2010 Record: 0-1
2009 Record: 13-17 (7-7 Patriot League)
Nov. 19, 2009
Buffalo 63, Navy 53
Buffalo leads Navy, 2-1
Three Midshipmen to watch:
PG O.J. Avworo – The senior is entering his fourth year as a starting point guard and is the clear leader of the Navy squad. He is not only one of the top point guards in the Patriot League, but in the nation as well. Avworo led the Patriot League and was 14th in the nation last season with 5.8 assists per game. More impressive was his ability to limit turnovers; his assist-to-turnover ratio was 2.28. Avworo will present a formidable challenge to Buffalo point guards Byron Mulkey and Tony Watson III.
SG Jordan Sugars – Though there are many options at shooting guard for Navy, the Bulls defense should focus on slowing down Sugars. The junior was the only player in the conference to average at least 15 points and eight rebounds a game last season. He also made 78 3-pointers on the year, solidifying himself as a dual threat. Sugars is the type of player who can tear apart a zone defense, so Buffalo must be aware of where he is on the court.
C Mark Veazey – Veazey will be a wild card for the Midshipmen all season. When healthy, he has proven that he can be an outstanding center. After injuring his foot last season, however, Veazey only mustered 3.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Veazey is determined to stay healthy for his senior season and got off to a good start with 14 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks in Navy's season opener against Texas. The Bulls frontcourt should prevent Veazey from getting involved early and limit Navy's attack to outside shooting.
The Bulls will win if…Their defense can slow down the potent and experienced Navy scoring attack. Buffalo should capitalize on the Midshipmen's lack of momentum after Navy was crushed by Texas in their season opener.
The Midshipmen will win if…Their experienced players set the tone early and the younger players feed off the energy. Navy must establish an inside-out offensive attack in order to get Veazey involved and breakdown the Bulls zone.
The season opener is very important for any young sports team. This is especially true for the Bulls, who are trying to set a winning tone for the rest of the season. Home court advantage will be critical, and Buffalo should feed off the crowd and build its confidence early.
Navy's season-opening loss shouldn't be taken at face value, as it came on the road against a ranked opponent in Texas. However, I think the loss will affect the Midshipmen, especially since they are on the road again.
Buffalo should get off to a quick start and use its defense to hold on to the lead and win its season opener.
Buffalo – 63
Navy – 55