Taqqee staying level-headed with high expectations

By Mike Hogan

Idris Taqqee has seen a great amount of action on the floor during his Bonnies career. Playing since his freshman year, Taqqee has experienced all the ups-and-downs of Bonas basketball.

Reporter Mike Hogan sat down with Taqqee to discuss his emotions going into his senior year, his thoughts about the higher expectations, and his basketball future.

 

Big news for you as you were just named a captain, how do you feel about that accomplishment?

 

Taqqee: I’m excited that my teammates have trusted me, and I am really excited to lead them every possession on the court.

 

You’re going into your last season as a Bonnie, what are your emotions in regards to that? How do you wish to be remembered here?

 

Taqqee: I just wish to be remembered for everything that I’ve done well and everything that I have worked on. It’s definitely bitter sweet that it’s my last year, but there’s a lot of things that we want to accomplish and we’re all going to work towards it together.

 

What kinds of things did you work on this offseason? What did you improve on the most?

 

Taqqee: I improved on consistency the most. I worked on every single aspect of my game from rebounding, ball handling, off the ball cutting, I can go on for days about what I worked on, but being consistent was huge.

 

What are the expectations for this year’s squad? What’s the vibe of the locker room?

 

Taqqee: The sky is the limit. We know that we have the capability to do anything that we put our minds to. We know everyone is talking A-10 tournament and the NCAA tournament, but we think we can go beyond that. Above and beyond.

 

In previous years you guys were ranked towards the bottom of the pack in the A-10, with the raised expectations this year how is the team handling them?

 

Taqqee: It’s definitely exciting. I have been here and have been able to grow with change. I’m happy and I am excited to see that, but it’s something where you just have to keep that same approach where nothing has changed. Nothing is guaranteed at the end of the day, but it’s definitely good to see the buzz and excitement.

 

What would it be like for you and the other seniors on this team to go out in your last season’s here making the NCAA tournament?

 

Taqqee: It’d be great man. All of the hard work would pay off, because there’s been a lot of hours spent in that gym. It’s something that I’ve had my eyes on.

 

What are you looking at after Bonaventure, are you looking to keep playing basketball?

 

Taqqee: Yeah, I want to keep playing basketball for as long as I can. I would play basketball for the rest of my life if I could.

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Summer grind seeing early returns for Griffin

By Nicholas Gallo

Junior forward LaDarien Griffin entered the 2017-18 season looking to be a key contributor for St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team.

So far, he’s arguably one of the top three players night-in night-out on the court.

As a sophomore, The 6-foot-6 forward played 29 games and averaged 2.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 12.3 minutes per game.

Over the summer, Griffin said he stayed up at St. Bonaventure and worked on his game. When he went home, he played with a bunch of different guys, improving his shooting and developing more of an offensive game.

That extra work has paid off thus far.

Not only has Griffin been elevated to a starting role, but he’s been one of the most consistent Bonnies on both ends of the floor.

In three games, Griffin is doing it all, averaging 8.7 points, 7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 steal and 1.3 blocks, to go along with his 50% shooting mark.

Griffin expressed his desire to help out Bonas’ three-guard attack.

“I’m looking to take some pressure off Idris Taqqee, Matt Mobley, and Jaylen Adams,” Griffin said. “Over two years you witness an enormous number of different situations and I need to do my part.”

Griffin said he wants to contribute more on scoring, playing defense, and being a leader. He believes for the team to have a great season, it will involve defensive play and togetherness.

“For us as a team, we need to commit and play defense, learn what each other’s strengths are, and stay connected as one,” Griffin said. “I believe once we fully are connected as one then we can be a hard team to stop.”

Griffin and some of the veteran players, have helped the freshman transition onto the team. He said he’s tried to help them through “the learning process.”

Griffin knows the hype surrounding the team this season and said he’s not worried about other teams in the Atlantic-10. He said the team needs to worry about what they can control and take care of it.

“If we start watching other teams, that is when we’ll lose sight of what our main goals are,” Griffin said. “I believe we can play with any team in the country and win.”

Men’s basketball: 15 things you may not know about Idris Taqqee

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

The Intrepid’s latest “Things You May Not Know” article features Bonnies junior guard Idris Taqqee. Here are some fun facts about one of SBU’s captains:

Favorite Musical Artist- Kendrick Lamar

Favorite Food- Macaroni

Favorite NBA Team- Los Angeles Lakers

Favorite Movie- Armageddon

Pre-Game Rituals- Eats a bowl of Frosted Flakes every night

Celebrity Crush- Sanaa Lathan

Hobbies Other Than Basketball- Making music, writing poetry

Favorite A-10 Team to Play- Dayton

Misses Most About Home- Mom’s cooking

Admires Most- Father

Favorite Place to Travel- Los Angeles, California

Instagram or Twitter- Instagram

Funniest Teammate- Matt Mobley

Spare Time Activities- Spending time with family

Men’s basketball: For Bonnies, Taqqee is ultimate “glue guy”

(Photo Credit: St. Bonaventure Athletics)

By Katie Faulkner @kfaulkner20

Every team has a “glue guy,” the gritty player relied on to do the dirty work without much praise in return.  For the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team, junior Idris Taqqee has been that guy.

“Idris is our glue guy, and he’s somebody that every team needs to hit the big shot or dive for the loose ball,” Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt said. “He’s the guy we can depend on every night to be consistent.”

During the 2015-2016 season, Taqqee averaged 5.1 points and four rebounds per game. Though he’s not known for stuffing stat sheets, Taqqee creates problems on defense, forces turnovers and makes 46 percent of his shots from the floor.

During the off-season, the 200-pound Taqqee focused on his strength, allowing him to develop a more finessed game.

“I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on getting stronger,” said the Snellville, Ga. native. “The time I’ve put in has helped me improve with finishing at the rim.”

As a sophomore, Taqqee was named a tri-captain by his peers due to his “work hard in silence” mentality. With the loss of Dion Wright (16 ppg) and Marcus Posley (19 ppg), the Bonnies were lacking in both scoring and leadership.

“Personally, I took a lot from Marcus and Dion and they’re hard players to replace,” Taqqee said. “I’ve asked them a lot of questions on how they approach each season and prepare from game to game.”

With Wright and Posley gone, Taqqee has an opportunity to step into a scoring role.

“He’s shooting the ball better and the next step for Idris is becoming a double-figure scorer, but also continuing to rebound and defend,” Schmidt said.

With three freshman additions (Josh Ayeni, Tareq Coburn, Amadi Ikpeze), Taqqee is impressed with the desire to work hard and continuously improve.

“The freshmen work hard collectively and have impressed me since day one,” said Taqqee. “They’ve been giving 100 percent in practice and it’s going to show on the court.”

Predicted to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 this season, Taqqee believes the team has improved on the physical aspects of the game.

“As a team we’ve really improved on our overall strength and quickness, and our big men are light on their feet this year.”

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.”

 

 

Men’s basketball: Taqqee continues to be unsung hero for rolling Bonnies

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

St. Bonaventure forward Idris Taqqee is not a stat-sheet stuffer; that much has been known since he got to Olean. The 6-foot-4 sophomore has attempted just under four shots a game this season, averaging four points to go along with four rebounds.

At the surface, Taqqee’s stat line from last night’s 69-64 win over Rhode Island looks rather unmemorable for a starting guard: a three-pointer, a rebound and a block in 25 minutes of play. However, without him, Bona might not remain undefeated in Atlantic 10 play.

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Taqqee continues to be unsung hero for rolling Bonnies”

Men’s basketball: Versatile Taqqee ready to increase his production

By Jason Klaiber

St. Bonaventure sophomore guard Idris Taqqee stacked up momentum at the tail end of his inaugural year with the Bonnies, scoring 23 of his 33 points in the final 10 games of the season.

“I had to catch the swing of things,” said Taqqee. “I got confident. I had a lot of ups and downs last year with my confidence, but toward the end of the season, they needed me, because Jaylen (Adams) got hurt.

“It was one of those things where you have to do it now or never, so I had to buy in.”

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Versatile Taqqee ready to increase his production”

Taqqee will provide value for #Bonnies

By Jeff Fasoldt @Jeff_Fasoldt

A lot of the students that decided to attend St. Bonaventure University come from Western and Central New York, and because of this many were wearing the Syracuse orange and blue before they put on the Bonnies brown and white.

And, because Syracuse basketball is so popular in the area many of us have heard all the hype surrounding the Orange’s new point-guard, Kaleb Joseph. But, his high school teammate, Idris Taqqee, a 6’4, 190-pound freshman for the Bonnies, could be a steal for Bonnies head coach, Mark Schmidt.

Both Joseph and Taqqee attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnam, Mass., and were roommates.

“We played together since we were freshman in high school,” says Taqqee. “He’s very good, and a great player to play with.”

Taqqee is listed as a guard and could probably pass for a small-foward, but we’ve already seen his versatility in the Bonnies exhibition win vs. Mansfield and their home opener win vs. Dartmouth.

In the exhibition, Taqqee proved that he could stroke it from beyond arc with a solid 2-4 from deep performance. He also snagged three rebounds, had three steals, dished out two assists and scored eight points in a solid 18 minutes of action. In the home opener Taqqee saw 12 minutes of action, scored two points, had two offensive rebounds and garnered one steal.

“I’m definitely going to take the shot if it’s open. We try and play fast-pace so you have to take good shots and if we need a three I’m comfortable taking it,” says Taqqee.

After losing senior guard Matthew Wright at the end of last season to graduation, the Bonnies are in desperate need of a three-point shooter. Taqqee will provide value with his size, vertical and impressive defense, but if he can hit a couple three’s down the stretch that will be huge for Mark Schmidt’s young team.

While at Cushing Academy, Taqqee won back-to-back class AA state championships, and averaged 15.8 points-per-game and 7.8 rebounds-per-game. He was named a “Late-Stock Riser” by the New England recruiting report.

Nonetheless, the transition from high school to college is almost always tough for some of these young athletes, and Taqqee has had to adjust accordingly.

“It definitely hit me in the summer when we got in the gym for lifting,” says Taqqee. “It was so fast-paced.”

Lately, Schmidt has been blessed with flush of talent that the people of Allegany, Olean, Bonaventure, and surrounding towns have not seen in awhile.

Taqqee saw St. Bonaventure as the perfect opportunity.

“My decision to come her really was because of the coaches,” says Taqqee, who chose Bonaventure over Towson and Vermont. “And, the opportunity to be in a small-school setting in the classroom.”

As the weather gets cold, Bonnies fans hope Taqqee and the rest of the team stay hot. They are 1-0 and take on Siena, tomorrow night at 7 pm.