Scotia's Joe Cremo emerges as UAlbany hoops leader

UAlbany's basketball team began practices Friday, and will meet the Nittany Lions Nov. 11.

Albany, NY - He might just be only a sophomore, but that doesn't keep UAlbany guard Joe Cremo from stepping into a primary leadership role this year.

The reigning America East Rookie of the Year, as well as the league's Sixth Man of the Year, the Scotia-Glenville graduate is primed to set the tone for the Great Danes.

"It's really not about my role changing offensively or defensively," said the 6'4" guard who averaged 10.0 ppg. as a freshman. "It's just me as a leader just trying to be as level headed as I can."

Cremo's on-court intensity is the stuff of legend. It first came to light with the Tartans varsity, and quickly emerged last season as a college freshman.

"I'm known for being a little bit of a hot head," added Cremo. "But I've got to do it in a good way. I've got to lead these guys the right way. I've got to lead my temper the right way. -- just try and get better every day. And then on both ends of the floor (I'm) just trying to lead, that's all."

Cremo's emergence last year helps sell tickets -- the Section II product has prompted season ticket sales from the Scotia-Glenville community to soar. It has also helped ease the burden of having lost three All-Conference guards to graduation.

Gone are Peter Hooley, Evan Singletary, and Ray Sanders. But from the moment where their careers ended in last spring's AEC Tournament, Cremo has been hard at work preparing for UAlbany's upcoming season opener at Penn State on November 11.

"I got back in the gym the next day with a few of the guys," Cremo recalled about the abrupt end to his freshman year. "It's tough. You keep thinking about it. But it's a new year. I'm excited for it. I know these guys are excited for it. Especially for the new guys. I'm excited to get back out on the court with these guys and compete."

There's no question that when the Great Danes take the floor against the Nittany Lions, there won't be anyone on either side competing harder than Cremo.

UAlbany's home opener will be November 16 versus Division III Oneonta at SEFCU Arena.