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Quick Buffalo Basketball Preview: It's Javon's turn

It's Javon's turn

It's a good thing Reggie Witherspoon has spent the past couple of seasons stockpiling some talent because attrition due to graduation last season was not Kind to Buffalo.

What the Bulls Lost:

The Bulls graduated four of their top five scorers, but a have a senior and five juniors all with ample experience ready to fill the void. The names you'll see tossed about as really painful are Watt, and Filzen. The one a lot of people ignore is Titus Robinson and Dave Barnett.

Watt is, of course, a huge loss. His ability to take over games led him to the MAC Player of the Year last season and a tryout with Memphis in the NBA summer league after graduation. Watt led the team in scoring, rebounds and blocks.

FIlzen was the deep threat, though his senior campaign was far more inconsistent than he had been in previous seasons. Still his shooting at times was key to UB's success in putting up big runs.

Robinson was solid on both ends of the floor and Barnett was third on the team in rebounds per game.

Junior Javon McCrea, who was second on the team on scoring last season, after being the MAC freshman of the year in 2011, will be heavily counted upon to lead the way down low. The junior was named to the East Division Preseason All-MAC Team.

McCrea started in all 31 games last season, averaging almost 15 points and 7 rebounds a game. Buffalo Coach Reggie Witherspoon needs McCrea "to be more assertive in the way he approaches the game and with that different parts of his game will evolve."

Also returning from last years starting linup is Jarod Oldham, the leading assist man on the Bulls in 2011-12. Oldham did a great job last season distributing the ball but this season he is not going to have three or four proven weapons. Last year there were three of four guys on the court that were dangerous. This year it's McCrea and a bunch of unproven talent.

The player that Buffalo needs to step up this year is Will Regan. Regan was a three-star recruit out of Buffalo who played in the ACC with Virginia as a freshman. The depth of that team kept Regan from seeing the time that he wanted so the Nichols School graduate returned home to and sat out last season as a transfer.

Junior center Cameron Downing (and sophomore power forward Xavier Ford are the other serious candidates to replace Watt and Robinson. Downing (the team's biggest player at 6-9 and 260 pounds) and Ford (6-7) each saw an average of about five minutes per game last season.

Corey Raley-Ross probably gets first call at Flizen's shooting guard spot and Tony Watson is a player who can cover for either Ross or Downing/Ford. Also in the mix will be Auraum Nuiriankh.

This squad has to compete for the East against Ohio, Akron, and Kent , they are also playing a beast of a non conference schedule. UB fans have gotten used to 20 win seasons but that may not be in the cards this year.

DATE Opponent Prediction
10-Nov vs PRIN L
12-Nov @ #25 FSU L
15-Nov vs EVAN* W
16-Nov vs WIU* W
17-Nov vs YALE W
20-Nov @ CAN W
24-Nov vs MAN (D2) NA
28-Nov vs TEM L
1-Dec @ SBON L
5-Dec @ MILW W
8-Dec vs NIAG W
21-Dec vs WSU* L
28-Dec vs NOT (D2) NA
2-Jan @ TLSA L
9-Jan @ OHIO L
12-Jan vs M-OH W
16-Jan vs KENT L
19-Jan vs BGSU W
23-Jan @ BALL W
26-Jan @ AKR L
30-Jan vs CMU W
2-Feb @ WMU W
6-Feb @ EMU W
9-Feb vs NIU W
13-Feb vs TOL W
16-Feb @ M-OH L
27-Feb @ KENT L
2-Mar vs AKR W
5-Mar vs OHIO L
9-Mar @ BGSU W
Wins 16
Losses 12