It’s game day! The Bulls travel to Akron to take on the Zips. Buffalo is coming off a tough loss to the fake Miami, on some late free throws by the Red Hawks. We once again got to experience the inconsistency of the 2016-2017 Bulls team as they started off strong and slowly faded throughout the game. Now the Bulls will need to show their tough side as they take on the first place Zips.
Akron is led by big man Isaiah Johnson as he has seemed to dominated most of the MAC schools this season. While over 300 pounds, Johnson is able to use his big frame to get to the basket on most of Akron’s possessions. The offense is run through him as he either get’s a look at the rim or is able to kick out to the open, and deadly, Akron three point shooters. The Bulls will be tasked with a tough challenge as the Zips have not lost in the MAC this season and are on a current 27 game home winning streak. Let’s take a look at the things to watch for during this big rivalry game.
What to Watch For
Nick Perkins vs. Isaiah Johnson
This is one of the premier match ups in the MAC that I personally look forward to. Who can win the battle of the big men between Perkins and Johnson. Last season, Johnson dominated the regular season where Perkins got the best of him during the MAC championship. Who will come out on top of the battle of big men in their first meeting of the season. Personally I see Perkins coming out on top solely because of his slimmed down frame. I would not be shocked if Johnson continues to dominate but overall, I give an edge to Perkins.
Which Blake Hamilton Shows Up
Last game we seemed to be missing out on Blake Hamilton. The game before Blake was flirting with a triple double. Which version of Hamilton will show up to take on the Zips. I expect Akron to focus in on him after the shot he knocked down against them in Cleveland. Keep in mind that Akron hasn’t had the chance at revenge since the shot we all have engraved in our memory. Because of that I expect Akron to zero in on Blake and play him extra close.
Mid Game Adjustments
This season has raised some question among fans as to if Nate Oats can adjust to the flow of the game and make adjustments during. The biggest thing that stands out against Miami(OH) are the amount of threes that were taken. I would have loved to see Oats drill in to his players that they should be driving to the rim. In the second half they had switched to a zone and I would have liked the coaching staff to figure out a better plan of attack than shooting 29 shots from behind the arc. I still believe in Nate Oats and the rest of the fans should too. I just want to see some validation against the best team in the MAC.
I have a weird feeling in my stomach that we will come away with a win. Maybe it’s my True Blue side but it feels like this is the type of game we will win. Especially coming off of a loss to Miami. It’s probably because of the inconsistent play of this team but it sits well in me that we will shock the MAC and prove why we are two time MAC champs. I think we either win a close game or get run out of the arena. But I believe in the former. At 7:30 we will find out which Bulls’ team will show up, but we can only root for the best. Horns up, and go bulls.