Sunday Synopsis (S17, V7): Bonnies Keep Rolling, Win 8th Straight
Opening Statement: After earning one of the more historic wins in St. Bonaventure Basketball history, the Bonnies earned a week off before hosting UMass in the RC on Saturday to kick off the “second second” that is conference play.
Many fans worried (Bonas fans are always worried right? That’s our nature) that the long break could leave the Bonnies a bit rusty for their A10 opener. That couldn’t have been further from the case. Jay Adams and Matt Mobley came out hot and stayed hot all game long (Combined for 60 points and shot 9-16 from three) as the Bonnies pounded UMass in the second half on their way to a 98-78 win in front of 4,945 fans (students are obviously away on break). Bonas scored 51 points in the second half and was 8-11 from deep in the first half.
The win makes eight in a row for Mark Schmidt’s club and matches the program’s eight game winning streak from 1970-1971. A win at Dayton on Wednesday will become the school’s longest ever win streak at nine games.
The Minutemen (7-7) had recently beaten two top 75 teams in Georgia and Providence so SBU’s win was certainly somewhat impressive given the fashion in which it occurred. The team showed that they aren’t playing around when it comes to challenging for the conference title and sent a clear message to the rest of the league yesterday: “Hey, remember we can stay score it too.” Bonas now ranks 77th nationally in offense (32nd in 3PT%) and 43rd nationally defensively after allowing UMass to score nearly 80 points on 45% shooting. After winning so many games thanks to their strong defense they won going away yesterday using offensive firepower. It was vintage Bonas under Mark Schmidt. (We were made aware that forward Ndene Gueye was not on the bench during the game. Not sure of the reason behind this but will work as always to find out. Let’s see if he’s back there on Wednesday if we hear nothing before then)
— Bonnies MBB (@BonniesMBB) December 30, 2017
J.P Butler writes about the Bonnies guards delivering in the A10 opener in the OTH here
A10Talk.com has some reactions and thoughts on the conference’s opening weekend here
A10Talk.com also wrote an article hitting on Keith Dambrot’s rebuild of Duquesne who moved to 1-0 yesterday. The Dukes have been down for years now but maybe things are starting to turn around under their talented new coach. You can read that here.
Where they Stand:
|RPI||KenPom||SOS||Vs. Top 100||Winning Streak|
Back Court Shines in Opener: J.P. hit on this in the link provided above but what a showing by the Bonnies star back court pairing. SBU will go as far as their two star guards will take them this season and Saturday was a nice reminded of what Bona looks like when Adams and Mobley are firing on all cylinders. SBU’s defense has received more ink than their offense (which no one saw coming in the Fall) but Saturday’s tilt was a return to what we’re used to seeing from Schmidt’s teams. After not scoring a bucket in the final 12+ minutes of the Cuse game it was great to see our great to see the team really shooting the rock well to kick off league play. Don’t worry about any one else’s production on the team yesterday: there’s not a lot of shots to go around when your guards go from 60 and are hot all game.
Shooting Touch Returns in the RC: Sometimes going home in the best thing for a basketball team and there’s no doubt the club benefited from shooting in the RC this weekend. The Carrier Dome is a very difficult place to shoot due to the depth perception; the RC is the complete opposite. SBU has generally shot the ball well all season but things were different at the Dome. Let’s see if the Bonnies can now keep that shooting touch going as they travel to Dayton on Wednesday and then St. Joe’s next weekend. Hawk Hill provides another great shooting back drop, very similar to the RC….The last time the Bonnies were there Matt Mobley put on a show scoring 31 points while Adams added 17.
Dominance over UMass Continues: New coach, same result vs. UMass…the Bonnies continue to beat UMass and that continued with new coach Matt McCall on the sidelines. SBU beat UMass three times last season (included Derek Kellogg’s last game as coach), twice in 2016, and split vs. them in 2015. In all, the Bonnies have now beat UMass six straight times and seven of their last eight meetings. The two teams do not meet again this regular season.
Credit Schmidt: Mark Schmidt had his team ready to play after the long lay off and deserved credit for that. Schmidt’s record after a week off is 29-13, including nine wins in a row (stat dug up by C. Maggio of the OTH). That’s really no surprise when you listen to other coaches around the league talk about Schmidt and his epic offensive playbook and attention to detail. Now, Schmidt needs to prep his team for a tough quick two game road trip to Dayton (where Bonas has struggled mightily) and then to St. Joe’s (vs. whom Bonas has absolutely dominated winning seven straight games with their last loss vs. the Hawks coming at the A10 Tournament in 2014).
Player of the Week: Jay Adams. Shooting 4-6 from three, 8-10 from the line, scoring 32 points while dishing out seven assists (no turnovers) and grabbing four rebounds earns you an eye-popping 176 offensive game rating and our POY. Adams has now made eight of his last 12 threes and averaged 27 points in the Bonnies wins over Syracuse and UMass. Speaking of Adams, his latest gem got me thinking about where his metrics rank this season vs. others. Well, look at the table below.
Adams is posting a remarkable senior season despite missing the first six game with an ankle injury and of course a massive bulls-eye on his back. He’s posting career best numbers in PER, True Shooting, effective field goal, free throw rate, offensive and defensive rebounding percentage, win shares and plus minus. Do not take this kid’s game for granted, he is very, very special.
Good Stat of the Week: The Bonnies were white-hot on Saturday in scoring 98 points (a season high) and shoot a season best 55% from three point range. Bonas also shot over 52% on 2PT shots for just the fourth time this season. Their collective Effective Field Goal % (60%) was their third best mark of the season, only behind their shooting efforts vs. MD Eastern Shore (75%) and Vermont (68.8%). Further, Bonas is now ranked 11th nationally in 3PT defense.
Updated Advanced Player Statistics:
We will be sharing some advanced player stats in this space each week, using different sites as we come across them. Not shocking to see that Jay Adams has the highest Player Efficiency Rating on the team at over 26. When he is on the floor the game changes. Brockington still with strong numbers as his 20 ranks just ahead of Mobley’s 19. Brockington’s high win shares number also really makes you wonder if he’s getting enough time on the floor. He has played a combined 13 minutes in the last two games after logging at least 10 minutes in four of the Bonnies five previous games.
Credit Ayeni and Ikpeze for improving their offensive rebounding game (grabbing 9.7% of available offensive boards when on the floor), but would really like to see their defensive rebounding numbers climb as they are “out rebounded” by Mobley, Adams, Griffin, Taqqee and Stockard on that end.
The Bonnies have a road trip week ahead of them with Dayton on Wednesday and St. Joe’s on Saturday. Dayton is 6-7 and Archie Miller is long gone. New coach Anthony Grant has tried his best to follow a living legend in Dayton but the going has not been easy. The Flyers lost their A10 opener to Duquesne by eight yesterday. They’ve played a very challenging schedule (losses to ODU 65th, Auburn 37th, Mississippi State 67th, and St. Mary’s 24th). Dayton is 5-2 at home this season and their offense is ranked 137th and their defense ranked 143rd. Head over to Blackburn Review for your Dayton Perspective and a recon on the Bonnies.
Following the trip to Ohio, Phil Martelli and the Hawks welcome the Bonnies to Hawk Hill. St. Joe’s has once again battled a major injury bug this season (Lamarr Kimble for the season and Charlie Brown has yet to play) and are off to a poor 5-7 start. SJU was widely considered to be a top three or four team in the league before the bug.
They’ve lost back to back games to Maine and George Washington and have lost four of their last five games. The Hawks are the best team in the nation at taking care of the basketball (1 TO%), but aside from that are generally an average to poor team. They rank 287th in Effective Field Goal %, so they very much struggle to shoot the ball. This should be the type of game where if the Bonnies can get to 70 points they win it. Expect SBU to be favored in both games before returning home to play Fordham next Wednesday.
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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(Photos used with permission from Steve Harrison. You can visit his website and check out his fantastic work here)