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Buffalo 2009 CBI Tournament Preview

 

Buffalo Bulls - Mid-American Conference (21-12, 11-5)

RPI: 90

Big Wins: 11/29 Temple (83-73), 1/13 at Akron (63-61), 1/24 at Miami Ohio (76-64)

Bad Losses: 2/15 at Ball State (51-53), 2/18 Bowling Green (48-59), 3/5 at Kent State (71-77)

Coach: Reggie Witherspoon



Probable Buffalo Starters:

  • Greg Gamble, Senior, Guard, 8.8 ppg, 3.8 apg, 5.1 rpg

  • Rodney Pierce, Junior, Guard, 14.3 ppg, 2.2 apg

  • Calvin Betts, Junior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg

  • Titus Robinson, Freshman, Forward, 3.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg

  • Mitchell Watt, Freshman, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg

 

Key Buffalo Roleplayers:

  • Jawaan Alston, Sophomore, Forward, 2.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg

  • Max Boudreau, Junior, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg

  • John Boyer, Junior, Guard, 2.7 ppg, 1.5 apg

  • Andy Robinson, Senior, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 1.2 apg, 3.1 rpg



Why Buffalo Can Surprise:

Buffalo has been a surprisingly competitive team in the Mid-American Conference this season. The biggest reason is their defense. The Bulls are giving up just 62.6 points per game and this is from a team that has never allowed fewer than 69 points since they joined the conference in 1998. The defensive effort comes from the entire team, as does the rebounding effort that has made the Bulls the best team in the MAC on the glass.

Wing Calvin Betts is the best rebounder on the team, averaging 6.5 per contest. Greg Gamble, another wing who also handles the ball, gives the backcourt another superb rebounding threat. Due to lack of minutes, the frontcourt players do not put up very gaudy numbers, but Jawaan Alston, Max Boudreau, Titus Robinson and Mitchell Watt are all capable rebounders. All of that depth in the paint gives Coach Reggie Witherspoon a ton of options depending on the situation and the competition.

 

Why The Bulls Can Disappoint:
Buffalo’s defense might be solid, but they can still get outscored due to an occasionally anemic offense. Nobody in the frontcourt is much of a threat to score, but collectively they can do a decent amount of scoring. The Bulls need scoring from Calvin Betts and Greg Gamble to compliment leading scorer Rodney Pierce. Betts is the consistent outside shooting threat, but he has been slumping late in the year. Unfortunately for the Bulls, Gamble has been slumping as well. At least one of those two players must step and score ten to 15 points if the Bulls want to win a game in the tournament.

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Who To Watch:
While Betts and Gamble were struggling, Pierce has been doing anything but. The 6-2 junior tallied 18 points or more four times since February 21 st and has shown no signs of slowing down until the conference tournament final when Akron only allowed him to score four points. During that streak Pierce has even hit the glass harder than usual and that makes it more likely that the Buffalo backcourt will grab a rebound than the frontcourt. Pierce can win games on his own against some competition, but that will not be enough for the Bulls to beat a better team in the tournament. Pierce will certainly need to have a good game, but so will Betts, Gamble or super sub Andy Robinson.

 

Get NCAA College Basketball Tickets at StubHub!Buffalo By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 65.5 (217th in nation, 4th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 62.6 (54, 5)

Field-Goal Percentage: 41.5 (264, 9)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (142, 7)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (240, 8)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (138, 3)

Free-Throw Percentage: 65.2 (267, 7)

Rebound Margin: 5.1 (36, 1)

Assists Per Game: 12.4 (211, 5)

Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (187, 7)

 

Joel’s Bracket Says: Elite Eight loss to Stanford

 

By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer

 

> Find more College Baskteball Invitational Tournament (CBI) coverage as well as NCAA Tournament results online from College Sports Fans today!

 

 


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