It's the Bisons [Baby]

Fresh from a game we could have won down in Florida, the <b>Cats</b> come home to face another team with an axe to grind against the Big 10 --<br><br> <b>The Herd - The Bucknell Bisons</b><br><br> How do the <b>Northwestern Wildcats</b> match up?

The Wildcats entertain another struggling team tonight...
The Bucknell Bisons come into Welsh Ryan with an 0-3 record, including a big scare in their opening game against Michigan State.

They play in the Patriot League and are coached by Bucknell alum Pat Flannery [Bucknell Photo-right] - who is 135-121 in 10 years at BU, and is 230-164 lifetime. They play well in league tournaments - they've been to the semifinals in the Patriot League tourney 10 of 13 seasons.

Flannery knows a bit about the NU style of play - his Bison's beat Princeton back in the 1996-97 season.  They been struggling to get a better record, but they play a tough preconference schedule, remember they opened up against Big 10 power MSU.

The Bisons will bring in another hot shooting guard for the Cats to contain. 6-2 Soph Guard Kevin Bettencourt [right] is the team leader in scoring and minutes - averaging 16.3 ppg, and 33+ minutes. You'll see he shows up in several our category listings below.

But you also have to watch the center play of #0 6-11 Senior Center Davorin Skornik and #32 6-11 Frosh Center Chris McNaughton. [left] Actually , McNaughton is the guy to watch -- he earned Patriot League Freshman of the Week honors with his 26 points, 10 for 13 shooting and 8 rebounds in the last two games. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts this year if he continues to play the way he has.

If you add it up their starters average 36.7 ppg of the 61.7 ppg the Bisons' score accounting for just under 60% of their scoring. They obviously have a pretty good bench.

Putting them in categories:
  • The Big Gun - # 12 Soph Guard Kevin Bettencourt [6-2] is averaging 16.3 points a game
  • Deadeye Dick - #32 Freshman Center Chris McNaughton [6-11] is shooting a blistering .786  [11-14] from the field, coming off the bench but playing almost 16 minutes a game
  • The Bomber [most 3 Point shots] - Bettencourt again - he's 10-29 from the arc in their 3 games, a .345 percentage. #31 Junior Forward Chris Niesz [6-7] is way behind at 6-12 but he's hitting half his treys 
  • Off the Boards - #3 Soph Guard Charles Lee [6-3] is the big man on the boards - he's got 14 [11 defensive] rebounds in 3 games, but five of his teammates also average more than 3 boards a game.
  • Charity Stripe - You don't want to foul sub John Clark - he's made 3 of 4 free throws and there are 4 other regulars shooting over 50% from the stripe.
  • Pickpocket - Bettencourt again - with 7 steals to lead the Bisons.

Probable Starters 

  • Forward: #25 Matt Quinn [Sr 6-5 5.3 ppg] , #31 Chris Niesz [Jr 6-7 8.7 ppg]
  • Center: #00 Davorin Skornik [Sr 6-11 2.7 ppg]
  • Guard: #3 Charles Lee [So 6-3 3.7 ppg], #12 Kevin Bettencourt [So 6-2 16.3 ppg]
2 Seniors, a Junior and 2 Sophs, averaging just under 37 points and 17 rebounds a game -- just about 60%

Off the Bench
[Averaging more than 10 mins]:
  • Forwards: #4 Donald Brown [Fr 6-5 6.0 ppg, #11 John Clark [Fr 6-7 4.0 ppg]
  • Center: #32 Chris McNaughton [Fr 6-11 9.3 ppg], #44 Tarik Viaer-McClymont [So 6-6 1.3 ppg]
  • Guards: #22 Antario Glover [Jr 6-2 2.3 ppg],
Challenges for the Wildcats
  • Contain another Hot Guard - Bettencourt. - He shoots 3s, makes half his free throws, steals, has 11 assists, probably makes good coffee too.
  • Control the Middle - These guys bring 3 really tall centers. Davor Duvancic and Ivan Tolic [and Vince Scott if he can] will have a job Wed night. The good news is that they only have 3 blocks.
  • Capitalize on the turnovers - the Bisons have 55 turnovers in 3 games! We need to get some points on these. They've only got 3 blocks total!
  • Take care of the Basketball - here's a chance to really work on passing and getting our offense to work.
  • Play that zone [baby]
I hate to say this, but on paper these guys look a lot like Florida State. They've got a hot shooting Guard, and a couple of big guys in the middle and maybe a little bit of hunger for a win over a big 10 team.

Bucknell also brings in some really big young players who get serious minutes. 10 of the players average over 10 minutes a game!

But I also think the Cats learned a big lesson last night -- we can play with anybody if we don't get silly fouls and play our game instead of theirs. We got in trouble when our guys tried to play hurry-up against a team that obviously knows that game too well.

Our guys have to remember that they can bring in those fresh legs any time - we have to get squared up and shoot from the floor, not in the air.

    There's no TV for this one -- its WGN with Dave Eanet - Pregame is 6:45 PM CT - Purple Reign will be chatting...

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