Quick Hits: St. Bonaventure 64, Siena 58

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2011 by bonapodcast

Thoughts from the Bonnies’ 64-58 victory over Siena at the Times Union Center on Monday:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Keys to the Game: Cleveland State

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2011 by bonapodcast

J.P. Butler

  • The Bonnies have an opportunity to pick up a nice road win over a quality opponent Friday night when they face Cleveland State in the Wolstein Center. It’s the type of game that, down the road, could have postseason implications, allowing that CSU is as good as advertised after its beatdown of No. 7 Vanderbilt last weekend. The Vikings are a senior-laden team with a big front line and guards who can lock down defensively and fill it up on the offensive end. They should be a contender once again in the Horizon League despite losing all-conference selection Norris Cole, who was selected in the first round of last June’s NBA Draft. The two keys for Bona will be handling CSU’s full-court pressure and limiting the penetration of the Vikings’ backcourt – making this game one of the biggest tests of the season for the Bonnies’ guards. This is essentially the same team which forced SBU into a season-high 24 turnovers in an 18-point victory last season. It’s picked up right where it left off, forcing an average of 24 turnovers over its first two contests, including 20 (via 15 steals) in its triumph over Vanderbilt. The Bonnies obviously have to do a better job than they did last year in this department, which means being stronger with the ball, slowing the pace of the game down, knowing when to break, executing in halfcourt sets and hoping that having two point guards (Eric Mosley and Charlon Kloof) with good ball-handling ability means a brighter outlook than having Ogo Adegboye handle the pressure by himself. A lot of Cleveland State’s offense is generated by its defense. It gets into guys the whole way and creates steals which lead to easy baskets — it’s the reason they went on a 23-4 to open the second half against Schmidt’s team last year. Bona can’t allow that to happen if its going to have any chance on Friday. If the guards pass the test and Andrew Nicholson isn’t overwhelmed by CSU’s size inside, the Bonnies could add their first signature win to a postseason resume.

Adam Bennett

  • Limit turnovers, handle pressure: Cleveland State is a guard oriented team which thrives on creating turnovers and scoring the ball in transition. Last year, the Bonnies coughed it up 24 times at the Wolstein Center, and the result was an 18 point beatdown at the hands of the Vikings. This season, with much greater depth and athleticism at both guard positions, there’s reason to believe St. Bonaventure can have success. In order to do that, though, they’ll need to show they’ve substantially improved in three key areas that hurt them last year: dealing with full-court pressure, stopping guard penetration, and protecting the ball in their half-court sets. Look for coach Mark Schmidt to slow the tempo of the game, which will be a change from the fast-paced, transition offense the Bonnies displayed against Cornell in the season opener. Andrew Nicholson will have an opportunity to score major points down low if the Bonnies can beat the pressure and find him inside.

Derek Howard

  • Taking care of the ball and being physical. By now, Bona fans have heard that Cleveland State knocked off a top-10 team in Vanderbilt, but it was how they did it that scares me. They have guards that have quick hands and put a ton of pressure on the opposing backcourt – a big reason why Vanderbilt coughed the ball up 20 times and scored just 18 field goals. D’Aundray Brown is a 6-4 senior who had 18 points and eight rebounds against Vandy, and has seven steals in each of his first two gams. He plays great defense and helps the Vikings push the tempo. If the Bonnies are going to go in to Cleveland and win, Eric Mosley and Charlon Kloof are going to have to play smart, careful basketball. Cleveland State is also a very tough team, led by four seniors who push the underclassmen hard in practice, and the opponents even harder in games. Without Marquis Simmons, arguably the toughest player on the Bona squad, players like Jake Houseknecht will have to come in and prove they can battle down low and give Andrew and Da’Quan the backcourt support they’ll need.

Bona Podcast #3 – Wednesday, November 16

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2011 by bonapodcast

Click “play” in the media player above to access this week’s Bona Podcast, where J.P. Butler and Adam Bennett discuss:

  • SBU’s 79-58 victory over Cornell on Friday, November 11
  • Preview of the Bonnies’ game at Cleveland State on Friday
  • Injury update
  • How will St. Bonaventure cope with the loss of Marquise Simmons?
  • Recruiting update following the end of the fall signing period

As always, thanks for listening. Look for our “keys to the game” tomorrow.

Bonnies sign 6-7 SF Jean Yves Toupane

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2011 by bonapodcast

According to multiple sources, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team has signed 6-7 SF Jean Yves Toupane of Lee Academy (ME). Toupane is the first signing in the Bonnies’ class of 2012. The signing was verified by Toupane on Tuesday afternoon on his official twitter account:

@jean_y_toupane (2:12 p.m.): Next year going to Bonnies just sign to #Bonnies

Toupane was named a top prospect in the Elite 75-Class of 2012 New England Recruiting Report, and received an overall grade of 85 from ESPN. He was the 62nd overall rated prospect in the New England Class of 2012, according to HoopRootz.

Three Thoughts – St. Bonaventure 79, Cornell 58

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2011 by bonapodcast

Three thoughts from each of the three Bona Podcast analysts following St. Bonaventure’s 79-58 season opening victory over cornell:

J.P. Butler

  1. Second Half – After taking just a two-point lead into the break, Bona played a near-flawless final 20 minutes. It committed itself to the defensive end, holding Cornell to just 6-20 from the field and 20 total points. It hounded Cornell’s guards, especially leading scorer Eric Wroblewski – who finished 0-2 from the field – forced a number of contested looks from deep and was stout inside. The Bonnies kept up the fireworks offensively, shooting over 50 percent for the half, and they found Andrew Nicholson in better positions, allowing him 12 looks (5 of which he made) after he took just four shots in the first half. Most importantly, they came out strong – something it hadn’t done in the past – going on an early 15-4 run to take control
  2. Matthew Wright & Da’Quan Cook – Wright played arguably his most complete game as a Bonnie, recording a career-high seven rebounds and five assists to go along with 13 points (the third highest total of his career). The second half became a blowout in large part because of the play of Wright, who hit five shots, snagged a number of weakside rebounds and played a nice two-man game with Nicholson inside. Wright should be the spark off the bench this team didn’t have for much of last season. He may even start pushing starter Michael Davenport for minutes. Da’Quan Cook may not have gotten much glory, but he had a very solid game, collecting eight points and seven rebounds and had five points and two steals in the final minute of the first half to keep Bona up at the break.
  3. Doing What They Needed to Do – With more buzz and expectations to start a season in over a decade, Bona came out in front of a large crowd in its opener and did EXACTLY what it needed to do, taking care of a perceived inferior opponent by 20-plus points. And they did it despite the unfortunate injury to Marquise Simmons and the late loss of senior guard Michael Davenport. Nicholson was Nicholson, scoring 24 points to begin his assault on the all-time scoring list. A number of guys contributed. They played defense. They opened a half strong and “stepped on their opponent’s neck” when they needed to. And it’s the type of effort they needed heading into a difficult game on the road with Cleveland State this Friday.

Adam Bennett

  1. The second half of Friday’s season opener was the best half of defense I’ve seen St. Bonaventure play under Mark Schmidt. It’s even more impressive considering the way Cornell was shooting the ball in the first half. Many times, when the opposition is making just about every jump shot, it’s easy for a defense to get discouraged and lose a little effort. For the Bonnies, it was different. They dramatically improved their defensive effort in the second half – especially on the perimeter – and the end result was a decisive 21 point victory.
  2. Matthew Wright played his most complete game as a Bonnie on Friday night. His defensive effort was solid, he was very good on the glass, and he consistently hit that high-post jump shot, which gives him another element beside the 3-pointer. If he’s able to come off the bench and give that kind of effort night in and night out, I think this team has an even brighter future than most of us expected.
  3. The loss of Marquise Simmons for an extended period of time is certainly not good news. Simmons, who left in the first half with an apparent Achilles injury (although nothing has been made official by the university), figured to receive major minutes this year, and his loss will be tough to replace. Look for the Bonnies to play “small” more often throughout the non-conference slate, meaning Mosely/Kloof will run the point with Wright, Davenport, Conger and Nicholson on the floor. Jake Houseknecht will be stepping into a substantially bigger role, and Youssou Ndoye may now be counted on for 5-6 minutes off the bench.

Derek Howard

  1. Simmons’ injury will be a tough one for the team to overcome: If the Bonnies are going to have the season a lot of people are hoping for, they’re going to have to do it without Redshirt Junior Marquis Simmons, who appears to be out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. The injury happened after just two minutes on the court. Simmons does a great job in the paint and around loose balls, adding a hustle factor that will have to be made up for by Jake Houseknecht and starter Da’Quan Cook. This injury has to be devastating to Simmons. He’s a hard worker who missed his first 9 games of last season with a wrist injury. He tweeted Saturday “I jus can’t stop crying im so disappointed. Smh (shake my head)”. Nevertheless, ‘Quise knocked down both free throws with a suspsected torn Achilles and managed to stand and hobble over to each team huddle during timeouts. It was extremely tough to watch him use a walker to make it into the tunnel alone, after the rest of the team jogged off after the victory.
  2. Players knew their roles: Andrew was Andrew. The guards, Mosley and Kloof, took care of the ball, and although they could have looked to get the ball to Nicholson more, they seemed more confident and comfortable than they did in the exhibition game. Davenport (5-for-8 FG) and Conger (3-for-5 FG) both had great shot selection. The second-leading scorer Matthew Wright (13 pts.) played 27 minutes and tied Da’Quan Cook with a team-high 7 rebounds. Jake Houseknecht had a solid 10 minutes, something he will have to do every game in the absence of Simmons.
  3. The team didn’t get rattled by the Big Red’s red-hot start: It seemed like Cornell couldn’t miss in the first half, connecting on 8-for-14 from beyond the arc. But the Bonnies hung in there, and headed into the half with a 2-point lead. The Bonnies’ consistent play was the opposite of Cornell’s, which went 0-for-6 from long distance in the second half and was outscored by SBU 39-20. The Bonnies shot 50% from the field, something that can be attributed to Mark Schmidt’s play-calling and the players’ patience in letting those half-court offensive sets develop.

Bona Podcast #2 – Wednesday, November 9

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2011 by bonapodcast

Click “play” in the media player above to access this week’s Bona Podcast.

  • Review of exhibition victory over Mansfield
  • Preview of season opener vs. Cornell on Friday, November 11
  • Update on current recruiting targets
  • Updated injury report and roster evaluation
As always, thanks for listening.

VIDEO: Bona Podcast 2011-2012 Preview

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2011 by bonapodcast
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