Team: Buffalo Bulls
Coach: Bobby Hurley
Record last year: 19-10, 13-5 MAC
Lost to Eastern Michigan in MAC tourney quarterfinals.
Early 2014-15 record: 9-3
* All rankings/stats are among MAC teams unless otherwise noted:
One of the big challenges for head coach Bobby Hurley and the Bulls this year is replacing the contributions of several key departed players.
It doesn’t get more key than MAC Player of the Year Javon McCrea. Add in the contributions of point guard Jarod Oldham and Josh Freelove. That’s about 40 points of offense, not to mention experience and other skills.
Hurley, now in his second year at the helm, would probably like to get a little more consistency out of the Bulls this year. It’s still a little early to tell, but UB has just three losses. Two were to highly ranked teams. Buffalo actually led No. 1 Kentucky 38-33 at the half before falling 71-52. The Bulls also lost at St. Bonaventure (72-63) and No. 6 Wisconsin (68-56). UB also led at intermission against the Badgers, 27-26).
Here’s more on the Bulls:
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-- UB is hitting 42.8 percent (7th) from the field, while opponents are at 39.9 percent (4th). Justin Moss, who leads the Bulls with a 16.4 ppg average, is third in the conference in shooting percentage (49.7%)
-- Three Bulls players carry double figure averages: Moss (16.4), Shannon Evans (16.0) and Jarryn Skeete (10.9)
-- Overall, UB has connected on 76-of-203 3-point attempts. The 37.4 percent is good for sixth among MAC teams. Opponents are hitting 29.6 percent (2nd),
Skeete, a junior, is tied for first among MAC 3-point shooters with a a 50 percent conversion rate (25-of-50). He is third in treys per outing (2.8).
-- Evans is third in free throw percentage (53-of-64, 82.8%). Lamonte Bearden is fifth, converting 40-of-50 (80%).
-- Buffalo has been very productive at the free throw line, ranking second in made free throws (214) and third in FT percentage (73.5%).
-- Moss leads the league in rebounds (9.4 rpg). As a team, the Bulls rank third in caroms (38.8 rpg).
-- Buffalo’s 12.6 turnovers per game is sixth in the conference. With an average of 13.5 assists per game, UB is sixth in assist-to-turnover ration.
-- Evans and Skeete are fourth and fifth, respectively, in steals.