December 18, 2012

Men’s Basketball Looks To Continue Home Dominance Wednesday

St. Bonaventure (6-3) vs. The Citadel (3-5)
Wednesday, Dec. 15 | 7 PM | Reilly Center (5,480)
Game Notes: St. Bona | The Citadel | Atlantic 10
Twitter: @BonniesMBB | #Bonnies
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Opening Tip
St. Bonaventure looks to remain perfect at home and pick up its seventh win of the season on Wednesday night as it plays host to The Citadel in the Reilly Center. It will be the first meeting between the Bonnies and the Southern Conference military college located in Charleston, South Carolina. While the Bulldogs' record is 3-5, two of those victories have been against NAIA schools, with the lone Division-I win coming opposite VMI (Virginia Military Institute) in their season opener.

Last Time Out
St. Bonaventure scored a season-high 87 points, shot a season-best 54 percent from the floor and led by double figures for nearly 30 minutes on Saturday in an 87-53 victory over Cleveland State at the Reilly Center. Senior Demitrius Conger recorded his second double-double of the season with a team-leading 15 points and 11 rebounds to pace a well-balanced SBU offensive attack. Eleven of the 12 Bona players who logged game action scored, and the 34-point win came with leading scorer Chris Johnson tallying a season-low two points. Junior Charlon Kloof netted a season-high 14 points, sophomore center Youssou Ndoye tallied a career-establishing 13 points and senior Eric Mosley pitched in with 10 to complete a quartet of SBU double-figure scorers for the fifth time this year.

Scouting The Citadel
^ The Citadel has the worst RPI in the country (347 of 347)
^ The Bulldogs visit the Reilly Center aiming to snap a four-game losing streak
^ The latest loss was a 71-58 setback at Gardner-Webb on Saturday
^ Senior center Mike Groselle leads the team at 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game; the 1,000-point career scorer has posted two double-doubles this season and is shooting 57.6 percent from the field
^ Freshman wing Matt Van Scyoc averages 10.5 points per game and is Citadel's top 3-point threat at 43.6 percent (17-39)
^ Sophomore guard Marshall Harris III ranks 33rd nationally with 5.8 assists per game
^ The Citadel roster also features Stephen Elmore, the son of former NBA player and current college basketball analyst Len Elmore
^ The Bulldogs are coached by Chuck Driesell, the son of National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lefty Driesell

Home Court Advantage
Throughout much of its history, the Reilly Center has been feared by many opponents as one of the most difficult places to play in the country, so much so that in 2003 it prompted ESPN's Jay Bilas to label it as one of his top-5 "Hostile Homes" in the nation. While that may not have been the case throughout much of the last decade, the RC is gradually becoming the feared venue it once was. SBU is 4-0 already this year on Bob Lanier Court, and has won 14 of its last 15 regular-season home games, and 20 of 22 dating back to the 2010-11 campaign.

Conger Nearing Elite Company
Demitrius Conger is closing in on 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists for his career. The senior enters the game against The Citadel with 917 points, 508 rebounds and 186 assists. The only other St. Bonaventure players to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists are Ahmad Smith, who registered 1,261 points, 536 rebounds and 245 assists from 2002-2006, and David Vanterpool, who posted 1,474 points, 630 rebounds and 401 assists from 1991-95. Additionally, Conger needs just 34 more steals to reach 100 thefts in his career. If the Brooklyn native were to get to that milestone, he would join Vanterpool as the only two players in St. Bonaventure history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.

Plus/Minus Proficiency
PLAYER: Demitrius Conger not only leads the Bonnies in four different statistical categories, but also in plus/minus proficiency. When he is on the floor, SBU is outscoring its opponents by a +66 margin, coming out to an average of +7.3 points per game. Junior Matthew Wright is second at +7, followed by Charlon Kloof (+6.8) and Chris Johnson (+6.2).

LINEUP: The starting lineup of Kloof, Conger, Johnson, Wright and Marquise Simmons has produced the best ratio of any lineup head coach Mark Schmidt has put on the floor this year, outscoring opponents by +25 when they are on the floor together. However, prorated out to a 40-minute game, the lineup of Conger, Johnson, Wright, Simmons and Eric Mosley has been the most efficient. Those five are +15 on the year in just 22 minutes of action, which comes out to a +27.3 average over 40 minutes, compared with +13.9 for the starting lineup.

PAST YEARS: Despite what many may assume, Andrew Nicholson did not lead St. Bonaventure in plus/minus last year. That honor goes to Conger, who averaged a +6.2 margin compared with Nicholson's +5.9. That means that when Conger was on the floor, the Bonnies outscored their opponents more than when Nicholson was on the court (198-189). An additional surprising fact is that Jordan Gathers finished third on the team with a plus/minus ratio of +3.3. Two years ago during the 2010-11 season, Wright led the team with a +1.7 as a freshman. He was the only player on the roster who had a plus/minus ratio of more than +1.

Career & Season Nights
In their 87-53 win over Cleveland State Saturday, seven different Bonaventure players set or tied career highs in at least one statistical category. Additionally, 10 out of the 12 players who logged game action set or tied season highs in at least one statistical category.

A Second First
The meeting with Citadel is the second time this year that the Bonnies will play an opponent for the first time. The other came in the season opener when SBU defeated Bethune-Cookman, 65-55.

Too Close For Comfort
St. Bonaventure's three losses this season have come by a combined 10 points. Each of the losses have come by four points or less (at Canisius, 72-69; at Ohio, 69-65; at Arkansas State, 73-70). Two of those losses (Ohio, Arkansas State) came in the closing seconds as each team hit a game-winning 25-foot 3-pointer in transition. In all, six of the Bonnies' first eight games were decided by five points or less, and until their 34-point blowout of Cleveland State Saturday, only one game (Siena, 58-43) had been decided by more than 10 points.

A Season-Best Performance
St. Bonaventure not only set a season high in terms of margin of victory with its 34-point win over Cleveland State Saturday, but also several others. They built a 40-point lead at one point, led by 22 points at halftime, scored 48 first-half points and shot 61.5 percent from the floor in the first half – all season highs.

Carrying A Heavy Load
Senior Demitrius Conger has played 315 minutes this year, which is nearly 50 minutes more than anyone else on the Bona roster. The next closest is Chris Johnson, who has logged 267 minutes, and after him is Matthew Wright at 239 minutes. Only one other player, Charlon Kloof, has played more than 200 minutes this year. Nine SBU players average double-figure minutes per game, but Conger is on pace for his third straight season of 1,000 or more minutes. He logged a career-high 1,088 as a sophomore and 1,073 last year as a junior.

Offensive Attack
With their 87-point performance against Cleveland State Saturday, the Bonnies reached the 80-point plateau in a game for the third time this season. It marks the first time in the Schmidt era, and first since the 2005-06 season, that a Bona team has scored at least 80 points in three of its first eight games. If SBU tallies at least 80 points against Citadel, it will mark the first time since the 2002-03 season that Bonaventure has scored 80 or more in four of its first 10 games. That team – which later vacated all but one win – scored 80 or more in five of its first 10 contests.

Bounce Back Bonnies
Bonaventure has proven the ability to bounce back from a non-conference loss very well over the past two years. With its victory against Cleveland State on Dec. 15, SBU improved to 12-1 in its non-conference slate since the start of the 2010-11 season in games following losses. The only two-game losing streak during that timeframe came against Virginia Tech (73-64) and Arkansas State (58-52) last year.

Next Up
St. Bonaventure hits the road to face its toughest test of the year so far when it battles No. 25 NC State in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.