Buffalo Bulls Preview

Well, another average mid-major team comes to Pittsburgh, and I’m expecting another 20-point victory. This Buffalo team isn’t one that’s as bad as MVSU or Houston Baptist were, but they’re certainly not as good as St. Louis, nor do they have the size. Last year, Buffalo gave Pitt a bit of a scare, mostly due to the play of big men Yassin Idbihi and Parnell Smith, both of whom have graduated. This Buffalo team is much more centered on the backcourt- similar to the shift that Pitt has had to make, without the experience. Junior guard Andy Robinson, who ended last season on a hot streak (20.7 points over the last four games) is only averaging 8.5 ppg this year in 18.5 mpg, mostly due to his abysmal 36.1 shooting % and his 1:2 assists-to-turnover ratio.

The best player for the Bulls to date has been 6’4″ wing Greg Gamble, who is averaging 12ppg in 27.8 minutes, in addition to nearly 4 boards per game. This is due mostly to his 51.5% from the floor, though he only is 14-24 (58.3%) from the line, meaning most of his shots are dunks/layups. This should drop drastically against the defense of Mike Cook and Gilbert Brown, and I would expect Gamble’s productivity to severely drop. Nothing about this Buffalo team really worries me- their top rebounder (Max Boudreau, at 4.8 boards per game) is only 6’7″, and should be kept in check by Blair and Sam Young. This is a team with 12 sophomores and juniors, and with only two players averaging more than twenty minutes per game, this is definitely a team that is looking to get the younger players some experience as they gear up for a run at the MAC championship in 2008-2009. For this game, I would look for Dejuan Blair to test his injured tailbone, possibly getting minutes early and sitting late as Pitt runs away with another one. This is certainly not the experienced, frontcourt-heavy Buffalo that Pitt defeated last year, and as such I would expect our experience and depth to lead us to another large victory.

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