Welch looks to take the next step

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Dominick Welch had a slow start to his freshman year but found his groove in the second half of the year, and he looks to build on that this season.

Welch averaged 7.5 points per game and 4.4 rebounds in 25 games last season. Welch missed a chunk of the season with a foot injury. Welch’s first seven games he was only averaging 5 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, but his last 18 games he was averaging 8.4 points a game and 5.1 rebounds including in the Atlantic 10 tournament where the Buffalo native averaged 12 points 7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over the three games.

Welch led the team with 43 three pointers made and shot 36 percent from three. Head coach Mark Schmidt wants Welch to continue to develop on the offensive end.

“He’s made unbelievable strides…at times he was our best guy. But he has to take that next step,” said Schmidt. “All he could do was catch and shoot. Now he’s got to take guys off the bounce. His dribble has got to tighten up.”

Welch said that the biggest thing he was looking to add to his game was tighten up his handle as well as improve his overall game. A player Welch likes watching is Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George because he is an all-around two-way player.

Schmidt had high praise for Welch as an overall player already.

“He’s smart. In my 30 years of coaching he’s probably in the top 5 of guys I underestimated,” said Schmidt. “He has a really good feel offensively and defensively. He’s got a lot of pride, and when he doesn’t play well it really affects him and he works at it.”

Schmidt says he’ll be playing multiple positions including the power forward spot when the team plays small ball this year. “We’re expecting him to take that next step and become a really good player,” said Schmidt.

Welch talked about keeping his confidence up through the ups and downs in a season.

“Keeping my confidence,and my confidence is back right now. It was a tough loss last year. But we’re trying to keep that momentum that we have in last year over to this season,” said Welch. “Bring the young guys with us and make sure they have confidence going out there with us.”

Welch mentioned that tough loss in the Atlantic 10 championship to St. Louis, but the goal for this team is to get back to that game.

“Our team goals are to try to get back to the Atlantic 10 championship,” said Welch. “Just try to take it game by game and work hard every day.”

Welch knows the freshmen on this team are going to be important and they need to stay ready.

“There’s spots open every day. It makes you work hard,” said Welch. “We were freshmen coming in playing 40 minutes a game. The opportunities there, we lost two players last year, so the minutes are there.”

Welch begins to help lead the Bonnies tonight at 7:30 against Ohio in the Reilly Center.

Oliver looks to make every second count

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Amanda Oliver is in her second season with the Bonnies and this season she was voted as a captain. She’s looking to end her career with no regrets.

The Orlando, Florida native averaged 2.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 29 games including 15 starts last season, but in Bonnies head coach Jesse Fleming’s eyes Oliver was always meant to be a captain.

“I thought when we recruited her that was a big part of what we recruited Amanda for,” said Fleming. “Amanda was about the intangibles Amanda is going to win every loose ball, she’s going to be competitive, she’s going to play hard all the time and that’s why she’s a leader for us.”

Before Oliver arrived at St. Bonaventure, she was a two-time all-conference selection while playing at Florida Southwestern State College. She averaged a team leading 8.4 rebounds her sophomore year.

Oliver has a knack for rebounding and making the hustle plays the Bonnies need, but Oliver said she’s looking to take her game to another level.

“I perfected my jumper and just take my hustle game to the next level and defensive level,” said Oliver.

Coach Fleming wants her to be more effective offensively.

“I want her to be able to score against mismatches in the post,” said Fleming.

The senior says it feels like she has been here for years and has fully embraced what she calls the “Bonnie craze”.

“I feel like I’ve been here for years….Coming in I was taught from the seniors above me, and you just play every game like it’s your last,” said Oliver. “Show that passion that is being a Bonaventure student and a Bonnie.”

Off the court Oliver is a part of campus media. She has had a video series called ‘Around the RC with Amanda Oliver’, and she is a reporter for SBU-TV.

“It’s been a challenge…I never thought I’d done that…It’s been an awesome experience I’ll take with me throughout my life,” said Oliver.

Oliver kicks off her final season Tuesday night against St. Johns at 5 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Carpenter adds versatility to the Bonnies

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Robert Carpenter is one of the many fresh faces on this Bonnies team, and he’s looking to add versatility to the frontcourt.

The Detroit, Michigan native played at Mt. Zion Prep in Maryland last season where he averaged 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds including three 40-point games. He was a part of one of the better prep schools in the country helping Mt. Zion to a 28-4 record and a spot in the Elite 8 prep school championship.

The 6’8 forward described St. Bonaventure as a perfect fit for him.

“I felt like Bonaventure was a great fit because I didn’t want to go to a school with a big name and end up not playing very much,” said Carpenter. “I wanted to go to a perfect fit for me.”

Carpenter compares his game to an NBA All-Star.

“I’m a very versatile guy. I can shoot, I can bang inside the paint. I’m a good offensive rebounder, defensive rebounder, hustle guy,” said Carpenter. “A lot of people look at my game and I kind of resemble Kawhi Leonard’s game.”

Carpenter was brought in right away and participated in both summer sessions, and he described the summer as “intense”.

“They really wanted to develop me and just like build me into the player they recruited me to be,” Carpenter said.

The freshman said he worked on his post game this summer because in high school and prep school he mostly played between the perimeter and the post. Carpenter shot 38 percent from the three-point line last year but said he wants to continue to sharpen up his shot.

Carpenter’s ability to score was an aspect of his game Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt highlighted.

“He’s talented, he can put the ball in the basket. He has a bright future,” said Schmidt.

Carpenter had a near double-double off the bench in his debut against Alfred with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Carpenter talked about how people have viewed his diverse skill set in the past.

“A lot of people have different perspectives of me. I try to have a good motor and just show everybody that I can prove everybody wrong,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter can start to prove his doubters wrong on Tuesday night in the Reilly Center against Ohio at 7:30.

Logan looks to make impact on young Bonnies

By: Justin Myers

Last year was Logan’s first year playing with the Bonnies after sitting out the previous year due to NCAA transfer rules. After coming back she feels like she has learned to play college basketball again.

 “Taking that year off was a lot for me and was definitely a learning experience looking at the game in a different way,” Logan said. “It felt good to be back on the court and make an impact.”  

As a redshirt junior the Randallstown, Maryland native appeared in all 30 games including 12 starts averaging 7.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. She scored in double figures nine times, averaging 22 minutes per contest.  

While sitting out the previous year Logan implemented the things she learned while sitting out.  

It definitely opened up my eyes to different things going on in the game. More of the mental part of the game rather than just running around and playing,” Logan said. “I think my thought process and approach to the game got a lot better. It helped me grow. 

 With six eligible newcomers on the team this year Logan looks to lean on her experience to help lead.  

Not only have I played here for a long time but I also have played at other schools so bringing in all that experience and making sure that everyone stays on task and committed, Logan said. “So helping everyone stay motivated is a key since its early now but we all know how long a season can be and it has its ups and downs. 

 With it being her last year Logan looks to finish strong and have a winning season.  

I want to have a winning season. We have struggled for the past two years but I think now we finally have some great pieces that mesh together really well” Logan said. “I think a winning season is something that I really want.”  

When it came to expectations for the team Logan believes they can cause match up problems  

I love how we are more scrappy, quicker and athletic compared to last year,” Logan said. “I think that we are so versatile in different aspects and positions that it helps us with no one really knowing what angle to come from. I think our versatility alone can take us far this year. 

When asking Logan who could be a breakout player for the team this year she thinks it can be freshman Olivia Brown.  

“She came in and was named captain, and is establishing herself as a leader,” Logan said. “She outworks us everyday and pushes us to be better 

Johnson looks to lead Bonnies

By: Isaiah Blakely  

Sophomore guard Asianae Johnson was one of the best freshmen in the Atlantic 10 last season averaging over 27 minutes a game. Johnson who is still considered an underclassman is already viewed as a veteran.

Johnson started all 30 games and ranked third among freshman in scoring, averaging 9.7 points a game. Johnson added about 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Head coach Jesse Fleming knows Johnson, despite only being a sophomore, has plenty of experience to play with the best of the best in the A-10.

“She’s played more than most juniors and played more than some seniors in this league have played,” Fleming said. “I don’t want any excuses of ‘I’m still young’ I feel like I’ve seen what Asianae can do and her good is great.”

Johnson isn’t fazed by Fleming’s expectations of her. “Honestly I’m a vet,” Johnson said. “I can’t look at myself as a sophomore because if I do then it’s like I’m under. I want to be over and understanding the game more and helping my teammates out especially with the new kids.”

Johnson scored in double-figures 13 times last season, but most of her scoring came attacking the basket because she only shot ten three pointers last year. This offseason Johnson said she focused on her shooting.

“Every day I was in the gym shooting more than 300 shots a day more than 500 shots a day just getting that shot right makes it easier on my game since it’s like I don’t have to do so much,” Johnson said.

Fleming said he’s seen improvement in her shooting, but he also said it’s not just shooting that he wants her to improve on.

“What I want to see out of her that she is a game changer as far as defensively that don’t show up in the stat sheet,” Fleming said. Fleming added that they want Johnson to guard the other team’s best player.

Johnson averaged a steal per game last season, but she said she wants to be a “scrappy guard” that gets a few steals per game.

Johnson has no doubt in her improvement as a player, but also believes that this team has bought in to the idea of being successful.

“No doubt in my mind, in our mind, in our coaching staff’s mind, my mother’s mind, my little brother’s mind,” Johnson said. “If any doubt is in your mind than it kills the whole thing. So we just want to keep our heads together.”

Johnson had a good start to the season in an exhibition win against Cortland tying her career high of 16 points.

Johnson and the Bonnies have the opportunity to build off the exhibition in the season-opener in the Reilly Center against St. Johns on November 5 at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

Students cope with stress through extracurriculars and talking with friends 

By: Olivia Boyd

St. Bonaventure, N.Y. – Looking out on to the Reilly Center pool in the Student Veterans Lounge, senior Alyssa Magnuson laughed about how she’s changed majors three times.

“I was a biology major but then I failed biology and calculus and I joined Army ROTC and it was all a lot,” said Magnuson. “I switched to education, which has a rigorous track with everything and doing it late would have been impossible. I want to be a teacher, so I switched again to childhood studies because you still get to learn the same material.”

Many students, including Magnuson, said that balancing school and deciding what you want to do with it can be stressful. To cope, many students participate in activities, religion and time management.

“School has 100 percent affected my mental health since beginning college because of the course work. I never really had a problem with managing stress in high school,” said junior Kasey Tokos. “I was able to study for only an hour in high school and now I struggle with just taking a breath and trying to destress.”

Like other college students, Tokos said she struggles to balance school, work, sports, and social activities.

“I am more stressed out than I used to be,” said graduate student Carlie Jacque. “I also stress about the little things a lot more now because I balance graduate school and a job. I get overwhelmed when I think about school sometimes.”

Being a graduate student, Jacque said the work she undertakes has been geared toward her future job, so she believes the stress can be worth it. In the end she does not mind the amount of work.

“School has had a roller coaster affect with my mental health. I am not one to usually stress about stuff, but school has changed that completely for me. I have had my mental breakdowns and panic attacks which is very much out of character for me,” said sophomore Kelly DeGrood.

To manage her panic from school, Degrood goes home, finds an activity to calm her down or practices rugby. She tries to surround herself with people who have similar interests and passions to her own.

Many students on campus said they cope with the stresses they experience from school by participating in extracurricular activities or talking with friends.

“I go to church on Sundays,” said senior Jazmine Clasing. “I make a priority of that. I go to Believers Chapel in Allegany off campus.”

Many Bonaventure students take comfort in religion. Clasing said she believed faith aided her in taking some of the burden of stress off herself because she doesn’t feel alone.

Senior Sara Goodwin, who did not disclose her GPA, said, “Mental health is everything you can’t see or measure. It’s all internal and at the end of the day you’re the one that knows yourself the best.”

Goodwin, like Degrood, said that school can be a roller coaster. However, she has been able to time manage and not get overwhelmed by breaking assignments and responsibilities into smaller pieces and completing at least one task each day.

Freshman Malaunah Jones said she believed students come in with mental health issues but also develop them while at school from being overwhelmed.

“School throws you in a new situation like, here’s a new life and you have to do your best and sometimes your best isn’t enough, because you have to find out for yourself what you want and are held to certain expectations,” said Jones, a biology major.

“Some of the ways that school can affect mental health is experiencing lower self-esteem, self-doubt, and activation of latent mental health issues or problems in the past,” said Amy Mickle, a Bonaventure counselor.

Mickle said, “Old coping mechanisms may not work as previously in the student’s life causing an increase in anxiety, depressive conditions and symptoms like poor sleep, change in eating habits, poor concentration, isolation, and procrastination.”

Bonaventure has many resources for students to use such as counseling services, a student gym, a grief recovery group, a school-provided ministry services, an LGBTQ+ club, and alcohol anonymous meetings.

“I would say Bonaventure helps my mental health,” said senior Erin Brockenton. “After I lost my mom, school has been made easy because of my friends, professors and teammates helping me. It’s not a burden to be back at school. I use the counseling services from the wellness center.”

The wellness center counseling sessions last from 45 minutes to an hour. Primarily psychotherapy, students can speak with counselors, go through books or worksheets or video clips.

Students begin to learn time management skills to not become submerged in stress. Magnuson, whose GPA changed from a 2.1 in freshman year to a 3.3 currently, learned to time manage and destress through exercise with ROTC and playing rugby.

Chef hopes to bring energy for sophomore season

Forward Tshiefu (Chef) Ngalakulondi 6’7 is ready to make a bigger impact this season. Last season he was seen in 18 games averaging 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds. He shot 60.7 percent from the floor and 5 for 11 beyond the arc. In the Atlantic 10 Tournament, he finished with four points vs. Davidson. In the NCAA tournament, he scored two points and four rebounds against Florida.

Reporter Keara Donnelly sat down with Ngalakulondi to get his thoughts on his improvements from freshman year and his goals for this season.

The most important thing you learned from freshman year?

“To be confident, to work and play hard because eventually all of that will play off. Also look to senior leadership because they know what they are doing and have been here for a while.”

What goals do you have for yourself this season?

“To contribute as much as I can on and off the court and help the team win.”

What impact do you hope to bring to the season this year?

“I will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm bring my game and play hard all the time.”

How is this year’s team different than last year?

“This year’s team is more spread out and everyone will have an opportunity to shine. I feel we are ready and we have the experience, new pieces are coming together, and we are adding on and reloading as a team.”

Who is your favorite basketball player?

“Kevin Durant and Jamal Crawford because Durant is smooth with the rock and knows how to create plays for others and himself. Jamal Crawford is a “bucket” because he knows how to go out there and have fun. I see myself being like him because he comes off the bench and just impacts the game. You don’t always need to be a starter to always do well. That is the mind set I have.”

 

 

Photo by Elliott Brown/Media Images International

 

 

Ikpeze looking for continued improvement in year three

By: Teddy Caputo

With Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Idris Taqee no longer on the team this season, the Bonnies are looking for the next player(s) to step up as a leader and be a dynamic scoring options for them.  One guy who is more than ready for that challenge is Amadi Ikpeze.

Ikpeze has been a solid contributor for the Bonnies in the paint over the past two seasons.  During his freshman year, he played in 24 games, averaging 2.3 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game and 9.2 minutes per game.  In his sophomore season, he played in 34 games and averaged 4.5 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 14.1 minutes per game. Ikpeze talked about what he did to improve his game last season.

“I improved mainly by knowing my spots on the court,” said Ikpeze.  “I’ve become more confident and efficient scoring wise, and I’ve continued to learn the system, both offense and defense, to become a better player.”

Ikpeze talked about how he can carry his improvement from last year into this upcoming season.

“I can definitely look back at it by watching tape and seeing what I do good on the court vs. what I do bad on the court and going from there,” said Ikpeze. “Starting the last 14 games of the season definitely gave me a lot of confidence leading into this season.”

The Bonnies finished last year with a 26-8 regular season record, going 14-4 in conference play and having their first NCAA tournament win since 1970.  Their stellar season has many fans expecting them to keep up the performance this year. Ikpeze, however, isn’t worried, saying, “I don’t see any pressure from last year’s season because it is a new season.  We’re 0-0.  We had a great season last year and we did great things like making the tournament and winning the play-in game against UCLA, but we’re focused on being 1-0 at the beginning of November.”

Ikpeze’s confidence going into this season is nothing but a good thing for a new-look Bonnies who have five new players that will need some guidance from the veterans on the team. Ikpeze spoke about his role on the team as a leader and a veteran player alongside seniors Courtney Stockard, Nelson Kaputo and LaDarien Griffin.

“Being the main voices in the locker room, we definitely have to lead by example and make sure we are giving it 100% in practice every day,” said Ikpeze.  “That’s really where they are going to pay the most attention to when looking for what to do right and wrong.”

One new player who may look to Ikpeze for guidance is freshman center Osun Osunniyi.  “You can’t teach height.  That’s what I’ve been told a lot in my life,” said Ikpeze.  “With Osun alongside me this year, we’re taller and will be more of a contribution to our team and a threat to others.”

A game Ikpeze is most looking forward to on the Bonnies’ schedule is against the University of Buffalo in the Reilly Center mainly because Buffalo is his hometown. Ikpeze added, “I’m excited for every game to show people how much better I’ve gotten and show them what I can do on the court.”

Ikpeze will continue to try and show the country how much better he has gotten over the offseason in their next game against Georgia State University in the Cayman Islands Classic on November 19.

 

 

 

 

Picture Courtesy: GoBonnies