It will come as no surprise that UB has no representatives on the All-MAC First Team this year, but you don't pull together a winning team and a bye to Cleveland without a ton of talent, and four Bulls were honored by the conference this afternoon, as juniors Blake Hamilton and Willie Conner, sophomore Lamonte Bearden, and freshman CJ Massinburg all found their way onto the conference teams.
Hamilton and Bearden are UB's leading scorers, with 12.9 and 13.6 points per game, respectively, and both find their way to the All-MAC Third Team. Bearden of course is the usual point guard for Buffalo and adds 4.0 assists per game, good for seventh in the MAC. Hamilton, who was a hair away from UB's second-ever triple double against Binghamton this year, has played anywhere from point guard to power forward and has the secondary stats to prove it, as he leads the team in rebounds and is second in assists, steals, and (among regulars) three-point shooting.
Massinburg, to no surprise, represents the Bulls on the All-Freshman team. He's unlikely to win Freshman of the Year tomorrow, but has been a revelation for Buffalo, averaging 11 points along with a handful of rebounds, assists, and steals. He may very likely finish the season as one of the three highest-scoring freshmen in program history.
To find the success in this season, one only needs to look to the week in the spring when Hamilton, Massinburg, and Willie Conner all signed their Letters of Intent. All four average in double digits for the Bulls, but it's Conner's defensive prowess that earns him recognition today as a member of the 2016 All-MAC Defensive Team, a new award this season decided, like the other teams, by a vote of the conference's head coaches.
If past years are indication, we should expect Player, Freshman, Coach, Sixth Man, and Defensive Player of the Year announcements
tomorrow over the next two days. At least some of those awards are voted by media, which doesn't help Buffalo, but given the job that Nate Oats has done in his first season as a head coach, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see his name tomorrow.