The first game for the Bisons will be an exhibition with Trevecca Nazarene, a game that will reignite memories of the rivalry between the two Nashville schools when both competed in the NAIA.
“We have played Freed-Hardeman for the past several years,” Bisons’ coach Scott Sanderson said. “It is not about not playing Freed again. It is more about playing somebody different.
“Several people approached me about the rivalry between the two teams way back in the day. I played them my first year here and it was a big game. We want to drum up some interest by playing a local team.“
The Bisons have also moved their game with Belmont, the second installment of the “Battle of the Boulevard” for the season, from Wednesday Jan. 26 to Tuesday Jan. 25.
“They will be coming back from ETSU and we will be coming back to Nashville from USC Upstate so we will both be traveling after playing Saturday (Jan. 23),” Sanderson said. “We moved the game up one day, but we both have the same circumstances.
“Neither team is going to get an extra day of preparation. Neither team will have very much time to rest. It is not significant deal.”
The Atlantic Sun Conference originally scheduled the game for Wednesday night. Sanderson is happy that many fans will not have to make the choice between the game and mid-week church services, but he thinks Tuesday night offers some problems as well.
“The only bad part about playing Tuesday night is that is when the high schools play,” Sanderson said. “We like to have the high school kids come over here for this game, but that won’t happen like it normally does.”
Teams can practice a maximum of two hours per week during this stage of preseason. Due to the large number of returning players this season Sanderson has chosen to use most of that time for intra-squad scrimmaging.
There are several players dealing with injuries. But there have been some bright spots. Two of the early highlights have been junior Justin Glenn and sophomore point guard Zach Brown.
“Justin looks like a different player, Sanderson said. “ If he continues playing like he is now people are going to be asking, `Wow, where did he come from?’
“He is running. He is blocking shots. He is finishing around the basket. He is making good passes. He has really made significant strides, more so than anybody.”
Glenn, 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, could play behind Adnan Hodzic, the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, or he could be used at the No. 4 forward position.
“Justin has good enough skills to play No. 4 beside Adnan,” Sanderson said. “He is good enough down low that we can throw him the ball and he is going to get us a basket. He has value at both No. 4 and No.5.”
Brown, a sophomore point guard, has benefited from his time with the team.
“He is more familiar with our system,” Sanderson said. “He understands things. He looks more comfortable and feels more comfortable on the floor. He has always been a very smart player.
“He didn’t shoot the ball at all last year. And he is a good shooter. He just wasn’t very comfortable. Now he is jumping up and making his open shots.”
Brown is expected to get his share of shooting opportunities with teams concentrating on Hodzic, Josh Slater and Jordan Burgason.
“If Zack can make a lot of open shots he is going to add even more value to our team,” Sanderson said. “He is shooting the ball well early on.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.