Hatred of losing drives Ayeni

By Justin Myers

For sophomore Josh Ayeni, being a better player for his team and himself was a major point of emphasis going into the season.

“(I’m focused on) just being the best player that I can be and doing my best for the team, so we can win games,” Ayeni said.

The 6-foot-8 forward is looking to build off his strong freshman campaign where he earned 24 starts and played in all 32 games. He finished sixth on the team in scoring with 6.7 points per game and averaged 2.6 rebounds.

He also scored in double figures 10 times, the most by a Bonaventure freshman in Atlantic-10 play since Andrew Nicholson’s 21 times in 2008-09.

During the off-season Ayeni worked on many things to improve his game.

“I worked on my three-point shot, consistency and just being a better rebounder” he said.

As a freshman, Ayeni worked hard to adjust to the fast pace of Division I basketball.

“I think it’s the pace of going up and down the court,” Ayeni said. “High school ball is slower and college ball is faster and more technical”.

However, one thing Ayeni didn’t have to adjust was his passion.

“I hate to lose,” he said. “I feel like that drives me to play harder every time and try to win”.

Ayeni, a native of Nigeria, grew up in a different environment compared to the United States.

“Obviously the weather is hotter than Olean,” he said. “In Nigeria, when you’re learning to play basketball they only teach big guys how to play basketball. You have to be really tall to play basketball. But in (the United States) you see little kids of all sizes learning to play.”

Ayeni came to the United States in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.

“There’s some great people here,” Ayeni said. “it’s a great place to be.”

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Migliore prepared to be a leader this season

By Justin Myers

Last season, sophomore Danielle Migliore was just a freshman guard from Frankfort,New York who could knock down threes.

This year, she’s a key starter on a young team hungry to improve off their 9-20 campaign last season.

With second-year coach Jesse Fleming getting a full off-season with his team, Migliore impressed enough to crack the starting lineup last Saturday in the exhibition game against Edinboro, playing 35 minutes, scoring 12 points, coming off four threes at 50% shooting.

Reporter Justin Myers sat down with Migliore to discuss her relationship with the team, who she models her game after and her personal goals for this season.

What are some things you improved on during the off-season? 

Migliore: I really tried to improve all aspects of my game from confidence, to mental game, defense, just getting in the gym a lot and shooting extra really helped me.

The most important thing you learned from freshman year?

Migliore: My mental game was most important. In high school I was able to get mad and not care. But here, it’s different. If you get mad it affects your next play, rather in high school it didn’t.

What goals do you have for yourself this season? 

Migliore: Personally, just to make an impact for the team, be more of a leader, and to set myself up for success.

How is this year’s team different from last year? 

Migliore: I think we gel better as a group this year. A few of us are more experienced like me, Jalisha Terry and Rhianna Council. We had a learning year, which helped a lot. This preseason getting to be together all the time helped our team.

Are there any players you try to patent your game after?

Migliore: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore.