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Buffalo Bulls Open The Season Against Pitt Bradford

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

It's time to see if Nate Oats can pick up where his former boss, Bobby Hurley, left off. Tonight the Bulls will open the 2015-16 season versus Pitt.-Bradford at Alumni Arena.

The coaching change is not the only challenge for Buffalo. Of the Bulls have 15 players on this year’s team eight are newcomers to the squad. The loss of Justin Moss and Shannon Evans, along with the graduation of Xavier Ford and Will Regan, have made this seem like a whole new team.

UB's season so far has consisted of a single exhibition contest in which they defeated Daemen College by a score of 87-68. In their exhibition Freshman CJ Massinburg led UB with 25 points off the bench.

UB got a bit of positive news on Thursday. Nikola Rakicevic was cleared for travel and competition by the NCAA and will be in uniform for the opening night. The Serbian freshman missed the exhibition game last week while he and Buffalo were waiting on a ruling regarding his eligibility from the NCAA.

The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team does not have a turnover problem. They return a wealth of experience from last seasons Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Semi-Finals appearance.

Senior and star point guard Keith Burgess returns for the Panthers as he enters his final year of eligibility in a Pitt-Bradford uniform. Burgess enters this season with 989 total career points. He looks to join the 1,000-point club in the early goings of the year.

Pitt Bradford jumped at the chance to play Buffalo. UB is a reigning D1 Conference champion that is located in a big recruiting area for Pitt. This game will see the return of Timon's Manny Welch.

UB's likely starters are Lamonte Bearden, Jarryn Skeete, Blake Hamilton, Willie Conner, and Ikenna Smart.