After shooting out of the gate like the wiley coyote the Bulls get ready for their second game of the season against what has proven to be a recent rivalry since the 2007 bracket buster game, Youngstown State. The season opening win proved to be an exciting one that included quick scoring, a lot of shot blocking, and a lot of head scratching about if the game was a fluke, or an actual contender.
Youngstown state started the year with a victory as well, but nothing nearly as convincing as what the Bulls did up in Buffalo. The penguins had 8 steals, 5 blocks, only 10 turnovers, and still had to settle for a 3 point win at home. With their top scorer coming off the bench, the Penguins really don’t have anyone who can take over a game, or have any difficult matchups for the Bulls on defense. It was only 1 game, but just by looking at the teams over the past few years you can clearly see that the Bulls have the better players, and should be able to win this non-conference game.
Everyone who saw the Bulls first game, don’t expect the same exact result. The Bulls got helped out by the Midshipmen with their turnovers and what appeared to be early season jitters out there. Such a large victory hides the fact that the Bulls turned the ball over way too many times, just as they’ve done in seasons past. Also, who are the people that stepped up in the season opener? Pretty much all of the freshmen. I wouldn’t expect them to be able to handle a road game just yet, so the people that need to do the scoring are Watt, Mulkey, and as much as it kills me to say it Alston needs to step up too (for those who don’t remember my blogs from last year I’m really not a fan of Alston’s play, and think he gets way too many minutes).
Make no doubt about it, Mitchell Watt is Buffalo’s best player and saying he came out flat is an understatement. Maybe I like most people are expecting big things from him this year, but why wouldn’t you? Its his third year in the system, has great athleticism, soft touch, and really improved from year 1 to year 2. His crowd shaking dunks and moments where he seems to score 15 points in 10 minutes made all of us to expect big things this year, but all for good reason. Time for Mitch to really step up today.
Call me a homer if you want, but I’m expecting a Bulls victory today. I think the Bulls are just a more talented team despite how young they are, and Byron Mulkey will do a good job running the point and letting those freshman do what they’re good at. Let’s see if the Bulls can ride the momentum from the opener down into Youngstown. -- Brandon Harris