St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Saint Joseph's Hawks
Date: Saturday, March 1
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
Opening Tip: Saturday afternoon, St. Bonaventure hosts Saint Joseph's on Senior Day at the Reilly Center in a nationally-televised game. The Bonnies, who have four seniors, look to bounce back after frustrating losses in their last two games, while the Hawks are winners of five straight.
Senior Day: Saturday will be the final home game in the careers of seniors Danny Farrell, Charlon Kloof, Marquise Simmons and Matthew Wright. They will be honored in a traditional pre-game ceremony along with their families.
The Series: This will be the 64th meeting between the schools. Saint Joseph's leads the series, 45-18, but the Bonnies have won the last three meetings. Under Mark Schmidt, the Bonnies are 4-5 against St. Joseph's.
The Last Meeting: Jan. 23, 2013 at Hagan Arena: St. Bonaventure 73, Saint Joseph's 64. Demetrius Conger scored 21 points and Matthew Wright had 18 to lead the Bonnies to the road win. St. Bonaventure led 36-17 at halftime.
St. Bonaventure Coach Mark Schmidt
At SBU: 104-107 (7th season)
Overall: 186-197 (13th season)
Saint Joseph's Head Coach Phil Martelli
At Saint Joseph's: 358-244 (19th season)
Saint Joseph's Scouting Report:
• The red-hot Hawks enter the weekend in second place in the A-10. Saint Joseph's has won five games in a row and seven of its last eight. Tuesday in Philadelphia, the Hawks dismantled Dayton 79-53 as Ronald Roberts scored 22 points and Chris Wilson had 20.
• Saint Joseph's is a veteran team with three seniors -- Roberts, Langston Galloway and Halil Kanacevic -- and one junior, Wilson, in the starting lineup. All five starters average at least 9.7 points per game led by Galloway at 16.5 and Roberts at 14.6. Freshman swingman DeAndre Bembry averages 11.5 points per game and Kanacevic is at 10.9. Galloway leads the A-10 in three-pointers made (3.1 per game) and is second in three-point percentage (.440). Kanacevic ranks second in the A-10 in rebounding (8.6) and fourth in assists (4.5)
• The Hawks are 7-3 on the road this season, including a 4-2 record in conference road games. Saint Joseph's is 33rd in the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA on Feb. 29.
Last Time Out: Bonnies Out-shot by LaSalle: Wednesday in Philadelphia, LaSalle shot 56 percent from the field, including 7-13 from three-point range, and handed the Bonnies a 75-67 loss. St. Bonaventure led 67-66 with 2:30 left but missed its final three shots. LaSalle made key free throws down the stretch to pull away. Matthew Wright led the Bonnes with 18 points while Youssou Ndoye had 16.
Wright Heats Up; Closing in on 1,000: Senior Matthew Wright, who enters the Saint Joseph's game just 11 points shy of 1,000 for his career, has been a key to the Bonnies' success all season but even moreso over the past month. Over the last nine games, Wright averaged 18.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 43 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 89 percent (44-49) at the free throw line. For the year, the senior shooting guard ranks seventh in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 16.1 points per game and has scored in double figures 20 times. He leads the A-10 in free throw shooting percentage at .877.
Dion Wright - Sixth Man Extraordinaire: After a year spent in a role typical for most freshmen, Dion Wright has emerged as a candidate for the Atlantic 10's Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player awards. The 6'7" swingman from Carson, Calif., played in only 13 games and averaged 2.3 ppg last year, but this season he has played in every game and is averaging 9.5 points per game. Wright, who is not related to teammate Matthew Wright, also ranks third on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game. He has been equally effective against A-10 opponents as he was prior to conference play, averaging 9.6 points and 5.8 boards in the A-10.
Bench Press: St. Bonaventure's bench has outscored opponents in 21 of 28 games this season, including 12 of 14 conference games. The four main players off the bench contribute 22 points per game: Dion Wright (9.5), Jordan Gathers (8.7), Denzel Gregg (1.9) and Chris Dees (1.8).
Ndoye's Progression: While he is in just his fifth season playing the game, junior center Youssou Ndoye has shown growth in all facets. The 7-foot Ndoye came to St. Bonaventure weighing about 200 pounds and now, after almost three years working with Director of Strength and Conditioning Darryn Fiske, Ndoye weighs around 240 pounds. His freshman season, playing behind A10 Player of the Year Andrew Nicholson, Ndoye averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds. He's improved each season and is now enjoying his best year production-wise. A statistical capsule of Ndoye's improvements:
YOUSSOU NDOYE '12-13 '13-14 Current A-10 Rank
Points Per Game 6.9 10.0 --
Rebounds 4.9 5.6 19th
Blocks 1.4 2.3 3rd
Field Goal Pct. .517 .531 10th
Kloof Leads The Pack: Senior point guard Charlon Kloof certainly has to be in the conversation about the most improved players in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Last season, Kloof lost his starting spot midway through the year, and his playing time and production dropped. This season, as a team captain, he has been a completely different player. Kloof's scoring has more than doubled from last season (5.3 to 11.6 points per game). Kloof averages 4.9 assists per game average (second best in the A-10) compared to 2.0 per game last season, and he leads the A-10 in assist-to-TO ratio (2.3) with 138 assists against 61 turnovers. Kloof also helps key the Bonnies' improved defense, regularly taking on the defensive assignment against other top guards. A statistical capsule of Kloof's improvement from last year to this season:
CHARLON KLOOF '12-13 '13-14 Current A-10 Rank
Points Per Game 5.3 11.6 28th
Assists 2.0 4.9 2nd
Assist-to-TO Ratio 1.2 2.3 1st
Free Throw Percentage .667 .758 12th
Minutes Played Avg. 20.8 32.9 10th