5 takeways from Canisius

Mark Schmidt has won more than 127 games since this angelic picture was taken.

By Vinny Pezzimenti

Thanks to a monster offensive performance from Marcus Posley and a few defensive stops and key free throws in the final minute, St. Bonaventure held off Canisius Tuesday night in the 164th meeting in the rivalry.

I didn’t watch the game, but I listened until the end, when WPIG’s broadcast failed miserably (more on this later).

Nevertheless, a few takeaways from the game:

Trapper keeper

The Bonnies were able to pull away for a few minutes in the second half in part because of a 1-3-1 trapping defense that took the potent Griffins offense out of its rhythm. It was the same tact Hofstra used in climbing out of an early 18-point hole against Canisius earlier this season.

“You steal some stuff,” Mark Schmidt said in his post-game radio interview. “I’m not the smartest guy in the world.”

We won’t argue with that.

Hofstra happens to be next on the schedule. If anything, Saturday’s matchup at the Reilly Center promises to be entertaining.

The Pride are led by former Niagara coach Joe Mihalich and former Purple Eagles standout Juan’ya Green. Mihalich’s club is very good and plays up-tempo. The first team to 100 might win.

This is a good measuring stick game for the Bonnies. Fortunately, it comes at home.

Before Twitter and Facebook

If you’re a regular reader of this blog and/or an avid Bona fan, you know that last night’s win was the first for the Bonnies on Canisius’ campus since 2002.

That was before Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and before most of us had impressive video capturing technologies resting in our pockets every day.

I suppose that is the reason why I couldn’t find a single clip on the world wide web of Jamil Terrell’s monstrous alley oop dunk from that game. The jam landed on SportsCenter’s top 10 and helped propel the Bonnies to a 69-57 win.

It is lost to history. Much like that game and season.

Since Terrell was playing, the victory really didn’t count. So, in reality, the last win at the Koessler Center came on Dec. 11, 1999 – the season the Bonnies earned an at-large NCAA tournament berth.

127 and counting

Schmidt recorded win No. 127 with the Bonnies on Tuesday, inching him closer to the program’s top all-time winners. SBU’s current coach has the sixth most wins in school history. The man in fifth was on the opponent’s bench last night.

Jim Baron picked up 132 wins in nine seasons at SBU. Schmidt is in his ninth season with the Bonnies and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Schmidt should pass Baron, Mike Reilly (133 wins) and Eddie Donovan (139 wins) this season, and Jim Satalin (156) the year after that. That would only leave Larry Weise (202) atop the list.

If Schmidt averages 16 wins a season, he will surpass Weise during the 2019-20 season. Let’s just hope we’re all alive at that point.

Radio head

Some of my great childhood memories are of listening to Francis Tommasino call Bonnies action. For those before me it was Don McLean.

This generation? I doubt it’s Gary Nease.

I imagine the rising popularly of internet broadcasts haven’t done any favors for flagship radio station advertisers. Certainly young and old fans alike don’t listen to the Bonnies like they did once.

I try to listen as much as I can. Mostly for nostalgic reasons, I think. But also because – like most– I spend a good majority of my life staring into screens and monitors. It’s good to get away.

Nease and Don Scholla do a pretty good job. I enjoy Schmidt’s post-game interviews the most, and reccomend them to fans. He is more at ease and more himself in – and thus maybe a bit more revealing – in that environment then he is during press conferences with the more critical media types.

It was frustrating, however, when the broadcast failed in the final seconds with the Bonnies leading 73-71. But not as frustrating as it might have been 20-some years with Tommasino on the call and no Twitter or live stats on the web to turn to.

Apparently sketchy wi-fi was to blame. Nothing at Koessler can be trusted.

For Pete’s sake

Finally, did you know – or care – that Canisus calls its mascot Petey Griffin?

The inspiration for Petey’s name is St. Peter Canisius – not Peter Griffin, the cartoon star. I’m only half surprised that Canisius didn’t name its mascot after a fat, made-up imbecile.

Anyway, Petey reminds me of this classic Family Guy scene:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Editorial

1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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