No Bull: UB Pulls In Two Top Hoops Recruits
by Amy Audibert, Buffalo Sports Page College Basketball Expert
Like many men’s college basketball programs, recruiting has been a “hot topic” for the Buffalo Bulls. Unlike many of these programs, the tone in Alumni Arena’s hallways is positive. With good reason.
While most of the “hoops loop” is focused on arguably the biggest recruiting scandal the sports has ever seen, Western New York could be feeling pretty optimistic. With some recent BIGTIME commits, not only should UB be expecting a solid upcoming season, but with very strong incoming young talent, success is foreseeable in the years to come.
Just a few weeks back, on September 23, Jeenathan Williams took to this twitter account and let the world know he was verbally committing to be a future Bull.
— Jeenathan Williams (@JeenathanW11) September 24, 2017
With somewhere around 19 other division 1 offers, this a BIG win for Buffalo Head Coach Nate Oats and his entire staff. A 6’7’’ Rochester, NY native, Williams is listed in at #32 on ESPN’s Top 100 Small Forwards ranking. That’s a very notable four star recruit.
This past weekend on October 1st, a still excited Buffalo fan base has had no time to simmer. Yes, another four star verbal commitment, this time coming from the social media post of 5’10’’ point guard Ronaldo Segu.
It been a good journey ???????? pic.twitter.com/KeN478327Y
— Ronaldo Segu (@SeguRonaldo) October 1, 2017
Like future teammate Williams, the Orlando native can also be found on ESPN’s Top 100 for his position; #38 amongst all point guards for the 2018 class.
There are factors which make this class (looking to round out with one more signee) especially exciting. First and foremost, both Williams and Segu will be starting their careers at New York’s Public Powerhouse as true freshman. They have not burned years of eligibility at junior or community colleges nor forced to take a redshirt due to transfer. These are two potential four year, ready-to-go players. When you have some big names coming in with this class status, it certainly gives the program and it’s local community a sense of foundation and that is sadly often lost nowadays in college athletics. These two young men visited the University at Buffalo together on official visits during the weekend of Sept 22. UB Football hosted FAU and won by 3 in extremely exciting fashion. School spirit and local support would have been leaking out all over campus and the surrounding area. There is no coincidence that Williams committed by the end of that weekend and Segu was quick to jump on board as well.
It is worth noting that Williams not only thanked Coach Oats in his announcement but also UB Asst. Coach Bryan Hodgson. He’s done a terrific job identifying and recruiting talent during his first two years for the blue and white. Hodgson is also largely responsible for recent Bulls like junior college transfers Blake Hamilton, Willie Conner, David Kadiri and Dontay Caruthers. While also playing a major role in Segu’s process, there is no doubt that with this class, Hodgson is quickly climbing the public ranks as one of the country’s top recruiters.
AT the end of the day, the rankings, writeups and high school/prep stats mean almost nothing the minute these young men step onto campus next season. There is no guarantee as to what will pan out either on of off the court. However, make no mistake- these commitments are MAJOR wins for this men’s basketball program moving forward. While none of us possesses that dearly desired crystal ball- one thing is certain and that is the belief from two of the world’s highly sought out recruits that they can come and be a part of something special that Nate Oats & Co. are building. It is one thing to entertain proposals from coaches during the recruiting process and to smile and shake hands on official visits. But to make the commitment and tell the world where you will continue your court and classroom career, well, that’s the real deal.
The early National Letter of Intent Signing period opens on November 8. At this time, Williams and Segu can make their “Bull Status” official. When those documents are signed and received the staff, administration and entire UB community can actually celebrate. But for now, at least a pat on the back for a job well done and the realistic vision of a very bright future.