You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought of the University at Albany as a producer of top-level talent. But with Joe Cremo, a former guard for the Great Danes on the market, that might change. Cremo received calls from over 30 schools once it was announced that he had officially been released from the team, and it’s easy to see why.
In this past season, Cremo averaged 17.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, while shooting 46 percent from behind the arc. According to KenPom.com that puts him at No. 28 in the nation. With teammate David Nichols already committed to the Florida State University, Cremo continued exploring his options and was looking for his best fit. However, on May 8, the guard announced the next destination of his collegiate career and it is a powerhouse program: the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats.
Let’s take a look back at Cremo’s career to this point.
High School: Scotia-Glenville Senior High School
Cremo hails from Scotia, New York, a small town just north of Albany. While playing for his high school team, it’s hard to say Cremo did anything but dominate the competition. During his time in high school, the three-year captain led his team to multiple tournament titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15, as well as becoming a two-time New York State Class A Player of the Year, and earning double-digit tournament MVP awards along the way.
When his career playing for the Scotia-Glennville Tartans had finished, he’d averaged 22.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game. Finding a place to play after high school was something he didn’t have to worry about for long, giving his oral commitment to UA in early 2014 during his junior season.
Career Stats: 22.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists per game, and 3.5 steals per game.
College Career: Albany, Villanova
In his freshman year, Cremo lived up to his high expectations. Coming off the bench, he averaged 10.5 points for the Danes, shot 51 percent from the field, good enough to rank him seventh in the league, and was third in the conference for free throw percentage at 86 percent. Yet even more impressive is his nine-game streak in which he recorded double-digit scores, including a game in which he dropped 25 points on Niagra. He finished the season with 19 games with double-digit scores and averaged just 1.3 turnovers in 20 minutes played per game.
Cremo was awarded the America East Rookie of the Year, the America East Sixth Man of the Year and received an America East All-Rookie pick.
During his sophomore season, Cremo only looked to get better; and he did. By the end he had set the UAlbany record with 1,241 minutes played (35.5 per game), and ranked fourth in Albany single-season history with 86.9 percent from the free throw line. In the America East conference, he ranked ninth with 15.8 points per game, sixth with 3.8 assists per game, third in free throw percentage and second in minutes played per game.
Cremo recorded 30 double-digit scoring games and four double-doubles as well as starting all 35 games. He finished the season with 553 points, 134 assists, 184 rebounds and 37 steals.
Now, after his junior season, averaging more points than ever before, Cremo looks to move on to a bigger program. Why would he do that after getting better each year and becoming the star of his team? “Because I know I can play at the highest level,” Cremo told the Daily Gazette, “and I’m going to prove that to myself and to the people that care about me the most.”
Last week, Cremo met with Villanova and Kansas to talk about his future, the last schools on his list. Having narrowed down his choices to “Creighton, Texas, Villanova, Kansas, and Gonzaga in no order,” Cremo’s choice should come sooner rather than later. On Tuesday, May 8, Cremo officially announced his commitment to the defending national champions.
Career Stats: 100 games played; 14.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists per game — 84.8 percent from the free throw line