With the widely varying level of difficulty in non-conference schedules, it’s really hard to predict what is going to happen in conference play. We will learn almost as much tonight, when all the MAC teams take on MAC opponents, as we did from the entire non-conference slate.
At 6pm tonight, tip-off arrives when the Buffalo Bulls travel to Savage Arena to take on the Toledo Rockets.
Buffalo went 6-7 in their non-conference schedule. They are an athletic team that pushes the tempo and chucks up jumpers. When those jumpers are dropping, they are a tough team to beat.
Blake Hamilton, the senior guard, leads the Bulls in scoring with 17.9 per contest. He is one of 4 Bulls that average over 13.5 per. After that, their production drops dramatically, with no player scoring more than 5 per contest.
They do an effective job rebounding as a team, pulling down 40 boards per contest. Nick Perkins, the 6’8 sophomore from Ypsilanti, leads the team with 6.8 per.
Toledo finished the non-conference schedule with a 7-6 record. Their primary concern going into the season was replacing Nathan Boothe and his 19 points and 9 rebounds a game.
Marquette transfer Steve Taylor Jr. filled the gap nicely. He is scoring 15.9 while grabbing 11.5 boards per contest. He also has a team leading 46 assists on the season.
Senior guard Jonathan Williams is leading the Rockets in scoring, with 19.8 per game. The steady contributor has 1387 points on his career.
Both teams have struggled defensively, and have scored effectively. I expect a game where both teams score in the high 70s or 80s. Vegas has Toledo as a 3 point favorite, simply because they are the home team.
This should be a fantastic game to open up conference play.
You can watch the game via live stream on ESPN 3.