On Wednesday night the Buffalo Bulls will make the short bus ride over to the Gallagher Gym to face Big 4 rival Niagara. The Niagara Purple Eagles are 3-5 on the season coming off of back to back losses to Fairfield and Iona, possibly the 2 best teams in their Conference. Buffalo comes off of a head-scratching effort in which the Bulls lost 66-60 to St. Bonaventure.
Buffalo looked like it was heading straight up towards its potential after impressive back to back wins before they met their match against a St. Bonaventure team that just seemed to want it more. Zach Filzen leads 3 Bulls players that score more than 13 ppg, adding 17 of his own. He seems to have found his form lately which is something Bulls fans will be happy with, but on the other hand his counterpart at other starting guard spot Jarod Oldham seems to have taken a few steps back since the opening week. Oldham has 13 turnovers the last 3 games while watching his assists and rebound number continuously go in the wrong direction.
Niagara is led by 2 freshman guards, Juan'ya Green and Antoine Mason. Green averages 19 ppg, while Mason adds 14.3 ppg of his own. The Purple Eagles are an extremely young team, starting 3 freshman, a sophomore and a junior, and although they may not be too big a factor this year I think everyone in Western NY expects them to make some noise in the future. They don't have the size to be a big time factor yet, but they've shown in the past that their 4 guard line-up has a lot of success against its crosstown rivals.
I think fans are very radical, one moment they think their team is the greatest, then they throw their team down to the bottom of the totem pole. Bulls fans have a right to feel that way with Buffalo's inconsistent play and inability to put string of wins together. Niagara is an inferior team compared to the Bulls this season, and with the Bulls winning 7 of the last 9 in this rivalry you would think Buffalo would be able to pull away with the W. Hopefully the Bulls can get back on track and get to finals week with a 6-2 record.