Men’s basketball: Obokoh out against Siena

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By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

Chinonso Obokoh is out for Wednesday night’s Franciscan Cup game against Siena due to a knee sprain, sources tell The Intrepid.

Obokoh, who has averaged two points, 1.6 rebounds and 11 minutes played a game in the first five games, suffered the injury during the Lone Star Showcase in Austin last week. He has been using crutches to get around campus. His status for Saturday’s game against Buffalo is unknown.

With Obokoh out, expect freshman forward Amadi Ikpeze to see more playing time. Ikpeze has seen time in each of the five contests, averaged 7.6 minutes, 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds. He is the only Bonnie to be perfect from the free throw line thus far (6-of-6).

Men’s basketball: Obokoh excited to be a Bonnie

(Photo Credit: @BonniesMBB Twitter)

By Michael Rodriguez @mike_rod5

It’s not hard to spot Chinonso Obokoh: the 6-foot-9 center is one of a few newcomers to the Bonnies team this season. Obokoh, a graduate transfer from Syracuse University, is expected to be the day-one starter at center, and even though he’s one of the new guys, he’s already one of the more popular players on the team.

Regardless of his size and natural defensive skill, Obokoh’s playing time at Syracuse was rather limited, playing in only a total of 24 games during his run with the Orange. Although his numbers aren’t anything eye-opening, he hopes to make an immediate impact with the Bonnies.

“I’m going to do my best and help the guys in any way I can,” said Obokoh. “The guys are great, the coaches are great, and everything’s been good so far.”

Despite not seeing the court a whole lot while playing for coach Jim Boeheim, Obokoh does bring an experience to this team that no other player has been a part of: being on a Final Four team last season.

“The experience was great,” Obokoh said. “We lost a lot of games in the beginning, but we all believed and kept working, and it was an amazing thing.”

Obokoh’s work ethic and consistency in practice not only here so far at Bonaventure, but also at Syracuse, are things Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt touched upon when talking about one of his few new players.

“He practiced every day against those guys (at Syracuse) … we need him to be able to defend, rebound, play that physical style inside, and I think he can do that,” Schmidt said. “He’s done a good job of coming in and dedicating himself and committing himself to learning our system.”

Having the presence of an experienced big man inside was something that the Bonnies lacked last season, which some would consider as their only major flaw. With the addition of Obokoh alongside players like junior point guard Jaylen Adams and junior transfer guard Matt Mobley, Bonnie fans can expect to see a new team that’s ready for action.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about the fans, how great they are,” Obokoh said. “I can’t wait to experience that.”

Basketball: Notes from Big 4 Media Day

(Photo Credit: @BonniesMBB Twitter account)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

Some news and notes from Big 4 Basketball Media Day on Wednesday:

Throwing it back: Fans participated in a vote over the summer to determine which throwback uniforms Bonaventure, Buffalo, Canisius and Niagara would wear in the Big 4 Classic doubleheader on December 17.

The 1969-70 Final Four jerseys were the presumptive favorites, leading for much of the poll, so consider this one an upset: SBU is wearing the uniforms from its 1976-77 NIT championship year. Since this is the 40th anniversary of that season, it’s fitting that these are the threads the team is going with.

Five Bonnies make All-Big 4 teams: Media members voted junior point guard Jaylen Adams player of the year on the men’s side, while senior forward Denzel Gregg and junior guard Idris Taqqee were picked for the second team. Junior guard Mariah Ruff was selected to the women’s first team and redshirt senior forward Gabby Richmond made the second squad.

Schmidt to play nine: Coach Mark Schmidt called depth “so overrated” in a Bona Blog Q&A earlier this week, and he stated on Wednesday that he was going to have a nine-man rotation. He thinks one of the benefits will be competitive practices.

“We’re gonna play nine guys, so they’ll be three or four guys that don’t play,” he said. “The more the competition, the better the players. If you come to practice knowing you have a spot, it’s human nature (that) you won’t work as hard. I think competition drives you, and that’ll be a positive for our team.”

Moving on up front: Schmidt didn’t mention outgoing transfers Jordan Tyson and Derrick Woods by name when he was asked about replacing them. He did, however, seem confident in newcomers like David Andoh, Josh Ayeni, Amadi Ikpeze and Chinonso Obokoh.

“We lost like six points and three rebounds on the two kids that left,” he said. “So hopefully the guys that we’ve brought in can do that and do more. But it’s yet to be determined; we’ve just done individual (workouts).”

Andoh injury update: Andoh, a senior forward, underwent foot surgery in August, but is expected to be ready for the season.

“He started running,” Schmidt noted. “He’s out of the boot and his whole thing’s gonna be getting in shape. I think his foot is now healthy… but as (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick says, I’m not a doctor, I’m a coach.”

Adams after Adidas Nations: After Adams participated in the Adidas Nations Showcase in July, Schmidt said he has more confidence and the program has some more prestige.

“I think he was (picked) the eighth best player out there; I don’t know who votes,” Schmidt said. “But it gives him added confidence and I think it does a lot for a program too… It gives us credibility, it shows that we can get that caliber of a player and it shows our players that Jay wasn’t heavily recruited, but if you have a great work ethic you can be really successful at Bonaventure.”

Obokoh expectations: Obokoh, a grad transfer from Syracuse, is projected to start at center for SBU. Schmidt thinks he could play 25 minutes a game.

“It’s still a process for him, but we’ve got a veteran guy with some strength that can rebound and play defense,” Schmidt said. “You have to be determined, and he’s doing well so far but we haven’t started practice yet. He’s a fourth-year senior, so he’s been through it even though he didn’t play a lot at Syracuse. He’s practiced against really good players, so we’re hoping he’s gonna be a big part of our success this year.

“You don’t bring in a transfer to sit him on the bench. Our expectations are for him to be a productive player.”

Reilly Renovations: As work continues to finish the renovations on the roof, floor and scoreboard in the Reilly Center, the team has been doing individual workouts in the campus’s Richter Center exercise facility.

“We haven’t had the court for the first month, which you always want to practice on your own court,” Schmidt said. “But it’s something we have to deal with and the court looks great. If we had to not practice there for a month and have those renovations done, it’s more important to get those renovations.”

Schmidt on the state of Bona Nation: “It’s tremendous. I said it when I first got the job here, the great thing about Bonaventure basketball is the passion of the fans and the bad thing about St. Bonaventure is the passion of the fans… it’s a cult in a positive sense. There’s just such a love for the school and a love for the basketball program.”