Discover more from UB In 5
UB MEN TRIPPED UP BY JMU; UB WOMEN FACE STONEHILL TONIGHT
It's a historic night in North Easton, Massachusetts as the UB women play the foil in Stonehill's first home game as a D1 program
Image from ubbulls.com
Well, the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team hosted James Madison University in the first-ever meeting between the two teams on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena, and we all got to see the real heroes emerge as the Blue and White lost, 97-62. I am referring, of course, to the officials.
The Bulls (1-1) were whistled for 15 fouls in the first half as they fell behind, 40-24, to the Dukes (3-0), a group expected the challenge for the Sun Belt title this season. The visitors were also tagged with 11 fouls in the first 20 minutes.
Maybe It Wasn’t the Zebras?
To be honest, however, aggressive refs or not, UB did little to help itself in this one—Buffalo shot 26 percent from the floor in that first half, including 10 misses on 12 attempts from three-point range, and turned the ball over a whopping 15 in that ignominious first half.
I’m not great at math, but I am fairly certain that 15 fouls + 15 turnovers divided by allowing your opponent to shot 59 percent from the floor in the second half and 60 percent from three-point range means you get your butt kicked, which is indeed what happened. Buffalo shot 38 percent from the floor overall in this one, knocking down just four of 22 threes, and were out-rebounded, 39-26.
Growing Pains Are Not Unexpected
Hey, you know what? When you put together a roster with nine new players, you’re going to see some bumps in the road, especially against a team like James Madison, a proven winner with a core that has remained intact for multiple seasons. You beat a Colgate, you lose to a JMU. It’ll be like that for a while. Live and learn and whatnot.1
The Bulls are #1 in the country in adjusted tempo, by the way. So again, even in losing, they’re a fun team to watch.
Both the Dukes and Bulls were far from perfect as there were 56 turnovers in the game. 30 of which were committed by the Bulls. James Madison outscored Buffalo 33-15 on points off of turnovers
Curtis Jones led the Bulls with 13 points as he was the only scorer to reach double figures. He also scored 13 of the 30 points that came from the UB starters. C. Jones went on to add a team-high six rebounds on the afternoon. Zid Powell had 4 of the team's 16 steals and added eight points.
The Bulls will hit the road for a four-game stretch starting on Tuesday. Buffalo will face UConn in Hartford, Conn. and will then travel to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for this year's Paradise Jam. In their first game, the Bulls will face the Drake Bulldogs on Friday afternoon.
University officials: if you want to send me on assignment to the Paradise Jam, I can make myself available. As for the UConn game, I plan to be at Exiles in Washington, D.C., for an alumni watch party. I have viewed many Buffalo Bills games at Exiles, which is in one of my favorite parts of D.C. Take a stroll down New Hampshire Avenue NW from Washington Circle to U Street NW sometime, you will not be disappointed.
So, About UConn…
Image from uconnhuskies.com
The Huskies are, uh, pretty good. They just announced a top-five signing class for the 2023-24 season, boast a potential Big East Player of the Year in forward Adama Sanogo (pictured above), and have started the current campaign 2-0 with authoritative wins over Stonehill and Boston University. Coached by Dan Hurley, brother of former Buffalo coach Bobby Hurley, Connecticut is ranked #27 in the AP Top 25.
The Huskies, coming off a 23-10 season and a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021-22, have seven new players, including four experienced transfers, ready to face a 31-game schedule, including 20 BIG EAST contests.
Sanogo (Bamako, Mali), UConn's leading returning scorer (14.8) and rebounder (8.8), figures to be the focal point of the Huskies' offense as they unveil a new alignment that features more outside shooting and more scoring.
Andre Jackson Jr. (who will serve as co-captain of the team along with Sanogo, is the second-leading returning scorer and rebounder, but will miss at least the first few games of the season with a fractured finger.
Sophomore Jordan Hawkins (Gaithersburg, Md.) has raised expectations for a big season with his smooth shooting throughout the spring and summer. The sophomore could be ready for a breakout season as he gets the green light to become the Huskies' top three-point threat.
Transfers Tristen Newton (El Paso, Texas) and Hassan Diarra (Queens, N.Y.) have battled throughout fall practice for the starting point guard spot, with Newton bringing a bit more offense and Diarra the tougher defense. Both figure to play significant minutes.
Transfer Naheim Alleyne (Buford, Ga.) is likely to take a starting role, at least until Jackson returns to the lineup and fourth transfer Joey Calcaterra (Novato, Calif.) will add outside shooting in a reserve role.
We’ll see how it goes! Game time is 7 p.m. and the contest will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Thanks for reading UB In 5! Subscribe for free to receive new posts on football, men’s basketball, and women’s hoops first.
UB Women Look for 1st Win vs. Stonehill Tonight
The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team lost its season-opener, 57-55, to Canisius at the Koessler Athletic Center in downtown Buffalo, and first-year head coach Becky Burke was not pleased.
“I’m results-driven, and I want to win,” she said. “Point-blank, period. It's unacceptable for Buffalo, and we have to be better, point-blank, period.”
Buffalo dropped a heartbreaker, 57-55, in the regular season opener at Canisius on Monday night. The Bulls led by as many as nine in the third quarter but were unable to convert in at the charity stripe late in the game and that proved costly. Fifth year guard Zakiyah Winfield led the Bulls as she recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go with four assists, three steals and three blocks. Re'Shawna Stone and Latrice Perkins added eight points each.
A New England Day Trip
Image from stonehillskyhawks.com
Burke and company get their second chance for that first win of the season tonight on the road against Stonehill, a college set in charming North Easton, Massachusetts, about 26 miles south of Boston. This is the Skyhawks’ first season in Division I basketball, the newest member of the Northeast Conference, and the team lost its first contest of the new era, 60-43, to Lehigh, as well as a 56-32 decision to Providence. This will be Stonehill’s first home game as a D1 program.
Stonehill leads the NEC in field goal percentage defense, holding its first two opponents to just 33.3-percent shooting. The Skyhawks rank third in the NEC after the first week in scoring defense, allowing 58 points per game as one of three in the Conference holding opponents under 60 points per game. Stonehill is also third in three-point percentage defense (.200).
Postgrad transfer Maddie Loder (Independence, Minn.) is averaging a team-best 13.5 points per game after two contests to rank fifth among NEC scoring leaders after the first week.
Stonehill leads the NEC in defensive rebounding, averaging a Conference-best 34.5 per game after the first week of the season. The Skyhawks share the Conference lead with 43.5 total rebounds per contest.
Fifth-year Sophie Glidden (Scarborough, Maine) has grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds in each of Stonehill's first two games this season. She is the lone NEC player averaging in double-digits for rebounds after the first week, leading the Conference with her 12.0 rebounds per game. She ranks fourth in the NEC with 2.5 offensive boards per game to go with a league-high 9.5 defensive rebounds per game.
After ranking fifth among NE10 leaders with her team-high 35.7 minutes per game last season, fifth-year guard Emily Bramanti (Chelmsford, Mass.) is picking right up where she left off through two games this year. Her 36.5 minutes per game after two contests is tied for first among NEC iron-woman leaders.
This should be a nice test for Burke’s bunch—a winnable game (the Skyhawks are picked to finish ninth in the NEC), but against a team of try-hards who are literally playing for history.
Game time is 6 p.m. The game will be shown on NEC Front Row (what the heck) but can also be heard on 1520-AM in Western New York or on the Varsity Network app (which is actually pretty great).
Meet Next Season’s Bulls
Image from UBBulls.com
The UB women’s basketball team has announced its 2023-24 recruiting class. We knew about some of these signees via social media—like state of Kentucky star Timberlynn Yeast and Charlottesville, Virgina wing Ella Weaver, for instance—and it’s great to see Burke’s aggressive road work rebuilding the core pay off. Check this post out when you have a moment.
Have a great Monday!
Thanks for reading UB In 5! Subscribe for free to receive new posts first.