COLUMN: Howard’s animated ejection embodies college basketball’s newfound intimate, relaxed setting

photo: La Salle University athletics

By Jeff Uveino

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — When referees ejected Ashley Howard from a nearly empty Reilly Center on Tuesday, the words he directed toward them could be heard throughout the arena.

The officiating crew issued Howard, head coach of the La Salle men’s basketball team, a double technical foul in the first half of the Explorers’ loss to St. Bonaventure at the Reilly Center. Visibly unhappy after a possession on his team’s offensive end, Howard proceeded to let referees know how he felt about their performance thus far.

With few watching from the stands, Howard stormed off the court in a profanity-filled tirade, much of which could be heard from press row in the arena’s upper seating sections. We heard it. The teams heard it. The ESPN+ television crew producing the game heard it.

Everyone in attendance heard what Howard had to say, even when he came back into the arena after previously exiting and shouted an expletive toward the officials.

However, in a non-COVID year, would Howard have behaved the same way in front of a near-capacity crowd? His words would not have been heard throughout the arena had there been 5,000-plus Bona fans reacting to his ejection.

My ability to hear Howard’s words exemplifies the unique setting in which college basketball is being played this year.

The atmosphere of college hoops games has been undoubtedly less formal than in years past, especially at the Reilly Center, where fan attendance has not been allowed this season.

Coaches and team personnel wear sweatpants and quarter-zip hoodies instead of suits. Players start chants in support of their teammates on the floor. The only non-artificial noise in the arena comes from the benches and the public address announcer.

It’s a much more intimate production than in years past, and more relaxed.

Howard didn’t face a raucous, drunken Bona student section on his way off the floor Tuesday. Instead, he was greeted by bleachers of cardboard cutouts that had no rebuttal for what he had to say.

After the game, Howard returned to the floor for a lengthy conversation with Bona head coach Mark Schmidt. The two shared smiles and a couple laughs, seemingly brushing off the events that unfolded just hours before.

In previous years, this exchange may not have taken place, either. At least not on the court less than 30 minutes after the game ended.

College basketball is being played under unprecedented circumstances at SBU and beyond. Howard’s ejection, and the subsequent reaction that it prompted, demonstrates this.

Bonnies to play four non-conference games at Mohegan Sun

photo courtesy of

By Anthony Goss

As the college basketball season approaches, men’s basketball teams are filing into multiple-team events (MTE’s) in bubbles to begin the season amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

One of the major bubble sights for these games is at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

According to CBS College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein, St. Bonaventure will play four non-conference games at Mohegan Sun to start the 2020-21 basketball season.

Towson, Stephen F. Austin, and Vermont are the scheduled opponents for the Bonnies, and a fourth opponent will be named later. This will be the fourth-straight season that the Bonnies will play Vermont. The Catamounts have won two of the teams’ three previous contests.

SBU joins Rhode Island as the other Atlantic 10 team currently scheduled to play four games at Mohegan Sun. No updates on the full schedule for the 2020-21 season have been released.  

Game Summary: #Bonnies defeat South Dakota

By Jeff Fasoldt Jr., @Jeff_Fasoldt

In the first game ever between St. Bonaventure and South Dakota the Bonnies controlled the tempo, both offensively and defensively most of the game, as St. Bonaventure beat South Dakota 68-46.

The key to the win was clearly the dominating size and athleticism of the Bonnies as the Bonnies outscored the Coyotes 38-14 in the paint, and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Coyotes’s seven.

Senior point guard Charlon Kloof led the Bonnies in points (16) and assists (seven), while forward Marquise Simmons and center Youssou Ndoye each had a team-leading eight rebounds. Simmons also gathered 12 points, going 5 for 7 from the field.  Freshman Denzel Gregg also brought in eight rebounds for the Bonnies.

South Dakota was silent from 3-point land going 1-7 in the second half, and 4-18 the entire game. Bonaventure put up 11 3-pointers in the first half and made only 2, but went 2 for 4 in the second half as they concentrated on getting the ball into the paint.

After the Coyotes jumped out to a quick 17-9 lead in the first, the Bonnies picked up the pressure, they ended up forcing 17 turnovers and scoring 17 points off of those turnovers. Bonaventure had 10 turnovers, but only gave up three points off those turnovers.