Tonight marks the beginning of the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions, and thus ends our team previews.

But perhaps we saved the best for last. Albany Academy is the reigning Federation champ in Class A and they’ll look to repeat this weekend. The Cadets open up with the No. 1 team in New York State, Scotia, tonight at 8:30 at the Times Union Center.

I had the chance to speak with head coach Brian Fruscio. As usual, clips are broken up into multiple written segments with the whole interview appearing at the bottom of this page.

Team Profile

Team: Albany Academy

Class: A

Record: 14-3

Head Coach: Brian Fruscio

Opponent: Scotia, 8:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center

The Basics: The Cadets are the reigning Federation champions. They have size, they can shoot, and they are deep. Marcus Jackson is the guy in the middle who really helps control things on the defensive and rebounding end. He’s about 6-8 and has the ability to finish around the rim, but he’s also a good passer and can get it to Cadet shooters. Matt Knezovic leads the team in scoring at 15.6 per game. No one will dominate the box score for Albany Academy, but multiple people will get involved. They’ll play 9-10 guys regularly.

Interesting Information: Like Green Tech, Albany Academy doesn’t play in a league within Section II. But unlike the Eagles, the Cadets do not play in a sectional and are totally independent come playoff time. This allows Albany Academy to play a loaded schedule, and they are more than prepared for this moment. But they haven’t played in a month. How will that affect them?

Listen as Fruscio talks about his teams path to the Federation.

Listen as Fruscio talks about his schedule, and why teams won't play the Cadets

The Opponent: Albany Academy has the ultimate respect for Scotia. Both teams play a great brand of team basketball, and the little things are going to decide this game. Both teams can shoot and both can defend. Both teams play well together. This should be a great example of how to work together as a unit. Foul trouble could be the key. If Albany Academy can stay out of it and force the Tartans into it, they'll have an advantage.

The Cadets need to know where Alex Sausville is on the perimeter. I saw them really make life difficult for Jamil Hood Jr. of Green Tech, can they do the same to Joe Cremo?

Listen as Coach Fruscio talks about Scotia.

Only Negative? I think the wait is the only negative for Albany Academy. Scotia has been playing and piling up wins while the Cadets have had to sit and wait. But they are rested, they are healthy, and they are the reigning champs. Coach Fruscio knows how to use this wait, and I don’t think it’s a huge deal for this team.

Listen to the full interview where Fruscio addressed topics such as team chemistry and how his team stayed prepared.

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