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Jayvon Graves crucial to Buffalo’s success moving forward

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BUFFALO, NY – Buffalo head coach Nate Oats has high hopes for his sophomore guard, Jayvon Graves.

“After those seniors are gone, it’s going to be his show here,” said Oats.

Graves isn’t the first name that slips off the tongue of UB fans but Oats is salivating at the type of player he’ll eventually become. 

“I kind of told him, there’s nothing really that you can’t do if you put your mind to it so now, get him to put the total package together,” said Oats.

Graves is a big believer in himself but he’s also aware of his current situation as UB’s fourth option behind CJ Massinburg, Jeremy Harris and Nick Perkins.

SYRACUSE, NY – DECEMBER 18: Jayvon Graves #3 of the Buffalo Bulls defends against Frank Howard #23 of the Syracuse Orange during the first half at the Carrier Dome on December 18, 2018 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

“We have really good seniors so right now, I’m playing my role,” said Graves, “I’m versatile, I can score, play defense, rebound, anything the team needs.”

“He shows signs of doing everything at a high level here and there. Now, hopefully we can quickly put it together to where he’s doing all of it on a nightly basis,” said Oats.

Graves is averaging nearly 10 points per game with his field goal percentage drastically increasing, jumping from 38% his freshman season to 47% through 17 games this year.

Despite that, his main focus is his play on the other side of the court.

“I just knew I had to come in, play hard, play defense which gets you on the court and then, I know what I can do on offense,” said Graves.

With next year in mind, Oats is already molding him into the player he’ll need to become in order to lead UB moving forward.

“When those guys leave, we’re not trying to take a step back. We’re looking to climb every year so he’s got big shoes to fill but I think he’s more than capable,” said Oats.

Graves is ready for the challenge as the Bulls program continues to reach heights they’ve never seen before.

“The biggest reason I committed was to win. I felt like this was the best opportunity to win, coming here,” said Graves, “We just want to take it game by game, see what we can do and end the season with something big.”

Buffalo returns to action Friday evening at Alumni Arena against Eastern Michigan.

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