Bucknell Bison (28-6 overall, 12-2 league)
Projected starting five:
Sr. G Cameron Ayers
Sr. G Ryan Hill
Jr. G Steven Kaspar
So. F Dom Hoffman
Sr. F Brian Fitzpatrick
The Bison saw their core graduate, consisting of G Bryson Johnson (11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg), F Joe Willman (10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.5 apg) and C Mike Muscala (18.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.4 bpg).
39.6 percent of scoring and 45.2 percent of rebounding
Fr. F D.J. MacLeay
Fr. G John Azzinaro
Fr. C Ben Oberfeld
A challenging non-league slate awaits the Bison, including four home games headlined by a visit from Ivy League contender Princeton. They will go on the road to play Stanford, St. John’s, Northeast contender Mount St. Mary’s and Kent State. Three of their first four Patriot League games are at home, but they finish with three of four on the road.
Projected finish and outlook:
Although the Bison lost much more than just stats could describe from last season’s team, they aren’t exactly starting over. This is still a veteran team with good talent, and now many players who have winning experience have to move into bigger roles. Ayers should be just fine in that respect, having been a key player behind the big three last year, while Hill, Kaspar and Ryan Frazier will all complement him. Frazier is the best defender of the bunch, while Hill and Kaspar will need to be scoring threats to keep defenses honest. Fitzpatrick keys the frontcourt as he is experienced and helped off the bench last season, while Hoffman is talented and now gets his chance. Oberfeld could jump right in as well. Bucknell was easily the league’s best defensive team last season, out-rebounding teams by the top margin in the league as well. Repeating that will be a tall chore, but essential if they are to contend again given the loss of offense. It would also help if they take care of the ball just as well after they were the only team in the league to turn it over less than ten times a game last season.