Surely everybody who traveled to Alumni Arena West in Cleveland, Ohio for the MAC
tournament remembers the multiple chants of “5 More Years!” that broke out through the
streets and in every Buffalo bar. Now I’m no math guru, pretty sure my best college math grade was a B+, but March 14th was definitely not 5 years ago.
It all almost seemed too good to be true. Here’s Nate Oats, Buffalo’s head coach since the
departure of Bobby ****** Hurley, taking Buffalo from classic Mid-Major to At-Large lock even
with 2 in-conference road losses and actually committing to stay at Buffalo for what
mathematically would be the next full recruiting class’ tenure at Buffalo and then some.
Especially following Hurley’s very quick departure, Oats signing an extension seemed to be a change-up from the norm - but a welcomed one, at that.
Here’s the catch though folks, all of you “the sky is falling” people just need to step back for a
minute and take a second look:
Check out the progress of this system! Name another college program that had more than 30 wins this season (please don’t, I’m aware Buffalo was not alone in this). Not every program has the opportunity to win 4 conference titles in 5 years, going back-to-back twice with a year in between.
Not every program has the opportunity to watch a “fat 18-year-old” develop into a “monster”
who is regularly the conference’s expected choice for 6th man of the year. Not every program has the opportunity to watch a kid from Texas with 1 Division-1 scholarship develop into the University’s second-all-time leading scorer. If Buffalo were to make it to the Elite 8, there’s a solid chance CJ “Buckets” Massinburg would have become the all-time scoring champ.
So yeah, Nate Oats is leaving for Alabama and yes, it might sting right now. All you need to do is remember what this man was able to accomplish for the University, the city of Buffalo, and Mid-Major basketball programs across the country.