Former basketball star Wright talks about playing international basketball and what he misses most about “the RC”


By Mike Hogan

When you think about recent players who resemble everything that makes St. Bonaventure basketball, you’d be hard pressed to come up with many better names than Dion Wright.

Wright, a fan-favorite for his extreme motor, intensity and scrappinness, is one of Bonaventure’s all time leaders in both rebounding and scoring, where he finished with 1,263 career points (25th on the programs all-time scoring list), and 683 career rebounds (15th on the programs all time rebounding list).

Wright’s senior season may have been his most impressive, finishing third in the A-10 with 9.1 rebounds per game, 14th in scoring with 16.7 points per game, and led the conference in double doubles with 14. All of that helped contribute to a 22-9 record and a share of the A-10 regular season title.

But while accolades are nice, when Wright reflects on his time at Bonas, its the emotion that stands out in his mind.

“I miss the fans, the people around the community and just being with my teammates every day,” Wright said. “We had a lot of good times on and off the court. A lot of my teammates are still really close with me today, I really do miss them a lot.”

Wright paused, then continued.

“I also miss putting on that jersey and playing at the RC and hearing those fans scream,” Wright said. “That stuff is priceless.”

Wright was a very accomplished player during his time at Bonaventure and was a part of the 2015-2016 team that produced one of the best seasons in program history and made an appearance in the NIT.

Still, many argue that the Bonnies deserved a spot in the NCAA tournament, something Wright had no qualms about discussing.

“I felt like we were a tournament team that year,” Wright said. “We won 22 games that year, and we had a high RPI as well. We just didn’t get in for whatever reason. Who knows what would have happened if we would have beaten Davidson in the A-10 tournament. But we lost, and we left the decision in the committee’s hands.”

While his time at Bonaventure was great, Wright is currently playing professional basketball overseas in Europe for Cyprus. In his first game with Cyprus, Wright had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and earned the victory.

“Out here in Europe, the games are more physical,” Wright said. “They play kind of fast and they really like to get up and down.”

He also had a brief stint in Japan with the Sendai 89ers where he played 18 games and averaged 12.3 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game before moving on to play with Cyprus.

Before my conversation with Wright was over, I asked him about his thoughts on this year’s team and if they can get over the hump and into the tournament.

“I want to see them get into the tournament,” Wright said. “I feel like they can be a 23 to 24 win team. I think that this is the year for Bonaventure.”



Column: Wright and Posley had impactful, unforgettable SBU careers

(Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

Sometimes in sports, the sounds are a major accompaniment to our memories.

When Bonnies senior forward Dion Wright made a layup to cut the Wagner lead to just three points at the 3:57 mark in last Wednesday night’s NIT game, the Reilly Center crowd went into a frenzy. Likewise with guard Marcus Posley’s deep, desperation three to bring the deficit back to three with a second left.

The RC crowd was fantastic in the last game of the season, but another sound was also prevalent after those made baskets, for the final time: public address announcer Adam Bennett’s calls of “Dion Wrrrrright” and “Three! Marcus Pooooosley.”

Wright’s name was called after a made basket 246 times in his home (or Blue Cross Arena) career, while Posley’s was called 191 times. The announcements became less like mandatory PA duties and more like a soundtrack to the last few years of Bona basketball.

Continue reading “Column: Wright and Posley had impactful, unforgettable SBU careers”

Men’s basketball: Wright gets career-high, helps Bonnies win ugly in Buffalo

(Photo credit:

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

If St. Bonaventure fans were told before Wednesday night’s game against Buffalo that the team would make just two of its 21 attempted three-pointers, shoot just nine three throws to the Bulls’ 32 and score one time in the last 6:14 of the game, they would most likely fear a blowout loss.

Instead of a demoralizing defeat that would have put a sour taste in their mouths, the Bonnies escaped Amherst, N.Y. with a 60-58 victory in a game that had two of the alumni clad in brown and white heading to the exits exclaiming, “we’ll take it!”

Those alumni can give a lot of thanks to Wright, who was the exception to the brown and white’s otherwise feeble shooting performance, setting a career-high with 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting and dishing to Posley for the game-winner with eight seconds left. He was one of five Bona players to pick up three or more fouls in the contest, but that didn’t limit his aggressiveness. He played all 20 minutes in the first half, scoring 16 points in the period, then stayed out of foul trouble and kept his team in the game in the second.

“All the credit goes to Dion; I don’t take any credit,” said Posley. “Just because I hit that last shot doesn’t mean anything. Dion kept us in the game.”

Wright’s previous high point total came in last year’s Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal loss to Dayton, where he went for 24 thanks to a remarkable shooting night that included a remarkable and unexpected four threes. Against Buffalo, however, it was back to business as usual: dominating down low, with 11 of 12 baskets coming in the painted area.

“My teammates found me in positions where I was able to score, and I just tried to make the most out of my opportunities when I caught the ball,” Wright said.

The Bonnies have played the Bulls all four years Wright has been playing. He didn’t play a major role in the first two games, but made his last two matchups against one of the team’s Big Four rivals count, averaging 22.5 points and shooting 58 percent from the field.

“He played terrific… he kept us in the game,” said head coach Mark Schmidt. “Our guards weren’t shooting the ball well, but Dion was effective. He’s a hard matchup, because he’s a four-man who can take guys off the dribble. We wouldn’t have won without his offensive output.”

Schmidt’s assessment was an understatement. Wright shot at a 63 percent clip from the field while the rest of the team shot 30 percent. Posley had double-digits with 13 and came through in the clutch as he has many times in his brief Bonaventure career, but was an inefficient 6-of-18 on his field goals and 1-of-8 from three. Jaylen Adams was the only other Bonnie with more than five, but he shot 1-of-8 and missed all three deep balls. All six of Nelson Kaputo’s shots were threes; he only made one. Denzel Gregg only played 10 minutes due to foul trouble and ended up reaching the limit of five, so he was not able to continue his early-season offensive contributions.

One of Schmidt’s favorite lines in postgame press conferences is that “every dog has its day,” or that “everybody’s going to get their day in the sun” offensively. On a night where SBU found themselves unable to hit jumpers in a road environment, Wright was the top dog giving his team the upper hand.

Buffalo coach Nate Oats summed up Wright’s performance the way many Bona opponents have: “I’m not gonna be sad to see him leave, for sure. He hurt us two years in a row now.”


Men’s basketball: Wright shrugs off awards voting, focuses on winning

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

When the Atlantic 10 announced its preseason all-conference teams at its media day last month, it seemed like the only person with St. Bonaventure connections who wasn’t up in arms over the league snubbing senior forward Dion Wright was Wright himself.

After ranking 11th in the conference in points per game with 13.5, eighth in field goal percentage at just over 54 percent and 11th in rebounds with seven a contest, many expected the Carson, Calif. native to be voted one of the A-10’s top 15 players. When he wasn’t picked, however, Wright showed indifference.

“That’s a great accomplishment, I’m not gonna lie, but at the end of the day I play for my teammates and my family,” Wright said. “I just want to win; everything else will take care of itself.”

The Bonnies won 18 games for the second consecutive year last season, winning four more conference games than they did the year before. The ten A-10 wins tied for the second-best mark in school history, and Wright had one of the biggest impacts in the successful year.

Posley was the leader on offense and Ndoye was the defensive anchor, but Wright was arguably the Bonnies’ best player; he was definitely the most consistent. The player some fans affectionately call “the worm” for his ability to sqirm and weave his way to the basket and score with ease recorded double-digit points in 26 of the team’s 29 games last season, shooting over 50 percent in 20 of them.

One of the scariest things for SBU’s opponents this year is the three-point shot Wright displayed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal loss to Dayton. After coming into the game a career three-of-20 shooter from beyond the arch, he made four threes in five attempts against the Flyers while also making all six of his two-point attempts.

The 24-point performance in Brooklyn was a career best, but the Bonnies fell short in the game’s final minute, losing 75-71 to a Flyers team that won 27 games, including two in the NCAA tournament.

Wright has not forgotten the sting of losing after the game of his life.

“It obviously hurt,” he said. “We were right there and should’ve won the game but didn’t. You’ve got to learn from it; that should give you fuel to play harder this upcoming season.”

This year, Ndoye is in the NBA D-League with the Austin Spurs, Chris Dees has no NCAA eligibility left, Xavier Smith transferred to Division II Tarleton State and redshirt freshman Jordan Tyson is out indefinitely after surgery for a torn ligament in his wrist. All of these circumstances make the 6-foot-7 Wright one of the team’s biggest players at the start of the season; 6-foot-9 freshman Derrick Woods is the only eligible player listed at a taller height.

Bona will be playing a small-ball, up-tempo game this season, with an offense resembling the mid-2000s Phoenix Suns more than the big-man heavy San Antonio Spurs. Wright is determined to make the new offensive philosophy work.

“We’re going to be undersized but that won’t stop us from being successful. We can use that to our advantage,” said Wright. “We’ve got guys who can push the ball, rebound and run.”

Wright started his Bonaventure career the season after the Bonnies won the Atlantic 10 championship and advanced to the NCAA tourney, so the motivation is there to get a ring before his collegiate career comes to a close. For that to happen, he says the emphasis is on “playing team ball, sacrificing for each other, talking on defense, closing out on defense and playing as hard as possible for 40 minutes.”

“The worm” will go down in Bonaventure lore if he can help the team slither its way to glory this year.


Men’s basketball: UMass (Home) Preview

( photo)

By Chuckie Maggio and Jeff Fasoldt

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies and UMass Minutemen meet for the second time this season on Wednesday at 7 at the Reilly Center.

The teams met in the opening game of conference play on Jan. 3rd at the Mullins Center, a game the visiting Bonnies won in convincing fashion, 69-55. Marcus Posley played the entire game and led Bonaventure with 16 points, while Youssou Ndoye had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Cady Lalanne and Trey Davis had 12 points each for the Minutemen, but their efforts were not enough.

Both teams are coming into this game with some momentum. Everyone knows what Posley and the Bonnies have done the past two games, but UMass is on a four-game winning streak in their own right with wins over Dayton, Saint Louis, Fordham and La Salle, launching them to fifth in the Atlantic 10.

Can the Bonnies sweep the season series against their bitter rivals, or will UMass get the split? Here’s the breakdown:

The Coaches:

St. Bonaventure- Mark Schmidt. 119-117 as Bonnies coach, 5-5 against UMass.

UMass- Derek Kellogg. 123-95 as Minutemen coach, 4-5 against St. Bonaventure.

Key players for UMass:

Maxie Esho, 6-8 senior forward. Esho was one of my key players the first time these two teams battled. He had one nice reverse alley-oop but was held in check for the rest of the game. Esho leads the team in scoring at 12 points per game but what he really brings to the table is the ability to turn games around with his momentum and some of his highlight-reel dunks.

Cady Lalanne, 6-10 senior center. Lalanne got his “you know what” handed to him the first time he battled in the post this year with Bonaventure’s Youssou Ndoye. While these two are similar size, Ndoye had a field day in the post going for 14. Lalanne did have 12 but most of those were meaningless points at the end of the game.

Keys to victory for UMass: 

Derrick Gordon has to do something. Last game he took plenty of shots but struggled to finish, scoring only two points. Last game UMass was 4-21 from three-point land with 15 turnovers. Limiting turnovers and sinking some shots will certainly help the Minutemen cut the edge that the Bonnies have coming into this game.

Keys to victory for St. Bonaventure: The key to the Bonnies’ road victory over the Minutemen was defense. They held UMass to 35.2 percent shooting from the floor and 18.2 percent shooting from three while winning the rebounding battle 37-30. Davis, a 38 percent shooter, was held to a 4-for-14 performance and went a career-worst 1-for-9 from three. Bona needs to keep him in check once again and Youssou Ndoye and Dion Wright need to dominate Cady Lalanne inside again to win the game. The brown and white need to capitalize on those defensive stops to get on big runs and energize the rowdy Reilly crowd, which will not be as big as the VCU game but should still be fairly packed.


Chuckie- The Bonnies matched up so well against the Minutemen last time out that they are surely capable of completing the sweep of Kellogg’s crew at home. Wright is showing an incredible level of consistency with six straight double-digit scoring outputs and would have been the player of the game against VCU before the events of the last 30 seconds. Jay Adams is showing exceptional poise for a freshman point guard, limiting turnovers and making the right pass in nearly every situation. And Posley is in a “2011 Kemba Walker” kind of zone, hitting the clutch shots and doing whatever he needs to get his team the win. UMass is on a roll, but the Bonnies are the more potent team right now, and I’ll take them at home. 67-57 Bonnies

Jeff-  If the first matchup told us anything it was that UMass is not the same team they were last year. This is a team that looked lost, unorganized and completely out of rhythm. Since then, they have played much better and they’ve won their last four including a road win at Saint Louis and a win at home against the Dayton Flyers. The Bonnies are coming off a huge win against VCU, and they will win this one as well. But, don’t expect any court storming from the students after this one as this UMass team is much weaker than last years. 71-62 Bonnies 


Big-men lead Bonnies to victory over Bulls

By Jeff Fasoldt, @Jeff_Fasoldt

The St. Bonaventure University Bonnies defeated the University at Buffalo Bulls 72-63 to clean sweep the “Big 4” for the first time since the 2011-2012 season with wins over Canisius, Niagara and Buffalo.

Content with running the court and feeding the ball to their big men inside the Bonnies dominated the paint, outscoring the Bulls 42-28.

Youssou Ndoye led the Bonnies in rebounding with 13 and scored 17 inside while and Dion Wright led Bonaventure in scoring with 19 and grabbed eight boards for himself.

“Ndoye is definitely a big presence,” said Shannon Evans, Buffalo’s leading scorer (21). He made some big shots early and got them going tonight.”

In the first half an impressive defensive effort by the brown and white held the Bulls to just 22 percent shooting and just 18 points.

Justin Moss, who coming into this matchup was the only player in the MAC Conference that is top-five in rebounding (9.2 per game) and scoring (17.6) had a team-high 14 rebounds but was held to just eight points.

The Bulls, who trailed the entire game, made a run in the second half off some three-pointers from Shannon Evans and Will Regan to cut the Bonnies lead to seven, but ultimately fell short as the Bonnies defense was just too much for them to handle.

Continue reading “Big-men lead Bonnies to victory over Bulls”

Quick Hitters: Buffalo

By Chuckie Maggio, @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeated the University at Buffalo Bulls 72-63 on Wednesday night. The win improved their record to 5-1 and gave them the unofficial Big 4 championship after beating all three Buffalo-area D-I schools (UB, Canisius and Niagara).

Some Quick Hitters from the game:

Ndoye plays big once again: Youssou Ndoye has played dominant basketball the last two games. The Bonnies’ senior center followed up a 23-point, 11-rebound game against Niagara with 17 points, 13 boards and four blocks against the Bulls for his sixth career double-double. He has gone 14-for-25 from the field and 12-for-16 from the free throw line the past two games. There have been many rumblings about Ndoye being a potential second-round draft pick in the NBA, and he’s starting to show his full skill set.

Wright takes charge: Tonight was one of Dion Wright’s most assertive games as a Bonnie. The junior forward scored 19 points on 9-17 shooting and added eight rebounds as well. Wright’s length and presence on both ends continue to cause matchup nightmares for opposing teams, and he was able to take over in stretches against the Bulls.

Alston steps up off the bench: Backup point guard Iakeem Alston had an impressive stat line in 13 minutes of play. The junior registered five points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds to lead the reserve effort. For a bench that didn’t score any points Canisius, the spark Alston provided was a big key for the Bonnies.

Dominant defense: The Bonnies held Buffalo to just 18 first half points and achieved their goal of holding the opposing team under 40 percent shooting from the field once again. With key road tests against Ohio and Pittsburgh coming up, Ndoye and Wright will continue to spearhead one of the best defensive starts Bona has had in recent memory.

Ball security is key: In the games against Siena and Jackson State, the Bonnies turned the ball over a combined 38 times. Tonight, they only committed eight turnovers. With the inexperienced guards Bona has, protecting the basketball is of the utmost importance, and the results showed up on the scoreboard.

Quick Hitters: Canisius

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies defeated the Canisius Golden Griffins by a score of 59-53 Saturday afternoon. Some quick hitters from the game:

  • Posley rises to the occasion: Marcus Posley has been the go-to scorer for the Bonnies thus far, and he was clutch again today. Posley scored 20 points, 10 in each half, to pace SBU. His four three-pointers came at the right times for Bonaventure, and his team certainly needed the timely scoring.
  • 28… again: Bonaventure’s offense struggled out of the gate again on Saturday, scoring 28 first-half points for a third consecutive game. The ineffectiveness in the first 20 minutes has been a major issue for Mark Schmidt’s club. They shot 27.6 percent in the first half, a performance that was quickly turned around with a 52.6 percent second half.
  • Wright plays all 40 minutes: Dion Wright played the entire game for Bonaventure, scoring 12 points and adding nine rebounds to play a major part in the win. He remarked that he doesn’t care how many minutes he’s out there, but his impressive improvement from freshman to junior year has been an under-reported story with this team.
  • Jay Adams bounces back: The Bonnies’ freshman point guard had 11 points on 4-8 shooting, including a 3-6 mark from three. After the Siena game many people wished for Charlon Kloof back. While he cannot control the comparisons, he is already beginning to make a name for himself in brown and white.
  • No bench points: Canisius outscored the Bonnies in bench points 26-0; no Bona reserve scored on Saturday. The fact that the only points Bonaventure scored were from the starting five is mind-boggling and almost certainly unprecedented. Depth has become a question mark for SBU with Denzel Gregg still sitting three more games and Jordan Gathers’s return uncertain.
  • Up next: The Bonnies face Jackson State on Tuesday night. It figures to be an easier game than the past two for St. Bonaventure, but they won’t be taking the Tigers for granted.