Niagara is UB's most frequently played rival, including those in the Mid American Conference. In fact outside of the MAC Buffalo has not even played any conference as many times as they have squared up against the Purps.
For the Purple Eagles thievery came easy last season. While the team as a whole struggled there were aspect of their game that were almost second to none. This season however Anthony Nelson Niagara's career leader in assists, 2011 NCAA steals leader last season, and MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, is gone.
It's not just Nelson who is gone. The Purps lose Kahief Edwards (12.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and guard Kevon Moore (4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg). Two players who could have come back this season bu chose to move on rather than sip on purple for one more season.
What is left is a team without any senior leadership, picked to finish near the bottom of the MAAC, and sporting a rather vulnerable frontcourt. But they have a great coach! Coach Mihalich is the architect of a program that has gone to two NCAA Tournaments 2005 and 2007and has had just two losing seasons in 13 years.
If there is one thing that can derail UB in this game its being out coached and NU has a coach who can do that but in terms of depth and experience this bulls team should roll over Niagara. Really I'd like to call this game a blue but this game smells like a trap in every sense of the word.
It's on the road, against a team that might be a bit beat up by December. Their Coach knows UB and Coach Witherspoon well. Finally the Bulls might jst be looking ahead to BYU and Temple at the end of the month. This is not a game we should lose but it's certainly one I can see us dropping. So its a code yellow!
The other thing Niaraga has going for them, early in the season, was a four-game preseason tour to Montreal. When they start off this season they will have had more significant court time together than a lot of their competition.
|Saturday, December 7, 2011|
|2011 Record||9-23 (5-13)|
|All Time Head to Head||Buffalo 28 Niagara 55|
|Last Game||10-11: Buffalo 82 vs Niagara 64|
Complete links to "who the heck do we play" after the Jump