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Raheem Johnson's injury and its significance to the Buffalo Bulls basketball scholarship distribution

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Men's basketball team got news today that Raheem Johnson will be missing the rest of the season. Raheem is going to be taking a redshirt so that means he'll be back next season. What this does is cause an interesting outlook for UB's depth chart and scholarship allocation for the coming years. It's a good time to look at that so here goes:

So looking at how things are going this year, our front court is the main problem. It's been struggling but we are making do with what we have. Hopefully, the performance we recently saw from Kadiri is an indication of what we're going to get from now on. Earlier this season, Kadiri was hobbled by a knee injury and it could make sense to why he didn't play as well. If he continues to step up, it will make losing Raheem a little less painful.

So, after this season, things are looking up. Oats will have a nice balance of seniors and experienced underclassmen. It's too early to actually tell, but it could be reminiscent of Hurley's second season here in Buffalo. An experienced 5th year Raheem will be back along with the likes of Conner, Kadiri, and Hamilton. This is could be Oats' best shot to make the tournament and maybe even win a game in it. The addition of Quate McKinzie and Brock Bertram will be huge for the front court.

After that, things start to get a little tricky. The bottom line though is that UB needs a true point guard in the next recruiting class to make up for the void that Lamonte Bearden leaves after he graduates. This is the only place where there isn't a ton of positional balance when it comes to scholarship allocation. There might be a little fall off here and Oats' may have to rebuild just a little more but things are looking good after that.

Here's what the scholarship chart will look like at the 2016-17 season tips off


One Year Left

Two Years

Three Years

Four Years

Point Guard


Lamonte Bearden

CJ Massinburg


Shooting Guard

Willie Conner


Nikola Rakicevic

James Jones, Stefan Duric

Wing

Blake Hamilton




Forward

David Kadiri


Nick Perkins

Quate McKinzie

Center

Raheem Johnson


Ikenna Smart

Brock Bertram


Note: Oats has indicated that he'll likely redshirt Duric this season.

On another note, Raheem Johnson probably played the Iowa State game as hard as he did so the coaching staff would know if this was going to be an all season problem for him before they'd give up a scholarship to Jalen Harris. This would help avoid the mess of both Harris and Duric committing.

As of now, Jalen Harris (3 Star from Word of God) hasn't received any bigger offers since reopening his commitment. There was reason to think that with a scholarship remaining, UB might still reel in the point guard. Now, however, ten full months before the season starts, Oats has a full 13 scholarships accounted for on the 2016-17 roster.

Depending on how you move around Massinburg (PG/SG) and Rakicevic (SG/W), UB is sitting on decent positional distribution at least, for the next three years, but Johnson's return means that it will be even more important to secure a true point guard in the next recruiting class. Either way, this will be an interesting story to follow for the next few seasons to come.