By Joseph Phelan
On July 23, St. Bonaventure released its non-conference schedule.
“The non-conference schedule that we set up, and I give (assistant coach) Andi (Andrea) Doneth all the credit–she did a great job, (the schedule) was set up to best prepare us for A-10 play,” said head coach Jim Crowley.
The schedule features seven road games, four home games and two games in the Brown University Classic.
St. Bonaventure will face two 2014 NCAA tournament teams in November when the Bonnies travel to James Madison on the 16, and to Penn State on the 25.
“Penn State is a great opportunity for us. They obviously are one of the top teams in the country,” said Crowley. “James Madison is another highlight. They are one of the nation’s best mid-majors, and one of the few we have yet to play.”
The rest of the opponents should provide good tests for the Bonnies before they embrace conference play beginning in 2015.
“Toledo, Buffalo, Niagara and Georgetown are also great road tests, and Drexel is another of the better mid-major programs,” said Crowley. “Local rivalries with Canisius, Binghamton, and Colgate will be good challenges at home as well and UNCG and Detroit are up-and-coming programs.”
Last season St. Bonaventure lost in the Atlantic 10 semifinals. Although they finished second in the A-10, the Bonnies were not selected into the field of 64.
“It is a schedule that gives us a chance to put ourselves in position to be considered for post season play,” said Crowley.
Notes from St. Bonaventure’s summer:
- Guard Oney Harrison is no longer with the program. Crowley said she chose to move on and (that) we wish her nothing but the best.
- Each player spent at least part of the summer at Bona’s, and Crowley thinks they handled workouts very well and got better at areas (they) needed to get better.
- Last year, the Bonnies had a limited number of players to practice, but St. Bonaventure brings in four freshman, and Ashley Zahn returns from season ending surgery. Crowley said Zahn is fully healthy. Crowley also noted that each of the freshmen (Matea Britvar, Miranda Drummond, Mariah Ruff and Taryne Shull) had a good summer session, and that all have things they will be able to help (the team) with and all have areas to improve. Crowley said he expects them to help (the team) from Day 1
- Gabby Richmond is very close to returning from season ending knee surgery. Crowley hopes to have her back full go by the time school starts. Crowley credited both Zahn and Richmond for their hard work to get themselves healthy.
- The A-10 tournament will again be Richmond, Va. in 2015. “I think it is a great location and the league and everyone associated with the tournament do an amazing job,” said Crowley.
Crowley mentioned before last season he wanted St. Bonaventure to go back to playing St. Bona basketball. The Bonnies played the way coach Crowley wanted them to last season, but now it’s about sustaining that effort.
“Last year we did get back to Bona basketball but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t show consistency with it this year,” said Crowley. “My expectations never change and are simple: play hard and play together. The expectations that matter are what the team wants to accomplish as a group-they control their fate so it is up to them what they want to work for.”