Here's our weekly look at the last few games in Men's Basketball, and key questions facing the team going forward.
Refresh on last week's post, if you like:
MAC Week 3 Basketball Questions - Bull Run
Another week, two more MAC games in the book. New this year I'm trying to regularly address the bigger questions surrounding the program and the season that might get talked around, but not...
Can the defense tighten up for a full 40 minutes? - Nope. Against CMU the team forgot how to defend the perimeter, and against Ohio they forgot how to defend the post. Against both teams they forgot how to defend a floor-length possession with less than five seconds on the clock.
Ohio is bad. UB should win. How much will emotion factor in? - I was unable to watch the game, so I don't know how much of a presence the O-Zone had, but 9,000+ in attendance is larger than all but the two big games on UB's schedule this year. Outside the game, we saw the closest to last year's Bobby Hurley. UB's coach hasn't received a technical this year, but no one else in the MAC knows that and complaining about Saul Phillips postgame isn't going to help is image across the conference.
Which CMU is UB going to get? - The good one. Not that the UB of this week wouldn't have found a way to struggle with the bad CMU.
Is Raheem Johnson becoming more of a factor? - Not sure. Against CMU he was a total nonfactor, but had 10 and 5 in 15 minutes against Ohio.
This week's questions:
Can the home court advantage get the guys on the right track?
At this point, it kind of has to, right? A third of the way through the conference season and the Bulls are definitively middle of the pack at 3-3. Only UB and EMU have played four road games in their first six MAC contests, but wins are wins. Not much else to say on this one. Students are back, and they need to be loud.
7-21 against CMU and 4-22 against Ohio. What happened here, and will it improve?
Western Michigan and Kent State
Right now, they're two of the best in the conference standings. A pair of wins this weekend would scrape the Bulls back to within a game of each, but it's more critical than normal to get home wins now after no-shows in Kalamazoo and Mt. Pleasant and a poor finish in Athens.
Furthermore, I'm honestly tired of hearing how critical road wins are in the MAC. They're critical in every conference, not just or any more so in the MAC. If any team in any conference wants to be a top-four seed in their tournament, they need to hold serve at home and do well better than .500 on the road. The best the Bulls can do on the road now is 6-3. Last year the MAC East was won at 13-5. With 12 games remaining, there's not a lot of room for error.