By Kiduce Daniel | October 17, 2022
Photo Credit: UAlbany Athletics
The University at Albany men’s basketball season starts in just a month and the Great Danes have one goal in mind: win.
Coming off a season where they finished 13-18 and 9-9 in conference play, the Great Danees know they’ll have to make improvements if they want a shot at playing in the NCAA Men’s tournament come March.
For Albany forward Gerald Drumgoole Jr., this season means a little more to him. After battling with a knee injury that required surgery, Drumgoole was forced to watch games from the sidelines. Now that Drumgoole is feeling healthier, he’s looking to make an instant impact for his team, “As of lately I’ve been feeling great. I still have knee pains here and there but I’m ready and excited for the season.”
The season begins on Nov. 7, when the Great Danes travel to Maryland to take on the Towson Tigers. Despite no players being on the injury report, the Great Danes will still be without someone very important, their head coach. Coach Dwayne Killings was suspended back in April for making “inappropriate physical contact” with one of his players. The penalty was a five game suspension and a $25,000 fine. Starting the season without their head coach is going to be difficult but Drumgoole believes their team is built for it.
“Not having coach Killings for the first couple games will be tough,” Drumgoole said. “But our team loves each other on and off the court. We will be prepared to take on challenges with anybody ready to step up! It’ll be fun and challenging.”
With coach Killings missing the first five games, the team is going to need leaders to step up. With Drumgoole being one of the older players on the team and being here last year, he knows that his role is more important than just scoring on the court. “I’m able to provide my team with little gems that they could use to apply on the court! I’ve been there before and experience is the best teacher.”
There are some new faces on the UAlbany basketball team this year and Drumgoole seems to be taking on the responsibility of making sure everyone is comfortable in their new setting. Drumgoole even added, “The guys are amazing and they came in ready to work!”
The team hopes that with some new faces and added leadership, they can end the drought dating back to 2015 – the last time the Great Danes made the NCAA tournament. While it won’t be easy Drumgoole is confident that will change.
“I do expect that to change this year, being that it’s a common goal for everyone on the team,” Drumgoole said. “We are taking the steps and preparing to get back to that stage.”