Morning shootaround

Holy Cross at Bucknell, 2 p.m. -- You'll find the full preview, with links, below. Two links we didn't include were for the audio feeds. Since the game is "nationally televised", not to mention Bucknell offering FREE ADMISSION, we figured nobody would listen to internet radio, so why bother.

Then we started looking through our local listings to set the VCR, and could not find it anywhere on the Comcast lineup in the Harrisburg area, even though College Sports TV's Web site says:
CSTV is available on Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Adelphia and Insight cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610).
If your cable system doesn't carry CSTV, you can listen live on your choice of the Bison Sports Network or Holy Cross flagship station WTAG. If you pick Doug Birdsong's Bucknell call you get the added bonus of hearing an interview with me at the half.

Also, a word on our game plan for this afternoon: Assuming no problems with our antique laptop, which is around 97-years-old in computer years (which are sort of like dog years), we will have the initial game story posted around 5:30 p.m. or so.

We will add additional commentary later, and then pull together a full league report Sunday morning.

The rest of today's games:

Navy at Lafayette, 1 p.m. (Gametracker | Navy Game Notes| Lafayette Game Notes)

Lehigh at American, 1 p.m. ( AU Game Notes (pdf) | Lehigh Game Notes)

Army at Colgate, 2 p.m. (Gametracker | Army Game Notes | Colgate Game Notes)


CURIOUS MOVE: The common itinerary for a Division I team on the road is to arrive the day before the game in time to have a walk-through in the other team's gym.

Holy Cross, though, took a different approach for today's game at Bucknell. The Crusaders practiced yesterday morning in Worcester, then bused to Lewisburg later in the day.

This is particularly curious because, with school still on winter break, there were no missed classes to be worried about.

We're not about to second guess Ralph Willard; He's been around long enough to know what he is doing. But we do wonder what the thought process was behind skipping a Friday shootaround in Sojka. We will try to remember to ask him about that this afternoon.

NO GUARANTEES: Author, commentator, columnist, swimmer and this afternoon's TV color guy, John Feinstein has a nice piece in today's Washington Post about how Bucknell forgot its end of the bargain in that guarantee game at Pittsburgh.

An interesting Pat Flannery quote near the end shows Flannery isn't about to buy into all the sudden hype. Despite beating Pittsburgh, Bucknell knows if they want to dance in March, this is a much bigger game. Said Flannery:
"I'm pretty sure I won't have any problem getting them ready for Holy Cross. For us, they're still the benchmark."
TROUBLE IN ANNAPOLIS: A story posted yesterday afternoon in the Annapolis Capital previews the Mids game at Lafayette and also hints of off court problems with the Navy program:
The Midshipmen played that (air force) without forward Matt Fannin and guard Kelvin Boatner, whom Lange suspended for violation of team rules.

"We have certain ways we are going to carry ourselves and if I have to suspend people to make sure that standard is upheld, that's what I'll do," Lange said.

Fannin and Boatner will both be back tomorrow, but Lange is going to stick with the starting lineup he's been using. That means freshmen Ben Biles, Greg Sprink and Corey Johnson will start for the fourth straight game.

Johnson has taken over at point guard for senior Taj Mathews, who has been bothered by injuries to both wrists. Biles, who at 6-foot-9 is the second-tallest player on Navy's roster, has been providing decent rebounding and defense at center. Sprink moved into the starting lineup at wing forward after producing a double-double against Mount St. Mary's.

Navy remains without sophomore forward Carlton Baldwin, the team's leading returning scorer and rebounder. Baldwin, who has played in just three games, is serving an academy-related suspension and may not return this season.

"My main interest at this point is keeping Carlton at the academy," (Billy) Lange said. "It's a shame because I think our record is reversed if we have this kid all season. He makes plays."
ONE GAME NOT ENOUGH?: Fans attending the Bucknell-Holy Cross game whose appetite for hoops is not sated by that game can stick around after for a high school game between Shamokin and Central Columbia. It's all part of what Bucknell is billing as Community Day.

Did we mention FREE ADMISSION.

GLORY DAYS: Kyle, over at, was thinking of making the Holy Cross Bucknell games one of his 100 games. Instead, he is continuing his America East tour, saving a visit to the No. 200 Sports Town in America for later. In his Friday installment he chronicled Boston University's (lopsided might be an understatement) 73-22 win over Hartford by listing "22 Teams That Can Beat The Hartford Hawks."

What does this have to do with the Patriot League, you ask. Nothing, but one of the 22 teams he mentions is me and a handful of other guys from the hoops blogosphere.

Had he mentioned it in a chat room, my response would be *ROTFLMAO* (translation: rolling on the floor laughing my ass off). This tells me one of X things: Either Kyle has no idea how out of shape I am and how weak my jumper was even in what I laughingly would call my basketball prime, or those other guys got serious game.

Next week Kyle promises to be in Lewisburg to see the Army-Bucknell game. Maybe the dude has a thing for mismatches.

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