Little Lions big man picks HC

According to the Centre Daily Times, 6-8 Eric Meister of State College (Pa.) H.S. has verbally committed to Holy Cross.
Meister, who carries a 3.5 GPA, will enter his senior season 41 points shy of 1,000 for his high school career. In 26 games last season, he averaged 14.7 points for the District 6 champion Little Lions, who lost in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Lower Merion.
Meister chose the 'Saders over Colgate, Akron, Davidson, Eastern Michigan and Boston University. Interestingly, Penn State, where his father played in the 1970s, and down-the-road Bucknell were not in the mix.

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Counting eggs as chickens

Remember last season how few folks seemed to take Bucknell seriously as they knocked off Pittsburgh, St. Joseph's and Kansas? Eash time the opposing team's media seemed to dwell more on what the home team did wrong than what the Bison did right.

Now here comes Syracuse Post-Gazette columnist Bud Poliquin in the same vein, referring to the Bison as a "standard-issue win" in his column Friday:
The Syracuse basketball schedule has been released and while it is loaded with the standard-issue November wins and December triumphs, there will be some metaphorical meat on the bones of some of the visiting condemned this time around. In alphabetical order, Bethune-Cookman is a 101-year-old predominantly black school bowing on the big Carrier Dome stage, Bucknell knocked Kansas out of last year's NCAA Tournament, Davidson gave us Lefty Driesell once upon a time, Illinois-Chicago is coached by our very own Jimmy Collins, Manhattan's boss is the forever chatty Bobby Gonzalez, and Texas-El Paso's all-black ancestors once beat all-white Kentucky for the national title. It was nice of Jim Boeheim, generous on whim, to give his pals among the media so many storylines.
Bud might want to be careful about how soon he counts his chickens. Remember, the Bison lasted longer in last season's NCAA Tournament than the Orange, and unlike the Cuse, which lost a key player in Hakim Warrick, Bucknell has every starter and 7 of its first 8 in the rotation back.

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No world games for Holden, Russia

Russia dropped a 92-74 decision to Croatia Sunday at the European Basketball Championships, leaving the Russian team with its second straight eighth place finish.

The top six in the tournament qualified for the upcoming World Championships. Russia's hopes of qualifying were dashed Friday in an 89-78 loss to Lithuania.

Bucknell grad J.R. Holden, the naturalized Russian citizen who was granted citizenship in order to allow him to play the point for Russia, finished as the 10th leading scorer in the tournament, averaging 12. points per game despite playing only six minutes (and scoring just 2 points) in the 7th-8th place game against Croatia.

Holden struggled from the field much of the tournament, shooting just 35 percent, but so did the Russian team, which lacked much of an inside presence, especially when forward Andrei Kirilenko (who plays for the Utah Jazz in the NBA) broke his nose in a quarterfinals loss to eventual champion Greece.

According to Holden, despite the disappointing finish, the future is bright for the Russians.
"Look at Andrei Kirilenko, Sergey Monya, Victor Khryapa. These guys are all really young. And they have a great future," said Holden, an American naturalized Russian who was playing in his first international tournament for the Russian national team.
Holden pointed to the loss of Kirikenko, the team's top scorer, as a big factor in Russia's medals round failures.
"We missed him in the middle," Holden said. "He's a great shot blocker, and he gives us so much good defense."

He added: "How's Germany without (Dirk) Nowitzki. Who knows? But we played a hard game without the best player on our team."
For a complete wrapup of the tournament, visit Eurobasket 2005.

By the way, in case you missed it, USA Today was the latest U.S. publication to take notice of Holden's presence on the Russian roster, featuring him in a story Friday.

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Friday, September 30, 2005
Little Lions big man picks HC
Monday, September 26, 2005
Counting eggs as chickens

No world games for Holden, Russia

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