Moreaux can’t wait for his first experience in the RC

By: Keara Donnelly 

Junior 6’6 forward Melkisedek Moreaux (Melki) has come all the way from Hamburg, Germany to make an impact for the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team.

Before committing to SBU, Moreaux attended junior college at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska.  He averaged 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds over 29 games. He made 48 percent of his shots from the field and 67 percent at the free throw line.  He finished 16th among NJCAA Division 1 players in rebounding and achieved double figures in 14 of his 29 games. He also received honorable mention honors in the Iowa College Athletic Conference.

Reporter Keara Donnelly sat down with Moreaux to get his thoughts on his inspirations, expectations and impressions about playing for the Bonnies.

  1. When did you start playing basketball?

Moreaux: “When I was 15 years old I started to play for fun, but I started to play serious and competitively until the following year in England at Preston Academy. It was different coming from Germany to England and then to Nebraska for junior college to play basketball.”

  1. Why did you choose St. Bonaventure?

Moureaux:  It was mainly the visit and the connections I made with the coaches when they saw me practice. We had built a good connection and felt this place and the environment was meant for me.”

  1. What will you bring to the team?

Moureaux: “I hope to bring athleticism, speed, rebounds, make extra passes and score. I am an all-around player and hope to bring all these techniques to the game.”

  1. What are your thoughts on the Reilly Center?

Moreaux: “I have heard a lot about the RC and have seen some games on YouTube. It looks really fun out there and I cannot wait for my first experience.”

  1. Do you have any rituals you have before the game?

Moureaux: “I pray before every game.”

  1. Who is your favorite basketball player? Does this person impact your game?

Moureaux: “Luol Deng because he is from England. I went to his camps back home and he has helped a lot of people in the UK. He is one guy I really look up too.”

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Freshman looks to continue success as a Bonnie

By: Matthew Shalloe 

After a year in which St. Bonaventure finished with a 26-8 record, clinching themselves a NCAA tournament berth, they looked to reload instead of rebuild.

The Bonnies brought in a total of four freshman, one of them being Western New York’s all-time leading scorer, the 6-foot 5-inch 185-pound guard out of Cheektowaga High School, Dominick Welch.

Welch spent a year at Spire Academy, a prep school located in Ashtabula County, Ohio. When asked about how his time in prep school prepared him for this moment, Welch said, “It matured me. I feel as if it got me ready both mentally and physically for the season coming up. It got me away from home and prepared me very well.”

Coming out of high school and through his year at Spire Academy, Welch had offers from Temple, Siena, Buffalo and Hofstra, along with St. Bonaventure.

“Bonnies, for me, was the best choice,” Welch said. “They had recruited me since my junior year. I really liked how they stayed connected with me through the whole recruiting process. Being close to home was a big factor, and just the community seemed like a good place to be.”

Coming out of a high school sport and going into college athletics is always a big adjustment, no matter what sport it is. When asked how he feel his game would translate to the NCAA, Welch said, “I think it translates well.” But like any young player, he mentioned things he needs to work on.

“I would like to improve my ball-handling and getting stronger,” Welch said. “I feel as if I need to study the game more for me to really improve.”

Lastly, Welch talked about his expectations for both himself and the team heading into his freshman season.

“I expect that everybody works hard,” he said. “We want to be even better and carry on the success from last year. For myself, I expect to go hard every time I’m on the court and never let the team down.”

Welch and the 2018-19 Bonnies team continues to get ready to take on the Bucknell Bison to open the season Wednesday, November 7th at home for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Bonnies survive scare against Spiders

By Josh Svetz and Sean Lynch

The Bonnies entered the Capital One Arena with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

They’ve been here before. Two years ago, Bona’s was a contender for an at-large bid when they entered the A-10 Tournament as the 1-seed vs. Davidson. That game ended in an overtime heartbreak.

This time, Bona’s delivered.

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies extended their win streak to 13 with a 83-77 nail biter over the Richmond Spiders in the Quarterfinals of the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament.

The first half started off slow for the Bonnies and the Spiders. Both teams did not score until the 16:40 mark off a Courtney Stockard bucket.

Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt emphasized the struggles that they faced offensively in the first five minutes of the game.

“I always tell our guys the first five minutes of the game and the first 10 possessions of the second half are critical,” Schmidt said. “And I thought Matt (Mobley) did a heck of a job to get us going.”

Jaylen Adams started the game off cold. Adams had 0 points in the first half of the game and finished with only five points.

Richmond’s Jacob Gilyard and Khwan Fore proved to be a problem for the Bonnies in the first half. Fore shot 5-6 for 11 points and two rebounds. Gilyard dropped nine points, shooting 3-4 from long range.

The Bonnies went to the locker room tied at 32 a piece.

After a contentious 1st half, Matt Mobley gave the Bonnies the best start possible.

With Adams struggling, someone had to step up. His back court mate Matt Mobley fit the mold. Mobley finished with 29 points, shooting 10-14 from the field and 9-13 from long range.

Mobley talked about his performance from long range and picking his teammate Adams up.

“We told each other last year that no matter what both of us can’t have an off game at the same time, so he was struggling a little bit and wasn’t getting any open looks,” Mobley said. “I had a lot of open looks. My teammates did a great job of finding me and I was knocking down the shots. I just wanted to give us a little bit of confidence.”

Schmidt also placed emphasis on multiple players stepping up for the Bonnies when a teammate has an “off-game.”

“This is not the first time that Jay didn’t play well or Matt didn’t play well,” Schmidt said. “Even in this 13 game winning streak, those guys haven’t played their A-game every game and we’ve had other guys step up and that’s what a team does.”

At one point in the 2nd half Mobley, along with Stockard outscored the whole Richmond team. The Bonnies opened the half on a 21-3 run and kept the pressure up, taking a 53-37 lead. Mobley came back and electrified the crowd again hitting two more threes.

He didn’t miss in the second half until the 10-minute mark. But even with the deficit, the Spiders wouldn’t go away. With nine minutes to go the Spiders knocked down three- straight three pointers and cut the Bonnies lead to single digits. But the Bonnies handled it. And then, Stockard went down. He didn’t return to the game, leaving a big hole on both sides of the ball.

An 11-0 run by the Spiders brought the score to 74-68 with four minutes to play. The Richmond fans took back the Arena from the Bona faithful, out doing the decibel level with their cheers. But as the game went down to the wire; the wolf pack got rowdy.   

“We knew our friends were going to come out and support,” Mobley said. “We have the best fans in the country and they’re going to be everywhere. It definitely felt like a home game, but we’ll need them all back tomorrow.”

The momentum had officially shifted. But the Bonnies held tough, even though the Spiders were down just 2 points with 1:30 to go. However, a familiar face sealed it. Adams knocked down three free throws in the final minute and the Bonnies held on, 83-77.

The Bonnies will play the winner of Davidson vs. St. Louis at 3:30 P.M. tomorrow.

Mobley brought up that there is still work to be done for the Bonnies if they want to be in the NCAA Tournament.

“The only way we can secure our spot is winning [this] whole thing, honestly,” Mobley said. “The snub In 2016, everybody remembers that and we don’t want to go through that again. The only way to avoid that is win [this] whole thing.”

Bonnies clinch 2-seed with 12th straight win

By Isaiah Blakely

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies clinched the 2nd seed in the A-10 tournament with a win over the Saint Louis Billikens (16-15, 9-9 A-10) 64-56, Friday night at Chaifetz Arena.

The Bonnies are now 24-6 and 14-4 in conference, tied for the most conference wins in the program’s history. With a win streak of 12, they are now tied for the second longest win streak in the country only behind Murray State’s 13-game win streak. The Racers clinched the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title on Saturday night.

The Bonnies were led by  redshirt-junior Courtney Stockard. Stockard, a St. Louis native, notched a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Stockard, along with the rest of the team, struggled offensively in the first half. Stockard was 1-8 and the team only shot 39% from the field. Senior Idris Taqqee was a big factor in the first half scoring all seven of his points in that half, including a three pointer that sparked a 9-0 Bonnies run. Freshman Izaiah Brockington scored the last four points of the half to give the Bonnies a 31-25 lead.

The second half was a different story for Stockard. The redshirt-junior shot 7-10 from the field, scoring 16 points at the tail end of the game alone, including a jumper to stop an 11-0 Billikens run with 3:21 to go.

Junior LaDarien Griffin also stepped up, finishing with eight rebounds and scoring all seven of his points in the second half. Sophomore Josh Ayeni also returned to action after missing the last six games due to team suspension for disciplinary reasons .

With that win the Bonnies continue to put themselves in prime position to earn an at-large in the NCAA tournament. With a win or two in the tournament next week there’s a chance the Bonnies could lock up an at-large bid for the first time since 2000 and make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.

With this win streak and losses by teams in the top 25, the Bonnies could be a top 25 team heading into the conference tournament for the first time since the 1970-1971 season. For all these reasons, plus first seed URI struggling as of late, losing the last three out of five games including a loss to the Bonnies in the Reilly Center, the Bonnies enter next week as one of the favorites to win it all in Washington D.C.

The Bonnies will face off against the winner of Duquesne vs. Richmond. They won both games against Duquesne, and won their only game against Richmond. Both games against Duquesne were decided by a combined nine points and the Bonnies only beat Richmond by single digits. Neither of these teams will be an easy match up on Friday March 9th at 6:00 p.m.

Still, with a possible return to the top 25 and a win streak that matches the best, the Bonnies are in prime position to make noise next at the A-10 Tournament and ultimately make the dream of March Madness a reality.

 

Quick Hits: Dayton snaps Bona’s win streak

By Jeff Uveino

The last time St. Bonaventure traveled to UD Arena, they shocked the then #15 ranked Dayton Flyers, fueled off 31 points from Jaylen Adams.

But Wednesday night’s contest wouldn’t produce the same results.

After going in as slight favorites on the road and riding an eight-game win streak, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies fell to the Flyers, 82-72. 

The Flyers started hot, turning a 14-4 run to begin the game, into a 14-point halftime lead.

St. Bonaventure closed the gap at single-digits midway through the second half, and again toward the end of the game, but couldn’t catch the Flyers. 

Dayton was hot from the floor the whole game, shooting 56% on the night. Their defense held the Bonnies in check to the tune of just 39% shooting from the field. 

The Flyers received big scoring contributions from multiple players, led by Darrell Davis, who had 28 points. Trey Landers added 17 points, and Jalen Crutcher had 12 points.  

The Bonnies’ backcourt duo of Adams and Matt Mobley filled the score sheet, but were kept quiet enough by the Flyers’ defense to prevent overcoming the team’s overall poor shooting.

Mobley had 24 points, all of which came in the second half. Adams added 15 points and 7 assists. Freshman Izaiah Brockington had 10 points coming off the bench. 

With the loss, St. Bonaventure fell to 11-3 overall, and 1-1 in Atlantic 10 play. Dayton improved to 7-7 overall with the win, and 1-1 in A-10 play. 

The Bonnies will look to rebound as they travel to Philadelphia for a Saturday game with St. Joseph’s. 

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.”

 

 

One day at a time: Adams tuning out the noise despite lofty expectations

By Jeff Uveino

The Bonnies are coming off a season in which they finished with a 20-12 record and bring back lots of experience with four returning starters. This includes the most important piece of the puzzle — senior guard Jaylen Adams.

After originally declaring for the NBA draft following his junior year, Adams later chose to stay at St. Bonaventure for one more season; a decision that will give the Bonnies a huge boost as they compete for the conference championship.

Adams has already amassed one of the most successful careers in Bonaventure history, being named First Team All-Conference in the Atlantic 10 each of the last two seasons. He finished 2nd in the A 10 last season in scoring, averaging 20.6 points per game. A lifetime 83% free throw shooter and 38% three-point shooter, Adams has already shown he has what it takes to lead Bonnies basketball to the next level.

After an ankle injury that sidelined the NBA prospect for the first several games of the season, Adams has returned with a chip on his shoulder and an undeniable focus to finally get the Bonnies over the hump.

The best example of this may have come in their last game against Syracuse, in which Adams scored 23 points and helped the Bonnies get their first win at the Carrier Dome in program history.

After being named preseason First Team All-Conference again this year, and being picked by NBC Sports as their preseason Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Adams will have to deal with additional pressure to lead the Bonnies deep into the postseason. With many analysts picking them to make an NCAA Tournament run, Adams spoke about what the team needs to do in order to deal with all of the hype.

“I think we just need to tune it out honestly,” Adams said. “The things that people say about us, we can’t let it get to us. If we let it affect us negatively or positively, it’s just weakness. We need to block it out and prepare every day.”

Head coach Mark Schmidt will once again be leaning heavily on Adams for continuous involvement, as he averaged 37.4 minutes per game last season. Adams discussed what he has to do to get ready for such a big work load.

“I just have to prepare my body, prepare for the physical beating and prepare mentally,” he said.

Adams will work with backcourt mate and fellow senior Matt Mobley to take some of the load off him. Mobley, who averaged 18.5 points per game last year, will also be a key piece for the Bonnies this season. This team is packed with talent, which is something that will help their star players prepare and succeed.

“I get to go up against Matt in practice every day and a bunch of other guys that push me, so I’m ready for it,” he said.

For all of the veterans on the roster, this could be the best chance they get to play deep into the postseason and make a run at the NCAA tournament.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends who have been there before and they tell me that it’s one of the best experiences they’ve ever had,” he said. “Coach Schmidt has been there and he tells us all the time there’s nothing like it, so it’s definitely goal number one.”

As a senior, Adams will look to make the most of his last go-around at St. Bonaventure, and expressed how much his time at the school has meant to him.

“It’s definitely a special, special place. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity Coach Schmidt gave me. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” he said. “I’ve built some lasting relationships, and I just love it here.”

Adams has brought plenty of energy to the Reilly Center over his career at Bonas, but even he had to take a moment to reminisce on just how powerful the Bonnies student section, the ‘Wolf Pack’, is during home games. Last season, the Bonnies were 11-4 at home, and just 6-5 on the road and 3-3 at neutral locations.

“I don’t even know if they know it, but they give us an unreal energy. Especially when you see familiar faces that you see around campus cheering for you. They get so excited; the gym literally feels like its shaking. They give us a tremendous boost,” he said.

Although his career at Bonaventure will come to an end after this season, Adams hopes that he can continue to play professionally for years to come.

“I just want to play until the wheels fall off,” Adams said. I love the game and everything about it. Hopefully I don’t have to give it up too soon.”

Maycock ready to embrace leadership role on young team

 

By Sean Mickey

Junior guard Mckenna Maycock is striving to lead the St. Bonaventure Women’s Basketball team to new heights.

Maycock, a lifelong southern tier resident attending Randolph high school in Randolph, New York, had always been familiar with St. Bonaventure and their athletics.

“I had gone to the Bonaventure camps for 5 years in a row, so I knew it by then,” Maycock said.

After her experiences as an athlete nearby, and attending Bonaventure basketball camps, becoming a Bonnie was an easy choice.

“I accepted it right away,” Maycock said. “I love the school and it’s really close to my family. It was really the perfect fit.”

The 2016-17 season was anything but extraordinary for the Brown and White, winning only nine games.

Coming off a disappointing season, Maycock knew that to help improve the team she needed to put in extra work in the off season.

“I tried to expand my game and get better at shooting from the outside,” Maycock said. “I think the biggest thing I have to do is bring my leadership every day because if I work hard every day then everyone else will follow.”

Those sentiments have rang true thus far this season.

Maycock leads all Bonnies in scoring and rebounding with 14.6 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game, which almost doubles her totals from last year. She’s also shooting a team lead 58% from three, going 14-24 from behind the arc, compared to her 9-34 three point total last year.

Maycock’s coach, Jesse Fleming shared his sentiments.

“She’s one of two true upperclassmen on the roster, so I expect leadership out of her,” Fleming said. “I think she’s one of the best athletes in the conference and she has to show that. She has really put in the work and we expect a lot out of her on both sides of the floor.”

Coach Fleming, who enters his second year as coach of the Bonnies, has relied heavily on Maycock so far, logging 40 minutes in a win over Bucknell, where she went 8-11 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from three.

She followed up that performance Saturday with a double-double off 23 points and 12 boards against UMBC.

While she’s put together some solid performances, helping the Bonnies to a 4-3 record in non-conference games, Maycock has her eye set on conference play.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Maycock said. “I’m really excited to get revenge for some of the games I think we should have won last year. I’m just ready.”