BUFFALO, NY - As the 12 for 12 series wraps up, the number one spot belongs to Mitchall Watt, recent graduate from the men's basketball team. Watt achieved great things in his final season in the blue and white, from becoming a member of the winningest class in program history to being named the Mid-American Conference's Player of the Year.
His dream season started not with a bang, but with a modest line of 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks in a win over Saint Peter's on Nov. 11. Watt scored nine points eight days later in a road loss to Princeton, but that loss would spark both he and the team on a tremendous run. From Nov. 22 to Feb. 1, he scored in double figures ever single game and posted up four double-doubles as well in leading the team to an 11-5 record in that span.
Now drawing the focus of every defense when he stepped on the floor, Watt responded with an even better run when the team needed him most. He left little doubt who was the MAC's most valuable player as he scored 15 points or more in every remaining game in the conference season after being held to nine points in a win over Toledo on Feb. 4. That stretch was highlighted by a career-high 32 points and adding 11 rebounds in a nail-bitingly close MAC tournament semifinal game against eventual champion Ohio University, where Watt drew the respect of every one of the 8500 fans in attendance with an array of acrobatic shots en route to an 11-17 performance from the field.
The 32 point game was just one of many personal records Watt achieved in 2012. Besides setting new single-game highs in every major statistical category, Watt passed the 1000-point mark and increased his points per game average from 8.0 as a junior to 16.3 as a senior. In a fitting end to his career at Alumni Arena, Mitchell scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the final four minutes of the game to lead UB to a senior day win over Bowling Green, eclipsing the 1,000 point mark in the process in a game that fans will remember for years to come.
He ranked in the top four in the conference in five different categories, including scoring (3rd), rebounding (4th), field goal percentage (3rd), blocked shots (2nd) and defensive rebounds (3rd).
After his college career came to an end in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, Watt earned a spot on the AP All-America Honorable Mention team and a pair of invitations to prestigious national tournaments. First was the Reese's College All-Star Game, as he and 19 other prominent senior from major college teams. In that game, he 11 points, four rebounds and three blocks. He then followed it up with a spot in the Portsmouth Invitational, making him just the second UB player selected to play at Portsmouth in the 60-year history of the event.
He would not disappoint, averaging 12.7 points, nine rebounds and 4.3 blocked shots over the three games and setting a new tournament record for total blocks, with 13. That performance caught the eye of a number of teams, and Watt would sign a free agent contract with the Memphis Grizzlies. Now after co-headlining a Sportscenter Top 10 play and averaging eight points and 4.5 rebounds, he is looking to become the first UB player since Sam Pellom to play in the NBA.