College notes: Great Danes dip into junior college talent pool
No shock and awe for this new group.
University at Albany head basketball coach Will Brown wanted a more experienced recruiting class this time around, so he dipped into the junior college talent pool for several players who would be able to fit into next year’s team quickly.
The Great Danes, who lost four seniors to graduation, including leading scorers Mike Black and Jacob Iati, announced the signing of JUCO transfers Anders Haas,
Anthony Odunsi and Ede Egharevba on Friday. They join fellow junior college transfers Lamin Fulton and Levan Shengelia, as well as true freshman Dallas Ennema, completing the six-player recruiting class.
“We made a decision before the season even started that we were going to bring in mature, experienced guys,” said Brown. “We worked the junior college circuit hard, but we did it in a different way. We wanted to look at junior college kids who already had Division I experience, or who were recruited at a potentially higher level than our program. Maybe they went too high, or maybe they just didn’t work out at that level and then came back to play at the junior college level. This way, when they got here, it wouldn’t be such a shock.
“That way, we got three guys who have already played at the Division I level. The other thing is that in this world of realignment, with everything going on so quickly, we wanted to make sure we had the experience and the talent to compete in our own league, or possibly another league, if we move.”
Brown said the maturity of this recruiting class will balance out the inexperience of the 2014 class.
“We’re going to bring in all high school kids next year,” he said.
“I think we balanced out all needs. We have tremendous depth. It’s a good class overall, on paper, and we’re very excited about it. We loaded up on perimeter players. I like the pieces we have. We have two or three guys who still have three years of eligibility left.”
Haas is a 6-foot-1 guard from Manatee (Fla.) Junior College. A native of Copenhagen, Denmark. Haas averaged 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game while shooting 46.2 percent from three-point range and 90.1 percent from the line.
“Anders is a big-time shooter with a high basketball IQ,” said Brown. “He has terrific vision and is an exceptional passer. He has international experience representing Denmark [on the Under-20 national team], has the ability to play the point guard and shooting guard positions. He makes his teammates better, even more exciting is that he will have three years of eligibility.”
Odunsi is a 6-5, 205-pound wing player from Tyler Junior College. He averaged 13.3 points, shot 50 percent from the floor, and 82.2 percent from the line.
“Anthony is a talented and versatile perimeter player. He can play all three perimeter positions, is relentless attacking the basket and is a very good free-throw shooter,” said Brown. “I like the fact that he can play the point at 6-5. He has the ability to be a lock-down defender, and I like the fact that Anthony has experience playing in the Bowl Championship Series level in the PAC-12.”
Egharevba, a 6-6, 210-pounder from Midland Junior College, averaged 5.9 points there, but he was recruited to play at Wichita State out of prep school. He was a former All-New York City player out of Edison High School.
“Ede has great size for a perimeter player and can score in a variety of ways,” said Brown. “He should be a matchup problem at our level, and we figure to play him at both forward positions. He has experience playing in an NCAA Final Four program and will have three years of eligibility.”
The Great Danes posted a 24-11 record last season, winning the America East Conference tournament for the third time and making their third appearance in the NCAA tournament, where they lost to Duke, 73-61.
Schenectady County Community College recorded its 19th 20-win campaign in the 22 years that head baseball coach Tim Andi has run the program with a double-header sweep of Clinton Community College Thursday.
The 21-14 Royals travel to East Field today for a double-header against Adirondack Community College.
Andi has a career record of 516-279, including Region III championships in 1999 and 2002. The Royals qualified for the NJCAA Division III College World Series both times.
Twenty-three of the 24 players on the SCCC roster are from Section II.