(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
St. Bonaventure men’s basketball guard Marcus Posley has been voted the Intrepid’s inaugural Male Athlete of the Year.
The award was voted on by 13 Intrepid sports staffers, who were allowed to select any Division I Bona athlete. Posley received three votes, while senior swimmer Michael Pilyugin got two and eight athletes got one vote each: sophomore basketball player Jaylen Adams, senior soccer player Bobby Diaz, baseball graduate Steve Klimek, swimming graduate Vatslav Lets, swimming graduate James Martin, basketball graduate Youssou Ndoye, sophomore baseball player Cole Peterson and senior basketball player Dion Wright.
Posley was the team’s go-to scorer throughout 2015, his first full calendar year with the team. The 6-foot senior averaged 15.7 points a game on 36 percent shooting in conference play last season. He averaged 37.4 minutes, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game while recording a steal a contest as well. His performance led to a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 third team after he tied for fourth in the league in scoring.
Posley has averaged 17 points a game on 36.8 percent shooting so far this season, finishing out non-conference play a smidgen below Dion Wright in scoring (three points, to be exact). The Rockford, Ill. native has upped his rebounding (4.1 boards a game) and passing (3.5 assists a game) numbers and is 86 percent from the foul line, the best of any teammate who has attempted at least 30 shots from the stripe.
The player nicknamed “MP3” by teammates and fans didn’t win this honor by statistics alone, however; he helped create some unforgettable moments this year that will go down in St. Bonaventure lore.
The MP3 moment that looms largest in the minds of Bonnies fans is the buzzer-beater to beat the no. 18 VCU Rams at the Reilly Center on Feb. 7. The degree of difficulty on the shot, an off-balance, up-and-under layup that Posley had to weave through two taller defenders to get off before falling out of bounds, was about as high as it gets. The payoff of such a significant upset over a Shaka Smart-coached team that made the NCAA Tournament was pretty sweet too; the students stormed the court and the highlight was third on Sportscenter’s top plays.
That game-winner may have been the most significant, but Bona’s Mr. Big Shot had other winning plays throughout the year. Three days before the VCU game, Posley beat the buzzer at Davidson to end the Wildcats’ 15-game home winning streak. Two weeks before that, Bonaventure was trailing by 11 with 2:48 remaining at Duquesne before he scored 12 points in the final 2:35 of regulation to lead the Bonnies into overtime in a game they ended up winning 100-97.
Posley’s heroics last season were phenomenal, but SBU needed his clutch gene one more time before the calendar rolled over to 2016. On Dec. 2 at Buffalo, the guard hit the game-winning jumper with 10 seconds left to end a six-minute, 14-second stretch where the brown and white did not score a point and saw an eight-point lead evaporate.
If the Bonnies had the ball and a chance to win the game this year, they were in good hands with Marcus Posley on the floor. For all of his big-game heroics and thrilling three-point barrages, he is a worthy Male Athlete of the Year.