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UBSPECTRUM.COM

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2017

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VOLUME 67 NO. 23

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Q&A FELISHA with head coach

LEGETTE-JACK Women’s basketball head coach weighs in on multiple topics THOMAS ZAFONTE SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR

The Bulls (2-0, 0-0 MAC) are only two games into the season and already look impressive on both sides of the ball. Much of that success should be attributed to head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and the coaching staff. The Spectrum met with LegetteJack to talk about the upcoming season, the team’s previous success, her process on becoming the Bulls’ head coach and more. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Q&A with head coach

NATE OATS The Spectrum spoke with Coach Oats about the new season DANIEL PETRUCCELLI SPORTS EDITOR

The Buffalo Bulls (2-0) are two games into a young season. Expectations are high for Buffalo and the Mid-American Conference coaches selected them to win the MAC East Division. They were also selected to finish as runner-ups in the MAC tournament. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

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Women’s and Men’s Basketball Roster 2017

PHOTOS: ALLISON STAEBELL & TROY WACHALA / THE SPECTRUM

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NEWS

Page 2 | The Spectrum

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Faculty Senate votes against censuring Shibley in midst of larger debate The censure resolution is settled, while larger questions about shared governance remain

SARAH CROWLEY SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

The Faculty Senate decided by a two to one margin not to censure Dean Robert Shibley in a closed ballot Tuesday, following an hour of contentious debate between faculty members and administrators. After they raised dozens of issues –– from whether or not the Senate had the right to pursue this grievance, to the dictionary definition of the word ‘typical’ –– both sides agreed the censure case rested on incomplete information. The result was a vote of 43 opposed to censuring Shibley, 15 in favor and three senators abstaining. The censure case is closed, but questions about accountability, transparency and confidentiality in the hiring and firing of professors remain unanswered. Faculty members on both sides of the issue disagreed over the renewal process and the role of the Faculty Senate at the university and some feel the Senate mishandled its deliberations. The Senate members were voting on whether to censure Shibley and the School of Architecture and Planning after a subcommittee found he mishandled an assistant professor’s dismissal. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee proposed the censure resolution after Shibley and Provost Charles Zukoski ignored their request to reinstate the assistant professor. The issue took on heightened importance after the Senate learned the former professor became seriously ill and was without adequate health insurance. Deborah Chung, an aerospace and mechanical engineering professor, spoke in favor of censure at Tuesday’s meeting. The situation was a “Catch-22” because the School

KATIE KOSTELNY / THE SPECTRUM

Robert Shibley, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, stands before the Faculty Senate. The Senate voted against a resolution at Tuesday night’s meeting which would have publicly censured Shibley.

of Architecture and Planning withheld information surrounding the case, Chung said, arguing that the resolution couldn’t be voted on because the Senate didn’t have all the information. Chung also expressed concern over UB Provost Charles Zukoski’s presence at the meeting. She said it would have been more appropriate if the provost, who is the school’s top academic officer, had stepped out. “Though we keep talking about Dean Shibley, this case is intimately tied to our provost. Without his consent, the non-renewal would not have happened,” Chung said. “And our provost is here, which it makes it very difficult for people to be willing to say something in the open in a situation where the provost, who is in such a high position of authority on this campus, is involved intimately with the case and intimately with the side of the case that Dean Shibley is on.” Senate Chairman Phil Glick also accused the provost of attempting to “intimidate and bully” the Senate prior to Tuesday’s vote. Paul Zarembka, grievance officer for

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UB’s United University Professionals North Campus chapter, accused Shibley of making the non-renewal decision without receiving an official report from the department chair, which made it impossible for the professor to pursue a grievance through her union. “There’s a very important step that was not undertaken at all,” Zarembka said. “If the department had made a recommendation to the dean, we would’ve had a grievance at UUP. There was nothing. So what do we have here? We have simply, the dean making a decision arbitrarily without any input. That’s a terrible way it seems to me, to run a professional organization.” The contract between UB and pre-tenure faculty members contains an article that allows for pre-tenure professors to be dismissed without any justification. This leaves the majority of faculty members vulnerable to a practice that Glick called “a terrible condition of employment.” Glick said he hopes this debate will inspire faculty members to work more aggressively with their union to improve this as-

pect of their contract. “How do we expect to hire people, retain people and to have people grow developmentally if they’re living under this potential threat?” Glick said. Shibley said he agrees it is difficult to dismiss a professor without explanation, but it is “best practice in employee relations” for a reason, he said. He doesn’t like the policy, but it becomes necessary. “I understand it [because] there’s never a good reason from the perspective of the person who’s not being renewed,” Shibley said. “So how do you make [the rest of the process] fair for them? You make the support system as strong as possible when you’re here; you look for them to be reflective and to be continually improving in significant ways towards the goal of being renewed, looking to tenure. Those are all conversations that happen in a supportive and nurturing environment, but ultimately somebody’s got to make a decision that is not so supportive and nurturing sometimes.” The practice is only one part of a much larger debate over whether the School of Architecture followed agreed-upon policies when it made its decision. Professors involved with the case insist the tenure-track schedule at issue was meant only as a “typical” promotion timeline, and does not constitute official policy or bylaws. The subcommittee disagrees. It found in May the dean did not follow a tenure-track schedule which was presented to the professor when the dean made his decision before receiving a full report from the professor’s mentoring committee. “The law is what it is, but that’s not what we were fighting about,” Glick said. “What we were fighting about is that the School of Architecture and Planning clearly had a tenuretrack schedule provided to the faculty member when she signed her letter of intent to come here in good faith that these policies would be followed. They didn’t follow that. And interestingly enough, as soon as this became controversial, they took that tenure-track schedule down off their website because they knew it was legal jeopardy for them.”

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OPINION

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Editorial Board

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Hannah Stein

The Spectrum | Page 3

Professional athletes engaging in activism raises awareness, sparks conversation

MANAGING EDITORS

David Tunis-Garcia Maggie Wilhelm COPY EDITORS

Dan McKeon, Chief Saqib Hossain Emma Medina

Activism on the field or court is powerful but should be followed by concrete action

NEWS EDITORS

Sarah Crowley, Senior Maddy Fowler FEATURES EDITOR

Max Kalnitz, Senior ARTS EDITORS

Benjamin Blanchet, Senior Brenton Blanchet SPORTS EDITORS

Thomas Zafonte, Senior Danny Petruccelli Jeremy Torres, Asst. MULTIMEDIA EDITORS

Troy Wachala, Senior Allison Staebell, Senior CREATIVE DIRECTORS

Pierce Strudler Arielle Channin, Asst. Alyssa Brouillet, Asst. CARTOONIST

Ardi Digap

Professional Staff OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Helene Polley

ADVERTISING MANAGER

Ayesha Kazi GRAPHIC DESIGN MANAGERS

Stephen Jean-Pierre Shawn Zhang, Asst.

THE SPECTRUM Thursday, November 16, 2017 Volume 67 Number 23 Circulation 4,000

The views expressed – both written and graphic – in the Feedback, Opinion and Perspectives sections of The Spectrum do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board. Submit contributions for these pages to The Spectrum office at Suite 132 Student Union or news@ubspectrum.com. The Spectrum reserves the right to edit these pieces for style and length. If a letter is not meant for publication, please mark it as such. All submissions must include the author’s name, daytime phone number, and email address.

In this era of political turmoil, professional athletes are increasingly engaging in activism both on and off the field. Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness for and protest police brutality and systemic racism is one of the most prominent examples of activism in major league sports. Many NBA players wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts for warmups after police choked Eric Garner to death in Staten Island. The Spectrum editors support athletes’ use of free speech. Not only do professional athletes have a right to speak out on important issues, key players like LeBron James should be allowed their platforms to speak out as long as it doesn’t impact the game. But as “wokeness,” or social consciousness, becomes more of a social currency, it seems like it’s almost becoming trendy to engage in protests. More and more NFL players are choosing to take a knee, but the meaning seems to have been lost. It’s becoming less of a radical act of protest against police brutality and more of a generic opposition to President Trump. While raising awareness and engaging in protest is important, the meaning behind these gestures should be

SARAH CROWLEY SENIOR NEWS EDITOR

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stop on the field either; he has donated over $500,000 to low-income areas. He also donates large sums of money to organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Black Veterans for Social Justice, Center for Reproductive Rights and Silence is Violence. Activism both on and off the court creates buzz and controversy. When high-profile players like James and Kaepernick take bold stances, the world takes note. Critics of professional athletes participating in social justice activism say athletes should focus on the game or politics don’t belong in sports. They feel athletes should engage in activism on their

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clear to both the participants and the audience. Activism on the court is important because it brings awareness about key issues to broad audiences. It starts a discussion but doesn’t advance anything. That being said, it is an important and vital step toward change. It just needs to be backed up with concrete action. LeBron James has spoken out about Tamir Rice and Eric Garner. He has donated large sums to after-school programs, college scholarships for low income students, Boys and Girls Club as well as a Mohammad Ali exhibit. Kaepernick’s activism doesn’t

own time — not on the court or in their jerseys. But in this politically tumultuous time, it’s important for people to speak out about important issues. For smaller athletes who might not have a huge platform outside of the game, taking a knee or wearing a political message on their shirts during warmups is the only opportunity they have to speak out. And doing so during a nationally televised game, while controversial, sparks important albeit difficult conversations. email: opinion@ubspectrum.com

The censure vote was fair, but was the decision just?

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UB can dismiss a pre-tenure professor without offering a single reason why. A clause in the professors’ union-negotiated contract upholds this practice; it’s not just a rarely cited, last-resort clause, but rather a policy deans and administrators are specifically advised to follow. They are told not to offer grounds for dismissal to term-appointed employees, even if they want to. The reason behind this policy, as UB officials explained to me, is that any dismissal will inevitably bring complaints. No one wants to be told their career is over. But the lack of understanding –– the lack of transparency –– as to why one is dismissed is unfair, damaging and ultimately un-academic. I’ve been reporting on the censure resolution for the last month. I’m not an expert in employee relations or labor law, but I would argue it’s better to have more openness than secrecy and more explanations than excuses. Am I naive? If I’m fired from my job as a

waitress, I would expect an explanation, and I’m sure I would receive one. I don’t have a union, or a senate full of highly-educated academics willing to fight for me. But I have employers who are good people, and if they felt I was seriously failing in the delivery of burgers and beer, they would give me an explanation –– not owing to any legal obligation, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. Under their current contract, non-tenured professors are made disproportionately vulnerable in a workplace which, I hope we can all agree, merits better protection than a brewpub. I believe our senior administrators and professors take issues of mentorship and employment seriously. If I didn’t believe that, I would not bother writing this. After a contentious public debate on the School of Architecture’s dismissal of the professor, Dean Robert Shibley spoke earnestly about how seriously he takes these decisions, and the lengths to which the architecture school will go to make sure all professors receive the support they need to proceed to tenure track. But Shibley’s good intentions didn’t work in this case. A professor not only got dismissed, she also lost health insurance she desperately needs to pay what has become a life-threatening illness. I know the faculty voted and the democratic process played out. All

the details were right, but the humanity went missing. I keep thinking about this professor I have never met and wondering how she must feel. We don’t get answers to the big questions in life, like why a young woman at the start of her career would contract a terminal illness. But surely, the university could have done better to give her answers to the smaller question of why she lost her job. The UB process dictates that no one outside senior administrators can know why someone is dismissed. That allows for privacy, but it also means review by colleagues can’t occur. What checks are in place to keep the powerful accountable? The assistant professor, by all accounts provided by members of the grievance committee, was stunned she was not renewed and does not not have the slightest idea what she did to merit dismissal. She searched her memory, went through all her mentoring reports and still came up with nothing. The committee charged with investigating her grievance also could not find anything in her case that warranted grounds for dismissal. And yet, she was dismissed. Central to the committee’s argument for reinstatement was an allegation that the school did not follow the “typical tenure-track schedule” when it dismissed her. Multiple people familiar with the case stood in front of their colleagues Tuesday night and said the

case was “atypical” and therefore warranted dismissal procedures not beholden to the policies and procedures laid out in the school’s “typical tenure-track schedule.” I asked Dean Shibley if there was any way he could help me make sense of these two things. The professor and the grievance committee said they saw nothing unusual about her case, but those defending the school’s position clearly cited “atypical” circumstances. How can both be true? He said, as he is instructed by UB policies to do, that there was no way to adequately explain these circumstances to me without going down a “slippery slope” and revealing confidential information surrounding the case. But not giving out information can be just as slippery. I understand confidentiality. But I value transparency, accuracy and fairness more. I would imagine a room full of academics would, too. The policies and procedures in place that allowed this case to unfold in the way it did –– with lopsided information and a string of unanswerable questions ––requires serious debate and consideration from administrators who have the power to change them. A professor lost her job and is battling for her life, alone and unprotected by the university that was supposed to mentor her. The censure vote was fair, but the justice eludes me. email: sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com


NEWS

Page 4 | The Spectrum

Two sexual assault incidents reported to UPD

Main Place bar conditionally approved Buffalo Common Council approves controversial bar

NEWS DESK

Two instances of sexual assault were reported to UPD last week. UB alerts were not sent out for these incidents, according to UPD Deputy Chief Police Joshua Sticht because he said they did not feel the incidents posed a serious threat. The Clery Act is a federal law that requires college campuses to alert students about crimes that occur on campus with basic information, such as the date and location of the incident. Because these events occurred “a long time ago or off campus,” UB was not obligated to report them. “I don’t know whether that’s going to wind up as something that’s prosecutable,” Sticht said. “Occasionally we wind up handing it off to the district attorney’s office or whichever police department for the area where we’re doing the investigation.” The first incident took place over a year and a half ago. Delayed reports like this are not unusual. “It’s very difficult for a victim to come forward a lot of the time, so it’s not unusual to get something reported to us that’s that long ago,” Sticht said. “And in situations like that our responsibility is still to ensure the victim gets the accommodations and resources they need to be able to move on.” The second incident occurred “very far” off campus, according to Sticht. The victim came to UPD looking for medical and counseling assistance, Sticht said. Stitch said UB is making sure the victims get any kind of accommodations they may need and are being briefed on what resources they have access to. “We still have to do some research and investigation to make sure the victims get what they need but neither one of these is a situation where there is a threat to people on campus,” Sticht said. “That’s why these ones didn’t generate alerts like the ones back in February did.” Both incidents are under investigation per Title IX requirements.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MADDY FOWLER NEWS EDITOR

Buffalo’s Common Council has conditionally approved Anthony Sordetto’s application to open a bar at 3144 Main St. near South Campus. The Council’s unanimous approval is contingent on Sordetto removing the black tint from the establishment’s windows and not marketing to those under 21. Sordetto has agreed to these conditions, according to The Buffalo News. The bar’s approval is good for two years so it can be monitored and re-

evaluated if it becomes a nuisance. The approval follows the SA Assembly passing a resolution against the bar and vocal opposition from local business owners and University Heights residents. Speaker of the Assembly Mike Brown feels the Common Council gave a “reasonable compromise.” “They addressed the code violations, prohibited the bar from marketing to minors and granted only a two-year approval so that they can monitor whether Main Place becomes a problem,” Brown said. He is concerned that it might be difficult to ensure 24/7 transportation between campuses if there is an influx of students traveling to South Campus to go to Main Place, given UB’s recent reduction in late night busing.

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a notification that someone used her credit card to order food delivered to Park Hall. The student said she spoke with someone at Park Hall who had a description of the person who picked up the food. Patrol met with the student in front of Rachel’s in The Commons to file a report.

Blotter 11/7-11/14 Did you make this week’s blotter? NEWS DESK

*All information is according to University Police. 11/8 12:53 p.m. A student reported his vehicle was hit while parked in Governors E Parking Lot on Nov. 7 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Patrol filed a hit-and-run report. 2:12 p.m. Ninety dollars was reportedly

stolen from the cash valet box in the Squire Hall lobby. The money was taken between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. Police filed a report. 6:07 p.m. A caller reported her UB ID card was stolen and her Campus Cash used. The victim met with patrol. Patrol cleared with a report. 6:43 p.m. A caller reported her identity was stolen. The caller said she received

email: news@ubspectrum.com

T H E

“We’ll see what arises, but I’ll always defend the late-night shuttles,” Brown said. Businesses expressed concern that Sordetto did not fill out his application thoroughly and feel there are too many “unanswered questions” about the establishment, according to The Buffalo News. The establishment also currently has black tinted windows, which violates Buffalo’s Green Code ordinance. University Heights residents fear the bar will attract rowdy, disruptive students to the University Heights area, especially because Main Place originally planned to have 18 and up events. Many UB students, however, have expressed support for the establishment. Main Place is expected to open within the next few weeks. It will operate Wednesday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m.

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11/12 11:05 p.m. A caller reported that someone wrote a racial slur on the board located near the women’s restroom in Spaulding Quadrangle. 11:31 p.m. A Goodyear RA reported that she removed a sign from the Goodyear Hall lobby with a swastika on it. Police took a report.

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FEATURES

Thursday, November 16, 2017

CALL IT A ‘DALY’ English professor to retire after 44 years at UB SPECTRUM STOCK PHOTO

Robert Daly, one of UB’s most recommended and popular professors, is retiring after 44 years at UB. Students, staff and faculty reflect on his impact on their lives and how much they will miss Daly’s presence on campus.

DANA CASULLO STAFF WRITER

Robert Daly has worked at an amusement park, a chemical factory, farms, loading docks and a limestone mine. For Daly, none of these jobs compare to the feeling of teaching. But after 44 years at UB, Daly is retiring. Robert Daly, a distinguished English professor, is stepping down from teaching at the end of this semester to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren. The beloved professor is known for his can-

dor, life stories and knack for teaching. Daly said he will certainly miss teaching, but has gotten used to the feeling of missing past activities over the course of his life. “I still miss the limestone mine. I miss playing football in junior high school,” Daly said. “There’s a lot of things I miss anyways; friends when I don’t see them. I don’t think missing someone or something is going to be such a terrible experience. It will be bittersweet.” The limestone mine was one of Daly’s favorite jobs, but he found teaching had some advantages over limestone mining.

“I remember walking into the classroom thinking that I don’t know how to be a teacher, but I don’t have to worry about the ceiling falling in,” Daly said. Daly said he will find it strange not walking into a classroom anymore; it will be something new for him. But Daly’s entire career has been about learning and adapting to new challenges. When Daly first started teaching, he looked to techniques of some of his favorite professors to improve his own teaching. He was astonished when one of his best professors confessed he was always worried about being a bad teacher. “It really impressed me that the best teacher I had was never really quite certain that he had it right,” Daly said. “I feel that way all the time, day-to-day.” It means a lot to Daly when students come back and tell him what a positive effect he had on both their academic careers and lives. Eric Cortellessa, a UB alum took two of Daly’s classes and worked with him closely on his thesis. Cortellessa came across his American Literature class by chance and said it was the most important decision he ever made. Daly remains a dear friend and mentor for him to this day. Daly taught him how to use literature as a tool for living and how to apply ideas to problems. Cortellessa is now an English professor in Maryland and uses what Daly taught him in his own classroom. “I am compelled to conserve his wisdom and pass it along to the next generation and

The Spectrum | Page 5 do for others what he did for me,” Cortellessa said. “A classroom is a space in which souls can be saved and lives can be transformed.” Daly is grateful for the time spent with his students and colleagues at UB. “Learning and teaching are profoundly enjoyable in and of themselves, but doing so with the students and other colleagues at UB has been a large part of living a life of meaning,” Daly said. “The students, undergraduate and graduate, English majors and others, honors students and everybody else made my years special and happy far beyond anything I could ever imagine in advance.” Rachel Ablow, a colleague and professor in the English department, knew about Daly even before she came to UB. Ablow didn’t know Daly’s effect on the atmosphere of the department until she experienced it herself. “Bob Daly is a legend and an institution,” Ablow said. “We are all better, kinder people in his presence.” Daly is the “most conversational English professor” Carine Mardorossian said she has ever met. “I used to just make a beeline for the chair next to his. Needless to say, that chair was never free because he is also the most popular person I know. But with a bit of patience and a lot of plotting, I usually managed to take it over from my unsuspecting rival,” Mardorossian said. “And then, I would no longer budge, just sit and listen to the master storyteller. For the record, I also don’t think that he should be allowed to retire. It is unfair, unjust and unacceptable.” email: features.ubspectrum.com

Faculty Senate votes against censuring Shibley in midst of larger debate CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Shibley said he was disappointed the matter reached the Faculty Senate. He feels the Senate sought to revisit issues that had already gone through proper checks and balances. The Senate grievance committee’s chief complaint wrongly championed “form over substance,” according to Shibley. The Architecture School is a tight-knit

community where professors are observed regularly, Shibley said. Shibley said there was regular communication among Chair of Architecture Omar Khan and professors Beth Tauke and Despina Stratigakos and the mentor committee before he made his decision. Shibley said he takes renewals very seriously and feels every nonrenewal decision is a “personal failure” on his part.

“It’s tough,” Shibley said. “It’s the hardest thing we do. And I really take the point, but what I don’t accept is that the way to attack that practice is to censure the school that’s following the rules given to it with regard of how to process a non-renewal.” “Are there sufficient checks and balances and procedures for both the review for nonrenewal and the opportunity for appeal;

and are those procedures explicit and clear enough that we have confidence that they’re fair and equitable? Ask that question –– don’t start by censuring the school for complying with the procedures. I think that’s a reasonable question always to keep checking and asking about.” email: sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Page 6 | The Spectrum

The best of both worlds UB Concert Band and Genkin Philharmonic shine at Slee Hall BRENTON BLANCHET ARTS EDITOR

University concert band dress codes don’t usually call for vibrant, sequin-infused clothing. Tuesday night was a little different. The UB Concert Band, led by music department Professor Jon Nelson, shared the stage with the Genkin Philharmonic for the concert band’s annual fall performance at Slee Hall. The two groups came together to present “A Young Person’s Guide to the 20th Century.” The philharmonic and UB Concert Band were polar opposites in every sense. The concert band dressed in seemingly average concert-wear, while the Genkin Philharmonic decked themselves out in colorful floral suit jackets, sequin hats and capes along with cultural attire. The concert band remained poised during the show while the philharmonic electrically performed, rocking through the entirety of the 55-minute performance. Both groups united to produce coherent and exciting music, despite their visible differences. Genkin Philharmonic’s guitarist and UB alum, Zane Merritt, felt combining their group with the UB Concert Band resulted in effortless success. “It felt good coming out here. I went to UB and other music schools so it was a familiar feeling,” Merritt said. “It was pretty

easy incorporating us in and took minimal rehearsal to do the parts and play with everyone else.” The audience’s excitement hit its peak during the show’s finale –– Jon Nelson’s arrangement of Led Zeppelin’s classic “Kashmir.” Genkin wind player, Steve Baczkowski, opened the song with his bright attire and even brighter horn playing. Baczkowski clearly got into the performance as he bounced in place and flicked his head

around, despite having a baritone saxophone dangling from his neck. The horn-playing, paired with some enticing hand drumming, caught the scattered crowd’s attention. But the UB Concert Band kept the crowd’s eyes and ears to the stage. Nelson led the student musicians through the majority of the song until its grand finale, but his leadership wasn’t just evident in his conducting. When he stepped off the podium halfway through the song, Nelson joined his students and took on the trumpet. This display was just one of many which proved his musical diversity. James Quinn, a sophomore international business major, attended the performance

SHUBH JAIN / THE SPECTRUM

The UB Concert Band, led by Professor Jon Nelson, and the Genkin Philharmonic took the stage at Slee Recital Hall Tuesday night. The two groups put on an exciting show, despite their visible differences.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

to fulfill his concert requirement for his Understanding Music course. “I heard a few songs I liked, especially the Led Zeppelin one,” Quinn said. “It was much better than I anticipated and I shouldn’t have had such a negative mindset going into it because it was actually kind of fun.” Arnold Schoenberg’s “Sehr langsam” also proved to be a highlight of the night. The piece isn’t classic rock, but its varied sections and solos revealed the show’s tremendous diversity, keeping the audience on their toes. The concert band’s pianist and Advanced Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance student, Jiheng Tang, showcased her dexterous talent in the piece’s minimalist intro and outro. Her delicate playing perfectly set up the piece and closed it in style. The meat of the piece was just as enjoyable. The band proved its endurance with held out notes. They tinkered with the act of call-and-response, and in the process, Nelson displayed his range of musicality again. He hopped off the podium just to jump onto his “drumbass.” Nick Mcnally, a freshman aerospace engineering major, plays trombone for the UB Concert Band. He anticipated a larger crowd but still thinks that the performance went over well due to the uniqueness of the night. “Our instructor, Mr. Jon Nelson, wrote all of the arrangements for us. He just fit in the rock band with everyone and it sounded really good,” Mcnally said. “I’ve never done anything like [‘Kashmir’] with a full blown rock song and playing the backing part. That was a great time.” email: brenton.blanchet@ubspectrum.com

The Spectrum’s

November Playlist Hip hop and pop tracks to be thankful for

BRENTON J. BLANCHET ARTS EDITOR

October has passed, Halloween is over and just about everyone has created a playlist with multiple entries of “All I Want for Christmas is You.” But we still have a month before it’s socially acceptable to get festive with Mariah’s five octave vocal range. Instead of jumping on the holiday bandwagon, check out these fresh Novemberready tracks. N.E.R.D ft. Rihanna – “Lemon”

It’s been seven years since N.E.R.D dropped their last album and fans didn’t expect a comeback just yet. Seven years ago, Pharrell wasn’t the most recognizable name in music. But he was the biggest name behind the scenes. Pharrell is back with Chad Hugo and Shay Haley for the return of their historic raprock group, N.E.R.D. Their new track, “Lemon,” features some raspy bars from the always-enjoyable Rihanna, who delivers in a way she hasn’t before. The funky and addicting production takes listeners through Skateboard P and RiRi’s verses. The song is already a huge improvement from anything off N.E.R.D’s last album “Nothing.” Migos, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B – “MotorSport”

If there’s something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, it’s the fact that Cardi B and Nicki Minaj are finally on the same track. Migos’ “MotorSport” isn’t anything super special outside of that. The production consists of a pretty simplistic trap beat but it’s still enjoyable. With such a talented lineup of rappers, one shines more than the others on the track. Cardi B comes through with one of her best verses of the year, acknowledging her-

self as the “trap Selena.” Nicki’s verse is exciting too, as she switches up her flow and pacing, jumping into triplet form, and proving herself to be the Nicki we all know and love. Selena Gomez and Marshmello – “Wolves”

It’s nice to hear from Selena Gomez again. After her busy year of surgeries and a brief absence from the music world, she’s finally back with a new pop anthem. Gomez and producer DJ Marshmello teamed up for their new hit single, “Wolves,” and it’s already dominating the airwaves. The EDM-infused sound is as energetic as expected, but Gomez’s pretty vocal melodies are what separates the song from others in its category. Gomez may not have the most exciting vocal range in pop but she sure knows how to incorporate different sounds and melodies to keep herself on top. This track is sure to be useful for anyone looking to burn some calories with a new post-Thanksgiving jog song. Majid Jordan – “OG Heartthrob”

Fresh off the release of their new record, popular Drake-collaborators Majid Jordan are making fans feel all types of ways. Their Oct. 27 album, “The Space Between,” is nothing short of infectious. “OG Heartthrob” is the album highlight and matches a funky throwback ’90s sound with some graceful vocals. This track mixes Weeknd-sounding vocals and a Bruno Mars-style production to create an addicting and lovely musical environment. Without its dark atmosphere, this track could easily fit on Mars’ “24K Magic” album. Majid Jordan should be welcoming a lot of new fans this November. Sam Smith – “Burning”

Sam Smith’s new touching ballad, “Burning,” is the “most personal” song Smith has

COURTESY / VIRGIN RECORDS

N.E.R.D is back. The popular rock/R&B trio, lead by Pharrell, dropped new single “Lemon” on Nov 1. The track features a verse from Rihanna and is just one of many new singles to keep an eye on this month.

ever written. And it resonates. “Burning” is simple and elegant, pairing Smith’s recognizable tone and some charming piano chords to create solemn but intriguing noise. The song, along with Smith’s other recent singles, prove that the singer is headed to new territory with his music. He’s more honest, personal and his voice is stronger than it’s ever been. It’s good to have him back. Ty Dolla $ign ft. Lauren Jauregui – “In Your Phone”

The newly announced musical couple of Ty Dolla $ign and Lauren Jauregui aren’t just great together. They make some pretty bomb music. After Camila Cabello’s departure from Fifth Harmony, Lauren Jauregui took her place as the one to watch. She’s worked with Halsey since, and now has a track with her new boo, R&B crooner Ty Dolla $ign. The song is catchy and its trap beat is luring. Hearing Jauregui in a trap song may be new to Fifth Harmony fans, but the vocalist

really proved herself in this feature. The song will hopefully remind listeners to stop “doing wrong” on Thanksgiving and to not be so “in your phone.” It’s the perfect family bonding track. Miguel – “Told You So”

Miguel is one of the best male vocalists on the scene. It’s been two years since his last album, “Wildheart,” and the R&B singer is prepping for his next release, “War & Leisure.” Singles “Skywalker” and “Shockandawe” both show his musical diversity. His new single “Told You So” is expanding on that idea. “Told You So” is a funky, electric, pop anthem that utilizes Miguel’s falsetto and vocal runs. The song is upbeat and enjoyable, as its visuals show scenes of violence and war –– a very unique combination for Miguel’s politically charged release. email: brenton.blanchet@ubspectrum.com


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ALLISON STAEBELL / THE SPECTRUM

The Bulls enter the season with five seniors on their roster. From left to right: guard Katherine Ups, Center Cassie Oursler, guard Stephanie Reid, and forward Mariah Suchan. (Guard Lisa Ups not pictured)

Bulls’ veteran leadership is key to success

CHRISTOPHER SMITH STAFF WRITER

If the women’s basketball team (2-0, 0-0 MAC) has any advantage over its conference opponents this year, it is veteran experience. The Bulls only lost one player from last season to graduation, guard JoAnna Smith. Smith was averaging 18.3 points per game and received honors to the MAC All-Tournament team last season. The Bulls enter their season with four senior starters, who have all held important roles on the team in previous years. The 2017-2018 MAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll predicted Buffalo to finish first in the East Division in the MAC. Senior forward Mariah Suchan doesn’t pay much attention to the media’s projections. “You hear about those things, and it’s nice to get recognized,” Suchan said. “But it really doesn’t mean anything until you prove it.” Senior guard Stephanie Reid has been a starter for Buffalo since she arrived as a sophomore. She has averaged 31.9 minutes per game and set the school record for sin-

gle season assists last season with 233. Reid was featured in the coaches’ preseason poll. “Continuity is the key word to describe us,” Reid said. “It’s very helpful to have such a veteran team with so much experience. The feeling of ‘oh, we’ve been there before,’ is going to help us in crucial moments and in late game situations where we need to come together and get wins.” The Bulls finished last season 22-10 overall, 10-8 in the MAC with nearly the exact same lineup. They lost to the Toledo Rockets (1-1, 0-0 MAC) in the conference semifinals; the Rockets went on to earn an auto bid into the NCAA Tournament. As point guard, Reid is expected to protect the ball and act as the leader for the rest of the offense. “Being the point guard, there is added pressure,” Reid said. “But it’s what I like to do. It’s fun. It’s good to have that leadership along with the other seniors.” Senior center Cassie Oursler arrived in the 2015 year as a transfer student from Robert Morris University and is now the Bulls’

sole center. Oursler believes her game has evolved since coming to UB. “I personally am playing with an entire different style than I ever have,” Oursler said. “Coach [Felisha Legette-Jack] is a better post coach. She’s improved my play tremendously. She has made me grow as a player the last couple years.” Oursler sat out the first half of the season due to NCAA transfer rules. She quickly stepped into a starting role and led the team in rebounding. She started last season with 30 games at center, averaging 9.3 points and 5.1 rebounds. But she recognizes there is still room to improve. “I really need to focus on staying out of foul trouble, so I can stay out there as long as possible,” Oursler said. “The preseason set all of us up for success and as time goes on, we will all get into shape.” Suchan is the last senior in a big position for the Bulls. She appeared in every game last season, and was able to get comfortable and work herself into the starting five for the last nine games.

“We’ve built a lot of chemistry between last year and this preseason,” Suchan said. “Having this many upperclassman on the court gives us a lot more experience.” Suchan averages 15.6 minutes per game on her 76 games played at UB. Her role on the team is largely utilized on the defensive side of the ball, where she had a career-high 26 steals and 14 blocks last season. Defensive consistency is something that UB prides itself on under Legette-Jack. The team allowed an average of 61.6 points per game last season, the lowest of any team in the conference. The Bulls will be a “dangerous team” if they can build on their defensive consistency and scoring improvement, according to Oursler. “As always, defense is the key. That’s how we are going to beat teams,” Oursler said. “I think our offense is even more improved from last year all around, so if that all comes together for us, we should have a great season.” There are also five juniors Legette-Jack feels comfortable putting in during critical moments. Pulling experienced players from the bench gives the team an advantage, especially when starting players are faced with injury or foul trouble. The last two seniors on the team are twin sisters from Wollongong, Australia. Liisa and Katherine Ups who have already made an impact for the Bulls in their first two games. Katherine is shooting 37.5 percent from the field this season. Liisa is shooting 40 percent from the field, and 50 percent from three-point range. “These first two games sort of gave our team an opportunity to see what we need to improve on,” Katherine said. “We need to focus on our half-court offense and be able to attack the basket quicker, bigger, stronger, as well as kicking the ball out for outside shots.” The Bulls have a long stretch of practice ahead before they travel to Florida for the San Juan Shootout, a tournament that kicks off the college basketball season on Nov. 23. email: sports@ubspectrum.com

Who’s on

point? UB men’s basketball enters this season looking for a point guard DANIEL PETRUCCELLI SPORTS EDITOR

Former UB point guard Lamonte Bearden threw a curveball at the men’s basketball team last summer. Bearden, who led the team to their second Mid-American Conference title, announced he was transferring. The team has never truly established a point guard since. Former forward Blake Hamilton closed out last year, but it wasn’t his natural position. With Hamilton’s graduation the team is back in flux. The Bulls (2-0) enter the year with an arsenal of guards but no established choice for the point. Head coach Nate Oats said there are at least four viable options. They each bring different skill sets to the team, according to Oats. But sophomore guard Davonta Jordan and senior guard Wes Clark are the likely choices because their play style fits most naturally at the point position. “If you go traditional point guard that’s not really looking to score that much, Davonta Jordan is the only guy on the team that really fits that bill,” Oats said. “Wes Clark is a point guard. He just can score at a high level … CJ [Massinburg] can play the point, but he’s not really a point though. Dontay Caruthers can play the point. … They all bring different stuff to the table.” Jordan has more assists per game than

JACK LI & MADISON MEYER, THE SPECTRUM

UB’s guards, Davonta Jordan(left), CJ Massinburg (middle), Dontay Caruthers (right), look to charge the basket. The Bulls are looking to find a permanent fixture for a player to run the point guard position.

any other returning Bull. According to Oats, Jordan told him he wants to lead the MAC in assist-to-turnover ratio. He had a rough start at Saturday’s season opener with two assists to three turnovers. Jordan showed a willingness to pass, but his best asset was his scoring. He shot 7-of8 from the floor and 2-of-2 from 3-point range, proving he is the most efficient shooter for the Bulls. Clark, a first year transfer, comes from Missouri with promise. The senior scored 9.8 points per game for the Southeastern Conference school along with three assists and three rebounds per contest. The Bulls will have to play without him for the first 10 games, however. Clark is ineligible for play based on NCAA transfer rules. Oats said he will be active come mid-December. Oats has high-expectations for what Clark

will be able to contribute once he’s on the floor for Buffalo. “He can score at a high-level. He’s got a super high IQ, doesn’t turn the ball over,” Oats said. “So whenever we get him, hopefully sooner rather than later, he’s our best point guard.” The addition of junior guards Caruthers and Massinburg will keep opponents on their toes. The team feels having four quality ball handlers will allow them to play a lot of combination style lineups with two different point options on the court. “If one person is taken out of the play, we have other ball handlers that can create,” Jordan said. “Not just one person can create [plays] for others, but lots of guys can push the ball ahead and they create for the team so that helps a lot.” Oats said he wants to see the ball moving

quicker this season, no matter who is running the point. He said last season the ball had a tendency to stick too much. He wants players to make a decision within a half-second of getting the ball to either pass, shoot or drive. All four prospective guards said having another ball handler on the court will help to keep the ball moving. “It definitely makes the job easier when you have shooters all around,” Massinburg said. “You know you have [junior forward] Nick Perkins and [junior forward] Montell McRae and those are our big men and they can both shoot the three well so teams are going to hesitate to come off and help. … It also makes it easier because you can really spread it anywhere on the court because it will get knocked down.” email: daniel.petruccelli@ubspectrum.com


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Summer Hemphill Stephanie Reid Liisa Ups Hanna Hall Katherine Ups Theresa Onwuka Courtney Wilkins Autumn Jones Mariah Suchan Ayoleka Sodade Cierra Dillard Marissa Hamilton Cassie Oursler Brittany Morrison

Forward Guard Guard Guard Guard Guard Forward Guard Forward Guard Guard Forward Center Forward

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James Reese Montell McRae Jeremy Harris Jayvon Graves Davonta Jordan CJ Massinburg Wes Clark Colby Moultrie Dontay Caruthers Gabe Agorioge Nick Perkins Ikenna Smart Brock Bertram

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GRAPHIC / PIERCE STRUDLER

Q&A FELISHA with head coach

LEGETTE-JACK CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Q: You have talked about putting more trust in your team and having them coach you as well, what do you mean by that?

A: Now that these young ladies have been with me for four years, they get it. They know the drills in practice. They know the expectations before the game and to shoot around. So now I am thinking that I should listen to what they want and what they need so we can better serve them when it comes to team management. They have accepted that responsibility and have been great with it thus far. Q:What changes have been made from this new role you have given your team?

A: We work on drills they find more important instead of the ones they don’t like. We do more box out drills or post breakdowns opposed to our drills like 36 or one called Olympic shooting. I hear them and I listen to help create a better flow for practice. I change up the practices according to what they feel they need. But if they don’t bring that energy with those drills they choose, I expect them to regroup and really bring it and talk to their sisters [the team] because this is something I let them do. Q:Coming off two of the most successful seasons in program history, do you ever find yourself reminiscing on your accomplishments?

A: Never. I have done some things as a player and a coach in the past, but if you look back you are going to miss the blessing of today. You can’t even deal with the word hope if you are not looking towards the future. Yesterdays were fun, but they are over. We are in the middle of a season, so therefore we need to continue to embrace the moment we are in. Q:When you were hired as head coach in 2012, what was your mentality coming in and your ultimate goal for this team?

A: I was thankful I was given the opportunity to begin again because I came off of a program [in Indiana] where I was fired. After that, you take a personal feeling that you failed and to be able to get another opportunity was a blessing. Wherever I went, I knew I had the gift of giving to young women. I was given another platform to do that and it so happened to be the University at Buffalo. I embraced the opportunity and knew we were going to do it different; and [I was] excited for a second chance to bring in kids who stand for character and academics. We

have been blessed to scour the world and find some amazing young ladies and help them with their future. Q:Speaking of your scouting, you have recruited players from Australia, Canada and all over America. How do you keep such a global eye being here in Buffalo?

A: My assistant coach Cherie Cordoba is a very gifted young lady who is from Australia. She has played overseas in Holland and Amsterdam and has made some great contacts. You know, when you’re a good person too, people stay in touch with you and she is a great coach. This is our third stint together starting with Hofstra, Indiana and now here. So we know what we like and what we do to win. Ever since she has been on my staff, we have won and the season she left we didn’t have success. She is a major part of building here and I don’t think she gets enough credit for what she does for our program. Q:Were you happy to be able to stay in Buffalo, being from Western New York and having played for the Syracuse Orange?

A: I was blessed to be able to stay here. I was planning on moving to Charlotte and becoming a life coach and talking to people about motivation. I was so happy to be able to come here because I was born and raised in Syracuse. My mom still lives in Syracuse. When I was in Indiana, I saw my mom six times a year. Now I could see her six times a month if I wanted to. It is a blessing to be able to do what you do and love what you do, while being able to see your family. I got lucky. Q:What have been your big takeaways from the first three games so far?

A: We want to go fast. We are going to turn the ball over a lot more this year and that is something I am comfortable with. I think in order for this to grow, we have to treat it like a butterfly. It has to go through some time first before it can become this beautiful thing. It is a challenge. In order for us to be great, I have to let this thing evolve into something special. Q:How do you feel the team can improve on an individual level?

A: All of us can always be better. What that means for everyone can be different. It could mean more film, more time at the hoop, more time in the gym. It varies from person to person. What they all need to do though, is put their personal lives aside and focus on academics and basketball. The Bulls’ next game is Nov. 23 on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten). email: thomas.zafonte@ubspectrum.com

Q&A with head coach

NATE OATS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Buffalo lost their leader in points and assists, Blake Hamilton. They retained two preseason all-MAC selections: junior guard CJ Massinburg and junior forward Nick Perkins. With only seven returning players, the team will be relying mostly on their new players to help them reach those projected results. The Spectrum spoke with Bulls Head Coach Nate Oats about his thoughts on the season. Q: What are your expectations for this season?

A: I think they’re high. Everybody picked us to win the MAC East, so I’m not going to under pick it. I’m expecting us to perform well. The one thing I’d like to see is better non-conference play. I don’t want to wait until January to get stuff figured out. Obviously, we’ll get a boost with Wes [Clark], but I want to win some tough games and win some good games in nonconference or at least play well. It’s going to be hard to beat some of those teams on our schedule, but we need to play well. So that’s the big thing I want to see this year. I think our mindset is right and I think guys want to do well, but we just have to put action on the floor to the mental aspect of the game. Q: What was the mindset behind organizing a tough non-conference schedule?

A: I’ve got a high school background and in high school, everyone in the state makes the state playoffs, so whether you’re 0-20 or 20-0, you are making the state playoffs. So I would schedule as hard as I possibly could because I think if you’re beating up on the weak teams, I don’t think it exposes your weaknesses; you maybe get a little over-confident, get a false sense of confidence in your game. So that’s the way I did it there, and then when I came here with Coach Hurley, we went to Kentucky and Wisconsin. He wanted to play against the best and I was 100 percent on board with our scheduling then and we just kept it up. So in the MAC, honestly some teams will play four non-Division I teams. They’ll come in every year 10-3, 11-2, 9-4 or whatever and we may come in at 7-6 or 6-7. But I firmly believe that playing the better teams and not loading up on a bunch of soft confidence builders prepares you better. You’ve exposed your weaknesses. You’ve got your guys attentions and then you hit conference. Everybody is 0-0 when you hit conference play.

So the one thing the non-conference can do is help make you better and get ready for conference play. If you get some quality wins and make the NCAA tournament, it helps your seeding. That’s the one thing we’ve got to do a better job of: getting quality wins in the non-conference. The two years we’ve been there, we’ve been a 12 seed and a 14 seed. It’s hard to win those 14 seed games. The closer you can climb into that single digit seeding range the better. But I still think at the end of the day, the biggest thing with the nonconference schedule is to get us ready for conference. Q: Can you tell your thoughts on some of the players’ performances this season?

A: I think Davonta Jordan showed in the first game that he’s put a lot of time in; his mindset is right, he’s ready to play well and we expect to see great things out of him. Nick Perkins has been unbelievable in his mentality and his work ethic and his preparation. I think you’re going to see big things out of him. CJ [Massinburg] is going to get there, he has to get comfortable with his knee, but it’s getting a lot closer every day. Jeremy [Harris] is still trying to figure out exactly what we want and how aggressive to be. We just keep telling him to be more aggressive and he has to figure the defensive side out still, but I think you’ll see a lot out of those three. Montell [Mcrae] is going to give us great minutes. He has to get used to the physicality of Division I, but he’s definitely athletic and skilled enough, so those are some of the key ones. Both the freshman have been coming along, they’ve both got great attitudes. … They can both score and shoot it and they are getting a lot better on defense, so I think we’ll see a lot more out of [James] Reese and [Jayvon] Graves too. Q: What do you think of the other MAC teams this season?

A: I think it’s going to be a lot deeper and better than people think. Central Michigan was picked towards the bottom, but I watched their game last night and they were up on Michigan in the second half, so I think it’s going to be a deep –– like it usually is –– real competitive league. Western Michigan, I saw them play against South Carolina and they gave them a tough game for most of the game last night. … Ball State should have beaten Dayton as their place to start the year, so I think as you see different teams play. Kent State went down and pounded Youngstown to open it up. Teams are playing tough teams and playing well. I think it’s going to be deep. It’s going to be a hard conference schedule. If you’re not on top of your game, whether it’s home or on the road, it’s hard to get wins in conference play. email: daniel.petruccelli@ubspectrum.com


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The Spectrum | Page 9

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Page 10 | The Spectrum

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ALLISON STAEBELL / THE SPECTRUM

Junior guard Cierra Dillard dribbling the ball in practice. Dillard is looking to be a top scorer for the Bulls this year.

Junior guard Cierra Dillard talks about her return after spending a year away from season play

THOMAS ZAFONTE SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR

Cierra Dillard had to sit out the first basketball season of her UB career. Dillard was the top scorer at UMass Amherst averaged 15.5 points a game and having 60 steals in her 2015-16 season. She had to sit out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Dillard made her return on Nov. 3 in an exhibition game against the Bloomsburg Huskies (1-1). She went 1-5 recording 2 points in the Bulls 64-32 win. It was not the epic return she had hoped for. “Coming back against Bloomsburg was a rush of emotions,” Dillard said. “There was excitement, nerves, just relief finally being on the court. I’m still settling down even though that Bloomsburg game was a week

and a half ago.” It had been 610 days since Dillard’s last basketball game. Dillard’s layoff may have played a factor in her shooting, but her quick hands were on full display as she recorded four steals in the game. Dillard, a Rochester native, carried a lot of emotion into the game. She felt her inability to play or travel on the road with her team last season made the process that much harder. “Cierra is going to be fine; she is just anxious to be playing basketball again,” said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack after the Bloomsburg game. “She just needs time to get comfortable out there. She hasn’t been in an official game in over a year, so I am not worried about her.” Legette-Jack was right. Dillard scored 17 points and shot 6-12 in the Bulls first offi-

‘ROLE MODELZ’ UB transfer guard Jeremy Harris brings a smooth game to the Bulls

MADISON MEYER / THE SPECTRUM

Jeremy Harris takes it to the hoop in a Bulls game. The junior guard comes from Gulf Coast State College and is looking to develop his play this year.

JEREMY TORRES ASST SPORTS EDITOR

They say every rapper wants to be a hoopstar, every hoop-star wants to be a rapper. A slim, bearded and dreadlocked kid from North Carolina fell in love with the game of basketball and music. This isn’t J. Cole, rapper and fellow North Carolina native. It is Jeremy Harris. A six-footseven junior transfer guard, Harris was born to score buckets, not spit bars. Harris is a lefty whose jumper glides off his finger-tips with a knack for putting the ball in the basket. Last season, the men’s basketball leading scorer, Blake Hamilton, graduated. Harris was brought in from Gulf Coast State Col-

lege to do one thing for the Bulls: score. “I got recruited here to score the ball,” Harris said. “But I’m just trying to play as a team player and do what I can do.” While Harris may look like the “No Role Modelz”-rapper, his game resembles that of former NBA star Tayshaun Prince, quiet and calculated. Harris’ brother and role model, Donavan Griffith, is four years older and a former guard for Greensboro College. Donavan is the exact opposite of his brother. He is loud mouthed and brash, but brings the best out of his brother’s game. “To bring out the best competition in Jeremy, is to play against his big brother,” said Nancy Griffith, Harris’ mom and Greens-

cial game this season against the Delaware Blue Hens (1-1, 0-0 CAA). But Dillard remains cautious. She stressed not wanting to be working on consistency issues all season. “Going over film, getting comfortable with my teammates, knowing where they like the ball will get us all more settled with each other and play better,” Dillard said. Dillard shot 2-6 with 5 points in the Bulls last game against the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-1, 0-0 MEAC). Despite her inconsistency shooting, Dillard made 3 steals and 6 assists against the Hawks. Dillard’s ability to set up her teammates makes her a versatile asset for the Bulls. That ability isn’t overlooked by her teammates. “Cierra has a very high I.Q. for the game, so when she is out on the court, she sees a lot of things we don’t see,” said senior forward Mariah Suchan. “She is very good at

boro native. “He doesn’t have the big attitude like his big brother, he is more mild and meek.” Growing up, wherever Donavan went, Harris followed. They often rode their bikes to a park a half-hour away to play basketball for hours on end. Games of one-on-one became heated. The normally calm Harris would transform into a different player. “I would always beat him growing up because I couldn’t let my little brother beat me,” Donavan said. “I would always rough him up a bit. I knew he was going to be something special.” Donavan knew Harris would be a star when he was just eight years old. In two separate games during recreation league basketball, Harris scored 24 and 21 points in only three quarters. However, it was Donavan who was a star during his time at Northeast Guilford High School. Harris would watch Donavan and want to emulate his game. This inspired Harris to get better. “My older brother [is my inspiration],” Harris said. “Because looking up to him, he was a big-time basketball player, so I just try and do what he did.” It was not until Harris grew six inches between his sophomore and junior year of high school that his game truly took off. He went from an average sized guard into an un-guardable one. Despite his talent, Harris was unable to get his grades high enough to be to be eligible for a Division I school. Harris attended prep-school, Fishburne Military School, where he could grow outside of basketball. “It was a military school, so I was clean shaved, no hair, no J. Cole,” Harris said. “It taught me to be disciplined. In the military world, being on time to places and saying ‘yes, sir’ ‘no, sir,’ all of that.” This was important for Harris and his parents as well. Sean Harris, Jeremy’s father and a small business owner in Greensboro, highlighted the importance of succeeding in the classroom and the court. “At first, he wasn’t doing what he was

knowing what angle to pass the ball at and as a post player her passes are just awesome.” For Suchan, seeing Dillard’s no-look passes in the Hawks game added another great skill to Dillard’s arsenal. Dillard’s accurate passing is conducive to the Bulls’ new pass heavy style. “We have been focusing a lot more on being faster in transition, and with Cierra, she can make those long passes that not everyone will be able to make,” Suchan said. Playing a fast transition based style is something the Bulls have adopted this season. Legette-Jack has stressed that the Bulls “want to play fast” this year in several interviews and are willing to give up more turnovers in the process. Fast paced transition play requires fantastic cardio––something the team has been working on this season. Dillard worked on her cardio last season, but a minor injury over the summer made her lose some of the progress gained. “Getting myself back into game shape is going to come with me playing more games and the season moving on,” Dillard said. “In the summer, coach really pushed us on running the floor and now with all our guards and forwards ready to go we are going to cause trouble for a lot of teams.” Dillard knows she can get better in all the aspects of her game––a sentiment coaches and players share. But Dillard is hoping to return to form as soon as possible. “As the season goes on, I’ll be able to get into my comfort mode and get to where I was two years ago,” Dillard said. “I know what I can do and I know how I can always get better on top of that.” The Bulls’ next game is on Nov. 23 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) on the road. email: thomas.zafonte@ubspectrum.com

supposed to in the classroom,” Sean said. “Then he started doing what he was supposed to do, and it came easy for him.” During Harris’ final season at Gulf Coast State, he became the No. 2 Junior College recruit in the country, averaging 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Harris was touted as a natural scorer that could fit many different schemes. The Bulls had a need for a scorer and Harris filled that void. “He is a really great kid, he is really humble,” said Bulls head coach Nate Oats. “Maybe the most hard-working kid we have on the team. … He has big goals and he wants to achieve them.” For Harris, there is a mutual respect between him and the coaching staff. Both enjoy the fit and hope Harris can grow into an even better player. “The campus has been great,” Harris said. “I like UB. There are more people here than I thought there was going to be. I chose here because the coaching staff really recruited me hard out of junior college and I just fell in love with the coaching staff.” Family and faith are both an important focus for Harris. Divorced, both Sean and Nancy maintained the same house rules growing up. They both want Harris to earn his degree on his expected path to the NBA. “He really believes he is going to the NBA and I think he is going to if he stays healthy,” Nancy said. “I really want him to get a degree [in case] of injuries. … I want him to have that degree because eventually you have to put basketball down.” Harris’ name may not be as big as Cole’s, but he disproves Cole’s lyrics from his hit track, “No Role Modelz,” by not only looking up to his older brother, but inspiring his younger brother Cameron Griffith who writes his school papers on Harris, referring to him as “my role model.” Harris will continue to work for his hoopdreams, while inspiring Cameron and aspiring to be like Donavan––all while continuing to be mistaken for Cole at gas stations. email: jeremy.torres@ubspectrum.com

The Spectrum Vol. 67 No. 23  

The Spectrum, an independent student publication of the University at Buffalo

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