4GuysinBlazers

Patsos Discusses Albany Cup

EvanHymes

As the teams prepare for Friday’s Albany Cup Game which matches Siena against cross-town rival UAlbany, the contest which has become an annual tradition, seems to have taken on an added sense of excitement. In addition to being one of the area’s biggest sporting events, this year, it marks the season opener for its two Division I basketball programs. Mix in a colorful character in Siena’s new coach Jimmy Patsos with UAlbany’s Will Brown, a number of new comers to both squads, an anticipated crowd of over 10,000 fans, and you’ve got yourself an interesting ballgame.

For Patsos, the game is of great significance and he welcomes being involved in such an event.

“I’m excited to coach that game,” said Patsos. “It’s going to be a great game. It’s a great atmosphere. That’s why you come here for the job. There will be Albany fans there too. They won 24 games, the most in school history. Will Brown does a great job. They went to the NCAA. They have five seniors. It’s going to be a tough game. They’ll be favored. I’m excited to play in front of our crowd. I’m very lucky to be part of a game that has 10,000 people at the mid major level.”

With 7,645 tickets already sold as of early Tuesday afternoon, it appears the game will continue to be one of the most highly-attended college basketball games this weekend, particularly at this level. Patsos describes what makes the event so special.

“We’re real mid-majors where kids go to school. They get scholarships. They’re treated very well. This is not an NBA-type preview,” Patsos said. “This is what it’s all about. I love this level. I’ve been in the business 25 years and I didn’t know much about it until we started playing Siena. Then we watched the tapes of Siena and Albany and we say, ‘Oh my god, look at that. Wow! Unbelievable’. What an amazing thing that was. It’s a credit to everyone in the area.”

Although Patsos talks about the fact that there is a mutual respect and growing friendship between he and Brown, he didn’t hesitate to throw in a little jab to counter Brown’s ribbing on a morning radio show about whether Patsos could get him some more tickets for the game held in Siena’s home arena.

“Will Brown and I have discussed this game and there’s one negative. He would like to have this game on his campus once in a while. Sorry, your gym’s not big enough,” quipped Patsos. “You built the football stadium. Maybe you should’ve domed it. We could play the game there.”

On Tuesday, Patsos explained that neither he, nor Brown were thrilled with how their respective teams had practiced the day before at the Times Union Center. He planned on imploring his team to increase their intensity with just a few days before opening night. Shortly before heading to the ARC for practice, Patsos held up a piece of paper on which was written a theme that he intended on sharing with his team.

“Kevin Garnett: Effort can’t be taught, it’s what’s in you. That’s going to the locker room today,” said Patsos. “Defense is all about effort. This game is going to be about effort and rebounding. This isn’t going to be an X and O tactician game.”

Once the ball is tipped the real rivalry will ensue and for Patsos’ Siena side, the result of this early season game will have more to do with effort and determination than polished execution.

“There’s a few games a year you can just clear the whiteboard and say ‘who are the eight guys I want with me going down the alley in a bad section of town late at night?’ That’s this kind of game,” stated Patsos. “You need tough guys that want to get the loose balls, guard your man. It’s not about strategy, this game. You’ve got to have guys that are ready to play. It’s who wants to win more.”

 

Recent Siena Albany Cup Game Results

Year   Score        Attendance

2012 69-56  L        10,229

2011 64-60  W        8,252

2010 88-82  L OT  10,753

2009 83-54  W      12,960

2008 71-64  W       13,251

2007 75-71   W       13,262

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