Dave Paulsen's basketball cupboard is fully stocked going into the 2012-2013 season. 1,400 point scorer and big man Mike Muscala returns along with 6-7 running mate Joe Willman.
Back in the back court sharp shooting guard Bryson Johnson and junior Cameron Ayers pieces Coach Paulsen hopes turn into a masterpiece season.
"I think our guys believe they can win against anyone at anytime. I think that's a great thing. One of the things we're kind of little disappointed to be honest with you today in practice is there's a fine line between confidence you can get it done no matter who you going against and kind of losing that competitive edge on the defensive side. So I wasn't very pleased with our defensive performance we'll go as far as our defense takes us," said Dave Paulsen.
The test will come early for this Bucknell team that went 25-10 a year ago Friday November 9th when they travel out to West Lafayette Indiana to take on Purdue.
"Their going to be big, strong and tough. It's Big 10 basketball so there going to be able to defend grind it out. We heard their young, but it doesn't really matter we just have to worry about our own stuff just take care of our own business and I think we'll be fine," said Bryson Johnson.
"It's nice to get into games. We've been working so hard this whole off-season. It's kind of rewarding to get the game started. I think Purdue is a good game for us to start off with. They are a big team, but I think we are up to the challenge," said Joe Willman.
Two crushing losses to Lehigh a year ago stunned a veteran Bison bunch knocking them out of the NCAA tournament. The NIT called and Bucknell beat Arizona in the 1st round and then lost to Nevada ending their March madness.
"I think we have the right pieces this year to make a run. Coming into my freshman year I knew this was going to be the year that if we want to make a run this is going to be the year. So we have a lot of veteran guys back-good freshman class coming in-good coach system so I think we'll be OK," said Cameron Ayers.