so 5-3 right now, and Ive been lucky enough to have seen every game so far whether its on t.v., and live streaming online, or actually watching it live. Some may not agree, but at this point we should be 7-1, but because of absolute meltdowns in the games to Vermont and Canisius, our schedule makes us seem like an average team. Although nothing spectacular, UB looks like a good team, that has the ability to become a really really good mid-major by years end.
Although 5-3 may make it out to seem like Buffalo is an average team, the RPI has them placed in the mid 70's right now. (For those who dont know what the RPI is, its a computerized ranking system that comprises of a teams record, their strength of schedule, and their opponents strength of schedule.) Although its not a definite ranking, its relies heavily on how you do against good mid-major teams with good winning records, where as the experts just like to drop the line "Where is their win against a ranked opponent?" A road victory against Wisc-GB should help secure us as a good mid-major.
A lot of the talk on ubfan has been about Reggie's performance, and if UB should hold onto him or not. The only input that I'm gonna put about that is that the year has barely started, and although he hasn't been able to prove himself in big games in the past, you have to leave him as the coach, trust him, support him, because Buffalo is a really good basketball team that will compete for the MAC championship.
Many people love to critizice the offense, because a lot of the time the ball is just being passed around the perimeter. That may be true, but if you look at the better players, theyre always looking for that back-door cut but just not going for it when its not completely there. Once the offense really settles down and the guards start to take care the of the ball, the offense should be in full attack considering the experinence being put out on the floor, and versatility of the players that UB has.
Likes and Dislikes so far...
1. Getting everyone out on the floor. Reggie has done a good job so far of getting everyone a decent amount of playing time, and trying out a ton of different combination of players to see whats working well. Some people consider this lack of an identity, and not knowing who the go to guys are, but with non-conference games for a team that wont get an at large bid, why not play everybody?
2. Rebounding- Again UB is dominating the boards, and is doing it with different people every night. Yes, Betts is always pulling down a ton of rebounds, but the guards do a nice job coming back to help out on the boards, and it seems like every night there is a different rebounder.
3. Buffalo play on the road- Aside from the game against Purdue where there was no shot to win, Buffalo has won every game on the road, and at no point in any of those games did they seem rattled by the crowd. The play at home has been very shaky, but with conference play coming up, the players know its time to take care of business in alumni, and more students will show up to help with the home field advantage.
1. Turnovers- I shouldn't even write anything more than that, but in every game Buffalo has had a turnover problem. Averaging around 18 turnovers a game, not good. Actually that's awful. Everyone needs to do a better job taking care of the ball....everybody!!!
2. Coming ready/wanting to play- It just seems like every game before the the Niagara game, at least 2 or 3 people just didn't seem to care on the court. Its almost like they realize their not getting an at large bid. So why try? Maybe so you can personally get into a rythm, show your teammates how much you care about the season, develop better on court chemistry before conference play, maybe earning yourself playing time down the stretch maybe? All I know is everyone better start coming ready to play, or else Reggie is gonna pull them, likes hes been doing.
3. Mitchell Watt- I know its wrong of me to single players out, but he has just been awful this year. His head is never in the game, he cant go right (as opposed to just using his left hand), he turns the ball over constantly, and if it weren't for his 2 games where he scored in double figures by catching and banking from 6 feet away he would basically have no buckets. He looks less comfortable than a freshman out there, and seems to not care the slightest bit. Thanks for leading the team in blocks on the defensive end, but as the tallest player on the team hes gotta step up offensively. Oh well, just means more time for my fav player Boudreau for now.
As of right now, if I were a teacher, Id give the Bulls a B- for this point in the season. Its a little above average, but shows potential to be really good. I wont count out the chance of an at-large bid until Buffalo loses that 5th game, but if Buffalo plays as well as they did at Niagara that 5th loss may not come until late January/early February.