Monday, November 14, 2011

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin Previews Binghamton at Cornell

VESTAL -- Eight days after Binghamton University senior center Kyrie Sutton was dismissed from the team, freshman center Ben Dickinson stepped into the starting lineup and proved he's adjusting quickly to college basketball.

Dickinson, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound native of Alexandria, Va., scored 27 points in its Bearcat debut on Saturday in loss to Colgate. He will try to help guide BU to its first victory of the season at 7 tonight at Cornell University.

Dickinson was 7-for-13 shooting from the floor and 11-for-14 from the free throw line against the Red Raiders in a 78-74 loss. He set BU Division I era records for points in a debut and points by a freshman.

"I don't look at Ben as a freshman," junior point guard Jimmy Gray said after Saturday night's game. "He's mature, smart, savvy with the ball. He's a good freshman. He's talented. I'm not impressed."

Gray clarified what he meant by "not impressed," explaining, "I'm saying that he's capable of doing that in more than one game."

Gray, the Bearcats' floor general, showed no hesitation feeding the ball to the freshman center as the Bearcats chipped away at an 18-point deficit as the Bearcats pulled within 73-68, with 1:23 left to play before Colgate made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on.

"His maturity is not his age, it's his game," said BU head coach Mark Macon of Dickinson. "He understands how to play, and the thing that I talked about before we walked out was, 'Act like you've already been there' and he has. This is what he does. He understands how to play the basketball game. He takes what's given to him."

While Dickinson and Rob Mansell, who scored 24 points on Saturday, provided scoring punch for the Bearcats, the Bearcats did not have that some intensity on defense. The Bearcats did force 18 turnovers, but Colgate still shot 49 percent from the floor.

The Bearcats perimeter defense figures to be tested thoroughly by Cornell (0-1), who made eight 3-pointers in the first half of its season-opening loss to St. Bonaventure on Friday night.

"I haven't seen Cornell, but I'm guessing they can shoot because they could shoot last year," Mansell said following Saturday's game. "We just have to play better defense overall, and rebound."

Cornell returns four starters from last season's 10-18 squad. Senior guard and three-year starter Chris Wroblewski scored an average of 14.2 points per game last season, earning second-team All-Ivy League honors. Senior guard Drew Ferry scored an average of 11.9 points per game last season and made 80 3-pointers.

"We're going to be ready," Macon said. "You best believe that we're going to be ready. We have to know the known guys. If (Wroblewski) is the known, they'll have the game plan for him. We just have to be ready to execute that game plan because this year it is going to be keyed on us defending and rebounding. I know that we can put the ball in the basket, I know that."

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