2016-2017 Season Review
Bucknell cruised in the Patriot League in their second season under head coach Nathan Davis, winning both the regular season and tournament titles. The Bison were one of the best mid-majors in they country, going 26-9 (15-3), which included a win at Vanderbilt in the non-conference portion of their schedule. 12 of their 15 conference wins were decided by double digits. The Bison earned a #13 seed in the NCAA Tournament where they hung tough with #4 West Virginia, falling 86-80. With almost their entire roster returning, they should be even better in 2017-2018.
The Bison lose just two seniors from last season that were 10th and 11th in minutes played. John Azzinaro played 8.1 MPG and scored 3.0 PPG. D.J. MacLeay averaged 2.9 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 8.7 MPG.
Bucknell brings back their top nine scorers from their 26 win team a season ago. 6’7 senior Zach Thomas led the team in scoring with 15.9 PPG, while also hauling in 6.6 RPG and dishing out 3.4 APG. Thomas hit 56 threes at a 40.9% clip during his First Team All Patriot League campaign. Nana Foulland, a 6’9 senior, was second on the team in scoring (15.0 PPG), first in rebounds (7.8 RPG), first in blocks (2.1 BPG) and first in FG% at 63.0%. Foulland was the 2017 Patriot League Player of the Year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year.
Kimbal MacKenzie, a 6’1 junior guard that was a Third Team All Patriot League selection, scored 11.9 PPG and dished out 2.4 APG. He also led the team in threes made with 64 at a 41% clip. 5’11 senior guard Stephen Brown, who was a Second Team All Patriot League selection, averaged 11.1 PPG and led the team in assists with 4.8 APG, while also hitting 51 threes at a 40.2% clip. 6’8 junior Nate Sestina scored 4.8 PPG and 3.7 RPG in 12.0 MPG. Bruce Moore, a 6’8 sophomore, scored 3.6 PPG in 12.6 MPG, while 6’3 junior Matt O’Reilly scored 3.4 PPG in 10.9 MPG. 6’5 junior Nate Jones played 16.6 MPG while averaging 3.3 PPG and grabbing 2.0 RPG. Rounding out the returnees is 6’3 sophomore Avi Toomer, who played 19.3 MPG last season and Ben Robertson, a 6’5 sophomore guard, who played 3.9 MPG.
Nathan David brings in four players as part of his 2017 recruiting. Paul Newman is a big 6’9, 240 pound two star sophomore out of Philadelphia. Jimmy Sotos is a 6’3 two star guard, while Jordan Sechan is a 6’0 two star guard. Rounding out the recruiting class is 6’8 two star forward John Meeks.
If it looked like Bucknell dominated the Patriot League last year, just wait for this season. The Bison are the overwhelming favorites to win the league. No team has ran the table in the Patriot League since the Bison did it back in 2006, but that was just a 14 game schedule. It will be extremely tough, but they definitely have the potential to do that this season. You may not hear much about these guys during the regular season, but they’ll be a dangerous, bracket-busting team come next March.