A-10: Observations From St. Bonaventure’s Exhibition Victory


The St. Bonaventure Bonnies looked good in their 86-45 exhibition victory over the Division II Mansfield University Mountaineers on Saturday.

St. Bonaventure controlled the entire game and didn’t trail after Mansfield scored the opening bucket of the game. The Bonnies led by 26 at halftime and saw their lead grow to as many as 43. Their lead was never fewer than seven after opening the game on a 15- 5 run.

With such a big lead, coach Mark Schmidt was able to give each of his 14 healthy players some playing time, including both of his walk-ons — Quentin Weinerman and Opeyemi Olemo. This had to be the ideal scenario for Schmidt with six newcomers on the roster. Senior guard Jordan Gathers did not dress for the game.

"“I thought the performance was a good one. We got what we wanted out of the game … I’m proud of how we played. “We’ve got to go back to work on Monday. We’re nowhere near where we need to be. But I thought from our scrimmage to the Mansfield exhibition game, I thought we made some progress,” – Schmidt said."

While St. Bonaventure was impressive overall – they should have been having such an advantage over the Mountaineers in talent, athleticism and height – they did make several mental mistakes that can’t reoccur during the regular season.

These mistakes included not going after a rebound due to not realizing that it was not a double-bonus situation – Mansfield grabbed an uncontested defensive rebound as a result — freshman Jordan Tyson committing a lane violation on a Mountaineer free throw, junior college transfer Iakeem Alston fouling a 3-point jump shooter and Dion Wright getting whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a dunk.

St. Bonaventure opens the regular season against Dartmouth at home on Nov. 15.The following is my evaluation of the Bonnies’ heading into the regular season.

1. Guard play is going to be key. The Bonnies are loaded in the backcourt as nine of their 15-man roster are guards – this excludes Denzel Gregg who can play three positions – and most are very athletic. This fits very well into Schmidt’s philosophy of pushing the ball and using a three guard lineup.

With Gathers not being able to play, Schmidt started true freshman Jaylen Adams along with junior Marcus Posley and senior Andell Cumberbatch. Alston, Jalen Adams and Idris Taqqee also saw considerable amount of action.

Jaylen Adams and Alston are the two true point guards on the roster though Posley and Gathers have the ability to play the position. Cumberbatch can as well in an emergency situation.

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The takeaway: Jaylen Adams and Alston did an outstanding job at running the team as they combined for 11 assists and three turnovers. Both are extremely quick, have the ability to create for others and did an outstanding job at getting into the paint.

They are good distributors, though they need to look inside more often particularly when Youssou Ndoye is in the game, and were strong defensively. However, they will need to be able to hit some shots to take pressure off the others – Adams looked good on his shot but was just 2-of-7 from the field and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc while Alston was 0-of-2 from the floor.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Adams was aggressive on the offensive end and got to the rim a lot. He was 4-of-11 from the field and grabbed five caroms, four coming on the offensive end, along with three steals.

Of their 19 first half field goals, 17 were credited with an assist with the guards combining for 14 of them. The Bonnies were only credited with six assists on 15 second half field goals – each of the assists were attributed to a guard.

2. Playing fast. With all the athleticism the Bonnies’ possess, they want to play fast on both ends of the court. With 11 of their top 12 players being able to run the floor well, they want to get out in transition as much as possible.

Moreover, they want to use their 1-2-2 press to create turnovers as they don’t have anyone outside Ndoye and Posley that can score in the half-court.

3. Dion Wright. Wright is the heart and soul of the Bonnies. He is very long and athletic which serves him extremely well in his role. Offensively, Wright doesn’t need to have any plays called for him as he will score off offensive rebounds, in transition and on cuts.

But his real value is on the defensive end, as he is the head of the Bonnies’ zone press and moves his feet extremely well – there won’t be many stretch -fours that will get by him off the dribble. He could have trouble with physical power forwards in the low post but his length will aid him there.

Wright scored 20 points, on 10-of-12 shooting, and grabbed six rebounds with three coming on the offensive end.

4. Youssou Ndoye. The 7-footer is the quintessential center, as he is long and strong. He is an excellent rim protector and good rebounder. Ndoye is also very agile, runs the floor well and has excellent body control. He knows how to use his body to get deep in the low post and some strong low-post moves.

With a big year, he could hear his name called in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft though he needs to improve his conditioning and increase the range on his jumper.

Ndoye had just four shots attempts in 19 minutes despite being in position and calling for the ball on numerous occasions. He finished with six points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.

5. Marcus Posley. Posley is a scorer who has the ability to score in bunches this year. He has a great shot and the ability to get to the basket. He is also a good ball-handler and willing passer. The most impressive thing about his game against Mansfield was his defense.

He denied his man the ball most of the game by using his strength, and when his man did have the ball Posley was able to keep the ball in front of him by exquisitely moving his feet.

Posley had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He was 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Posley also dished out three assists and had one steal.

6. Andell Cumberbatch. The 6’5” senior is very strong, athletic and an excellent rebounder. He is also a very talented defender. He tallied four points, had a team-high eight rebounds and dished out three assists.

7. Idris Taqqee. The 6’4” freshman needs to add muscle as he got thrown around while working to get position on defense. Taqqee is very athletic and that served him well versus Mansfield. He finished with eight points which included two 3-pointers, grabbed three caroms and had two steals.

Unlikely to see a ton of action this year, as he is a year away from being a valuable contributor.

8. Denzel Gregg. The 6’7” sophomore is a freak athlete with an improved jumper. He does need to improve his defense if he expects to see increased minutes this year. He finished with 11 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, to go along with five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.

9. Chris Dees. The 6’8” bruiser looked lost on the defensive end and will need to step up his play if the Bonnies are going to have any success in conference play. He is the only other post player with a considerable amount of experience. Saw only four minutes of playing time against Mansfield.

10. Xavier Smith. The 6’8” sophomore demonstrated his potential against Mansfield but is on the slight side and is still a little green. The athletic forward had four points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.

11. Jordan Tyson. The 6’10 freshman oozes with athleticism and potential but needs to learn the game. He fouled out in just seven minutes of action.

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