The UB basketball team won its home game against local rival Canisius the other night, extending their record to 3-1 so far this season. Even though we all expected the Bulls to win, it was still a very impressive performance nonetheless, pulling away with a 94-59 win in Alumni Arena. Filzen led 5 Bulls in double figures with 19 points, followed by Watt, McCrea, and impressive games off the bench for Titus Robinson and Tony Watson.
So the Bulls are off to a 3-1 start? Is that good or bad? Well considering the opponents and how Buffalo has looked so far I would have to give them a B for their performance so far. The Bulls beat the 3 teams that we all expected them to be better than, and lost to the one team many agreed was just flat out better than the Bulls. I think the fact that the Bulls lost to a team that was win-less at the time hurt their overall appearance to the public eye, but by the end of the season the loss to Princeton wont seem so bad because of how talented the Tigers will be when its all over. Buffalo's first 2 victories weren't very impressive, but how the Bulls looked in the blowout against Canisius has me thinking that they're on the right foot.
The Good so far...I know McCrea, and Watt seem like obvious answers to who's playing good so far for the Bulls. Sure they're playing good, but I think that was kind of expected this season. I think Watt so far has been better than we expected, and possibly playing better than McCrea this year. The one person who has impressed me the most so far this year has to be Jarod Oldham. Oldham was never really a point guard at any point in his life, he was seen as just a talented basketball who could be an asset to any team. He's taken the starting point guard role for this team with confidence, and has done a more than impressive job running this offense. He can barely shoot the ball well when he's close to the rim, as well as from the outside, and he still averages almost 7 assists per game. Its very difficult to do that when the opponent knows you cant shoot to save your life. His assist to turnover ratio is better than 3:1, and pulls down 6 rebounds a game (and he doesn't get easy rebounds, he rebounds in the trees). Anyone who knows me know I rave over his defense, and the 2.0 steals per game that he gets doesn't do him the justice he deserves. Anyone who really understands basketball watch him play defense the entire game. He disrupts the opposing team more than any other player I've ever seen at Buffalo do, and apparently he can get out in the open court and slam home monster jams (I was totally not expecting to see that from him in the Canisius game). The one thing that really worries me with him is his FT%. As the starting point guard for a good team he's going to be fouled a lot down the stretch of games, so he's going to have to shoot better than 55% from the line.
The Bad so far...Bench play. It's that simple. Sure Titus has a good game the other night, but overall the bench needs to be better. Our second, third, and 4th best outside shooters all come off the bench, and neither of them have played well. Raley-Ross looks lost out there, Watson needs to be a decent scorer who can shoot from the outside when he gets in, and Nuiriankh needs to have better minutes in place of Barnett when he's out there.