St. Bonaventure Bonnies
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #112
Conference Rank: #10 Atlantic 10
St. Bonaventure Team Page
St. Bonaventure had a memorable 2011-2012 campaign that culminated in a trip to the NCAA Tournament and the first round selection of power forward Andrew Nicholson. The Bonnies navigated their way through three tough games in the Atlantic-10 Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000. Once there, they lost a close one to Florida State. Of course it was Nicholson who had a lot to do with that run and he is now in Orlando after being drafted 19th overall by the Magic in the 2012 NBA Draft.
2011-12 Record: 20-12, 10-6
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Schmidt
Coach Record: 74-80 at St. Bonaventure, 156-170 overall
Nicholson led the Bonnies with 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks during his senior season. The versatile power forward could stretch out the defense with his shooting and bang in the paint. The frontcourt, and the entire team for that matter, will be drastically different without Nicholson. To make matters worse, fellow starting forward Da’Quan Cook has also run out of eligibility. Cook, at 6-8 and 235 pounds, did the unheralded work in the paint and ranked third on the team with 7.6 points per game. Jake Houseknecht did not play much, but the 6-9 center is not returning for his senior season. The loss of all of that talent and depth in the frontcourt is a major concern.
Coach Mark Schmidt hopes to remedy some of the depth issues the frontcourt has with a couple of versatile forwards. Jean Yves Toupane is long and lean 6-7 small forward. Toupane would be a stretch to play in the post, but he can add size on the perimeter and he is ready to contribute right away. Dion Wright is even more versatile than Toupane. He has the skills of a guard, but is now 6-7 and 207 pounds. That size makes him a great fit at the power forward spot in the Bonnies’ scheme.
Who to Watch:
While the frontcourt rebuilds, the focus will shift to the backcourt where St. Bonaventure is suddenly loaded with talent. Matthew Wright and Eric Mosley should handle most of the minutes at the point. Wright started 18 games last season and did a decent job of keeping the turnovers down and running the show. Wright is a capable shooter as well. Mosley is a good shooter too and those are the only two players who averaged over one three-pointer per game during the 2011-2012 campaign. The return of Michael Davenport should help out in the shooting department. Two years ago he averaged 11.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. He is more of a scrappy scorer than a shooter, but Davenport can knock down the long ball. Last year he suffered a shoulder injury early in the year and never returned. Players like Chris Johnson, Charlon Kloof and Jordan Gathers had to pick up the slack when Davenport was out. Johnson is a 6-5 wing who does most of his scoring damage around the basket. Kloof started a majority of the games last season at the shooting guard spot and averaged 6.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. His ability to handle the ball makes him a great option to play beside Wright or Mosley in pressure situations. Gathers made strides during his freshman campaign and can get up and down the floor. Coach Schmidt will have plenty of options on the perimeter pending on the situation and that is not something he has usually had during his tenure with the Bonnies.
But even if the backcourt can stay healthy and live up to their potential, this is still a team that has major questions in the frontcourt. Demitrius Conger will answer one of those questions if he can successfully move to the four spot. Conger, a 6-6 senior, started all 32 games on the wing last year. Like the newcomers who will take over for him in a year, Conger is a versatile forward who can score, rebound and pass. Last year he was second only to Nicholson in points and rebounds. He also dished out 2.3 assists per game. Youssou Ndoye proved to be a capable rebounder and shot blocker during his limited playing time as a freshman. He will be asked to keep that production up and play more than ten minutes per game this year. That will be especially true if the oft-injured Marquise Simmons suffers another setback. Simmons tore an ACL a couple minutes into the season opener last season. The previous season a hand injury kept the 6-8 junior on the sidelines for a while. When healthy, Simmons is a strong rebounder and a capable interior scorer. But he needs to stay healthy or the St. Bonaventure frontcourt will almost completely lack experience and depth, except for Conger, who has yet to prove that he can be effective playing in the post for an entire game.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Matthew Wright, Junior, Guard, 6.8 points per game
Charlon Kloof, Junior, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Michael Davenport, Senior, Guard, 5.8 points per game
Demitrius Conger, Senior, Forward, 12.1 points per game
Marquise Simmons, Junior, Forward, DNP last season