+0 - 0  by

RECON: vs. Hofstra (3-2) Saturday, 4 p.m.

The Opponent: The Hofstra Pride out of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Hofstra is 3-2 on the season and is coming to Reilly Center in the midst of a 2-game losing streak. Hofstra is led by Joe Mihalich who is in his third season with the Pride. If that name sounds familiar, it should as Mihalic was the head man at Niagara University from 1999-2013. Hofstra is coming off a 20-14 season that also incluhded a bid in the post-season College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Last Time: 1992, St. Bonaventure traveled to Hempstead and took down the then named Flying Dutchmen, 66-50. The losing coach that day for Hofstra was the late Butch van Breda Kolff, father of former Bonnies Coach, Jan van Breda Kolff.

The Skinny on Hofstra: The Pride were picked to finish 1st in the CAA this year according to the pre-season coaches poll in the CAA. Featuring Pre-Season Player of the Year, Juan’ya Green, who averaged 17.2 ppg and was 9th in the nation in assists last year, the Pride bring back several starters from their 20-win season a year ago. In addition to Green, Ameen Tanksley and Brian Bernardi both averaged double digits in points per game last season and play close to 40 minutes. The Pride have a short rotation going with only 8-9 players per game and look to play uptempo offense similar to the Bonnies. Although they lost to Indiana State in their previous game, the game was the third of three games at the Paradise Jam and both teams were sluggish due to playing a short turnaround. Their key win at the tournament came over ACC opponent Florida State. Hofstra will look to push and shoot early or run quick sets in the front court to maintain their 84.8 ppg average in games this season.

The Stats:


The difference between Hofstra and St. Bonaventure can come down to effective 3-point shooting when taking into account the style of play both teams play. eFG% or Effective Field Goal Percentage, is similar to field goal percentage but adds 50% more influence to a 3-point shot rather than a 2-point shot. A eFG% over 50% can be viewed as a more efficient offense from all parts of the floor. Hofstra has been efficient as well as the Bonnies with the edge going toward the Pride when taking into account all types of shots, not just the number of shots.

Screen grabs courtesy of Bbstate.com

The Roster:

The Path to Victory: The Bonnies have to be able to stop the Pride on the defensive end and then run out to create easy opportunities or draw fouls at the other end. Dion Wright will get his hard work 15 and 10, but after that the jury is still out on Posely. Two games certainly does not make a season but his stock is trending upward after two consecutive offensive outbursts. Posley needs to build off of the Loyola and Canisius games to be a consistent offensive weapon that is being counted on so heavily this season.

With these teams stacking up very similar in style of play and lack of depth on the bench, the key for the Bonnies will to be more disciplined to stay away from foul trouble. Even though Hofstra features a 6-10 sophmore in Rokas Gustys in the post, Dion Wright will be able to match him defensively due to Gustys lacking a finishing touch around the rim.

Aside from post play, Denton Koon at 6-8 will be the x-factor in a similar fashion to SBU’s Denzell Gregg. Koon brings a fifth year senior mentality after transferring from Princeton and is savvy enough to stretch the defense enough to knock down a few 3’s that will eventually get the Bonnies to extend. Koon has the ability to get into double digits in points and chip in with key rebounds.

In regards to Juan’ya Green, stopping a pre-season player of the year is no small task, but Green plays a similar style of point guard to those seen routinely in the A-10, drive first, shoot second. It will be a great matchup between Adams and Green at the top to see where Adam’s maturation level as a defender is with only a handful of games left until the second season begins.

The Known (their best player): Point blank, it’s Juan’ya Green. Even though Tanksley and Bernardi are also weapons on the outside, the Pride go when Green is involved in all phases of the game. As mentioned before he was the choice for Player of the Year in the CAA and he has since so far lived up to that billing. He is averaging 19.2 ppg and adding in 7.2 assists per game which are both  ahead of his pace from last year. Mentioned many times on the CBSSportsNetwork broadcast against Indiana State, commentator Danny Lee said, “Green is a true Philadelphia point guard who looks to drive straight to the basket.” This will be a great test for the Bonnie backcourt as they inch closer to A-10 play and will face point guards who are both physical and skilled around the basket.

The Gut Feeling: Take away the jerseys and these teams are eerily similar. They are both strong on the outside with questions inside the paint. Bonnie rebounding has been better than average and that’s a testament to the hustle and desire the Bonnies need to play with game in game out. Hofstra is coming off a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands and is faced with a road trip to the opposite of paradise, which is cold and windy Olean. The question is whether or not Hofstra can shake their last loss off in which they looked lethargic after playing three games in four days. The gut feeling is that Hofstra has enough playmakers to eek out a win after a slow start and adjustment from their recent road trip. Mihalich is no stranger to the RC and with Thanksgiving in full effect, the lack of students may have played into their hand perfectly.

The Prediction: Hofstra 86, St. Bonaventure 81

+ 0 - 0

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.