Feb 05, 2018
Buffalo (17-6, 9-1 MAC) at Central Michigan (15-8, 4-6 MAC)
February 6, 2018
McGuirk Arena - 7:00 pm
Bulls on the Air
Radio - ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
Television - ESPN3/WatchESPN App
• The Bulls return to the road for two straight games against the MAC West beginning on Tuesday night with a trip to Central Michigan. The Chippewas are one of just two MAC teams that UB has not seen yet this season. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams.
• Buffalo holds an 18-14 lead in the all-time series and has won the last four meetings, including the most important one, which was for the 2015 MAC Tournament Championship. Last season, UB scored an average of 100.0 points in the two games with Central Michigan.
• Buffalo has won 11 straight games against MAC West teams dating back to last year, its longest streak against the opposite division since joining the league. UB will play its next two games against the MAC West, heading to Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.
• After recording 21 assists on Friday night, the Bulls are now averaging 17.5 assists per game in 10 MAC contests. UB is averaging 16.8 assists per game, which is top 30 in the nation. Five times this season, UB has recorded 20 or more assists in a game.
• UB's 17-6 record is its best record through 23 games since the 2008-09 season when they also went 17-6 through 23 games. That was also the last time that Buffalo was 9-1 in Mid-American Conference play.
• Buffalo is currently 22nd in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 83.3 points per game. UB has only averaged 80.0 for an entire season once in their school history back during the 1970-71 season. On Tuesday night, Buffalo will be playing a Central Michigan team that averaged over 80.0 points per game last season with Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson.
• Junior Jeremy Harris averaged 18.0 points in Buffalo's two games last week. He was dominant from behind the arc as he made 8-of-10 his three pointers during the week. Harris was a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in the win over Western Michigan. Harris is shooting 50% from three in MAC games, hitting 27-of-54.
• Central Michigan is coming off a double overtime road win at Ohio on Saturday afternoon and they are 15-8 on the year and 4-6 in the league. The Chippewas began the year 12-2 as they rolled through non-conference, but have won just three of their last nine. CMU is currently riding a two-game winning streak.
• Central Michigan has four players averaging double figures led by Shawn Roundtree, who is averaging 15.0 points per game and a team-high 95 assists. Cecil Williams is adding 14.8 points and David DiLeo is averaging 12.6 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. Luke Meyer chips in 10.0 points per contest.
• The Chippewas are the best free throw shooting teams in the country as CMU shoots 80.5% as a team from the line which leads all of the NCAA. Central Michigan is the only team in the country to shoot better than 80% from the line.
• Keno Davis is in his sixth season as head coach at Central Michigan. In 2016-17, that Davis-coached offense ranked third in the nation, averaging an explosive 88.3 points per game, triggered by the dynamic backcourt duo of Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson, the former the nation's leading scorer. In one season at Drake and three at Providence, Davis compiled a 74-55 (.574) record and made two postseason appearance. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Drake, Davis served as an assistant under his father, Dr. Tom Davis, at Drake from 2003-07. Keno Davis began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant for two years under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana. Keno and his father share the distinction of being the only father-son duo to have captured national coach of the year honors.
How The West Was Won
Buffalo has won 11 straight games against the MAC West as it begins a three-game stretch against teams from the opposite division. The Bulls have won all six of their games against the West this season with wins over Toledo, Ball State, Northern Illinois,Eastern Michigan, and twice against Western Michigan. UB heads to road games at Central Michigan and Northern Illinois. The Bulls will look to sweep the season series from the Huskies when it travels to DeKalb on Saturday.
The 11 wins in a row against the West is the longest streak for UB since joining the league. Kent State has already played six games against the MAC West and has the second best record amongst East schools this year at 4-2.
Junior CJ Massinburg became the newest member of the 1,000-point club in the MAC opener against Toledo as he scored 27 points against the Rockets. Massinburg is the 20th player to score 1,000 points for the Bulls and he is the seventh fastest to do so, achieving it in his 73rd career game, which is quicker than previous MAC Players of the Year Turner Battle, Mitchell Watt, and all-time leading scorer, Javon McRea.
After scoring just eight points in the opener, Massinburg has scored double figures in each of the last 15 games, scoring at least 20 points nine times. He scored 30 at Delaware, the second time in his career he has done that. Twice this year, Massinburg has been named the MAC East Player of the Week and he is currently second in the MAC in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Massinburg is also UB's leading rebounder on the season, as he is averaging 8.3 boards per contest, which is fourth in the league. He has a team-high seven double-doubles on the year, including recording a career-high 14 boards at Delaware. The seven double-doubles are tied for second most in the Mid-American Conference. He was most recently named to the watch list for the Lou Henson Award, which is awarded to the nation's top mid major player.
Following his 16-point game against Northern Illinois, Massinburg moved into 15th place on UB's all-time scoring list passing UB Hall of Famer, Harold Kuhn. Massinburg had the 11th 20-point game of his season on Friday against Western Michigan and he currently has 1,160 points.
Mr. 1000 (Part 2)
Junior Nick Perkins got off to a fast start to the 2017-18 season as the Ypsilanti, MI native had a career-high 26 points in the season-opening win over Canisius. The 26 points were the most by a UB player in a season opener since Nikolai Alexeev had 26 against Niagara on November 19, 1999.
Perkins became the latest member of the 1,000 point club as he scored 20 points at Ohio on Jan. 26 to became the 21st player in school history to accomplish the feat.
Perkins came off the bench for the first time this season against Syracuse and he ended up leading the Bulls in scoring with 18 points, while also pulling down seven rebounds, including six offensive ones. Perkins has had some of his best games against Power 5 competition. In addition to 18 against Syracuse on Dec. 19, Perkins had 20 points as a freshman against Miami (FL) in the NCAA Tournament, and last season he added 23 points at Pitt. He added 17 points against SEC foe Texas A&M. Perkins had his first double-double of the year with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Toledo. He recorded back-to-back double-doubles following his 15 points and 11 rebounds at Ball State. Perkins has now come off the bench in 11 straight games and he is averaging 19.3 points per game in those contests. Perkins was named the MAC East Player of the Week following back-to-back wins to open conference play where he averaged 19.5 point and 10.5 rebounds.
Perkins tied his career high with 26 points in the win over Northern Illinois and he added 18 points and nine rebounds against Western Michigan to earned MAC East Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. He currently leads UB in scoring in MAC play at 18.4 per game, which is fourth in the league.
Wild, Wild Wes
The Bulls got a huge boost to their lineup prior to the Syracuse game on Dec. 19 as senior Wes Clark was cleared to play by the NCAA, marking his first collegiate game since February 13, 2016 when he played for Missouri. Clark, who joined UB last January, has been practicing with Buffalo since then, but he was finally able to play in his first game at Syracuse.
Clark scored 15 points and had six assists in his UB debut, picking up the start and playing 34 minutes. Clark added 17 points and eight assists against Texas A&M. Clark scored 27 points in his Alumni Arena debut on Dec. 29, scoring 13 of those points in the overtime period. It was a new career high for Clark as he scored 26 against South Carolina, while playing for Missouri.
He played his high school basketball for Buffalo head coach Nate Oats at Romulus High School right outside of Detroit, MI.
Clark had 25 points and five assists in the win over Toledo. Clark played his first ever college game in his home state of Michigan on Friday night at Western Michigan and was impressive finishing with 17 points and a career-high nine assists. Clark had his second nine-assist game against the Broncos on Friday night, while adding 13 points. He is averaging 5.9 assists per game.
One the most of anticipated newcomers is wearing #2 on the Buffalo team and that is junior college transfer Jeremy Harris, who came to UB from Gulf Coast College, where he was ranked as the second best junior college player in the nation by JUCORecruiting.com.
Harris had a pair of 17-point games during the Cayman Classic as he recorded double figures in scoring in all three games. He had17 points and six rebounds against nationally-ranked Cincinnati and added 17 points and four assists in the win over UAB. He had 11 points and five assists against South Dakota State. His best game so far came against Niagara as he finished with a career-high 23 points, going 5-of-8 from three-point range. He also added seven rebounds and six assists. Harris recorded his first career double-double against Central Penn and added 14 points and nine rebounds in the win over Robert Morris. Harris had a big afternoon against Ball State as he finished with 16 points in the win over the Cardinals. He followed that up by scoring a game-high 17 points in the win at Akron. Harris continued his tear through MAC play as he tied his career high with 23 points in the win over Miami, recording his second double-double as he had 10 rebounds.
Following the wins over Akron and Miami Harris was named the MAC East Player of the Week, the third straight week UB has done it with three different players. Harris tied for team-high honors with 20 points in the win at Western Michigan last Friday night, going 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Harris had one of his best all-around games on Tuesday against Eastern Michigan, finishing with 22 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, which was tied for the most by a UB play this year. He had another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Ohio, his fourth of the year. Harris had 20 points against Kent State, the third time in the last four games hes has had 20 or more points. He is averaging 16.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in conference games. He is shooting 56.9% from the floor and 50% from three, hitting 27-of-54 from behind the arc.
Dialing From Long Distance
The Bulls had one of their best games from behind the arc in school history in the loss at nationally-ranked Texas A&M on Dec. 21. The Bulls hit 17 three-pointers in the game, second in school history, and the most since hitting 18 against Troy State on Feb. 22, 1996 when UB went 18-for-40 in the contest.
Buffalo shot 17-of-39 from behind the arc against the Aggies as four players hit at least three triples, led by a career-high six three pointers from CJ Massinburg. Senior Wes Clark and juniors Jeremy Harris and Montell McRae each hit three. McRae was a perfect 3-of-3. The 17 three's made by the Bulls were the most by a MAC school against a Division I opponent this year.
It can be argued that sophomore Davonta Jordan is one of the most improved players in the nation from last season and that was capped off with his first career 20-point game at Delaware. Jordan averaged just 2.5 points per game last year, but this season he is averaging 7.8 points per game. Through the first 23 games, Jordan has 180 points, more than double the 76 he scored all of last year. He has 16 three-pointers, 14 more than last year. Jordan had 15 points in the win over Toledo, and he added eight points and four assists in the win over Akron.
Leading The Charge
Head coach Nate Oats begins his third year on the Buffalo sidelines, having comprised a record of 37-30 during his first two years. He is the only coach in UB school history to record 20 wins in his first season as a head coach and his 37 wins in his first two years are the second most by a UB coach behind only Bobby Hurley, who had 42 wins over his first two years.
Oats surpassed his predecessor on Dec. 9 vs. Central Penn as he picked up his 43rd win in his 76th game as head coach. Oats recently moved past V. William Hughes (1978-82) for seventh place on the all-time wins list and he is the fourth fastest UB head coach to 50 wins and the quickest in UB's Modern Era. Oats is currently 54-36 as head coach for the Bulls.
The Bulls hit the magical 100-point number for the first time this season during their 106-87 victory at Niagara. The 106 points tied the school record for points scored in a road game, matching the total from March 2, 1974 at Rochester. It was only the fourth time ever that Buffalo had scored triple figures in a road game and it was the most points in a road game since a 100-92 win at Chicago State on November 21, 2001.
For the first time since the 1997-98 season, the Bulls hit 100 points in multiple games in the same season following their 104-94 win against Toledo in the MAC opener. The 104 points were the second most scored by UB in a MAC game and their most ever in regulation of a MAC contest. While the Bulls have already scored 100 or more twice against D-I schools, the rest of the league combined only has one 100-point performance against a D-I opponent.
Luck Of The Irish
Freshman Jayvon Graves comes to Buffalo from one of the most well known high schools in the country in the St.Vincent-St. Mary's out of Akron, OH, the same high school as NBA MVP and World Champion, LeBron James. Nicknamed the Fighting Irish, Graves and his high school teammates won the Ohio State Championship last season and Graves was named the Ohio State Player of the Year.
Graves scored 11 points, while adding six rebounds in the win over Central Penn. He had his second straight double-digit performance with 10 points against Robert Morris.
Graves recorded a career high 16 points in the win at Ball State as he went 5-for-8 from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc. He added 11 points in his homecoming at Akron.
Junior Ikenna Smart made his season debut against Robert Morris after missing the first nine games of the season due to a back injury. Playing in his 67th career game, Smart recorded a new career high in scoring with 12 points as he went a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in 21 minutes of action. Smart had his first career double-double in his 78th career game, as he finished with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in the win at Ohio