The Great Danes were flying high Wednesday night, KO-ing visiting NJIT 65-48. Freshman Wheeler Baker was straight soaring, bringing the house down with a highlight reel slam dunk in traffic en route to a team-high 15 points.
Before the season tipped-off, Albany head coach Will Brown stated that Baker was “going to throw down some highlight reel dunks; he’ll go up and dunk alley-oops in traffic, he’ll dunk right on people.”
It only took one game for Brown’s freshman combo-guard to make him a prophet.
Albany celebrated its home opener by unveiling it’s 2014 America East Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament banners, before pasting NJIT in a game that wasn’t as close as its final score. Albany went into the half up 36-17 and opening up the bench a bit in the second half.
One game after nearly knocking off reigning Big East Tournament champion Providence College behind the usual heroics of Peter Hooley and some stellar play by JuCo transfers Evan Singletary and Ray Sanders, the Great Danes got contributions from seemingly their entire roster to coast to the win.
Sam Rowley scored 10 points to go with eight rebounds, sophomore Dallas Ennema added seven points in 16 minutes off the bench, and Mike Rowley pulled down six rebounds. Hooley added 10 points and six boards, and the S & S duo of Singletary and Sanders combined for 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.
But the story of the night was Baker, who hit 6-of-10 shots from the floor, including 3-of-5 shots from downtown — way downtown. Baker alternated between pulling up and drilling NBA-range 3-pointers and attacking the rim with reckless abandon. Continue reading “Baker brings down the house: Albany freshman steals show with slam”