The Bonnies season ended last night in heart breaking fashion but the journey was a good one all things considered.
There’s no denying it. Ending the season the way the Bonnies did last night stings. As a die-hard fan or alum you likely went to bed last night like me; unable to sleep thinking about a hand full of plays the Bonnies could have made to win the game.
What if Andell made his late lay-up drive?
What if Denzell didn’t throw away that ball leading to a lay-up?
What if Dion’s only three point miss rimmed in instead of out?
What if Posley or Dion took a three to end it instead of driving to the cup?
The bottom line is any fan can play that game after any loss. I hate doing it but it’s what fans do. Instead I’d rather focus on the season as a whole body of work and not just a 40 minutes snapshot….or in the case of last night, a snapshot of the games’ final 90 seconds or so.
So what was good and bad this year as you sit here on “the day after” and think about next season.
Mark Schmidt. I don’t care what anyone says about Schmidt; this dude can flat out coach our kids up. This team was picked to finish 11th in the league and they finished 7th, winning 18 games and nearly making another semifinal. Schmidt continues to develop players and find ways to win and outperform expectations time and time again. Schmidt has been a Godsend to the program since coming over in 2007. Schmidt is literally one of the best coaches in the freaking league. Archie Miller said last night that Mark was “they are coached by one of the more underrated coaches in all of college basketball. Coach Schmidt does a phenomenal job, he always has.”
If you gave this guy a roster like Dayton I don’t even know what he’d do with it. Well done Schmidt and staff.
I will say though I didn’t love Schmidt saying if you told him preseason they’d go 10-8 in the league he would have told you that you were nuts. This is almost exactly what I expected from this group and I don’t think finishing two games over .500 in the league is something to be stunned over. Yes, it was a very solid season but it’s not some stunning feat that we should be wowed by either. Schmidt should give himself some credit and raise the bar. Let’s go into next season expecting to do the same or better…we should as a program. This isn’t 2009 anymore.
Posley- No one could have known that Posley would come into the year and become a premier scoring guard in the league from day one. Well he did that. Posley’s buzzer-beaters were the highlights of the season and his effort against Duquesne was the stuff of legends. His ability to play the point position at the end of the year was very solid. He was a massive plus and I don’t know where this team is without him. He was a recruiting gem.
Ndoye- The center finished his career ranked among the top players in points, rebounds and blocks. Yes, he was up and down. No question about it. But seven foot rim-protectors don’t grow on trees and Youssou was a very, very good center on the defensive side of the ball. He will be missed in a big way. We are sad to see him go. He’s a player you will look back on and say, “Man he was good”.
Cumberbatch- No one, no one took more crap from fans than Andell. But, at the end of the day and at the end of his career this kid became a guy all the fans rallied around. He was scrappy, played hard, and did a lot of things to help the team win. He was a flawed player to be sure, but he was a great Bonnie. His play over the last two seasons helped this team win a lot of games. I really came to enjoy his play and more than anything his toughness.
You will be missed Andell. We swear we’ll want another year of you next November.
Dion- I won’t go too much into Dion because he’s coming back but simply put: the team’s most consistent player. Every single freaking night this kid scored and rebounded. His game is really coming along. His effort against Dayton was unreal. Let’s hope he can shoot it from deep next season. He’s a very, very good fundamental player whose just getting better and better.
Jay Adams- Adams’ broken finger likely kept him off the all-rookie team. It could have cost SBU a win or two also. The rookie point man is going to be a great player over the next three years. Can’t wait to see him back running the show in November.
The Buzzer-beaters- Just the two best games of the year. The VCU win will go down as one of my favorite all-time sporting events. Just an unreal atmosphere and love-fest of Bonnies fans. The Duquesne road win is the third best game without a doubt.
The finish- SBU won their last three regular season games and one game in Brooklyn before losing to Dayton. They got punched in the gut with the Adams’ injury and kept on plugging. Asking Posley to play the one was a lot to ask and ultimately it hurt the team (not his fault). You have to love the way Schmidt gets his guys to play in the tournament. Always ready.
Bonnies’ SID Office- For putting in a good word with the A10 to allow the blog a press pass in Brooklyn. A lot of SID’s wouldn’t want their program’s blog on press row. We appreciate their support and enjoy all they do. The SID staff works hard as hell to promote the team and they do a fine job. Here’s hoping we can both bring the program lots of pub in the years to come.
The Development- Xavier Smith, Jalen Adams and Idris Taqqee played as little as could be expected. It’s hard to believe these guys developed a lot this year and who knows what we’ll get from them going forward. Do Adams and Smith even stay? What about Jordan Tyson? This team was thin all year and the bench was always an issue. Taqqee got some minutes late in the year but he has a lot of work to do but at least got on the floor.
The “bad losses”- The UMess loss and Delaware game still suck. Those losses are the difference between an 18 and a 20 win season. For the program to take another step forward they need to completely rid themselves of losses like this that kill your RPI and your team’s mojo…not to mention drive your fan base bananas. That said, every team losses a few games like that…it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.
Jordan Gathers- Gathers would have been a massive, massive piece of this year’s club. His solid ball handling and steady shooting and leadership would have pushed this club to another level. Unfortunately, he didn’t heal fast enough and left the program after apparently asking for a redshirt season and being denied that (we’ve heard. For the record Schmid did not owe him that. He got a four year scholarship and wanted another year. If the staff said “no” that’s their call and it’s well within their rights). We actually sent Jordan questions to answer and he said he would, but we haven’t heard back from him. We wish him well as he was another great kid in this program.
The Losses- It happens every single year but the Bonnies will have some holes to fill in the fall. Ndoye, Cumberbatch and Dees are gone. Losing a seven foot rim-protecting center who alters the way teams run their offense is going to be a significant issue to work around. The team will be a lot different next year, that doesn’t mean they have to be worse…just different. Andell became a solid guard who become the team’s best three point shooter by the end of the season (who would have thought?). I am confident we can get decent production from the three spot next year from Denzel, especially if he adds a jump shot (keep your fingers crossed). He’s not as good with the ball as Andell and obviously he’s not a shooter but he is a better rebounder and brings some size to the lineup.
We’ll post another article in the coming days about what we learned and what we will need to find out. We’ve also got a Q and A session with Ladarien Griffin coming as well as some other year end goodies. We’re going to keep posting stuff until things slow down in a few weeks before calling it a season and taken a break for the summer. We’ll post during the summer months (May-September) when news breaks but for the most part we’ll be watching baseball and recharging our batteries. We thank all of the readers for their support and comments and hope to continue this work next year and really take off in terms of getting eyeballs on the site.