Bonnies Open A-10 Championship, Host La Salle
No. 7 St. Bonaventure (16-13, 8-8 Atlantic 10) hosts No. 10 seed La Salle (14-17, 6-10) in the opening round of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship. The Bonnies also hosted La Salle Feb. 12 in regular-season action, claiming an 82-61 victory.
What's On the Line
The winner of the game advances to Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall to take on No. 2 seed Temple (24-6, 14-2) in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Last Time Out
Andrew Nicholson scored 20 of his 30 in the second half and Ogo Adegboye added 16 points as St. Bonaventure (16-13, 8-8 Atlantic 10) clinched the No. 7 seed in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship with a 74-68 win over Rhode Island Saturday at the Reilly Center. Adegboye - playing in front of his parents for the first time in his SBU career - did not disappoint on senior night. The Bonnies' lone senior hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to halt a furious comeback effort from the Rams. St. Bonaventure saw its 16-point second half lead wither to one as Rhode Island (18-12, 9-7) shot 6-of-7 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes.
Scouting the Explorers
La Salle had little trouble scoring the basketball against its defensive-minded rival Temple but was not able to stop the Owl offense in a 90-82 loss in the final regular season game for both teams on Saturday at the Liacouras Center. Sophomore Aaric Murray (team leader at 15.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) led the Explorers with 17 points and nine rebounds, while junior Earl Pettis (9.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg) added 12 and senior Steve Weingarten (4.9, 3.4) had 11 off the bench in the Big 5 contest. Jerrell Williams is second in scoring (13.7) and is tied for the team lead at 7.5 rpg.
[Full box score on p. 21] Andrew Nicholson paced the Bonnies (13-10, 5-5 Atlantic 10) with 24 points, Marquise Simmons recorded a new career high 18 and Demitrius Conger added 15 in the second half as St. Bonaventure cruised to an 82-61 win over La Salle (12-14, 4-7) Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center. Simmons notched nine points and tied a career high with nine rebounds in nine first-half minutes to pace the Bonnies to a 10-point lead, 37-27, at the break. Conger came alive in the final stanza - scoring 13 of the Bonnies' first 15 second-half points – to help SBU gain a key conference victory.
Head Coach: Dr. John Gianinni
Dr. John Giannini is in his seventh season as head coach at La Salle University in 2010-11. Giannini is La Salle's all-time winningest coach in Atlantic 10 play and has produced the program's only winning A-10 records since joining the league in 1995-96. Giannini guided the Explorers to Atlantic 10 Championship Quarterfinals berths in three of his first four seasons. He is also the winningest coach in Maine history and when he left Rowan, Giannini was the winningest active NCAA Division III head coach. He is one of three head men's basketball coaches with doctorates, joining Lehigh's Brett Reed and Valparasio's Homer Drew.
The Bonnies hold a slim 12-10 advantage in the all-time series between the two institutions. La Salle is the only team in the conference against which the Bonnies are ahead in the series. St. Bonaventure has won each of the last three meetings and is 7-2 in series games played in the RC.
First Team Honors
Andrew Nicholson has been named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team, becoming the first SBU player to claim that honor since Marques Green in 2002-03. Nicholson was the Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman and gain Second Team distinction in 2009-10.
After recording a 15-15 mark in 2008-09, SBU fell one game short of .500 last season by booking a 15-16 record. This however, SBU is guaranteed a winning record, regardless of what happens in the Atlantic 10 or other postseason tournament, as each is a single elimination scenario. St. Bonaventure enjoyed a streak of 28 consecutive seasons of .500-or-better basketball from 1956-57 to 1983-84, but has had just nine such seasons in the last 26. SBU now has 64 seasons at or above .500 in 90 years.
He's Heating Up
If the season ended today, sophomore swingman Demitrius Conger's 3FG% of 42.2 percent (35-83) would rank sixth all-time behind Tyler Relph's 42.6 in 2007-08.
Mark Schmidt is in his 10th season as a head coach, and one more victory would tie the record for wins by a Schmidt-coached team, as his Robert Morris squad was 17-11 in his final season in Pittsburgh.
The Bonnies honored lone senior Ogo Adegboye prior to Saturday's game against Rhode Island. A two-year starter who transferred in from Lamar Community College, Adegboye was selected as the team captain this year and was accompanied by his mother, Tokunbo, who flew in from Nigeria. It marked the first time that Adegboye's mother and father (Alex) got to see him play in the United States.
Possession is Nine-Tenths
The Bonnies made 23 turnovers in the 70-64 loss to Duquesne, marking the fourth time this season that SBU has turned it over 20 or more times. In those games, the Bonnies are 1-3 with the only win being a triple OT triumph against Charlotte.
They Were Due
Saint Joseph's shot an astounding 61.5 percent from the field, including 11-of-17 from 3-point range, in its 79-65 defeat of St. Bonaventure. The Hawks, who entered the game as the Atlantic 10's worst FG% percentage team (40.2 percent), posted the best FG% performance against the Bonnies since Xavier shot 64.2 percent (34-53) in a 99-66 victory at the Reilly Center Jan. 24, 2007.
Building the Bench
Through the first 13 games of the season, the Bonnies got little production from the bench, failing to score in double figures in any game. Over the past 16 games, however, SBU has enjoyed 10 or more points off the bench in all but six contests, including a season-high 28 points against UMass.
Lock it Up
The Bonnies are 9-2 when holding opponents under 40% from the field this season and 6-10 when the opposition is converting at 40% or better. SBU has won its last five when limiting the opponent to under 40 percent dating back to a loss at Rhode Island in which the Rams were 21-of-59 (.356) from the field.
Oh, We're Halfway There
So far this season, the Bonnies are 12-2 when leading at the half. The only setbacks when ahead at the break came in back-to-back contests at Rhode Island and versus Xavier. St. Bonaventure is just 4-11 when trailing at halftime.
We Go as 'O' GOes
Senior captain Ogo Adegboye has 13 games this season with 13 or more points. St. Bonaventure is 11-2 so far this season when he goes for 13+; SBU has won seven of its last eight when Adegboye reaches that number.
Reaching for #400
The victory over Rhode Island was a landmark one for St. Bonaventure. With a 390-180 mark in the RC since its construction in 1966, SBU holds a 10-4 at home this season – making the 74-68 win over Rhody No. 400 all time.
More Than Just Nicholson
Entering the season, coach Mark Schmidt commented that players other than Nicholson would have to step up for the Bonnies to find success. True to form, each of the other four starters have netted career highs including: Michael Davenport (28 pts vs. Rhode Island), Ogo Adegboye (29 vs. Saint Louis), Demitrius Conger (22 pts. 14 rebs. vs. Cornell) and Da'Quan Cook (21 pts. 13 rebs. vs. Binghamton). Off the bench, Matthew Wright got into the act against GW, pouring in a career-high 18 on 6-of-7 from the field and Marquise Simmons upped his best to 18 points against La Salle. Fellow reserve Brett Roseboro scored a personal-best 12 points in the win over Fordham.
Welcome Back Conger
After being held scoreless against Saint Louis, talented sophomore Demitrius Conger turned in an impressive stat line against Richmond. The Brooklyn native notched 17 points, made all five free throws, hit 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and grabbed four rebounds in 37 minutes of work. He followed that up with 18 points, six assists (tying a career-high), and a personal-best five steals in the Bonnies 82-63 defeat of Fordham.
Found His Stroke
Senior G Ogo Adegboye – a career 65.9 percent free throw shooter –made 12 consecutive free throws in the three-game span from Saint Louis to Fordham, a streak that came to an end at the 13:04 mark of the second half against the Rams. Adegboye was a perfect 9-for-9 from the stripe against Saint Louis and made both attempts against Richmond. The senior also hit all six of his tries at Duquesne.
Toeing the Line
Bonnies' junior Andrew Nicholson hit six of his eight free throw attempts against Saint Joe's, extending his single-season record to 215. J.R. Bremer's 188 were the previous record, set in 2001-02. Nicholson is the first player in school history to shoot 200+ free throws in a season.
Strong to the Finish
Regardless of what has happened in the first half of games – foul trouble, double teams, etc. – Andrew Nicholson has managed to find a rhythm in the second half of games this season. In his games against Saint Louis and Richmond, Andrew Nicholson got going in the second half after slow starts. He was 0-for-2 from the floor with just two points in the opening half versus the Billikens, but came alive for 20 points on 8-of-11 in the second. The Mississauga native repeated the feat against Richmond, booking 14 of his 16 points and eight of his 11 boards in the last frame and against Duquesne scored all of his 12 in the final 20 minutes after sitting out with foul trouble.
Talk About High-Percentage!
In the second half against Saint Louis, the Bonnies shot a blistering 73.1 percent (17-23) as a team, including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Only four players (Adegboye, Nicholson, Davenport, Cook) attempted a shot. St. Bonaventure – which made 10 of its first 12 shots to start the half - also made good on 14 of 17 free throws. Overall, SBU has shot over 50 percent from the floor in each of its last four games and six of its last seven.
Cook, He's a Monster
Redshirt junior Da'Quan Cook tied his career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor against Saint Louis. The forward's previous high came at Binghamton, a game in which Cook also scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds.
Ahead of Schedule?
Now in his fourth season at the helm of the Bonnies, head coach Mark Schmidt is ahead of schedule with respect to his previous head coaching stint at Robert Morris. During his third and fourth season at RMU, Schmidt posted back-to-back seasons with the same number of wins (14) before guiding the team to a record over .500 (15-14). At St. Bonaventure, Schmidt guided SBU to 15 wins in year two and three, before ensuring a winning season with victory number 16 against Rhode Island in this his fourth Bona campaign. St. Bonaventure had not finished a season over .500 since 2001-02 (17-13).
In the win over Saint Louis Feb. 16, three Bonnies scored over 20 points. Senior G Ogo Adegboye led the way with 29 points, followed by Andrew Nicholson's 22(20 in second half) and Da'Quan Cook's 21. It was the first time three players scored 20+ since Feb. 3, 2007 against Duquesne. In that 111-92 loss against the Dukes, Michael Lee and guard Zarryon Fereti each scored 23 points and A.J. Hawkins tallied 20.
More than One Per Minute
After working against double- and triple-teams in the first half, Andrew Nicholson scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half against Saint Louis, much of which came against a single defender. The junior played 19 minutes, but shot 8-of-11 from field and 4-of-5 from the line. He came close to duplicating the feat with a 16-point in 18-minute effort against Fordham, where he was saddled with foul trouble. Against La Salle, Nicholson notched exactly 20 points in 20 second-half minutes – to cap a contest where he started with 10 points in 13 minutes.
An 'Atta-boy' for Adegboye
Senior captain Ogo Adegboye hit six 3-pointers on the way to a career-high 29 points in the victory against Saint Louis. He also erupted to score eight and nine straight points against the Billikens. The senior has eight games with three or more triples this season, including seven – one shy of the school record - from deep against Buffalo.
Simmons Steps Up
Sophomore F Marquise Simmons – who missed the first nine games of the season with a hand injury – netted a new career-high 18 points on 6-of-12 from the field against La Salle. He notched nine points and tied a career high with nine rebounds in nine first-half minutes to pace the Bonnies to a 10-point lead, 37-27, at the break. Against UMass, he hit for 14 points, including 8-of-8 from the free throw line. He played just three minutes in his debut against Va. Tech, but has been increasingly active on both ends of the floor with more playing time.
After starting the season 1-for-11 from beyond the arc, Davenport has lifted his 3FG% to near-record levels. His 39 poercent conversion rate from 3-point range would fall just outside the school single-season top 10 list if the season ended today.
Clutch When it Counts
The Bonnies have made five game-winning or game-tying shots on their final possession, including three with fewer than seven seconds remaining in regulation. Andrew Nicholson drained game-winning jump shots in consecutive games against Buffalo (6.8 seconds left) and St. John's (5.2), followed later in the season by Michael Davenport's winning 3-pointer with 1.6 ticks showing against Duquesne. Against Virginia Tech in the Blue Cross Arena, senior G Ogo Adegboye knocked down a triple with 20 seconds left on SBU's final possession, sending the game into overtime. Davenport also converted from beyond the arc with 22 seconds left in the second overtime period against Ohio, sending the game to a third extra frame.
Hitting the Boards
Senior G Ogo Adegboye hauled in a career-high seven rebounds in a dramatic win over then-A-10 leader Duquesne Feb. 5, and upped his best again in his next outing with eight caroms against La Salle. Against Duquesne, the London native grabbed five of his rebounds on the defensive end in the first half, and collected his seventh after a Nicholson rejection at the 10:28 mark of the final stanza.
Turning Things Around
In each year since 2004-05, the Bonnies have lowered their RPI. The 2004-05 season saw SBU finish with a ratings percentage index of 312 among 330 teams, followed by season-ending ratings of 290 and 278 in 2006 and 07, respectively. Under Schmidt, the Bonnies RPI has fallen from 264 in 2008 to 193 and 154 in the last two campaigns. St. Bonaventure has a 115 RPI as of Feb. 28.
Run Up the Score
Based on the Bonnies season thus far, a high-scoring affair favors the Brown and White. When scoring 70 or more points, SBU is 9-1. Conversely, the Bonnies are just 7-12 if they score fewer than 70.
Sharing the Sugar
Senior PG Ogo Adegboye - a team captain in his second and final season in the Brown and White - handed out a game-high eight assists in the loss to Dayton Feb. 2. For his career, the London native has 11 games with six or more helpers, including nine this season.
It's Up, and Good!
Nicholson made a career-high 15 field goals in his 35-point outburst at Dayton, arguably one of his best games in a Bona uniform. In the opening 20 minutes, he went 6-of-9 from the floor en route to 15 of the 23 Bona points in the first half. He finished off the second-highest scoring game of his career with a 9-of-14 effort in the second half.
Return to Sender
Against Dayton, Bonnies' junior Andrew Nicholson blocked three shots to move into sole possession of second place on the career rejections list (176). Nicholson's block at the 6:31 mark of the second period against Ohio made him just the third player in school history to block 150 or more shots in a career. The junior Mississauga native also owns the Bonnies' single-game record (9 vs. Bucknell).
Same Starting Five
Bonaventure is one of three teams nationally to use the same starters in every game: Cleveland State (34 games); Missouri State (33) and St. Bonaventure (29). James Madison (changed after 27 games) and Evansville (21) were previously on the list but have now used different starting lineups.
Oh So Close
When the final margin is five or fewer points, St. Bonaventure is an impressive 7-2, with the only losses coming at Rhode Island and Dayton. When the final margin is just four points bigger (margin between 6-10), the Bonnies are 3-6.
Schmidt & Staff Pass Baron
Jim Baron, the last coach to lead the Bonnies to a postseason tournament (NIT, 2002), posted 48 wins in his first four campaigns. Now in their fourth season on the Bona sidelines, Schmidt and his staff (all of whom eventually worked under Schmidt at Robert Morris) have collected 54…and counting. By number of victories in their first four seasons, here's how it breaks down:
75 Ed Melvin (1948-52)
72 Jim Satalin (1973-77)
67 Jim O'Brien (1982-86)
58 Larry Weise (1961-65)
54 Mark Schmidt (2007-Pres.)
53 Eddie Donovan (1953-57)
48 Jim Baron (1992-96)
Mike Reilly (1928-32)
24 Anthony Solomon (2003-07)
SBU added a pair of guards in the early signing period. Schenectady native Derrick Millinghaus, who currently attends Queen City Prep in Marshville, N.C., is a 1-2 combo guard with an open-court style. Millinghaus will have four years of eligibility, while fellow signee Eric Mosely will have two years remaining. Mosely currently attends Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and spent his freshman season at Austin Peay in 2008-09.
Mark Schmidt ranks 13th in the nation in NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) improvement, as calculated by Fox Sports. Schmidt is among the top coaches nationally in cumulative improvement of his team APR, a metric used by NCAA officials to track the academic achievement of Division I teams during each academic term. Each student-athlete earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible. A team's total points are divided by points possible and multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team's APR score.