Good thing Bonnies have fared well on road because RC advantage is no more

The Reilly Center has often been a lonely place for the Bonnies under Mark Schmidt.

The Reilly Center has often been a lonely place for the Bonnies under Mark Schmidt.

The Reilly Center still carries a reputation for being one of the more challenging venues in the Atlantic 10 for an opponent to conquer. I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it is because the students are almost literally on top of the court, chiding the opposition face-to-face. The old arena still shakes with enthusiasm and excitement – not to mention noise – when St. Bonaventure is playing well. Such an atmosphere can prove daunting, yet also motivational for visitors.

Perhaps it is because past glory is difficult to forget or let die. There were many times when the Bonnies were unbeatable on their home court. The Rowdies put fear into the likes of Boeheim, Calipari and Chaney, among others.

Jay Bilas once called the RC one of the five most hostile arenas in the country. The SBU home has also received props from Dick Vitale, Joe Lunardi and countless others.

In reality, the Reilly Center has become just another arena in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies are 31-31 in A-10 home games since Mark Schmidt took over in 2007.

They are 9-13 over the last three seasons, including 2-4 this year. They actually have won more road conference wins over that time. Since Schmidt has been coach, SBU is 21-42 in A-10 road games – not a bad mark considering the team was underdog in at least 75 percent of those contests.

Saturday’s overtime victory at Saint Joseph’s moved the Bonnies to 4-3 in A-10 road games this season. They are in the thick of the middle of the conference because they have found ways to win away from the Reilly Center.

I’m not sure why Schmidt’s teams don’t win more at home and play relatively well on the road. Maybe the coach and the team feel less pressure to win when playing on the road. Maybe they play more freely. Maybe they are motivated to succeed by opposing fans.

The Bonnies have more four more regular season games – two at home, two on the road. All of them are winnable. All are losable.

Something about the wide ups and downs of this season tell me the Bonnies will split the final four games. I could see them winning at George Washington Wednesday and coming home to an alumni weekend crowd and losing to Duquesne. That is how unpredictable this team has been.

Give the guy a break

Since Malcolm Eleby, I’m not sure there has been a SBU player that has taken more heat on the Tweet machine and message boards than Andell Cumberbrick, ahem, Cumberbatch.

Some of the criticism has been warranted. Cumberbatch has been more inconsistent than his team this season, if that’s possible.

This tweet came during Cumberbatch’s best game of his SBU careeer:

The Bonnies surely wouldn’t have defeated St. Joe’s without @SmooveAce.

The senior tallied 15 points, canned four of the SBU’s six 3-pointers (on 5 attempts), grabbed seven rebounds and guarded the A-10’s best player the entire game – meaning Cumberbatch and DeAndre’ Bembry went at each other for 45 minutes and the matchup was essentially a wash.

Here’s hoping Smoove ignores the Twitter bashers and rides the momentum of Saturday’s performance to a strong end to his senior year.

Categories: Editorial


  1. Damm, that’s cold. Whose to say I’m not talking about Youssou? In all seriousness I was thrilled Andell played a great game this past weekend and gave him plenty of praise for it. I said he has been, without question the most criticized Bonnie this season and much of last year. When he’s played poorly we’ve gotten on him and when he’s played well we’ve said it and admitted our past comments. I think the thing that frustrates fans about Andell is this he has these flashes (like Saturday night) but so many times follows those moments up with bad turnovers, poor passes, ill-timed shots, long two pointers and other decisions that leave you wondering. Additionally, Schmidt has an insanely long leash with Andell (That’s a fact, not an opinion) maybe it’s because he’s a senior…but it’s tough seeing other players (Altson/Gregg/Taqqee/Jalen) yanked for a single poor shoot or turnovers when it seems Cumberbatch gets a handfull of those mulligans each game. Again, I think he has that leash because he’s a senior but I do think it bothers fans.

  2. Agree on all accounts. Cumberbatch’s ups and downs are very frustrating. He is a below average A-10 starter and probably wouldn’t be starting — and certainly wouldn’t be playing as many minutes — if Gathers was with this team.

    He gets a long leash because 1) he’s a senior and 2) Schmidt has little to no confidence in the guys behind him. With Swag out, it’s do or die with Cumberbatch.

    I understand the frustration. Posting your tweet was a way of illustrating the wild ups and downs of Smoove’s game.

  3. Somebody who has a lot more time on their hands than me should do an analysis to see how well the other A10 teams serve at home. If the league as a whole doesn’t show clear home court advantage, then you can chalk up our home record as being in line with the league. But if others have huge statistical advantages, then we’re not as strong at home as we used to be.

    • That’s an interesting thought Pauldz. When I have some time soon I’ll do some long-term research on that. This year anyway, home teams are 63-34 in conference games. The Bonnies are one of only four teams in the league without a winning home record in A-10 games — cellar dwellers Fordham, George Mason and Saint Louis are the others.

      Home conference record obviously is most often reflective of team talent and overall record. VCU is good at home because VCU is a good team. During Andrew Nicholson’s last two years at SBU, the Bonnies were 13-3 at home in A-10 games, 7-1 his senior year. They won at home because they were good.

      Still, you would expect this SBU to be better than .500 at home in A-10 games under Schmidt. But other than 2011 and 2012, the Bonnies haven’t won more than four A-10 home games in any season under the current coach.

  4. Hi I am so grateful I found your web site,
    I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Google for something else, Regardless
    I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a fantastic post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic b.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s