Howard Bison Look to Snap Losing Streak in Home Game Against Delaware
With the season a little over one third of the way through, the Howard University men's basketball team is still searching for an identity. The Bison (3-9) have dropped four in a row that includes an arduous recent schedule that featured four games in seven days. Add to the challenge the fact that two of the opponents were nationally ranked.
It started out with much promise with strong efforts on the road against Bowling Green and Old Dominion University. After a very competitive effort in a loss to the 16th ranked Hoyas of Georgetown, the young Bison were buoyed by their performance, but they had a letdown against Saint Francis of New York at home and dropped a two-point decision.
Howard then traveled across country to play against a good Oregon State team that figures to contend for the PAC-10 title. The Beavers exposed a weakness in the Bison defense and had their best shooting effort of the season from three-point range.
The road weary Bison traveled from the West Coast to the Mid-West where they took on the
Hoosiers of Indiana University, who are ranked 18th and having their best start in years.
It resulted in a disaster as the seasoned Hoosiers dominated the Bison, 107-50. Indiana shot a blistering 56 percent from three-point range, marking the third straight game that Howard has allowed its opponent to shoot a very high percentage from the arc.
Despite the growing pains of a team that has had to incorporate eight new players into the
rotation, including six freshmen, head coach Kevin Nickelberry remains optimistic.
"It has been very challenging for all of us, coaches included," said Nickelberry, in his second
season at the helm. "We started the season strong and competitive. Then we had two transfers, Glenn Andrews and Tre Lee, become eligible (December 15 vs Oregon State) and had to incorporate them intothe mix. But then Calvin Thompson, our leader and point guard, went down (groin injury) and Simuel Frazier, our freshman point guard, injured his hamstring."
He continued. "When you add to that, the rigors of travel and playing top notch competition, this is where we are. But I have not given up on them. We are still going to be a good basketball team. We are growing and learning and as we get through these next few non-conference games, we should be ready for the MEAC."
The Bison face some stiff competition beginning with the Blue Hens of the University of
Delaware on Thursday at home at 7 pm. After that, they have a few days off before going on the road to two top level programs in 11th ranked Kansas and Kansas State on December 29 and 31, respectively.
"The game against Delaware will be another good test for us," said Nickelberry. "They are from one of the top conferences and are a very good basketball team."
The Blue Hens are 5-4 on the season and have won two in a row. The Bison are 3-1 at home this season while Delaware is 1-4 on the road.