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Buffalo Men’s Basketball Preview: Bulls open season against St. Francis (PA)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Buffalo vs Kentucky Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The day has finally come. After a long off-season of waiting on the Buffalo Bulls Men’s basketball team to return, they will finally be back on the court tonight. The Bulls take on St. Francis (PA) tonight in a game that they are favored to win, however they should not look past to their big Friday-night matchup.

While the last time UB took the court was a slugfest of a very talented D2 team, this will be a different challenge for the Bulls as every game begins to count towards the big dance however. With Buffalo being a heavy MAC favorite, they will need to come out and prove that they belong with the big schools every game they play this season.

So what should we all be looking for out of this game? Should we expect another beat down like we did a few Fridays ago, or should we be planning for every game to be a slugfest challenge. I’d like to assume every game will be easy, but we all know that isn’t the case. Let’s take a look at some specifics to watch tonight.

What to Watch For

The Big Three

If you aren’t familiar with UB Basketball, there are three guys you will get to know very quickly. They are seniors Nick Perkins, CJ Massinburg, and Jeremy Harris. These three last season proved to be too much for teams to handle as Massinburg and Harris were able to shoot lights out and Perkins could fight down in the paint with the best of them. These three are going to be the key to the Bulls success both through their play, as well as their senior leadership. Look for them all to have big nights even if they aren’t scoring. The stats sheet will be filled with these three.

The New Guys

Bryan Hodgson is one of the most underrated talents in college basketball with the way he recruits. Thankfully, he was able to pull in Ronaldo Segu and Jeenathan Williams, two highly sought after freshman. While both made an impact in the Daemen game, I am eager to see what role they fill tonight, as well as their impact on the games that matter. This will be a good start for them at home before they travel to play with some of the big teams in the nation.

Dontay Caruthers

If anyone knows me (Kevin), they know I’m very big on Dontay Caruthers. The senior got off to an incredible start last season before being slowed down by injury, and has always been one of the best defenders in the MAC. His offense seems to finally be coming along and he has dropped weight this off-season which has shown with his increased athleticism attacking the rim. I think Caruthers can easily turn the big three in to the big four, and people should not be sleeping on his impact on this team.

Final Thoughts

A 4 p.m. game is tough, and there really just isn’t any way to dance around it. Try and make it if you can, but know that you will also have plenty of times to see one of the top basketball teams in the state play. I expect the Bulls to keep up where they left off last season with pushing the pace of the game and scoring a lot of points. I believe that this team is too talented to lose games like tonight, so I have them coming out on top 86-70. I think Buffalo will be able to ride a hot start all the way through the game and we will be able to get some good looks at how the team will be fairing this season. Also don’t forget to head over to UB stadium following the conclusion of the basketball game because there is another talented Bulls squad playing right after. As always enjoy the game, and go Bulls!