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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball Game Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas

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via UBBulls.com

The Bulls are back in action tonight coming off their win against WMU in front of a sold out Alumni Arena! Up next, are the Central Michigan Chippewas, who will look very different than last years squad. CMU no longer has Marcus Keene, last year’s national scoring leader at 30 PPG! They are also missing fellow sub 6 foot guard Braylon Rayson, who graduated last season. So what are they left with? They’re left with one of the most efficient offensive players in the nation with Luke Meyers at center, which could be a match up issue for the Bulls.

On the flip side, Buffalo comes in with the sixth fastest offense in the nation, something that will be an issue for most teams. Recently, it’s been the Jeremy Harris show in games as his shot selection has been great and his execution has been even better. Harris was 4-4 against the Broncos on Friday night, and he will look to keep building his momentum. Hopefully, Harris will get the support of CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins and Wes Clark, players who have been solid but still could produce more. If those four are on their games, then the Bulls should be looking as dangerous as ever. Let’s dive in to some things a little deeper however.

What to Watch For

Ikenna Smart

I can say that last Friday was the worst game I’ve ever seen Smart play. He seemed out of sorts and was just dominated inside by Drake Lamont. Smart will have another bigger, and better test tonight in Luke Meyers. If Smart struggles early and put’s all the weight on to Nick Perkin’s shoulders, this game could slip away from the Bulls defensively.

Wes Clark

Clark has been solid, but towards the end of the WMU game he seemed to get the yips. Hopefully he shakes those out early and gives the Bulls a break out offensive game. The chance of that every night is there, and the Chippewas are just an average defensive team.

Defense

Recently, I feel like the Bulls have had defensive issues. They’ve seemed to play lock down defense for 75% of their possessions, but the other 25% they look lost. They’ve allowed too many inside shots and teams just seem to be knocking it down long range against them. They need to make sure the CMU feels off balanced for 40 minutes, otherwise they may face a similar fate as they did against Kent.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those games that Buffalo can’t afford to drop if they’re looking for a one seed. CMU is not a top tier MAC team and this loss would be worse then Kent. That being said, UB should win this game with ease if they play their game and toughen up inside. If Luke Meyers can’t get going, the Chippewas will experience offensive woes, something that UB can capitalize on and frustrate them with pressure. The Bulls will also need to be cautious fouling, as CMU is the second best FT shooting team in the country. If the Bulls clean up their game, I see no reason to be nervous heading in to tonight. Make sure you enjoy the game tonight and as always, Go Bulls!