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April 17, 2024

Dave Paulsen PL Coach of the Year, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s basketball team won its fourth outright Patriot League regular-season championship in the last five years on Saturday. The Bison did it in true team fashion, with 10 players making at least three starts and as many as a dozen seeing game action on most nights, but they did receive some individual recognition in the postseason awards voting. Junior Chris Hass earned First Team All-Patriot League honors, freshmanNana Foulland was named to the All-Rookie Team, and Dave Paulsen was named Patriot League Coach of the Year for the third time in the last five years.

With Hass’ selection, Bucknell has now claimed a first team all-conference player in 29 of the last 32 seasons dating back to its days in the East Coast Conference. The Bison have now had 50 All-Patriot League players (31 first team, 18 second team, one third team) in 25 seasons, the most of any league team.

Hass was a third team selection a year ago, and in 2014-15 he moved up to the first team after averaging 15.4 points per game thus far. He ranks fifth in the league in scoring, fourth in free-throw percentage (.825), seventh in 3-point percentage (.394) and fourth in 3-pointers made per game (2.4). His 74 3-pointers are currently sixth-most on Bucknell’s all-time single-season list.

Hass has scored 20 or more points in a game nine times this season, with a career high of 32 in a close loss at Villanova on Nov. 20. A three-time Patriot League Player of the Week, Hass enjoyed a magnificent three-game stretch against league foes Army, Loyola and Boston University where he scored 77 points while hitting 29 of 48 shots from the field, 14 of 22 from 3-point range and 5 of 5 from the foul line.

In addition to the 32-point performance at Villanova, Hass also scored 26 at Wake Forest, 21 at Michigan and 14 against Penn State, giving him a 23.3 average against the four major-conference opponents on Bucknell’s schedule this season.

Foulland is Bucknell’s first All-Rookie Team selection since Cameron Ayers in 2011, and this year he became the first Bison freshman to start on opening night since Joe Willman in 2009-10. He has started all 31 games at center, averaging 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 54.1 percent for the season. In Patriot League games, those numbers rise to 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 56.7 percent shooting.

In all games, Foulland ranks 11th in the Patriot League in rebounding, seventh in field goal percentage and fifth in blocked shots (1.2). He enters the postseason having scored in double figures in 18 of his last 25 games, with a high 17 points coming against Colgate, Army and Boston University.

Foulland is a four-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week, including each of the last two weeks.

Now in his seventh year as head coach at Bucknell, Paulsen received his third Coach of the Year citation after winning the regular-season title with a young team that was predicted to finish fifth in the preseason poll. The three Coach of the Year honors are tied for the most in league history.

The Bison had graduated four key seniors, including the 2014 Patriot League Player of the Year in Ayers, and this year Paulsen successfully incorporated four freshmen into key roles in the rotation. Bucknell has been starting three freshmen for much of the season, and the four first-year players are accounting for 35.5 percent of the team’s scoring.

Paulsen has developed his depth into a major weapon this season. The The Bison do not have a player in the top 10 in the league in minutes played, and Hass (29.3) is the only player on the team averaging more than 24 minutes per game. But 12 Bison play at least 7.6 minutes per game, and 11 different players had at least one double-digit scoring game.

Paulsen now has a 133-92 record in his seven seasons at Bucknell, and his .591 winning percentage is the highest in program history among those who have coached at least 40 games. Including previous coaching stints at Williams, Le Moyne and St. Lawrence, Paulsen has a career mark of 395-212 (.651).

Third-place Lehigh picked up two major awards, with Tim Kempton earning Player of the Year and Kahron Ross Rookie of the Year honors. Colgate’s Luke Roh was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Hass was joined on the all-league first team by Kempton, Damon Sherman-Newsome of Colgate, Worth Smith of Navy and Dan Trist of Lafayette. Second team picks were American’s Pee Wee Gardner, Boston University’s Cedric Hankerson, Colgate’s Ethan Jacobs, Holy Cross’ Malcolm Miller and Army’s Tanner Plomb. Ross was named to the third team along with Army’s Kyle Wilson, American’s Jesse Reed, and Seth Hinrichs and Nick Lindner of Lafayette.

Alongside Foulland and Ross on the all-rookie team were Loyola’s Cam Gregory and Andre Walker, and Boston University’s Cheddi Mosely.

Bucknell is 18-13 overall and finished 13-5 in the Patriot League. The Bison will be the No. 1 seed at the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth time in the past five years, and they will host either No. 8 Holy Cross or No. 9 Loyola in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.

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