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Four Mile Brewing Pre Game: vs. Fordham (7-10, 1-3)

Quickly: Fresh off a 17 point spanking down in Richmond without their star point guard Jay Adams, the Bonnies venture north to Rochester (their second home) to host the 1-3 Fordham Rams who are coming off an impressive with down south, beating Davidson on the road. This was Fordham’s first road win of the season and snapped a three game losing streak. Fordham has not beaten SBU since the final game of the 2013 season when they knocked the Bonnies out of the A10 Tournament in the Reilly Center. They are currently ranked #211 via KenPom which places them ahead of only St. Louis in the conference.

SBU raced out to an early 12 point lead against Richmond on Wednesday night before the Spiders turned the switch and simply hammered the Bonnies on both sides of the ball from then on. Bonas 1-3-1 zone defense looked great in the first half, but their 2-3 zone…not so much in the second as the Spiders scored at will.

David Andoh shot 1-12 from the field and had four turnovers off the bench, and it took Matt Mobley 17 shots to score 17 points. Nelson Kaputo started in place of Adams and finished with an fine offensive rating of 113 and scored 12 points. Jay Adams will likely once again be a game time decision with his sprained ankle.

The Skinny on the Rams: A year after going 17-14 the Rams have taken a step back under second year head coach Jeff Neubauer who was involved in quite the news scandal this summer. Fordham has won just twice in their last 11 games and has as much struggles scoring it as the Bonnies have defending it (and actually more so).

Fordham ranks 299th in offensive efficiency, and right now is 13th in the league in scoring, 12th in FG% and 12th in 3PT%. Fordham ranks 52nd nationally in % of points scored from three, despite the fact that they don’t shoot it well at all from deep. This type of number screams that the Fordham player’s don’t understand playing to their strengths…it’s also not a great look for the coaching staff either. The Rams are shooting 32% from three and nearly 47% from inside the arc.

Junior Christian Sengfelder (6-7, 238) presents match-up problems inside an out as a 36% three point shooter. He’s a versatile big man whose not a great rebounder, but will test Denzel Gregg and company down low and in pick and pop/roll situations; which the Bonnies have struggled against this season. He’s a player to watch.

Sophomore point guard Joseph Chartouny (6-3, 205) is the type of Canadian player you wish the Bonnies could have landed, but instead he’s in the Bronx wasting away. The sophomore uses his experience (I think he’s 22 or 23 years old) on the floor as a heady point man who scores, dishes and rebounds it as well. Averaging 11 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists, Chartouny is a poor shooter (43% overall but an acceptable 38% from deep) who prefers to score going to the rim as opposed to from the wings. Making him a jump shooter isn’t a bad thing, allowing him to penetrate is.

Defensively, Fordham is really good at one thing and that’s turning people over. The Rams rank 2nd nationally in turnover percentage defense, forcing give-aways on 27% of possessions…incredible.

SBU has found a second home in Rochester and hopes for more success this weekend.

The Rams also rank 2nd nationally in steal percentage at 15%. 

They will thrive in a game where they can parlay turnovers into easy baskets and avoid having to score in the half court. They rank 4th in the league in overall defense (68.1 points), but 13th in FG% defense (47%), 14th in rebounding offense and 14th in rebounding margin. Essentially, if the Rams can’t turn you over, they can’t win. Hold onto the ball, get shots up and you will make a high percentage of them and be on your way to a “W”. If Fordham can turn you over they become a dangerous club to face. They forced 14 turnovers against Davidson, held the Cats to 7-27 shooting from three and wildly, only allowed Davidson to make 6-18 two point attempts. How Davidson can take 27 threes to 18 two pointers is hard to understand, but they’ve got a hell of coach so I’ll trust em.



3 Things to Watch:

  1. Jay Adams, Obviously. The Bonnies’ offense took a massive step back on Wednesday night without Adams running the show. An offense that had regularly been scoring in the high 80’s hardly cracked 60 points. Would Adams have accounted for this 20 point swing? No, probably not on this night, but the point remains that the offense needs him badly. While Kaputo played just fine, Adams make this offense go on another level. If he’s out again this weekend I would expect the line on this game to change significantly. If Adams can play, and be effective, I am not sure how Fordham holds the Bonnies down enough to win this game given their offensive struggles (13th ranked offense, 67 PPG)….But I said something similar about Charles Cooke and didn’t and how’d that work out?
  2. The Turnover Battle. As we noted above, Fordham is second in the nation in turnover percentage and steals. When they can take the ball from you before you get a shot up and turn it into a lay-up they are a dangerous team. However, when opponents hold onto the ball, get their shots and then hammer Fordham on the glass they are a much weaker club. Schmidt needs his players to understand the value of limiting turnovers in this game. If Bonas can simply take enough shots in this game, they will score enough, and rebound offensively enough, to win this game by a few possessions.
  3. The Bonas “Bounce Back”. I have a pretty strong theory/hypothesis that Mark Schmidt’s teams rebound well after losses and rarely play really poor games consecutively. I said after the Dayton loss that I expected that type of effort against Mason and they came through. Said it after the Canisius loss and they hammered UMass. I’ll say the same thing today. I believe that the Bonnies will be flying around defensively again (Can we please see more of the 1-3-1?) and will get the job done in Rochester. I expect the crowd to also be excellent as well. 

3 Things That Will Happen:

  1. SBU will win the rebounding battle by 10+ boards.
  2. David Andoh will regain his shooting form and score 10+ points connecting on 50% of his attempts.
  3. SBU will get going from deep in this game, knocking down 40% of their deep tries. 

Twitter Length Closing Take: I trust Schmidt to get the troops turned around in quick fashion in Rochester. Fordham is coming off a huge road win against Davidson, but they can’t make it two in a row as the Bonnies use 80+ to improve to 3-2 and prevent back to back losses. 

Prediction: Bonnies 82, Fordham 73

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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.