Baseball: Bonnies Draw Familiar Foe in A-10 Tournament

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(Aaron Phillips, photo credit Olean Times Herald)

By Josh Svetz @Svetz17

After the St. Bonaventure Bonnies secured the third seed last Friday against Fordham, fans waited anxiously to see who the Bonnies would face in the opening round of the A-10 Tournament.

Before the Saturday games started, it looked certain the Bonnies would take on the surging Saint Joseph’s Hawks for the first time this season.

But a strange wave of events commenced.

The Hawks, who had previously dominated George Washington two games straight, lost it’s regular season finale to the Colonials in a blow out. Then, after being blown out twice by St. Louis, George Mason put together a last-ditch effort and won the final game against the Billikens securing the final spot in the tournament.

St. Louis moved down to the five spot, pushing George Washington up to the fourth and Davidson rested in the sixth spot.

The Hawks were out, and the Bonnies now had a date with one of the toughest teams they’ve faced in conference this season, the Davidson Wildcats.

Back in March, the Bonnies were a sub-par club looking for answers. Out of conference they sat at 5-5, but had a little momentum going with two straight wins over North Dakota State, winning both games despite being shut out in the series opener.

Opening conference play against the Wildcats in North Carolina, the Bonnies stayed neck and neck, tied at one, through four innings.

Then, the inflammation in starting pitcher Brandon Schlimm’s throwing arm acted up. Schlimm gave up three runs and the Bonnies were down 4-1.

Hope shined through when the Bonnies got a man on base, but the sunshine vanished quickly.

A rain delay forced the game to be finished the next day and the Bonnies couldn’t recover, losing 9-2. Just an hour after that loss, the Bonnies had to go out and play again, losing by the same score.

But the next day, in the final game of the series, the Bonnies dominated the Wildcats 17-4, led by a six hit, eight RBI domination by David Hollins. The Bonnies also got a great performance from starting pitcher Aaron Phillips, giving up three-earned runs, five hits and tossing seven strikeouts.

That loss sent the Wildcats into a tailspin, dropping the next five games.

With Phillips likely to start and the Bonnies not dealing with rain delays, pitcher injuries or home field advantage, it’s more likely the team that beat the Wildcats last time will show up, rather than the shell that got beat down twice in a row in a span of three hours.

Still — winning is far from guaranteed.

The Wildcats feature top conference players like Will Robertson and Brian Fortier, two bombers ranking top 30 in the NCAA for home runs.

In fact, the Wildcats rank 20th in the NCAA, averaging 1.26 home runs per game.

But the biggest factor may be ace pitcher Durin O’Linger, who’s compiled a 1.33 ERA through the months of April and May in seven starts.

Despite the offense on both sides, a pitching duel looks evident with two studs like Phillips and O’Linger likely slinging for their teams.

The number one key to victory is Phillips keeping the Wildcat bombers at bay, something he should be able to do giving up just six home runs this season.

As much success as the Bonnies have had recently, there’s two teams that have come to play this season.

This afternoon we find out if the Bonnies are the back-to-back losers Davidson saw in the first two games, or the dominant winners that closed out the Wildcats in the final game of the series.

Men’s basketball: Lee joins coaching staff, Poyser verbally commits

By Cameron Hurst @CameronNHurst

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ABOVE: Dwayne Lee (SJU.edu) BELOW: Jalen Poyser (RunRebs.com)

Although St. Bonaventure’s academic calendar officially concluded over a week ago, the men’s basketball team found itself in the news with two personnel additions.

Last Monday, Chuckie Maggio of The Olean Times Herald reported that Fairleigh Dickinson assistant coach Dwayne Lee will be joining Mark Schmidt’s staff for the 2017-18 season.

Lee has spent the last four seasons as a member of head coach Greg Herenda’s staff, serving as a key figure in helping the Knights earn a 2016 NEC championship and a trip to that year’s NCAA tournament, the first such appearance for the program in 11 years.

However, the new assistant may be more familiar to Bonnies fans from his playing career at Saint Joseph’s from 2002-06, playing 30 games as a sophomore on the 2003-04 team that earned an Elite Eight berth in the NCAA tournament. Following the departure of Player of the Year and eventual NBA All-Star guard, Jameer Nelson, Lee helped guide the Hawks to an NIT finals appearance and two Atlantic 10 tournament championship game appearances during his final two years. He also earned Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team honors during his junior season.

Prior to his time at Saint Joseph’s, Lee had the opportunity to play for legendary head coach Bob Hurley at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. During Lee’s tenure, the Friars won two straight New Jersey State Tournament of Champions titles and a No. 2 National Ranking by USA Today. 

It was also Hurley who convinced Lee to stay in school after tragedy struck his family during his freshman year at Saint Joseph’s. Lee, mourning the death of his mother, had contemplated leaving SJU to pursue a full-time job so as to support his younger siblings. Hurley, however, convinced him otherwise, noting that a college degree could benefit him and his family more in the long run.

“[Hurley] was definitely a shoulder to lean on at that rough time in my life,” Lee revealed in a feature published by the SJU athletic department in 2013. “He was there first as a coach and a friend. Then secondly, to offer his advice on what he thought would be the right route for me to go. I didn’t know which way I should go. It was hard for somebody at that age to know exactly what to do, especially given the circumstances with my two younger brothers.”

It is no secret that Hurley has played a huge role in the life of St. Bonaventure’s newest assistant coach, but it is the Hall of Fame coach who holds his former pupil in the highest of regards.

Upon being hired by Fairleigh Dickinson in 2013, Hurley praised the university’s hire, calling Lee “one of my favorite kids I have ever been associated with.”

Lee will replace former SBU assistant Jerome Robinson, who officially accepted an assistant coaching position at New Mexico, under fellow Canadian Paul Weir.

However, while St. Bonaventure loses Robinson, their chief presence in Canadian recruiting, they hold onto his parting gift — the verbal commitment of UNLV transfer Jalen Poyser.

Poyser, one of three notable transfers leaving Las Vegas,  announced following the Rebels’ 11-21 season, that he’d look for a new program to call home.  Aside from St. Bonaventure, Poyser generated interest from Texas, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Tulane, among others.

But, in the end, Poyser went with the choice closest to his home in Malton, Ontario which lies only 26 minutes from Toronto, where Robinson is from.

Poyser, in announcing his decision via Twitter, cited that his decision to attend Bonaventure remained as “the best decision” for him and his family and thanked Robinson specifically for helping him come to the decision.

During his sophomore campaign at UNLV, Poyser played in 31 games, averaging 10.4 points, while also averaging 27.1 minutes. He went 38-132 from beyond the arc and also averaged 2.7 rebounds.

He will be ineligible for the 2017-18 season, but in utilizing its final available scholarship, St. Bonaventure opted to plan for the future, similarly to the way they did in signing Matt Mobley to eventually replace Marcus Posley.

 

Bonaventure adjunct’s actions speak louder than words

[Photo courtesy of Sophia Kucharski]

By: M.K. Killen

Angela Reisner may not be on St. Bonaventure University’s campus every day, but her bubbly personality has made an impression on many students.

“Angela is adorable, engaging and passionate,” said Simmi Kalsi, a sophomore biology major. “She’s just such a fun and phenomenal person. She’s super understanding, and she even brings us a bowl of candy every class—and takes requests.”

Reisner teaches courses in American Sign Language (ASL) on Monday and Tuesday nights. Students describe Resiner as energetic, fun and kind-hearted.

Continue reading “Bonaventure adjunct’s actions speak louder than words”

Men’s basketball: Bonnies should be just fine with underdog role

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The tweets started to pour in, all with a similar theme or agenda.

“Leaving for Brooklyn in a half hour. Four spots left in my car. Come to the Plassmann/Murphy lot with gas money.”

St. Bonaventure guard Jordan Gathers had just made a buzzer-beating three-pointer to upset No. 1 seed Saint Louis in the 2014 Atlantic 10 Tournament at Barclays Center. The Bonnies, who had fallen to the No. 8 seed in the tourney after losing four straight games to close out the regular season, were going to Semifinal Saturday. And an ambivalent-turned-spontaneous SBU community was joining them.

Bona lost that semifinal game to a St. Joseph’s team that had two future NBA players on the roster in DeAndre’ Bembry and Langston Galloway. However, the Bonnies went on a mini-run that pleased the fans and masked the fact that they went 6-10 in A-10 regular season play that year.

In a tournament that has proven to be unpredictable, the Bonnies should be just fine with another underdog role this year, as the No. 5 seed.

Last year, Bonaventure was in the rare position of being the third seed and one of the favorites to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Mark Schmidt’s team played a strong game that Friday night, but lost to Davidson in overtime. Dayton, VCU and SBU were the three big favorites, but it was No. 4 St. Joe’s, which had lost three of its last five regular season games, that claimed the title on Sunday.

The No. 1 overall seed has won the Atlantic 10 Tournament twice since 2004. Over that time, three teams outside of the top four, without the benefit of a double-bye, won four straight to take the title: Xavier in 2004 (third West division), Xavier in 2006 (No. 10 seed) and VCU in 2015 (No. 5 seed).

In an unpredictable tournament, the Bonnies have three things every champion for the past nine years has had:

-A top five seed in the tournament

-An All-A-10 First Team player.

-A coach who has been to an NCAA Tournament before as a head or assistant coach.

Bona is, indeed, a dangerous team, with the best backcourt and highest-scoring offense overall in the conference.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Bonnies should be just fine with underdog role”

Men’s basketball: Schmidt calls depth “overrated;” no concern with Adams and Mobley’s minutes

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt doesn’t like sitting his guards if he doesn’t have to.

Out of a possible 1,130 minutes this season, junior guard Matt Mobley has played all but 52 of them. Point guard Jaylen Adams missed two games, but has logged 968 minutes out of a possible 1,050. Mobley has played the entire game 12 times, while Adams has done it on nine occasions.

Mobley is the NCAA Division I leader in minutes per game at 38.5. Adams ranks sixth at 37.2.

“When you’re 20 years old… you’re not gonna get tired,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “We had what, 56 fouls, we have four (media) timeouts every half. If you can’t play for four minutes hard, then you shouldn’t be playing.

“I always say depth is overrated. The only time you need depth is when you get in foul trouble. We had foul trouble today, and I thought Nelson came in and did a good job for us. That’s the only thing; in terms of being “exhausted,” you should be exhausted at the end of the game and then drink some fluids and let’s go play again.”

Adams averaged 37.5 minutes last year, so this is far from unfamiliar territory for him. In the 2010-11 season, Ogo Adegboye led the country averaging 39.

Adams and Mobley are going to be on the court unless they get in foul trouble. If they keep racking up wins, Schmidt and his staff will be just fine with that.

 

St. Bonaventure gears up for Super Bowl Sunday

[Image retrieved from SportsLogos.net]

By Katie Tercek

As Super Bowl LI approaches, football fans at St. Bonaventure University will be tuning in on Sunday to watch the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, has lead the team to a 14-2 season which puts them ahead of the Falcons, whose quarterback Matt Ryan lead them to a 11-5 season.

Statistics may show that the New England Patriots are a better team, but that does not stop the hopes of Atlanta Falcons fans.

“I’m on the Falcon bandwagon because I am from Buffalo, and we have an integrated hate of the Patriots and Tom Brady,” said Max Weiss a senior and marketing major.

Continue reading “St. Bonaventure gears up for Super Bowl Sunday”

Students show solidarity for those affected by executive order

By Bryce Spadafora

Members of the St. Bonaventure University community gathered on the front steps of Plassmann Hall today to show solidarity for those affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

The executive order, released last Friday, restricts citizens from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq from entering the country. News outlets have reported that some United States citizens have also been denied entrance into the country.

According to the executive order, its purpose is to, “protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States.”

Opponents of the order have argued that it targets groups of people who have never committed terror attacks in the United States and are of very little threat to national security.

Continue reading “Students show solidarity for those affected by executive order”

Hip hop team develops Halloween themed show

[Image courtesy of Kathryn McTyre from the SBU Hip Hop Facebook page]

By Kelly Haberstroh

The SBU Hip Hop team collaborated with ASIA and LASO to host a Halloween themed show on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Peter Bertoldo, Emily Flynn and Meaghan Tederous came up with the theme and name for the event because they wanted to make each dance representative of a classic Halloween television show or movie.

The three had thrown around a lot of ideas for iconic Halloween films and decided on a select few. They all thought the name, “Halloween Through Your Screen,” would match the concept well and decided to show a trailer for each film depicted prior to the dances.

Continue reading “Hip hop team develops Halloween themed show”