Buffalo Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Buffalo Bulls
Mid-American (23-9, 12-6)


On multiple occasions it looked like Buffalo was going to slip down the MAC standings and the RPI rankings. The Bulls lost back-to-back games to Central Michigan and Ohio in late January, but then pulled out a win over Western Michigan and a massive 80-55 victory over a very good Kent State squad. In February, Buffalo lost three more in a row, but once again turned around their fortunes and closed out the regular season with six straight wins.

Big Wins: 1/27 Western Michigan (77-71), 1/31 Kent State (80-55), 2/21 at Bowling Green (68-56)
Bad Losses: 12/3 at St. Bonaventure (63-72), 1/24 at Ohio (61-63), 2/7 at Akron (72-75)
Coach: Bobby Hurley

Why They Can Surprise:
Justin Moss and Shannon Evans form one of the more underappreciated inside-outside duos in the country. Moss, a 6-7 junior, came out of nowhere (he averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds last season) to lead Buffalo to a share of the MAC regular season title. Moss is averaging 17.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. He is a double-double machine and an absolute beast in the paint. Evans, a sophomore point guard, averages 15.4 points and 4.7 assists. He is a very good outside shooter, but has a knack for driving to the basket and either finishing himself, getting fouled or finding a teammate. Freshman Lamonte Bearden is a lot like Evans but without an outside shot. He too is a great passer and often finds himself at the foul line. Between Moss, Evans and Bearden, Buffalo spends a huge amount of time at the free-throw line and all three are pretty good free-throw shooters too.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Buffalo is a mid-major team that can bang in the paint with power conference teams. Xavier Ford is strong on the glass and Raheem Johnson and Will Regan provide Coach Bobby Hurley plenty of frontcourt depth to help keep Moss fresh and out of foul trouble. Perhaps the biggest issue for this group is their outside shooting and that falls on the shoulders of junior Jarryn Skeete. The opposition can collapse into the paint if they do not respect Skeete’s ability to shoot the ball and Buffalo will need space for Moss to operate and Evans and Bearden to drive the lane if they want to pull off a postseason upset.

Probable Starters:
Shannon Evans, Sophomore, Guard, 15.4 ppg, 4.7 apg
Lamonte Bearden, Freshman, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 4.3 apg
Jarryn Skeete, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 1.5 apg,
Xavier Ford, Senior, Forward, 9.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Justin Moss, Junior, Forward, 17.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Raheem Johnson, Junior, Forward, 2.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Will Regan, Senior, Forward, 6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Rodell Wiggington, Junior, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 1.0 apg, 4.3 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.8 (27th in nation, (3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.1 (226, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.6 (172, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (126, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (206, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (187, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.8 (48, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.7 (91, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.3 (111, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (65, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    CIT    First Round win over American
2012    CIT    Second Round loss to Oakland
2011    CIT    First Round win over Quinnipiac
2011    CIT    Second Round win over Western Michigan
2011    CIT    Quarterfinal loss to Iona
2009    CBI    First Round loss to Wichita State
2005    NIT    Opening Round win over Drexel
2005    NIT    First Round loss to St. Joseph's

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules