We’ll find out soon enough if the Bonnies are for real


By Vinny Pezzimenti

After the Bonnies rallied for a thrilling victory over Rhode Island last Wednesday, URI coach Danny Hurley tagged SBU as a championship-caliber team in the Atlantic 10.

The label was warranted. The Bonnies were 4-0 in the Atlantic 10, 12-3 overall and even had garnered AP Top 25 consideration.

SBU fans puffed their chests last week. We spoke of grandiose possibilities – even whispers of an at-large NCAA tourney bid.

Saturday’s loss at Duquesne brought us back to earth – or at least it should have.

The Dukes are a nice team, and there is no shame in losing to them in their building. But the reality is that they’re just another middle-of-the-pack team in a conference littered with them.

Championship-caliber teams tend not to lose those games. When they do, they bounce back quickly and win games like the one the Bonnies face Tuesday at the Reilly Center.

There is no doubt that Dayton is championship caliber. The Flyers will almost certainly earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament if they don’t win the conference tournament.

The same cannot be said of the Bonnies yet.

Dayton is one of two teams with which the Bonnies are tied for second in the A-10. So winning Tuesday not only adds a significant bullet to SBU’s postseason resume, it will also help the Bonnies in their goal of earning an all-important bye in the A-10 tourney.

If the Bonnies have lofty aspirations for March, Tuesday is a must-win.

If the Bonnies win Tuesday, it will demonstrate that they are truly championship-caliber. I’m not convinced they are yet.

Andrew Nicholson’s 2012 team was deep and generally strong at all five positions – not to mention carried by a first-round NBA draft pick. This year’s team lack’s depth and has a glaring hole in the post.

Derrick Woods and Jordan Tyson are going to be good Atlantic 10 players in time. But neither is ready to be a key contributor for a championship team.

Mark Schmidt is losing confidence in Woods, who logged just eight minutes against Duquesne. Tyson is steadily improving, but the Bonnies need him to be better if Woods isn’t ready yet.

SBU was beaten badly on the boards against the Dukes, and Woods and Tyson combined for just five rebounds. That isn’t good enough.

Meanwhile, the SBU guards were thoroughly outplayed by Duquesne’s backcourt of Micah Mason and Derrick Colter. The Dukes scored when they wanted and continually beat the Bonnies up and down the floor.

While the Rhode Island win was impressive, let’s not forget that the Bonnies’ previous victories were against bad George Mason and UMass teams and a depleted Davidson club at the Reilly Center.

So just who are these Bonnies? We’ll find out soon enough.

Categories: Editorial

1 Comment »

  1. Spot on Vinny, I love these kids and how they have developed especially Gregg, but like all their other losses they played Duquesne even up except for the few minutes in the second half, when the dukes discovered the Bonnies most serious weakness in their defense (they are so intent on scoring that they rarely get back on defense). Several times it was their big man beating everyone down the court. I’m not faulting anyone, it’s like you said they have beaten the more seriously flawed teams. Schmidt knows this, evidenced by his regular pulling of the slower Woods in favor of a hustling Taqqee who isn’t a shooter. Certainly they all know this and will improve even more. I think they will do better against Dayton, because Dayton has an inexperienced big man and worse against VCU who has real power down low.
    These kids are still going to surprise some teams. We shall see!

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