When Nate Oats took over the Bulls last year he made extensive use of Junior College transfers to help backfill for players who transferred and commitments who went elsewhere after Bobby Hurley left. The results were spectacular.
Oats' team exhibited a depth which was key to their competitiveness during the season and successful run to the Mid-American Conference title in Cleveland.
So even though UB did a fine job recruiting prep players it's no surprise that Oats keeps an eye open for JUCO talent that can help his team play for a three-peat next season. Earlier today VerbalCommits.com and Brad Winton of JUCOrecruiting.com announced that Oats pulled in point guard Dontay Caruthers from Indian Hills Community College.
If the name Indian Hills seems familiar it could be as Justin Moss' basketball home immediately before Buffalo. Moss played two seasons in Buffalo, helped the Bulls win their first MAC title in 2014-15, and went on to be named the Mid American Player of the Year that season.
Before Indian Hills Caruthers also played in the NJCAA at Midland with UB assistant coach Bryan Hodgson, where he averaged 10 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds per game. Most impressively, his field goal percentage was 48%. Combined with a 30% three point shooting percentage a picture of a guard who drives for quality shots emerges.
That seems to be a good fit for the Nate Oats system.
While Oats pulled Caruthers from Indian Hills the JUCO did not play this season, leaving him with three years of eligibility.
Coming to Buffalo is a near homecoming for Donte, who played his high school ball at East High in Rochester, where he was a prolific scorer, including multiple 50-point games in a senior season that earned him Class A First Team All-NYS honors.
The addition raises some questions about UB's scholarship distribution, which we thought was set for 2016-17. UB started the 2015-16 year one scholarship below the limit, but added Stefan Duric midseason. Jarryn Skeete, Rodell Wigginton, and Mory Diane leave while Brock Bertram, Quate McKinzie, and James Jones come in. Caruthers' joining the fold appears to tip the Bulls one too heavy.