Bonas-SEMO Recap

Posted in Editorial on November 28, 2009 by Ian Nolan

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.

Posted in Editorial on November 25, 2009 by Ian Nolan

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.

Posted in Editorial on November 20, 2009 by Ian Nolan

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

Posted in Editorial on November 18, 2009 by Ian Nolan

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

Posted in Editorial on November 17, 2009 by Ian Nolan

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.

The Vikings are Sunk: Recap of Bona-Cleveland St.

Posted in Editorial on November 13, 2009 by Ian Nolan

By Ryan Shannon

I just want to start by saying that this is one of the more impressive wins this program has had in years.  Cleveland St. is not a joke and this one was never in doubt.  A shoutout to Mark Schmidt and his staff for preparing the Bonnies for what Cleveland St. brought to the table, and a shoutout to the Bonnies players for executing that gameplan. 

 Again, this game was never in doubt.  The Bonnies took the lead at 4-2 with 17:19 left in the first half, and never relinquished it.  This game had it all, with a thunderous dunk by Michael Davenport, to a putback jam by Jonathon Hall, to even more dunks by Andrew Nicholson, who added a nice left-handed jump hook to boot.  The Bonnies for the most part played good defense, and responded whenever Cleveland St. seemed to be mounting a challenge.  This was mostly the result of the good work of Davenport, Hall, and Nicholson, who combined to score 56 of the Bonnies 72 points.  What a win for Mark Schmidt, what a win for this program, and what a win for this core group of talented student-athletes.  This is a team we can rally around, they truly played the game the right way tonight. 

What I Liked Tonight

1. The Trio of Scorers.  Michael Davenport, Jonathon Hall, and Andrew Nicholson again combined for 56 of the 72 points the Bonnies scored in the game tonight.  Hall and Nicholson were also monsters on the glass, combining for 15 rebounds.  Hall, while he has his moments, at times can be the most complete player on this team with his ball-handling ability, his ability to finish at the rim, and his tenacity on the glass.  If only they taught him how to put arc on his jumpshot, he would be even better.  Nicholson is the star, and will be the most consistent player on this team all year-round.  If he can stay out of trouble, like he did tonight, then this team is going to win a lot of games. 

The thing which impressed me most about this trio was the play of Michael Davenport.  I was not exactly thrilled with his performance against Mansfield, but tonight he looked like the player I expected to see in that game as well.  19 points and 4 rebounds do not sum up the quality of the game that he had, as his energy off the bench sparked this Bona club when it needed it the most.  If Davenport can be our third scorer, that would be much welcomed, as Chris Matthews’s inconsistency plagued us at points last year.  If Matthews gets rolling to and gives this team four scorers, watch out. 

2. Our Ability to Respond.  Winning teams respond when their opponents see light, closing the door on their hopes.  The Bonnies played the role of that winning team tonight to perfection.  Two times in the second half, first in the beginning four minutes of the second half and with 7:32 in the second half did Cleveland St. seem to be knocking on the door.  Each time, the Bonnies responded with a 6-0 run, dispelling any hope the Vikings had of making a comeback.  That kind of poise has not been seen from the Brown and White for some time. 

3. The Bonnies’ Pressure Defense.  The stat sheet tells me that Cleveland St. committed 12 turnovers.  That is not too many by today’s standard, but this stat does not tell the whole truth.  Cleveland St. was out of sync the whole night, as the Bonnies continually pressured their guards, forcing turnovers and bad decisions.  All around a great defensive performance.  Andrew Nicholson had 4 blocks as well.  He is truly The Eraser out there on the basketball court. 

4. The Crowd.  The crowd tonight was excellent.  Kudos to the students for showing up in a big way.  Hopefully they keep that going and make the trip to Rochester to support the Bonnies.  Keep the RC rocking!

5. Coach Gee Succeeding at a New Stop.  Cleveland St. is considered one of the more successful programs in the Horizon today, and it is due largely in part of the efforts of Coach Gee.  He is truly a class act, and not only taught me about the game of basketball during my time at Bonas, but the game of life as well.  When the program was down, he never was, and was instrumental in any success the program had during his years here.  I wish the man all the success in the world. 

What I Did Not Like Tonight

1. The Free Throw Shooting.  This was inexcusable.  The Bonnies shot 56% from the line.  Eleby and Hall need to shoot better from the line, as Eleby shot 3-6 with Hall going 0-2.  Somebody needs to teach Jonathon the concept of arc, it makes making a jumpshot a lot easier.  Free throw shooting can be the difference between a good and great team.

2. More Turnovers Than Assists…Again. This team needs to learn how to take care of the basketball.  Turnovers plagued this team last year, and did again tonight.  17 turnovers is way too high.  Hall, while making some spectacular plays with the ball, committed 5 turnovers.  Eleby also committed 4.  A point guard should take better care of the ball.  Eleby did attack the rim at points tonight, which was a welcome sight.  Eleby’s management skills will have a large say in how this team does this season. 

3. Chris Matthews’ Scoring Inconsistency…Again. 1-4 from 3 point range, 5 points.  While Matthews did take care of the basketball (6 assists 1 turnover), I would like to see more production on the offensive end.  I will complement Chris on one thing however, he does an amazing job taking care of the basketball.  If he can just consistently be a sniper from three-point range, this offense would be complete. 

4. Our Backup Bigs.  I was not sold on our backup bigs before this game, and still am not.  We need the bigs for A10 play to be ready.  I still want to see Roseboro, I think he will be a huge addition to our frontline.  House looked very raw out there.  Cook also contributed 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 3 fouls in 11 minutes.  Cleveland St. could not expose our weakness at the 4 spot, but teams like Syracuse and Mississippi St. sure will be able to.

Final Thoughts

I thought this game would be a barometer of our season, and if it truly was, we have a lot to look forward to.  This team truly played excellent tonight.  Each player complemented each other well.  If we keep turning out performances such as this one, there is no reason this team should not finish in the upper half of the league, if not in the top 5.  Consistency will be the key with this team, and I hope that we can continue this success. 

Up next is St. John’s this Tuesday in Rochester.  A win over the Johnnies would really elevate this team’s profile, as the Johnnies are a good squad.  We shall see if the Bonnies can carry this win over. 

Quick Thoughts on the Mansfield Scrimmage

Posted in Editorial on November 8, 2009 by Ian Nolan

By Ryan Shannon

I have been preparing for a trial all week, so this will be pretty short.  But I wanted to give some thoughts on the scrimmage, because there were some things that impressed me, and many that did not.

What Impressed Me

1. Andrew Nicholson.  I love the confidence and swagger.  He was not hesitating to take any shot in which he thought he could make.  That is what I want out of this program’s superstar.  I mean the dunks are nice, but I like that 18-foot jumpshot even better.  He is becoming a complete offensive force.  8 rebounds to go along with 29 points.  If he keeps up efforts such as this, we will have some of the best inside play in the conference, regardless of who is at the 4.

2. Daquan Cook’s 9 rebounds.  We may have found our 4.  In our offense the 4 does not need to score as much, Andrew will get the touches and the other forward can dive or cut.  But we need the 4 to rebound.  That’s what Daquan did last night.  It has never been a question of whether Daquan had the ability to play at the Division I level, rather whether he had the mental strength to play at this level.  Hopefully he continues performances such as these.

3. Chris Matthews’s 8 assists and 0 turnovers.  I wanna preface this by saying, there was a lot about Chris’s game that I did not like last night, which I will write about later.  This was definitely a positive however.  He took care of the basketball, and his passing was sharp. 

4. Jonathan Hall’s all around game.  We need Hall to be an all around player for us in order for this team to be successful.  Reminds me a lot of Ahmad Smith.  If his shooting gets better, that could only be a bonus.

5. We did not pull a Syracuse. 

6. The women’s team’s score.  71-18? Gotta love what Jim Crowley is doing there.  Congratulations, looks like another great season is ahead from the women’s team. 

What Did Not Impress Me

1. We were 8 points better than Mansfield.  As Rasheed Wallace always says “ball don’t lie.”  The score says that we are better than Mansfield by 8 points.  I don’t believe that we truly are, but we should crush this team.  Teams like Lasalle and Massachusetts, teams that will probably be around us in the standings, are not only 8 points better than Mansfield. 

2. We were outrebounded 38-33.  We need to be tougher in the paint.  I don’t care how big Carr is.  The fact is, he is not a Division I player.  We should beat teams like this on the boards.  I am looking forward to seeing what Brett Roseboro does for our rebounding. 

3. Where is Lewis Leonard?  I wonder what the deal is with him.  He was a prolific scorer at the JUCO level.  I hope everything is ok with him.  I still believe he can help us, we need a guard that can score.  Especially with Matthews shooting the way he did.  Which brings me to…

4. Chris Matthews’s  being incredibly consistent at being inconsistent.  Can Chris Matthews just make about 30-40% of 3 point attempts per game? Please? My God, he cannot go 1-8 for our team to be truly successful in A-10 play this year.  This was the most disheartening thing for me last night.  We need him to be a consistently successful shooter in order for this team to win.  He can stretch defenses and keep defenses from dropping defenders on Andrew.  But he needs to be more consistent from the outside!

5. Malcolm Eleby.  Bleh. Malcolm Eleby is to point guards as Trent Dilfer is to quarterbacks.  He doesn’t lose you games, but he sure doesn’t win you games.  4 points? 3 assists? Less than 60% free throw shooting? 28 minutes? I’m feeling sick looking at that stat line.  Ogo will start by the end of the year.  Malcolm, I want you to succeed, I really do.  But you need to stop playing scared and attack.  You are the point guard.  Attack.

6. Not seeing a lot of House, Conger, and Simmons.  I don’t know yet what we have with these players.  I can make no assessment.  I cannot wait to see Roseboro though.

Looking forward to the season premier versus Cleveland State.  Won’t have a trial to prepare for at that point, so there will be a full and thorough review.  Go Bonas.

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