Bucknell Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Bucknell Bison
Patriot (19-14, 13-5)


It was a tough battle, but Bucknell ended up on top of a very balance Patriot League. Top to bottom, there was not an easy game in conference play with all ten teams capable of beating anybody else. However, Coach Dave Paulsen and his Bison proved by the end of February that they were the best of the bunch.

Big Wins: 12/8 Albany, 1/7 Lafayette (79-69), 2/28 at American (71-69)
Bad Losses: 11/22 Mt. St. Mary’s (69-73), 12/28 at Siena (71-73), 1/31 Colgate (69-71)
Coach: Dave Paulsen

Why They Can Surprise:
A big reason for the Bison’s success throughout the grind of the Patriot League schedule was their depth. Coach Paulsen will go 11 players deep. Chris Hass is the only player on the team that averages over 25 minutes per game. And Bucknell needs him to be out there as much as possible since Hass is the team’s best all-around scorer and a very good outside shooter. J.C. Show and John Azzinaro are also very dangerous from beyond the arc. Steven Kaspar usually comes in off of the bench, but he is the player who sparks the offense with his playmaking abilities. The senior dishes out 3.5 assists per game and is one of many guards who averages five or six points per game, but is capable of much more on any given day.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Nana Foulland has had a great freshman campaign and has turned into Bucknell’s secondary scorer behind Hass and the top rebounder. At 6-9 and 227 pounds, he is a force in the paint. However, rebounding will be much tougher in the tournament and this is not a great rebounding team to begin with. Foulland needs help on the glass from players like Zach Thomas, Don Hoffman and Cory Starkey to keep things even against stronger frontcourts. The Bison also need Foulland and Thomas to be effective on the offensive end to clear space for the shooters.

Probable Starters:
Stephen Brown, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.4 apg
Ryan Frazier, Junior, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 1.8 apg
Chris Haas, Junior, Guard, 16.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
Zach Thomas, Freshman, Forward, 7.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Nana Foulland, Freshman, Center, 10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
John Azzinaro, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 1.0 ppg
Don Hoffman, Junior, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Steven Kaspar, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 3.5 apg
D.J. MacLeay, Sophomore, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg
J.C. Show, Freshman, Guard, 6.8 ppg
Cory Starkey, Senior, Forward, 3.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.8 (138th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.9 (247, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.2 (128, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.4 (250, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (124, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.8 (30, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.1 (132, 5)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (117, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (144, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (44, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Butler
2012    NIT    First Round win over Arizona
2012    NIT    Second Round loss to Nevada
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Connecticut
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Arkansas
2006    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Memphis
2005    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Kansas
2005    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules