When he isn't busy on the court, sophomore forward Xavier Ford, who has a culinary background, enjoys making homemade ribs. Spectrum File Photo
Women's basketball head coach Felisha Legette-Jack makes a career out of exploiting the opposing team's weakness. If the other teams only knew that her biggest weakness is her Aunt Collie's lasagna, maybe they would stand a chance.
"She put her elbows in it," Legette-Jack said. "I want to cry after; it's so good."
This is just one of the many quotes about food that surround the athletes and coaches here at Buffalo. When they aren't dishing dimes, dunking or making defenders miss, the men's basketball players are enjoying the meals that bring back memories and provide them with flavorful taste.
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward is a regular grinder for the men's basketball team. However, when Ford isn't defending and penetrating the post, he is whipping up his most prized dish: homemade ribs.
Before he arrived in Buffalo, Ford had developed a background in culinary arts through a junior college program.
The inspiration for his best dish is not only credited to his experience in culinary classes but also the fact it is engrained in his roots.
Ford's grandma makes his favorite dish.
"My grandma's meatloaf or her greens. She's an extraordinary cook, the best cook in the family," Ford said. "Whenever I go [back] home, I have to get my greens from her; them things is good."
On the court, he makes a home out of the three-point line. But Tony Watson's mom's baked macaroni and cheese reminds him of what home really is.
Hailing from West Palm Beach, Fla., Watson is always greeted with his favorite homemade meal when his plane lands.
"My mom is one of the best baked macaroni and cheese makers I've ever come across," Watson said. "That's my favorite food and she knows. When I come home, there's a bunch of it."
He knows he cannot match his mother's mouth-watering dish, but Watson has created his own dishes.
Whether he is using red sauce or Alfredo, the senior guard is a fan of pasta.
"I cook a lot of pasta," Watson said. "My favorite is baked ziti with some red sauce and some sausage."
If Watson could have anything he wanted here in Buffalo, it would be seafood, but Watson says "on a college budget, you can't afford it."
McCrea often splits defenders for highlight-reel layups and dunks with his mother watching from the sidelines.
When it comes down to cooking, McCrea is a huge fan of his mother's soul food, which consists of macaroni and cheese, peas, corn and fried chicken.
But McCrea is a simple man when it comes to his own recipes.
"Well. my roommates cook," McCrea said. "[I don't] cook. I just make sandwiches, hot dogs and simple stuff."
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