Yay! Bonnies “earn” two victories over Syracuse

The Bonnies "picked" up two wins over Syracuse and this scumbag today!

The Bonnies “picked” up two wins over Syracuse and this scumbag today!

The Bonnies didn’t play today, but they may have picked up a couple victories from an old rival.

The Syracuse program was hit by  NCAA with penalties today, including the vacating of more than 100 victories in which ineligible “student-athletes” (ha!) played during the 2004-07 and 2010-12 seasons.

The Bonnies were “defeated” during the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons by Syracuse at the Carrier Dome under then-coach Anthony Solomon.

Adding a couple wins to those miserable post-scandal seasons is nice. It’s even better coming from Syracuse and its whiny, scumbag coach.

The Bonnies “lost” to No. 3 Syracuse, 91-67, on Dec. 1, 2004. Wade Dunston led SBU with 17 points that night. Michael Lee, then a freshman, added 16 points as the Bonnies remained winless at 0-4.

In a closer game on Dec. 30, 2006, Tyler Relph tallied 19 points and nearly willed the Bonnies to the upset. Freshman Jourdan Morris added 11 points in the first half as the Orange only led 35-34 at intermission. Tyler Benson buried a 3-pointer with under a minute left to make it 75-70 before Syracuse pulled away for the “loss.”

Cheers to two more wins!

Eighth seed might provide Bonnies an easier path to A-10 semifinal round

The Bonnies will the seventh or eighth seed in Brooklyn. You care about this but Jay-Z doesn't.

The Bonnies will be the seventh or eighth seed in Brooklyn. You care about this but Jay-Z doesn’t.

What should the Bonnies be hoping for on Saturday? Let’s try to sort things out.

The Bonnies will either be the seventh seed or the eighth seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament and face either La Salle or Saint Joseph’s. At least we know this much.

The Bonnies finish seventh if:

  • They beat Fordham AND George Washington loses at UMass.
  • They beat Fordham, George Washington beats UMass AND Davidson finishes as the outright league champion. (Davidson has to win at Duquesne and Dayton has to lose at La Salle for Davidson to win the title outright)

The Bonnie finish eighth if:

  • They lose.
  • They win, George Washington wins, AND Davidson and Dayton finish tied for first.

To me this is the most likely scenario:

The Bonnies win and GW loses on Saturday. SBU is slotted seventh and will face La Salle at 6:30 Thursday night in Brooklyn.

That is all and well, except for one thing: if the Bonnies defeat La Salle, Dayton is likely looming as SBU’s quarterfinal round opponent. That’s not good.

If the Bonnies end up in eighth, they will likely meet Saint Joseph’s at noon Thursday. A win in that game would mean a quarterfinal matchup against Davidson (the Wildcats earn the top seed by winning at Duquesne in the regular season finale). This is better.

Whether the Bonnies play St. Joe’s or La Salle, it will essentially be a pick ’em game in Vegas. The Bonnies topped the Hawks twice, but both games were battles to the end. La Salle won handily in Olean but the Explorers’ A-10 record shows they’re not as good as they played that night.

Dayton, of course, pounded SBU twice. The Bonnies nipped Davidson at the buzzer on the road. I don’t see the Bonnies beating Dayton on a neutral floor. I give them a chance against Davidson.

In other words, the seventh or eighth seed doesn’t really matter in the opening round. Where it does matter is in the quarters.

If Dayton happens to take the first seed, I’m all for finishing seventh. Otherwise, I’m just fine with eighth.

Convince me otherwise in the comments section below.

Adams is awesome baby, with a capital ‘A’

Swaggy Jay Adams is pretty good in the A-10, according to Dick Vitale.

Swaggy Jay Adams is pretty good in the A-10, according to Dick Vitale.

Dipsy doo dunkaroo! Jaylen Adams is a Diaper Dandy baby!

Resident college basketball blowhard Dick Vitale stopped thinking about Duke for a minute or two and handed out some season-end awards.

For what it’s worth, Dickie gave Diaper Dandy of the Year in the Atlantic 10 to SBU’s Adams. (For those unfamiliar with Vitale parlance, Diaper Dandy means talented freshman.)

It’s highly unlikely Dick has seen Adams play this season, but it’s a nice honor nonetheless for Swaggy Jay, who has been out with a thumb injury.

Speaking of the thumb, CBS college basketball pundit Gary Parrish tweeted that Swag will likely be back in time for the start of the A-10 tourney. Clearly, Parrish has a source – or a source of a source – within the SBU athletic department.

SBU’s own Shannon Shepherd (with an E) first brought this good news to our attention. Thank you Shannon!

Who do you want to play? A-10 Tournament scenarios for the Bonnies

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Bonnies can finish no lower than ninth and no better than seventh in the Atlantic. Most likely, they will finish eighth or ninth and be matched up against La Salle at noon on Thursday, March 12 in the conference tournament.

SBU, currently in eighth-place at 8-8, closes with very winnable games at Saint Louis and home to Fordham. Let’s take a look at some A-10 tournament scenarios:

The Bonnies finish seventh if:

  • They win their last two AND George Washington (seventh-place at 8-8) loses either at home to George Mason or at Massachusetts.
  • They win one of their last two AND GW loses its last two.

The Bonnies finish eighth if:

  • They win their last two AND George Washington wins their last two.
  • They win one of their last two AND La Salle (ninth-place at 7-9) loses either at home against Saint Joseph’s or at Dayton.
  • They lose their last two AND La Salle loses its last two.

The Bonnies finish ninth if:

  • They win one of their last two AND La Salle wins both of their last two.
  • They lose both of their last two AND La Salle wins one of their last two.

Edit to add:

Thanks to the diligent work of SBU alum Jeff Madigan, it was realized that the Bonnies can finish sixth, though it will take an act of God.

Ideally, the Bonnies would face Saint Joseph’s, whom they have beaten twice already. The Hawks can still move into ninth, but they will likely finish 10th and face the seventh-seed.

The Bonnies lost to La Salle at home and were trampled at GW this past week. I would give SBU the edge in a rematch against La Salle but not against GW.

What do you think is the best case A-10 tournament scenario for the Bonnies? Comment below.

Looking ahead to a possible quarterfinal matchup, ideally the Bonnies would meet either Davidson or Rhode Island and avoid Dayton or VCU.

Dayton, Davidson and URI are tied atop the standings at 12-4. VCU is 11-5. The mess at the top will be sorted out this week.

The winner of the 7-10 game meets the No. 2 seed while the 8-9 winner meets No. 1.

The Bonnies have been hammered twice by Dayton, lost a close game at URI, won at Davidson (on a buzzer-beater), and used another buzzer-beater to top VCU (without leading scorer and rebounder Treveon Graham) at an amped-up Reilly Center.

URI has many young and inexperienced players and could be vulnerable in the tournament setting. The Bonnies won at Davidson, so they should possesses the confidence to beat the Wildcats again.

Sorry, but I can’t envision SBU victories against Dayton or VCU at full strength on a neutral floor. Try to convince me otherwise in the comments section below.

Remembering a rivalry: SBU-Duquesne

Ahmad Smith guaranteed victory over Duquesne when the teams met on homecoming weekend 2006. Unfortunately, the Bonnies didn't come through with a win.

Ahmad Smith guaranteed victory over Duquesne when the teams met on homecoming weekend 2006. Unfortunately, the Bonnies didn’t come through with a win.

I was surprised to see that the Bonnies have won five of the last six meetings against longtime rival Duquesne. It seems like these foes split every season. It seems like the road team always wins.

The Bonnies miraculous comeback against the Dukes in Pittsburgh earlier this season was sort of a par-for-the-course game in this rivalry. When the Bonnies and Dukes meet, it’s best to expect the unexpected.

They meet again today at the Reilly Center, which should be packed for homecoming weekend. Talking with other close SBU followers, there is little confidence in the Bonnies going into this game.

The Dukes can bury 3-pointers left and right. And, of course, the Bonnies can’t defend them, no matter where they’re coming from.

Plus: the Bonnies haven’t been very good without Swaggy Jay Adams. It feels like Marcus Posley hasn’t hit a shot since that game-winner three weeks ago against VCU. The team has no depth. They haven’t been very good at home. George Washington embarrassed them Wednesday.

But, you never know when these two teams meet.

What St. Bonaventure-Duquesne games do you remember most? Comment below.

Ian and I were reminiscing about past SBU-Duquesne games yesterday when I brought up Ahmad Smith’s guarantee game in 2006.

The Bonnies were bad, but the Dukes were somehow even worse. It was homecoming weekend and both teams were 0-6 in the Atlantic 10. After the Bonnies were pounded at Dayton days earlier, Smith announced that they would bounce back against the Dukes – “guaranteed.”

The Bonnies fell behind 15 points at the half, recovered to take a 5-point lead late and then coughed up the advantage in an 86-82 loss. Anthony Solomon demanded that Smith, who totaled 27 points and 12 rebounds, apologize for his pronouncement in the post-game press conference. (The apology was half-assed and Smith later admitted as much.)

Almost exactly a month later, the Bonnies eked out a 77-76 win over the Dukes in Pittsburgh. It one of two SBU A-10 victories that season. Duquesne’s lone conference win that year came on homecoming weekend in late January in Olean.

The next season, the Dukes also beat the Bonnies in the Reilly Center, as coach Ron Everhart rolled in line after line of players for a 111-92 victory. And, the Bonnies won again in Pittsburgh, 97-94, behind career games from A.J. Hawkins, Tyler Benson and – believe it or not – Ivan Kovacevic.

That was the last win the Bonnies recorded under Solomon, who had dismissed Zarryon Fereti from the team and had fellow guard Jermaine Calvin quit on him the day before the game.

We can only imagine what will play out this afternoon.

Good thing Bonnies have fared well on road because RC advantage is no more

The Reilly Center has often been a lonely place for the Bonnies under Mark Schmidt.

The Reilly Center has often been a lonely place for the Bonnies under Mark Schmidt.

The Reilly Center still carries a reputation for being one of the more challenging venues in the Atlantic 10 for an opponent to conquer. I’m not sure why.

Perhaps it is because the students are almost literally on top of the court, chiding the opposition face-to-face. The old arena still shakes with enthusiasm and excitement – not to mention noise – when St. Bonaventure is playing well. Such an atmosphere can prove daunting, yet also motivational for visitors.

Perhaps it is because past glory is difficult to forget or let die. There were many times when the Bonnies were unbeatable on their home court. The Rowdies put fear into the likes of Boeheim, Calipari and Chaney, among others.

Jay Bilas once called the RC one of the five most hostile arenas in the country. The SBU home has also received props from Dick Vitale, Joe Lunardi and countless others.

In reality, the Reilly Center has become just another arena in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies are 31-31 in A-10 home games since Mark Schmidt took over in 2007.

They are 9-13 over the last three seasons, including 2-4 this year. They actually have won more road conference wins over that time. Since Schmidt has been coach, SBU is 21-42 in A-10 road games – not a bad mark considering the team was underdog in at least 75 percent of those contests.

Saturday’s overtime victory at Saint Joseph’s moved the Bonnies to 4-3 in A-10 road games this season. They are in the thick of the middle of the conference because they have found ways to win away from the Reilly Center.

I’m not sure why Schmidt’s teams don’t win more at home and play relatively well on the road. Maybe the coach and the team feel less pressure to win when playing on the road. Maybe they play more freely. Maybe they are motivated to succeed by opposing fans.

The Bonnies have more four more regular season games – two at home, two on the road. All of them are winnable. All are losable.

Something about the wide ups and downs of this season tell me the Bonnies will split the final four games. I could see them winning at George Washington Wednesday and coming home to an alumni weekend crowd and losing to Duquesne. That is how unpredictable this team has been.

Give the guy a break

Since Malcolm Eleby, I’m not sure there has been a SBU player that has taken more heat on the Tweet machine and message boards than Andell Cumberbrick, ahem, Cumberbatch.

Some of the criticism has been warranted. Cumberbatch has been more inconsistent than his team this season, if that’s possible.

This tweet came during Cumberbatch’s best game of his SBU careeer:

The Bonnies surely wouldn’t have defeated St. Joe’s without @SmooveAce.

The senior tallied 15 points, canned four of the SBU’s six 3-pointers (on 5 attempts), grabbed seven rebounds and guarded the A-10’s best player the entire game – meaning Cumberbatch and DeAndre’ Bembry went at each other for 45 minutes and the matchup was essentially a wash.

Here’s hoping Smoove ignores the Twitter bashers and rides the momentum of Saturday’s performance to a strong end to his senior year.

Flyers pound Bonnies again. SIGH


The Flyers flew all over the Bonnies like they were the Wright Brothers and the Bonnies were the earth.

It’s going to be a long bus ride home for the Bonnies through snow and ice and the wide expanses of nothingness in the state of Ohio after they were handed their asses again by Dayton at UD Arena Saturday afternoon.

Final: Flyers 76, Bonnies 61.

In early January UD pounded SBU at the Reilly Center. At least then the Bonnies could just stammered across the desolate, student-less campus to their dorms/apartments after taking their whooping.

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere within five feet of Mark Schmidt after that national TV pounding. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on the same bus with him for 6 ½ hours.

The rundown

The Bonnies led once – once – after Dion Wright made a layup a minute, 22 seconds into the game. It was essentially all Dayton from there.

The Flyers led by as many as 11 points in the first half, by eight at halftime and maxed out with a 19-point edge thereafter.

Iakeem Alston, making his first start with the Bonnies, kept his team close in the first half after a rough start. Meanwhile, his fellow backcourt mate, Marcus Posley, was off his game again.

Jordan Sibert (24 points) and Dyshawn Pierre (15 points, 13 rebounds) keyed the Flyers, who shot 52 percent from the floor. #TrueTeam . Apparently, a #TrueTeam consists of players that violate rules and get kicked to the curb. LOL.

The Turning Point (Part 1)

After Alston got heated up, the Bonnies pulled within 28-24 with possession of the ball. Andell Cumberbatch missed a nice look at a 3-pointer with 4 ½ left before halftime and SBU never got closer.

The Turning Point (Part 2)

The Bonnies still only trailed by six with 1.4 seconds left in the first half. Sibert took a baseline inbound pass and was fouled by Cumberbatch while shooting a long jumper. Sibert buried both freebies and, instead of going into halftime down a six-pack, SBU limped to its locker room down eight.

The Bonnies left the floor while Sibert shot his free throws. Schmidt, meanwhile, stayed behind to glare fiercely at one of the refs. Such fierce glaring did not change the call or the score. It also did not ignite the Bonnies in the second half.

Bad Stat (Part 1)

The Bonnies did not make a 3-pointer. They were 0-11. Marcus Posley, the team’s best perimeter shooter (allegedly), was 0-7.

The Bonnies also did not a hit a 3 against Richmond about a month ago. They were 0-10 in that game.

La Salle, by the way, has a streak of making at least one 3 in a game since the ’80s, I believe.

Bad Stat (Part 2)

The Bonnies had six assists and 17 turnovers. Swaggy Jay Adams? Where are you?

There are more bad stats. I just don’t feel like digging through them.

Enter Sandbag

Marcus Posley, AKA The Sandman, AKA MP3, AKA Big Shot Pose, had about as much positive effect on the Bonnies as a wet sandbag. AKA Wet Sandbag.

Posley is clearly the Bonnies MVP this season. He has had a helluva run. He was the national player of the week for heaven sakes. He should be at the very least second team Atlantic 10.

BUT … he hasn’t been very good in the overall grand scheme of things since torching Duquesne with a 36-point, 12-20, 8-11 effort in that miraculous victory in Pittsburgh.

In those six games since and including Saturday’s 5-18, 0-7, 12 points, Posley is 25-88 from the field (28 percent), 8-43 on 3-pointers (19 percent) and is averaging 11.5 points. AKA Not Good.

Alston is A-OK

Alston, after turning it over twice in the Bonnies first three possessions, settled in nicely. He scored seven consecutive points and took a charge right in the chops during a dynamic stretch in the first half that got SBU back in the game.

Alston, a junior college transfer who came to SBU pretty highly regarded, scored 11 points on 4-4 shooting and only turned it over one more time after the first two.

Dayton defenders had a tough time keeping Alston in front of them, as he finished two layups on drives – plus the foul.

Alston just needed some confidence – in himself and from his coach. They may turn it over a little more, but I think the Bonnies will be OK without Swag.

Swaggy officially ruled out

When the Olean Times Herald’s J.P. Butler asked Schmidt about Swagster’s injury on Friday, the coach refused to comment.

By Saturday morning, the tone had changed: SBU sent out a press release saying Swag was out indefinitely “after surgery to repair a fracture/dislocation in the ring finger of his right hand.”

There is no timetable for Swaggy’s return, though the release indicated the player could return this season. He sat on the bench Saturday with a huge cast covering his hand.

We broke the news here first.

Something to be optimistic about (sort of)

If you take away Posely’s 5-18 effort (boy that would be nice), the Bonnies shot 21-35 from the field (60 percent).

Youssou Ndoye (7-10) and Dion Wright (4-6) combined to shoot 11-16. Ndoye should have touched the ball more in the post. Posley should have forced perimeter shots less (or at least hit a few more).

Something else to be optimistic about

Thanks to Ndoye, Wright, Denzel Gregg and the slashing of Alston, the Bonnies scored 50 points in the paint. The ball should have went their every possession against the smaller Flyers. Clearly, it did not.

Taqqee gets some burn

With Swagger out, freshman guard Idris Taqqee received 17 minutes of playing time. He reminds me of Jordan Gathers when Gathers was a freshman – horrible shooter, aggressive defender, lots of potential. It’s a good thing that he will be seeing more of the court down the stretch of this season.

Closing word

Dayton still sucks.