The Buffalo Bulls are back in action tonight as they take on the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Bulls are currently 6-0 in the MAC and are in the midst of their best season ever. They’ve been winning games by an average of 17 points per game and at least double digits in every game. The Bulls rely on their athleticism that teams just haven’t been able to keep up with, especially in the second half. The Eagles will have their hands full tonight as they play one of the slowest styles of basketball in the nation.
What EMU does have however, is the 2-3 zone. Modeled directly after Syracuse, the Eagles look to utilize their big men like James Thompson IV. To put it in perspective, EMU’s SG is 6’7 Tim Bond, so they will have a clear height advantage over the Bulls. This game will be a struggle between speed versus size in which I think favors the Bulls. Let’s take a look at what else to watch for tonight.
What to Watch For
Buffalo’s 3 Point Shooting
The Bulls rely heavily on their three point shooting, and it will be as crucial as ever tonight. As I said earlier, the 2-3 zone and EMU size is going to be tough to beat inside, so UB will have to be on from deep early to stretch the floor, and eventually work their way inside.
Perkins will have a tough job in a few ways today. Scoring inside and covering Thompson. As most people that follow the MAC know, James Thompson is a high quality player, and arguable an NBA prospect. Keeping him off the offensive glass and making him uncomfortable in the paint will be a big task, but if anyone can do it, Nick Perkins can with his strength and athleticism.
Dontay Caruthers and Davonta Jordan
Caruthers was finally back against WMU and it seemed as if his defense didn’t miss a beat. He was able to harass Thomas Wilder all game and kept him from being a real threat. When Caruthers was out, Jordan did just as well covering Wilder. These two are a dynamic duo on defense and are the pace setters for the Bulls transition game. If they can keep EMU point guard Paul Jackson on edge, the Bulls should be able to run away with this game.
Personally, I would take speed over size every game. I think the Bulls are just going to be too quick for the Eagles to keep pace with. While they will protect the rim well, the Bulls are too dangerous all over the floor to think they will be slowed. As long as UB stays out of foul trouble, I think this game will become a runaway in the second half like we’ve seen recently. EMU has lost some bad games so this would be a bad loss for the Bulls. I hope everyone enjoys tonight and we can celebrate 7-0, and as always, Go Bulls!