Meet the Bucknell Bison (9-2)

After brushing off some rust against UNC-G in Greensboro, the Blue Devils return home to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face Bucknell -- a team that is no stranger to pulling big upsets. TDD previews the match up.

1/1 Duke (12-0) vs. Bucknell (9-2)
Durham, N.C. – Cameron Indoor Stadium
4:30 p.m., ESPN

Program Vitals
Conference: Patriot League
Nickname: Bison
Colors: Blue Orange
Head Coach: Pat Flannery – 12th season
Career Record at Bucknell: 158-138 (253-181 overall)
Last Year: 23-10 (10-4) – NCAA Tournament Second Round

Projected Starters: 
   Abe Badmus (6-0, 187, Jr.) – 7.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.3 apg
   Kevin Bettencourt (6-2, 180, Sr.) – 13.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
   Chris McNaughton (6-11, 235, Jr.) – 15.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 69% FG
   Charles Lee (6-3, 221, Sr.) – 12.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg
   Darren Mastropaolo (6-8, 239, So.) – 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Key Reserves: 
   Donald Brown (6-6, 220, Jr.) – 4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg
   John Griffin (6-1, 175, So.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.0 apg
   Jason Vegotsky (6-2, 180, Fr.) – 3.1 ppg
   Josh Linticum (6-7, 265, Sr.) – 1.1 ppg


Giant Killers For Hire: Last season the Bison burst onto the national stage in a big way, with a 64-63 victory over Kansas in the NCAA Tournament's opening round. So far this season the Bison haven't flinched when playing the nation's top teams, beating then No. 19 Syracuse 74-59 in November. The Bison also played No. 4 Villanova close for most of the game before the Wildcats pulled away for a 79-60 victory.

The only other blemish on the Bucknell schedule was a 77-68 loss at Santa Clara in their last game out, December 29th. Two other notable wins have come at DePaul (57-52) and over St. Joseph's (63-51).

Welcome to the Big Time: For the first time in the 111-year history of Bucknell basketball, the Bison will face the No. 1-ranked team in the nation on Monday when they visit Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ESPN-televised affair will feature the first meeting between the Bison and Blue Devils in 22 years, and it will be Bucknell's first game against any Atlantic Coast Conference team since 2000-01.

If the Bison could pull the upset it would be an impressive feat as the Blue Devils have never lost to an unranked team when ranked No. 1 at home, sporting a record of 62-0 in such contests. The Blue Devils are 118-6 in their last 124 games played at home, a winning percentage of .950.

Previously, the highest-ranked team Bucknell had played in school history was No. 3 Michigan State in the 2003-04 season opener (a 64-52 Spartans win).

Familiar Foe: While Bucknell and Duke have not met since 1984, both teams' star big men faced one another this summer at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey. Bucknell's Chris McNaughton played for Team Germany, while Duke's Shelden Williams won a gold medal with Team USA. Bucknell assistant coach Bryan Goodman, whose mother and brother live in Izmir, assisted head coach Jay Wright in a logistics capacity. The U.S. and Germany met in pool play, and American squad prevailed 72-62. In that game Williams finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in a starting role, while McNaughton came off the bench for the Germans and tallied eight points and eight rebounds.

Duke Notes:

- The Blue Devils are 47-17 against teams currently in the Patriot League. Under Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is 11-0 against the Patriot League. Overall, the Blue Devils have won 25 straight games versus Patriot League opponents.

- The Blue Devils lead the ACC in free throw shooting at 76.4 percent (217-of-284) and have made more free throws (217) than their opponents have attempted (157). Duke shot 83.2 percent (129-of-155) from the charity stripe in the month of December, including a 27-of-28 effort (96.4 percent) in their win over UNC Greensboro on Saturday.

- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.17). Only three freshmen — Jeff Jones, Kenny Anderson and Ed Cota — have led the conference in assists per game. Paulus has 62 assists on the year, including 31 in the last four games.

In his last six games, Sean Dockery is averaging 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.2 steals per game while shooting 59.5 percent (25-of-42) from the field and 50.0 percent (6-of-12) from three-point range. Dockery has reached double-figures in scoring in four of the past six contests.

J.J. Redick leads the ACC and is second nationally in scoring at 25.6 points per game. The Roanoke, Va., native is averaging 15.3 points in the opening half of Duke's 12 contests. The last player to lead the ACC in scoring in back-to- back seasons was Jason Williams (2001 and 2002).

Shelden Williams has 43 career double-doubles, including five this year. Duke is 37-6 in those contests, including a 5-0 mark this season. Williams had double-doubles in each of the last three contests.

Duke is averaging 93.2 points and shooting 54.2 percent from the field in its last four games. J.J. Redick is averaging 31.0 points per game and shooting 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from three-point range during that stretch.

- Redick now sits with 2,112 career points after scoring 35 against the Spartans. Redick sits alone in sixth place all-time, just 24 points shy of Mark Alarie for fifth place on the all-time list.

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