No one exemplifies the turbulent last three years of Buffalo basketball better than shooting guard Jarryn Skeete. A senior who's steadily improved from a young, shaky point guard to one of the more consistent spot shooters in the conference, Skeete is the last remaining link to the longtime face of the Bulls, former head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
At this time last year, it was clear to see that Buffalo was unlikely to suffer a lull following the graduation of MAC Player of the Year Javon McCrea specifically because Bobby Hurley had after one season turned over the roster into 80% his players. To put the turnover into even more stark terms, Skeete is the only Bull in 2015-16 who played with McCrea in 2013-14.
Jarryn's career blossomed with Bobby Hurley's up-tempo style and a move away from the point guard duties he assumed as a freshman. The faster play gave Skeete more opportunities for open shots, and Shannon Evans at the point simplified Jarryn's objectives on any one possession. A late-game foul against Manhattan earned him some time in the doghouse, and a healthy Jarod Oldham further diminished his minutes, but last season Skeete bounced back into a deadly pointer, hitting from distance at 38.4% and chipping in 9.1 points per game in UB's attack.
Skeete has until now flown under the radar of Buffalo's flashier guards in Shannon Evans and Lamonte Bearden, but benefited plenty from playing off-ball. In three years he's never been much able to create his own shot, and with Evans and Bearden frequently attracting three defenders between them, Jarryn only needed to find the open space as a junior.
This year Evans is gone along with half the 2014-2015 team and its coach, but in Bearden the Bulls keep their best ball handler and in former assistant Nate Oats the up-tempo pace that suits Skeete well remains. While the senior can catch fire and dominate in runs - he opened a key February contest at Kent State with four straight threes last year - he can also dependably pour in points without drawing too much attention. He was 12-23 from three over a three-game stretch before missing two weeks to a sprained ankle, and led the Bulls guards in scoring as UB pulled themselves out of a midseason swoon and righted the ship for a MAC run.
Skeete's greatest contribution to the 2015-16 Bulls, however, may be on the defensive side of the ball, where he and fellow senior Rodell Wigginton have developed an aggressive chemistry on the perimeter that allows Bearden to take risks going for steals. For his sometimes stationary role on the offense, Jarryn closes gaps and switches quickly on defense and is rarely a threat. With so much of the roster turned over, Skeete will for the first time have to be a leader on the floor. Look for it on this end of the floor.
In three years and change in Buffalo, Jarryn Skeete's seen literally the entire roster and coaching staff turnover around him. Through it all, he's flown under the radar as an increasingly reliable contributor on each end of the floor. At #23 in these rankings, he's quite literally not on this list if Shannon Evans and Justin Moss remained in Buffalo, and he'll be thrust into key leadership and playing roles as a senior.