By Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt
A lot of the students that decided to attend St. Bonaventure University come from Western and Central New York, and because of this many were wearing the Syracuse orange and blue before they put on the Bonnies brown and white.
And, because Syracuse basketball is so popular in the area many of us have heard all the hype surrounding the Orange’s new point-guard, Kaleb Joseph. But, his high school teammate, Idris Taqqee, a 6’4, 190-pound freshman for the Bonnies, could be a steal for Bonnies head coach, Mark Schmidt.
Both Joseph and Taqqee attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnam, Mass., and were roommates.
“We played together since we were freshman in high school,” says Taqqee. “He’s very good, and a great player to play with.”
Taqqee is listed as a guard and could probably pass for a small-foward, but we’ve already seen his versatility in the Bonnies exhibition win vs. Mansfield and their home opener win vs. Dartmouth.
In the exhibition, Taqqee proved that he could stroke it from beyond arc with a solid 2-4 from deep performance. He also snagged three rebounds, had three steals, dished out two assists and scored eight points in a solid 18 minutes of action. In the home opener Taqqee saw 12 minutes of action, scored two points, had two offensive rebounds and garnered one steal.
“I’m definitely going to take the shot if it’s open. We try and play fast-pace so you have to take good shots and if we need a three I’m comfortable taking it,” says Taqqee.
After losing senior guard Matthew Wright at the end of last season to graduation, the Bonnies are in desperate need of a three-point shooter. Taqqee will provide value with his size, vertical and impressive defense, but if he can hit a couple three’s down the stretch that will be huge for Mark Schmidt’s young team.
While at Cushing Academy, Taqqee won back-to-back class AA state championships, and averaged 15.8 points-per-game and 7.8 rebounds-per-game. He was named a “Late-Stock Riser” by the New England recruiting report.
Nonetheless, the transition from high school to college is almost always tough for some of these young athletes, and Taqqee has had to adjust accordingly.
“It definitely hit me in the summer when we got in the gym for lifting,” says Taqqee. “It was so fast-paced.”
Lately, Schmidt has been blessed with flush of talent that the people of Allegany, Olean, Bonaventure, and surrounding towns have not seen in awhile.
Taqqee saw St. Bonaventure as the perfect opportunity.
“My decision to come her really was because of the coaches,” says Taqqee, who chose Bonaventure over Towson and Vermont. “And, the opportunity to be in a small-school setting in the classroom.”
As the weather gets cold, Bonnies fans hope Taqqee and the rest of the team stay hot. They are 1-0 and take on Siena, tomorrow night at 7 pm.