Thoughts from the Bonnies’ 64-58 victory over Siena at the Times Union Center on Monday:
- Mosley, Wright will be key to beating 2-3 zone: We figured that many teams would play a 2-3 zone against the Bonnies this year. It makes sense, seeing that Nicholson’s touches become limited and St. Bonaventure is forced to make jump shots, which obviously isn’t the strength to the Bonnies offense. This year, though, there is reason to believe SBU will have more success against the zone, thanks to improved play from Matthew Wright and the scoring ability of Eric Mosley. Both players hit huge shots against Siena on Monday, and both will play a major role in beating the zone throughout the season.
- Davenport’s limited minutes due to a combination of things: Michael Davenport’s limited playing time — he saw the floor for only 10 minutes of action vs. Siena — is due to a number of reasons, both offensively and defensively. First and foremost, Matthew Wright was doing a much better job handling Siena’s 2-3 zone, and Wright has also been playing solid defense of late. Speaking of the defensive side of the ball, Davenport has had some key breakdowns in the last two games (Friday at CSU and Monday at Siena), and Coach Mark Schmidt is expecting much more from the senior guard on ‘D’. One bright spot for Michael? He hasn’t been turning the ball over. He didn’t commit any turnovers against Siena, and only had one of St. Bonaventure’s 23 on Friday at Cleveland State. Rest assured, Davenport will continue to start for the Bonnies, and if he gets the message — especially on defense — that Coach Schmidt is trying to send him, he’ll still be a key contributor this season.
- Zone offense still needs work: Siena is the first of a number of teams that will play St. Bonaventure almost exclusively in the 2-3 zone. The Bonnies have had trouble against the zone for the last few seasons, and it directly attributed to the bad loss at home against Niagara last year. Quite simply, SBU needs to get much better in their offensive attack. There was improvement in the second half, but the zone offense still isn’t where Mark Schmidt needs it to be. To be successful in the half-court, guards need to dribble penetrate on a regular basis, and the ‘bigs’ (Nicholson, Cook, Ndoye, Houseknecht), should make use of the high-post and short-corner. When the offense gets stagnant, Bona relies too much on just swinging the ball around the perimeter. This team cannot just settle on shooting a certain amount of three’s, simply because the opposition is playing the 2-3. Also, look for the Bonnies to run the floor in transition, attempting to get to the basket before the opposing team can set the zone. There are still ways to get the ball inside, and as we all know, if Andrew Nicholson is touching the basketball on a regular basis, the chances of winning are much better.
Stay tuned for a full podcast, recapping the Cleveland State and Siena games and previewing the upcoming Virginia Tech game, on Wednesday.