Xavier Ford hasn't become the role player we expected him to be via www.philahoops.com
The Bulls closed non-conference play last night with a big victory over D3 Buffalo State. Buffalo is now 7-4 after the non-conference part of their schedule, which I think is what most people kind of expected. As fans we saw both up and down play so far this season, as well as a lot of head scratching moments (which is not rare at all for a Reggie coached team).
How do I think they did? I guess they did okay. I will say one thing, when Buffalo's starting 5 is in the lineup the Balls moves through the offense very well, and it creates a lot of high percentage shots. Once some of the reserves are in you can clearly see a large difference in play. Reggie is known to play 9 to 10 guys on a regular basis, but I think this teams best chance is to only play their top 7. Xavier Ford hasn't become the role player we expected him to be, Raley-Ross still looks lost out there, and Auraum Niuriankh hasn't been the dynamic wing-man that we all wanted him to to be. If we go any deeper than T-Bob off the bench then the Bulls fall deeper in the MAC standings.
One thing that has bothered me a ton so far this season is the amount of zone being played. Sure, its definitely important to be able to switch it up to keep your opponent off balance, but I think Reggie has let its ineffectiveness run way too far into games. Its probably being played so much to keep Mitch and Javon out of foul trouble, but if its not working then you have to go back to your roots of tough man to man defense. The zone has worked at times, and it hasn't worked at times, I just hope inability to call a timeout when the team needs it doesn't rub off on him and leads him to go with the zone too long too.
The Bulls play Kent State Saturday evening in their MAC opener. Not only is it the first MAC game of the season for both teams but it unveils the new video board being hung over center court. Hopefully if helps the Bulls play some inspired basketball because they're going to have their hands full with the Golden Flashes. Buffalo has had great recent success against Kent State in Alumni arena, and they're going to need it to continue if they want one of the very important top 2 seeds in the MACC. Hopefully the Bulls can start the important part of their schedule off right.