A Very Different Albany Cup This Year Between Siena & UAlbany
The names on the front of the jerseys will be the same but almost everything about this year's Albany Cup between Siena and UAlbany in men's basketball will be different. Since 2001, the two institutions of higher learning, separated by about 5 miles, battled 17 straight years in men's hoops. 16 times the game has been played in downtown Albany, in what is now the MVP Arena, Siena's home court during the regular season. In 2016, the game was played the only time at the SEFCU Arena, on the campus of UAlbany, the Great Danes' home floor.
Neither head coach has been at the helm of their respective teams for an Albany Cup match-up. None of the players on either roster have participated in this rivalry. The game will be played Saturday night at 7pm at the MVP Arena. The game has never been played in the venue under its newest name. The Pepsi Arena and later the Times Union Center were the names that hosted the crosstown match-up. The Saints and the Great Danes even have a new branding marks and logos since the two programs last met.
Siena's Carm Maciariello is embarking on his 4th season as head coach of the Saints. Maciariello will be counting on scoring from sophomores Jared Billups and Javian McCollum, hoping to build on impressive freshman years. The Saints also feature graduate students Jackson Stormo and Michael Baer who will definitely provide the veteran leadership needed to win a championship. Watch out for #22 Andrew Platek this season. The Guilderland product and the sixth-year transfer from North Carolina got hurt in the 5th game of the season last year and was granted one more go at it in 2022-23. Platek could have a monster year for the Saints.
On the other side of the floor, UAlbany's Dwayne Killings will be kicking off his second season as head coach of the Great Danes. Killings overcame some serious turbulence following his first season and is primed to get back on the floor Saturday night for the awaited rivalry game. America East Rookie of the Year, Justin Neely and veteran senior Trey Hutcheson will be counted on to bring together a group of new names for Great Danes fans to learn. Watch out for #1 Gerald Drumgoole. The transfer from Pitt was hurt after only one game last year. He is extremely athletic and can shoot it.
Saturday night will be a fun match-up, as they always have been. There is no reason this game shouldn't be played every year. You are never going to make everyone happy but Capital Region hoops fans, Siena alumni and UAlbany alumni all deserve to see these two Division I programs match-up each year. Glad it's back! Tickets are on sale at the MVP Arena box office or on-line at mvparena.com.