MACwood Squares is our summer reading series on the best athletes in Mid-American Conference sports history. This week features Buffalo. Looking for your MAC school? Consult our schedule for other teams and please submit your nominees as well.
There are more than four great basketball players in UB history, but the list feels pretty strong when set at four.
Jim Horne (1951-55) — One of UB's three retired jerseys, Horne had some unreal scoring averages. For his four-year career he average 20.8 points, including a 24.9 average in 1954-55. Only two other players in Bulls history averaged over 20 points in a single season.
Sam Pellom (1974-78) — By virtue of being the only UB player to make it to the NBA or ABA, Pellom is a strong contender. Prior to that time, Pellom led the nation in rebounding in 1976 with 16.2 rebounds/game and tops the school list in career rebounds and blocks. He's sixth in points. In four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (and partially with the Milwaukee Bucks), he averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in mostly backup playing time.
Rasaun Young (1994-98) — Maybe if the Bulls had him during their first MAC years, they wouldn't have been such pushovers. Young was one of the top scorers in Mid-Continent Conference (now Summit League) history, racking up 1,908 points. Three times he was an All-MCC first-teamer. A bit of Europe ball followed him after setting UB records, as well a career with NYC street hoops.
Turner Battle (2001-2005) — It's going to be hard-pressed to find a better UB player in the MAC era than this man. Battle led them to the MAC Basketball Championship game, which they lost in overtime by one point. But it was enough for an NIT appearance. Battle gained all sorts of individual awards that year, including MAC Player of the Year and an All-American honorable mention. After a stint in Europe, Battle returned as a UB assistant coach.
Others to mention briefly so as not to omit them entirely: Harold Kuhn, Curtis Blackmore, Mike Martinho, Rodney Pierce, and Yassin Idbihi. I'm also curious to see how Javon McCrea, when his time is over at Buffalo, will stack up. Make your case for those on or off the table.
Who are your nominees for Buffalo's MACwood Squares? Comment below, tweet us at @HustleBelt or submit a FanPost making your case. The final nine will be revealed Friday.