Bobby Frasco is leaving Buffalo. Depending on where you get your news this is either well-known enough that we've talked about it and it's already moved off our radar, or you only learned of it last night.
My own pettiness aside, UB scholarship situation is now malleable once again after appearing set with the expected transfer of JUCO guard Maurice O'Field. And on top of having one more scholarship to play with, Bobby Hurley and staff now have one of the more balanced distributions (by class at least) the program has seen in a while.
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So where do we go with this? UB's pending offers - you might remember the names Godspower Ogide and Xavier Cochran - dried up after O'Field's commitment, but according to VerbalCommits.com, Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, MA) guard Kris Clyburn still has an offer out.
Clyburn currently plays in Massachusetts would be a continuation of the #NateOatsPipeline, as he's not only from the Detroit area but played for Romulus under Oats.
It's clear to see, though, in the table above why Clyburn might not be the best option for UB going forward. The classes are pretty balanced, and graduating just two in 2017 would not be the end of the world, but bringing in another guard in this year's freshman class or letting the scholarship go unused for now would place a significant burden on the frontcourt.
Does UB need a forward here? Not necessarily. There's so much talent in the sophomore and junior guards that it will be hard to keep them all on the floor at once, and Hurley's offense is open enough to allow hybrid players like Wigginton and Navigato to scoop up rebounds without having to post up and box out. But of the players currently available, the best rebounding combination means keeping at least two of Skeete, Graham*, Evans, O'Field, and Bearden off the floor.
*Remember that Graham won't be able to play until January
I've said it before: Nick Perkins is going to play as a freshman. The coaching staff has made it clear and they don't really have a choice, unless Raheem 'Hit 'em in the' Johnson takes a big step forward on the fouls front. Nate Navigato is a better-shooting version of Rodell Wigginton, but experience goes a long way. No one really knows what we've got in Ikenna Smart, who's still learning the game after a late start in life.
Transfers. The single-biggest reason for Bobby Hurley's success outside of his own acumen has been transfers. They helped him step right into a successful season, making the most out of one season of Javon McCrea, and quickly overhaul the roster. Just 12 months after taking over the Bulls, Bobby Hurley was responsible for all but three players on the team.
Assuming that we are looking for another forward outside of the seniors, while Perkins is less of a wildcard than Smart, it would be nice not to rely on a freshman. Let's take a look at possible transfer options, both with immediate eligibility and those who would sit a year but step in once Wigginton, Moss, and Johnson graduate:
Note that I'm including seniors-to-be here. Two years down the road Perkins, Smart, and Navigato should be ready to contribute.
Quintin Brewer, Bethune-Cookman. 9.2 points, 7.0 rebounds. Team's leading offensive rebounder, but also fouls heavy
Kenyatta Smith, Harvard. Low numbers this season, during career, due to an injury.
Tyler Harris, Providence. 9.9 points, 4.0 rebounds. 26 minutes a game for an NCAA Tournament team.
That's not by any means an exhaustive list, and doesn't include JUCOs.
Some of these are pretty aspirational, but why not?
Matthew Atewe, Auburn. Someone's brought him up already. Lost this season to injury.
Leo Edwards, Louisiana Tech. #NateOatsPipeline. Romulus alum. Multiple years remaining. Could be productive with more minutes.
Junior Etou, Rutgers. Two seasons remaining, 7.4 points, 6.6 rebounds in 26 minutes a game as sophomore.
Johnathan Williams III, Missouri. Two years remaining. 12 ppg, 7 rpg as a sophomore. Will be in high demand.