Men’s basketball: Three storylines ahead of Alfred exhibition

(Mark Schmidt Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

As St. Bonaventure fans stroll into the Reilly Center for tomorrow afternoon’s exhibition basketball doubleheader, no one will be betting on any down-to-the-wire finishes.

The women only beat Edinboro by 10 points in both 2014 and 2011, so there’s a possibility for a close matchup with Jesse Fleming’s new-look squad at 1:30. The men, however, should be in line for a 40-plus point victory when they tip off with Division III Alfred University.

The final score figures to be lopsided, but there are at least three intriguing storylines for the Bonnies going into the contest:

  1. Father v.s. Sons: Two of Bona coach Mark Schmidt’s sons, Nick and Derek, play for Alfred, making this game a family affair. Nick, a 6-foot junior guard, averaged 5.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and an assist per game in 25 games last year. Derek, a 6-foot-1 freshman guard, was the New York State Championship Game MVP for Olean High School last year.

Nick told the Olean Times Herald this week that he thinks Alfred will lose by at least 50, but also said, “Being               in the Reilly Center, it’s a pretty cool place. It’s going to mean a lot. I think it’ll be fun.”

“It’s great for the family,” Mark said earlier this week. “It’s something we’ll get to talk about and laugh                             about 20, 30 years from now.”

2. Who’s starting? Last year, the exhibition game lineup against Mansfield was more or less what the lineup           looked like the rest of the year: Jaylen Adams at point guard, Marcus Posley at shooting guard, Idris Taqqee at             small forward, Dion Wright at power forward and Derrick Woods at center.

Look for the starting five to set the tone again this year. Who will get the nod? Three spots look like locks at the outset: Adams at point guard, Matt Mobley at the two-guard position and Chinonso Obokoh at center. Taqqee is a captain and started all of last year, and I project him to start at the “three” again in this campaign. Schmidt favors bringing explosive senior forward Denzel Gregg off the bench as the sixth man, and Gregg is comfortable in that role. If senior forward David Andoh, who is still dealing with the effects of summer foot surgery, is not healthy enough to start yet, Gregg could be in the lineup in the “four” slot, but Andoh is my projected starting power forward.

3. Who’s Saturday’s leading scorer? The only box score item that is up in the air in these exhibition blowouts is who leads the squad in scoring. Last year it was Gregg, with 23 points. The year before that, Dion Wright scored 20. In 2013, Andell Cumberbatch introduced himself to the Bona Faithful by dropping 23.

Mobley will make the grand, albeit unofficial, debut tomorrow. Look for him to gel with Adams quickly and score 20-plus points, showing off his three-point stroke and driving ability.

SBU will win big tomorrow, but there are plenty of things to keep an eye on.

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