Its only been 2 games, but I would bet that we've seen the Bulls play their best game of the entire season, as well as their worst game of the entire season. Hopefully tomorrow the Bulls can find some consistency and pull out a victory against one of many average mid-major programs on the schedule. The Tigers are 1-1 on the season so far with a close victory against fellow MAC conference foe Miami (OH), and a fairly easy victory against Coppin State.
Last season the two teams faced each other in Maryland, with the Bulls pulling off the close overtime victory. If you remember, the Bulls outplayed the tigers all day last year, until a collapse at the end brought the game into overtime where the Bulls were luckily ability to hit some free throws to close it out (hopefully it doesn't come down to charity points for Buffalo this time). Towson really struggled last year, but that was in large part due to playing in one of the second hardest mid-major conferences in country, the CAA. Actually top to bottom I personally think that the Missouri Valley is the only better mid-major out there, unless you include the A-10, and Conference USA.
Early in the year its hard to tell who is the key players for an opponent you're not too familiar with, but the easiest and most telling stat is that they've only played 8 players in those 2 games. I would say Reggie's record for getting 8 guys into a single game is about 1 minute into it. The best scorers for Tigers are all guards which puts a lot of pressure to play good defense up top so that our big man don't pick up the fouls as the Towson guards drive to the hoop.
If I was Reggie I would really focus on getting Javon McCrea touches early so that Towson is forced to play players that dont have a lot of experience. I know we've only seen him play 2 games, but from what I've seen so far and from watching his high school tapes, he can be an outstanding threat at the mid-major level, and the only reason why he isn't playing in the Big East is because he's only 6'6", as opposed to 6'8".
As much as it kills me to say this, Jawaan Alston has been the best player for the Bulls after 2 games. My disgust for the fact that he refuses to finish strong, and cant score outside of 6 feet is slowly fading after watching his improved movement, improved hands, as well as strong/versatile post moves that have really been developing. One more good game and I'll start calling him a decent player.
The one person who I really want to see have a good game is freshman guard Jarod Oldham. He wasn't highly regarded coming out of high school, but has been giving the point guard role at several points of the first 2 games which is rare for a freshman. If you watch him play his has the quickness and hands on defense, and I think offensively he is already the best of the guards at breaking down a defense when the offensive set isn't working well. He looks a little timid out there at times, but I think that's just a freshman who doesn't want to try to take the spotlight, and is afraid to mess up. I think Reggie sees this too, because when Mulkey is running the point, Oldham is in there as an off guard, and when Watson runs the point, Oldham is used as both the 1 and the 2. I think in a few more games he's going to start being a big contributor to how good the team is.
The Bulls always seem to play better at home, so I see them coming through with a victory in front of a strong Saturday evening crowd (minus me because I'm back on the Island).