling very difficult. Luckily, we are going to play in some great tournaments. We are in the Catholic Central Tip-off Tournament and the Colonie Tournament. We are also playing some of the Colonial Council teams, as well.”
Albany Academy was considered too competitive for the rest of the Colonial Council teams. Section II also decided to move the Cadets up a notch for sectional play, even though they played in a predominantly Class B league a year ago.
On the court, Fruscio still has plenty of reason to be happy. He returns 6-foot-9 center Chris Pelcher, who has signed to play for Iona next year. Also back are Jamel Fields, 6-5 Tyler Foster and point guard Jimmer Bennett. All four started last year, and all four are double-figure scorers.
“Our fifth starter will be Nolan Hart, who has done a nice job for us in the preseason. Nolan knows how to knock down the threes. Hopefully, he can stretch the defense to keep people off Pelcher inside. With Foster on the other wing, we’ve got a good mix.”
Freshman Hunter McCarthy, the quarterback on the football team, and Matt LeClair also move into the rotation.