Bonnies face Tigers in Charleston Classic semifinal

photo courtesy of gobonnies.com

By: Anthony Goss

“People are realizing nationally what the alumni base of Bonaventure is. There’s nothing more passionate, more proud,” St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt said yesterday. 

The passionate fans of the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team fueled Mark Schmidt’s squad to a tough win Thursday afternoon against Boise State. However, The No. 22 ranked team in the nation has a quick turnaround for their semifinal matchup in the Charleston Classic. 

On Friday afternoon, the Bonnies face the undefeated Clemson Tigers out of the ACC. Just like St. Bonaventure, the Tigers, coached by Brad Brownell, qualified for the NCAA Tournament last March. 

Senior forward Hunter Tyson leads the Tigers in scoring with 14 points per game. Tyson tallied only 10 points yesterday, but made both three point shots he took. 

Besides Tyson, Clemson has noteworthy shooting prowess. The Tigers shoot 48% from beyond the arc, and used their shooting to down Temple yesterday by making 11 of 21 from three. 

On the other hand, St. Bonaventure has struggled mightily from three on offense through three games (21.7%). If the Bonnies cannot make shots on their end, their defense needs to limit the Tigers from deep.

The Tigers also pose depth and versatility. In each of their wins, a different player has led in scoring. Nick Honor led Clemson yesterday with 19 points, making all seven of his shots, four coming behind the three point line. 

In contrast, the experienced Bonnies tout a strong defense ranked 12th in the nation in defensive field goal percentage. The Bonnies showcased their defensive versatility as well in yesterday’s matchup.

After Boise State’s Emmanuel Akot started with 24 points, Schmidt placed senior guard Dominick Welch on the senior Bronco. Akot went scoreless for the final seven minutes. 

With an abundance of scoring options posed by the Tigers, the Bonnies will need a strong defensive showing as they continue to find their groove offensively.

In what could be another grind, the fans at TD Arena could make a difference. Clemson plays in their home state, but the St. Bonaventure supporters had a strong display against Boise State.

St. Bonaventure and Clemson tip off at 2:30 on ESPN2.

Bonnies face Broncos, looking for strong start in Charleston

photo courtesy of gobonnies.com

By: Anthony Goss

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team heads south this week for the Shriner Children’s Charleston Classic after they survived an upset scare from Canisius on Sunday evening. 

“We know what we’re up against, tremendous coaches, tremendous teams, programs,” said Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt. 

The Bonnies head south this week for the Shriner Children’s Charleston Classic after they survived an upset scare from Canisius on Sunday evening. 

The Bonnies started slow at the Reilly Center against Canisius and Siena but managed to win both games. Schmidt knows his team cannot afford a similar start at TD Arena. 

“At home sometimes you can get behind, you can catch up. On the road it’s that much more difficult,” Schmidt said. “We like to make teams adjust to us.”

Despite the excitement surrounding their participation, the Bonnies remain focused on Boise State, their first opponent in the tournament.

“Coach Rice, he’s a tremendous coach, runs good stuff, plays good defense. He’s successful for a reason,” Schmidt said. “All respect in the world to Boise State. They’ve done it for a number of years.”

The Bonnies, heralded for their experience, face an opponent with a similar makeup in the Broncos. Boise State touts a starting lineup of all seniors, including Marcus Shaver Jr. and Devonaire Doutrive, who both average 14 points per game. 

“Overall just really really talented,” Schmidt said. “They’re long, athletic, aggressive.”

Boise State comes off a home loss to UC Irvine, 58-50, a game where they shot 14% from three. Just like the Broncos, the Bonnies have struggled behind the three-point arc this season. Both teams sit well under 25% through two games. 

Since the Bonnies have had their own offensive problems to start, they could rely on their defense in this matchup. They have allowed 54 points per game through two games and have a defensive effective field goal percentage of 38.8%. 

“You win by playing defense especially early in the season,” Schmidt said. “Offense is usually behind the defense on every team.”

The Bonnies now enter a stretch of three games in four days, all against quality competition. Schmidt knows other contributors besides the five seniors will need to step up. 

“We’re gonna need to have our bench come in for us and be productive,” Schmidt said. “Playing three games in four days is a lot to ask our five seniors. There’ll be an opportunity and hopefully, our young guys can come through.”

In this stretch of games, the Bonnies have a chance to earn even more respect on a national stage. 

“For the guys that came before us and the guys on the team now they deserve to play in a tournament like this,” Schmidt said. “It’s a tremendous thing for our program to be on ESPN and get some national recognition.”

Tip off is at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

Loyola Chicago accepts invitation to Atlantic 10, will join next season

Courtesy: loyolaramblers.com

By: Anthony Goss

CHICAGO — Loyola University at Chicago has accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic 10 conference beginning in the 2022-23 academic year, the school announced yesterday.

The move comes amid major conference realignment developments in collegiate athletics within the 2021 year.

“Loyola’s commitment to the high-level scholastic achievement of all of its students, coupled with its excellent athletic profile, from success in basketball, soccer and volleyball to outstanding facilities and resources is a perfect fit for the A-10,” said A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade. “The addition expands the A-10 footprint into the Chicago market, giving the conference a presence in three of the top four media markets in the United States.”

Loyola participates in 13 of the 21 sponsored sports by the A-10, but the move carries the largest weight in men’s basketball. In three of the last four seasons, the Ramblers have won at least a share of the Missouri Valley regular-season championship. The Ramblers reached the Sweet 16 last season and the Final Four in 2018.

St. Bonaventure has its own connection to Loyola athletics. Current Loyola-Chicago director of athletics Steve Watson previously served as the director of athletics at Bona’s. Watson hired Mark Schmidt in 2007, who revitalized the men’s basketball team by leading the Bonnies to their first A-10 conference title in program history in 2012. The women’s program had its best season to date, going 31-4 and reaching the Sweet 16

Besides the basketball programs, St. Bonaventure’s women’s soccer team qualified for the conference tournament in six straight seasons and both men’s and women’s cross country had historic seasons.

Watson oversaw several athletic facility improvements and upgrades in his tenure at St. Bonaventure, most notably the unveiling of Bob Lanier Court.

Bonnies host Saints in season opener

photo courtesy of gobonnies.sbu.edu

By: Anthony Goss

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — “The Reilly Center, there’s nothing like it,” St. Bonaventure men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt said. 

He and his nationally ranked Bonnies welcome back fans to the Reilly Center in Tuesday’s season opener against Siena after a successful season playing in front of empty seats. 

But besides the return of fans and the unveiling of an A-10 championship banner and rings provides one more chance for the Bonnies to reminisce on one of the best seasons in program history. 

“Those kids deserve to have the banner raised and given out their rings,” Schmidt said.

After the celebration though, Bona’s turns their full attention to reigning MAAC champion Siena Saints. The teams renew their rivalry in a battle traditionally known as the Franciscan Cup. 

Though the Bonnies’ expectations are lustrous, they have lost their last three home-openers with fans present.

They also lost their previous matchup with Siena 78-65 in 2019.

“There’s only a rivalry because both teams have won and both teams have lost,” Schmidt said. “There’s no rivalry if one team has dominated the other.”

In the Bonnies’ exhibition against Alfred on Thursday, redshirt sophomore Linton Brown and redshirt freshman Quadry Adams led the way with 19 and 13 points, respectively. While senior guards Kyle Lofton and Jalen Adaway remain game-time decisions, Bona’s will look to their newcomers to provide a spark.

“They just need to come in and play their role,” Schmidt said. “If they play to their strengths, I think they’re good enough players to help us this year.”

Siena will rely on newcomers of their own. Anthony Gaines, a former four-star recruit, boasts top-line athleticism and transfers Jayce Johnson and Colby Rodgers both look for bigger roles on head coach Carmen Maciariello’s squad.

But the Saints’ most dangerous weapon roams the paint, and his name is Jackson Stormo. He returns for his senior year after a breakout season, averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds. 

The Bonnies must attempt to slow Stromo while simultaneously accounting for the new talent without a lot of film to prepare them. 

“They’re really good players. We know what those guys can do. The question is can we stop them?” Schmidt said. 

Schmidt has tried to prepare them as best as possible, despite the lack of film on Siena’s newer players.

“Every season opener is the same way. You don’t know what they’re gonna run, you don’t have tape,” Schmidt said. “You really try to take care of yourself and prepare the best you can.”

Schmidt expects his team’s national ranking to become an afterthought come tip off. 

“When the game starts, Siena doesn’t care if we’re ranked twenty-third,” Schmidt said. “We’re gonna go out and play like we play all the time with a chip on our shoulder. We’re gonna play hard.”

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