After two strong seasons leading the Bulls at point guard, Lamonte Bearden has asked for a release and will transfer from the University at Buffalo. Bearden came to the program as an immediate impact starter out of Wisconsin, taking the Bulls to back to back Mid-American Conference Championships and two NCAA Tournament bids. The junior was the Bulls' leading scorer last season at 13.7 points per game.
In his freshman year, Bearden was touted as a high-level recruit out of Germantown, Wisconsin and an impressive get for then-second-year head coach Bobby Hurley. Lamonte finished the 2014-15 season with 8.3 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Last season, Bearden took on a larger role after massive offseason chaos. The University dismissed MAC Player of the Year Justin Moss and second leading scorer Shannon Evans followed the now-departed Hurley to Arizona State. Lamonte struggled early, trying to force more scoring but improved with time, finishing with 13.8 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Bearden had many exciting moments as a Bull ranging from multiple Sportscenter Top-10 appearances to his game-winning shot in UB's first sellout since the Alumni Arena renovations. However, the junior also faced a three game suspension in MAC play last season.
Second year head coach Nate Oats will now have an extra scholarship to give. He could go out and find an under-recruited freshman guard or save the open scholarship for next year's recruiting. As for right now, Buffalo doesn't seem to take a huge hit by this transfer. Blake Hamilton has shown that he can play the point and CJ Massinburg has continued to work at being a true combo guard in the offseason. Incoming players James Jones and Dontay Caruthers have also been playing at a high level since they've arrived at UB.
At this time we do not know where Lamonte will transfer. We wish him good luck in his future endeavors.