(Photo Credit: St. Bonaventure Athletics)
By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20
Every team has a “glue guy,” the gritty player relied on to do the dirty work without much praise in return. For the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team, junior Idris Taqqee has been that guy.
“Idris is our glue guy, and he’s somebody that every team needs to hit the big shot or dive for the loose ball,” Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “He’s the guy we can depend on every night to be consistent.”
During the 2015-2016 season, Taqqee averaged 5.1 points and four rebounds per game. Though he’s not known for stuffing stat sheets, Taqqee creates problems on defense, forces turnovers and makes 46 percent of his shots from the floor.
During the off-season, the 200-pound Taqqee focused on his strength, allowing him to develop a more finessed game.
“I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on getting stronger,” said the Snellville, Ga. native. “The time I’ve put in has helped me improve with finishing at the rim.”
As a sophomore, Taqqee was named a tri-captain by his peers due to his “work hard in silence” mentality. With the loss of Dion Wright (16 ppg) and Marcus Posley (19 ppg), the Bonnies were lacking in both scoring and leadership.
“Personally, I took a lot from Marcus and Dion and they’re hard players to replace,” Taqqee said. “I’ve asked them a lot of questions on how they approach each season and prepare from game to game.”
With Wright and Posley gone, Taqqee has an opportunity to step into a scoring role.
“He’s shooting the ball better and the next step for Idris is becoming a double-figure scorer, but also continuing to rebound and defend,” Schmidt said.
With three freshman additions (Josh Ayeni, Tareq Coburn, Amadi Ikpeze), Taqqee is impressed with the desire to work hard and continuously improve.
“The freshmen work hard collectively and have impressed me since day one,” said Taqqee. “They’ve been giving 100 percent in practice and it’s going to show on the court.”
Predicted to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 this season, Taqqee believes the team has improved on the physical aspects of the game.
“As a team we’ve really improved on our overall strength and quickness, and our big men are light on their feet this year.”