CLOSED for the offseason

Thanks for visiting us this year, we hope to see everyone (and more folks) back here in the fall for year two.

Thanks for visiting us this year, we hope to see everyone (and more folks) back here in the fall for year two.

The Bonablog staff would like to thank you for visiting us during this past season. In our first full year in operation we were happy to provide BonaNation with sound analysis and coverage of the team (or so we like to think). We hope you have enjoyed visiting the site as much as we have enjoyed covering the team and maintaining this webpage. We plan to continue the operation next season and will be working on updates to the website during this offseason period. Much like the coaching staff, we have some changes to make.

We will be back in full swing come the fall to provide that same coverage once again…actually, we hope it will be even better coverage. We’re hoping to redesign the site, add a photographer as well as a writer or two to help ramp us the coverage. Vinny also has a strategic plan to improve the site that could rival SBU’s plan to develop the Castle Property…so we’ll see how that plays out.

We will pop up a post from time to time in the offseason should something of note happen (player departures, recruit signings, injuries, etc.) so you may see a new blog post from time to time as you’re sipping a Corona. Generally though we’ll be recharging our batteries as I’ve found the best way to operate a site like this is to take a step back for a few months to avoid burnout.

In the meantime, enjoy the warm weather and baseball. I’ll be watching more Mets games than healthy and hopefully their outings still mater when we come back in September….I’ve waited long enough. We hope you enjoy the weather, some BBQs and cold beers as well.

We’re shooting for a September-ish return date but we will update that at some point over the summer.

Thanks again for visiting and making this first year so successful. Enjoy your offseason please come back to see us in the fall.

Cheers,

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Thanks for visiting! See you soon!

 

Bonnies lose 2 more, Must recruit well this spring

Schmidt could really use another Ndoye this spring. Or a guard. or basically anyone with D1 talent at this point.

Schmidt could really use another Ndoye this spring. Or a guard. or basically anyone with D1 talent at this point.

The roster cycle continued this week as the Bonnies lost two more players in forward Xavier Smith and guard Jalen Adams. They, along with Jordan Gathers (earlier this season) and Iakeem Alston have all decided to take their talents elsewhere.

From a wins and losses standpoint these moves will hardly effect the team. It was clear to anyone with knowledge of the program that Smith was not an A10 player and while Adams had A10 athleticism, he did not have the basketball IQ to play in Mark Schmidt’s system. These two were simply never going to see the floor. Alston would have played next season, but it would have been his last and finding someone to replace his production should not be difficult. But, while these losses don’t change the talent level of the roster they do impact the club’s depth heading into next year.

Additionally, the Bonnies have lost three seniors to graduation in Youssou Ndoye, Chris Dees and Andel Cumberbatch. That’s a total of seven players out for Mark Schmidt’s club and just two players in thus far (Woods and Griffin).

The roster situation is downright scary. Here’s what the 2015-2016 Bonnies look like as of now:

PGs- Jay Adams

Guards-Marcus Posley, Idris Taqqee

Forwards-Dion Wright, Denzel Gregg, Derrick Woods, Ladarien Griffin

Centers-Jordan Tyson

Recruiting and finding some hidden gems in the spring period is nothing new for Schmidt. Last year he nabbed Posley in the late period and the guard turned out to be one of the better scorers in the league. Now, instead of needing to hit on one player the staff is put in a position where they really need to hit on a number. Counting on Woods and Griffin to come in and play right away would be to discount Schmidt’s coaching pattern since his arrival in Olean. The staff needs to land immediate impact players at the center and shooting guard positions and that likely means quality JUCOS. Woods and Griffin will likely see limited time on the floor in their first season…unless one of them turns out to be as developed as Jay Adams (fingers crossed).

This spring is a critical one for the squad, let’s hope the coaching staff can add to this roster by putting a few final pieces in place. The starting five should be solid next year, but the lack of depth looks like it may once again but a major concern.

Bud Poliquin … just another ignorant journalist

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Syracuse Post Standard columnist/blowhard Bud Poliquin wrote/hacked up a piece (of garbage) on what he believes are the top five most ‘attractive basketball programs in New York after Syrapuke.

Laughably, Poliquin’s list does not include St. Bonaventure. Instead, he lists St. John’s, Buffalo, Manhattan, Siena and Cornell as his top five.

If you’re so bored that you feel like reading this pitiful example of journalism, click here … or don’t.

Anyway, I shared my thoughts with Bud via a quick email that went like this:

C’mon Bud, even you know that this article was a waste of space.

St. Bonaventure is 14-5 against your top 5 NY schools (after Syracuse)  since 1999-2000. In that time, St. Bonaventure has been to two NCAA tournaments, two NITs, won the Atlantic 10 tournament, had a first-round NBA draft pick and beat the Johnnies on their home floor.

Better luck with your next column/blog/piece (of garbage),

Vinny

So who is the bigger dumbass: Bud Poliquin or Jerry Sullivan, who wrote/scribbled like a petulant child a couple years ago that “it will be an upset if the Bonnies finish .500 in the (Atlantic 10) again.”?

Vote and comment below.

And if you would like to be a big pain in the ass and fill up Poliquin’s email inbox with anonymous threats, feel free to give him a shout: bpoliquin@syracuse.com. You can also hit him up on twitter @BudPoliquin.

Reports: Alston to Transfer

 

Alston came and went in one year as a Bonnie.

Alston came and went in one year as a Bonnie.

According to various reports on twitter, rising senior guard Iakeem Alston will be transferring out of SBU. Alston was a back-up PG this year to Jay Adams until the freshman broke his hand. From there, Alston got a cup of coffee as they say starting at the one before being sent back to the bench. Alston brought some energy and quickness on the defensive side of the ball but his inability to contribute on the offensive side stood out from day one. Alston could not knock down jump shoots enough to see real time and even struggled mightily to connect from the foul line as a guard. To be honest, even if he returned next season he would have seen very limited playing time with Jay’s return. I don’t mean to put down Alston’s game but this roster change really does nothing for next season’s outlook except making us a tad bit thiner at PG…but, I’m sure Schmidt will have a new one in here before long.

He averaged 2.4 points, 1.4 assists in 10.6 minutes shooting 35% from the field and 51% from the line.

Best of luck Iakeem in your future travels.

Here’s a national media member spelling his name wrong.

New AD will play key role in basketball scheduling, arena and recruiting improvement

Tim Kenney was introduced a St. Bonaventure’s athletic director on Thursday afternoon. The 44-year old former executive associate AD at Massachusetts made some interesting comments. Let’s take a look.

A year-round bone of contention for Bonnies fans is the non-conference schedule. Kenney said he will take on a substantial role in putting together a schedule that gives the men’s basketball program greater opportunity to compete for NIT and at-large NCAA tournament berths.

A goal of Kenney’s, wrote the Olean Times Herald’s J.P. Butler is to:

Help figure out if we’re scheduling right. If we need to do something a little different, tweak it, so we’re always in the conversation of the NIT, and hope that in some years it’s maybe the NCAA. The NCAA is really hard to make. It’s hard to make at UMass, it’s hard to make, period. You want to be able to position yourself for the postseason that way. Schmidty and I will talk and we’ll figure it out … without him having to play a murderer’s row.

SBU’s non-conference scheduling could use a tweak or two. In my humble opinion, the goal should be to shoot for something similar to the non-conference slate the Bonnies assembled for the 2001-02 season:

At Cleveland State
Niagara
Boston College (in Buffalo)
At Toledo
At Oklahoma
Green Bay
Ohio
Davidson
At Siena
At Connecticut
At Kent State

For next year, this could be adjusted to:

At Cleveland State (or other nearby solid mid-major)
Niagara
X high profile foe (in Rochester)
At Buffalo
At X high profile foe
At Canisius (in Buffalo)
Ohio
Binghamton
At Siena
At X high profile foe
At Kent State (or other strong MAC program)

Kenney was highly involved in UMass’ basketball operations. He is given credit for helping revive the program with the help of coaches Travis Ford and Derek Kellogg. He was lead planner for a new practice facility and oversaw “daily” operations for the program.

Kenney told the Olean Times Herald that the St. Bonaventure program needs more resources for recruiting.

Schmidty doesn’t worry about getting kids to come here. He’s got to be able to get out there and get more kids, so some more recruiting resources, I think, is an important part of it, so he’s able to get out there more, so the staff is able to get out there more. Because the A-10 level, it’s not like at the top levels where you narrow in on a few. You got to cast your net a little wider and know where you’re going.

The good news is that Schmidt and his staff have made great strides in recruiting the last few years after failing to land enough key players to put around Andrew Nicholson during his first three years on campus. Steve Curran has recruited some good prospects for the Bonnies of late, and the hope is that Jerome Robinson will continue to make inroads in Canada. More resources can only help.

Kenney also has visions of increasing attendance at the Reilly Center and making improvements to the arena to provide greater appeal to fans and recruits … I assume this to mean a video board or two, new seats in the upper level and, perhaps, beer sales. A new sound system and improved Wi-Fi access would be solid additions, as well.

This is what Kenney had to say:

I see the fans. I also see the pockets of empty seats and I ask myself: how are we going to fill them? Because then that’s some of the revenue that we can use to come back in and help us. That’s making sure that when you come into this place — and you’re spending hard-earned money to come to a game — you want to have a good experience; not just screaming and yelling, but you’re greeted, the concessions, the presentation of the game, that all goes into it. That’s key for having repeat customers that might not already be the loyal ones.

Kenny has a steep background in marketing, promotion, fundraising and rallyomg supporters. He believes that St. Bonaventure has a great “story” to tell. I recommend reading Chuck Pollock’s column on Kenney’s vision for culling resources for the athletic department.

We’ll have a Q&A with Kenney coming soon that offers some more insight into his objectives and goals for SBU.

Recruiting: What’s Needed?

Ndoye leaves and Schmidt needs to find another center, quickly in our opinion.

Ndoye leaves and Schmidt needs to find another center, quickly in our opinion.

As we continue to put a bow on the Bonnies 18 win season we now turn our heads towards recruiting. Generally, I don’t following recruiting, I do not try to keep up with it or pretend to enjoy it. I don’t have the slightest interest in following 17 year olds around the country and consider which of them may sign with the Bonnies. I’ve seen too many kids “close” to being a Bonnie or even verbal or sign only to find their way elsewhere before the Fall. For me, just tell me whose on the team on say August 1st and then let me breakdown the roster. When a kid signs the dotted line I will do my due diligence in looking him up, chatting with them and finding out as much about their game as I can. Until then, I’ll leave the day-to-day recruit following to the masses.

Having said that it’s now mid-March and the Bonnies have two open scholarship left, according to my math anyway.

Out: Cumberbatch, Ndoye , Gathers and Dees

In: Woods and Griffin

So, what to do with the two available full-rides we have left? (Granted this is assuming that no one leaves the program which I would be is not the case. I won’t name names in this post but I would THINK that at least one current Bonnie will not be with the team next fall. This is the way of college hoops today). Also, if someone else does leave Schmidt has shown before he will pocket that ride and use it next fall. No needs to waste it on the last item on the shelf when the store will be restocked in a few months…

I’d think the two last ‘ships would have to be given to an immediate impact big man and shooter. I’d lean big man though. We only return Tyson as a player over 6-8 and he did not see the floor this season after being made a RS. Xavier Smith has to be nearly written off at this point as a possible contributor down low given his lack of playing time. We are super thin behind Dion down low next year. Losing Ndoye and Chris will prove tough to recover from. BUT, I think this team will have a new identity next year that will hopefully involve a faster tempo and maybe even some more pressure defense; since we are losing our rim-protector. I’d look for Schmidt to sign a JUCO center based on past methods (Think D’Lancy Carter but better?) as well as a bit of a hunch. He’d love to sign a kid to come in and buy him a year or two so he can find a another big man to develop like he did with Drew and Youssou. If the staff could get a center to come in next year and average eight points and seven boards shooting over 45% from the floor I’d take it.

What are your thoughts? What do the Bonnies need the most this spring and what do you expect them to do to address the roster?

Here’s what our depth chart looks like heading into 2015-2015.

PG

SG

SF

PF

C

J. Adams (So.)

M. Posley (Sr.)

D. Gregg (Jr.)

D. Wright (Sr.)

J. Tyson (RS Soph.)

I. Alston (Sr.)

J. Adams (So.)

I. Taqqee (So.)

X. Smith (Jr.)

L. Griffin (Fr.)

D. Woods (Fr.)

Exclusive Q+A With Ladarien Griffin

Griffin

The BonaBlog recently had the chance to chat with the Bonnies 2015 commit Ladarien Griffin. Griffin answered our questions so Bonnies fans could get to know him a bit better. He also said he’s a frequent reader of the blog so incase you needed another reason to visit even our recruits are checking us out. Thanks to LD for hooking us up with this interview-we can’t wait to see him out there next Fall.

What other schools offered you before committing to SBU? Georgia Southern, Cornell , Brown, UNF , Long Island Brooklyn, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville.

Had you ever heard of St. Bonaventure before they started recruiting you?  Yes, when they won a-10 tournament in 2011-2012 and made it to the NCAA tournament.

What impressed you most about the coaching staff during the recruiting process? They were hardworking and family focused. They made me feel like I was a number 1 priority to them

What coach recruited you the most? Coach Curran.

What are you impressions of coach Schmidt? What about him made you feel confident in coming to Bonaventure? He has a lot of charisma and he is all about his players. He had a plan for how he was going to use me.

Did SBU have Andrew Nicholson of the Magic reach out to you? No, but I knew who he was and on my visit coach was showing me how he improved from his freshman year until his senior year before going to the NBA.

Who is your basketball role model? Lebron James.

Do you own a North Face Jacket? No, but I plan on getting one!

Have you ever seen significant amounts of snow accumulation? No, I have always lived in Florida.

Do you know who Bob Lanier is? Yes, he was one of the greatest players to come out of St. Bonaventure and played in the NBA for Pistons and Bucks.

Zach Levine or Vince Carter?  Zach lavine he has ridiculous athleticism.

What NBA player would you compare yourself to/or you try to emulate? Penny Hardaway. He was a great passer and defender. He had great athleticism too.

What are your short and long term basketball goals at St. Bonaventure? To win an Atlantic 10 championship and a long term goal is to win a national championship.

In what aspects of the game must you improve to be successful at the college level? My shooting.

What’s your biggest basketball strength/weakness right now? My athleticism and my defense and my weakness is my shooting.

What was the most memorable part of your official trip to SBU? What sealed the deal for you?
The midnight madness. The fans came a supported the team and you could tell that the fans love the Bonnies.

Have you spoken with Kyle Alexander (a highly recruited center from Canada) and do you have any insight into whether he may choose to play at SBU as well? What about Derrick Woods whose also signed on? Have you spoken with him? I talk to Kyle when I was on my visit. He is a really cool guy and I hope he comes to st. Bonaventure. As for Derrick, we haven’t talked much but I have seen a lot of his highlights and he is a great player and I can’t wait to play with him next year.

What are you most looking forward to doing as a freshman in college (non-basketball stuff)? Living on my own and seeing snow.

Have you considered a major yet? Sports management.

Have you ever met Tim Tebow? No, but he is very popular in Jacksonville.

UF or FSU or other for NCAA Football? FSU

Ok, Quick Hitters:

Favorite food?
Fried fish
Favorite fast food?
Chinese food
Favorite TV show?
Person of Interest
Favorite movie?
Scarface
Celebrity crush?
Selena Gomez
Favorite pre-game music artist or CD?
Drake
Your role model?
My dad
Favorite sport to watch other than basketball?
Football
Favorite team to root for?
Cleveland Cavaliers
If you could meet any three living people who would they be?
Lebron James , Warren Buffett and Michael Jordan
If you could eat dinner with one dead person who would you pick?
Martin Luther King Jr.
If you could go back in history and watch one even what would it be?
The MLK I have a dream speech