Three takeaways from the St. Bonaventure vs Alfred

By: Jeff Uveino

The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team rolled over the Alfred Saxons 90-42 in an exhibition game at the Reilly Center. Here’s three takeaways from the game:

  1. The freshman class could be good. Scary good.

The Bonnies had three freshmen score in double figures. Alpha Okoli led the way with 20 points, including shooting four-of-five from three-point range. Kyle Lofton scored 15 points and Dom Welch had 12. All three showed their playmaking ability, the highlight of which came on a thunderous Welch dunk late in the second half. But perhaps the freshman who impressed me the most was 6-10 forward Osun Osunniyi. He’s long, athletic and physical, and showed that he could be a major presence around the rim. Osunniyi had two blocks and four rebounds to go along with five points.

  1. Who will be the star?

The Bonnies got contributions from up and down their roster, but there wasn’t a player that stood out. No one looked like the “star,” or the type of player who could take over a game. This year’s Bonnies are probably already getting sick of being compared to Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley, but those two were able to take over games last year, a part of the identity that this year’s team will need to find. Perhaps when Courtney Stockard returns, he can be that type of player for the Bonnies, but that may not happen for another month.

  1. Fifty-point win! (against a Division III team)

Yes, the Bonnies won by 48 points. They dominated on both ends of the floor. However, the teams they’re going to be playing during the regular season are going to be of a much different caliber than Alfred. The Bonnies were a mismatch for the Saxons physically and talent-wise, and for most of the night, they ran circles around them. Amadi Ikpeze dominated around the rim early in the game but was at least three or four inches taller than anyone in an Alfred jersey. It will be interesting to see how the Bonnies perform against some real competition.

 

St. Bonaventure will open regular season play on Nov. 7 at home against Bucknell.

 

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Stockard is ready for final season

By: Teddy Caputo 

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies had one of their best seasons in program history, having a 26-8 regular season record, a 14-game win streak during the regular season and an NCAA Tournament win against UCLA. Courtney Stockard is the leading returning scorer from last season and is looking to carry his momentum from last year into his senior season.

Last season, Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley made up an elite backcourt for the Bonnies. The duo was a huge part of the Bonaventure’s success last year, but they weren’t the only ones putting up stellar performances.  When Adams and Mobley struggled in some games during the season, Courtney Stockard, a 6’5 junior forward, stepped up when the Bonnies needed him.  He averaged 13.3 points and six rebounds per game in his first season playing for St. Bonaventure.  Stockard had some impressive performances, including 26 points in the tournament win against UCLA. Stockard also had a career-high 31 points in the triple-OT win against Davidson. Stockard talked about his success last season.

“When we needed somebody to step up, I thought why not anybody but me?” said Stockard. “I wanted to try to be that X-factor and next leader that would make the team more dynamic.”

This year he is in the position to step up and do it again, and he says he is ready for that challenge.

“I want to pick up where I left off last year and stay aggressive throughout the season,” said Stockard.

Stockard is one of three seniors this season alongside fellow teammates Nelson Kaputo and LaDarien Griffin. Stockard talked about their leadership obligations as seniors.

“Since we’re the veteran guys, we want to show the new guys on the team how it’s done and what we did to get to the point we were at last year,” said Stockard.

The Bonnies have five new players who are trying to acclimated to St. Bonaventure.

“With this offseason, there’s been a lot of individual work,” said Stockard.  “With us having a lot of new guys, we have to get them up to par, get them used to Schmidt’s system and used to the college game.”

One of the new Bonnies this season is transfer Jalen Poyser. Poyser is a transfer from UNLV. The junior transfer from Malton, Ontario scored 10.4 points and two assists per game in his sophomore season for the Rebels. Poyser is a guy who Stockard thinks can be productive on the perimeter.

“He’s a pretty explosive player, and I think that’s what people are going to find out really soon,” said Stockard.  “With him on the other wing, he’ll be able to take some pressure off me and I’ll be able to take some pressure off him.” Stockard added, “With that, we’ll be able to make a pretty big impact on this team and on the conference.”

Even though the team is young and inexperienced compared to last year’s team, Stockard believes this team has more talent from than last year’s squad and has high hopes for this season.

“We may struggle to start the season, but I think once these guys get going and get used to the way things are in college basketball, we have enough talent to be dangerous come March,” said Stockard. “If everybody hits their stride and I pick up where I left off last year, then I think we should be pretty good this season.”

Stockard talked about games he’s looking forward to on the schedule.

“I think the Syracuse game would probably be the one,” said Stockard.  “They think the game last year was a fluke, so if we could get it done again this year, we can prove that it wasn’t a fluke, that we can play with you guys and that we’re here to stay.”

Stockard gets a chance to lead the Bonnies and pick up where he left off last season in their exhibition game against Alfred University on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7:15 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Transfer Poyser brings talent and experience to Bonnies

By: Jeff Uveino

Las Vegas, Nevada to Olean, New York.

2,269 miles separate the two cities. One lies in the middle of a desert, the other nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.

Jalen Poyser chose this change of scenery when he left the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to play basketball for the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. But it wasn’t the freezing Olean winters that attracted him.

Poyser was drawn to the program Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt has built since he arrived at SBU in 2007 — one that has won at least 20 games each of the last three seasons and was an NCAA tournament team in 2017-18.

“They hold you accountable here,” Poyser said. “Coach Schmidt is a perfectionist. He demands you to be the best player you can be, and that’s something that helps me.”

Poyser, a 6-4 guard from Malton, Ontario transferred to SBU following his sophomore season at UNLV. Due to NCAA rules, Poyser sat out the entire 2017-18 season, giving him two seasons of eligibility for the Bonnies.

Poyser was rated a 3-star recruit out of Orangeville Prep by ESPN and 247Sports, and received offers from Oklahoma and Rhode Island, along with UNLV.

In two seasons at UNLV, Poyser appeared in total of 64 games, including 21 starts his sophomore year. As a sophomore, he averaged 10.4 points per game and 2.6 assists per game, and was an 80% free throw shooter.

Poyser hopes he can take what he learned at UNLV and bring it to St. Bonaventure.

“You always have to be ready for the moment,” he said. “No matter what conference you play in you always need to be aggressive and have a winning mentality. Because no matter what school you go to, the end goal is always to go to the (NCAA) tournament.”

While he couldn’t play last season, Poyser watched as the Bonnies made their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012 and got their first NCAA tournament win in 48 years from a 65-58 victory over the UCLA Bruins.

Poyser said he learned a lot from watching Atlantic 10 co-player of the year Jaylen Adams and first-team all-conference selection Matt Mobley lead the team.

“I watched the way they carried themselves on and off the court,” he said. “I saw different ways I could score on the floor and got to read opposing teams’ defenses.”

With Adams and Mobley gone, the Bonnies will look for new faces to lead the way. Poyser discussed strengths he brings to the team and his readiness to take on a large roll.

“I want to be an all-around player, whether I’m passing the ball, rebounding or scoring,” Poyser said. “Basically do a little bit of everything.”

Coach Mark Schmidt is no stranger to finding successful transfer players.

Matt Mobley transferred to St. Bonaventure after two seasons at Central Connecticut State. Marcus Posley, SBU’s leading scorer during their 2016 season, had transferred from Ball State. Current Bonnies senior Courtney Stockard transferred from Allen Community College.

Poyser hopes he can be the next transfer to thrive in Schmidt’s system.

“Those guys are great players and had great careers here,” he said. “I’m hoping I can do the same myself.”

Poyser and the Bonnies will open regular season play against the Bucknell Bison on November 7.

These guys know what we’re up against,” Poyser exclaimed. “I want to help the team get right back to the tournament.”

Men’s Basketball: #Bonnies v. GW Preview

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

Head Coaches:

St Bonaventure: Mark Schmidt 99-101 as Bonnies coach

George Washington: Mike Lonergan 35-41 as Colonials coach

This Saturday night, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies return to the Reilly Center to take on a much-improved George Washington team. Last season, GW beat Bonaventure 78-59 in Washington, D.C. But, GW has always had a tough time playing in an environment like the Reilly Center, the last time being during the 2011-2012 season where the Bonnies outscored the Colonials 66-56.

Continue reading “Men’s Basketball: #Bonnies v. GW Preview”

Men’s basketball: #Bonnies v. #Cornell

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies wrap their non-conference schedule up on national television today when they face the Cornell Big Red at 2 p.m. at the Reilly Center. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

Cornell enters today’s game with an 0-12 record and an 18-game losing streak overall–the longest streak in Division I. St. Bonaventure enters the game with a 9-4 record, on the heels of a two-game win streak with victories over Niagara and Delaware.

While Cornell’s record is definitely ugly, they have had a few bright spots so far this season. First of all, they’ve played a challenging non-conference schedule highlighted by away games against Notre Dame, Syracuse and Louisville. Cornell’s personnel is mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores, in direct contrast to St. Bonaventure’s veteran starting lineup. The backcourt is its strength, with sophomore Nolan Cressler leading the team with 16.7 points per game and freshman Robert Hatter next with an average of 11.3 points a contest.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: #Bonnies v. #Cornell”

Men’s basketball: A fan’s guide to December

By Chuckie Maggio, @ChuckieMaggio

Winter break is a chance to really relax and spend time with your family and friends. The holiday celebrations are much needed after a stressful exam week and end of the first semester.

For the Bonaventure men’s basketball team, however, there’s a lot of work to do while the rest of the student body is home. They have seven big games over the next month that can make a huge difference in the direction of their season. Some should be wins, some may be learning lessons, all will be important. Let’s take a look at the games remaining in the month of December.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: A fan’s guide to December”

Men’s basketball: #Bonnies’ Simmons ready to lead team

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

One of the biggest questions for this year’s St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team is: who will be the leader?

Marquise Simmons is eager to take charge.

The 6’8’’ forward from Washington D.C. is playing in his final year of eligibility, and he understands the role he must take on.

“I’ve got to be a leader,” said Simmons. “I’m a senior and I got to be a guy that the younger players look up to.”

Last season Simmons started in 11 games, and played in all 29. He averaged 6.2 points and averaged 4.9 rebounds a game. This year he looks to continue being a leading rebounder on the team and increase his point per game total.

“I will do anything I can to help the team win,” said Simmons. “I want to obviously improve my rebounding and point production.”

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: #Bonnies’ Simmons ready to lead team”