Men’s Basketball: #Bonnies v. GW Preview

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

Head Coaches:

St Bonaventure: Mark Schmidt 99-101 as Bonnies coach

George Washington: Mike Lonergan 35-41 as Colonials coach

This Saturday night, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies return to the Reilly Center to take on a much-improved George Washington team. Last season, GW beat Bonaventure 78-59 in Washington, D.C. But, GW has always had a tough time playing in an environment like the Reilly Center, the last time being during the 2011-2012 season where the Bonnies outscored the Colonials 66-56.

The 2012-2013 season was one that both Bonnies fans and Colonials fans would like to forget. The Colonials posted a miserable 13-17 record, and the Bonnies were not farther behind at 15-17 on the campaign.

The tables have turned this year though, as both teams will go into the game with winning records. The Colonials already have 14 wins, with one of those wins coming over No. 20 Creighton, and another over a tough Miami team who has proven itself worthy in the ACC so far this year.

The Bonnies have not played bad themselves, posting an 11-6 record with two close losses to Atlantic 10 powers No. 16 UMass and No. 24 St. Louis. If anything, the Bonnies have proven that they can play with anybody this year, and they aren’t afraid of any team.

The Keys To a Victory:

There’s no doubt that the atmosphere of the Reilly Center on Saturday night will give the Bonnies a boost. However, if they want to come out with a win, they’re going to have to play nearly flawless against an outstanding Colonials team. This means the turnovers (13 per game) for the Bonnies need to decrease.

Staying out of foul trouble will also be huge if Bonaventure is to win this game. The past few games have been a struggle, as Schmidt has had to constantly change up the five on the floor and the game plan as players start getting into foul trouble.

Foul shooting so far this season has been awful for the Bonnies as they are shooting a mere 66 percent from the line as a team this season. Matthew Wright leads the team in FT percentage at 85 percent.

Key Bonnies:

PG Charlon Kloof – Kloof is second on the team with 12.2 points per game, but he leads in assists (4.8) and minutes (33) per game. Kloof is the clear senior leader on this team, playing with great poise and without fear.

SG Matthew Wright – Wright is leading the team in points with 16.0 per game. However he’s also leading the team in turnovers with 2.9 per game. He’s going to have to keep putting the ball on the floor and driving to the hoop to score along with knocking down a threes. Most importantly, he’s going to have to limit his turnovers.

PF Dion Wright – A versatile player, but also the Bonnies most consistent player will have to keep up the impressive season that he’s had so far. Wright has provided key minutes for the Bonnies this season with both his defensive and offensive abilities.

Key Colonials:

G Maurice Creek – a 6’5″ guard who leads the Colonials in points with 14.1 per game. He’s an Indiana transfer.

G Kethan Savage – second on Colonials in points 13.2 per game, also effective on the boards with nearly 5 rebounds per game.

F Isaiah Armwood – at 6’10″ Armwood will be battling Ndoye, Simmons, and D. Wright in the post. He’s been their best forward scoring wise so far.

Outcome: George Washington is playing at a very high level this year, but the Bonnies are too and they are due for a big win. There’s no better place to get a win then at home in front of the Bonaventure faithful. The Bonnies will win this game in a low scoring defensive battle — 60-55.

The game tips off at 7 p.m.

Also, the women’s team plays at 4:30 so be sure to support them as well as they take on Saint Louis.

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