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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball will try to put two home losses in the rearview mirror with road trip to Kent State

Buffalo Bulls men’s basketball finds themselves on a one game road trip following two consecutive home losses to Ohio and Ball State. The Bulls now focus their attention on the Kent State Golden Flashes. Since Nate Oats came to Buffalo, he’s been 6-0 over the Golden Flashes.

Rob Senderoff is currently in his sixth year as head coach. Four of the years under his tenure has seen his teams get 19 or more wins and he’s achieved postseason appearances in 3 of them—all CIT bids. Senderoff currently holds a 109-75 record and a 2015 regular season MAC title to his name.

Kent State isn’t in that much better position this year than UB. The Golden Flashes are currently 9-8 overall with one of the worst non-conference slates in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes challenged themselves with matchups against Division I bottom feeders like Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State. Kent does have one decent win on their resume against Texas.

Kent is lead by the scoring trio of Jimmy Hall, Jaylin Walker, and Edwin Deon. For the third year in a row, Hall leads all scorers with 17.2 points per game and also brings in 10.2 boards per night. Walker is the Golden Flashes biggest three-point threat, scoring 15.4 per game. Finally, Deon scores 12.4 a night.

What to watch for

1. Take two, but with better defense

UB had the offense that they needed to take down Ball State, but the defensive pressure lagged in the 92-77 loss. If the Bulls can’t stop a team that isn’t that great at shooting, then it might be a long conference season ahead of us.

2. Minimize Kent’s dominance on the glass

Kent State wins games by snatching the offensive board and resetting possession in the process. In fact, their the second best team next to UNC in that regard. But, the Kent gives up a lot of O-boards themselves and UB will have to capitalize on that. The defensive rebounds that Buffalo gets, the better the chance of winning this game.

3. The tempo

Kent isn’t afraid of pushing the pace when their offense is clicking and when that happens, they can score 100 points. I’m not as confident that Buffalo could ever do that this season. This is all the more reason why the Bulls need to lock down on defense.

4. Turning the ball over

This should be a good game fore defensive catalysts like Dontay Caruthers. The Golden Flashes are 227th in the nation at turnover percentage and UB could do some real damage by getting some quick transition buckets from steals.