What: Bucknell (0-1) at Arkansas (1-0)
Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark.
When: Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, 6 p.m. (ET)
TV: SEC Network
Local Radio: Eagle 107 (107.3 FM WEGH)
Live Stats: ArkansasRazorbacks.com
• COMPLETE GAME NOTES
Bucknell Probable Starters
G: Stephen Brown (11.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 6.0 apg)
G: Kimbal Mackenzie (0.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G: Avi Toomer (6.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
F: Zach Thomas (31.0 ppg, 16.0 rpg, 0.0 apg)
C: Nana Foulland (15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
With a Win over Arkansas, Bucknell Would ...
• ... improve to 1-1 overall and 1-1 on the road this season.
• ... defeat an SEC team for the second year in a row (at Vanderbilt 11/21/16) and fourth time in the last six tries.
• ... improve to 2-0 all-time against the Razorbacks (won 59-55 in 2006 NCAA Tournament).
• ... improve to 44-24 under Nathan Davis.
• Bucknell opened its 123rd season of basketball on Friday night at Monmouth and dropped a tough one, 79-78. The Bison fought back from 13 down in the second half to take the lead, but the Hawks won it with two free throws with 0:05 left.
• This game is a home-site contest in the Phil Knight Invitational (PK80). Later this month, Arkansas will head to Portland to play Oklahoma and either North Carolina or Portland.
• The Bison have a challenging non-conference schedule ahead, starting with an opening-week gauntlet that takes them on the road to Monmouth, Arkansas, North Carolina and Maryland in the season’s first eight days.
• Bucknell has two NCAA Tournament wins, the second of which came against Arkansas in the 2006 first round. This is Bucknell’s first trip to the state of Arkansas.
• Senior Zach Thomas had a career performance on Friday night at Monmouth. He set personal bests with 31 points and 16 rebounds, including 24 points and 11 board in the second half. Thomas became the first Bucknell player to record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Boakai Lalugba had 30 and 15 against Cornell on Nov. 26, 2001.
• The Bison were the unanimous favorite in the Patriot League Preseason Poll of head coaches and sports information directors. Nana Foulland was voted PL Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team by Thomas.
• Bucknell has all five starters back from last year’s team that swept the Patriot League regular-season and tournament titles and went to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history. The Bison took fourth-seeded West Virginia right to the wire before falling 86-80.
• The Bison will be taking on an Arkansas team that routed Samford 95-56 at home on Friday. The Razorbacks had six players score in double figures, led by 16 points each from Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon. Arkansas shot 57.1% from the field and held Samford to 32.8 FG%.
How to Get the Game
• The Bucknell-Arkansas game will be televised on the SEC Network, with Dave Neal and Pat Bradley on the call.
• The game can be heard in the Susquehanna Valley on the radio on Eagle 107 (WEGH 107.3 FM), with Doug Birdsong calling the action. The pregame show begins 30 minutes before tip-off.
• Live statistics can be accessed via ArkansasRazorbacks.com
• The audio feed is available online free of charge on personal computers via BucknellBison.com and Eagle107.com. To listen on iPhone and Android devices, download the official Bucknell Athletics app.
• Follow @Bucknell_MBB for in-game updates on Twitter.
Last Time Out
• Bucknell dropped its season opener 79-78 on Friday night in West Long Branch, N.J.
• The Bison trailed 44-31 after Monmouth hit a 3FG on the first possession of the second half. Bucknell used a 17-5 run to take the lead, getting 3-pointers from five different players in the surge.
• There were eight lead changes and five ties in the final 6:30 of the game, with five of the lead changes coming in the last 1:09. The last came with 0:05 left, when Micah Seaborn made two free throws to put the Hawks ahead. Bucknell’s Kimbal Mackenzie was off the mark on a contested jumper as time expired.
• Zach Thomas played a starring role for the Bison, setting career highs with 31 points and 16 rebounds, including 24 points and 11 rebounds in the second half.
• Bucknell hit 13 of 33 shots from the 3-point arc (9-18 in second half) but was left lamenting a 7-for-17 showing from the free-throw line.
Bucknell vs. Arkansas Series Notes
• The only other meeting between the Bison and Razorbacks came on March 17, 2006 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Dallas.
• One year after beating third-seeded Kansas in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, Bucknell won another first-round game in 2006, this time as a No. 9 seed over No. 8 Arkansas, 59-55.
• Bucknell would go on to lose to top-seeded Memphis 72-56 in the second round.
Bucknell vs. the SEC
• The Bison are 4-9 (.308) against current members of the SEC (1-0 vs. Arkansas, 1-1 vs. Alabama, 1-1 vs. South Carolina, 1-1 vs. Vanderbilt, 0-1 vs. Tennessee, 0-1 vs. Florida, 0-1 vs. Texas A&M, 0-1 vs. Missouri, and 0-2 vs. Georgia).
• Bucknell has won three of its last five games against SEC opponents. On Dec. 29, 1995, the Bison defeated Alabama 72-64 at the Cessna Classic in Wichita, Kansas. Their next appearance against an SEC foe came against Arkansas in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. After losses to Missouri and Vanderbilt, the Bison downed the Commodores last season, 75-72 in Nashville.
Raising More Banners
• The already crowded rafters at Sojka Pavilion will see the addition of Patriot League championship and NCAA Tournament banners when the Bison play their home opener against Siena on Nov. 20.
• The Bison backed up their regular-season title with a Patriot League Tournament crown, sweeping three straight games from Army, Navy and Lehigh to secure an NCAA Tournament berth for the seventh time in school history.
• Bucknell finished last season with a 26-9 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Patriot League play. The 15 league wins were tied for the most in Patriot League history. The 26 wins were third-most in Bucknell history, trailing only the 2012-13 (28) and 2005-06 (27) teams.
• Most of the team’s production returns in 2017-18. Bucknell graduated three seniors after last season, two rotation reserves in guard John Azzinaro and forward/center D.J. MacLeay, along with center Ben Oberfield, who sat out all season with an injury.
• The Bison bring back all five starters, 10 of their 12 rotation players, 92.3% of their scoring and 90.2% of their rebounding from last year.
• Four 2016-17 All-Patriot League picks are back, including Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Nana Foulland, First Team All-Patriot League pick and PL Tournament MVP Zach Thomas, Second Team All-PL guard Stephen Brown, and Third Team All-PL guard Kimbal Mackenzie.
What a Class
• This group now has a 62-39 overall record and a 42-12 mark in Patriot League play. They have captured regular-season titles all three years so far and have played in an NCAA Tournament and two NITs.
• Brown, Foulland and Thomas have combined for 3,084 points. Foulland (1,237) and Thomas (1,053) have already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, and Brown (793) has a chance to make it all three.
• Bucknell is one of only 11 Division I teams that returns at least two 1,000-point scorers this season.
Foulland Receives Preseason Accolades
• In addition to his Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year honor, senior center Nana Foulland has been named to the watch lists for the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award (1 of 40), the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year Award (1 of 51) and the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award (1 of 21).
• Last season Foulland averaged 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while ranking eighth nationally in field goal percentage at .630. That was the third-best figure in school history. He also led the Patriot League and ranked 36th nationally in blocked shots.
Thomas is Bucknell’s “Swiss Army Knife”
• Senior forward Zach Thomas knows how to fill up a stat sheet. He contributes in every area, from ball-handling to rebounding to scoring.
• Thomas was the only player in the Patriot League to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists, and he was also the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in field goal, free throw and 3-point shooting percentages.
• Thomas recorded 120 assists last season, one of the highest totals in the nation among power forwards. Along with point guard Stephen Brown (167), Bucknell had two players record 100+ assists in a season for the first time since 1991-92.
• Thomas averaged 17.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the Patriot League Tournament en route to MVP honors. He was on triple-double watch on several occasions last season, including in the PL final against Lehigh when he tallied 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while going over the 1,000-point mark in his career.
A Model of Consistency
• Bucknell last season claimed the outright (no ties) Patriot League regular-season title for the sixth time in the last seven years. Kansas and Belmont are the only other Division I teams that can make a similar claim.
• Going all the way back to 1975-76, when the Bison played in the East Coast Conference, the team has had only eight seasons with losing conference records out of 42, and never more than two in a row.
• Bucknell last season went 8-0 in games following a loss. The Bison have not experienced a losing streak of any kind since the end of the 2015-16 season, when they fell to Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament and then to Monmouth in the NIT.
• Over the last seven seasons, Bucknell has had only two losing streaks of longer than three games.
Who’s Got Next?
• Bucknell will fly back to Lewisburg after the Arkansas game, and then turn right back around and fly down to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina on Wednesday night. The game will be televised on the ACC Network.