If you gave Bonnies fans the option to fast forward this season to today’s date and told them their Brown and White would be sitting at six wins against one loss I think about 95% of fans would have asked, “where do I sign?”
This was, and still is a young team with a lot of room for growth. SBU starts a true freshman point guard, had Ndoye suspended for a game, played six games without Gregg and still hasn’t suited up likely starter and senior Jordan Gathers.
The six wins give the Bonnies a real chance to get to nine non-conference wins which would mark one of the best non-conference portions of the schedule the program has ever seen (maybe the best ever). Last year the Bonnies won eight games before league play, and that was certainly a successful mark. At 6-1, the Bonnies have what I would call two “solid” victories against Buffalo and Ohio and a four other wins that they honestly had to have. Beating Niagara, Canisius, Jackson State and Dartmouth had to be expected, and assumed by even the most level headed and grounded Bonnies fans. Still, give the team credit for beating teams they should have. It doesn’t always happen…Ask Michigan who lost at home to NJIT this weekend.
The team’s win over Ohio this weekend however, gave the fan base an extra bit of juice heading into Pittsburgh this weekend. There’s nothing like riding a decade-best five game winning streak into the Panther’s area on Saturday where our team has a real shot to win and get to 7-1 if they play an “A” game. Ohio looks to be a sound team, one that competes each year for post-season play, so beating them on the road is a nice win. Especially when you consider it was our first road game and the inexperience of many of our players (Jay Adams didn’t show it).
So, with four games left to play before we do battle in the A10 it’s time for the Bonnies to finish 2014 strong and get to those nine wins. It’s time for the fan-base to demand and expect this team to win three of these next four games and to beat teams who we should beat, regardless of where the games are being played.
And that’s a good thing.
Being able to say, “We should in three of our next four, no excuses” is a mark that the program is in a good place. No longer should the fan base say, “Road games are tough, let’s hope to split Binghamton and Delaware”. That’s a comment for a program like Fordham, not us.
The Pittsburgh game is being played with house money. It’s a game we have a chance to win, no doubt, but if we lose, you won’t lose sleep over it (unless it ends in some heart-breaking fashion).
From there, it’s time for Schmidt’s boys to knock around teams they are better than, plain and simple. They’ll have a week to get ready for 1-8 Binghamton. Then, it’s home vs. a 3-6 UMES team. The Bonnies wrap it all up at 0-7 Delaware before the new year. Bottom line, right now the Bonnies will be facing a trio of teams who are a combined 4-21. They have to, have to win all three of those games. There is no excuse.
Bonnies fans should expect this team to have nine wins as they travel to UMass to open A10 play. We should be winners of eight of our last nine games riding to Amherst (and that’s assuming a loss to Pitt). Ten wins would be tremendous, but nine wins has to be the expectation given our start and quality of opponents on the horizon. It’s time for the Bonnies and their fans to get greedy and win some more games. When the season started I predicted a 16 win season. If the Bonnies can get to nine wins before A10 play the 16 win mark should be a very, very attainable goal.