Takeaways: Win Over Binghamton
There was no doubt heading into the season opener Friday night that the Bonnies would be rusty. Most teams usually are after the long layoff. But this year’s version, short on players and just short, needed a bit more time than usual to find their footing against an inferior Binghamton team. Still, the Bonnies did find their way to a ten point win, and no matter how ugly it was (and it was ugly) Mark Schmidt and company are 1-0 on November 14th. When I was a manager with the team Schmidt would preach the goal over and over again during the offseason, “To be 1-0 the morning after the opener.” With that said, let’s take a look at five big takeaways from the opener.
- Denzel Gregg Saved the Day- Freshman forward Derrick Woods lasted about three minutes before Schmidt pulled junior Denzel Gregg from the bench and inserted him into the game. From there, Gregg made a huge impact on the contest scoring 15 points, grabbing 11 boards and blocking 4 shots. It was the kind of game everyone, Schmidt included, knew Gregg was capable of. Gregg, a superior athlete looked like a men among boys at times. The team’s X-factor made all the difference Friday night. You already get the feeling that while Woods may start, Gregg is going to get a lions’ share of the minutes in that spot. Woods for his part looked shaky (5 points, 5 rebounds, 1-4 shooting, 4 fouls) as you’d expect. His put-back floated inside of minute was one of the great, “no, no, no, yes” shots. Schmidt expressed as much in his presser. He will learn and develop no doubt.
- Nelson Kaputo Was Fantastic- The freshman point guard from the Great White North also came off the bench to spark the Bonnies. Kaputo showed in ability to get into the lane and set-up forwards for easy lay-ins. He nailed a clutch three pointer late in the game and finished with 7 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. He is a quicker, more dynamic point man than Jay Adams which will serve the team will. SBU played their best ball with Kaputo on the floor there’s no doubt about that. Expect him to get more time Tuesday night. He’s going to be fun to watch.
- Marcus Polsey MIA- The Bonnies 2nd team All Atlantic 10 selection was nowhere to be found Friday night. Posley finished the game shooting just 2-10 from the floor and posted a slash line of 5 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers in 38 minutes. We’ve seen this Polsey before though has he had a stretch last January-February where he couldn’t throw it in the ocean. SBU got away with it vs. a poor Binghamton team, but they won’t against Syracuse on Tuesday. Posley needs to play like the senior captain that he is more nights than not for the Bonnies to make a mark this season. Friday was simply a “burn the tape” type of game for MP.
- There was Good in this Ugly Game- SBU forced a very solid 19 turnovers, they were plus 6 on the glass, they scored 25 points off those Binghamton turnovers and held BU to just 29% shooting and 20% from three. Those are all positives to build on. We figured team defense may be this clubs’ calling card and they defended well enough Friday to win an ugly game; sometimes you have to do that. Heck, one of the league’s best teams Rhode Island does that most night. Take those positives and build off them.
- SBU Needs to find their Shot- The Bonnies missed 7 lay-ups in this game, a figure that has to improve. SBU was 4-19 from three (21%) and 37% from the field overall. We said going into this season the team would need their guards to shoot the ball, to stretch the floor for their undersized bigs. We also said Dion Wright would need to show a three point shot of some variety (he was 0-2). For all those folks wanting the Bonnies to play like Dayton of last year that requires knocking down outside shots. On Friday at least they failed to do so; even the open ones. Again, take the win and move on with the understanding that this area has to improve going forward.