Nov 20, 2018
#22/#25 Buffalo (3-0) vs. Dartmouth (3-1)
November 21, 2018
Alumni Arena - 7:00 pm
Bulls on the Air
Radio - ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
Television - ESPN+
• Following a nine-day break, the Bulls will finally return to the floor when they host Dartmouth at Alumni Arena. Both the Bulls and Big Green will be taking part in the upcoming Belfast Hall of Fame Classic next week. UB is looking for their first 4-0 start to a season since 1986-87 when Buffalo started the year with five straight wins. Wednesday night's game will mark UB's first ever home game as a nationally ranked program.
• The Bulls are ranked 22nd in the latest AP Poll as they become just the third MAC program to be nationally ranked by the Associated Press since 2000 joining Kent State in 2008 and Ball State in December of 2001 where they peaked at 15th in the nation. UB is ranked 25th in the USA Today coaches poll, the first MAC program since Akron in 2012-13 when they were ranked #25.
• The Bulls defeated Southern Illinois 62-53 last Monday, it was its lowest scoring output in a win since the Bulls defeated Drexel on the road 55-52 on December 29, 2013. It was just the fourth time UB has won a game when scoring under 70 points in the Nate Oats era.
• UB senior CJ Massinburg moved into sixth place on UB's all-time scoring list surpassing Hall of Famer Turner Battle (2001-05) with 1,415 career points. Next on the list is Yassin Idbihi (2003-07) who finished his career with 1,514 points.
• Dartmouth enters Wednesday night's game with a 3-1 record and the Big Green are averaging 93.0 points per game. Dartmouth is coming off a 100-54 win over Elms College, one of two non-Division I wins already this year for the Big Green. Dartmouth's only loss came by three points at Davidson. Following Wednesday's game, Dartmouth will play at San Francisco before joining Buffalo in Northern Ireland next week.
• Five Dartmouth players are averaging double figures and six players are averaging 9.3 points or better. Andrease Jackson leads Dartmouth at 16.8 points per game, while he also grabs 7.3 rebounds per contest. Brendan Barry has 15.3 points per game and a team-high 19 assists, while Chris Knight averages 12.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. Dartmouth is shooting .470 from behind the arc through four games this year.
• Dartmouth was picked to finish eighth of eight teams in the preseason Ivy League poll as they received 21 points. Harvard was picked to win the league with 137 points and Penn was picked to finish second.
• David McLaughlin was hired as the 28th head coach of the Big Green men's basketball program on April 25, 2016. McLaughlin came to Dartmouth after serving three years as the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Northeastern University, during which time the Huskies posted a combined record of 52-48. In 2014-15, he helped guide the Huskies to a 23-12 overall record and a regular season co-championship in the Colonial Athletic Association, as well as the CAA Tournament Championship to secure the school's first bid to the NCAA Tournament in 24 years. Prior to his tenure at Northeastern, McLaughlin was the head coach at Division II Stonehill College in the Northeast-10 Conference. The NABC Regional Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2011, and the NE-10 Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2010, McLaughlin is the all-time wins leader at Stonehill.
Nationally-Ranked Bulls Return To Alumni Arena Wednesday Night
For the first time in two weeks the Bulls will play in front of the home crowd as UB hosts Dartmouth on Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. It will be the first of two straight games at home, both against opponents who will travel across the pond with Buffalo for the Belfast Hall of Fame Classic. After playing three games in seven days in three different states to open the season, UB is playing its first game following a nine-day break.
This will be the third all-time meeting between these schools and the first one in Buffalo since the 1927-28 season when Dartmouth won 34-31 on Dec. 20, 1927. The Big Green won the other meeting on Dec. 29, 1996 in Toledo, OH at the Toledo MVP Classic, 64-44. The Bulls are 19-38 all-time against the Ivy League with most of those games coming against Cornell.
UB In the National Rankings
Buffalo has become the 10th different MAC program to be ranked in the national AP poll in their history. All schools have been ranked at least once, except Akron and Central Michigan, however since 2000, only Kent State and Ball State have found their way into the national rankings. The Golden Flashes were the last program to do it, as they were ranked #23 in 2008, while Ball State spent four weeks in the polls during the 2001-02 season, peaking at #15. They also spent four weeks in the polls during the 1988-89 season, including finishing the year 18th in the country.
Three MAC programs have been in the Top 10 in their program's history as Bowling Green was seventh back during the 1961-62 season. Toledo, who has spent 22 weeks in the Top 25 in their history, was ninth in 1963-64, and Ohio has the highest ranking ever by a MAC school as they were fifth for two weeks in 1969-70.
As for Western New York programs in the Big 4, Canisius was ranked for 11 weeks during the 1956-57 season, while Niagara has spent 20 weeks in the polls, most recently in the 1969-70 season. St. Bonaventure has had the most success in the AP Poll as they have spent 82 weeks ranked over their history, ranking as high at #2 in the country. The last time they were ranked was during the 1970-71 season nearly 48 years ago.
I'm A Man, I'm 40!
Senior CJ Massinburg had a career night on Friday in the win at nationally-ranked West Virgina as he scored 43 points and 14 rebounds. His 43 points are the fourth highest total by a player in the nation this year.
Massinburg is only the second player to surpass the 40-point mark against a Bob Huggins coached team at West Virginia and he is the first to do it since Andrew Wiggins of Kansas had 41 points on March 8, 2014. He is just the 10th player in that time frame to have at least 14 rebounds in a game against West Virginia and the first to do it from the guard position.
The career performance helps move him even closer to becoming UB's all-time leading scorer. Massinburg currently has 1,415 career points, which is sixth all-time in school history as he passed Turner Battle (2001-05) in the game at Southern Illinois. Next up on the list is Yassin Idbihi (2003-2007) who is in fifth place with 1,514 points. With a strong senior season, Massinburg could surpass the 2,000-point mark and become Buffalo's all-time leading scorer.
Massinburg had 1,354 points, 542 rebounds and 214 assists through his junior season. He one of just four players nationally with at least 1,300 career points, 500 career rebounds, and 200 career assists joining Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), John Konchar (Fort Wayne), and Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State). Massinburg played in the fewest amount of games of that group at 95.
Bulls Take Down Mountaineers In Morgantown
The Bulls are coming off one of their best wins in school history as they defeated West Virginia on Friday night, 99-94, in overtime. It was UB's first ever road win over a team in the top 25 as the Mountaineers entered the game ranked 13th. Over the last four years, Buffalo is the only non-Big 12 team to come into Morgantown and leave with a win over West Virginia while they have been ranked in the Top 25. Dating back to 2011-12, the only other unranked non-conference opponent to go into Morgantown and leave with a win while West Virginia was ranked was LSU as they came away with a 74-73 win on Dec. 4, 2014. Also dating back to 2011-12, no opponent has scored more points against West Virginia than the 99 scored by UB.
Bulls Unanimous Selection To Win MAC East
For the second straight season, the Bulls have been the preseason pick to win the MAC East Division and this season the Bulls were a unanimous selection, getting all 35 first place votes and 210 point. They are the first MAC program since Ball State in 2002 to receive over 200 points. Buffalo also received 25 of the 35 votes to win the MAC Tournament.
Buffalo had three selections on the preseason All-MAC East Team in CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins, and Jeremy Harris. UB is the first MAC program ever to have three players on the preseason all-league team. All three players were also named preseason All-Big 4 First Team players with Massinburg the preseason selection as the Big 4 Player of the Year.
I Love The 80's
Last season the Bulls averaged 84.6 points per game, the highest scoring total in school history for a single season. UB scored 80 points in 26 of its 36 games last season, which was tied for the second most 80-point performances with Duke. Villanova was the only team in the country with more 80-point performances at 29.
No other MAC team had more than 16 80-point games last season and that was Central Michigan and Toledo. As for MAC East programs, Buffalo's 26 performances are more than double any team in the division as Ohio was second with 12 80-point games.
Buffalo continued right where it left off in the season opener, scoring 82 points in the win over St. Francis and 99 points against West Virginia, the 56th time in 106 games as UB head coach that a Nate Oats teams has scored 80 or more points. The Bulls are 48-8 in those games when scoring at least 80 points.
History On The Horizon
The Bulls are looking to accomplish something this season that has never been done in Mid-American Conference history as no MAC school has ever won four conference tournament titles in a five-year period. Buffalo became the first MAC school to win three in a four-year period since Kent State did it in 1999, 2001, 2002. The MAC Tournament dates back to the 1979-80 season.
Perks And Recreation
Senior Nick Perkins is 14th on UB's all-time scoring list with 1,278 points, just two points shy of Rick Coleman (1987-91) for 13th place. Perkins was named first-team All-MAC last season and he was named the MAC's Sixth Man of the Year for the second straight season. Perkins scored in double figures in 25 straight games last year after returning to the bench. Over the previous two years, Perkins has scored 20 points or more nine times as a reserve, the sixth highest totally nationally.
Perkins was Buffalo's leading scorer in MAC games last season as he averaged 18.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per contest. Perkins shot 53.2% from the floor and on two-point attempts only, his field goal percentage was 60%.
The Harris Poll
Senior Jeremy Harris had a breakout year for the Bulls last season in his first season with the Blue and White. Harris was a second-team All-MAC selection as he averaged 15.5 points per game, including 17.4 points per contest in league games only. Over the 18-game MAC season, Harris led the league in three-point shooting at .463. Harris was one of just 11 players in the nation to shoot over 46% from three in conference games, while attempting over 100 three-pointers. He joins Pat Andree from Lehigh as the only two to do it, while also pulling in over 100 rebounds.
Harris was named to the All-Tournament team at the MAC Tournament after he finished with a career high 27 points in the quarterfinals against Central Michigan. One game later, Harris added 22 points against Kent State in the semifinals, going 5-of-6 from three-point range. He scored 23 points in UB"s NCAA Tournament First Round victory over Arizona, while adding seven rebounds.
One of the most improved players in the entire Mid-American Conference last season was junior point guard Davonta Jordan. After averaging under 3.0 points per game during his freshman season, Jordan averaged 6.5 points per game last year as a sophomore, while adding 144 assists, the most on the team. Through two years, Jordan is the only player in the Mid-American Conference to record 200 career assists over his freshman and sophomore seasons. He is currently UB's active career leader in assists with 229.
Jordan picked up his scoring last year, including his first career 20-point performance, which came in a win at Delaware. Defensively, Jordan was selected to the All-MAC Defensive Team as well. He continued to show his improvements in the season opener as he filled up the stat sheet with eight points, five assists, three steals, and three-blocked shots, which tied a career-high.
When healthy, UB's senior guard Dontay Caruthers is one of the top defenders in the Mid-American Conference. Caruthers was named the 2016-17 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, but last season, Caruthers played in just 25 games, missing 11 with a leg injury. When playing, Caruthers averaged 6.7 points per game, including a pair of 20-point performances.
Caruthers scored 23 points and had seven rebounds in Buffalo's win over UAB in the Cayman Islands and he followed that up stateside with 23 points at Niagara. Overall, Caruthers shot .598 from the floor, which was the best of any player on the Bulls that took over 100 shots.
He had a solid postseason for the Bulls, beginning with a career-high eight assists in the MAC quarterfinals win over Central Michigan. He had 11 points in the semifinal win over Kent State and he added seven points and three steals in UB's NCAA Second Round game against Kentucky.
Caruthers has been one of the best free throw shooters in the country early on this season as he has gone 12-of-12, the best total in the MAC without missing a shot.
Sophomore Jayvon Graves will look to take the jump from freshman to sophomore season that his teammate Davonta Jordan took last year. Graves played in all 36 games for the Bulls last year off the bench, averaging 5.1 points per game. Graves had a season-high 16 points in a win at Ball State last year, while adding 11 points in his homecoming game at Akron.
One of the most athletic players on the team, Graves showed off his leaping ability at Bulls Madness, winning the Slam Dunk competition. He showed off that athleticism on the defensive end as well last year, leading the Bulls with 29 blocked shots, becoming the shortest UB player to lead his team in blocks since Calvin Betts in 2008-09.
Graves is averaging 10.3 points per game through the first three contests, including scoring 14 points in the win over West Virginia, including a few monster dunks right over the Big 12 caliber foes.
The Real McRae
Senior Montell McRae averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in his first season with the Bulls after transferring in from South Plains Junior College. McRae played in all 36 games for UB and started five contests early. This year, he has already made a huge impact for the Bulls, highlighted by his 11 points against Southern Illinois, which tied a career best amongst Division I opponents. McRae is averaging 6.0 points so far, shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range.