Post Game: Bonnies 70- St. Joe’s 60 (OT)

When you're team's best FT shooter is your 7 foot center....

When your team’s best FT shooter is your 7 foot center….

The Result:  The Bonnies snapped a three game losing streak last night in downing the St. Joe’s Hawks in overtime. The win places SBU back at .500 for the year in A10 play at 7-7 and gave them a season sweep of the Hawks. They are now tied for 6th place with four games left to play.

What You Should Know:  In a game that was nip and tuck the entire way throughout SBU managed to earn a road win in overtime on the heels of some insanely impressive foul shooting in the bonus frame and late in regulation. Youssou Ndoye was held in check the entire game, not making a single field goal, but connected on 11-12 foul shots, most in overtime to seal the win. The Bonnies led by one at the break and were being paced by Andell Cumberbatch who canned a few three pointers to get the Bonnies offense going. The senior finished the game 4-5 from deep for 15 points, he also chipped in seven rebounds. His defense on A10 POY-caliber wing DeAndre’ Bembry should also be noted. Bembry finished with 15 points but was just 6-16 from the field and 1-4 from deep and turned the ball over six times; tremendous job on defending him. The Bonnies ability to largely take him out of the game left SJU with hardly any other scoring options though Chris Wilson had a decent day (20 points, 4-9 from three). SBU basically said “make anyone else beat us we’ll stop Bembry” and that’s what happened. Isaiah Miles was 3-10, Demery was 3-8 and the SJU bench was 2-10 from the field and turned it over seven times.

Bembry had a chance to win the game with about seven ticks left for the Hawks but missed the front end of a one and one. It looked like Marcus Posley was going to win the game for the Bonnies on yet another buzzer beater but his drive was blocked by Miles in the paint and the game went to overtime. In the extra frame SBU scored the first seven points, all from the line and never looked back outscoring SJU 18-8 in the five minute period. SBU scored just 22 points all of the second half.

Ian Says:  I’m thrilled the team was able to snap their losing streak, beat SJU twice in one year and earn another A10 road win. The team desperately needed a win post-Jay Adams’ injury and this game should help give them confidence that they can finish strong without their starting point guard. Winning on the road while Ndoye made not a single field goal is quite an accomplishment. Credit the Bonnies for holding Bembry in check the entire game and credit Dion Wright (17 points, 10 boards) and Andell largely for this win. Those two kept the team in the game during regulation while Ndoye and Posley struggled all night (Posley was 6-17, 2-9 from deep and had a team high five turnovers).

No Bonnie takes more crap from fans than Andell but he was superb on both ends of the floor Saturday night.

No Bonnie takes more crap from fans than Andell but he was superb on both ends of the floor Saturday night.

Bonnie of the Game: You could either take Ndoye for his ability to basically end the game at the foul line in OT for the Bonnies or take the much maligned Cumberbatch for shooting it exceptionally well from deep, but most importantly for taking Bembry out of this game on the other end. Without their super sophomore scoring in the mid-20’s SJU is a really poor team and the Bonnies proved that last night.

Foe of the Game:  Senior point guard Chris Wilson scored 20 on 7-14 shooting and made 4-9 three pointers. I basically said he stunk in the preview and that if their freshman point guard was any good right now he’d be the bench…he made me look bad. Still, Wilson isn’t very good but he had a game last night and kept SJU within shouting distance while most of his teammates struggled to score. Give him credit.

Good stats: Held SJU to 37% shooting and 26% from deep. Contained Bembry. Forced 20 turnovers and recorded 13 steals (5 via Posley). 20-28 from the line is solid (71%) but the FT’s in overtime were most impressive. Seven bench points feels like a season high. Dion’s ability to score 17 points on nine shots is amazing considering what some other guys need to score that number. Alston also did not have a single turnover, though his two assists weren’t anything to write home about either. 6-16 (37%) from three is a big improvement over our A10 average.

Bad stats: Ndoye and Posley were a combined 6-21 from the field; these two have to be on Wednesday for us to win. They’ve both been very inconsistent of late and with Jay down they need to be better, plain and simple. 17 turnovers is far too many, five were Posley’s doing and Gregg had four in just 25 minutes. Alston was 2-10 from the field and he really needs to take a three pointer once and a while to keep the defense honest; it’s painful watch him be so open from 20 feet and knowing there’s not a chance he will shoot it. I know he’s not a good shooter but it would be great to see the coaching staff let him know he’s got their “ok” to pull it once and a while…have some confidence out there. Hell, if I played last night and had the looks he did I’d pull it from 24 feet that open. At some point he’s got to add that jumper because the defense is just waiting seven feet back for him to drive at them.

I wasn’t surprised that: I wasn’t surprised that this was a very close game late as I knew we’d have a chance if Bembry didn’t take over the game. So there’s that. I was really looking for this team to have that bounce back effort after three losses in a row and we got it. I said earlier in the week this isn’t the time to bail on this team and they proved they’ve got some more wins left in the tank. Beating GW on the road this week won’t be easy but they struggling in a major way and are not some team to be feared at this point. After that game SBU has a chance to finish 3-0 so let’s see where we end up. There are wins left to be had in this season.

I was surprised that: We could win a game on the road when Posley and Ndoye played so poorly and we shot 37% from the field with 17 turnovers. I mean if I told you going in Ndoye won’t make a shot, Posley will be 6-17, you’ll shot under 40% and turn it over 17 times you’d likely say “We’re screwed”. Well, this was one of those games where you find other ways to win and thanks to Dion, Andell, great defense and good FT shooting we got a win. Take it and move on.

Up Next: The Bonnies travel to the Smith Center on Wednesday to take on GW. The Colonials have lost seven of their last eight games and are playing as poorly as any team in the A10 over the last month plus. The Smith Center is a tough place to play and GW is still a more talented team but this is a game the Bonnies can win. They’ll have to get more from their horses (Ndoye/Posley) and probably better than 2-10 shooting from Iakeem…but they can win another road game this week there’s no doubt.


Post Game From……

Short Story: St. Bonaventure pulled out an important win at Saint Joseph’s on Saturday night, prevailing 70-60 in overtime.

The Bonnies snapped their three-game losing streak and evened their A-10 record at 7-7. The win also moved St. Bonaventure into a tie for sixth place in the Atlantic 10.

After a Marcus Posley drive was stopped by Hawks defense to end regulation, the Bonnies scored the first seven points of overtime to open a 59-52 lead. Saint Joseph’s cut the deficit to 64-60 on a three-pointer by DeAndre Bembry with 33 seconds left, but Youssou Ndoye pushed the lead up to six with two free throws. Dion Wright, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Posley finished with 16 points and five steals. Andell Cumberbatch played perhaps his best game of the season with 15 points and seven rebounds while handling the defensive assignment on Bembry all night.

How It Happened:

  • Andell Cumberbatch started out hot, making two of his first three three- pointers. St. Joseph’s, however, led 20-13 halfway through the first half.
  • The Bonnies scored eight straight points to take a 21-20 lead. Dion Wright capped the run with a jumper.
  • The lead stretched to four points but Saint Joseph’s came back to take a 29-28 lead.
  • Posley made two free throws to give the Bonnies a 30-29 lead at halftime.
  • Cumberbatch made a three-pointer at the start of the second half to make it a 33-29 Bona lead.
  • The Hawks came back to tie the game at 35-35 and the score remained close the rest of the way.
  • There were seven ties and six lead changes in the second half alone.
  • Over the final 7:27 of regulation, the teams combined to score only eight points.
  • Cumberbatch’s fourth three-pointer of the game gave St. Bonaventure a 51-50 lead with 5:59 remaining.
  • Ndoye was fouled and made one of two at the line to make it a 52-50 game with 5:25 left.
  • Bembry tied the game at 52-52 with a pair of free throws at the 3:51 mark.
  • Saint Joseph’s missed its final five field goal attempts of regulation, and Bembry missed the front end of one-and-one free throw situations twice, the second time with just eight seconds left in regulation.
  • As the final seconds of regulation wound down, Posley drove into the lane but lost the ball as Hawk defenders converged on him, sending the game into overtime.
  • In the extra session, the Bonnies quickly took control with five free throws – four by Ndoye – to open a 57-52 lead by the 3:43 mark.
  • Wright scored inside after a St. Joseph’s miss to extend the lead to 59-52.
  • From that point on, the Hawks could not come any closer than four points.
  • St. Bonaventure went 9-10 at the line over the final 57 seconds of the overtime to seal the victory.

Beyond The Boxscore

  • St. Bonaventure now has seven road wins this season, tying the program record for road wins in a season set three times previously, most recently in 2008-09.
  • The Bonnies are 2-0 in overtime games this season, both wins coming on the road. The first was at Duquesne Jan. 22 (100-97).
  • Ndoye’s 11 free throws were the second most made by a Bona player in a game this season behind only Jaylen Adams‘ 12 at Ohio.
  • Despite not making a single field goal, Ndoye still finished just one rebound shy of a double-double.
  • Dion Wright posted his fifth double-double (17-10) of the season. Wright did not start due to a bruised toe, but still played 41 minutes.
  • The Bonnies recorded 13 steals in the game, their second-most this season. Posley led the way with a career high five.
  • Cumberbatch set a career high with his four three-pointers.

Recon: St. Joe’s Round 2

Bonas will try to sweep the Hawks for the first time in....probably a really long time.

Bonas will try to sweep the Hawks for the first time in….probably a really long time.

The Opponent:  The 11-14, 5-8 Hawks of St. Joseph’s University. The game will be played at 7PM at Hagan Arena and can be seen on SNY as well as Comcast Sports Net. The contest is the second in the home and home series between the two schools, SBU won the first meeting back on January 18th by a score of 70-61 despite DeAndre Bembry’s best efforts to single-handedly win the game for the Hawks.

The Rundown on St. Joe’s: St. Joe’s is an improving club, which right now makes them the opposite of our Bonnies. Yes, they’ve lost back to back games but they won two in row before that and nearly knocked off Dayton on the road a few days ago. DeAndre Bembry may be the best player in the entire league and has proven he can win games almost by himself. The Hawks are 3-3 in their last six but have won their last 5 league home games…making Hagan Arena a really tough place to win games right now. This is going to be a fight for the Bonnies and I certainly would not expect a nine point margin to the good this time around. SJU is a young team whose gotten more competitive as the season has gone along and are a better club then when SBU saw them on January 18th.  While the Bonnies may have a stronger starting five (maybe…) SJU has Bembry and his talent could be the difference in this contest between two teams fighting for position in the standings.

Foes’ Starting Five:


DeAndre Bembry -The A10s most dynamic and possibly best player, an absolute monster of a sophomore he averages 18 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and shoots 35% from 3 and just 60% from the line. Bembry could score 30 on any given night and makes SJU a dangerous team all by himself. A true NBA prospect despite his “tweener” size on the wing. Also a lock-down defender. Not a true big man but we listed him as one here. #PrayForWhoeverGuardsHim

Isaiah Miles -Scored 23 against Dayton, the big man can shoot it from deep too at a 34% clip, he’s a 76% FT shooter too, a guy who can really burn you. The 6-7 forward has scored 23-12-13 in their last three and has hit 10 of his last 20 three pointers. He’s hot and could be an issue like T.J Cline was….stretch fours have hurt SBU lately.

James Demery-23 minutes a game, he’s just a “guy” can’t shoot it most nights-35% field, 57% line and 16% 3PT.


Chris Wilson-Senior point guard who really isn’t very good at all, simply a “guy” for SJU. If Newkirk was further along he’d be starting by now. Wilson averages 7 a game on 35% shooting, 64% from the line and a putrid 26% from deep. If Wilson beats you so be it.

Aaron Brown-WVU transfer has made an impact in games, scored 10 against Dayton. Brown is averaging 9.9 points and 3.8 boards and shoots 33% from deep. He’s scored in double figures in three of their last five including 21 against SLU. He’s just the type of guy that usually burns the Bonnies in these games.

Bembry is a monster who is hard to contain right now.

Bembry is a monster who is hard to contain right now.

Their Strength: If you go look through the conference game only stats on the A10 website SJU doesn’t jump out as doing anything really well. So, in this game the strength, or advantage that the Hawks have is playing really well at home (as noted above) and generally playing better of late (save their loss to Fordham…whose actually playing well though…). The Bonnies have not had much success winning at Hawk Hill so the home floor advantage will be a major factor on Saturday night. The Bonnies are reeling and the Hawks have a chance to climb within a game of SBU with a win. The REAL strength lies in DeAndre Bembry whose already making me lose sleep.

Their glaring weaknesses: Again nothing is major weakness unless you want to cite the fact that the Hawks are just 309th nationally in scoring per game (61.6). SJU is basically in the middle of the table in just about every stat category at this point of the season. They struggle to shoot it (298th in FG%) so offense is more of a concern to them than defense where they rank 123rd in points against per game (64.3). If the Bonnies can have a big night shooting the ball SJU will find it hard to keep up unless Bembry goes nuts…which he may. SJU did light it up from 3PT range in the first meeting and it’s hard to see the Bonnies winning should SJU do the same thing this weekend.

Since we Last Met: The Hawks are 4-5 since the meeting on the 18th. Best wins have come against UMass and Rhode Island and the worst losses have come at St. Louis and at Fordham.

Their best player(s): Bembry. Not only SJU’s best player but maybe the best player in the whole league. If the Hawks were a solid team the wing would be getting serious consideration for major awards…but he’s not. Bembry can score from anywhere this season, he’s a great defender, a freak athlete and the leader of the Hawks. The only way to slow him down may be to foul him and put him on the line where he’s a poor shooter. Bembry lit up the Bonnies in the first meeting and they’ll have to do a better job on him this time around. Limiting his scoring output would put pressure on guys like Miles, Brown, Wilson and Demery that they don’t want. If Bembry goes for say 24+ it’s hard seeing the Bonnies winning unless everyone else is shut down.

Reason to be Pessimistic:  The Bonnies have played back to back stinkers and have lost three in a row. Jay Adams’ finger is still broken and the game is on the road in a venue where the Hawks have beat a lot of teams lately.

Reason to be Optimistic: Because I just wrote an article urging the fanbase to finish strong and stay with the team to the bitter end. Because you never know and ultimately, while SJU is solid at home, they aren’t any better than us on a neutral floor….though they do have the best player on the floor by a mile. I’ll be optimistic because I’m planning on going and I’d really like a win to put me in a good mood before I hit the bars in Manayunk after.

More Notes from…..

The Starting Five Notes:
1. St. Bonaventure visits Saint Joseph’s as the teams complete their season series. Both teams come off losses, the Bonnies at home Wednesday to Richmond and the Hawks at Dayton on Thursday. St. Bonaventure won the first meeting with the Hawks, 70-61 on Jan. 18 at the Reilly Center. The game will pit two of the A-10’s top scorers, St. Bonaventure’s Marcus Posley and Saint Joseph’s DeAndre’ Bembry.

2. St. Bonaventure’s anchor in the middle, 7-foot senior center Youssou Ndoye, is second in the A-10 in both rebounding (10.5) and blocked shots (2.7/game). Six of his nine double-doubles this season have been against Atlantic 10 opponents, including 12 points and 10 rebounds against Richmond on Wednesday.

3. Junior forward Dion Wright has scored in double figures eight of the last nine games. Over that span, he went 57-99 (58%) from the field and averaged 14.5 points and 6.0 rebounds. In the win over VCU, Wright played one of the best all-around games of his career with 19 points and eight rebounds. Wright ranks 13th in the A-10 in scoring and 11th in rebounding, and he has a .550 field goal percentage in conference games.

4. Marcus Posley is the sixth-leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 at 16.4 points per game. He hopes to shake off a cold spell where he went 2-25 from three-point range the last three games.

5. Junior Iakeem Alston is expected to make his third start in place of freshman Jay Adams, who is out indefinitely due to a fracture/dislocation of the ring finger on his right hand. Alston scored a career high 11 points with three assists in 30 minutes of action last Saturday at Dayton, then scored nine points against Richmond.

St. Bonaventure vs. St. Joseph’s: The First Meeting This Year: Jan. 18, 2015 at Reilly Center — St. Bonaventure 70, Saint Joseph’s 61
Marcus Posley scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half to lead St. Bonaventure to the win. The Bonnies trailed 29-28 at halftime but took their first lead of the game on a steal and dunk by senior center Youssou Ndoye that made it 37-35 with 15:21 remaining. The lead grew to 48-39 before the Hawks rallied to pull within 48-46.  The game remained close the rest of the way, and a three-pointer by Isaiah Miles closed the Bonnies’ lead to 55-54 with 5:35 left. St. Bonaventure answered, though, with a jumper by reserve Denzel Gregg followed by a Posley three-pointer to push the lead back to six points at 60-54 with 2:41 to play. The Bonnies went 8-8 at the free throw line down over the final 2:13 to secure the win.  Ndoye finished with 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Dion Wright scored 14 points and Andell Cumberbatch added nine for the Bonnies. St. Bonaventure had 18 assists on its 25 field goals and committed only seven turnovers.

Series Notes
This will be the 69th meeting in a series that dates to 1958. The Hawks hold a 49-19 series lead. The teams split the last 10 meetings. The Bonnies are 3-23 all-time at Hawk Hill.

Saint Joseph’s Notes:
• Sophomore DeAndre’ Bembry is the do-it-all leader for the Hawks. He leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 18 points per game, and also averages 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game, all team highs. Bembry has 46 three-pointers and shoots 35 percent from long range.
• Senior Chris Wilson is second on the Hawks in assists with 72 and averages 7.0 points per game.
• Junior forward Isaiah Miles is the Hawks’ second-leading scorer (10.9) and rebounder (5.0). He also is a capable three-point shooter at 34 percent for the season.
• Junior guard Aaron Brown averages 10 points per game and has shot more free throws (77-105) than any other Hawk except Bembry.
• Saint Joseph’s is 9-3 at Hagan Arena with its only A-10 loss there to George Washington on Jan. 3.

5 Games Left: A Rallying Cry

With five games left it's time to Rally the troops and end the sulking.

With five games left it’s time to Rally the troops and end the sulking.

With five games left in the regular season our Bonnies appear to be limping towards the finish line. Losers of three straight following back to back buzzer beating wins, the brown and white sit at 6-7, ninth place in the 14 team A10. Time is running out to make a push towards the upper half of the league standings. Fans are irritated, the weather is freaking unbearable and the Bonnies aren’t making life on their fans any easier. Life isn’t great.

Given the loss of point guard Jay Adams it’s hard envisioning the club righting the ship heading into Brooklyn. There’s no question about that. Jay was the team’s offensive general and a good one at that. His decision making and shooting ability have already been missed despite Iakeem’s best efforts in limited action.

The team has lost both games without Swaggy, and lost them both in nearly blowout fashion. Marcus Posley, he of buzzer beating fame, appears to be hitting a wall. Ndoye has been just “blah” of late and when the fans finally got to see Jalen Adams he’s yanked after a missed three pointer; sent back to the bench as fast as he got off it. That bench is being stretched further than Schmidt would like to see and upcoming road games at St. Joe’s and George Washington leave little to be optimistic about given historic records at those venues.

Admittedly, it’s not looking so sunny in Olean right now.

So what to expect on February 19th, with five games left to go?

For me, I expect this team to find two wins in these last five games somewhere, somehow, someway.

I don’t care how it gets done but when you close out the season with Duquesne at home, St. Louis on the road and Fordham at home you better win more of those than you lose. Mark Schmidt has made his career in Olean in finishing right around that 15-16 win mark and I expect him to find a way to do it again this season, short-handed or not. Certainly it won’t be easy but anything less than 15 wins and this season goes from “meeting” most’s expectations to very much underachieving (especially considering the 6-1 start. But, since the Pittsburgh loss the Bonnies are a poor 7-10. It’s been an up and down season with a lot more downs lately.

Yes, the team seems to be in a major funk right now, and maybe the loss of Adams truly is too much for this team to overcome, but we’ve seen this before and we’ve seen SBU respond. To count them out entirely would be unwise.

Remember the 2011-2012 season when the Bonnies reeled off four wins in a row to end the season in 4th place. That streak followed SBU losing three out of four games. Crazier things have happened. Sure, this team doesn’t have Andrew Nicholson, but neither did last year’s team that beat La Salle and St. Louis in Brooklyn. Schmidt’s guys have a way of keeping us guessing and a way of giving you one ray of hope just when all the clouds seemed to have formed.

So with that said…

This is not a time to give up on the team or leave them for dead….although Lord knows it may be easier on the heart and blood pressure.

Let’s remember this club was picked to finish 11th in the league. Right now, they’re overachieving according to most media/coach types. While I never viewed this team to finish that low a lot of people did. Don’t be a “bandwagon” fan and write this team’s obituary Sunday morning if they lose to Phil Martelli’s team and then show up on Saturday in Brooklyn if/when they manage to “shock the world” and win two games. Be a true fan, stick it out through the bitter end as they say.

What you thought we were going to beat VCU then reel off five wins and take the league’s top place?

30140GOTTABELIEVE (Custom)

Come on. Be real. This is the Bonnies they’d never make life that easy on you. They love tugging at your emotions. One week you’re me: rolling around on the kitchen floor following a buzzer beater in Davidson. Then you’re me again: running down onto the RC floor from atop the reds to celebrate a wild win over VCU….only to curse the same team after the UMass disaster.

You’re a Bonnies fan. That’s how we live game by game. This team is a part of us, embedded in our souls. It’s a gift and a curse.

There’s five games left in a season that’s flown by. It’s time to make a final push for a top seven seed in the tournament and gear up to making a run in Brooklyn. Will it happen? Who knows. But at the very least you’ve got to keep believing and support the team because seeing them 30 times isn’t enough.

Come April everyone will be counting down the days to next season’s opener…don’t start the countdown a month early. Finish strong.

Let’s go Bonnies!

I leave you with this…

Recon: Richmond Spiders, Round 2


Richmond tries to sweep the Bonnies just as Dayton did last weekend. But, this game isn’t in VA and that matters a lot…

The Opponent:  The 13-12, 6-6 Richmond Spiders. Richmond hammered the Bonnies by nineteen in their first meeting. SBU did not make a single three pointer and the Spiders embarrassed the Bonnies holding them to 41 points.

The Rundown on Richmond: Chris Mooney’s club has been simply up and down as well as disappointing this year. Picked to finish right near the top of the league Richmond is fighting to stay .500 just like our Bonnies. After beating VCU on the road and stunning the A10 they’ve lost three of four including in overtime setback vs. George Mason last time out. Richmond is simply a different team on the road and they’ve not been able to solve their road woes (aside from that VCU win which is still stunning). They do a superb job taking care of the ball, they play sound defense but rebounding and scoring do not come easily. Richmond is a team that has struggled in the past at the RC and the Bonnies need this home win in the worst of ways after back to back losses to UMass and Dayton. Additionally, with both these teams sitting in the middle of the table there’s a good chance they could finish tied. Dropping both games to UR could be an issue come seeding time in  a few weeks. This is a big game with A10 seeding implications.

Foes’ Starting Five:

Bigs: Terry Allen (12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 80% FT guy), Deion Taylor (starting with Alonzo Nelson-Ododa out, horrible shooting numbers everywhere), T.J. Cline (10.9 points, 37% from 3PT, a decent stretch four man, could be trouble).

Quicks: Kendall Anthony (16.8 points, 38% 3PT, UR’s all time leading 3PT shooter, will likely be a major problem), Trey Davis (4.4 points, 4.6 boards, horrible shooter from the line and deep, could be in for a career game?)

Their Strength: Taking care of the ball. Richmond is one of the best team’s in the nation in terms of valuing the basketball and limiting their giveaways helps them stay in, and win lots of games they probably shouldn’t.  Davidson turns it over only 9.8 times a game (best in the A10) and is second in TO margin at +3.24. When they do this it offsets their poor shooting nights and nights when they get mauled on the glass. This is a quality I REALLY wish SBU had as it helps mask so many other things.

Their glaring weaknesses: Rebounding. Richmond has always struggled rebounding under Mooney (well pretty much always) and this year is no different. Richmond is dead last in rebounding margin at -5.3 per game. That didn’t stop them from hammering SBU the first time out though since they basically put a lid on the basket for forty minutes. SBU needs to keep Ndoye on the floor this time out and expose their lack of true big man. Getting Dion and Youssou going early is a major key.

Since we Last Met: Basically doing the same as SBU: winning and losing at an equal clip. Getting their fans all jacked up after beating a ranked VCU team then losing their next two and three of their next four. Richmond has talent and can beat anyone in this league (much like SBU save Dayton) but simply isn’t consistent enough to go anywhere of note in 2015.

Their best player(s): Kendall Anthony, the pint sized guard who can go off at any time vs. any team. Anthony’s three point shooting is a major X factor for Richmond. If SBU can limit his scoring output they’ll be in decent shape to win this game at home. Anthony was 3-15 for only 10 points in UR’s lost to Mason. He’s their answer to Marcus Posley: a guard who shoots it around 17 times a night; they hope he cans 3-4 trifectas a game. Forcing their supporting characters to carry the scoring load would be wise. T.J. Cline will also have to be watched out on the perimeter as he has shown himself to be a capable three point shooting big.

Reason to be Pessimistic:  Well, any time a team beat you by nearly twenty a few weeks earlier and held you to 41 points has to be concerning. Sure, you could chalk it up to a really, really bad game for the Bonnies (which I mostly do) but maybe there’s something else to it. Richmond’s ability to take care of the ball, play solid defense and clamp down on our big time scorers the first time out is concerning. Posley was 3-12. Jay Adams (out of course) was 1-7. Dion had just eight points. Ndoye got in foul trouble but finished 2-6 with just four boards. Andell Cumberbatch (10 points, 4-11 shooting) led the Bonnies in scoring and that’s not a good thing…no offense to the senior. Richmond’s match-up zone could also give new point guard Iakeem Alston issues given that he’s green as all hell to starting and logged just 12 minutes vs. UR last time. Richmond is a tough team to play because they seem to always turn these games into close, low scoring affairs. SBU needs to get a win no matter how ugly it is.

Reason to be Optimistic: I’m going to keep this short and sweet. This season has gone in ebbs and flows and after losing two in a row it’s time to win a game or two. There’s that and then there’s this tweet which I kinda-already-knew but this makes it official….Richmond sucks away from the Robbins Center. Also, Alonzo Nelson Ododa being out is no small deal. He killed SBU off the pine last game for 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks playing solid defense on Ndoye. That’s a help no doubt….This is a game I think SBU wins and for the first time in a while I’m pretty confident about it.


More Notes from game preview……

The Starting Five Notes:
1. Entering the final, six-game stretch of the season, St. Bonaventure hosts Richmond in the second  meeting between the schools this season. The teams enter the week tied for seventh place in the A-10 at 6-6. In the first meeting between these teams on Jan. 11 in Richmond, the Spiders prevailed 60-41.

2. Junior Iakeem Alston is expected to make his second start in place of freshman Jay Adams, who is out indefinitely due to a fracture/dislocation of the ring finger on his right hand. Alston scored a career high 11 points with three assists in 30 minutes of action last Saturday at Dayton.

3. St. Bonaventure’s anchor in the middle, 7-foot senior center Youssou Ndoye, is second in the A-10 in both rebounding (10.5) and blocked shots (2.8/game). Five of his eight double-doubles this season have been against Atlantic 10 opponents, most recently 16 points and 12 rebounds at Dayton.

4. Marcus Posley is the fifth-leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 at 16.7 points per game. He hopes to shake off a cold spell where he went 1-17 from three-point range the last two games.

4. Dion Wright has scored in double figures seven of the last eight games. Over that span, he went 53-87 (61%) from the field and averaged 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds. In the win over VCU, Wright played one of the best all-around games of his career with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Wright ranks 12th in the A-10 in scoring and 11th in rebounding, and he has a .573 field goal percentage in conference games.

St. Bonaventure vs. Richmond: The First Meeting This Year: Jan. 11, 2015 at Robins Center — Richmond 60, St. Bonaventure 41
Despite playing all but one minute of the first half without Youssou Ndoye, who had picked up two early fouls, St. Bonaventure trailed by only two points at halftime (25-23). It was a 36-31 game when Richmond scored eight unanswered points to open its largest lead of the game to that point at 44-31 with 8:52 remaining. From that point, the Bonnies could not come any closer than 11 points. In the second half, St. Bonaventure went cold and made only seven of its 28 shots (25 percent). Richmond wound up shooting 14-25 (56 percent) over the final 20 minutes. The Bonnies’ 41 points were a season low.

Series Notes
This will be the 21st meeting in a series that Richmond leads 15-5; the Spiders have won three of the last five meetings. Last season, each team won on its home court. The first meeting in the series was in 2002.

Richmond Notes
• Richmond enters this game after losing three of its last four games, most recently a 71-67 overtime decision at George Mason on Saturday afternoon. The Spiders recently lost center Alonzo Nelson-Odouda for an indefinite time due to a facial injury; he was the team’s top shot-blocker and second leading rebounder and also was averaging 9.6 points per game. Richmond is 1-9 on the road this season.
• Even though the stands just 5-8, Kendall Anthony is Richmond’s engine. He leads the Spiders in scoring at 16.8 points per game, shooting 44 percent from the field (38 percent from three-point range) and 81 percent at the free throw line.
• The Spiders have two other capable guards who compliment Anthony, junior Trey Davis and sophomore ShawnDre Jones. Power forward Terry Allen is the second-leading scorer at 12.3 points per game and leads the Spiders in rebounding at 5.7 per game.


Alston vs. Adams: What the Stats Say

It's next man up time as they say and that means Iakeem Alston is your new PG.

It’s next man up time as they say and that means Iakeem Alston is your new PG.

With the Dayton loss officially marking day one in the post Jay Adams portion of the season (unless you’re holding out hope he will return, which I guess is possible) the Bonnies are really going to learn what they have in junior point guard Iakeem Alston. Alston, whom many thought (including myself) would be the team’s starting point guard from day one due to a combination of experience and Mark Schmidt’s history of not fully trusting freshman, has been a mere bench player; playing just eight minutes a night. The junior has played sparely this season behind Jay Adams and to be honest, has seldom made an impact when on the floor.

That’s all about to change.

In his first start of the season against Dayton Alston scored 11 points, had three assists and three turnovers in 30 minutes. He shot 4-4 from the field and 3-6 from the line. All things considered, it was a very strong game for Alston whose previous career high in points was six against Dartmouth in the opener. Alston’s four made field goals were obviously, also a career high.

Now, he will have the keys to the offense for the foreseeable future. Many Bonnies fans believe the season may as well have ended with Jay’s injury. But is that the case? What does Alston really bring to the table?

From the eye test there are a few things Alston does BETTER than Jay: He’s quicker with the ball, he is more adept at getting into a defense off the dribble and he’s a better defender. Alston is a better athlete than Jay and his ability to get into the lane is a nice change of pace from Jay who is a more “perimeter” oriented point guard.

There are also things he’s not as good at: Shooting from any distance, overall command of the offense, passing and pacing of the game. Alston does not seem to demonstrate the same level of “control’ in the half-court as Jay most time and can play out of control. He can’t stretch the defense with three point shooting and he is generally trigger shy outside of five feet.

But what do the stats say? Let’s take a look.




Offensive Rating

111.4 (400th NCAA)


% of Shots



Effective FG %



True Shooting %

56.0% (424 NCAA)


Steal %



Assist Rate



As you’ll see below, pretty much everything you viewed with your naked eye holds true when we consider the stats of the two Bonnies’ point guards. Jay’s offensive rating (a complex score based on a number of factors) is in the top 400 nationally. When you consider that there are roughly some 350 teams, it basically means that Jay is our best offensive player from top to bottom (Dion is actually ranked a tick higher but still). Since offense rating factors in things like shooting percentage, turnovers and assists, a volume scorer like Marcus Posley is actually given a rating of 105, third on the team. As you can tell Alston is sitting below 80, a number only higher than Idris Taqqee on this club (not good news).

So, one may find it odd that Iakeem takes 22% of the team’s shots when he is in the floor compared to Jay’s 15%. Very shocking to me considering I feel like Alston passes up shot after shot when on the floor…In terms of Effective FG% and True Shooting % Adams is easily the better player. Alston’s inability to make three point shots and free throws (1-5 on the season from 3PT, 48% from the line) really hurts him here because 3PTers are giving 50% more value. Given his preference to shoot inside (layups) Alston HAS to improve his FT percentage to have any chance of improving his shooting metrics. A drive first point guard shooting under 50 percent from the line is unthinkable. I know by this point in the season it’s hard to expect guys to improve at the line but I’m still holding out out hope from this day on he’s more like a 60% shooter…

A place that Iakeem does out preform Jay is in the steals department where he nabs one twice as often as the freshman. That’s nothing shocking if you’ve watched SBU this season. Finally assist rate. Here, Iakeem actually has a higher assist rate than Jay. However, it should be noted that Jay’s turnover rate (20.3%) is much lower than Iakeem’s (32.4%) making the assist number a bit misleading.

All in all the numbers back up what we’ve already known about these two. So, if you’re worried about the Bonnies ability to win with Iakeem at the helm your thoughts are likely valid. Jay Adams is by almost all measures (eye and stats) a far better player right now. That’s just the truth, it’s not a knock on Iakeem. Jay played at level few thought he would this season and replacing him will not be easy. This team’s lack of depth has hurt them before but now it may become a real issue. Mark Schmidt would love to have Jordan Gathers right now to run the offense.

However, what we can hope for is that Iakeem improves his numbers and production with increased playing time and responsibility. And no, I don’t mean he will go from scoring 2.1 a game to 6.1 a game…we all know that will happen when you play an extra 23 minutes. I mean will his shooting percentage get better? Will his A/TO rate level improve? And ultimately, will he make the players around him better? Will we win games at the same clip? Those are the things we’ll look for going forward. If Alston can limit his turnovers, shoot a better percentage from 2PT and the line and keep his teammates productive on offense he has a chance to keep the Bonnies in this A10 race. If SBU wins three of their last six games I’d call Alston’s effort satisfactory.

Recon: Dayton Flyers, Round 2

Dayton tries to stay unbeaten at home. The Bonnies try for their biggest upset win of the season.

Dayton tries to stay unbeaten at home. The Bonnies try for their biggest upset win of the season.

The Opponent:  The 18-5, 8-3, tied for first place with four other teams- Dayton Flyers. After racing out to a 5-0 start in A10 play Dayton, like much of the league, has not been able to string together wins with any consistency. They’ve alternated wins and losses in their last six games, most recently downing SLU on the road. In the first meeting Dayton beat SBU 78-61 and nailed 14 three pointers. It was a blowout in the RC. Dayton has lost three of their last four road games but this game is obviously not on the road for Archie’s bench.

The Rundown on Dayton: Without a doubt one of the the best five teams in the league….I know we’re going out on a limb here, it’s a joke. Dayton is a fantastic team at home at UD Arena where they are a perfect 12-0. The place is sold out yet again and the Bonnies are going to be heading into a pit, and likely without their starting PG; this is the recipe for a disaster or an amazing win.Their four “guard” lineup gave SBU a ton of issues in the first meeting and the Bonnies were not able to exploit their size advantage inside. If this game were in the RC this weekend I’d say this would be a game SBU would have a solid chance to win. But, given that it’s on the road at UD Arena I’m thinking the Bonnies would be given something like 15%  chance of stealing a W. Still, this team always keeps you guessing so you’ve got to tune in.

Foes’ Starting Five:

Bigs: Dyshawn Pierre (12.6 points,7.5 rebounds), Kendall Pollard (12.0 points, 5.6 rebounds)

Quicks: Jordan Sibert (16.1 points, 78% FT, 33% 3PT), Kyle Davis (7.1 points, 48% FG), Schoochie Smith (8.5 points, 39% 3PT)

Their Strength: Since we’re getting into the second go-round with many of these teams these Recons are going to be shorter. We know what Dayton does well- they are tough to guard because of their quickness, they shoot it well enough from three and they employ a very, very good team defense that is 32nd nationally in points against per game. Dayton is athletic but their bench is as short as SBU’s. They are 2nd in scoring defense in league play, 1st in field goal percentage, 5th in field goal percentage defense and 2nd in three point percentage….yes, they have a lot going for them. For as much as people talk about their offense being so hard to deal with their team defense has been their real calling card. They’re just a good, solid, well coached team with great fans and an unreal home-court advantage. They are the envy of just about every mid-major program.

Their glaring weaknesses: Same as before: they aren’t big inside and they aren’t deep. Neither of these factors were an issue for UD the first time out and haven’t really been a factor for them all year. In fact, Dayton’s lack of size has helped them a lot more than its hurt them on both sides of the rock. If the Bonnies were a deep team who pressed and ran 12 guys out there I’d say there’s a chance they could expose UD’s lack of bench in the final four minutes but seeing that the Bonnies are even more thin it won’t be a factor. Maybe Schmidt has found a new way to get Dion and Youssou going inside vs. their bigs who fronted the hell out of them the first time out but I’m not holding my breath on that front.

Dayton Video Preview:

Their best player(s): This is a team with no clear best player in my mind which is a testament to their “True Team” season motto. Last time we met up however Jordan Sibert had his way inside and outside and scored 22 points on 9-16 shooting. He was 4-9 from three. He took our guards off the bounce and posted up our bigs all game. If that happens again SBU is major trouble. Sibert is a really good player on a good team. SBU will need to do a much better job on him than the first time out if they want to keep this thing close.

Reason to be Pessimistic:  Because no one seems to ever win at Dayton. Because we may be without our starting point guard. Because Dayton is just flat out a better team with better players on their home floor and they’re playing for a Tournament Bid. They know this would be a “bad loss” and they’ll be playing to avoid that blemish at all costs. Also, they’re playing for a continued share of first place…so they’ll be motivated.

Reason to be Optimistic: Because our team makes no sense. We win games we shouldn’t (Duquesne, Davidson, VCU) and lose one’s where we are favorites (La Salle and UMass). Shane said Monday we’d drop the UMass game and win vs. Dayton so here’s to him being right. I asked him if he wanted to change his mind after all the Swaggy J rumors started swirling and he said no…in fact he’s even more sure we’ll win with Adams out….This league has been NUTS all year long with teams losing games just as they get hot so maybe the trend will continue in Ohio this weekend. I certainly don’t like our chances but I do think this team plays better on the road/when they’re underdogs. This is that game.

News: Magic Trying to Trade Nicholson

The kind folks at emailed me this morning to let me know of the following tweets from Marc Stein. Looks like Nicholson will have a new home in a few days. Hopefully the Magic get a deal done and send him somewhere he can get some clock.