(Matt Mobley Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
After a one-week hiatus, Bonnies Mailbag is back, with more hard-hitting questions. Here are my answers:
Q: With the Franciscan heritage of the two teams, the drama of past contests and a trophy presented to the winner, is Bona-Siena now a top three Bonaventure rivalry? -Tom S.
A: No. Bonaventure has played Siena 38 times, not even close to the longevity of the Canisius (164 games) and Niagara (156) series. Those two belong in the top three, along with whichever A-10 rivalry is your favorite (Joe’s, UMass, Duquesne, Dayton, etc.). Before the Franciscan Cup was created in 2010, the teams hadn’t faced off since 2001, and there are just too many gaps in the rivalry’s history for it to crack the top three.
Q: Is Matt Mobley better than Marcus Posley? -Steve J.
A: Posley left campus six months ago and people are already asking questions like this.
It’s far too early to make a judgment either way. It would be disrespectful to either player to make a judgment either way.
Matt Mobley has had an incredible start to his SBU career, as many who saw him put up big numbers at Central Connecticut predicted. At press time, he is 13th in the nation in scoring with 23.2 points per game, so I anticipated this question at some point.
However, the junior has played five games. Posley was an incredible scorer, clutch performer and incredibly tough athlete for 62 games in a Bona uniform. He scored 1,126 points in two years, including a 47-point showing against St. Joe’s that will go down in the school’s athletic lore. He was one of the best players to step foot in the Reilly Center.
Mobley has already been given an enormous amount of pressure to produce big numbers in Posley’s footsteps. He has been excellent, but it’s way too early to compare him and MP3.
Q: What are the odds Jaylen Adams isn’t in a Bonaventure uniform next season? -Dan M.
A: The amount of attention Adams has received the past year means fans will start to wonder about his NBA chances. Could he forgo his senior season and go pro after this year?
Despite all of the praise he has received from college hoops writers and analysts, I haven’t seen Adams listed in any NBA mock drafts yet. Draft Express lists him as the no. 51 player in the junior class and the 28th-best non-power conference player.
Adams has every tool to be an NBA player. He can score and distribute with ease, along with being a strong rebounding point guard. Until he’s on some mock drafts, however, I’m setting the odds of him leaving early at five percent. Another stellar conference season would keep him on the radar, while an NCAA Tournament run would add to the hype.
Q: Which game is going to be the first sellout of the season? -Jason D.
A: I’m sure Bonaventure’s athletic department would like the UB game on Saturday, where Greg Sanders will have his jersey retired and the 1977 NIT championship team will be recognized, to be a full house. However, it will probably fall short of full capacity.
Last year, Bona sold out one regular season game, the George Washington game that was held as the Homecoming and ’80s Alumni Weekend game. If I had to pick one they will sell out this year, it would be the VCU ’80s Weekend game on Feb. 4. The Rams look like one of the best teams in the league again, and the 2014 game was unforgettable. Expect a sellout for that one for sure. The Duquesne game is being designated as the Homecoming game, so that one has a chance to be max capacity as well.
Q: Should Schmidt and the coaching staff even bother appealing for another year of eligibility for Obokoh given his start to the season? -Anthony B.
A: Just like it’s too early to compare Mobley to Posley, it’s too early to judge Chinonso Obokoh on such a small sample size.
The Syracuse grad transfer has definitely had some struggles in the early going, and freshman Josh Ayeni has supplanted him in the starting lineup for the time being. One of the points I’ve heard when it comes to Obokoh that is probably legitimate is that he came from Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim’s system, which has become famous for the 2-3 zone. A criticism of even NBA players who come from ‘Cuse is that they can’t play man-to-man defense. Schmidt does play zone, but it’s a different zone than Boeheim’s, and there is a lot more man than Obokoh is accustomed to.
Even with the changes, Obokoh has established himself as a rim protector when he’s not in foul trouble, blocking seven shots in the first five games. He has shown the potential to be the center the Bonnies need. He doesn’t need to score in bunches, he just needs to be a good defender.
As for that appeal for another year of eligibility (this would be Obokoh’s final collegiate season due to the NCAA ruling he stayed in high school a year too long), I don’t know what the status of it is. Syracuse was in the process with the NCAA and I think Bonaventure will be as well when the time is appropriate. That will likely be a story for the offseason.