The shots are falling. The sneakers are squeaking. It can only mean one thing: Bucknell basketball is back.
"I'm just going to go out there and try to have fun every day," senior guard Kimbal Mackenzie said. "I know this last year's going to go by faster than I'm intending on it to. So, I'm just going to have fun every day. I'm very excited."
Excited? Yes, but easy? No. Zach Thomas, Nana Foulland, Stephen brown - all gone to graduation, but moving on is all about perspective.
"Zach (Thomas), Na (Nana Foulland) and Steve (Brown), they were just big-time players," junior guard Avi Toomer said. "All of them playing professionally now, but we have guys that have been able to make plays. Now it's just time for everybody else to step up."
"You don't win the games we won the last few years without a lot of good players," Bucknell Men's Basketball Coach Nathan Davis said. "People forget easily that Kimbal Mackenzie as a sophomore was an all-league player. Everyone who started our first game besides Nate Sestina had started a game before and even he had played big minutes in important games. So, yeah, we lost three really good players that we're going to miss, but we feel good about the guys we have."
It's a deep team, with experienced leaders.
"Kimbal (Mackenzie) was really the leader," coach Davis said. "He won our leadership award last year as a junior. He's been very vocal. He's always in a good mood."
"Seniors like Kimbal (Mackenzie) and Nate (Sestina), those guys are great. We can just feed off of those guys," Toomer added.
"It's an easy group to be around, a bunch of good guys, very little ego out here," Mackenzie said. "So, it's an easy group to lead. I just come out here and I yell once in a while."
Some names may change, but the expectations to do not. The Bison play for these banners and they plan on adding to their collection this season.
"You can look up at these banners," Mackenzie said. "The expectation is to win championships and that's our goal this year, regular season, tournament and to compete in March nationally with the best schools in the country."
"Expectations at Bucknell and Bucknell basketball are always high," coach Davis said. "Our guys come here. They want a great education. They want a chance to play in meaningful games. They want to play against really good competition and that's what we're going to do. We're going to go out there and fight and hopefully at the end of the year, we're in a position where we can compete to win a championship."