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Additional information can be found in the Preseason Prospectus to the right, as well as at the end of this release.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Defending Atlantic 10 Champion St. Bonaventure has been predicted to finish in 11th place in the 16-team A-10 in 2012-13, as announced as part of the league's Media Day Thursday at the Barclays Center.
Saint Joseph's was picked to the win conference as the Hawks garnered 11 first-place votes from A-10 coaches and media members. Saint Louis was right behind SJU as it picked up 10 first-place votes. Newcomer VCU, Temple, Massachusetts and additional first-year member Butler rounded out the top-six teams, and all gathered multiple first-place votes.
For the first time since prior to the 2008-09 season, St. Bonaventure does not have a single player on any of the preseason all-conference teams.
St. Bonaventure won its first Atlantic 10 Championship in 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000 where it narrowly lost to 3rd-seeded ACC Champion Florida State in the Second Round, 66-63.
The Bonnies will look to replace 2012 A-10 Player of the Year, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and First Round NBA Draft pick Andrew Nicholson, who led St. Bonaventure in scoring (18.5) and rebounding (8.4) last year. SBU also lost Da'Quan Cook (7.6 points / 4.6 rebounds) to graduation. While Nicholson has moved on to the Orlando Magic, Cook has taken his game oversees where he signed a professional contract with BC Yambol in Bulgaria's National Basketball League.
Bona returns 10 letterwinners and three starters, including 2012 A-10 All-Championship Team member Demitrius Conger, who averaged 12.1 points and 6.2 rebounds – both second on the team to Nicholson. Bonaventure had 10 players average at least 10 minutes per game in 2011-12, tied for the most by any team in the A-10. Mark Schmidt was named the Sporting News Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, and also claimed the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Men's Division I Coach of the Year.
Despite losing Nicholson, St. Bonaventure's cupboard is fuller than many believe. In fact, last year the Bonnies were only outscored by 17 total points (574-557) when Nicholson was on bench. By comparison, with Nicholson in the game Bonaventure was +190 (1,697-1,507).
By going 10-6 and finishing 4th in the A-10 in 2012, St. Bonaventure increased its conference win total and bettered its league finish for the fifth straight year since Schmidt took over the Bonnies in 2007-08. Additionally, St. Bonaventure is one of only seven Division I schools in the nation to have improved its RPI in each of the last five seasons. Charleston Southern, Detroit, Long Beach State, South Dakota State, Tennessee Tech and Wichita State are the other six schools which have improved their RPI each of the last five years. Of the seven teams, SBU is the only one to hail from a conference that has been rated among the top-10 in the country in RPI in each of the last five years.
SBU finished in the top-5 in the A-10 in nine different statistical categories in 2011-12, and closed the season at 16th in the nation in free-throw percentage (76.1) and 25th in the country in rebounding margin (+5.5).
St. Bonaventure begins defense of its title next week as it officially opens practice. The Bonnies host Mansfield in an exhibition contest on Saturday, Nov. 3 before opening the 2012-13 campaign on Friday, Nov. 9, against Bethune-Cookman.
Season tickets are on sale now, and a limited number of priority seats remain for the 2012-13 season. For more information, visit GoBonnies.com/Tickets or call the Ticket Office at 716-375-2500.
Predicted Order of Finish (First-Place Votes)
1) Saint Joseph's (11)
2) Saint Louis (10)
3) VCU (3)
4) Temple (2)
5) Massachusetts (2)
6) Butler (2)
7) La Salle
11) St. Bonaventure
13) George Washington
15) Rhode Island
A-10 Preseason All-Conference Teams
Kevin Dillard, Dayton
Chris Gaston, Fordham
Chaz Williams, Massachusetts
Kwamain Mitchell, Saint Louis
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Rotnei Clarke, Butler
Chris Braswell, Charlotte
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph's
Carl Jones, Saint Joseph's
Darien Brothers, Richmond
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph's
Halil Kanacevic, Saint Joseph's
Scootie Randall, Temple
Juvonte Reddic, VCU
Roosevelt Jones, Butler
Pierria Henry, Charlotte
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph's
Jordair Jett, Saint Louis
Briante Weber, VCU
Kellen Dunham, Butler
Jordan Hare, Rhode Island
Daniel Dingle, Temple
Melvin Johnson, VCU
Semaj Christon, Xavier