LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 17: Anthony Marshall #3 of the UNLV Rebels pushes the ball up the court against Alshwan Hymes #11 of the Canisius College Golden Griffins during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center November 17, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The College basketball season is just starting to get into its groove, and hopefully the same is true for the Bulls. Buffalo gets to face its closest rival Tuesday night in Alumni arena. The Golden Griffins and the Bulls will meet for the 30th time, with Canisius having the overwhelming success leading 25-14 in the all-time series.
Buffalo is 2-1 on the season, coming off a weekend road loss to the Princeton Tigers. The scoreboard says they only lost by 8, but anyone who watched that game knows that the scoreboard does not show the whole story as the Bulls had it completely handed to them all day. The talented Bulls team got a wake-up call that they're not going to be able to have a successful season based on talent, but that they're going to have to earn every victory this year. Senior Zach Filzen is going to have to find his game because he hasn't had any room from behind the arc so far this season, and as the only pure shooter on the team he's going to have to start being a 3 point threat in order for this team to have any success.
Canisius is 1-2 early in this season, scoring a lot of points while at the same time giving up a lot of points too. The game at Alumni arena will be the closest to home they've played all year, having not had a home game in the first few weeks of the season. They're led by Junior guard Harold Washington whose scoring 21 ppg and by Alshwan Hymes whose scoring 18.3 ppg so far. Canisius would love to beat they're crosstown rivals not just for bragging rights, but to get on the right foot. After Buffalo on the schedule comes two powerhouse MAAC opponents in Iona and Fairfield, so the Golden Griffins need to make it a priority to play well against the Bulls.
Although the overall series is tilted heavily towards Canisius, Buffalo has seen the more recent success winning 6 of the last. (Short story for you folks, that one loss came 2 seasons ago when the Bulls were expected to have a great team that season. That game was at 7pm the Tuesday before Thanksgiving just like this year, so despite having a 430 miles drive back home to the family I stayed for the game with the intention of enduring the 7 hour ride through the middle of the night after a Bulls victory. Well, Buffalo tanked the end of that game, losing by 2. That might be the hardest Bulls loss I've ever had to endure.) Buffalo has seemingly had more talent in recent years, but have struggled to put Canisius away despite having the better players. Both schools have to win this game, not just for local pride, but so they can get on the right foot going into the next few weeks of games.