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UB men's basketball to host Daemen College in exhibition action Friday night

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO ATHLETICS

Buffalo vs. Daemen
October 26, 2018

Alumni Arena
 - 7:00 pm
Bulls on the Air
Radio - ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
Television - ESPN+

Quick Hits:

• The University at Buffalo men's basketball team opens the 2018-19 season on Friday evening with an exhibition against Daemen College.  This is the fourth straight year that the Bulls and Wildcats will meet in exhibition action.  Dating back to last season, this will be the third straight game against a team with the nickname, Wildcats (Arizona, Kentucky, Daemen).
• For the first time in school history, the Bulls received votes in the preseason AP Poll as UB received 14 votes, good for a tie for 37th in the nation.
• Buffalo became the first program since Kent State to win its third MAC Tournament Championship in a four-year period as the Golden Flashes did it in 1999,2001, 2002.  No MAC program has ever won four MAC Tournament titles in a five-year span.
• Last season Buffalo was the only team in the nation to have four players average 15.0 or more points per game.  The Bulls return three of those four players: CJ Massinburg (17.0), Nick Perkins (16.2), and Jeremy Harris(15.5).
• Senior CJ Massinburg begins his senior season as one just four players nationally with over 1,300 career points, 500 career rebounds, and 200 career assists.  He is ninth on UB's all-time scoring list with 1,354 career points.


The Opponent:

• Daemen went 22-8 on the season last year and 15-3 in conference play before falling in their East Coast Conference semifinal matchup to St. Thomas Aquinas.   The Wildcats were amongst the ECC leaders in points per game as they were second in the league and they were the best defense in the ECC, holding opponents to just 70.7 points per game.
 
• This season, Daemen has been ranked 22nd in the nation in the preseason edition of the Division II Bulletin, a national publication that specializes in the coverage of NCAA Division II men's basketball. It marks the first time in Daemen's NCAA Division II era that the Wildcats have appeared in the Division II Bulletin national rankings.  They are one of just two teams from the East Region in the national rankings.
 
• Daemen returns their top six scorers from last season's team including redshirt sophomore Andrew Sischo, who averaged 15.4 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per contest, and redshirt senior Deion Hamilton, who averaged 15.1 points per game.
 
• The 2018-19 season will mark Mike MacDonald's fifth year as the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Daemen College.  MacDonald, who was introduced as the sixth head coach in the modern history of the program on September 16, 2014, has led Daemen to a 81-37 record over his first four seasons, giving Daemen the second most wins of any East Coast Conference team in that span. Before arriving at Daemen, MacDonald spent eight years leading the men's basketball team at Medaille College (2006-14) where he transformed the program into a regional contender at the NCAA Division III level. Prior to his stint at Medaille, MacDonald served as the head coach at Canisius College from 1997-2006, guiding the Golden Griffins to 108 wins which ranks him third in program history for coaching victories.
 
Bulls Set To Kickoff 2018-19 Season With Exhibition
Coming off the best season in school history, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team will take the court for the first time to open the 2018-19 campaign as they host Daemen College for an exhibition game on Friday night.  This is the fourth straight year that the two teams will meet in the exhibition game.
 
Last year the Bulls dispatched the Wildcats, 77-55, but two seasons ago Daemen was able to take the Bulls to overtime in the game.  Following Friday night's contest, UB will have 10 days to prepare for its regular season opener on Nov. 6 when the Bulls host St. Francis (PA) at Alumni Arena.
 
I Love The 80's
Last season the Bulls averaged 84.6 points per game, the highest scoring total in school history for a single season.  UB scored 80 points in 26 of its 36 games last season, which was tied for the second most 80-point performances with Duke.  Villanova was the only team in the country with more 80-point performances at 29.
 
No other MAC team had more than 16 80-point games last season and that was Central Michigan and Toledo. As for MAC East programs, Buffalo's 26 performances are more than double any team in the division as Ohio was second with 12 80-point games. 

During his three seasons as head coach of the Bulls, teams coached by Nate Oats have scored 80 or more points in 54 of his 103 games.  The Bulls are 46-8 in those games when scoring at least 80 points.
 
History On The Horizon
The Bulls are looking to accomplish something this season that has never been done in Mid-American Conference history as no MAC school has ever won four conference tournament titles in a five-year period.  Buffalo became the first MAC school to win three in a four-year period since Kent State did it in 1999, 2001, 2002. The MAC Tournament dates back to the 1979-80 season.
 
Mass Production
Senior CJ Massinburg begins his senior season within striking distance of becoming UB's all-time leading scorer.  Massinburg currently has 1,354 career points, which is ninth in school history and he is just 31 points shy of passing Louis Campbell (1998-02) for eighth place.  With a strong senior season, Massinburg could surpass the 2,000-point mark and become Buffalo's all-time leading scorer.
 
Massinburg currently has 1,354 points, 542 rebounds and 214 assists though three seasons.  He one of just four players nationally with at least 1,300 career points, 500 career rebounds, and 200 career assists joining Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), John Konchar (Fort Wayne), and Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State).  Massinburg has played in the fewest amount of games of that group at 95.
 
Perks And Recreation
Senior Nick Perkins begins his senior season 14th on UB's all-time scoring list with 1,245 points, just 35 shy of Rick Coleman (1987-91) for 13th place.  Perkins was named first-team All-MAC last season and he was named the MAC's Sixth Man of the Year for the second straight season.  Perkins scored in double figures in 25 straight games last year after returning to the bench.  Over the previous two years, Perkins has scored 20 points or more nine times as a reserve, the sixth highest totally nationally.
 
Perkins was Buffalo's leading scorer in MAC games last season as he averaged 18.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per contest.  Perkins shot 53.2% from the floor and on two-point attempts only, his field goal percentage was 60%.
 
The Harris Poll
Senior Jeremy Harris had a breakout year for the Bulls last season in his first season with the Blue and White.  Harris was a second-team All-MAC selection as he averaged 15.5 points per game, including 17.4 points per contest in league games only.  Over the 18-game MAC season, Harris led the league in three-point shooting at .463.  Harris was one of just 11 players in the nation to shoot over 46% from three in conference games, while attempting over 100 three-pointers. He joins Pat Andree from Lehigh as the only two to do it, while also pulling in over 100 rebounds.
 
Harris was named to the All-Tournament team at the MAC Tournament after he finished with a career high 27 points in the quarterfinals against Central Michigan.  One game later, Harris added 22 points against Kent State in the semifinals, going 5-of-6 from three-point range.  He scored 23 points in UB"s NCAA Tournament First Round victory over Arizona, while adding seven rebounds.
 
Crossing Jordan
One of the most improved players in the entire Mid-American Conference last season was junior point guard Davonta Jordan.  After averaging under 3.0 points per game during his freshman season, Jordan averaged 6.5 points per game last year as a sophomore, while adding 144 assists, the most on the team.  Through two years, Jordan is the only player in the Mid-American Conference to record 200 career assists over his freshman and sophomore seasons.  He is currently UB's active career leader in assists with 224.
 
Jordan picked up his scoring last year, including his first career 20-point performance, which came in a win at Delaware.  Defensively, Jordan was selected to the All-MAC Defensive Team as well.
 
Dontay's Inferno
When healthy, UB's senior guard Dontay Caruthers is one of the top defenders in the Mid-American Conference.  Caruthers was named the 2016-17 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, but last season, Caruthers played in just 25 games, missing 11 with a leg injury.  When playing, Caruthers averaged 6.7 points per game, including a pair of 20-point performances.
 
Caruthers scored 23 points and had seven rebounds in Buffalo's win over UAB in the Cayman Islands and he followed that up stateside with 23 points at Niagara.  Overall, Caruthers shot .598 from the floor, which was the best of any player on the Bulls that took over 100 shots.
He had a solid postseason for the Bulls, beginning with a career-high eight assists in the MAC quarterfinals win over Central Michigan. He had 11 points in the semifinal win over Kent State and he added seven points and three steals in UB's NCAA Second Round game against Kentucky.
 
Graves Digger
Sophomore Jayvon Graves will look to take the jump from freshman to sophomore season that his teammate Davonta Jordan took last year.  Graves played in all 36 games for the Bulls last year off the bench, averaging 5.1 points per game.  Graves had a season-high 16 points in a win at Ball State last year, while adding 11 points in his homecoming game at Akron.
 
One of the most athletic players on the team, Graves showed off his leaping ability at Bulls Madness, winning the Slam Dunk competition.  He showed off that athleticism on the defensive end as well last year, leading the Bulls with 29 blocked shots, becoming the shortest UB player to lead his team in blocks since Calvin Betts in 2008-09.
 
The Real McRae
Senior Montell McRae averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in his first season with the Bulls after transferring in from South Plains Junior College.  McRae played in all 36 games for UB and started five contests early.  He had three games where he scored in double figures in points, including a conference road win at Akron, where he finished with 11.  He scored nine points on three made three-pointers at Texas A&M last year, keeping the Bulls close against their SEC foe. 
 
Brock and Roll
After redshirting as a freshman, sophomore Brock Bertram made his debut on the court last year, averaging 1.1 points per game 1.1 rebounds per contest as he saw action in 18 contests, picking up one start.  He scored a season-high five points in the regular season finale against Bowling Green.
 
A high school standout in Apple Valley, MN, Bertram was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in the state of Minnesota as his high school program went 118-7 during his career at Apple Valley High School.
 
Williams To Show He's Prolific
Fans will get their first chance to watch highly-touted freshman Jeenathan Williams, who will play his first season for the Bulls this year.  A Rochester, NY native, Williams spent his senior season at Prolific Prep in Napa Valley, CA where he averaged 15.8 points per game.
 
Williams has been listed by Rivals.com as the 83rd best recruit in the country and ESPN.com listed him as the sixth best player in the state of New York.
 
Ball On A String
One of the other highly-touted newcomers on this year's team is freshman Ronaldo "Rondo" Segu.  A native of Orlando, FL, Segu won a 3A State Title his senior season with Orlando Christian Prep, scoring 11 points in the title game.  Segu played his prep ball with current North Carolina freshman Nassir Little, who many have pegged as a possible #1 overall NBA draft pick next season.
 
Segu was listed as the 44th best point guard in the nation by Rivals.com this past season.  He is a social media star, that has over 108,000 followers on Instagram.
 
The Hawkeye
Sophomore transfer Tra'Von Fagan is UB's first player from the state of Iowa as he comes to the Bulls by way of Florida Southwestern State College.  Fagan averaged 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in his freshman season of junior college, helping them to a 30-3 record.  Fagan was named to the All-Tournament team at the NJCAA National Tournament.
 
The Waterloo, IA native played at Cedar Falls High School where he averaged 19.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a senior, earning first-team All-State honors.
 
Walk This Way
The Bulls return a pair of walk ons from last years team, while adding three more to the squad.  Returning for their second season are sophomores Colby Moultrie and Dominic Johnson. Johnson, a backup quarterback on the football team, will join the team at the conclusion of the football season.  Buffalo has also added three additional walk ons, who are all redshirting this season in Daemen transfer Giambattista Davis, SUNY Cortland product Patrick Moore and Atlanta, Ga native Jamon Bivens, who will miss the year due to a knee injury.
 
More Help Ahead 
Two additional players are on this year's roster, but must sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules and both will have one season with the Bulls in 2019-20.  The first is guard Antwain Johnson, who comes to UB from Middle Tennessee State where he averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 44.2% from the field during his junior season last year.
 
Gabe Grant comes to UB from Houston where he was on head coach Kelvin Sampson's team last year.  Grant scored 12 points in just 11 minutes of action last year in a game against East Carolina. Prior to joining the Cougars, Grant played two seasons at Three Rivers Community College where he was named a JUCO All-American as a freshman after averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.