Buffalo at Kent State Golden Flashes

Buffalo Bulls Preview

The Buffalo Bulls have won three consecutive games and are coming off their stingiest defensive performance of the season, a 72-59 victory over Ball State on Tuesday. Mostly, though, the Bulls are known for offense. First-year coach Jim Whitesell, elevated from top assistant after Nate Oats left for Alabama, runs a fast-paced outfit that is third nationally in average possession length at 14.8 seconds, according to kenpom.com.  

And then the Bulls rebound like crazy, with the 11th-best offensive rebounding percentage (.358) in the country. Five players average double-figure points, led by Jayvon Graves at 16.6 per game. Josh Mballa, who appeared in 17 games last season for national runner-up Texas Tech, is at 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. 

Kent State Golden Flashes Preview

The Kent State Golden Flashes already own a victory over Buffalo (70-66 on Jan. 24) and get the rematch at home, where they are 11-2. Kent State has four seniors, a junior and a sophomore among the top six scorers, with four averaging at least 12 points. But the Flashes are in an offensive funk, losing three of four games and failing to top 54 points in each defeat.  

The culprit has been cold shooting. Kent State makes a healthy 34.8 percent from 3-point range for the season but is 12 of 75 (16 percent) in its past three losses. This is key to the Flashes’ attack; they have 113 more attempts from behind the arc than their opponents.