The Buffalo Bulls are back in action tonight as the NJIT Highlanders come to Alumni Arena. The Bulls are currently on a two game skid against two of the top teams in the nation, Syracuse and Texas A&M, and they will look to right the ship against a weaker opponent. The Highlanders come in at 7-6 and ranked 259 on KenPom.com.
So what should we expect from this game? NJIT runs a slow tempo with a shaky offense so the Bulls will look to keep up their fast pace of play and run the Highlanders out of the arena. The impact of Wes Clark has been noticeable and we get our first look at how he will handle a weaker opponent. With Dontay Caruthers eventually coming back, the Bulls front court is ready to dominate. Let’s take a look at what else to watch for.
What to Watch For
If the Bulls have one big weakness, it’s their play inside the paint. This was exposed against the very strong interior games of A&M and Cuse and will need to be addressed before MAC play. I would like to see either Ikenna Smart or Montell McCrae become “that guy” inside and look to be a pure inside player. I expect it to be Smart over McCrae because McCrae likes to shoot the three ball.
I want to see Harris get going on a massive roll in the MAC. He’s shown us in flashes that he can be a big player and I think he’s bound to get going. He was one of the top JUCO players in the nation last year and if he gets aggressive, I expect big numbers.
It appears that Jayvon Graves is the go to freshman over James Reese at the moment. Both have had their struggles but they seem to be finding their rhythm, and their role. I think you’ll continue to see more of Graves but both will make impacts in the small roles they play, which is a huge factor to being a deep team that could win the MAC. If they contribute, this team will be a tough beat.
NJIT is not a good team, which is exactly what this team needs to end OOC. The Bulls should win this game and have confidence heading in to their first MAC game against Toledo. In challenging themselves OOC, they have been able to grow as a team and handle the big stages. This team is going to do big things this season, and this game is the start of a fun stretch of the season. If you’re at the game tonight, enjoy and as always, go Bulls!