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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball Preview: Coppin State Eagles

The Buffalo Bulls Men’s basketball team is coming home! After traveling to Alaska, Creighton, Bonaventure and Pitt, the men return to Alumni Arena to take on the Coppin State Eagles. The Bulls are coming off their best game of the season in a loss to Pitt as the team was finally able to be at full strength. CJ Massinburg and Quate McKinzie both made their impacts felt as the Bulls almost made a miracle comeback.

As for today’s game, it feels like the dawn of a new season. The Bulls are past their brutal road stretch against top tier opponents. The Bulls will now face a much easier part of their schedule as they should build momentum heading in to MAC play. With the team back at full strength, they looked as if a third consecutive MAC title was well within their potential. Let’s take a look at what to watch for in the game against Coppin State.

What To Watch For

Will the team look as strong as they did against Pitt?

I was very happy watching the last game, even though it was still a loss. The team seemed to have a fire inside of them and an identity once again. The Bulls are lead by the big four of Willie Conner, Blake Hamilton, CJ Massinburg, and Nick Perkins. Throw in freshman stud Quate McKinzie and this team looks dangerous.

This team once again has depth as well which was shown against Pitt. Davonta Jordan, Raheem Johnson and Ikenna Smart are some of the strongest role players a team could have. The sky is the limit right now as long as the team shows the same passion they did against the Panthers.

What lineups will Nate Oats use?

Let’s be real here, Buffalo will win this game. Coppin State has not won a game and has lost to a DII opponent. So how will Oats treat this game? Will it be like against Naz as the team works on their plays? Will he limit Massinburg and McKinzie? Will he play his stars major minutes in hopes to build chemistry? In games where a win feels inevitable, it’s always interesting to see how the lineups will be built.

Which player steps up to assume the 6th man role

Now hear me out, the lineup I mentioned earlier will not start games. However I feel like it will be our most used lineup. That’s why I want to see who between Jordan, Caruthers, Smart, and Johnson will become a spark to the team. All four of these players can play, but only 5 can be on the court at the same time. Let’s see who wants to take on the role and get the majority of minutes from the role players.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this game solely for the fact that I think it will be an easy win. There are obviously some technical things I’ll have an eye out for. I’ll look to see if the momentum continues from the final 23 of the Pitt game through the final buzzer in this one. I’ll look to see who comes ready to play and who steps up to their role. I’m excited to watch the Bulls at home again in a rocking Alumni. If you’re around, come on out to the game, enjoy your free t shirt, and most of all, enjoy the Bulls.