The Road Not Taken

The Bonnies need to decide which team they’re going to be with four regular season games to play.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry but our Bonnies could not travel both
And repeat another typical season, long they stood
And looked down one as far they could
To Where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was snow-covered and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In snowflakes no step had trodden black.
Oh, they kept the first for another day!
Yet Knowing how past seasons leads on to way,
They doubted if they should ever come back.

They shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere Tom Stith and alumni hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and they –
They took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


With just over a fortnight until the Atlantic Ten Tournament tips off in Brooklyn, our beloved Bonnies face a fork in the road… Dream of what could have been if they had not lost their emerging freshman star PG; or grow together as a team and find success over the remainder of the regular season – 4 very winnable games and beyond.

17 – 39: The combined record of our remaining opponents. GW has dropped 7 of their last 8 and Duquesne, St. Louis and Fordham have been the caboose of the League all year. A pessimistic Bonnies fan would probably tell you that they would sign up for a 2-2 finish, which would put the Bonnies right at .500 with a 9-9 conference record. But why not see the glass half full? Fresh off their first win in the post-Jay era coupled with an incredibly favorable remaining schedule I have hope that Mark can WILL this team on a REAL winning streak. Tournament basketball in March might as well be playoff hockey, teams that finish strong buoy with confidence and become very, very dangerous.

The starting jitters in Alston should be gone. The teams lack of confidence – over. The blueprint is simple. The execution not as easy, but not impossible either. Let’s take a look at what certain players need to do as we make the turn into the final lap of the season.

Posley hasn't been hot from deep in a long time, but he could burst out at any moment.

Posley hasn’t been hot from deep in a long time, but he could burst out at any moment.

Posley – Consistency. The team’s leading scorer has shown us all that he can score the basketball. However, he has also shown his best Houdini impression and disappeared on numerous occasions. If the Sandman can knock down the long ball and get to the hoop (like he did Saturday night) his piece of the puzzle will be in good position. Posley hasn’t scored 20 points in a single contest since the Duquense game.  Prior to dropping and unconscious 36 points that night he was putting up 20+ nights left and right. The SG is an ice cold 8 for his last 60 three point attempts; that’s good enough for 13% from three over our last eight games. That cannot continue.

N’doye – FINISH strong. I am going to be very sad to see the big man graduate at year’s end. But our favorite swift footed dancing fool of a Center isn’t ready to punch his ticket just yet. I expect a strong finish to an even stronger career. Ndoye had a great weekend in Brooklyn last March and the Bonnies will need that same production down the stretch here in his final go-round. Ndoye has all-league talent and could carry the Bonnies if he’s on. The center is a tremendous weapon to have in a tournament setting.

Wright – Double D’s. Dion’s double-double in Philly Saturday night played a huge part in the team’s OT win. If he can continue to board the basketball (esp. on the offensive end) and pour in 15 per game, the Bonnies will be in every game. Wright has produced five double-doubles this season and has upped his scoring from 8.7 to 13.1 and rebounding from 4.8 to 6.9.

Cumberbatch – Know your role. Truth be told, I was in disbelief watching the batch connect of 4 of 5 from beyond the arc vs the Hawks. Any expectations of a similar performance of the remainder of the season would be considered reckless. I am looking for Andell to play as the senior that he is: limit turnovers, better shot selection and fill a stat sheet (think: 11 pts, 6 rbs, 3 ast, 2 stls). The key for Andell is playing smart and under control however given Jay’s injury and Iakeem’s shooting issues, the senior may have to take on a larger role from the perimeter.

Alston – Play with Passion. Energy is contagious. Alston hit some tough shots with contact and drew a few offensive fouls in the loss to Dayton. If he can make these types of plays over the next few weeks, I think he can be a real spark plug for the Bonnies. He needs to play within himself and understand that it’s okay to put your foot on the break sometimes. There is a time for pedal to the metal – find the medium.

Gregg could be a huge asset off the bench going forward or he could give the Bonnies nothing…

Gregg – Grow up. We all know Denzel is an athlete. But too often it’s one step forward, two steps back. I nearly broke my computer after he left the ball to his invisible friend just seconds after a superb block on the defensive end. He has failed to develop into the player I thought he would be this year largely due to mental mistakes. However, it ain’t over yet. I really hope he can buckle down and show some maturity. Gregg will likely be a starter next year and there’s no better time than now to show Schmidt he’s ready. Gregg has 25 turnovers this year against 16 assists and has went from a 60% FT shooter last year to a 42% shooter this season.

So there it is. Will the Bonnies choose the path less traveled by? Can they turn the tide of mediocrity? While 4-0 will not be my expectation, it sure as hell should be theirs. Every game is a dogfight in the Atlantic Ten. But with a blue-collar coach and blue-collar players, I believe our guys can get the job done.

Go Bonnies!

Today in “Bonaventure Haters”

Winning has made the Bonnies a hip team to hate lately.

Winning has made the Bonnies a hip team to hate lately.

I thought it would be difficult to find someone who voiced more negative and unkind feelings towards the Bonnies and Western NY than our friend VCUPav, but it appears the guys over at Turtle Boy Sports have a strong, to very strong hatred for the Bonnies and the faithful Reilly Rowdies.  I for one believe that there is no such thing as bad press.  I actually enjoy reading about peoples dislike for the Bonnies.  The strongest emotions are directed at the teams (and the fan bases) of those that beat them.  It would appear that a rivalry has been growing amongst these two teams since Andrew Nicholson and the boys beat down UMASS in the 2012 A10 Semi-finals.  Over the past 4 years the Bonnies have gone 4-2 against the Minutemen.  So here’s to you Turtle Boy!  Thanks for the press!

Go Bonnies!

We’re On to UMASS

The ecstasy of emotions from Saturday night’s game is ever so slightly fading. If you’re anything like me, by this point you have read every article and account of the win, replayed the highlights more times than you can count and exhausted the patience of all of your non-Bonnie friends. The win, will not soon be forgotten, the memories of the night etched into our minds and our hearts. However, like all things… the show must go on.

After the back-to-back buzzer beater wins, the Bonnies sit in sole position of 7th place in the A-10. The road trip to Charlotte and a tough top 25 team at home was no easy task. But let’s not expect things to cool off, as the week ahead will bring more of the same. UMASS will enter the Reilly Center Wednesday night as one of the hottest teams in the conference. The Minutemen have won 4 straight and are 7-2 since dropping their A10 opener vs the Bonnies 5 weeks ago. Saturday afternoon the Bonnies will be in Dayton, Ohio to take on the Flyers. Coming off a tough OT road loss to GW, the Flyers will be hungry to get back on track with a W in front of their faithful home crowd. Both UMASS and Dayton sit ahead of the Bonnies in the standings, part of a 3 way tie for 3rd place in the conference.Posley

Ending Davidson’s 15 game home win streak and taking caring of business vs HAVOC were great moments for this team. I hope we can capitalize on this momentum and confidence and continue to move up the leader-board. The Bonnies will need as many Wins as they can get to set themselves up for a higher seed come March in Brooklyn.

More Accolades for Ndoye

NetScouts Basketball has named Nodye their Co-Player of the Week.  It’s nice to see the big man get some recognition after some great individual efforts, but more importantly, two conference victories.

Another big man led his team to a pair of wins across the country, as Youssou Ndoye pushed St. Bonaventure past George Mason and Saint Joseph’s. The Dakar, Senegal native has been named NetScouts Basketball’s International Player of the Week for games from January 12th to January 18th.

The 7-foot senior posted 28 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks in a 75-55 win over George Mason. He shot an outstanding 9-of-11 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Ndoye then contributed 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three blocks on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting against Saint Joseph’s. He averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game in back-to-back wins while shooting 86.7 percent (13-of-15) from the floor and 81.0 percent (17-of-21) from the charity stripe.

St. Bonaventure has started 3-2 in Atlantic 10 play with Ndoye averaging 11.7 points along with team-highs of 10.7 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. The Bonnies will need inspired play from Ndoye to spark them to some upset victories and contend for a finish in the upper-half of the conference.

Jay & Silent Marcus

Posley is leading the A10 in scoring durin his first year in Olean.

Yesterday Ian posted an in depth look at senior center Youssou N’doye, and his season/career as a Bonnie.  While reading through the article I started to think about the make-up of these Bonnies. We can all agree that N’doye has played a very, very solid Center.  His offense hasn’t been incredible, but it’s steady; and he has been a deadly force to be reckon with on the defensive end/glass.  His front-court counterpart Dion Wright has also played very well.  Between the two, they are putting up some strong numbers: 23.8 ppg and 19.6 rpg.  Those per game averages account for 33% (points) and 50% (rebounds) for the Bonnies. Impressive - Yes.  Unexpected - No.  Almost everybody expected great years from N’doye and Wright.  After all, Youssou is now a senior and and coming off a great sophomore season, many pegged Dion to be a breakout player this year.

Perhaps more impressive has been the back-court production compliments of some new faces.  Impressive - Yes. Expected - No. Let’s take a closer look.

Throughout the course of any off-season we always hear murmurs of how the “new guys” are playing, of what to expect in the coming year. We knew Posley had DI experience from his time at Ball State and people seemed pretty high on Jay (most were higher on Jalen). But I would imagine few predicted the numbers that this true “one-two punch” have been depositing. If you ask me, Jay Adams and Marcus Posley have been a revelation.

Posley lets his numbers do the talking… currently the leagues scoring leader, in the clubhouse at 17.6 ppg and young Jay is averaging 12.0 ppg in his Freshman Season, good enough for 21st in the league. Combine their scoring numbers together and the back-court is tickling the twine to the tune of 41% of the Bonnies’ total offense. Not too shabby!

In college hoops, good numbers don’t always equate to wins. Certainly, grit, passion and team basketball often trumps talent. However, I often find that a more in depth analysis of numbers helps when searching for the ‘right’ recipe of success. Take a look at the below chart:

  Marcus Jay Combined
Overall Average 17.6 12.0 29.6
In Wins 15.5 14.3 29.8
In Losses 21.8 7.5 29.3

Numbers don’t lie… if this is the case, then the recipe for Bonaventure wins has been a more balanced attack from our back-court. While I love watching a player shoot the lights out and drop 30+ it seems that such nights wouldn’t always chalk one up in the W column. Posley is shooting 41% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. Jay is knocking down 47% from the field and 42% from long range. Perhaps Jay should get up some more shots. This should aid the goal of a more balanced attack, taking some pressure off Posley. One thing is for certain, Posley and Jay have been bright spots this year. Posley has been the team’s high scorer in 7 games this year, including a streak of the last 5 times out. Jay has led the Bonnies in scoring on 2 occasions. That’s 75% of games when our “one-two punch” has led the way.

Adams is on his way to a heck of a career as a Bonnie.

Adams is on his way to a heck of a career as a Bonnie.

So where do Marcus and Jay stack up against recent Bonaventure back-courts? Let’s check the numbers:

Back-Court Pairings PPG
01-02 02-03 03-04 12-13 13-14 14-15
Bremer Green Green Kloof Kloof Polsey
Green Gansey Smith Mosley Wright Adams
24.6 21.3 19.4 5.3 11.8 17.6
15.4 13.9 10.3 13.2 16.3 12.0
Total: 40.0 Total: 35.2 Total: 29.7 Total: 18.5 Total: 28.1 Total: 29.6

Would any of you have guessed that Posley and Adams would have been the most prolific back-court offense in over a decade? Doubtful.

I’m excited to see how they hold up during the grueling conference schedule. As a freshman Jay will have to mature quickly as the intensity and pressure build in the coming months. Let’s hope that Posley continues to knock-down big shots and uses his 2 ½ years of experience wisely.

The Best Part: They’re both coming back! That’s right. Our new favorite pair of guards will be back next year. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, the season is far from over and I have a feeling these two are just heating up.

Go Bonnies.


Keeping the Faith

Being a fan isn’t always easy, but games like the A10 final in 2012 make it all worth it for diehards.

ONE & TEN… That’s right, after last night’s win in Newark, the Blue Hens of Delaware are now 1-10. I made the decision not to write up a post-game immediately following the loss, not because I’m lazy, but because I was furious, ashamed, embarrassed… perhaps the best word to describe it was ‘disgusted.’

The 2014-2015 Jekyll & Hyde Bonnies is what people are saying. “Everyone has off nights.” The reality is that this team, these Bonnies, are mediocre at best. Sure, there is talent on the floor. We have a seven footer averaging 10.6 ppg / 11.6 rpb /3.0 bpg. His front-court counterpart is averaging 13.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg. Our back-court tandem is a pair of players who rank 2nd and 25th in the league in scoring; and our SF is holding his own, pouring in 10.8 ppg along with 5.7 rpg. That’s a starting 5 that looks damn good on paper, right? So what does this talented group equate to? 7 wins and 4 losses. The truth is, this team has beaten NOBODY and lost to some awful teams.

Bonnie’s fans are a one-of-a-kind. We root for our Brown and White with burning passion, we hold onto hope and set lofty expectations, and we never give up. It’s not an easy ride. This year’s roller-coaster season has been nothing short of sickening. After last week’s loss to UMES, I slammed my macbook so hard that my girlfriend screamed at me. Told me that I needed to chill, that it’s just a game. After last night’s loss, I gently closed my macbook, walked to the bathroom and took a hot shower. Maybe she was right? Maybe it’s just a game? Nahhhh. It’s not just a game. Anyone who has taken in a game at the Reilly Center knows that. It’s a family. It’s the desire to win, and when you don’t, it’s the faith you must have that eventually you will.

I intentionally did not list player names to each individual’s statistics above. Of course, we all know who they are, but it doesn’t matter. Those numbers don’t mean anything. The only thing that matters in any sport is wins and losses. Basketball is a TEAM game where the success of any team is determined by their cohesiveness as a unit.

I tweeted last night that this team simply does not know how to win. We go on runs, take leads and then play carelessly loose and give them away. We make poor decisions and “freshman mistakes.” Well I’ve had enough. I’m tired of pits in my stomach and rage in my heart. This team is desperately searching for an identity. And I am desperately hoping that they find the answer.

Tomorrow is a New Year and Saturday is the start of the second half of the season – Conference Play. I’ll remain hopeful. I’ll have faith that this team will mature, adapt and evolve into something better. Then again, I’m just a Bonnies fan.