On the road again

Tom Housenick of the Daily Item checks in with a report on Bucknell's upcoming trip to Europe and some notes on the Bison's 2005-06 scheduling situation.

When we visited with Pat Flannery a few weeks ago, he mentioned hopes of landing a spot in the preseason NIT. Housenick updates on that with a good catch regarding NCAA rules that will leave the Bison out of that event:
Bucknell is not eligible to play in the preseason NIT, the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament, the Maui Invitational or the Great Alaskan Shootout. NCAA rules require a two-year grace period between such events that count as one game regardless of the number of games actually played.
Also interesting is the fact that Flannery tells Housenick even some teams Bucknell owes a game as the back end of home-and-home deals are telling him they can't find open dates to schedule a visit from the Bison.

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Bison hope to beDevil Duke

Without a doubt Bucknell will have as tough, if not the toughest, a non-league schedule of any team in the league next season. With Saint Joe's, Villanova, Niagara and what looks to be a pretty decent Rider team (on the road) already set, the Bison have added perennial national contender Duke to the 2005-06 slate.

From David Jones of the Patriot-News:
(Bucknell) coach Pat Flannery on Thursday signed a one-game deal to play the Duke Blue Devils at arguably the nastiest hornet's nest in the game -- Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The meeting will be Jan. 2, the Bison's last non-conference date before it opens defense of its Patriot League title.

. . .

The Bison's other games signed so far are two huge home dates with Saint Joe's and Villanova at Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg, road trips to Rider and Niagara and a holiday trip to the Cable Car Classic to play Boston University and then either Cal-Riverside or host Santa Clara.

Flannery still has three open non-con dates left to schedule and plans to keep one available, hoping to nab a game in ESPN's Bracket Buster tournament in mid-February. ESPN's Josh Krulewitz told me the involved low- and mid-major conferences will convene in the summer to decide on the venues and possible combatants. They won't be firmed up till January.

One date that Flannery is not happy about losing is a proposed match with Syracuse at Wachovia Arena in Scranton, home of Orange point guard Gerry McNamara. Flannery thought he had a verbal agreement with SU before Jim Boeheim backed out late last month and opted instead for less-threatening Towson State.
An now, as Paul Harvey says, the rest of the story:

The Bucknell-Syracuse meeting was first discussed early last season. According to Bucknell AD John Hardt, who first told us about the ongoing negotiations with the Orange during a pregame chat at the Bucknell-Villanova game in mid-February, it looked like a done deal in late 2004.

Then Bucknell beat Pitt in Pittsburgh and suddenly it was not just the frigid lake-effect snows that sweep over Central New York that was chilling Orange feet.

Also, Flannery is not just hoping to be included in Bracket Buster Saturday (which is hardly a "tournament"). Flannery also hopes for an invite to the pre-season NIT, thus the need to keep at least one other date open for now.

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Holden, CSKA finish fourth

Bucknell's grad J.R. Holden and his CSKA Moscow team finished a record breaking season in disappointing fashion Sunday, blowing a 22-point lead in the third place game of the Euroleague Final Four and losing 94-91 in double overtime to Panathinaikos.

Up 48-26 in the third quarter, CSKA squandered the entire lead and actually almost lost in regulation before Holden made a steal near midcourt and fed Theodorous Papaloukas for a dunk that tied it at 78-78 at the end of regulation.

Holden finished with 10 points, four assists and five steals for CSKA. But he was just 1-of-6 from 3-point range and had 4 turnovers.

The loss came two days after a surprising semifinals loss to Tau Ceramica, 85-78. Holden lead CSKA with 20 points in the loss.

The two losses came after CSKA had lost just once in 47 previous games this season.

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HC on 7-footer's short list

Seven-footer Luke Bonner, who is leaving West Virginia after his freshman season, apparently has Holy Cross listed as one of two places he might land.

According to a story in the Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News:
Bonner, the 7-footer from Concord who played at Trinity, announced earlier this week that he was transferring after his freshman season at West Virginia.

Bonner is in Toronto visiting his brother, Matt, who recently concluded his rookie season with the NBA Raptors. David Bonner, Luke's father, said Thursday night that he had faxed releases from West Virginia to the University of Massachusetts and Holy Cross and his son planned to soon visit those schools and likely others in New England.
Bonner played in 22 games for WVU this season. averaging 1.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 4.2 minutes per game.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005
On the road again
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Bison hope to beDevil Duke

Holden, CSKA finish fourth

HC on 7-footer's short list

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