Bucknell releases 2013-14 non-conference schedule
It’s the earliest in a long while we can remember the Bison having their schedule set. And it is surprisingly tough for a school which just lost as many key pieces as Bucknell did.
Often, coaches will schedule based on the talent they have back, opting for a more challenging slate when they have a veteran team, going a little lighter when they have youngsters in need of seasoning.
The schedule includes games at Stanford, Penn State — which figures to be improved with the return of guard Tim Frazier, and at St. Johns.
St. John’s and Stanford were both NIT teams last season. And while many rate schedules by the number of NCAA Tourney teams, those NIT teams may actually be a sign of a potentially bigger challenge since both were young teams expected to be much better this time around,
Another interesting game will be a Thanksgiving week trip to Mt. St. Mary’s, where former Pat Flannery assistant Jamion Christian did a nice job turning the Mountaineers around in his first season, going 18-14 and advancing to the Northeast Conference final.
Here is the complete release from Bucknell Sports Information:
For Immediate Release (May 10, 2013)
Contact: Jon Terry
BUCKNELL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 NON-CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Bison Open Season at Stanford on Nov. 8
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell head men’s basketball coach Dave Paulsen announced the non-conference portion of his team’s 2013-14 schedule on Friday in conjunction with the program’s annual golf outing. Once again next season the Bison will face a challenging array of non-league opponents. The 11 teams that Bucknell will meet in November and December come from eight different conferences, and five of those teams played in a postseason tournament last season, including opening-night opponent Stanford.
The Bison and Cardinal will lift the lid on the new season on Friday, Nov. 8 in Palo Alto, Calif. It will be the very first meeting between the two programs, and it will be Bucknell’s first game against a Pac-12 opponent since defeating Arizona in the first round of the 2012 National Invitation Tournament. Stanford made it to the second round of the NIT last season. The Cardinal are expected to return all five starters after finishing 19-16 overall and 9-9 in the Pac-12 a year ago.
Stanford will be the first of three “major conference” opponents that Bucknell will face next season. After coming home from California, the Bison will make the one-hour drive out to State College to face Penn State on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Bucknell and St. John’s will meet for the first time in 101 years when the Bison visit Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
One of Bucknell’s six losses last season came at Penn State, a 60-57 setback at Bryce Jordan Center the day after Thanksgiving. The Nittany Lions, who will make a return trip to Lewisburg in 2014-15, bring back four of their top five scorers from a year ago and also hope to get back star guard Tim Frazier, who missed most of last season with an injury. This will be the 101st meeting in a series that dates back to 1897.
The only other meeting between Bucknell and St. John’s came on Feb. 10, 1912 in New York. St. John’s won that one 28-18. The Red Storm advanced to the second round of the NIT last season, and they bring back 92 percent of their scoring in addition to a strong recruiting class.
Bucknell’s 2013-14 home opener will come against in-state rival Saint Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 16 at Sojka Pavilion. Other non-conference home games come against Princeton on Nov. 30, Columbia on Dec. 7 and Fairfield on Dec. 28. All four of those home contests will be on Saturdays. Last season the Bison won at Saint Francis and Columbia, the latter in a memorable comeback from 17 points down, while Ivy League runner-up Princeton handed Bucknell a rare loss.
Bucknell and Fairfield will be starting a new series at Sojka Pavilion. The Bison and Stags have met only twice previously, with Fairfield claiming both ends of a home-and-home set in 1990-91 and 1991-92. The Stags finished 19-16 and lost to Kent State in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in March.
In addition to Fairfield, two other new series will start on the road next season. In a span of three days the Bison will visit Albany (Nov. 23) and Mount St. Mary’s (Nov. 26). The Great Danes are the defending America East champions. They finished 24-11 in 2012-13, including a 73-61 loss to Duke at the NCAA Tournament. Mount St. Mary’s, coached by former Bucknell manager of basketball operations Jamion Christian, went 18-14 last season and fell to LIU-Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference championship game.
Bucknell is 4-2 all-time against Albany, with the last meeting a 55-52 Bison win in the 2007-08 home opener. Bucknell and Mount St. Mary’s have met 20 times previously, with the Bison winning 12. The last get-together was a 58-46 Bucknell road win in 2001-02.
The two remaining non-league road games come against Kent State on Dec. 4 and Marist Dec. 21. The Bison defeated both teams at Sojka Pavilion last season. Kent State went on to finish 21-14 and advanced to the second round of the CIT. The Golden Flashes have now won at least 20 games and played in the postseason (NCAA, NIT or CIT) in 14 of the last 15 years.
With the addition of Loyola (Md.) and Boston University next year, the Patriot League schedule will begin just after New Year’s, and Bucknell will have only league games on the schedule in January, February and March. The Patriot League schedule will be announced at a later date.
Bucknell finished 28-6 in 2012-13 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time. The 28 victories established new school and league records. The Bison were seeded 11th — their second-highest NCAA seeding — before falling to No. 6 Butler 68-56 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., on March 21. Bucknell will have to replace the winningest senior class in program history, led by all-time scoring leader Mike Muscala and fellow 1,000-point scorers Bryson Johnson and Joe Willman.
2013-14 BUCKNELL MEN’S BASKETBALL NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
DAY DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
Fri. Nov. 8 at Stanford TBA Palo Alto, Calif.
Wed. Nov. 13 at Penn State TBA University Park, Pa.
Sat. Nov. 16 SAINT FRANCIS (Pa.) TBA Lewisburg, Pa.
Tue. Nov. 19 at St. John’s TBA Queens N.Y.
Sat. Nov. 23 at Albany TBA Albany, N.Y.
Tue. Nov. 26 at Mount St. Mary’s TBA Emmitsburg, Md.
Sat. Nov. 30 PRINCETON TBA Lewisburg, Pa.
Wed. Dec. 4 at Kent State TBA Kent, Ohio
Sat. Dec. 7 COLUMBIA TBA Lewisburg, Pa.
Sat. Dec. 21 at Marist TBA Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Sat. Dec. 28 FAIRFIELD TBA Lewisburg, Pa.
Game times and Patriot League schedule to be announced at a later date.