2023-24 Bucknell men's basketball season preview

Bucknell Bison

2022-23 record: 12-20, 5-13 in the Patriot League

Head coach: John Griffin III

Tenure at Bucknell: First season

Career coaching record: N/A

Home court: Sojka Pavilion

Projected starters: G Elvin Edmonds IV, F Ian Motta, G Jack Forrest, G Josh Adoh, C Noah Williamson

Projected bench: F Ruot Bijiek, G Josh Bascoe, F Brady Muller, G Josh Fulton, G Brandon McCreesh

Overview: It was a tumultuous offseason for the Bison, who fired then-head coach Nathan Davis after a disappointing season that ended with a 64-59 loss to American in the first round of the Patriot League tournament. Now at the helm is former player and assistant John Griffin III, who spent four years with the team as a player and another four on the bench as a coach. 

Bucknell is bringing back only two consistent starters this year in guard Elvin Edmonds IV and forward Ian Motta, which will certainly present a challenge to a team that is already coming off of a rough year. That said, all the players projected to start this year did see significant minutes coming off the bench last year. The likely first option will be guard Jack Forrest, who averaged 10.1 points per game last year on 38.7% shooting from behind the arc. 

This team has been able to pull off the occasional surprise in the past. Most recently in 2018, Bucknell managed to keep a game against Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA tournament close before eventually losing 82-78. Maybe this team could be a surprise come March, if the cards fall.

Team ceiling: The change in the head coach’s office proves to be the needed jolt for the Bison to return to the NCAA tournament. The team makes a run in the Patriot League playoffs before getting promptly bounced in the first round of the Big Dance. 

Team floor: The problems run deeper than Davis, and the change to Griffin fails to address the larger issue. The team has another rough year as bench players struggle to step up and fill the roles of starters, leading to early elimination in the conference tournament and an abbreviated postseason for the Bison.


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