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Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball Preview: Old Dominion Monarchs

The Bulls will hit the road to face a top-50 team with a strong home-court advantage

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

One of the major highlights to this years OOC schedule is that Buffalo will be playing in this year's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic. Thanks to this schedule addition we are able to add two higher profile teams to our schedule. One of these teams are the Old Dominion Monarchs, last season a top 50 team that was borderline on making the NCAA tournament. They accepted a bid to the NIT and made it to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Stanford. This year, they return a team of roughly the same caliber and should have a chance of going to the NCAA Tournament.

Quick Facts

Opponent: Old Dominion

Head Coach: Jeff Jones (402-312, in 3rd year at ODU)

Date: Mon. 11/16/2015

Home/Away: Away

Opponent's Mascot: Some Lion with a crown (Nickname is the Monarchs)

2014-15 Season Record: 27-8 (13-5 C-USA)

Postseason: Lost to Stanford in NIT Semifinal

Returning Starters: 3

All Time Series: This will be the first time that the Bulls play the Monarchs

As you can see, they have a very experienced coach who has had coaching stops at Virginia and American. The only thing that doesn't get mentioned above is that ODU was a perfect 20-0 last season when they played at home. It's going to be tough to come out of that arena with a win.

Roster Analysis

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This team is much bigger than Pitt-Bradford. My biggest concern is Payton Pervier. ODU seems to have a very capable center who checks in at 7'1". That puts all of our guys at a slight disadvantage. Luckily, Raheem Johnson is pretty good defensively and should prevent him from having a good night. Also, pay attention to Trey Freeman. Last season he was ODU's top scorer and three point shooter.

Stats and Other Info

Old Dominion has a very interesting style of play. Last season they came in at only 65 points per game. They tend to slow down the tempo and the three ball seems to be neglected often. ODU is a very defensive minded type of team and was the eighth best team in the nation last year in scoring defense. They held their opponents to 57 points per game. I would usually be very concerned but I'm happy to be hearing that Oats is also focusing more on defense this year which could mean that this is an ugly defensive slugfest. For the most part, this team shoots well from the charity stripe and their rebounding is decent at 36 per game.

Notable Opponents

  • Niagara 11/13 (UB could play them)
  • Purdue 11/21 (NCAA Tourney Team)
  • VCU 11/28 (UB plays them + Tourney Team)
  • Rhode Island 12/22 (NIT Team)
  • UAB 1/14 (NCAA Tourney Team)
A win against Old Dominion would be huge for our RPI. This team plays a number of quality opponents and if they get a win against Rhode Island, it would dramatically help our strength of schedule. They also play VCU before us so we can get some good information out of that game.

Can We Win?

We have better chances here then the likes of Duke and Iowa State. We have to control the tempo of this game if we're going to win or we'll lose at their game of keeping the score low. Also, I like our chances more because it's right at the beginning of the season and we can catch them off guard.