Jump to content
Buffalo Bulls - UB Fan Forum
Sign in to follow this  
cheese_66

Looking Ahead to Next Season

Recommended Posts

With a season like the one we just had, and an incredible senior class graduating, it's tough to imagine that we reach the same level of success next season. Moving forward, we have enough pieces in place that we should be able to at least contend for the MAC and get back in the tournament. For us to get there, we are going to need some development out of our returning players. Here's what I would like to see from each player:

Jordan - He has to be our leader next year. Graves should be the best player, but Jordan will be the most important player. I want to see Jordan become more reliable as a decision maker, and aim for an assist/turnover rate at around 2.5. 5 assists per game and 2 turnovers per game will get the job done (Currently at 3.7 APG and 2.3 TPG). Obviously he needs to become a competent free throw shooter, and I think he can do that. His 3 point shot is reliable enough that he can knock them down sometimes, and I want it to get to a point where I feel like it's going in if he's open. Overall, I want Jordan's stats to be around 12 PPG 4 RPG 5 APG 2 SPG 2 TPG 38% 3P 60% FT

Graves - A lot of our fate lies in his hands. I don't think he's necessarily the next CJ, probably a tad worse. But I'd love to be proven wrong. I think what we need most out of Graves is for him to become a threat to create his own shot. A lot of his shots this year were spot up 3's and putbacks. If he's our best scorer, he's going to need more ways to get a bucket. He's got the athleticism to be able to break a defender down and he's got the shooting ability to pull up for a shot on a defender. I think he just needs to be more confident in his ball handling ability and he will become much more of an iso threat. This is what I would like out of Graves next year: 16 PPG 6 RPG 3 APG 1 SPG 1 BPG 47% FG 40% 3P 75% FT

Williams - Each of the last two years we've seen a player make a huge leap from freshman to sophomore year, first Jordan and then Graves. I would like to see both Williams and Segu make this leap. We have a hole at the 4 position to fill, and Williams seems like the most likely guy to fill it. I feel like Williams can make a leap even bigger than Jordan and Graves. It felt like he got better as the season went on. You know how Harris is able to break down a lot of big guys off the dribble and get to the basket? Williams is quicker than Harris, and he's going to be guarded by these same big guys. The key for Harris though is that he's a legitimate threat from 3, so his defender has to play him tight and it allows for Harris to drive. Williams isn't exactly a threat from 3. If we can get Williams to shoot even 30% on 3's, that's just enough where the defender will have to guard him on the 3 point line. He will blow by any big guy that guards him out there. Defensively, Williams has a lot of potential. A year under his belt should help him play smarter. I'm hoping Williams can get to this point next year: 9 PPG 6 RPG 1 APG 1 SPG 1 BPG 48% FG 30% 3P 65% FT

Segu - Hoping for a similar freshman to sophomore leap as Jordan or Graves. It feels like the starting backcourt next year will be Jordan/Johnson/Graves, so I'm thinking that Segu will be the 6th man next season. Watching Segu this season, it was easy to sense the raw talent, but it came with some poor decisions offensively at times, thus leading to a shorter leash from Coach Oats. By the end of the year, it felt like Segu tried too hard to play under control. He was afraid to look for his own shot and preferred to drive and kick, but defenses were aware and stole the kick passes a lot of the time. I feel like Segu is really going to benefit from the additional playing time next year. He's got a lot to work on with his decision making, but it's tough to really improve on decision making without the experience against D1 defenses. His shooting is solid already, he's got a strong handle on the ball, he's quick enough to get past defenders, and he's a willing passer. Give him a few years to develop more and he will be a nightmare to guard. Defensively, I think Segu will benefit from having the mentorship of Caruthers/Jordan/Massinburg this past year. Segu liked to guard opposing ball handlers full court, which he actually did a good job of making their lives at least a little more difficult in initiating their offense. But he had two huge problems defensively: too small to get through screens, and lacking awareness to be able to effectively guard players off-ball. These things need to change or else he's not getting much more playing time next year. If he can add some muscle and make better decisions, he's going to be really good. I think he's an all-MAC player his junior year and a potential MAC POY by his senior year. For now, I want him here: 9 PPG 3 RPG 3 APG 1 SPG 1.5 TPG 45% FG 38% 3P 75% FT.

The other guys we don't really know that well. Johnson seems like a starter right away based on his stats at Middle Tennessee. If JUCO rankings are accurate at all, then Allen seems like the favorite to start at center. Noah Williams/Hawkins are good recruits, but who knows how well it will translate to a productive freshman year. Rojas should be in the rotation. Grant has had a year to practice with the team, so I anticipate that he will get a shot at minutes too. If I were to guess the lineup, I would say Jordan/Johnson/Graves/J. Williams/Allen with Segu/N. Williams/Grant/Rojas/Hawkins off the bench (Hopefully not getting ahead of myself with the Hawkins talk before he has committed). This leaves Fagan/Bertram/Cadwell out of the rotation. I don't have a good feeling about Fagan and Bertram, considering we were playing a football player in the rotation ahead of those two for certain parts of the year. Hopefully this will motivate them to improve their games in the offseason. Cadwell is ranked rather low on the JUCO rankings. I'm sure he'll get a chance at minutes, but I don't think we will play 11 guys. For now he seems like the odd man out.

All in all, this was an incredible season. This was the best senior class in school history, and there is no way that our newcomers can match the production that they put up. But if our returners up their games and take on bigger roles, and some of our recruits and transfers are able to make instant impacts, the blueprint is there to get another chance at a tournament run. Go Bulls!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m gonna start by saying that there will be a drop off. It’s going to be hard to go 16-2 in conference again. It wouldn’t shock me if this was a team that got better as the season progressed. Meaning we start out slow and things look rough as we buy in, gel and grow together. I expect us to have a better late February into March than November - early February. 

We have to temper expectations of incoming freshmen. Specifically if we land Hawkins. 

I don't expect us to be ranked to begin the year. We could receive votes but I think next year is a year in which we are out of the spotlight then bam all of a sudden come March we are right back in the fold. 

The MAC east will be up for grabs and us and BG should be the favorites. Other teams in the east are having transfer issues so we should expect to be able to win the MAC east.

As always is the case in the off season you hope returning players develop.

Jordan needs to improve his FTs and continue to grow as a floor general.

Rondo needs to eat a burger and hit a weight room and continue to grow as a player. Become a better floor general and develop a mid range pull up jumper like Wes Clark had.

Graves continue to blossom. Improve FT shooting and become a little more aggressive on offense.

Grant - Haven’t heard much about him but hopefully he is a tough defender and useful role player.

Johnson - have heard that he has great shooting ability. Range that could rival Calvin Cage. And Cage could shoot it from anywhere on the court. I expect scoring from Johnson and senior leadership.

J. Williams - I really hope he makes the biggest jump. He has the length to become a player like Jarrett Culver who we just played. Not saying he is that, but that’s who we can model his game after. I loved the rim attacking Williams we saw late in the season. Hopefully he develops an outside shot, a handle and uses his length better on defense.

Incoming JUCOs - I’m going to lump them all together. Love the height we have coming in with Allen and Rojas. Heck even Cadwell is 6’5. As evident the last two years in the round of 32 we need height. Hopefully they come in hit the ground running and bring rebounding and defense first and integrate and gel with returning players.

 Fagan/Bertram - I don’t expect them to transfer. Brock will be a senior academically and Fagan has already used a redshirt. So I expect Brock to earn his degree then probably grad transfer like Smart did. Fagan should come in hungry and ready for competition. 

Incoming freshman - If we land Hawkins I would expect him and Williams to play a background role unless they come in and are just super talented. We know Oats won’t let you play unless you rebound and defend. So if they do those well they could earn minutes but it will be unfair to them to expect them to be starters right away. 

All that said next season will be about integration and developing chemistry. I couldn’t tell you what a starting 5 would be, so it’s going to be important that we establish roles and a rotation and guys buy in. We might start off slow but come March I expect us to compete and be able to win the MAC tourney. 

I have all the faith that Oats will schedule well and he and the coaching staff will get the best out of these guys. Grow, develop and gel on the court. Future remains bright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Win at home. We're going to have some growing pains as we get used to a new roster but I would love to see us protect home court and extend what is becoming an impressive home win streak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone heard about how Johnson and Grant were performing in practice this year? I remember hearing really good things about Wes Clark  when he was a practice-only player. But haven't heard much about these two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, SGBull said:

Has anyone heard about how Johnson and Grant were performing in practice this year? I remember hearing really good things about Wes Clark  when he was a practice-only player. But haven't heard much about these two.

More about Johnson than Grant. I'm not sure if that's because Johnson was playing better or simply because Grant has "less to prove"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, SGBull said:

Has anyone heard about how Johnson and Grant were performing in practice this year? I remember hearing really good things about Wes Clark  when he was a practice-only player. But haven't heard much about these two.

I forgot who tweeted it, maybe Bronstein, but I remember seeing a tweet about the range Johnson has. Other than seeing them on the bench during home games haven’t heard much. I’ll try to find that tweet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DooleyBull06 said:

I’m gonna start by saying that there will be a drop off. It’s going to be hard to go 16-2 in conference again. It wouldn’t shock me if this was a team that got better as the season progressed. Meaning we start out slow and things look rough as we buy in, gel and grow together. I expect us to have a better late February into March than November - early February. 

We have to temper expectations of incoming freshmen. Specifically if we land Hawkins. 

I don't expect us to be ranked to begin the year. We could receive votes but I think next year is a year in which we are out of the spotlight then bam all of a sudden come March we are right back in the fold. 

The MAC east will be up for grabs and us and BG should be the favorites. Other teams in the east are having transfer issues so we should expect to be able to win the MAC east.

As always is the case in the off season you hope returning players develop.

Jordan needs to improve his FTs and continue to grow as a floor general.

Rondo needs to eat a burger and hit a weight room and continue to grow as a player. Become a better floor general and develop a mid range pull up jumper like Wes Clark had.

Graves continue to blossom. Improve FT shooting and become a little more aggressive on offense.

Grant - Haven’t heard much about him but hopefully he is a tough defender and useful role player.

Johnson - have heard that he has great shooting ability. Range that could rival Calvin Cage. And Cage could shoot it from anywhere on the court. I expect scoring from Johnson and senior leadership.

J. Williams - I really hope he makes the biggest jump. He has the length to become a player like Jarrett Culver who we just played. Not saying he is that, but that’s who we can model his game after. I loved the rim attacking Williams we saw late in the season. Hopefully he develops an outside shot, a handle and uses his length better on defense.

Incoming JUCOs - I’m going to lump them all together. Love the height we have coming in with Allen and Rojas. Heck even Cadwell is 6’5. As evident the last two years in the round of 32 we need height. Hopefully they come in hit the ground running and bring rebounding and defense first and integrate and gel with returning players.

 Fagan/Bertram - I don’t expect them to transfer. Brock will be a senior academically and Fagan has already used a redshirt. So I expect Brock to earn his degree then probably grad transfer like Smart did. Fagan should come in hungry and ready for competition. 

Incoming freshman - If we land Hawkins I would expect him and Williams to play a background role unless they come in and are just super talented. We know Oats won’t let you play unless you rebound and defend. So if they do those well they could earn minutes but it will be unfair to them to expect them to be starters right away. 

All that said next season will be about integration and developing chemistry. I couldn’t tell you what a starting 5 would be, so it’s going to be important that we establish roles and a rotation and guys buy in. We might start off slow but come March I expect us to compete and be able to win the MAC tourney. 

I have all the faith that Oats will schedule well and he and the coaching staff will get the best out of these guys. Grow, develop and gel on the court. Future remains bright.

 

7 hours ago, DooleyBull06 said:

I’m gonna start by saying that there will be a drop off. It’s going to be hard to go 16-2 in conference again. It wouldn’t shock me if this was a team that got better as the season progressed. Meaning we start out slow and things look rough as we buy in, gel and grow together. I expect us to have a better late February into March than November - early February. 

We have to temper expectations of incoming freshmen. Specifically if we land Hawkins. 

I don't expect us to be ranked to begin the year. We could receive votes but I think next year is a year in which we are out of the spotlight then bam all of a sudden come March we are right back in the fold. 

The MAC east will be up for grabs and us and BG should be the favorites. Other teams in the east are having transfer issues so we should expect to be able to win the MAC east.

As always is the case in the off season you hope returning players develop.

Jordan needs to improve his FTs and continue to grow as a floor general.

Rondo needs to eat a burger and hit a weight room and continue to grow as a player. Become a better floor general and develop a mid range pull up jumper like Wes Clark had.

Graves continue to blossom. Improve FT shooting and become a little more aggressive on offense.

Grant - Haven’t heard much about him but hopefully he is a tough defender and useful role player.

Johnson - have heard that he has great shooting ability. Range that could rival Calvin Cage. And Cage could shoot it from anywhere on the court. I expect scoring from Johnson and senior leadership.

J. Williams - I really hope he makes the biggest jump. He has the length to become a player like Jarrett Culver who we just played. Not saying he is that, but that’s who we can model his game after. I loved the rim attacking Williams we saw late in the season. Hopefully he develops an outside shot, a handle and uses his length better on defense.

Incoming JUCOs - I’m going to lump them all together. Love the height we have coming in with Allen and Rojas. Heck even Cadwell is 6’5. As evident the last two years in the round of 32 we need height. Hopefully they come in hit the ground running and bring rebounding and defense first and integrate and gel with returning players.

 Fagan/Bertram - I don’t expect them to transfer. Brock will be a senior academically and Fagan has already used a redshirt. So I expect Brock to earn his degree then probably grad transfer like Smart did. Fagan should come in hungry and ready for competition. 

Incoming freshman - If we land Hawkins I would expect him and Williams to play a background role unless they come in and are just super talented. We know Oats won’t let you play unless you rebound and defend. So if they do those well they could earn minutes but it will be unfair to them to expect them to be starters right away. 

All that said next season will be about integration and developing chemistry. I couldn’t tell you what a starting 5 would be, so it’s going to be important that we establish roles and a rotation and guys buy in. We might start off slow but come March I expect us to compete and be able to win the MAC tourney. 

I have all the faith that Oats will schedule well and he and the coaching staff will get the best out of these guys. Grow, develop and gel on the court. Future remains bright.

Two very good forecasts for next year. Do agree one very big key is how much Jordan improves in all aspects of his game. If he does not improve some other player will have to step up. On paper all the opinions look good if it shows on the floor. The key as always is can these players mesh together and have success.In order to gain confidence they have to win games and show individual progress. I point to the women’s season. With the loss of 3/4 of the starting team there was not an expectation that they could achieve that much success. It was the incredible work of the coaching staff and the players mindset, hard work and never give up that they achieved success. Nate and the incoming players will have to show that same work attitude. Our family will remember our Cleveland journey forever, Go Bulls!!!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All this talk of preseason rankings, after getting bounced in 2nd round and losing so many seniors? I guess I like the optimism. 😉

Do any of the guys have a chance of approaching Wes Clark in terms of making plays? A playmaker who can also pull up and shoot... was worried about that all year, and the lack showed against TT. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ed said:

All this talk of preseason rankings, after getting bounced in 2nd round and losing so many seniors? I guess I like the optimism. 😉

Do any of the guys have a chance of approaching Wes Clark in terms of making plays? A playmaker who can also pull up and shoot... was worried about that all year, and the lack showed against TT. 

Do agree. Wes Clark had a total all around offensive game. He could drive and finish around the basket, shoot the 3 ball and most important could shoot the pull up jumper around the foul line. Truly with the advent of the 3 pointer the pull up jumper inside the key is a thing of the past. Players probably do not practice that shot and coaches have abandoned it for the most part. Very interested to see what Johnson’s offensive game is like. I can only hope Jordan upgrades his overall offensive game next year along with his free throw shooting. Go Bulls!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ed said:

All this talk of preseason rankings, after getting bounced in 2nd round and losing so many seniors? I guess I like the optimism. 😉

Do any of the guys have a chance of approaching Wes Clark in terms of making plays? A playmaker who can also pull up and shoot... was worried about that all year, and the lack showed against TT. 

Completely agree about Clark. He had a very throwback type of game with his pull ups. With his handle and at his size that pull up J was a weapon. That’s what Segu needs to develop. But Wes a 4 start SEC caliber player...whose talent oozed the minute he stepped on the court and there was no fear in him about playing against P5 teams. Wish we had him for more than half a season.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highlights of Antwain Johnson show that he actually does have a very nice pull up jump shot from both mid range and 3. Not sure how he’ll compare to Clark but fingers crossed 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I think we are jumping the gun about wanting a midrange jump shooter. I thought we could have used one against Tech but let’s not get carried away. That’s still an inefficient shot. It does come in handy when a play breaks down and there is no time on the clock but other than that, I don’t think we change our offense. Wes was allowed to do it because well it was Wes. 

For next year: the most important guy is Nate Oats.

- This guy turned Blake Hamilton into a star.

- As good as CJ was, I’m not sure he gets to MAC player of the year without Oats. 

- Caruthers became a MAC defensive player of the year. The kid was just a volume scorer before Oats.

- Perkins I won’t mention since he was a good recruit.

Anyway my point is that Oats has done far more with far less. He has s system and it works. Is he the next Popovich? Heck why not. He’s that good. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more important part of the question was play maker, rather than pull-up shototer. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, admin said:

Guys, I think we are jumping the gun about wanting a midrange jump shooter. I thought we could have used one against Tech but let’s not get carried away. That’s still an inefficient shot. It does come in handy when a play breaks down and there is no time on the clock but other than that, I don’t think we change our offense. Wes was allowed to do it because well it was Wes. 

For next year: the most important guy is Nate Oats.

- This guy turned Blake Hamilton into a star.

- As good as CJ was, I’m not sure he gets to MAC player of the year without Oats. 

- Caruthers became a MAC defensive player of the year. The kid was just a volume scorer before Oats.

- Perkins I won’t mention since he was a good recruit.

Anyway my point is that Oats has done far more with far less. He has s system and it works. Is he the next Popovich? Heck why not. He’s that good. 

I understand what you are saying about pull up jumpers. With the advent of the 3 pointer for the most part the jump shot has gone by the wayside. Against TTwhen UB could not get to the rim the pull up jumper would of been a nice option. When your 3’s are not working isn’t a coach or team suppposed to change strategy? Just saying it would of been a nice option. The bottom line is if a team has a bad shooting night and can’t adjust their game strategy they are probably going to lose. In our case with only 4 loses all year our strategy worked very good. Go Bulls!!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A player with a nice mid range jump shot will always be a welcome addition. Not only just in case the play breaks down and we need a shot before the shot clock expires, but they usually bring an element of a player that can create their own scoring. Most of our points came from unselfish passing which ultimately led to spot up shots that were wide open for the most part. With 5 seniors graduating and a much younger team in general next year, I would like to see a player that can create their own scoring chances rather than relying on unselfish play from young and still inexperienced players

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, admin said:

Guys, I think we are jumping the gun about wanting a midrange jump shooter. I thought we could have used one against Tech but let’s not get carried away. That’s still an inefficient shot. It does come in handy when a play breaks down and there is no time on the clock but other than that, I don’t think we change our offense. Wes was allowed to do it because well it was Wes. 

For next year: the most important guy is Nate Oats.

I agree that this off season the staff has to grow and develop the talent returning and coming in. But about the pull up jumper...we aren’t saying it’s the only things but it’s a part of a repertoire that Segu should have. As a point guard Segu is playmaker first no doubt but imagine if he had a jumper teams would have an even tougher defending him. They wouldn’t be able to sag off him and prevent him from driving bc they’d have to respect his jumper. This would open things up offensively and thus allow him to create.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, everlast2504 said:

WTF WTF WTF. No No No. This can't be right. FML FML

Yeah, my stomach sunk about 300 levels when I saw the news pop across ESPN...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, 961819 said:

This is so depressing 

I'm definitely going to be drinking tonight...

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn damn damn. Sorry to you guys who put so much time and effort into breaking down next year's roster because it's all for nothing now. God knows who will be here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, MDBullsfan89 said:

Damn damn damn. Sorry to you guys who put so much time and effort into breaking down next year's roster because it's all for nothing now. God knows who will be here.

The die hards will keep this thing going. A setback is a setup for a comeback. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the life of a mid-major basketball program.  Success breeds departures as coaches get hired away to bigger programs.  The only school that avoids this is Gonzaga.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...