Tonawanda News

Sports

January 22, 2014

UB starting to find a winning identity

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The Bulls are among the top teams in the nation in three-point defense, holding opponents to an impressive 20 percent from beyond the arc. 

The team takes on its defensive identity from senior point Jarod Oldham, who Hurley called one of the best defenders he’s been around in college basketball.

“There’s no one that I’ve been around that pressures the ball as well as Jarod Oldham, that I’ve seen in college basketball or had a chance to work with. That does wonders for your team and the whole defense,” Hurley said. “The guys are understanding the value of guarding at a very high level, what it means to winning and what it means to get a chance to play out in the open court and in transition.”

McCrea is in the top three in scoring, rebounding and blocks in the MAC, and is the only active NCAA Division I player with 1,600 points, 800 rebounds and 200 blocks for a career. The senior gets double and triple teams on a nightly basis, but Hurley has been creative in finding ways to make teams pay.

Local product Will Regan scored a regular season career-best 25 points against Kent State and brought down 10 rebounds to give him a double-double against Kent. McCrea, being the excellent passer he is, recorded five assists in the game and found Regan on several occasions for big shots. 

Regan said life is easy sometimes because of how much attention McCrea garners. “For me, there is an opportunity every night to go off when you play with Javon,” he said.

McCrea and Regan have known each other since high school and have developed a nice on-court chemistry.

“They have a good feel for each other and playing off each other,” Hurley said. “The time they’ve spent together over the years, you can see that where they just have a feel for where they are on the floor. Javon didn’t have a huge scoring night but he was great passing with five assists, which was huge. He’s an unselfish guy, he’s about winning. 

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