Men's Basketball Returns to RC to Host Arkansas State
Game Notes: St. Bonaventure | A-10 | Arkansas State
Arkansas State: Roster | Schedule & Results | Statistics
St. Bonaventure (2-2) returns to the Reilly Center to host Arkansas State (2-4) in the Bonnies' second home contest of the season. This is the first ever meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
Leading From the Front
Senior All-America candidate Andrew Nicholson enters his final season in the Brown and White. The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward from Mississauga, Ont. has racked up some impressive accolades thus far – A-10 Rookie of the Year, First and Second Team All-Conference selections, Wooden & Naismith Award nominations – and looks to continue that trend for one last run.
ASU Head Coach John Brady
Brady is in his fourth season with the Red Wolves. He spent the last 10-plus seasons serving as LSU's head coach, leading the Tigers to six postseason berths, two SEC championships and three SEC Western Division titles, to go with two SEC Coach of the Year awards. Last season, Brady guided ASU to share of the western division Sun Belt Conference Championship, posting double-digit Sun Belt Conference wins back-to-back for the first time in nearly 20 years and going undefeated at home with a 13-0 record.
Last Time Out
junior Demitrius Conger tied a career-high with 23 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 73-64 loss to Virginia Tech Sunday night at Cassell Coliseum. Conger poured in 17 of his 23 in the final 20 minutes as St. Bonaventure pulled to within three, 48-45, with 7:33 to go in the game on consecutive 3s from Matthew Wright and Michael Davenport. VT responded, however, with five unanswered to build an eight –point cushion, and later stretched a 59-54 lead to 12 with a 10-3 run over 2:53 down the stretch to put it just out of reach.
Demitrius Conger averaged 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and went 9-of-9 from the line while shooting 65 percent from the field as the Bonnies split a pair of games last week. He nearly recorded a double-double with 15 points and eight boards to help SBU retain the Franciscan Cup against Siena, before matching his career-high 23 points, while hauling in six boards in a loss to Virginia Tech on Sunday. The Brooklyn native's 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season are both second on the team to Andrew Nicholson.
Gotta Have the Freebies
As of Monday, Demitrius Conger was one of just five players nationally who has yet to miss a free throw. Conger is 11-for-11 from the line this season, with six of those coming in the Bonnies' loss at VT. A career 68.6 percent shooter from the line, Conger has raised his conversion rate each season and has six career games with five or more free throw makes.
A Rare Occasion
Andrew Nicholson had an uncharacteristic outing against VT, scoring just nine points on 4-of-14 from the field. It marked the first time in 18 games and just the second time in the last 40 that Nicholson did not crack double digits.
Sophomore G Matthew Wright averages a team-best 3.3 assists per game and has an A/TO ratio of better than 3:1 this season. Wright has combined to dish out seven assists and has not turned the ball over in his last two outings versus Siena (4 assists) and Virginia Tech (3).
It Runs in the Family
Redshirt senior Da'Quan Cook ranks second on the team at 6.0 boards per game. While at LSU, Da'Quan's uncle Greg Cook averaged 6.55 rebounds over his 119-game career, including a trip to the 1981 Final Four. The elder Cook passed away in 2005, and Da'Quan has a large tattoo of the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster on his side in his uncle's memory.
PG Eric Mosley, who joined SBU after spending seasons at Cincinnati State and Austin Peay, recorded a career-high 17 points and hit 3-of-6 from distance against Siena. The Louisville, Ky. native has been lights-out from beyond the arc so far, hitting 8-of-16 overall, to raise his season scoring average to 9.0 ppg.
Nicholson rejected four shots in back-to-back games at Cleveland State and Siena, and already owns three of the school's highest single-season block totals (see page 15). He will likely become just the second player in school history to block 200 shots in his career (192).
Davenport Held Scoreless
Senior G Michael Davenport was held scoreless against Siena, marking the first time since Feb. 7, 2010 (soph. season - 43 games) that the Cincinnati native had not scored in a game.
SBU improved to 2-0 in Franciscan Cup games against Siena with a 64-58 triumph. St. Bonaventure president Sr. Margaret Carney and Siena president Fr. Kevin Mullen agreed that the schools should play for a traveling trophy when the teams meet on the hardwood. SBU won the inaugural cup last season, 82-79.
Good With the Bad
Mosley was 4-of-5 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range for 11 points in the Bonnies' last-second loss at Cleveland State. The four made field goals marked a career high at the time for the Louisville, Ky. native, as did the seven turnovers forced by an aggressive, pressing Cleveland State team.
Just Give Him Two
Nicholson ranks second behind Bona legend and Naismith Hall of Famer Bob Lanier with a .571 (615-1078) career field goal percentage that includes a 7-for-30 showing from beyond the 3-point line (1-7 this season). Excluding the 3-pointers, Nicholson's career field goal percentage is an absurd .580 (608-1048)!
Starters Michael Davenport (G), Demitrius Conger (F), Da'Quan Cook (F) and Andrew Nicholson (F) have started each of the last 35 games together. Nicholson has 66 consecutive starts overall.
House of Toupane
St. Bonaventure announced the signing of Jean Yves Toupane (Jawn two-PAIN) to a National Letter of Intent Nov. 16. The 6-foot-7 small forward from Senegal joins his fellow Lee Academy (Maine) teammate, freshman Youssou Ndoye. With long arms and good size, Toupane has the ability to shoot long range and drive towards the basket.
He's All Wright
Matthew Wright was a key factor in the Bonnies' 79-58 win over Cornell. After the Big Red held him to two points in the first half, Wright went off in the second stanza, scoring 11 points to complement a career-best seven rebounds. The Toronto product also dished out five assists to just one turnover.
Up Up and Away
Andrew Nicholson continued his career-long assault on the Bonaventure record books during his double-double performance against Siena Nov. 21. Nicholson moved past David Vanterpool (630 rebounds) and Greg Sanders (637 rebounds). His current standing on the rebounding ledger can be found on page 15.
Simmons Sees Early End
Redshirt junior Marquise Simmons suffered a torn Achilles in just his second minute of action Nov. 11 against Cornell, ending his 2011-12 season. Simmons suffered the injury while driving to the hoop and being fouled, but stayed in the game to hit both of his free throws before leaving.
Moving Up in the World
St. Bonaventure is picked to finish fourth in the league preseason poll, the highest since SBU was slotted second in the East division prior to the 2002-03 campaign. Last year, the Bonnies were picked second-to-last among 14 A-10 schools, but far exceeded expectations by finishing seventh, the biggest disparity between preseason prediction and postseason finish in the league.
Three seniors return for their final campaign in F Da'Quan Cook, G Mike Davenport and F Andrew Nicholson. Cook is in his fifth year at SBU and is the only remaining holdover from previous coach Anthony Solomon. Over their three years together, the duo have forged a 48-48 record and are already guaranteed to be the school's winningest class in 10 years.
Out With the Old
Four players from last year's roster have moved on: G Ogo Adegboye (graduation, now playing professionally in Cyprus); F Brett Roseboro (transferred to UMBC); G Sam de Haas (signed professional contract in Holland); and non-scholarship walk-on Jamil Goodwin (transferred to Independence CC in Kansas).
In With the New
Five new players joined the fold in the offseason: freshman G Jordan Gathers; freshman F/C Youssou Ndoye (YOU-sue EN-doy); sophomore G Charlon Kloof (SHAR-lon); junior F Chris Johnson; and junior G Eric Mosley. The quintuplet are expected to contribute immediately and provide great depth to the Bonnies' roster.
Davenport Nearing 1,000
Senior G Michael Davenport is just 268 points away from reaching the 1,000-point milestone for his career. He would become the 39th player in school history to reach the barrier if he averages 11.2 points over the 24 remaining games.
A Legend "Lives On"
Freshman G Jordan Gathers is the nephew of Loyola Marymount great Hank Gathers, one of only two players in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding. Hank Gathers collapsed on the court during a West Coast Conference quarterfinal game on March 4, 1990 and subsequently died due to a heart condition. Jordan Gathers, whose Twitter handle is @44LivesOn, will wear No. 5 for the Brown and White.
Rolling in the Deep
After spending last year with just 10 scholarship players on the roster, the Bonnies are markedly deeper this season with five new additions and increased experience across the board. SBU used the same starting five in all 31 games last season, with four of those five players averaging at least 32 minutes per game.
Sophomore transfer Charlon Kloof has had an interesting path to St. Bonaventure. The Paramaribo, Suriname native was born in South America, moved to Holland at age four and attended JUCO in North Carolina, all before a prep year at Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain's Canary Islands.