Bonnies 2014 Non-Conference Schedule Finalized

N'Doye will lead the Bonnies down low in his senior season.

N’Doye will lead the Bonnies down low in his senior season.

The Bona Blog has attained the up to date and likely complete 2014 non-conference schedule for the Bonnies. We will dive more deeply into the schedule and have game by game breakdowns come the late summer/early fall. For now, check out the schedule below. My initial take is that the schedule is along the same lines as a year ago: easy enough to build some confidence with a “younger-ish” team with a few challenging games mixed in (Ohio, Delaware, Pitt all on the road). With the league going to a longer conference schedule the NC portion of the slate is shortened. Without further delay, here is how our 2014-15 Bonnies will kick off their season. Feel free to pass it on and discuss.

Dartmouth – Home

Siena – Home

Canisius – Home

Jackson State – Home

Niagara – in Buffalo

Buffalo – Home

Ohio – Away

Delaware – Away

Pitt – Away

Binghamton – Away

Maryland Eastern Shore – Home

Bona Blog Returns in Fall of 2014

Readers,

We know it has been a long, long time since our last post. Since than, we have seen the Brown and White win a league title, compete in the NCAA Tournament, have Andrew Nicholson drafted in the first round as well as made another trip back to the A10 Semi-Finals. Heck, we even won a bunch of games in the city of Philadelphia!

Having said that, we are pleased to announce that we will be retuning in the late summer/early fall of 2014 to writing and providing the Bonnies’s fans with a real place to go for up-to-date information on our favorite team.

We hope that you have been well and that you will come back to visit us soon!

-Ian Nolan, Creator/Editor/USBWA Member and 2008 SBU Grad

Bonas-SEMO Recap

By: Ryan Shannon

Make no mistake about it, Southeast Missouri State is not a good team.  In fact, they are awful.  Tonight was a good win for the Bonnies however.  The defense was suffocating, the team shot 54.5%, and the team hit 6 3-pointers, shooting 40% from behind the arc.  The Bonnies even had 18 assists.  There was one negative about this night, and that was the sloppiness of the Bonnies on offense.  21 turnovers is not acceptable, even in a 23 point win.  21 turnovers against Illinois St. equals a loss.  But thankfully against SEMO it did not. 

The Bonnies never trailed in this game, scoring the game’s first 15 points.  Chris Matthews came out on fire, scoring 11 of the team’s first 21 points.  Andrew Nicholson had a double-double by the end of the first half.  Our bench players got some great playing time tonight, giving our starters the ability to rest for the upcoming 2 games in the next 2 days.  This rest will prove important down the stretch of the BTI Classic, giving the Bonnies a freshness that Norfolk St. will not enjoy having today.  For the most part, this game went about as well as one can expect. 

What I Liked Tonight

1a. Chris Matthews.  He played exactly the way we need him to tonight.  14 points with 4-6 shooting behind the arc.  He needs to be a threat from distance for the team, and was exactly that.  In addition, Matthews had 0 turnovers.  He truly takes care of the ball well, and makes smart decisions.  Hopefully tonight’s shooting becomes more regular as the season progresses. 

1b. Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson is my favorite player to watch in the country.  A double-double in the first half?  This kid is amazing.  He also had 2 blocks tonight.  He is quickly climbing all the Bona record lists, and will be number 1 on a lot of them before his time is done.  Best stat of the night though?  26 minutes played.  He will be fresh tomorrow night, and ready to dominate again. 

3. Our Shooting.  When we weren’t turning the ball over, we played very well on the offensive end.  54.5% from the field and 40% from the 3-point line are very good numbers.  We also spread the scoring around, with three players being in double figures.  18 assists is a good indicator of how well we moved the basketball on offense. 

4. We Played Every Player Tonight.  Leaving out walkons, we played every scholarship player on our team tonight, which I bet Coach Schmidt loved.  Great job by Coach Schmidt tonight to work everybody in there and keep this team fresh. 

5. House Getting His First Points As A Bonnie.  A shoutout to House, and hoping that there are a lot more points to come.

What I Did Not Like Tonight

1. The Turnovers. Usually, turnovers are a problem for the Bonnies.  Tonight, they were especially awful at protecting the basketball.  21 turnovers against a team like SEMO indicates a lack of focus.  Hopefully that does not happen again. 

2. Free Throw Shooting.  The Bonnies shot 56.5% from the line, regressing at the free throw line and showing another sign of a lack of focus.  They have to tighten up from the free throw line and take advantage of these opportunities.  I believe tomorrow they will shoot a lot better from the line. 

Tomorrow will be a big game for the Bonnies.  If they can jump out to an early lead and rest their starters again, 3-0 in this tournament would be well within reach.  Gametime is at 9:30.  Go Bonas.

2-1 and Heading to Normal, Ill.

Davenport is averaging over eleven points through 3 games.

By: Ian Nolan

Heading into each season, I, like many other Bonaventure fans prefer to breakdown each game of the year in order to calculate wins and losses. This year, after three games I had the Bonnies pegged at 2-1, just like most of you probably did as well. After a heartbreaking one point defeat to St. John’s, the Bonnies returned home to smack around a Binghamton team so bad that even Solomon’s Bonnies might have rolled over them….ehh, maybe not that bad.
 
With the team heading to Normal, Ill. to take part of the BTI Classic, I thought it would be a good time to take some inventory and see where the Bonnies go from here, with the chance to head down to Mississippi with a 5-1 record.
 
The Good:
 
Andrew Nicholson: There will be no sophomore slump for the 6’9″ forward this year, something that many people wondered, including myself. Nicholson is averaging over seventeen points per game as well as 7 rebounds. He is shooting 54% from the floor, has blocked ten shots and is leading the Brown and White on both ends of the floor. Andrew is going to have to deal with constant attention given the Bonnies complete inability to shoot the basketball from deep, but if he gets any space down low he should continue to gobble up teams (Your one Thanksgiving reference). Before the year started some of my friends told me they thought Nicholson could be the best player in the league this year, and while I still don’t agree with them, I am starting to think that could be the case next fall.
 
Michael Davenport: Over eleven points through three games Davenport is making Chris Matthews look bad on the wing. He is a better ball handler, is more athletic by a country mile, plays better defense and gives the team some energy. While Matthews is able to stretch defenses with his shooting, he simply has not done that this year leading to more minutes for Davenport. Already at twenty-two minutes per game, Davenport will probably see those numbers continue to rise as he proves to Schmidt he is ready for the Atlantic 10 in his sohpmore season. My breakout player to watch in the summer certainly has made me look good early.
 
The Inside Scoring: The team is shooting a fantastic 52% from the floor through three games, which can be attributed to an inside game of wings and slashers, not credible forwards and centers. Hall, Davenport, Ogo, Eleby and Leonard give the Bonnies scoring from the paint and inside the three point line on drives and fast break chances. Matthews continues to be the lone deep threat (whether real or not) which is obviously a concern. At the rate that Nicholson converts from the field and given the number of layups the Bonnies score each game, the Brown and White should continue to have a high field goal percentage throughout the year, even without a number of quality shooters.
 
Do-it-all Jon Hall: Hall continues to impress in his senior season. Everyone is well aware of his turnovers issues and his shooting problems, but Hall needs some serious love. It is not often that a JUCO transfer can lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists in his first year of division one basketball; something that Hall accomplished last year. Now, Hall is right back where he left off averging over fourteen points and 5 rebounds a game. He is never going to a flashy player, never going to take over a game singlehandedly, but Hall is a very good division one player who does a variety of things well enough to offset the things he can’t. Schmidt called him a “glue guy” when he first signed him and I can now see why, Hall is a very solid player who helps the team in a variety of ways.
The Bad:
 
Outside Shooting: Simply put if Chris Matthews isn’t knocking down his three pointers than who is this team? Matthews is 5-17 (29%) from three and being that he is the lone sniper, those figures better improve soon if the Bonnies want to beat any quality teams. As a team, the Brown and White are shooting just 23% from three, a horrific number. List Davenport as the only other Bonnie to have knocked down 2 three points this year…yikes.
Free Throws: Same issue as last year, this team just does not have enough pure shooters. The Bonnies are shooting 64% from the line, a number that needs to improve by league play in order to win those road games against Charlotte and Duquesne. Eleby is 5-13 from the line while Hall is 4-8, ugly numbers from your point guard and swingman.  Schmidt really needs to have another shooter on this team next year given that Matthews will be gone. New  assistant coach Tyler Relph should be able to teach them a thing or two about shooting free throws, as a manager I once recall rebounding for Relph as he hit 99/100 from the line after a practice.
Turnovers: I feel like I’m just re-typing about last year at this point. We can’t shoot our free throws, we have one credible shooter, and we can’t hold onto the basketball. The Bonnies 46 assists to go with their 46 turnovers, you don’t have to work for STATS Inc. to know that this needs to improve to have any chance at an upper-half of the league finish. Hall has twelve turnovers to go with his 7 assists, Leonard has 4 turnovers and 1 assist while Nicholson actually only has 3 turnovers on the year, a good number compared to last year. Matthews somehow has ten assists and 2 turnovers, while our point guard Eleby has ten as well but 6 cough-ups. Many people thought Ogo would be the answer but to this point that has not been the case, the JUCO transfer has just one more assist than turnover at 8 to 7. Either the team needs to slow down the pace or find some players who value the basketball.

The Bearcats are Declawed.

By Ryan Shannon

Some worried the St. John’s game might have a lasting effect on the Bonnies. Some worried about our psyche after such a tough loss.  Tonight provided the perfect medicine for what the Bonnies endured on Tuesday.  The Bonnies were able to easily handle one of the worst teams in Division I basketball with a 66-40 win over Binghamton.  The Bonnies took the lead at 9-7, and never looked back.  The game stayed fairly close until the Bonnies went on an 11-0 run before halftime to make the score 32-17.  The Bonnies kept up the pace in the second half, eventually taking a 33 point lead.  The reserves then entered the game, gave the starters some well-deserved rest, and played well the rest of the game.  This was a much needed win after the loss on Tuesday, and will help the Bonnies move on from the 1-point loss to the Red Storm.

What I Liked

1. Balanced Scoring.  The leading scorer for the Bonnies, Jonathan Hall, only had 12 points tonight.  The second leading scorer, Michael Davenport, only had 10.  Altogether, they were the only two players in double figures.  Usually that would be a cause of concern.  Not tonight.  The Bonnies also had Chris Matthews and Andrew Nicholson score 9 points, with each only playing 27 minutes.  Most nights, Andrew will be the leading scorer.  That kind of production from him was not needed on this one.

2. A More Balanced Offense.  After hitting only one three-pointer last game, the Bonnies as a team shot 5-15 from behind the arc.  While this number is not stunning at all, it is a step in the right direction.  Chris Matthews was much more assertive tonight, shooting 3-8 from the 3-point line.  Michael Davenport was also a perfect 2-2 from behind the arc.  If those two keep shooting the rock from distance, it will force defenses to respect our outside game and take pressure off of Andrew to score every time in traffic. 

3. Chris Matthews’s Assertiveness.  I have been harsh on Chris these first two games.  Tonight was a step in the right direction.  Even though he only scored 9 points, he looked much more confident and willing to shoot from deep.  If we are to be anything this year, he needs to be a producer on this squad.  Liked what I saw tonight. 

4. Our Free Throw Shooting Improved.  Tonight Bonas shot 73% from the free throw line.  This is a marked improvement from the first two games that we played.  This week on the Bandwagon, people questioned the importance of free throws, using the Memphis team that went to the championship with Calipari as an example.  That comparison is comparing apples to oranges my friends.  Memphis is full of 5-star recruits, and has a considerable margin of error.  The Bonnies are full of lesser recruits, and do not enjoy the margin of error the top programs possess.  Therefore, in order to beat one of these programs, Bonas needs to do the little things to get points wherever they can.  Free throws are an important part of success for smaller programs.  This improvement was good to see. 

5. Getting to See All of Our Scholarship Players.  It was good to see everybody play tonight.  I really enjoyed watching this game.

What I Did Not Like

This section is going to be real nitpicky, because there isn’t much to write that you did not like in a 26 point blowout.  Here it goes.

1. Conger Tonight Looked Like a Freshman.  Conger will be a good player for us.  This I am sure.  The kid has great upside, crashes the boards agressively, and has great form on his jumpshot.  However, tonight he turned the ball over 4 times, had 0 assists, and shot 33%.  He looked lost at times on the court as well.  He is not ready to see significant minutes yet.  Once he is though, he will be a solid A-10 player. 

2. 15 Turnovers.  We still did not have more assists than turnovers in a game in which we won by 26.  Both point guards did take care of the ball well.  Hall and Conger, well, they did not.  They combined for 7 turnovers.  Conger I understand.  Hall is a senior who has great court vision and at times makes passes and plays off the bounce small forwards should not be able to make.  But then he just makes the dumbest turnovers in the world as well.  Gotta take the good with the bad I guess. 

3. Roseboro Reminds Me of a Young PVP.  Everybody remember when Peter Van Paasen began to play for the Bonnies?  Brett reminds me a lot of him.  Big bodied, not as athletic, yet shows some skill around the rim.  Brett will have his struggles this year, as PVP did in his younger days.  I think Brett will develop into a monster though.  Just goes to show that even the elite programs in Division I also recruit some projects.  While I don’t feel Brett is a project on the A-10 level, I feel that it will take some fine tuning until he gets his feet settled under him.  Which brings me to my final point…

4. House is an Atlantic-10 Project.  I want the local guy to succeed.  It is a great story for the Olean community.  He is not ready for this level of basketball.  He was overwhelmed tonight against Binghamton.  He will eventually be serviceable, and be able to provide minutes off the bench to spell our big men.  It might not be this year however.

Final Thoughts

Tonight’s game was a test only to see how the Bonnies would bounce back from their loss on Tuesday.  They bounced back just fine.  Friday the 27th the Bonnies take on Southeast Missouri St.  This one should go in the win column as well.  It is imperative the Bonnies win at least two games on this roadtrip.  If they can take 3 out of their next 4, then they will be ahead of schedule in my book. 

Early Prediction: St. Bonaventure 75, SE. Missouri St. 59

Four Factors Through Two Games

By Ray Floriani

The Bonnies need more of these, and less Chris Matthew's three pointers at the moment.

LYNDHURST, NJ – Two in the books. One and one. A good opportunity to look at some tempo free trends utilizing the Four Factors. The four factors, were devised by basketball statistical analyst Dean Oliver, now with the Denver Nuggets in that capacity, as simply the factors that allow teams to win games. A quick primer..

Effective field goal percentage (eFG) weights three pointers made into the equation.

EFG = FGM + (3PT FGM * .05)/FGA

FT Prod = FTM/FGA
This stat is a better measure of free throw proficiency. It’s one thing to get to the line. More important to take advantage of the trip by hitting the shot.

OREB PCT = Off rebs/ (off rebs + opp Def reb)

TO Rate – TO/Possessions
Possessions are calculated his way… POSS = FGA + (fta * .475) – OREB + TO

The Bonaventure breakdown the first two games. Bonnies on offense followed by defense, what the opposition posted for their four factors.

 

OFFENSE
EFG FT PROD OREB PCT TO RATE
Cleveland St. 63 30 29 25
St.John’s 55 33 30 22

DEFENSE

Cleveland St. 43 9 33 18
St.John’s 63 24 26 25

Notes…Tempo free studies indicate 20% the cutoff for taking care of the ball. Bonnies were 24% in A-10 play last season, the conference’s poorest mark. The 25% against Cleveland State saw a repeat of the TO malady. A 22% rate, against St.John’s, is still high but an improvement .

Effective field goal shooting was off the charts against Cleveland State. That was largely due to a 26 of 38 mark (68%) from two point range. Credit Andrew Nicholson’s 7 of 10 from the field en route to 17 points as a major catalyst.

On Tuesday the Bonnies won the offensive rebounding rate battle and forced the Red Storm to end one quarter of their 63 possessions in a turnover. The killer was the effective FG percentage. Bonnies shot well enough to win but allowing St.John’s a 63% mark, courtesy of 8 from 17 beyond the arc was a clear difference.

There is no set figure regarding how many of the factors you need to win. In other words having he edge in two or three of the factors can help but not necessarily guarantee a victory. Especially if your eFG is 15^. What the factors do is give an idea what a teams strengths and weakness are are. For a given game, number of games or season.

Next time out we will discuss possessions and offensive/defensive efficiency.

Bonas-St. John’s Recap

By Ryan Shannon

This one was close for the entire duration of the game.  After a 6-0 start by St. John’s, St. Bonaventure weathered the storm and eventually took a 17-16 lead.  But then trouble struck.  Both Andrew and Jonathan got saddled with their second fouls, taking the two leading scorers for the Bonnies out of the game.  To the Bonnies credit, they stuck in there and kept with the Johnnies.  This was in part due to the inspired play of Da’Quan Cook, who had 7 first half points and clearly established himself as the Bonnies 4.  The Bonnies were only down 2 at the half, after Ogo made a driving layup with 18 seconds left in the half.  The Bonnies were in great position to defeat a Big East foe for the second straight year. 

The Bonnies and Johnnies began the second half by trading baskets, with the score eventually becoming 44-44.  It was at this point the game hit a snag.  The Bonnies brought in Roseboro and Simmons to give Nicholson and Cook a rest.  The second line was unable to produce on the offensive end, allowing St. John’s to go on a 7-0 run, making the game 51-44.  St. John’s kept the Bonnies at a distance, as the lead stayed 7 with 3:27 left at 67-60.  This is where the Bonnies made their run.  The Bonnies went on an 8-0 run, sparked by a Chris Matthews three pointer and capped by two dumb Red Storm fouls.  With 16 seconds left in the game, Eleby stole the ball from Dwight Hardy, taking the ball the length of the court.  It was at this point he was intentionally fouled by Justin Burrell, giving the Bonnies two free throws and the ball.  At this point, the score was 67-65.  Eleby went to the line, nailing the first.  The second, however, was long, and the Bonnies were down one. 

St. John’s then committed the second of its stupid fouls, basically bearhugging Andrew down on the block.  Andrew calmly and cooly stepped to the line, hitting both his free throws.  Then, disaster struck.  Malik Boothe drove the lane, getting the assistance of a well-set pick on Malcolm Eleby.  Chris Matthews, deciding whether to give up an easy layup, taking the risk of having the big men stop Horne, or foul and put him to the line, chose to foul and send Boothe to the line.  Boothe made both of his free throws, putting the Bonnies down 1 with 6 seconds left.  The Bonnies then had to settle for a 23-footer from Michael Davenport, which was just long, and the Bonnies fell by one point.  A great game, and a valiant effort by both teams. 

What I Liked

1. Andrew Nicholson is Firmly Established.  Andrew Nicholson is a monster.  I don’t care what anybody says, he is definitely one of the top 5 players in the Atlantic 10.  26 points on 73% shooting against a Big East opponent, and a good one to boot.  Starting to begin to worry about whether he’ll be at Bonas all 4 years.  From what I have heard about the kid though, he will be.  I don’t think there is another player I’d want on our basketball team over Andrew.  Keep up the good work, it is truly a pleasure watching you play basketball night in and night out. 

2. The Bonnies Peskiness.  There were times when this team could have easily folded.  There were times when it looked like there was just no stopping St. John’s.  This team kept fighting and fighting, and put itself in a position to win.  This peskiness will pay dividends in the future, and this team will win some games people think they shouldn’t.  I look forward to when we do win those games. 

3. Da’Quan Cook.  Cook stepped up big in the first half, providing offense when we most needed it with Nicholson out.  I loved his effort.  While he was quieter in the second half, I was still very impressed.  I hope this carries over and becomes the norm. 

4. Playing Games in Rochester.  If this is what it takes to get a Big East opponent to come play us, so be it.  Yeah, we probably win if this game is in the Reilly Center.  However, the reality is that at this moment, that game is not a possibility.  Bonas has a great alumni base in Rochester (hopefully someday I can join that base when done with school), and it is a good idea to energize this base often with a game there.  We need to keep our schedule tough, because some day in the near future, that will play an important role when the postseason comes around. 

5. We Had More Assists Than Turnovers!!!!  Will this happen often with this team?  Hopefully, but not likely.  I don’t care that we only had one more assist than turnover, I can’t remember the last time that was even the case.  Ogo had 4 assists, and looked strong driving to the hole.  He looked good at times.

6. The Play of Malcolm Eleby.  This does not include free throws, which will be discussed later.  He is becoming more assertive on the floor, and is becoming a better game manager.  He is not perfect, but is a work in progress, who has shown glimpses.  No turnovers, and an overall aggressiveness taking the ball to the hole.  Keep it up Malcolm. 

What I Did Not Like

1. Free Throw Shooting.  15-22. 68%.  Ugh.  Believe it or not, this was an improvement.  This cost us down the stretch, as Malcolm was 1-4 from the line.  That just is unacceptable.  Malcolm is a guard, and should never shoot under 70% from the line.  I do not want to watch Jonathan Hall shoot another free throw either.  I am going to close my eyes next time he goes to the line.  It’s that bad.  Just put some arc on it and you will shoot a higher percentage.  This will be one of the things that keeps us from being a truly upper echelon A-10 team. 

2. Three Point Shooting.  1-8.  12.5%.  Double Ugh.  An old basketball saying goes, “the three point shot is the great equalizer.”  Right now, our equation is way off.  Chris Matthews, please make shots.  1-5 isn’t going to get it done.  Ogo 0-2, Davenport 0-1.  This HAS to get better, or else we will have problems come conference play. 

3. Our End of Game Defense.  I will admit, I have not seen this play.  There is one thing I do know.  There should be under no circumstance a situation where we need to foul like that up one with 6 seconds left.  Where is the help defense?  Can nobody take the charge?  We should not have defensive breakdowns such as this at the end of such a close game. 

4. Our Backup Bigs.  I cannot judge Roseboro, did not see enough of him and this was his first game, so he’ll get a pass.  Still, we do not have a backup that has produced yet.  Simmons did nothing, and House did not play.  We need to have a semi-productive option off the bench. 

Final Thoughts

When I posted my prediction for the season on the Bandwagon, I counted this as a loss.  I still feel like we are on pace for a 16-20 win season, as I thought originally we would finish 18-11.  From what I see of this team this record can be much better.  This start is really encouraging.  We are a team to be reckoned with in the Atlantic 10, and will surprise teams in the non-conference.  I do not expect the Bonnies to have a hangover from this game, as we have Binghamton next, which will be a get better quick game.  This team will bounce back, and continue their great play. 

Next up is Binghamton this Friday at 7.  Expect big things from the Bonnies in this game.  My early prediction, Bonnies 88, Bearcats 58.  One of the backup bigs will step up as well.  Go Bonas.