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Sunday Synopsis (S17, V5): Adams, Ayeni Lead The Way

Photo Credit: Jay Adams photo taken from the Olean Times Herald and Jerry Trass.

Opening Statement: With Jay Adams back in the fold, Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies have now won four games in a row and seven of their last eight dating back to Jackson State. SBU has continued to win on the heels of their superb defense holding Canisius to 65 points and Yale to 67. Bona earned three straight road wins for the first time under Mark Schmidt (Stat from Twitter follower Pete Ash) and now turns for the home stretch of the non conference slate with Vermont, Northeastern and Syracuse last up. While the rest of the Atlantic 10 (Save Rhode Island) continues to dissappoint, SBU has done exactly what they needed to following the Niagara loss: Win ever game they were supposed to and split in Florida. Saturday’s game in Rochester should be a fantastic environment for college hoops with the Bonnies red hot and some Vermont fans making the trip to see a pair of excellent mid majors on a neutral floor. Now, if they can manage wins over the Catamounts team and Northeastern, they may find themselves inside the top 25 before heading to Syracuse on the 22nd.  

Suggested Reading: 

J.P Butler writes about how Jay Adams fueled the Bonnies to victory on Saturday against Yale here

J.P. writes about Josh Ayeni’s foul trouble issues this season here

Richmond is off to an awful start at 1-8 and many want their coach Chris Mooney Fired. A10Talk interviewed one of those such Bloggers this week and that interview is here 

Where they Stand:


RPI SOS Vs. Top 100
7-2 72 148



Five Up:

  • Jay Adams Heats Up: It’s great to have you back, Swaggy! Adams scored 45 points this week in two games and knocked down 7 of his 17 three point tries. Adams value on the offensive end cannot be understatated as the Bonnies see so many more open looks and chances at the rim with him out there. No one benefits more from this than Josh Ayeni in their pick and pop plays (more on him below). While Adams did struggle to finish going to the rim (3-17) it is certainly possible that he improves in this space as his ankle heals a bit more. Last year Adams shot a very solid 58% at the rim, so there’s every chance this aspect of his game comes along in the coming weeks. In the second half of the Yale game Adams looked like the player NBA scouts were there to see: One who is deadly in transition, who can play cornerback on defense to generate steals and who creates great spacing on offense. If Bonas is going to win these final three non conference games Adams will have to be at the forefront of it all; he looks ready.
  • Josh Ayeni Changes Canisius Outcome: Josh Ayeni picked up two fouls in two minutes at Canisius and quickly found himself on the bench. It looked like it would be another one of those lost nights for the Bonnies defensively challenged, but offensively gifted forward. But Ayeni flipped the script. He scored 15 points in the second half on 7-8 shooting including 7-7 on 15-18 foot jumpers. Ayeni was unstoppable on the pick and pop plays with Adams. Ayeni changed the entire flow of that game and so give the sophomore credit for showing maturity and not allowing his defensive issues to impact his entire night. He was a difference maker in that contest.  
  • Three Point Defense: Canisius was 8-24 (33%) and Yale shot 6-21 (28%) as the Bonnies continue to be…wait for it…one of the best 3PT defensive teams in the country. Bonas ranks 21st nationally in 3PT% defense (28.6%). Let me run through were recent Bona teams have ranked in 3PT% defense nationally starting with last season: 184th, 44th, 269th, 241st, 305th. Vermont is ranked 78th in 3PT shooting and 64th in Effective FG%. 
  • Defense, Defense, Defense: We get to list this topic each week essentially because the Bona defense continues to shine. During their four game winning streak Bona has held their foes to an average of just 62 points per game; a number that will work for them almost every night out given their improving offense. Bona ranks 16th in TO% Defense and 6th in Steal %. Overall, SBU’s defense ranks 49th in efficiency and are atop the A10 in points against, FG% defense and so on. It should be expected for the team to take a few games to gel offensively with Jay back, but once they start really clicking they will be well prepped to win games in the 60s if this defense continues. 
  • HD Stream on GoBonnies: We have proudly beat the drum over and over again for the Athletic Department to step up the streaming quality of basketball games and this week the school announced that for $4.95 per game fans can watch each home game in beautiful HD quality, AND, listen to Gary Nease on that call as well. Our basketball program has elevated itself to the point where the stream needed to match the product on the floor and hopefully now it will. We all know Bonas is hurting financially and that these things don’t come easy, so if you have the means please pay for these feeds to support the department and school. Put your money where your mouth is if you’ve called for a better product and said you’d be willing to pay for it. We certainly will. For that full release and more detials click here.

Three Down: 

  • The A10 Stinks: This isn’t Bonas fault but it will certainly hurt SBU’s at-large chances should they need to pick up quality wins (which, they will because that’s how basketball works). The A10 is currently rated just the 10th best conference in America and most bracket projections have only URI “In”…this is likely a one bid league. The conference hasn’t been this poor in well over a decade and it will impact Bonas. How? SBU needs to add as many “good wins” to their resume as possible as a mid major and those will be tough to come by this year in the league. Only URI is seen as a real quality team with traditional powers such as Dayton and VCU down. Sure, there are a few decent teams (VCU, Dayton, Davidson, maybe St. Joe’s) but that’s about it and no one gives you a lot of credit for beating decent teams. This is why it’s so critical for Bonas non conference record to consist of three more wins including a big road W over Cuse. 
  • Brockington and Kaputo’s Minutes Slashed: The good news is Adams is back. The bad news is that two of those supporting characters, who played well to start the season, are now likely bit bench players. Kaputo has played just six minutes in the last two games. Brockington has played 14 after playing at least 23 minutes for four straight games. I’d expect Brockington to continue to play around 10-14 minutes a game but Kaputo is likely going to be a 6-7 minute a game player with Adams back unless he’s in foul trouble. For those Chef fans out there he hasn’t seen action since the Siena game where he played two minutes. He and Gueye will likely send most of their season watching from the bench if these first nine games are any indication. Schmidt loves to play with a short bench and with Adams back he can return to that coaching blueprint….like it or not.  
  • Foul Woes Continue for Ayeni: We credit Ayeni for scoring the ball this week (27 points after scoring 11 in SBU’s three previous games combined) but the foul issues continue for the forward. Ayeni fouled out of both games this week and did so playing just 14 and 28 minutes in each. SBU needs him on the floor for their offense to be at their best. That cannot happen if he’s sitting on the bench for picking up fouls. His 8.1 fouls per 40 minutes are nearly identical to last year’s 8.2. If Ayeni can become a 33 minute a game player he will change how the offense looks. 

Player of the Week: Jaylen Adams. Adams scored 20 points and dished out nine assists against Canisius and then scored 25 and dished out another nine assists and pulled in six steals against Yale. For the week Adams shot 7-17 from three, just 3-17 on two point shots and 18-19 from the line. Adams played 37 minutes in each game this week and is clearly back in terms of his minutes and production. Whether or not he is 100% health-wise we don’t know, but if he continues to average 22 points, nine assists and 4 steals the rest of the way the Bonnies will be thrilled with that… 

Good Stat of the Week: Holding Canisius and Yale to 14-45 (31%) shooting from distance and continuing to clamp down on the three point line. Jay Adams’ six steals tied a career high for him in a game. Adams 19 FT attempts in two games is a fantastic sign for the Bonnies who rely on winning games at the foul line and having their best foul shooter knock down those shots…Adams got to the line and made nearly all of them this week. He alone will improve the team’s below average foul shooting which sits at just 105th nationally after ranking 17th best a year ago. 

Bad Stats of the Week: Matt Mobley committed seven turnovers this week and was 2-11 from distance. Courtney Stockard had five giveaways on Saturday as well. These two are the Bonnies best players going to the rim, but oftentimes are a bit out of control in that space as well. They need to be more under control when attacking the basket against Vermont next weekend as possessions will be at a premium in a game that will likely be considered a two or three point spread. 

What’s Ahead: The Bonnies will be off until Saturday with exams taking place on campus. Saturday the team faces a very big test against Vermont; the game will be played in Rochester. Vermont is currently ranked 72nd on KenPom and is 6-4. Their four losses have come against 14th ranked Kentucky, 95th ranked Bucknell, 53rd ranked Marquette, and 132nd ranked Northeastern (Yesterday). Vermont’s offense is ranked 56th nationally and they are the 7th best defensive rebounding team in America. They face Siena at home on Monday before prepping for the Bonnies. Last season the Catamounts won 29 games and lost to Purdue in the NCAA Tournament. They have five seniors on their roster. 

Looking for some new Bonas Hoops gear? Look no further than the Spors Locker, Olean’s number 1 sports outlet. They’ve got new for 2017 Wolf Pack shirts and a new Lady’s V-neck as well. Check them out online here or in town before your next trip to the RC!

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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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