COACH KILLINGS INHERITS ROSTER CRISIS AS 8TH PLAYER ENTERS TRANSFER PORTAL


By: Christian Hince | March 24, 2021 Credit: Daily Gazette

While the University at Albany men’s basketball program locked in its coaching staff last week, roster uncertainty continues to grow with C.J. Kelly entering the transfer portal Monday.


Per VerbalCommits.com, Kelly, a 6’5 junior guard, is now the eighth Great Dane to join the

portal since longtime coach Will Brown’s departure, and the first to enter since the hiring of

Head Coach Dwayne Killings.


A transfer from Norfolk State, he played his first UAlbany season in 2020-21 after sitting the

previous year out. Kelly held game averages of 29.0 minutes, 2.0 assists, and a team leading

14.3 points. He also had a 48.5 field goal percentage and shot 41.2% from three.


Kelly’s decision to put his name in the portal after Coach Killings’ hire is quite telling about his

future basketball intentions, something not so clear for earlier entries such as that of the

previous week.


On Monday, March 15, three 2020-21 starters, Jamel Horton, Jarvis Doles, and Kellon Taylor all entered their name in the portal according to VerbalCommits.com.


Horton, a 6’4 junior guard, averaged 9.4 points and a team-high 3.1 assists last season. He

started 11 of 16 games and played an average of 29.1 minutes per game.


Doles, a 6’9 senior forward, played in his first UAlbany season this year after three with Drexel. He started 11 games but missed two due to COVID-19 protocol, and held averages of 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 24.4 minutes during the team’s 2020-21 campaign.


Taylor, a 6’6 graduate transfer, had played three seasons for Duquesne before sitting out in

2019-20. He averaged 9.9 points and led the team in rebounds (5.5 per game), minutes (31.9

per game), and games started, having been on the court first in every UAlbany match.


Going back another week, it was learned Trey Hutcheson and Antonio Rizzuto entered the

transfer portal, courtesy to Verbalcommits.com and 247Sports respectively.


While Hutcheson, a 6’5 sophomore forward, played no more than 24 minutes in 2020-21,

Rizzuto was a team captain and second-team all-conference selection in the American East. A

6’3 junior guard, he averaged 12.5 points and 29.5 minutes per game.


This group also includes former star player Cameron Healy. Also a 6’3 junior guard, he saw his

play time cut down from 30.4 to 11.4 minutes per game from 2019-20 to 2020-21. Walk-on William Kondrat is also included in this pool of players.


Coach Killings, who was formally introduced in a press conference Thursday March 18, is looking to adjust the Men’s Great Danes to a more up-tempo system. Whether this change will

influence the listed players to stay at UAlbany or choose other programs is unknown.


Athletic Director Mark Benson asserts that he consulted with all athletes on the team in making the decision.


“(We) feel really good that we found the type of person that aligns with the characteristics and

qualities of a coach they (players in the transfer portal) were looking for,” Benson said.


With the exception of Kelly, remains to be seen if these players will leave for other programs, but the Great Danes have their man in Coach Killings. He may have to coach a depleted team.


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