ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — The University at Albany men’s basketball team is in the midst of a difficult stretch, having lost five of its last six games. The road doesn’t get any easier this weekend when the Danes face off against a Big East powerhouse.
On Saturday, they face Providence, who reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season. The tilt with the Friars caps off a three-game road trip for UAlbany, and will be the second “Power Six” foe Dwayne Killings’ bunch will square off against this month, with No. 3 Virginia out of the Atlantic Coast Conference looming on December 28.
Playing a quality opponent like Providence in hostile territory is not an ideal situation for the Danes considering Killings is still toying with his starting five after losing sophomore forward Justin Neely for the year. Sophomore forward Aaron Reddish, the team’s third-leading scorer, is also just being integrated back into the rotation after returning from an illness.
But Killings knows early-season non-conference tests like Providence are important to prepare his team for America East play. “If we want to grow to be the best individual, and program we want to be, to be honest, we gotta play some of the best programs out there in the country,” said Killings. “We have an opportunity to do that Saturday. Our biggest focus is not necessarily the game—just get better; day by day, get better. And then, still, our focus is on winning an America East championship. Our road to that could be a little choppy—a little bit of adversity. But, we’re OK. We’re built for that.”
The Danes will also be on national television Saturday. You can catch the game on FS1. Tip-off is slated for 2:30 p.m.