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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball Game Preview: Western Michigan Broncos

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The Bulls are back in Buffalo as they look to start their first winning streak since the beginning of the season. After a well played 82-69 victory against Kent State on Tuesday, the young Bulls will look to keep it rolling. Willie Conner will not be suiting up due to NCAA rules governing a one game suspension after an ejection for fighting. So the question is who will step up to fill his role. We saw a little bit of James Jones against Kent, but I expect to see Nikola Rakicevic continue his strong play and fill the hole.

Speaking of players stepping up I would like to take this time to acknowledge how well David Kadiri has been playing. I used to have a lot of doubts towards his style of play and ability but he has been proving me wrong and I’m happy. With the suspected permanent suspension of Raheem Johnson, Kadiri stepping up is going to be very important for the Bulls. Now let’s take a look at some story lines to watch against the Broncos.

What to watch for

Does the youth movement keep it rolling

Against Kent State, the seniors had their struggles with ejections and foul trouble. We saw strong performances from CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins. Dontay Caruthers and Rakicevic seemed to give us the exact play we needed when we needed it. I hope to see these guys continue to flourish and get a good bonus from Blake Hamilton and David Kadiri when it’s needed.

Can the Bulls stop Thomas Wilder

Wilder has always been a pain in the Buffalo side. He’s dangerous from beyond the arc and our best defender is suspended. The question becomes, who steps up to stop him? I’d love to see Caruthers take him on as he has been one of our top defenders, however I believe the Massinburg will be tasked with shutting him down. If Wilder gets going, it’ll be a long day for the Bulls.

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Through everything that has plagued the Bulls this season, consistency has been the worst. Every game is a new experience and it’s beyond frustrating. Sometimes I see a team ready to 3 peat in Cleveland. Other times I see a team that won’t even make it to Cleveland. I hope to see the same energy from the first half versus Ohio and the entire Kent State game. If we see that team show up, we should be celebrating a Bulls victory.

Final Thoughts

I don’t enjoy predicting wins and losses for UB teams this year. I haven’t been very good since the Albany football game. So I’ll leave you with this. I like the Bulls chances if they come out with passion. I like the Bulls chances if the young guys play well. And I like the Bulls chances if Thomas Wilder is limited. I hope to see the team I could picture three peating, I really do. Go Bulls.