The Crusaders do pose a significant offensive threat thanks to some top-tier talent. Sophomore R.J. Evans, last year's Rookie of the Year, averages 13.2 points a game while Andrew Keister, a two-time Patriot League selection, is a beast on the glass, averaging 10.4 points and 9.4 boards a night.
In addition, sophomore guard Devin Brown is tied with Evans for the team lead in scoring and he comes off the bench.
It all makes for a dangerous combination, especially if the Crusaders finally live up to their billing as preseason favorites in the conference.
"We've improved the second half of the year," said first-year coach Sean Kearney. "Every month we've gotten better. We've certainly improved on defense and now we need some more consistent play so we can play more consistent as a group.
"We have guys who average 10 a game, but they might score 16 points one night and four the next."
Kearney said he thought the pressure of being the preseason favorite, along with the transition under the new coach weighed on the Crusaders early on. Fortunately, things start anew this evening in Lewisburg.
"We get to wipe the slate clean and start over," Kearney said. "We can throw out the stat sheet and start again."
The Bison actually don't want to start again, they want to build on their surge in the second half of the year. At one point the Bison were 6-14 and trailing by double digits at Colgate. Bucknell rallied to win that game behind G.W. Boon and they've lost just two more times since then.
The young Bison, who became the first team in league history to put three freshmen on the all-Rookie team, will get their first taste of playoff action tonight and they do so without an established star.