The UB basketball team is good. Not great, but good. Better than the past few seasons, thanks to a little seasoning, but not nearly as good as during the Turner Battle/Daniel Gilbert years.
Still, this is Reggie Witherspoon’s best chance to win the MAC. Here’s why:
• He’s got an absolute horse in Calvin Betts. If you missed Saturday’s win over Ohio, all you need to know is this — Betts got banged up late in the second half when his knee got tweaked while going for an offensive rebound. He still guarded Ohio’s best player (Jerome Tillman) through the last few minutes and slowed him just enough to give UB the win. Oh, and he happened to tie a career high with 20 points, all just two days after he his grandfather died.
• They’re deep. Andy Robinson and Rodney Pierce have been average lately. Betts and freshman Titus Robinson have been playing well. No problem. One balances the other. Also, while Vadim Fedotov and Max Boudreau aren’t making any all-star teams, they bang for a bit inside, and that’s always a plus. And there’s a glut of guards with John Boyer playing pretty well.
• But here’s the most important reason — the MAC stinks this year. Worst it’s been in Reggie’s decade in the conference. The Bulls have already beaten Akron on the road, and came back to beat a solid Ohio team. And the West is awful — Western Michigan, which leads the division, is 3-0 in league, and 3-10 out of it.
So this is it. With better recruits coming in throughout the league next season, Witherspoon better do it now, while he’s got the chance.