photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu
By Jeff Uveino
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — If frustration had overtaken the St. Bonaventure locker room by now, it would be understandable.
The SBU men’s basketball team has endured over three months of scheduling changes, including more than a dozen game postponements or cancelations. With less than a week remaining in the regular season, however, the Bonnies are just “having fun.”
“It’s always a good time with these guys,” said junior guard Jaren Holmes after the Bonnies beat Davidson on Sunday. “There’s always energy and always laughs, so it’s a great time.”
Holmes, who has averaged 14.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season, scored a game-high 19 points against the Wildcats.
“It’s ultimately just fun,” Holmes said. “We want to go out there and play loose and have energy. I think the vibe right now is that we’re not done.”
Bona head coach Mark Schmidt said that the passion with which his players compete shows him that they enjoy playing the game.
“When you play a game that you love, you’d better have fun,” Schmidt said. “If you have fun, you’re going to play better. If you’re stressed out and all that stuff, then it’s really hard to perform.”
Often times, as Schmidt said, the fun comes from winning. And the Bonnies have done a lot of that this year.
Ahead of its Wednesday rematch with Davidson at Belk Arena, SBU sits tied atop the Atlantic 10 standings with VCU, each of which is 9-3 in conference play this season. The Bonnies have three chances left to improve upon that record, as they host George Washington on Friday and Dayton on Monday after returning from Davidson.
“We have veteran guys that really understand what it takes to win,” Schmidt said. “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to coach these guys. They do have fun, but at the same time, they’re highly competitive.”
Bona’s NCAA tournament hopes remain alive just over a week before the start of the A-10 tournament, but Holmes said that the team’s focus does not span further than its next game.
“We’re not really paying attention to (the bubble) or if we have a chance at the tournament,” Holmes said. “We’re just trying to accomplish the goals that we set as a team.”