By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt
One of the biggest questions for this year’s St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team is: who will be the leader?
Marquise Simmons is eager to take charge.
The 6’8’’ forward from Washington D.C. is playing in his final year of eligibility, and he understands the role he must take on.
“I’ve got to be a leader,” said Simmons. “I’m a senior and I got to be a guy that the younger players look up to.”
Last season Simmons started in 11 games, and played in all 29. He averaged 6.2 points and averaged 4.9 rebounds a game. This year he looks to continue being a leading rebounder on the team and increase his point per game total.
“I will do anything I can to help the team win,” said Simmons. “I want to obviously improve my rebounding and point production.”
Point production is an obvious concern for this year’s team as last year’s top-3 scorers: Demetrius Conger, Eric Mosley, and Chris Johnson have all graduated. Simmons was the sixth leading scorer and is going to have to be a consistent threat from the post if the Bonnies want to be successful.
Athletes know that once the season is over there is no time to waste before getting back to work. Simmons has spent a lot of time over the summer and this fall to improve his game.
“I feel like I’ve improved my overall game,” said Simmons. “I feel like I’m shooting the ball a lot better, and I feel a lot more comfortable in the post.”
The Atlantic 10 could be very close this year with no clear “break-away team” other than VCU. Bonaventure has appeared near the bottom of some pre-season polls, but the Bonnies aren’t paying attention to the low expectations.
“I really expect us to come out and compete every night—play hard, play together and for one another every night,” said Simmons. “We’re going to win as many basketball games as we can.”
Bonaventure opens up its regular season Saturday against South Dakota at the Reilly Center, and Simmons will do his best to begin the season as a leader.