AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – When Bobby Hurley left for Arizona State, Nate Oats had to quickly assemble a new staff, then go to work on the recruiting trail.
With Shannon Evans transferring away and a couple other recruiting targets deciding to head elsewhere, Oats suddenly had some extra scholarships to play with.
He used a few of them on junior college prospects, pulling in PF David Kadiri, SG Willie Conner, and 6-6 forward David Hamilton, along with incoming freshman guard C.J. Massinburg. Those four join forward Nick Perkins, who signed in the fall – a player Oats calls one of, if not the best early signee in the conference.
“I think our depth will be better, I think guys will push each other a little harder. We’ll be able to pull different pieces off the bench. We only played eight guys last year, we’ll have ten or eleven guys that are pushing hard to get minutes,” said Oats.
Oats praised his assistant coaches for assembling a strong recruiting class that quickly.
He also weighed in on the NCAA’s proposed switch to a 30-second shot clock from the 35-second version.
“It may speed up a Virginia or somebody like that a little bit. Maybe it’ll add a possession or two to a game, but I don’t think it’s a big huge adjustment. If they went to 24, now that really speeds stuff up, you got to get into your sets… 30 from 35, maybe a little bit, but not a whole lot, I don’t think,” said Oats.