UAlbany Hosting Manhattan In CIT
The University at Albany men's basketball team thought their season was over.
Some of the players were packed for Spring Break trips, down south to the beach or headed home for the week off from school.
Then, coach Will Brown got the call.
The Great Danes (19-14) will take part in the fourth annual CollegeInsider.com tournament, when they host Manhattan, on Wednesday, at SEFCU Arena.
UAlbany is one of 32 teams vying for the title, claimed by Santa Clara last season, when they defeated Iona, 76-69.
“It gives you the opportunity to play for a championship," Brown said.
The Great Danes have all but Jacob Iati returning next season, and he'll be on the bench, as a graduate assistant.
“I was pretty excited, just to get to play again, especially playing at home," he said.
Iati is thrilled that the playing days of his college career will not be coming to an end -- just yet anyway.
“For the rest of our lives, we’ll have a lot of Spring Breaks," he said. "But we won’t have a lot of chances to play college basketball, especially me. I wouldn’t want anything besides that.”
The Jaspers (20-12) lost to Siena in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference quarterfinals. First-year coach Steve Masiello completed a remarkable turnaround, taking Manhattan from only six wins in 2010-11, to 20 this season.
“Steve’s done a tremendous job down there," Brown said.
There are a lot of solid teams taking part in the CIT this season, including Old Dominion (20-13), Weber State (24-6), Yale (19-9), UC Santa-Barbara (20-9) and Fairfield (19-14).
“I think what the CIT is trying to do is put together a great mid-major tournament," Brown said.
The Great Danes could play up to five more games, something that could only be a positive moving forward to next season.
“It does nothing but benefit your program, as far as I’m concerned," Brown said.