Oct. 15, 2009
Bucknell Men's Basketball Season Preview | 2009-10 Men's Schedule
Bucknell Women's Basketball Season Preview | 2009-10 Women's Schedule
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bucknell men's and women's basketball teams begin the countdown to the 2009-10 season when the official start of preseason practice begins on Friday. The Bison women's team is first on the Sojka Pavilion floor at 3:30 p.m., with the men's practice to follow at 6 p.m.
Prior to Friday's NCAA-sanctioned first practice date, teams have been permitted to conduct limited team, individual and conditioning workouts. Both men's coach Dave Paulsen and women's coach Kathy Fedorjaka have been pleased with what they have seen from their squads so far.
"We are just light years ahead of where we were a year ago," said Paulsen, whose team is trying to bounce back from a frustrating 2008-09 campaign that was undermined by injuries and depth issues. "The returning guys are completely bought in. They understand what we are trying to do and how we are going to do it. They have embraced it and have worked hard in the offseason. And I now have a comfort level knowing who these guys are and what makes them tick. We have made significant progress in really trying to re-create that basketball culture where we are positioned for success in terms of work ethic, attention to detail, unselfishness and leadership. You have to have those things before you can win games, and you have to have them for sure before you can win close games."
Fedorjaka's women went 16-12 a year ago, despite some depth issues of their own. This season, the Bison add five talented newcomers to a core of eight returnees.
"It's probably going to be one of our deeper years ever," said Fedorjaka, who is entering her 13th year as the Bison's head coach. "Really if we go tomorrow, all of those [players] could be on the floor. Not all are going to play 32 minutes, but sometimes you have years where they can all bring something to the table."
The men's team will have 24 practice dates between Friday and the Nov. 13 season opener against Mercer at the World Vision Basketball Invitational in Providence, R.I. Two of those dates will be closed scrimmages against other Division I programs (the NCAA mandates that preseason scrimmages between D-I teams must be closed to the public and not reported on), and on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m., the team will have an intrasquad scrimmage in Sojka Pavilion that is open to the public free of charge.
Bucknell will play three games in a span of about 45 hours to open the season. After the Mercer game, the Bison will face tournament-host Providence on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m., followed by a matchup with Bryant on Nov. 16 at noon.
The women also begin the new year with a tournament. The Bison will play Miami (Ohio) and either Arizona or Iona at the Iona Tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y., on Nov. 14-15.