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Albany coach comes to the rescue of his next opponent

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Hours before the Albany men's basketball team embarked on an overnight charter bus ride to Cincinnati for Tuesday night's game at Xavier, Great Danes coach Will Brown received an unusual request from the opposing team.

A Xavier official called Brown to ask if he'd be willing to provide a ride to Cincinnati for the Musketeers' two best players, both of whom were stranded at their parents' homes in New York as a result of the weekend blizzard.

At a time when winning often seems to be the sole priority in college basketball, give Brown ample credit for sacrificing a chance to increase his team's odds of earning a marquee victory and doing the right thing. He told he offered Xavier guards Tu Holloway and Mark Lyons a seat on his team's bus, though only Lyons found a way to get to the Albany campus in time to catch the bus late Sunday night.

"It's the right thing to do," Brown told "This time of year, it's what it's all about."

Lyons' 12-hour bus ride with the opposing team is the wildest story on a day of travel fiascoes throughout college basketball.

Fordham cancelled its game at Georgia Tech on Monday night because it was unable to get a flight from snowbound New York to Atlanta.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor remains stranded in New Jersey and is unsure he'll be able to get a flight to Lawrence in time for Wednesday's home game against Texas-Arlington.

And travel complications prevented four Tennessee players from making it back to Knoxville in time for Monday's first post-Christmas practice.

It's safe to say none of those guys will have as good a story as Lyons, who received a more friendly welcome from the Albany players than he was expecting. He got a seat on the bus, a warm meal and a chance to make some new friends -- even if they're going to be the enemy on Tuesday night.

"I wasn't happy about it at first," Lyons told "But it's pretty cool."

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