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Creating Mark Schmidt’s All-Time Team

With real college basketball games still weeks away, it’s always useful to use these “dead periods” to do a number of different things: Preview the roster, examine the schedule, survey the rest of the league, make predictions, recap last season and so forth.

Today, we thought it would be interesting to tackle this question: If you had to create Mark Schmidt’s All-Time team at Bonaventure, who would be on it? In order to provide a bit more clarity on the selection process the main factor (in my thinking) was this: You’re taking each player during his peak, or prime season at Bonaventure. So, assuming you get each player’s best year’s effort and game, what starting five do you want? And because I wanted to provide a bench, let’s go with four guys off the seats to support the starters.

Why four?

Because it seems like Schmidt’s teams really only go about eight or nine deep each year anyway.

There will certainly be debate with so many players to choose from since 2007-2008 but here’s the team I want taking the floor in Brown and White from Mark Schmidt’s clubs.

PG- Jay Adams (2015-2016) With two more years left in the RC it’s amazing that the sophomore version of Jay Adams is the point guard but he is, and there’s absolutely no question about it. Adams is the best guard Schmidt has had at SBU posting a ridiculous offensive rating last season of  122.2, good for 78th nationally. Adams gives this team an offensive-minded point who can stretch the floor big time (43% in 2016), shoots 87% from the line and takes care of the ball. His true shooting percentage of 63.9% ranked 38th in America. He may wind up as Schmidt’s second best player ever behind only Andrew Nicholson when all is said and done and should be a pre-season first team all A10 player very soon.

G-Marcus Posley (2015-2016) You could have gone a few different ways here at the two guard spot but I want Posley on my team over anyone else. Why? He’s a stone cold finisher in a man’s body that takes over big games and seems to always rise to the occasion. Polsey may be a volume scorer but big time scorers don’t grow on trees. Consider his junior season buzzer beaters plus these point totals senior year: 32 against Davidson, 47 against St. Joe’s, 30 vs. VCU, 31 vs. Dayton, 30 vs. Mason, 35 vs. Canisius. When the game was biggest Posley came to play. He wasn’t blowing up vs. South Carolina State (though he did get them for 26 also) and non-conference no ones, he torched the best of the best. No one has been better, or more clutch than Posley late in games and paired again with Adams we have a fantastic back-court. (God, what a shame it is these two didn’t play in an NCAA Tournament game. You just feel like last year’s team had a Sweet 16 run in them if the match-ups were right).

G/F- Demitrius Conger (2012-2013) We’ve clearly got enough outside shooting to keep defenses honest so we bring the freakishly athletic Conger in at the three. Conger’s ability to score in transition, score in the post and slash to the rim complement this team well. Conger shot 52% from two his senior season and 87% from the line as well. He was a sound defensive rebounder and at 6-6 with a plus wingspan, he can guard much lager and smaller players thanks to his insane athleticism. Not only was Conger the best dunker Schmidt has ever had, he’s the most athletic and exciting in many respects. Many younger fans call Conger their favorite Bonnie because of highlight reel dunks and come-from-behind blocks. His career ended in a home loss to Fordham (a true shame) but he gets another crack to to go out a winner with this group. 

F-Dion Wright (2015-2016) Showing just how good last year’s team was, Wright is the third member of the club who also gets handed one of our jerseys. A fantastic rebounder and interior scorer, Wright provides the blue collar type work ethic and in-your-face leadership every team needs. Conger’s athleticism helps the slower-footer Wright on both sides of the ball, and because we have a stretch five too (coming next) Wright won’t have to expand his game beyond his comfort zone. His ability to clean up boards on the offensive end will also be a huge plus for the club.

F/C- Andrew Nicholson (2011-2012) Not only Schmidt’s greatest Bonnie, but one of the best to ever wear the uniform, Nicholson is clearly this team’s star player. His ability to score in dozens of ways in the post and mid-range area, plus a deadly three point shot (43% senior year) make him close to impossible to guard. Nicholson could score from anywhere on the floor by the time he left Olean, and drew double teams with regularity. Add in his ability to blocks shots and rebound on the defensive end, and you have a player that was a top 20 pick in the 2012 NBA draft. I can already seen teams doubling Nicholson on post feeds only to have the big man kick it out to Adams and Posley to drain threes. 

The Bench

G- Eric Mosley (2012-2013) In my opinion, Mosley’s senior year was one of the more under-appreciated seasons a Bonnie has had in a long time. Mosley averaged 13.2 point as a senior on a ridiculous 43% shooting from deep and 82% from the line. He ranked third in the conference in player efficiency, 2nd in true shooting percentage and was seventh in steals. Showing he was a big time bucket getter, Mosley put 39 on UMass in a big February game and 30 on Richmond in the game before. One of Schmidt’s best ever imports, Mosley will be fantastic off the bench as our point guard or shooting guard. 

G- Matthew Wright (2013-2014) For most of Matt Wright’s career, he was a billed shooter who quite frankly, couldn’t shoot (31% before senior year). But by his final campaign the Canadian was not only a much improved shooter (36%) but he was an infinitely better scorer. Wright made a living his senior year scoring of screens and cuts and averaged 16.3 points after scoring just over seven as junior. He’s not a primary ball-handler, but he can come off the bench to spell Posley when needed. You could make a strong case for Chris Matthews here, but he wasn’t as well-rounder as Wright despite being a much better shooter from deep. Also considered for this wing position were Denzel Gregg, Chris Johnson and Tyler Relph.

F- Michael Lee (2007-2008) The only player on our squad fro before 2011, Lee only played one season under Schmidt but he had a stellar senior season (17.5 points, 8 rebounds) and shot 38% from deep as a 6-8 four man who often played atop Schmidt’s 1-3-1 zone. Lee was a good player on some of the worst ever Bona teams and often goes without mention in these conversations. While not a strong physical presence or great defender, Lee has a great shooting touch and is a fantastic complement to Dion Wright. If you wanted to start senior-year Mike Lee over Dion Wright you wouldn’t be nuts at all.

C- Youssou Ndoye (2014-2015) Finally, we add Ndoye as our defensive rim-protector off the bench. Ndoye may have been a bit turnover prone in the post when he tried to put the ball on the floor, but we don’t need him to score. The “Doy” will use his 7 foot frame and long arms to swat shots and clog up the lane. When he does get the rock within five feet of the rim he can score a bit (47% senior year), or get fouled where he made 71% of his tries senior season.

Note: I ran this team by coach Schmidt a few weeks ago during our phone call. He said he agreed with the entire squad but said I was crazy for leaving Jon Hall off the starting lineup. He said Hall “turned the program around” and was a leader inside and outside the locker room in addition to doing a bit of everything on the floor including playing some quality defense. While he agreed Mosley could score it his senior year, he lacked the defensive ability that you’d like to see on this club. What do you think? 

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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.