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Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball Season Preview: The Freshmen

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Matt Gritzmacher

Bull Run's Men's Basketball preview is going to look at the team year-by-year, with a fifth post on the coaches. I'll run the posts Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the coaches' preview running on Thursday, 6 November prior to the team's season-opening scrimmage against Wheeling Jesuit.

Lamonte Bearden - #1 - Guard

Bearden Headshot

Milwaukee, WI

Before UB: Bearden starred at Germantown in Milwaukee, who has won three consecutive state titles in Wisconsin's highest division. Lamonte and his brother only transferred to Germantown for their final two years, but during their championship run, Germantown is 106-4, and during Bearden's senior season they put up a 26-2 record, with one of those losses coming while the new Bull was suspended.

In his junior season, Bearden averaged 13 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.4 steals per game. I cannot for the life of me find his senior year stats, but he was named to the All-Tournament team following Germantown's run to the 2014 Wisconsin state title.

Boys basketball all-area selections - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Bearden named second team all-area. The four seniors on the first team included a McDonald's All-American committed to UCLA and commits to Iowa, Vanderbilt, and Drake.

WIAA state boys basketball: Germantown edges Neenah to win its third straight Division 1 title

Recruiting Buzz: Right now, all the major recruiting services are saying Bearden was rated a 3-star recruit, but articles from the time of his signing at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year referred to him as a four-start. He is also rated a top-30 point guard by ESPN.

Bearden was heavily courted by Nate Oats, and his eventual signing caught the attention of a number of recruitniks, who lauded the get for Hurley and Buffalo. Reportedly, Buffalo beat out offers from Oregon State and Saint Louis, among others, for Bearden.

Area boys basketball standouts choose Division I colleges

Buffalo Lands High Major Guard in Lamonte Bearden

Lamonte Bearden’s commitment could be a coup for Bobby Hurley and Buffalo | The Dagger: College Basketball Blog - Yahoo Sports

Buffalo lands ‘top five steal’ in Class of ’14 in Lamonte Bearden | CollegeBasketballTalk

Bobby Frasco - #3 - Guard

Frasco Headshot

Mt. Prospect, IL

Before UB: Frasco cracked the starting lineup at Prospect High in suburban Chicago in his junior year and averaged 18 points and seven rebounds per game in his senior year, thanks in part to shooting over 40% from beyond the arc. His team's leading scorer in both his junior and senior seasons, Frasco waited to commit until after his season was over, though Prospect High did win their division both years that Frasco was a starter.

Prospect's Frasco commits to Hurley, Buffalo - Daily Herald

Recruiting Buzz: Frasco is listed as a guard by UB, but played at SF in high school. Given his height, it wouldn't be surprising to see him slot into the #3 spot on the floor in the future.

The shooter was more lightly recruited than some of the other freshman, holding offers from Brown and Boston University prior to his senior season. Though he said that he would like to commit before the season, or by January at the latest, he ended up waiting until the Buffalo offer to commit.

Buffalo Lands 6-4 Wing Frasco as 5th Commit | ZagsBlog.com

Mory Diane - #5 - Guard

Mory Diane Headshot

Detroit, MI

Before UB: Diane transferred to Detroit Pershing for his senior season and stepped in with Michigan Mr. Basketball finalist Justin Tillman to take the Doughboys to a #2 state ranking and the sectional final, where they lost to #10 Cass Tech. Diane scored 20 points in his final high school game, including 13 in the final quarter. Prior to the state tournament, Diane scored a game-high 15 points before fouling out in overtime in the Detroit PSL title game against Cass Tech.

Detroit Cass Tech holds off Detroit Pershing, 78-73, to win boys basketball Class A district title in MLive Detroit Game of the Week - MLive.com

Confidence lifts Detroit Pershing in its comeback win over Detroit Cass Tech to clich PSL title - MLive.com

Recruiting Buzz: The ESPN/Scout conglomeration rated the shooting guard the twelfth-best recruit in Michigan, while 24/7 had him as a 3-star/80 grade and seventh or eighth in the state. Diane also had reported offers from Kent State, Indiana State, Texas Tech, and Toledo, and interest from Iowa, Iowa State, DePaul, Michigan State, and Xavier.

Mory Diane to Buffalo | ZagsBlog.com

Christian Pino - #24 - Guard

Christian Pino headshot

Detroit, MI

Before UB: Pino is just the latest member of the Oats Pipeline from Romulus, MI, where Nate Oats led his high school team to four straight state final fours and won the state title in 2013 before coming to join Bobby Hurley. Pino was a do-everything sixth man for that championship team who comes to Buffalo after walking on at Arizona State and redshirting his first year.

Pino transferred to Romulus just for his senior year of high school after averaging 15 points per game at Seaholm in his junior season.

Recruiting Buzz: Pino walked on at Arizona State, but when he didn't get any playing time there, he joined in on the #NateOatsPipeline and came to Buffalo. Given his multiple transfers in high school and year at ASU, I can't find much on him from a recruiting standpoint, and it's hard to tell if he's a scholarship player here or not.

The Oakland Press Blogs: Burney's Bytes: On The Move
Pontiac, Michigan daily newspaper covering local, regional, and national news including local sports, video and multimedia coverage, and classified advertising.

Column: The Romulus boys basketball team was built for a state championship on all levels - MLive.com

Ikenna Smart - #34 - Forward

Ikenna Smart Headshot

Greensboro, NC

Before UB: Bobby Hurley at Bulls Madness pointed out that Smart hass only been playing basketball for a few years, but at the time of his commitment to UB, Smart was averaging 13 points and 13 rebounds a game at New Garden Friends School in Greensboro, where he played his junior and senior seasons, and finished his time at New Garden Friends as the first player in school history to average a double double for his career.

Recruiting Buzz: The 6'10" C/F committed to Buffalo in mid-February, coming to Hurley over interest from Drexel, Longwood, and Presbyterian. He doesn't seem to have generated much interest but he has some serious size, and according to

Ikenna Smart Signs Letter Of Intent With University of Buffalo " Greensboro Sports

Buffalo Lands Big Man Ikenna Smart | ZagsBlog.com