(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)
By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio
Some news and notes about the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team on a snowy Monday morning:
- Obokoh still out: On Jan. 31, I reported that Bonnies forward/center Chinonso Obokoh (sprained MCL) had resumed non-contact workouts, with no timetable for his return to game action. Two weeks later, Obokoh is still restricted to non-contact drills. The Syracuse transfer didn’t wow anyone in the first five games of the season, but in games like Saturday’s loss to George Washington, another big in the rotation doesn’t hurt. If the 6-foot-9 Obokoh could be back in time for March, he could really benefit Bona.
- Foul trouble: In the last five games, Bonaventure has committed its seventh team foul in an average of 12:22, giving the opposition just under eight minutes of free throws any time the Bonnies are whistled for a foul. The quickest games to seven fouls were GW (6:04) and Duquesne (5:47).
SBU’s struggles on offense (eighth in scoring in conference games, 10th in field goal percentage) have been well-documented. However, the Bona defense could be even stronger (fourth in scoring defense in A-10 play) if it cuts down on sending teams to the line so early in the half.
- How you start: The Bonnies have trailed at halftime in their last six games. The top four teams in the A-10 standings (VCU, Dayton, Richmond, Rhode Island) have led or been tied after 15 of their last 20 first halves, and four of the five times they were trailing occurred against each other. Playing a full 40 minutes is vital this time of year, and Bona needs to sort out its first half struggles this week against La Salle and Dayton.
- Schmidt makes the top 10: With seven wins thus far in Atlantic 10 play, Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt is tied with late St. Joseph’s coach Jim Boyle for No. 10 all-time in career conference game victories, with 77. Schmidt joins three active coaches in the top 10: St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli (201), Richmond’s Chris Mooney (105) and La Salle’s John Giannini (91).
- Adams and Mobley: Much of Schmidt’s team’s success rides on how Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley perform; so it goes when you have the best scoring tandem in the A-10. In wins together, Adams and Mobley have combined for just over 12 made field goals a game. In losses together, they’ve made 11. It’s not a major discrepancy, but in close games, one or two big shots can make the difference.