#43 St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

St. Bonaventure Bonnies
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #2 Atlantic 10
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After two straight 20 win seasons, St. Bonaventure is ready to take the next step and get to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Mark Schmidt has been with the Bonnies since 2007, but there has only been one NCAA Tournament appearance back in 2012. With Jaylen Adams leading the way, this team has the potential to win the A-10. Adams averaged 20.6 points, 6.5 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior and is poised for a huge senior season. The 6-2 guard is a great scorer from everywhere on the floor and makes the rest of this team better. He has had a superb career with the Bonnies and you can be sure that he will want to end his collegiate career in the NCAA Tournament.
2016-17 Record: 20-12, 11-7
2016-17 Postseason: None
Coach: Mark Schmidt
Coach Record: 166-144 at St. Bonaventure, 248-234 overall
Who’s Out:
Denzel Gregg is the only starter not returning. The 6-7 forward is a big loss though. He averaged 12.0 points and a team high 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Not only was he a great rebounder and defender, but the Bonnies could struggle to find another consistent interior scorer who will open up space for the shooters on the perimeter. Chinonso Obokoh could cover for Gregg in the shot blocking department, but he only played in five games last season. Like Gregg, David Andoh was a 6-7 forward who could score in the paint. Despite averaging just 19.0 minutes per game, Andoh was fourth on the team with 7.6 points per game. Tareq Coburn opted to transfer to Hofstra after seeing very few minutes as a freshman.
Who’s In:
St. Bonaventure needs some size to help replace Gregg and Andoh. Tshiefu Ngalakulondi is the top incoming freshman on the team. He is an athletic 6-6 forward who can finish above the rim and help out on the glass. Courtney Stockard, hopefully, will finally make his St. Bonaventure debut. The 6-6 wing spent two years sitting on the sidelines after a foot injury. Prior to that he spent two years at the junior college level and can be a very prolific scorer. At 6-10 and 225 pounds, fellow junior college transfer Ndene Gueye is the tallest of the newcomers. He may not be a major scoring threat, but Gueye can hit the glass and block some shots. Izaiah Brockington, a 6-4 freshman guard, should have some time to learn the ropes from the experienced returning backcourt.
Who to Watch:
Adams is the leader of this team, but he gets plenty of help from backcourt mate Matt Mobley. The 6-3 senior averaged 18.5 points per game last year and connected on 37.9 percent of his team high 227 three-point attempts. Mobley also added 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals. Mobley can do it all and teamed up with Adams, St. Bonaventure has a dynamic backcourt that can lead this team to the NCAA Tournament. They will need some help though. Idris Taqqee is a tough 6-4 guard who averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. He will always work hard, but will likely be asked to do more scoring in 2017-2018. Josh Ayeni will have to score more too. The 6-8 forward showed plenty of potential as a freshman and may have to be the team’s top interior scorer.
Final Projection:
LaDarien Griffin and Amadi Ikpeze add more frontcourt options. Griffin, a 6-6 junior, averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds, while Ikpeze added 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds. Ikpeze was playing pretty well by the end of his freshman campaign and could earn a starting spot this year if he can hold off the newcomers in the frontcourt. The play of the young frontcourt could make all the difference for this team. Adams and Mobley can take St. Bonaventure to the verge of the NCAA Tournament, but it will be the rest of the team that has to step up to get the Bonnies over the top.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Jaylen Adams, Senior, Guard, 20.6 points per game
Matt Mobley, Senior, Guard, 18.5 points per game
Idris Taqqee, Senior, Guard, 6.8 points per game
Josh Ayeni, Sophomore, Forward, 6.7 points per game
Amadi Ikpeze, Sophomore, Center, 2.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.8 (95th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.4 (183, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (181, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (144, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (277, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (180, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.9 (15, 1)
Rebound Margin: 1.6 (128, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (192, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (124, 7)