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.
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.
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.
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.
First year student? Transfer? Graduate student? Whatever the case might be, adjusting into the college life can be a difficult task. If the first month was challenging, here are a few tips to gain more control comfort.
Handling a new schedule can be hard. Even more so when trying to balance sports, clubs, and social time into the mix.
Utilizing a calendar, a planner, or even the note app on your phone can be dramatically helpful.
When dealing with assignments, try to check on things a week in advance. Doing this task on a weekend is more beneficial. Write down a specific day when there will be enough time to do work. Be sure check them off as they are completed.
Writing down specific times when to eat, go to the library, or even to take a nap can be very improving as well.
Everyone’s schedule is very different, so being self-aware of the individualities will lead to success.
No matter what year someone is in, everyone is trying to fit in somewhere. Not only is it important to make these friends to feel comfortable, but it is important these friends match personal values.
Every time a step is taken outside the dorm, a new opportunity arises to meet someone new. Be sure to take advantage of the possible connections that could be made. Maybe that person could be a best friend for life or a future boss.
Don’t be the person to wait for friends to come to you. It can be a hard time adjusting to college when you have no one to talk to.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Between homework, sleeping, and trying to fit in, it might be hard to find time to breath. Be sure to use some time to think about emotional and physical health.
Be sure to find time to eat. A lot of people don’t realize the importance a good meal can have on your energy and performance. Waking up late for breakfast will of course happen but be sure to put some fuel in the body.
If needed, talk to someone about problems. The school has numerous advisors and support systems available. Reaching out when needed is an action that anyone can take advantage of.
Finally, take some alone time. Do whatever is needed to get refocused, and to ask yourself how you are doing. Other people can see a picture from the outside, but only the individual will know what is happening within.
Every person needs to get readjusted back to college. Don’t think that you might be the only one having troubles. No one is alone. Take these tips into consideration to reduce the daily stress.
Post Malone’s new album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, brings an exciting-new mix to the table, and reveals more about his lifestyle than ever before.
The album has been long awaited by fans and critics alike. With the teaser songs of “Wow.”, “Sunflower”, “Goodbyes”, and “Circles” sparking interest in what was to come next, Post Malone delivered. The new songs on the album bring back everything fans were craving to hear.
It’s obvious Post Malone incorporated a new vibe into this album. When listening to the songs, a higher focus in instrumental reinforcement and a classic OG feel makes every song a rock session. For example, “Take What You Want” proves Post can master any genre of music. By featuring Ozzy Obourne and Travis Scott together, fans get the collaboration we never knew we needed. A classic rock feel and sick guitar solo will have anyone jamming in the car.
“Staring At The Sun”, “Circles”, “Allergic”, and “Sunflower” takes the slower pace in just the right way to deliver a more classic pop vibe. Post Malone’s roots of inspiration flourished throughout the album.
Fans might also find themselves respecting Post’s new attitude. Through songs such as “Enemies”, “Saint-Tropez”, “I’m Gonna Be”, “Myself”, “Internet”, and “A Thousand Bad Times” Post seems to understand where he is in life. Instead of dwelling in past depressions, like the songs of “I Fall Apart” and “Stay” in previous albums, Post throws the sadness behind him and is now looking forward. Upon examining the lyrics, Post knows he can no longer deal with the drama in life. He knows he is talented at what he does, and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about him. It’s clear he had a fun time making this album, and he did it for himself.
When looking for songs to vibe to in the car with be sure to make “Enemies”, “Allergic”, “Circles”, “Take What You Want”, and “Staring At The Sun” the top five songs to add to any playlist.
What more can be said about this album? Besides the fact that it’s a 12/10, nothing much. Post Malone truly delivered with this new album, and he gave the fans what they were looking for. Name one bad song by Post Malone. Trick question, you can’t.
The sports world tends to hit the “panic button” early on in the season, no matter the sport.
This year the Golden State Warriors were questioned early on when they were in third place almost 25 games into the season.
Super Bowl Champion New England was behind the Miami in the division going into Week 5 and there were questions being asked about they would fare this season.
Well the Warriors just clinched the one-seed in the NBA’s Western Conference again and the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.
The new team to be questioned is the defending champion Boston Red Sox who are 5-9 are and near the bottom of the AL East. With a slow start comes immediate questions of what’s wrong with the team.
What if there’s nothing really wrong with the Red Sox, or the Patriots or the Warriors? Great teams figure it out. Sure the Red Sox have holes especially in their bullpen, but can we hold off on asking questions about what’s wrong with a team this early in the season?
On this date last year the Red Sox were having a hot start at 8-1. But there were some other teams that were playing great baseball in April as well. The Toronto Blue Jays (6-4), Los Angeles Angels (7-3), New York Mets (7-1), Pittsburgh Pirates (7-2) and Arizona Diamondbacks (7-2).
None of those teams made the playoffs and they all started with a .600 winning percentage or better. In the Pirates and Diamondbacks cases they were top of the division halfway through May and still missed the playoffs.
Today we live in a world of instant results because of technology. But when it comes to sports, people including myself, need to relax and let the process play out.
That’s what playing a professional sport is…. A long process starting in the offseason with a goal to win a championship.
People just ignore the process and are quick to tear down a player and or a team.
The Patriots are a prime example. Tom Brady has been “declining” according to several talking heads on networks such as ESPN and Fox Sports 1 for years. That declining quarterback has led the Patriots to the Super Bowl four of the last five years including winning three.
People are also too quick to crown teams.
This year’s Los Angeles Lakers for a lot of people including myself were an easy playoff team. Halfway through December they were a game out of third place. Then poor play and injuries derailed their season. In reality though, a team made up of guys not known for their defense or their ability to shoot the three very well should have never been considered a high seed. But we all bought into the LeBron James hype and were all very wrong as the Lakers didn’t even eclipse 40 wins this year.
Even in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres were top of league and on a 10-game win streak in late November. It appeared this was going to be the year the Sabres finally return to the playoffs. Instead the only thing that returned was dysfunction and poor play. That led the Sabres to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 76 points.
Early season performances aren’t completely pointless but it’s not always an indicator of a team’s future success. At this point it’s getting ridiculous. Media people are just making knee-jerk reactions to get the most views or clicks on an article.
If a surprise team is over-performing, you have to take a look at how its winning and decide whether you believe that’s a realistic and sustainable way to be successful.
It’s rare that a talented group, especially a defending champion, has such a big problem the next year that can’t be fixed over the course of a season. That’s what makes a team great, its ability to adjust and overcome adversity.
I’m not saying no more “hot takes”. I enjoy the “Monday Morning Quarterback” type takes just like everyone else. But before we hit the panic button on the Red Sox in April or question if the Patriots dynasty is over hold off another week and save the panicking for everyone else.
But it ended in a way that broke the hearts of the thousands of Bonnies fans that traveled to Brooklyn over the weekend.
When the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team’s 2018-19 season came to an end Sunday afternoon, it left an opportunity on the table that could have only been dreamed about at the beginning of the year.
The Bonnies fell to Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 championship game, and the college careers of Courtney Stockard, LaDarien Griffin and Nelson Kaputo came to an end.
St. Bonaventure entered the tournament as the fourth seed, but once Sunday came around, it looked like everything they needed to happen to win the tournament came true.
The top three seeds in the tournament (VCU, Davidson, Dayton) had all been knocked out, and the Bonnies awaited a Saint Louis team in the final that they had beaten eight days before.
But when the final buzzer sounded, it brought sorrow instead of joy for Bonnies fans.
Bona was so close, so close, to making an an improbable run to the NCAA tournament. It would have been the first time the program had ever went to the tournament in back-to-back years and a remarkable end to the careers of three seniors that have been through a lot over the past four seasons at SBU.
But for many Bonnies fans, it became the game, the championship and the tournament run that could have been.
Sure, it’s easy to look back at the past and think what could have resulted if a bounce or two could have gone Bona’s way. It’s also easy to look at the turnaround that this team had, after starting the season 4-10 and then coming within seven minutes of an A10 championship.
But at the culmination of this season, what Bonnies fans should really be excited is the year to come– and probably the next three.
The team started three freshmen (when they were healthy) for the majority of the season. Kyle Lofton, Dom Welch and Osun Osunniyi averaged a combined 30 points and 14.4 rebounds per game during the regular season. The trio also scored 35.3 points per game and pulled down 18 rebounds per game during the A10 tournament.
Under a coach that is notorious for giving freshmen time to develop before he gives them significant playing time, it is remarkable what this year’s freshman class did.
Lofton and Osunniyi, prep school teammates, each blossomed into impact players in the Atlantic 10 over the course of the year. Both were named to the conference’s All-Rookie team, and Osunniyi was also named to its All-Defensive team.
For his play over the weekend, Lofton was named to the A10 All-Tournament team.
Welch, who missed nine games in the regular season with an injury, took longer to come around than the other two.
But the Buffalo native showed his potential in Brooklyn. Welch shot 6-12 from beyond the arc and scored 20 a career-high points in Bona’s quarterfinal win over George Mason, and followed it up with a 13-point performance the next day against Rhode Island.
What impressed me the most from Welch over the weekend was his defensive awareness. He was all over the court, and his defensive play, along with his offense, showed that he was finally ready to play at the level Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt had hoped he could.
“The future is bright,” said Schmidt after the loss to Saint Louis. “We’ve got to bring in some more guys, but they are a talented group that is going to continue to get better.”
Schmidt has already landed several players who could fill the roles the seniors left, including Bobby Planutis, a transfer from Mt. St. Mary’s who had to sit out this season, and Justin Winston, a three-star recruit from the same prep school that Lofton and Osunniyi came from (Putnam Science Academy).
Those players and the other returners will have 25-point-per-game shoes to fill that Stockard and Griffin will take with them when they graduate.
Sounds tough, but Bona was put in the same situation this year after they lost Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley’s combined 37.2 points per game.
Maybe I’m just trying to be positive.
But it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Bonnies have a special trio of freshmen on their hands who have big-game experience after playing into Sunday of the A10 tournament. That experience will go a long way in future years if they can find themselves in the same spot.
The 2019 Bonnies came close. But this tournament run, which was almost one for the ages, could be just the beginning of what this young group can accomplish.
I’m not the only one who feels that way. In the final press conference of his career, Griffin showed his enthusiasm for the future of the Bona program.
“Those guys are gonna use this season as motivation and as long as they stay together they’re going to be really special,” said Griffin.