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Buffalo’s Elite Offense will be Tested by Kentucky’s Disruptive Defense

Ken Blaze | USA Today

Buffalo’s explosive offense carried them to a fist round NCAA Tournament victory.  Today they’ll be put to the test against a lengthy, proven defense for the first time.  The Bulls average 84.8 points per game, good enough for a three-way tie with Duke and Xavier as the nation’s No. 3 scoring team.

They’ve reached the top through balance. Buffalo pushes the pace, yet they’re still ranked in the Top 20 in offensive efficiency.  Four players shoot more than 40 percent from behind the three-point line, yet they don’t completely rely on long-range scoring with just 34 percent of their points coming from three.

The Buffalo blitz kept Arizona on their heels.  Ranked No. 88 in KenPom’s defensive efficiency rating, Arizona’s bigs could not keep up with the athletic Bulls.  Kentucky can afford to play small with P.J. Washington and Wenyen Gabriel, yet still have disruptive length.  UK’s defense is ranked No. 15 is field goal percentage defense (40.5%), No. 4 in three-point defense (30%) and is No. 22 in KenPom.

“I think our length is what bothers teams, and our athleticism. And we’ve been able to defend the rim,” Wenyen Gabriel said yesterday.  “Our communication has picked up as a team. As young players we’ve been coming together and that’s helped us defensively.”

The statistics create an equation for an excellent match-up.  The will to win will be tested by a fight to the finish.

“We’re playing like we have nothing to lose,” John Calipari said. “If we play and they play, it’s probably going to come down to who has the ball last. That happens in the NCAA Tournament when two teams are fighting.  If they come after us and we back up, they win the game. It’s just how it is.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

12 Comments for Buffalo’s Elite Offense will be Tested by Kentucky’s Disruptive Defense

  1. Catcasey1
    1:24 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    We got to beat this team and put that smart a$$ coach in his place

  2. BigBlueNationDude
    1:24 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    They are a solid team. All their losses were close. Only lost to cincy by 6 and syeacuse by 7. Gotta hit a couple threes. Matchup zone or 3-2 zone would be nice to see imo. Richards may not actually start or see the floor in this one.

    • KYJelly
      1:38 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

      Nick Richards will start, they start a 6’10” guy who is a lot like Nick. Prolly won’t play much though

  3. KYJelly
    1:39 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    Rebounding will be HUGE. In this game. We have a lot of size but they attack the boards (hence why their best rebounder is 6’3″). This will probably be a battle, but I think our length and athleticism will create separation with about 8 mins left. This will be a game where we miss Vando’s rebounding and speed.

    • Mathlete
      2:14 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed, rebounding is the key to the game. Win that battle and you’ll probably win the war.

  4. gasman01
    1:56 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    We cannot have one of those five minute droughts or we will get beat. Glad their coach shot his mouth off. Locker room material!!

  5. plumloopy
    2:08 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    1. We have a LOT to lose actually. BBN considers it a lot to lose. Just because expectations have lowered in what has been a mostly disappointing year (come on, they were top 10 to start), doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to lose. That said, I know it’s coach speak but who’s buying? Now Buffalo can truly play like they have nothing to lost, however.

    2. I want the win, however we get it, but if we’re Kentucky and if we’re looking at 13 seeded Buffalo and saying that it will come down to who has the ball last… something’s not right in this world.

    It’s coach speak, I know, but we have the advantage of not having any of these teams sneak up on us. We still don’t have to act like an underdog.

  6. CombatMedic_98
    2:33 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    All this said, it will amount to who we got calling the fouls tonight I zebra suits!!!! If they call it even, we’ll do fine!!!!

    • makeitstop
      2:47 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

      Mark Emmert just announced a new policy for the tourney to ensure consistency in how games are called, a crew will follow one team throughout the tourney from round to round, and ours is a “blue chip” crew w experience w our team: Higgins, Adams and Show. TV Teddy

    • makeitstop
      2:48 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

      Oops – TV Teddy is the alternate… just kidding. I hope!

    • 4everUKblue
      2:51 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

      When have any of our games been called even?

  7. Smyrna_Cat
    2:39 pm March 17, 2018 Permalink

    Hard to reach much in the comparison chart since schedules are so different.