Let’s go streaking: Tim Ambrose is on a rollDecember 17th, 2010 by Matt Whitrock
Everyone knows Albany’s Tim Ambrose can put up numbers. The compact 6-foot-nil guard had solid stats as a freshman despite limited playing time and provided more than his fair share of scoring outbursts in his sophomore and junior year. Despite his point totals, though, Ambrose built a reputation defined more by inconsistent play and wasted potential than big numbers. Unable to shoulder the burden being placed upon him, Albany slipped in the standings, falling from 3rd to 7th, and eventually reaching the cellar last season.
So color this America East observer surprised to see Ambrose as a key figure in Albany’s early-season success, and shocked to see the senior Dane exhibiting a level of reliability that easily exceeds anything we’ve witnessed from Ambrose before.
Ambrose? Consistent? You bet. The Danes have played 11 games so far, or just under 40 percent of a season, and Ambrose has at least 13 points in every single game.
How impressive is that? Let’s find out, beginning with a look at the rest of the conference. There are 10 other America East players averaging 13 or more points per game this season, but none can match Ambrose’s streak of games with 13+ points so far. Ferg Myrick is the only other player to finish in double digits every game, and Myrick has played only 7 Division-I contests in this campaign. It’s a nice streak, but it’s not a match for what Ambrose has done.
Okay, so nobody’s matched Ambrose this season, but there have been a lot of prolific scorers in America East history, including several recent ones. Maybe someone from recent memory can match Ambrose’s hot start.
Looking at last year, the answer to that question is no. John Holland and Marqus Blakely came reasonably close last year, stringing together eight-game and seven-game streaks to start their respective campaigns. Nobody else lasted more than a few games.
What if we expand the pool to include the past several seasons? At this point the result set finally shows a few other players, the identities of whom reinforce an increasingly clear fact: in order to do what Ambrose has done to start the season, you have to be an extremely gifted scorer.
Over the previous five seasons, three America East players have scored 13+ points in more than 10 consecutive non-conference games:
Notice a trend here? All of the players on this list – and a lot of players that didn’t crack this list – were their team’s primary option (yes, even Trimboli – he took more shots, with more frequency, than Blakely did in ’07-’08). Rivera and Proctor dominated their team’s offensive attack. Proctor in particular was relied upon to provide a significant amount of scoring each and every night, which partially explains why he was able to maintain his streak of consecutive games with 13+ points lasted until the America East championship game.
Ambrose, by contrast, is not his team’s first offensive option. That would be Logan Aronhalt. But while Aronhalt started the season on an absolute tear and has since cooled off somewhat, Ambrose has been – and it feels strange to even be typing this – a young Danes team’s source of consistent and reliable output. At this point in the season, Ambrose’s steady performance is no longer a fluke.
Whatever needed to be figured out has been figured out. Tim Ambrose is real, he’s spectacular, and he’s turned Albany into a surprising dark-horse contender. Better late than never.