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Buffalo Bulls Men's Basketball Preview: Eastern Michigan Eagles

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The men's season is starting to get a little interesting as the team is showing a lot of promise early in conference play. Buffalo lost by a small margin to the MAC favorite in Akron. UB then followed that up with a road win over Kent State where it seemed like they had complete control. If the Bulls can have another solid performance in this next game over Eastern Michigan, a top four seed shouldn't be out of question. So let's get to our preview of the Eagles:

Quick Facts

Opponent: Eastern Michigan

Head Coach: Rob Murphy (82-71, 5th year with Eastern Michigan)

Date/Time: 1/12/16, 7:00 PM

Home/Away: Away

Opponent's Mascot: An eagle

Current Record: 9-6 (1-1 MAC)

2014-15 Season Record: 21-14 (8-10 MAC)

Postseason: Lost to Louisiana-Monroe in Round 1 of the CBI

All-Time Series: Buffalo leads 12-9

Opponent's Roster and Stats

Player Position Height MIN PPG RPG APG FG% FT% 3P%
James Thompson IV C 6'10" 29.9 15.3 10.9 0.6 0.718 0.6 0
Raven Lee G 6'3" 24 15.1 1.8 1.8 0.452 0.8 0.372
Willie Mangum IV G 6'1" 27.6 14.1 2.7 1.9 0.386 0.74 0.304
Brandon Nazione F 6'8" 26.5 9.6 6.5 1.5 0.568 0.714 0.5
Ty Toney G 6'2" 27.8 9.3 3.2 3.4 0.342 0.692 0.172
Tim Bond G 6'7" 27.5 7.5 3.5 2.9 0.446 0.737 0.308
Jodan Price F 6'8" 21.9 7.2 2 0.5 0.391 0.667 0.344
Ethan Alvano G 6'1" 10.3 3.5 1 1.2 0.281 0.773 0
Jordan Martin G 6'3" 8.3 2.6 3.1 0.3 0.333 0.529 0
Jordan Nobles F 6'9" 7.9 1.8 1.9 0.1 0.45 0.5 0
Trent Perry G 6'4" 9.1 1.8 0.4 0.3 0.24 0 0.222
Totals -- 78 38 13 0.452 0.684 0.293

This is going to be another tough challenge for UB's interior defense. Eastern Michigan easily has the best freshman in the conference. James Thompson is shooting for 15ppg on an outstanding 72% shooting. Thompson is a double double machine and if UB can stop him, EMU will struggle. EMU also has an experienced guard in Raven Lee. Lee is shooting the ball really well and averaging the same as Thompson.

Notable Opponents

  • Won against Vermont (UB won against them)
  • Lost to #3 Michigan State
  • Played four non-Division I teams

Can We Win?

I think UB pulls away with a win in this one, especially if they show the solid interior defense they had against Kent State. EMU can't really shoot that well from outside. If we focus this one on the interior, I think we pull out another MAC road win.