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Cautiously Optimistic

Only a few more days before the much awaited 2011-12 Bulls Basketball season, and I haven't even given my season prediction yet. Although there is no written record of it, my personal feelings on how the football team would do were a little better than their record shows, but their ability to make a lot of their losses close puts me at ease knowing I was fairly close. Hopefully this years basketball team will do better than I think they'll do.

I often try to stress when my friends a hypocritical, and I thurroughly believe that being a hypocrite is wrong. Then again I'm about to be one myself, so I should probably go a little easier on others. I absolutely hate when people make game by game predictions on wins and losses before the beginning of the season. I usually find it completely useless because it rarely takes into account other programs progress, can never account for injuries throughout the year, and has no considerations for teams going on hot/cold streaks. Although I criticize  this method of season predictions, history tends to repeat itself, so expecting the Bulls to win or lose certain games based on track record is totally fair.

Reggie and the Bulls always seem to play well in the non-conference part of their schedule, but can never seem to beat teams more talented than themselves, so expect losses to Temple, BYU, and Princeton. As long as things go as planned that would put them about 7-4 or 8-3 (11th game being the bracketbuster).

Just based off of returning players and recent success from Akron/Kent State, I would expect the Bulls to go 1-3 against those teams. Bowling Green's zone always causes the Bulls to struggle, so expect at least 1 to the Falcons, and given this teams track record you can almost guarantee a loss to a highly inferior opponent.  That's 5 losses right there, so we can expect a 9-7 or 10-6 conference record for this Bulls team. This would equate to about a 17-10 or 18-9 record year before the MAC Tournament. That gives the Bulls a middle seed for the MAC Tourney, which would probably mean a first round win, followed by a second round loss in Cleveland.

A 18 or 19 win season is a fairly good season for a mid-major program, but "fairly good" isn't enough considering the talent on this team, and isn't good enough for Bulls fans wanting this program to make a name for itself. A "fairly good" season puts us back onto the pro/anti Reggie discussion that we over seem so divided about, and it keeps non die-hard fans from latching onto this Buffalo program as we as mid-major basketball.

This Bulls team is the most talented in that I have seen in the 7 years I've watched this program, but point guard play that we cant trust will probably cost this team a shot at the big dance. The Bulls have the best/most talented front court in the MAC, a front court with the skill set that mid-major programs dream of. Unfortunately we don't know how good our guard play will be, and if that struggles then so will this team. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. Unproven point guards doesn't mean "bad" point guards, it just means we don't know what to expect.

Reggie's offense is one that keeps a fairly even amount of responsibility to all 3 guards on the court, which will help Buffalo mask bad point guard play if they were to struggle. Plus the Buffalo forwards are such offensive threats that it'll make the guards jobs easier. I am more than willing to say that this team has 22-5 if not 23-4 type talent, and if everyone plays to their potential then Bulls fans will hear their school called on Selection Sunday. "Cautiously Optimistic" is what should come to mind whenever thinking about this Bulls team as opposed to "Dancing in March." My heart tells me this is one of the better mid-major programs in the country, but my head is telling me to expect more of what were accustomed to....and underachieving Buffalo Bulls Basketball season.