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What to do with the last Ship’?

A few readers have requested that we comment on Bonaventures recruiting, as it pertains to this year and next year’s incoming class. So far, the Bonnies have already inked Demitrius Conger to an NLI earlier this fall. Conger is a 6’6″ guard from Covenant Christian Academy and Brooklyn, NY.

Schmidt describes Congers game as a long, athletic, three man who can really fits the Bonnies uptempo style. As a junior, Conger averaged 18 points a game. Schmidt has made it clear in just two years, that he wants to recruit long, athletic guards, who can run the floor, shoot the basketball and play aggressive defense. This probably explains why someone like a Tyler Benson has seem his minutes plummet this year. Schmidt wants scorers, he wants aggressive offensive minded players who have a nose for the basket and the basketball.No more dead weight on offense, if you are going to play for Bonaventure now, you better be able to score.

Already in his career as Bonaventure head coach, Schmidt has shown an eye for talent. Bringing in players like Hall, Leonard, Thomas, Blackburn, Matthews and most impressively, Nicholson; Schmidt has proved he knows what A10 players are, and he knows how to get them to Olean. Two things his predecessor, Anthony Solomon could not do.

Next years roster will consist of the following players:

Point Guards (2): Eleby, Blackburn

Shooting Guards (2): Matthews, Simmons

Three Guards (4): Leonard, Hall, Davenport, Conger

Bigs (4): Thomas, Cook, Nicholson, Houseknecht

Based on that breakdown, it would seem to me that Schmidt will bring in another shooting guard or another point guard. Next year, Eleby will be a junior and Blackburn a senior. Schmidt clearly decided to give Ray a scholarship because he believed he could come in and help run an uptempo, run and gun style of play that Schmidt wants to run. Eleby on the other hand, has obviously had his struggles, and if he does not show some significant improvement by the end of the season, I would think Schmidt would think seriously about bringing in another point. Obviously the team will need another shooter, because this team cannot shoot the basketball, but more importantly they need a quarterback of the offense. I believe that Schmidt is looking for a better version of Ray Blackburn to run his team. In working with him last year, I can say that Schmidt would love to bring in a jet quick point man who can take care of the ball, and get to the rim whenever needed.  While Blackburn is quick, he is not ultra quick, and while he can get to the rim, he certainly does not value the basketball enough (at the moment) to be a full time point guard in the Atlantic 10.

As I wait for my rivals.com subscription to take effect (for some more information to pass along to everyone), I can only assume, and make an educated guess as to where Schmidt will go with his last remaining ship’. To me, the answer will be either a point or two guard. Personally, I think Schmidt brings in a four year point man (As he said he does not like to overload the program with JUCOs) who he looks at much like he did  Nicholson; someone who can change the program over a four year period, someone to build around. Then, I think he will ask Davenport to work hard on his jump shot, and allow him to take more reps at shooting guard next year for Matthews during cold spells.

As I get any information I will let you know, but given the current abundance of forwards and lack of depth and real talent at the guard positions, I would say its easy money that Mark will bring in a guard. Obviously guards win college basketball games, and believe me, Schmidt knows it.

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A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.


  1. Dan Cuddy

    You don’t have Marquise Simmons listed on the roster.

  2. Frederick Rehbein

    Is 33 Simmons, Marquis G/F FR 6-8/210 Washington, D.C./Central

    the forgotten man?

    the missing link?

    Copenhagen – Class of ’79 (one of the golden ages of Bona basketball”!)

    • ianrnolan Post author

      Didn’t want to throw Simmons on here just yet because we never know if these players will come back…he is up now though, thanks.

  3. Chuck

    Great stuff Ian. Without a doubt PG, is the biggest need for next year. Difficult to see Malcolm fitting in Schmidt’s offense. I agree, a Blackburn type of player, with better point guard skills is something Schmidt will be looking for. As you mentioned more shooters is needed, which is painfully obvious with Matthews struggles. Help is on the way with Lewis Leonard and Marquise Simmons being able to play next year. Marquise won the 3 point shooting contest at the Capital Classic and hear Leonard has proven to be a big time scorer during practice.

  4. B02

    Simmons is with the team he was on the bench for the Duquesne game.