Some bits and pieces on the Olean Oilers, the 2020 Bills schedule and an update on former Bonnie Jaylen Adams:
— With major league pitchers and catchers starting to report in barely three weeks, it’s not too early to talk some baseball.
In this case, the Oilers.
This coming season’s New York Collegiate Baseball League schedule was posted just before Thanksgiving.
The biggest news is that the league, after going down to 10 teams last season, is back up to 12. The West Division, of which Olean is a part, now consists of Mansfield (Pa.), Genesee (Houghton), Hornell, Niagara (Falls) and newly added Dansville.
In the East Division are the two Syracuse teams, Salt Cats and Spartans, Cortland, Rome, Sherrill and Rochester, which returns to the league after a year’s absence.
NYCBL teams will still play the favored 42-game schedule, six doubleheaders against teams in the opposite division and six games each (home-and-home) against its five division foes.
Each team plays 21 home games over 18 dates. Olean’s first game is June 2 with the home opener the next day. The Oilers season ends July 25, 42 games in 53 days.
— Bills fans probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s entirely possible Buffalo will be improved in 2020 and not get to 10 wins or return to the playoffs.
This coming year’s schedule is as daunting as last season’s was soft.
Besides AFC East foes New England (12-4), the Jets (7-9) and Miami (5-11), the Bills will host Kansas City (12-4), Seattle (11-5), Pittsburgh (8-8) and both Los Angeles teams, the Rams (9-7) and Chargers (5-11).
But the real problem is the road as, besides the Pats, Jets and Dolphins, the Bills will be headed to the Far West to face San Francisco (13-3), Las Vegas and Denver (both 7-9) and Arizona (5-10-1) plus a trip to Tennessee (9-7).
Translation, last season Buffalo had four games against playoff teams (New England twice, Tennessee and Baltimore). This coming year, that number will be six, including against three of the four conference championship teams (Chiefs, 49ers and Titans) plus New England twice and Seattle.
The impact of four Far West trips can’t be overstated, especially depending upon where they emerge on the Bills’ schedule, as in back-to-back such games.
— If you’ve lost track, former Bonnie Jaylen Adams, who signed a two-way contract with NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and their G League team in Erie, PA., in 2018, has a new team. When the Hawks waived him after last season, Adams signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Milwaukee Bucks and after being waived he joined their G League team, the Wisconsin Herd.
Ever since, he’s stood out for that Oshkosh-based team. Through the season’s midpoint (25 games) the Herd is tied for the second-best record in G League history (20-5) and Adams has starred.
The 2018 Atlantic 10 co-Player of the Year, a 6-foot-2 point guard, is scoring 20 points per game in 19 starts, and is averaging six assists, five rebounds, four turnovers and two steals.
Still only 23, the Hanover, Md., native is shooting 49 percent from the field and 39 percent on treys and has to have gotten the Bucks’ attention.
(Chuck Pollock, a Times Herald senior sports columnist, can be reached at email@example.com)