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Buffalo Bulls Mens Basketball Scholarship Distribution

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday's news that UB will be adding former top recruit Torian Graham has me thinking about the team's scholarship distribution, something we all instinctively know about, but is good to look at in a table anyway. Here's what I've got for  names we know about:

2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019
4th Year Xavier Ford Jarryn Skeete Shannon Evans Lamonte Bearden Nate Navigato
Will Regan Rodell Wigginton (Torian Graham) Bobby Frasco Nick Perkins
Justin Moss Mory Diane (Ikenna Smart)
Raheem Johnson Ikenna Smart
3rd Year Jarryn Skeete Shannon Evans Lamonte Bearden Nate Navigato
Rodell Wigginton (Torian Graham) Bobby Frasco Nick Perkins
Justin Moss Mory Diane (Ikenna Smart)
Raheem Johnson Ikenna Smart
2nd Year Shannon Evans Lamonte Bearden Nate Navigato
Bobby Frasco Nick Perkins
Mory Diane (Ikenna Smart)
Ikenna Smart
1st Year Lamonte Bearden Nate Navigato
Bobby Frasco Nick Perkins
Mory Diane (Ikenna Smart)
Ikenna Smart


A few things:

Houston-to-Buffalo is Graham's first 4-4 transfer, so I believe he will be eligible near the beginning of next year with two years' time remaining.

I believe at this point that Ikenna Smart is redshirting. He's only been playing basketball for a few years and change and needs time to develop. If he doesn't see time against an awful Binghamton team it's got to be a fait accompli.

Everywhere I can find suggests that Christian Pino is not on scholarship.

That said, while we all noted Hurley's quick work to overhaul the roster for his first season, it did exacerbate a bit of a scholarship bubble, as five seniors and a sophomore left the team between March and November.

Looking at the chart, that bubble is gone if Smart does redshirt and Graham is a junior. UB suddenly has strong classes every year without ever really committing to inexperience and a rebuilding year. At least not in the next three.

Throw in Naquavious King, the top JUCO player in the country, who's holding a Buffalo offer. With Evans and Graham in that year the Bulls will for the most part just reload. Despite Jarryn Skeete being the only original member of the 2016 class and Shannon Evans the only of the 2017 class, the 2015-16 team could very well build a full rotation from upperclassmen. Hurley's work to find instant contributions from experienced players will be the lynchpin of his early success in Amherst.

All that said, we should also look at the position distribution. Even if Will Regan is a square peg (he is) in this offense, he's still a forward who's going to leave a 27 minute-sized hole. Xavier Ford is blossoming into the perfect 6th man up front and will obviously be missed as well.

I have to wonder if Hurley's Bulls will take even another step towards the backcourt end of the spectrum over the next two years. Even assuming Smart is ready to get some minutes in 2015-16, you can bet Nick Perkins, one of Michigan's top players in Class A, is going to get time as a freshman.

In the backcourt itself... well crap. You're not sitting Evans, or Bearden. Navigato is a 6'7", high-scoring cross between Wigginton and Skeete, both of whom are still around, and maybe the Bulls do bring in Naquavious King, who hits three-pointers better than Zach Filzen. Seriously. What do you do then? Maybe Navigato slots behind Rodell for a year,  but you've still got Evans, Bearden, Skeete, Graham, and possibly King sharing basically two and a half positions.

It makes you want to get a big center who can run and rebound and just attack relentlessly from the perimeter.

I wanted to include in this a look at UB's work on the recruiting trail, but other than mentioning King I'm working on my phone from a family trip and that will have to be a separate post after the weekend. Stay tuned for that.

Go Bulls!