The University at Buffalo men's basketball may be facing the most dangerous threat so far to its unbeaten record (8-0) in Mid-American Conference men's basketball play against Kent State (11-10, 5-3 MAC) tonight in Kent, Ohio (Radio 1520, 7 p.m.)
The Bulls' rivalry with the Golden Flashes has been as intense as any in MAC play and the most unpredictable.
UB had lost 14 straight games at the M.A.C center before winning in 2014. The Bulls have since gone 4-0 there including a 77-69 triumph there last season. However, in the return game at Alumni Arena, Kent upset UB, 82-69, then in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland eliminated the Bulls, 68-65.
Kent State has a 31-15 advantage in the all-time series between the schools.
Another reason to be guarded about tonight's prospects is that Kent has won four of its last five games, including Saturday's first MAC road win of the season at Central Michigan.
UB nemesis Jimmy Hall has graduated but coach Rob Senderoff, an University at Albany graduate, has reloaded. Kent State relies heavily on transfers and had four from junior colleges and six from four-year schools. One is 7-foot junior center Julius De La Rosa, from the Bronx by way of Williston State in South Dakota. De La Rosa is averaging 11.8 points per game.
A three-year regular is 6-1 guard Jaylin Walker from Romulus, Mich., who leads the Golden Flashes in scoring at 17.1. Walker played for UB coach Nate Oats and with UB guard Wes Clark in high school.
Kevin Sabo, a 6-2 senior from Quebec, is averaging 19.4 ppg for Kent State in eight MAC games.
UB has been powered by diversified scoring and depth. Junior Jeremy Harris was named the MAC East Co-Player of the Week on Monday, the fifth straight week UB has won the award and second time in three weeks that Harris has been honored.
Harris averaged a double-double (12.0 ppg and 12.0 rebounds) for the Bulls as in wins over Eastern Michigan at home and Ohio U. on the road. He had 22 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and four assists in the win over Eastern Michigan. Harris had 20 of those points in the second half. At Ohio he had 17 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. Harris is averaging 16.5 points in MAC games and 7.3 rebounds.
Harris is not the only offensive threat. C.J. Massinburg, Harris and Clark are averaging in double figures as is Nick Perkins, a 1,000-point career scorer. Starting center Ikenna Smart had a career high 14 rebounds and 10 points at Ohio. Davonta Jordan, Montell McRae, Jayvon Graves and James Reese all have turned in double-figure scoring this season and Dontay Caruthers is a defensive ace.
After tonight UB will be home for a nationally televised game (CBS Sports Network) against Western Michigan.