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2016-17 Buffalo Men’s Basketball Previews: CJ Massinburg

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It doesn’t matter if you’re Duke or if you’re Grambling State. CJ Massinburg will have no fear and score as much as he pleases on you.

The Basics

Number: 5

Year: Sophomore

Position: Shooting Guard

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Height: 6-3, 190 lbs.

New to Buffalo?

Nope

UB Career

Time was running out for CJ Massinburg to play Division I Basketball. The guard hadn’t received any offers despite being from a recruiting hotbed that is Dallas, Texas. Thanks to a tip from Louisiana Tech, current UB assistant Jim Whitesell took a chance on Massinburg and offered Buffalo’s last available scholarship to him. No one predicted what was about to happen.

In his first ever game as a Bull, Massinburg dropped 25 points in an exhibition versus Daemen. That would only be foreshadowing of the season to come. By the time non-conference was over, everyone knew his name and the capabilities he brought. After going into Cameron Indoor Stadium with no fear and dropping 17 on Duke, Massinburg was given the nickname of “CJ Buckets”. He cooled off in January but when February rolled around, the buckets machine went on a scoring frenzy.

His most memorable performance? Massinburg manhandled Ohio’s defense and dropped 36 points in Alumni Arena despite the rest of his teammates being thumped for the entirety of the game. His end of the season averages were an impressive 11.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Not too shabby for a freshman.

Further Reading and Viewing:

Bull Run: Men's Basketball Season Recap Part 2: Growing Pains and Glimmers of Hope

A year ago, CJ Massinburg's hopes of playing Division I ball were at the end of the rope. The end of the recruiting period loomed and his final doorway was shut when the University of San Francisco offered a different player. The Dallas, Texas native truly believed he had the talent to compete in Division I.

Massinburg soon got a call from Jim Whitesell, Buffalo's associate head coach. Whitesell got a tip from a friend and coach at Louisiana Tech. The school no longer needed a shooting guard and encouraged the coach who had just arrived at Buffalo to check out the 6'3" option.

Whitesell was impressed and told Nate Oats that they should use their last available scholarship on Massinburg. When CJ visited Buffalo, he was told that he would need to work for his minutes and that he might be more of a "farther down the line" type of player. Fine with that and returning home, he signed his NLI the next day.

Bull Run: Ohio Bobcats at Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball recap: Massinburg shines, but Bobcats rip Bulls

CJ Massinburg was a shining bright spot for UB, scoring 36 on 11-18 shooting and 13 trips to the free throw line. It's a career high for the freshman and boosts his season scoring average into double digits. I believe it's the most points by a Bull since Will Regan also scored 36 against Ball State in the 2013 MAC Tournament.

Bull Run: Hamilton, Bearden, Massinburg, Conner named All-MAC for Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball

Massinburg, to no surprise, represents the Bulls on the All-Freshman team. He's unlikely to win Freshman of the Year tomorrow, but has been a revelation for Buffalo, averaging 11 points along with a handful of rebounds, assists, and steals. He may very likely finish the season as one of the three highest-scoring freshmen in program history.

2016-17 Outlook

Massinburg is going to be a huge piece to UB’s offense this season. The sophomore worked heavily on his ball handling to become a combo guard over the offseason but if Davonta Jordan does well at the point, Nate Oats prefers to have CJ “Buckets” at the two spot. There will definitely be a handful of games this upcoming season where he scores more than 20. Expect to see a lot of the same with Massinburg as last year, but with more consistency.