Its been a long time since we last saw the Buffalo Basketball team on the court, and the struggles of the schools football team made it seem even longer. All of the hype, all of the excitement, and all of the questions about about how good this team can really be starts tomorrow.
The Bulls open the season against a fairly uncommon opponent, the St Peters Peacocks. Their most recent meeting came in the ESPN Bracketbuster game 2 season ago, which was won by the Bulls in overtime on a Sean Smiley buzzer beater. Since that time these 2 teams have changed dramatically.
Mitchell Watt and Titus Robinson are the only players on this Bulls team who received any significant playing time in that match-up. Titus pretty much carried the load down the stretch of that meeting, but it was Smiley who got all of the credit for the victory. This year the Bulls will start a pair of 6'3" guards, Jarod Oldham and Zach Filzen. Oldham is only a sophomore, and is the first non-senior starting for the Bulls at point guard since the 07-08 season. Filzen is coming off of a break-out year in which he led the team in scoring, and set a school record 110 3-pointers. Starting at the wing will be 6'5" senior Dave Barnett. Barnett had a break-out season last year, being the Bulls most diverse player with his abilities on offense, defense, and on the glass. Starting at the forward spots should be the 2 senior forwards, Mitchell Watt and Titus Robinson. Watt showed great improvement last season, with season averages of 8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. Robinson on the other hand has been fairly stagnant the past few seasons, not living up to his great talent and athleticism.
The St Peters Peacocks came off a successful season in 2010-11, winning the MAAC Tournament and advancing to the NCAA tournament. In the tournament they faced one of the 3 seeds, Purdue and lost a one-sided battle 65-43. This years Peacocks team seems to have lost a lot of key parts to their magical season, with only 2 seniors on this years roster. Also, this team is losing its top 4 scorers from a year ago, and return only one person who had more than 20 minutes a game last season, Darius Conley. Conley was named to the 3rd team pre-season All MAAC Team, and is going to be the anchor for this inexperienced St Peters team.
The Bulls seem to have a large size advantage, especially on the inside. Getting a few of the St Peters forwards in foul trouble will greatly help this Bulls team pull away with the victory. Its finally time to let the speculation end, and see what this Bulls team can really do.