The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team has signed a 6-foot-6 junior college wingman from California and a 6-foot-3 off-guard from Dallas, the school announced Wednesday. The moves bring to five the recruiting class of new coach Nate Oats.
The junior college forward is Blake Hamilton, who UB thinks can be an impact player right away. He’s an athletic forward who went to the rim and defended last season for Mount San Antonio College in California. He averaged 13.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
Hamilton figures to fill a role that could have been targeted for Torian Graham, a 6-5 wingman who transferred from the University of Houston to Buffalo last fall. Graham is not expected to return to UB. He was recruited by former aide Levi Watkins and practiced with the Bulls in the spring semester but never was announced as a scholarship player.
“Blake is a multi-talented, skilled guard with great size that will be able to play multiple positions for us,” Oats said. “He’s going to be a crucial player for us over these next two years. We are really excited to have a player of Blake’s caliber, and we are excited to get him on campus to work with us.”
Hamilton was a first-team all-star in his junior college league, comprising mostly California schools. He’s a native of Pasadena, Calif. Hamilton played his freshman season at Northern Arizona, where he averaged 3.8 points a game. He also was recruited by Hawaii, Cal-Northridge and New Mexico State out of high school. Hamilton’s father played at Texas-El Paso and he is a cousin of Los Angeles Clippers forward Jordan Hamilton.
The Dallas recruit, C.J. Massinburg, figures to vie for playing time next season as one of the backups to starting off-guard Jarryn Skeete. Massinburg averaged 23.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in helping South Oak Cliff High School to a 22-6 record. Massinburg was named offensive most valuable player of his nine-team league and for the past two years made the 20-member Texas Class 5A all-state team. He led the 5A class in total points.
“We’re really excited to bring CJ into our family here,” said Oats. “He has a real chance to be a big contributor for us over the next four years. He is a big guard with a huge upside that can play multiple positions. He has won everywhere he has been, playing on extremely successful high school and AAU teams and we are thrilled that he will bring that winning attitude to Buffalo.”
Oats’ recruiting class also includes junior college players Willie Conner and David Kadiri, and power forward Nick Perkins.