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Big 4 Classic: Turnovers, rebounding key for Bulls, Griffs

Big 4 Classic Capsule

Canisius (6-5) vs. UB (5-5)

3:30 p.m. Saturday, KeyBank Center

Canisius update: So far so good for point guard Malik Johnson, a 5-10 freshman from Virginia. He’s averaging 27 minutes a game and has 41 assists and 26 turnovers. The Griffs needed senior wing Kiefer Douse to take a big step up after averaging just 12 minutes and 3 points last year. He’s producing, too, with averages of 27 minutes and 9.2 points. What happens if Canisius is forced to use a big lineup? That’s an unknown at this point.

UB update: The Bulls have played the 20th toughest schedule in the nation, according to the Pomeroy analytics. UB’s depth is better than the last two seasons. Watch for 6-8 freshman Quate McKinzie, the prized recruit from North Carolina. He runs the floor and plays above the rim. How much can centers Ikenna Smart and Raheem Johnson contribute? How good is UB’s big lineup, when a center is on the floor and Nick Perkins plays the 4 spot? That will be a story throughout the season for the Bulls.

Matchup: Canisius has had trouble on the defensive glass the past two seasons. See if UB can exploit it. UB is making turnovers on 22.5 percent of its possessions. See if the Griffs can force sloppiness.

Uniforms: Canisius will wear the gold Lakers-style uniforms from the 1980s Ray Hall-era. UB will wear white 1980s uniforms with “Buffalo” script lettering.

Series: Canisius leads, 24-17. UB has won four of the last six.

Tickets: $25 for the doubleheader.

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