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Sunday Synopsis (S17, V2): Bonnies “Power” Past Jackson State

Opening Statement: The Bonnies had quite an eventful week and a half to open the season to say the least. After dropping their first home opener in a decade to rival Niagara, the Bonnies’ second game of the season, scheduled for Wednesday against Maryland Eastern Shore, was postponed due to ongoing power outages on campus; surely a first. Without a chance to wash away the sour taste of Friday’s loss, Bona fans had to wait until Saturday afternoon to see Brown and White take the floor again against Jackson State. When they did, they did so without Jay Adams once again, and this time, without wing Courtney Stockard who injured his hip. After a rather sloppy second half on both sides of the ball the Bonnies finally grabbed their first win of the year, 72-58. It wasn’t pretty or impressive but it was a win the team needed to move beyond the NU loss. For more on that game, check out the Olean Times Herald’s write up here. So, after Mark Schmidt’s club had just one game under their belts up until Nov. 17th, they will now play four games in seven days; Saturday, Monday, Friday and Saturday. It’s about time we get this season started in full.

Where they Stand:

Record

RPI SOS Vs. Top 100
1-1 332 332

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Quick Hitters, Jackson State:

  • SBU started out the game hot offensively and with tons of energy and length defensively. Bonas was really guarding the perimeter well, giving shooters little room to operate. It was great to see after the Niagara disaster. Matt Mobley knocked in a pair of threes and Josh Ayeni made his first ever deep ball and before you knew it the Bonnies were up double-digits- just the start they needed.
  • The promising start defensively was short-lived however. Jackson State eventually began knocking in threes, as we are used to seeing, and Bonas missed enough free throws to make it interesting through the half. SBU did a much better job defending the three in the second half and Jackson St. finished 8-25 from deep.
  • The three pointers became a bit of fools’ gold for Bonas as they really started to settle on three pointers in the second half. The lack of penetration and interior scoring attempts was obvious. SBU attempted just three more two point tries than three. Mobley was held scoreless for seemingly a majority of the second half and Bonas was getting nothing down low in terms of offense. Without Adams the team looked out of synch offensively. That’s no surprise given his talents and importance to the team. The last eight minutes were more uncomfortable than you’d prefer but Bonas maintained a six-eight point lead and eventually pulled away.
  • Josh Ayeni is just an amazing jump shooter. I can’t recall a better Bonnie big man who has had such a pure stroke from 18 feet as Ayeni. However, his inability to score anywhere near the basket and to dunk the ball is almost equally amazing. Last year, he shot 65% on jump shots and 34% at the rim….Amazing. He’s a really unique four man as it is, but if can develop any kind of interior game he would be a monster.
  • Credit Nelson Kaputo for running the offense well in Adams absence. He finished with seven points, six assists and four rebounds. Still, I’d like to see Nelson add a shot fake and go to the rim more. 79% of his shots last year were of the three-point variety, making him quite easy to scout and defend. He got to the rim a lot more as a freshman and I’d like to see a return of that aggressiveness. He was 2-8 from three Saturday and 0-1 from two.
  • Amadi Ikpeze and Ayeni have done nothing through two games to make you confident they can cut down on fouling while guarding the post. Super small sample size, but you can’t like what you’ve seen on that end. They combined for 34 minutes on Saturday and each picked up four fouls.
  • I hope Idris Taqqee would come back for his senior year as a capable three point shooter to take some pressure off Mobley and Adams but the early returns (very small sample) have not looked good. Credit him though for making a key play to seal the win when he blocked a shot and dove on a loose ball to call a TO, giving SBU possession. That’s why he’s out there.
  • LaDarien Griffin had a typical “LD” week, helping the Bonnies in both games by doing all the little things to win. He continues to develop and see action because of his ability to defend, play within the system and rebound. Griffin has scored 15 points on the year, grabbed 19 rebounds and has three blocks and three assists.
  • Freshman Iziaih Brockington and Chef (I told you I’d spell it this way for four years) both contributed to Saturday’s win. Both look like freshman out there (One good play, one bad), but it’s promising to even see Schmidt trusting them on the floor; that’s no small feat. Chef looks every part of a high major athlete and Brockington plays with confidence already. Remember, Taraq Coburn couldn’t even see garbage minutes last year.

Player of the Week: Easily Matt Mobley who must attempt to shoulder the entire scoring load right now for SBU. Mobley scored 29 against NU and 27 against JSU and has started the season shooting 9-22 from three. Additionally, he has continued his strong work on the glass by pulling in 14 rebounds through two games.

Good Stat of the Week: 7 blocks vs. Jackson State which a pretty sight after just two against NU. Chef had a pair, including one highlight reel type.

Bad Stat of the Week: Bonas allowed 14 offensive rebounds to Jackson State. They want this number in the single digits going forward. Those second and third chance points are momentum killers.

What’s Ahead: The Bonnies take the floor tonight in the Reilly Center against UMES, making up Wednesday’s game. This one part of the Emerald Classic. From there, the Bonnies jet down to Florida and take on 4-0 Maryland on Friday and then either TCU or New Mexico on Saturday. This is a huge week for SBU as they have a chance to win a pair of games against very good Power 5 schools. Last year’s team did not beat a single top 100 foe, and if this year’s version wants to Dance, they need to start racking up some wins of that variety. Beating teams like MD, TCU, Syracuse is the best way to minimize the Niagara loss. Jay Adams is hoping to play Friday, but we likely won’t know his status until warm-ups. Meanwhile, Courtney Stockard may also be sidelined through next weekend with his hip injury. As always, we will keep you posted on Twitter as injury news comes in. 

Looking for some new Bonas Hoops gear? Look no further than the Spors Locker, Olean’s number 1 sports outlet. They’ve got new for 2017 Wolf Pack shirts and a new Lady’s V-neck as well. Check them out online here or in town before your next trip to the RC!

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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 comment

  1. Anonymous

    Ian we have always loved your comprehensive reviews on the games, such as this one. Matt Mobley has indeed been impressive in the whole season so far. He took on the UMES team at Riley Centre, with 19 points under his belt, helping the Bonnies put up an awesome 96-48 on the scoreboard and giving his head coach his 250th career win!