Massinburg, Oats take top MAC honors

CJ Massinburg is the MAC Player of the Year, while Nate Oats is the MAC Coach of the Year

Brayton Wilson
March 13, 2019 - 10:21 am

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The University at Buffalo's men's basketball program finished the 2018-19 season with one of the best years in school history, but the journey has not ended just yet. The Bulls went 28-3 in the regular season, setting a school record for most wins in a season, and went on to win the MAC regular season title fir a second straight year. The program also went the entire season ranked as a top-25 team by the Associated Press, and currently rank 18th in the latest AP Top-25 rankings.

On Thursday, the Bulls will begin their MAC title defense in the quarterfinals against the Akron Zips at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Mid-American Conference announced its individual honors for the 2018-19 season on Wednesday with senior guard CJ Massinburg taking home the honor as MAC Player of the Year, and head coach Nate Oats being named as the MAC Coach of the Year.

Massinburg is the program's fifth different player to be named the MAC Player of the Year, and is the first since Justin Moss in the 2014-15 season. The 21-year-old leads the Bulls in scoring this season, averaging 18.5 points per-game, while also ranking second on the team in rebounding. He enters the MAC tournament this week with 1,910 career points, which ranks him second in school history for points scored. Massinburg currently has the 13th-most points scored in MAC history, and is only 94 points away from tying the school's all-time scoring record, which is held by Javon McCrea.

Massinburg was named as the MAC East Player of the Week four times this season, and scored in double figures in all, but one game this season. Some of his best performances this season includes a 43-point performance at West Virginia, a 25-point performance at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse, as well as a 31-point game against Eastern Michigan.

As for Oats, this is the second consecutive season where he has been named as the MAC Coach of the Year. It is the sixth time in MAC history that a coach has been named Coach of the Year in back-to-back campaigns. 

This all comes after senior forward Nick Perkins was named the MAC Sixth Man of the Year, and senior guard Dontay Caruthers was named as the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Perkins was named as the Sixth Man fo the Year for the third consecutive season, which makes him the first Division I player in the nation to ever earn Sixth Man of the Year honors three times.

Tip-off against Akron on Thursday is set for 12 p.m. and can be heard on our sister station, ESPN 1520.

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