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Takeaways: Syracuse Loss

Derrick Woods looked more comfortable in game 2. It may be baby steps but it’s a process to develop the bigs.bv xz

St. Bonaventure fans were teased yet again on Tuesday night vs. Syracuse. The Bonnies led for a majority of the contest but it always felt like SU was going to come back and rip the win right from the Bonnies hands. A 20-7 run late in the second half did just that as the Orange eventually turned SBU away on the heels of some hot outside shooting and excellent pressure defense from their 2-3 zone. Despite the loss, Mark Schmidt’s club did play well for a majority of the contest and hung in on the road vs. a pretty good team.; the final score was not indicative of the contest as a whole. I’m not a believer in moral victories, and this one still stings, but this wasn’t a game that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. SBU played decent ball, played hard and battled but SU was better plain and simple. Here’s some takeaways from the loss. 

  1. Let’s Start with the Positives- There were some positives in this game no doubt. I thought Derrick Woods looked better than he did on Friday, looked more aggressive and comfortable. Idris Taqq knocked down a three pointer, that’s kind of a big deal…honestly. Nelson Kaputo looked like he “belonged” for the second game in a row. We shot the ball better from deep, crashed the glass and battled despite being grossly undersized and under-manned. Jay Adams kept us in the game with hot shooting and Dion Wright did what he usually does and also knocked down some deep balls showing off that range he flashed vs. Dayton. Finally, Denzel Gregg came off the bench to have a great game finishing with 11 points and 8 boards on 4-8 shooting. He was the one player in Brown who looked like he could have played for SU from a purely athletic standpoint. This must have a been a nice homecoming for him, loss aside. 
  2. Turnovers killed SBU- You know going into games vs. high major teams that turning the ball over will be a major factor. Do it and you’re making life incredibly hard on yourself. SBU coughed the ball over 17 times. It’s tough to beat Duquesne turning it over 17 times let along SU on the road. Specifically, Dion Wright and Jay Adams combined for 11 turnovers. That cannot happen. SBU needs to take care of the basketball going forward. This has to be a point of emphasis in practice (not that it isn’t already). SU tallied 14 steals inside of those 17 turnovers showing that SBU did not execute well enough inside of the zone. 
  3. Posley was MIA, Again- Our big gun was nowhere to be found again last night. Posley didn’t score in the second half until 2:44 left. He finished a poor 3-13 from deep and 3-15 from the floor for 9 points and 4 assists. The Bonnies will largely go as Posley goes, at least against better foes. We know Posley is a hot/cold player so we have to live with that but Schmidt has to want more consistency from his senior guard. We can beat Loyola and Canisius without Posley’s hot hand but it would be a heck of a lot easier with him. He needs to get on track this weekend vs. a very poor Loyola team.
  4. Foul Trouble Caught up with the Bonnies- SBU found themselves in foul trouble the entire night and it hurt big time in the end. Both point guards fouled out and the team racked up a ridiculous 24 fouls to SU’s 15. Again, tough to win when you put your opponent on the line 32 times. Dion Wright was sitting in key moments and all Schmidt could do was turn to Derrick Woods. This is going to happen this season but the Bonnies need to play better team defense to avoid these instances as much as possible because when Wright/Adams are on the bench the team is vastly different. You can blame the refs for the 32/9 foul shot disparity but at some point you need to look in the mirror as well. 
  5. Practice vs. the Zone- I feel like I have this conversation all the time with friends about SBU: why don’t more teams play zone vs. us? For the last few years scoring against a zone has been an issue for Schmidt’s club and despite some highlights, last night was no different. SBU simply moved the ball from one guard to the other most possessions and rarely got into the teeth of the defense. I thought Kaputo would have some success with this but it was limited. Jay was a bit more assertive at the end of the game but for the most part the team looked less than comfortable here. They’ll need to continue to find Dion at the high post as much as possible to have success vs. these defense. 

A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.