Nazareth 38, UB 85: What we learned

Posted at 10:09 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 22:23:17-05

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For about ten minutes, you may have through Nazareth was going to push UB. The Bulls struggled to put up points early, and Nazareth was resilient in keeping up with the Bulls, despite offensive struggles.

By halftime...that was pretty much a non-issue.

UB blasted Division III Nazareth 85-38 in their home opener.

So what did we learn from the Bulls big win? More than you might think.


UB's natural state on offense appears outside-first

A lot of college basketball teams like to try to establish an interior presence early in games, and use that to force defenses to collapse to free up shooters. Buffalo appears to do the opposite of that.

Of Buffalo's 22-first half shots, nine were from three-point range, and quite a few of those were early in possessions. But when you hit 7 of those, it's kind of hard to complain.

"After Xavier, we weren't really moving the ball that well," head coach Nate Oats said after the game. "I think we were really trying, almost too much, I think we were passing some open shots up."

UB struggled getting the ball inside against the Musketeers. The first half didn't feel like a struggle by any means, it just didn't appear the Bulls really wanted to often when they were in their set offense. The Bulls finished with 48 points in the paint, much of that coming during a dominant second half where UB held Nazareth to just 13 points. Turnovers and stops make it much easier to run the floor, and in transition the Bulls were always looking to get to the hoop.

So far this season, more than 45% of the Bulls field goal attempts have been from three, putting them well into the top-10% nationally.

It's also worth pointing out that UB has 25 assists on 33 made shots. I'd say that constitutes pretty solid ball movement.


UB may just struggle with turnovers all season

This has been a sore spot in the Bulls first two games, and while they're 13 total tonight isn't terrible, it's worth noting that:

  • It was 13 turnovers against a Division III team.
  • Turnovers were an issue against both Niagara (especially early) and Xavier
  • They only forced 11, and just 3 in the first half.

They're still missing C.J. Massinburg, which will help the backcourt, but this is something worth watching. Tonight, a lot of the turnovers were of the unforced variety, including a shot clock violation where freshman Davonta Jordan had no idea how much time was left.

The good news -- I only counted one traveling call tonight. Also -- UB only committed 11 fouls all game, which was sweet relief after the whistle-fest that was the Bulls trip to Xavier.


Tonight's advanced stat-sheet

Spoiler -- UB dominated every category...

Click to enlarge