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South Carolina State: the good, bad and ugly … mostly ugly


One man’s view of Saturday’s game against South Carolina State.

By Vinny Pezzimenti

The Bonnies 64-45 victory over South Carolina State on Saturday afternoon was the type of game one might expect this time of year.

Ugly and uninspired.

With finals done and Christmas coming, the more talented Bonnies established a 21-point halftime lead and then let garbage time take over.

They played as if visions sugar plum fairies were dancing in their heads. Or something like that. No harm in that. They took care of business when it mattered.

Other takeaways from the team’s fourth straight victory:

S.C. State plays like DouDou

The Bonnies, in recent years, have let inferior competition hang around and even win at the Reilly Center. Arkansas State and Maryland-Eastern Shore come immediately to mind.

South Carolina State figured to be a foe capable of at least giving the Bonnies trouble. The Bulldogs had hung tough in games at Kansas State and Duquesne, and were presumably well rested having spent Thursday and Friday in Olean after playing Wednesday at the Dukes in Pittsburgh.

Instead, the Bulldogs played as if they had spent Friday night bellied up to the bar at the OP drowning themselves in Four Loko. They were slow, disinterested in competing and shot about as well as a girls’ junior high team.

In all, they played like the namesake of their reserve forward, DouDou Gueye.

Bonnies without their ‘Swag’

Without Swaggy J, Nelson ‘McFly’ Kaputo logged 40 minutes and played admirably. The freshman didn’t shoot well (3-11, 2-9 3-pointers), but made up for it by accumulating seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

It was another step in the right direction for Kaputo, who has dished out 31 assists compared to just 12 turnovers in his first nine college games. That is good for a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks fifth in the Atlantic 10.

Here’s a bold take for you: the Bonnies will have the best backcourt in the Atlantic 10 by 2017-18.

Well, as long as Adams, who ranks second in the conference at 4.9 assists per game, keeps his nose clean. Maybe he was caught out after curfew with these guys:


Grading Tyson’s debut

Redshirt freshman Jordan Tyson scored two points on two free throws and grabbed a rebound in 14 minutes during his first real college action.

Those numbers are hardly impressive. But they come with a caveat: Tyson is coming back from injury and hasn’t played competitive basketball in almost two years.

Still, Tyson has much progress to make to merely become a competent A-10 big man. The sample size is small, but Saturday’s performance showed that Tyson is very raw offensively and struggles defending without fouling.

Tyson won’t take minutes away from Derrick Woods anytime soon. That’s OK. As long as Tyson can step in for a few minutes here and there, that’s all the Bonnies need him for this season.

Just one critique

If there’s any criticism to come from the game, it would be Mark Schmidt’s decision not to send Marcus Posley and Dion Wright to the bench in the second half, when the game grew ugly and choppy.

Each player logged 39 minutes in a game that was never in doubt over the final 20 minutes. They will continue to play major minutes. They could have used the down time.

Woods and classmate LaDarien Griffin, meanwhile, would have benefitted from more playing time. As it was, Woods played 14 minutes and Schmidt granted Griffin a courtesy minute at the end.

I supposed it was a good day if this is the most we have to complain about.

She said ‘yes’

During a media break in the first half, a young man proposed to his girlfriend, a former SBU cheerleader, on the playing floor. When she said yes, the moment resulted in the heartiest applause of the day from the 3,347 in attendance

It also resulted in at least one lame joke on social media:

And an awesome idea from whoever is manning our Twitter account these days:

By the way, here’s the lovely couple:

She said yes! 💍🐺💛 #bonawedding

A photo posted by Katelyn McDermott (@mcdermotkp) on Dec 19, 2015 at 3:07pm PST


Best of luck to you from the Bona Blog.

Who to creep on

Former Bonnies stud Rocky Llewellyn is on Twitter. Give him a follow.

In closing

The Bonnies are 7-2 and visit Siena on Wednesday. The Franciscan Cup will be on the line, and nobody will care besides SBU and Siena supporters. Nevertheless …

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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.

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Totally saw this after the fact. Thanks for including our engagement in the highlights from the game!