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Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Looking ahead to the men’s basketball schedule

Assessing the Bulls’ 2023-24 opponents

<p>The team has a daunting schedule in early 2024, so it’s crucial that they find an identity in those early matchups in October and November before conference play begins.&nbsp;</p>

The team has a daunting schedule in early 2024, so it’s crucial that they find an identity in those early matchups in October and November before conference play begins. 

It’s a new era of UB men’s basketball. 

First-year head coach George Halcovage III is heading into his first season at UB, and six of his 12 players are freshmen. The team fired Jim Whitesell, head former coach of four years, after a 15-17 (9-9 MAC) record last season.

Men’s basketball begins its season on Oct. 23 with an exhibition against Daemen University in Buffalo. The Bulls’ season officially starts against Fairleigh Dickinson University on Nov. 6. UB begins Mid-American Conference (MAC) play against Central Michigan on Jan. 2.

The full schedule can be viewed here.

UB will host the MAC-Sun Belt Challenge on Nov. 11 and 15 against South Alabama and Roberts Wesleyan. The team looks to polish up before going to Fort Myers, Florida on Nov. 20 to square off against Hofstra and then either Louisiana or Wright State in the Gulf Coast Showcase. 

The team will be tested later in the season when it plays the James Madison University Dukes in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU finished the 2022-23 season with a record of 22-11, with an 11-3 record at home, making the Bulls’ road trip that much more difficult. The Bulls  went 3-9 on the road last year, as opposed to an 11-4 record at Alumni Arena.

The Bulls are looking to improve upon last year’s sixth-place finish in the conference standings, which was rounded off with a first-round exit in the MAC Tournament.. During the 2022-23 season, the Bulls had a -0.2 scoring margin. On top of this, the team posted only a 45% field goal percentage and put up a 70% free throw percentage. These stats should be an area of focus for Halcovage in his first season.

The team has a daunting schedule in early 2024, so it’s crucial that they find an identity in those early matchups in October and November before conference play begins. UB hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 2019, when the Bulls were a No. 6 seed, the highest ranking a mid-American conference team has received. 

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com


MICHAEL P. SCOTTO
michael-scotto.jpg

Michael Scotto is an assistant sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time he's either playing volleyball or catching up on sports. 

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