Thursday, November 17, 2011

University of Albany Basketball Will Travel to Virginia for NIT Tip-Off's Third & Fourth Rounds on Nov. 21-22 - UAlbany Sports 2011

Albany, N.Y. -- The National Invitation Tournament has announced that the University at Albany will play in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off's third and fourth rounds at George Mason University's Patriot Center on Nov. 21-22. The 10,000-seat arena is located in Fairfax, Virginia, nearly 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

The NIT's third and fourth rounds have a pre-determined schedule. UAlbany will meet Monmouth, of the Northeast Conference, on Monday at 5:00 p.m., before facing Colonial Athletic Association opponent George Mason on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

King Rice, the former North Carolina point guard under the legendary Dean Smith, is in his first season as Monmouth's head coach. Rice was previously an assistant at Vanderbilt, Providence, Illinois State and Oregon. The Hawks have opened the schedule with losses to three highly-regarded teams in Villanova, Virginia Tech and George Mason. Ed Waite, a 6'3" junior, leads the team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 pg). Jesse Steele, who played in 18 games last year after transferring from Army, scores at a 7.3 clip. Northeastern transfer Dion Nesmith also contributes 7.3 points.

George Mason (2-1) has eight letterwinners, including two starters, returning from last year's 27-7 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament's third round. The Patriots have made six NCAA appearances and won four CAA championships. Paul Hewitt, who guided Georgia Tech to five NCAAs and was the Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year, is in his first season at the helm. Hewitt has a 258-190 career record. Ryan Pearson, a second-team All-CAA forward, averages 20.7 points. The 6-foot-6, 237-pound senior also collects 11.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore guards Vertrail Vaughns (15.0 ppg) and Sherrod Wright (14.0 ppg) score in double figures.

UAlbany (1-2) has started the season with a pair of losses to national top-10 programs sandwiched around a 77-68 victory over Brown in the NIT's first round. Gerardo Suero, a 6'4" junior, is off to a terrific start to as a Great Dane, averaging 25.7 points. He scored 31 against fifth-ranked Syracuse, the most points by an opponent at the Carrier Dome in three years. Logan Aronhalt and Mike Black earned all-conference recognition last season. Aronhalt, who recorded a double-double in the Brown win, contributes 17.3 points per game. Black adds 10.3 points and 4.0 assists. Luke Devlin, a 6'8" sophomore, was a member of 2011 America East Conference All-Rookie Team.


Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off
Third and Fourth Rounds
(Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia)

Monday, Nov. 21
UAlbany vs. Monmouth, 5:00 p.m.
George Mason vs. Brown, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 22
Brown vs. Monmouth, 5:00 p.m.
UAlbany vs. George Mason, 7:30 p.m.

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