Stars laid foundation for UB’s future
Oats will be forced to coach Bulls for first time without Massinburg, Perkins next season
TULSA, Okla. — University at Buffalo men’s basketball coach Nate Oats pointed to his left at a pair of players who became the foundation of the Bulls’ most successful season ever.
He considered what CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins, two of Oats’ first recruits, did to help build the program and to set a standard.
Then Oats, who took over in 2015, realized he has to figure out what to do without Massinburg and Perkins, who will graduate after helping the Bulls complete their most historic season.
“These two guys right here, I’ve coached I don’t know how many Division 1 games,” Oats said Sunday, after a 78-58 loss to Texas Tech in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. “Every single one I’ve coached, I’ve had these two. I haven’t coached one without these two. It will be different for me. I love these two guys. They mean everything to me over last four years. They’ve done a great job setting the table for the young guys, showing them how to work, how to play, how to be unselfish.”
With Massinburg at guard and Perkins in the paint, the Bulls won their fourth Mid-American Conference Tournament championship, reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time and set a MAC
CJ Massinburg, left, and Nick Perkins helped establish the foundation of UB’s most successful season in school history.