Schmidt, Bonnies seeking another tournament run

Mark Schmidt has led the Bonnies to six Atlantic 10 tournament victories, including the title in 2012.

The Bonnies’ record in Atlantic 10 tournament games isn’t exactly exemplary.

They have participated in the tournament 30 times. They have lost their first game 18 times. They are 18-29 overall.

From 1985 to 1995, SBU lost 11 conference tournament games in a row. That futile stretch, of course, encompassed the entire DeCarli and Chapman coaching eras. Luckily for the bad news Bonnines of the mid-2000s, the A-10 ballooned to 14 teams and only accepted 12 into the tourney.

There have been a few good stretches. The Bonnies won their opening tournament game four straight years from 1982 to ’85 under Jim Satalin and Jim O’Brien. O’Brien led SBU to three wins and a title game appearance in 1984.

Jim Baron’s teams won games in 1996, ’97 and ’98 and two more in 2000 to advance to the championship game.

But no SBU coach is more accomplished in Atlantic 10 tournament games than the current one. The Bonnies have won at least one game in four of their five tourney appearances under Mark Schmidt. They are 5-1 in their last six games.

Schmidt owns a 6-4 mark in tournament games at SBU. Only O’Brien (4-3) has a winning record among school coaches. Only Schmidt has won two or more games in multiple tournaments.

There’s a good chance Schmidt adds to the win total when the Bonnies face Saint Joseph’s, a team they have beaten twice this season, on Thursday at the Barclays Center.

What’s behind Schmidt’s tournament success? His teams are tough to prepare on short notice and Schmidt does well in preparing his team on quick turnarounds. Schmidt’s teams also tend to win most games they should and hang around in others they shouldn’t come tourney time.

Categories: Editorial

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