By: Kiduce Daniel | October 11, 2021
The Albany men’s basketball season starts in just a month, and there’s a new face in charge. Dwayne Killings was named the new head coach back on March 17th, 2021, after former head coach Will Brown and Albany mutually decided to part ways. Brown was the head coach for 20 years before his departure, now it’s the Killing’s era in Albany.
Killings has had plenty of coaching experience, including his most recent stretch at Marquette, where he was an associate head coach for three years. Although it’s just year one with the program, Killing’s expectations are still high with his new ball club. When asked about what he expects from his team this year, Killings kept it simple: “To be the best team we can be. “We’re playing a really challenging non-conference schedule, and you look at playing Kentucky, Boston College, La Salle, Harvard, Columbia. Those are really good basketball programs. Our goal is every single day to challenge ourselves to get better.”
It’s clear Albany is going to have a lot of tough matchups, but the coach believes it will best prepare them. “As we go through that journey, my hope is ultimately when we get to conference play, we’re ready to win an American East championship” said Killings. The new head coach, his staff, and his players are all locked in and have their eyes set on a conference championship, along with a March Madness bid to the tournament.
Not only does this team have loads of talent, but they’ve also got experience. The new-look Great Danes feature multiple graduate transfers, including Dre Perry from Temple University and Paul Newman from Bucknell University. Both guys are looking to bring what they’ve learned to their new program and become leaders on this team.
Perry talked about what he wants to bring to Albany as a leader, “Everything I learned the past four years, I’m trying to give to the younger guys, that way they don’t make the same mistakes. I’ll try to coach them up in a way.” Perry’s leadership at Temple will be vital for the incoming freshmen such as Justin Neely and Ny’Mire Little, who Dre admitted have impressed him already, “Justin Neely plays pretty hard, he goes hard. Ny’Mire as well.”
The team has a mix of younger and older guys, who will all look to impact whenever their name is called. Paul Newman gave an update on the team and how the practices have been going, “Practice has been going really well, we’ve been progressing every day. We are all starting to come together as a team and buying into the culture.” He added, “We’re starting to look good, but it’s gonna take time.”
Coach Killings has his team focused on the task at hand, which is just getting better every day and making sure they’re ready come Nov. 9, when they host Towson at SEFCU Arena.