Last season was absolutely surreal for the UB basketball fan. While many are down in the dumps about this season, I remain optimistic. This team is going to be fine. Do I expect an NCAA Tournament bid? No, but we still have as good of a shot as we did last season (Cue the negativity in the comments). Yes, we did lose Bobby Hurley, Justin Moss, and Shannon Evans; but this offseason has also been a really good one for UB as well. Anyway, I'll make a bigger point on this before our first regular season game.
This is the start of a nice series of posts giving us a brief look on our OOC opponents. Danny White and Nate Oats have done a great job at scheduling. I think it's safe to say that this schedule is even better than last season. The biggest fault of this schedule comes at Game One against Pitt-Bradford.
(editor's note: Is Daemen an exhibition? It doesn't have the usual *, but would UB play two non-D-I opponents?)
Head Coach: Britt Moore
Date: Fri. 11/13/15
Opponent's Mascot: Some mutilated Panther in the shape of a "P"
2014-15 Season Record: 15-11 (12-6 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference D-III)
Returning Starters: 2
All Time Series: Pitt-Bradford leads 3-1
Pitt-Bradford for the record is a Division-III team. The Panthers typically have a record like the one above; not the best Division-III team but they aren't the worst. This is the only home game that UB has on a Friday night, unfortunately. Attendance was highest on Friday night games last season, and this game obviously serves as filler to add another home game to the schedule.
As you can see this team is really small. It's kind of expected since scholarships aren't available at the D-III level for recruiting. Only two players are above 6'4" and five are 6'0" or less. Both centers will probably start in this game as an attempt to slightly level the height disadvantage. This team graduated a lot of talent last year but they do return their top two guards in Matheson and Owens. Expect them to get heavy minutes along with Jackson and Works.
Stats and Other Info
Pitt-Bradford isn't a horrible Division III team. Last season they shot 44% from two point range but struggled from beyond the arc as a team. Matheson and Welch seem to be the only real threats at knocking down threes with 44% and 39% shooting, respectively. It was almost impossible to find what type of style they play (There's barely any recent footage of them). I think it may be some kind of an uptempo scheme as they do manage around 72 points per game. This team is pretty good at the charity stripe as they made 73% of their freebies. They also did a great job with the assist total (12 per game).
There isn't anything notable for the most part on their schedule but they do play Medaille and D'Youville.
Can We Win?
It'll be a looooong season if we don't blow this team out.