Taqqee staying level-headed with high expectations

By Mike Hogan

Idris Taqqee has seen a great amount of action on the floor during his Bonnies career. Playing since his freshman year, Taqqee has experienced all the ups-and-downs of Bonas basketball.

Reporter Mike Hogan sat down with Taqqee to discuss his emotions going into his senior year, his thoughts about the higher expectations, and his basketball future.

 

Big news for you as you were just named a captain, how do you feel about that accomplishment?

 

Taqqee: I’m excited that my teammates have trusted me, and I am really excited to lead them every possession on the court.

 

You’re going into your last season as a Bonnie, what are your emotions in regards to that? How do you wish to be remembered here?

 

Taqqee: I just wish to be remembered for everything that I’ve done well and everything that I have worked on. It’s definitely bitter sweet that it’s my last year, but there’s a lot of things that we want to accomplish and we’re all going to work towards it together.

 

What kinds of things did you work on this offseason? What did you improve on the most?

 

Taqqee: I improved on consistency the most. I worked on every single aspect of my game from rebounding, ball handling, off the ball cutting, I can go on for days about what I worked on, but being consistent was huge.

 

What are the expectations for this year’s squad? What’s the vibe of the locker room?

 

Taqqee: The sky is the limit. We know that we have the capability to do anything that we put our minds to. We know everyone is talking A-10 tournament and the NCAA tournament, but we think we can go beyond that. Above and beyond.

 

In previous years you guys were ranked towards the bottom of the pack in the A-10, with the raised expectations this year how is the team handling them?

 

Taqqee: It’s definitely exciting. I have been here and have been able to grow with change. I’m happy and I am excited to see that, but it’s something where you just have to keep that same approach where nothing has changed. Nothing is guaranteed at the end of the day, but it’s definitely good to see the buzz and excitement.

 

What would it be like for you and the other seniors on this team to go out in your last season’s here making the NCAA tournament?

 

Taqqee: It’d be great man. All of the hard work would pay off, because there’s been a lot of hours spent in that gym. It’s something that I’ve had my eyes on.

 

What are you looking at after Bonaventure, are you looking to keep playing basketball?

 

Taqqee: Yeah, I want to keep playing basketball for as long as I can. I would play basketball for the rest of my life if I could.

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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.

Mens basketball: Quick Hitters (Dayton)

By Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt

The end of a season: Like every conference tournament in college basketball, only one team and its fans goes home happy. This year it was not St. Bonaventure, and it’s students and loyal alumni who showed up in the masses to support their team. However, finishing 18-14 with tremendous careers from Chris Dees, Andell Cumberbatch and Youssou Ndoye is nothing to hang your head too long about. Next year, Jay adams will be back as he missed the whole tourney and a large part of the latter half of the season with a broken finger. Dion Wright will be back, and so will most of the core of this Bonnies team so don’t worry Bonnies fans, the future is bright.

Hot shooting not enough: All season long the Bonnies have struggled to make shots from outside, leading teams to play zone against them to negate the big men, Ndoye and Wright, inside. Today was a different story. The Bonnies shot 67 percent from the field in the first half, and 58 percent overall in the game. Wright and Posley accounted for 50 of the Bonnies 71 points.

Wright for three: Dion Wright had made one three pointer all season long. Tonight he went 4-5 from three and 10-11 from the field, playing in all 40 minutes. And, if that wasn’t enough he also led the Bonnies in rebounds with nine.

Ndoye’s struggles: Youssou Ndoye had a nightmare of a time facing Dayton’s Kendall Pollard. Pollard held Ndoye to just four points in the game. Ndoye did pick up eight rebounds but his scoring was missed down low.

Sibert steps up: Jordan Sibert is an NBA-caliber player on this Dayton team. Tonight he went 5-12 for 19 points. He also hit the biggest three of the game, a dagger that put Dayton up by two with just seconds to play and ultimately the final blow to end St. Bonaventure’s season.

Quotes:

Jordan Sibert: “We just wanted to get the ball out of Posley’s hands.” (talking about last play of the game)

“Kendall did a great job being aggressive.” “We piggybacked off his energy.

Archie Miller: “We didn’t talk about it.”  (on attempting to beat a team three times on the season. “The one thing about beating a team twice in the regular season in my opinion is you beat them twice so you can do it again.”

“Dion Wright from three threw a monkey-wrench into what we were doing.” 

Mark Schmidt: “I thought that Dion couldn’t have played better. Marcus couldn’t have played better.” “Im really proud of our guys, disappointed about how it ended, but I can’t complain about the effort.” 

 

 

#Bonnies crush Hawks despite sluggish start

By Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt 

Without a doubt, the Bonnie faithful showed up in masses to cheer on their St. Bonaventure Bonnies in their first battle of a quest for an Atlantic-10 title.

However, most of them were holding their breath at halftime as the Bonnies trailed by five (28-23) and were shooting about 21 percent. The deficit had been as many as nine points in the first half and you could feel the energy being sucked out of the building.

Fortunately, despite a poor shooting night from three throughout—as the Bonnies went just 2-14 (14.4 percent), they were able to hold off the Hawks in the second half and force the issue to secure the win and set up an intriguing matchup against the Dayton Flyers at 6:30 tomorrow.

“Our offense has to be better if we’re going to have any success tomorrow,” said Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt.

Youssou Ndoye picked up a technical in the first half after a small scuffle that resulted in two converted foul shots and the ball. But, when it looked like his head may have been somewhere else other than the court, he stepped up and led the Bonnies in scoring at 18 points. He also gathered eight rebounds and did most of his damage at the free throw line going 8-12.

But, perhaps the most impressive effort of the night came from Denzel Gregg, who used his pure athleticism to gather 15 rebounds—including five on the offensive end. Gregg, who doesn’t score much, just 1-6 from the field, brought tremendous energy to the court on the glass.

“To get 15 rebounds in 34 minutes is tremendous,” said Schmidt. “That was one of the reasons we were successful, especially in the second half.”

Marcus Posley, the Bonnies leading scorer this season, struggled in the first half and never really found his touch throughout the game. The Bonnies count on him for three point shooting and after a 1-7 performance from three for him tonight, you have to wonder if the Bonnies could survive tomorrow night against a Dayton team that shoots lights out from three.

For St. Josephs, DeAndre’ Bembry, an NBA prospect, struggled mightily going just 3-12 from the field for 12 points in 40 minutes of play.

“We made sure we would make someone else beat us,” said Schmidt.

 

The Hawks season ends at 13-18, a disappointment for St. Joe’s head coach Phil Martelli after winning the A-10 tournament last year.

“It’s the highest of highs and the lowest of lows,” said Martelli.

 

 

 

 

Men’s basketball: The #Bonnies beat La Salle, advance to quarterfinals

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies survived and advanced on Thursday afternoon, defeating the La Salle Explorers by a score of 82-72 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They will face the Saint Louis Billikens in the quarterfinals tomorrow at noon.

Youssou Ndoye led the Bonnies with 19 points and 10 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season. Marquise Simmons added 15 points and six rebounds, while Charlon Kloof scored 14 points and dished out six assists.

One of the main keys in the Bonnies’ win was a dominating performance on defense. They outrebounded the Explorers 28-23, with 12 of those 28 coming on the offensive glass. When the big men control the boards like they did today, this Bonaventure team is going to be a tough out.

In addition, the Brown and White held La Salle guard Tyrone Garland, the team’s second-leading scorer, to zero points on 0-7 shooting from the floor. That effort to shut down one of the most electrifying players in the conference did not go unnoticed by Bona coach Mark Schmidt in the postgame press conference.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: The #Bonnies beat La Salle, advance to quarterfinals”

Men’s basketball: La Salle Preview

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The ninth-seeded St. Bonaventure Bonnies head to Brooklyn, N.Y. to start their Atlantic 10 Tournament campaign on Thursday at noon against the eight-seeded La Salle Explorers at the Barclays Center. The winner of the matchup will face the St. Louis Billikens, the number one seed, on Friday at noon in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

First thing’s first, however: the Bonnies and Explorers will have to play their best just to get to the game against SLU. They’ve been familiar foes this year, facing off twice. Bonaventure ran away with the first game, winning 66-51 in front of a packed and rowdy Reilly Center, while La Salle won the second game in their house in a tight 75-67 game that came down to the final moments.

Now, on a neutral court, these two evenly matched teams will be ready to play what should be one of the best games of the opening round. It will be an intense battle full of emotion, with neither team willing to leave Brooklyn after just one game. Who will pull off the win? Let’s break it down!

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: La Salle Preview”