Throughout the summer, GoBonnies.com will feature interviews with members of the St. Bonaventure men's basketball team and their preparation for the 2017-18 season during off-season workouts. Our next Summer Session features rising senior Idris Taqqee.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Three years ago, life as a freshman in the Atlantic 10 was a struggle for St. Bonaventure rising senior Idris Taqqee.
Going through the growing pains that many Division I freshmen face, Taqqee battled his way into the Bonnies rotation and late in the 2014-15 season saw improvement and increased playing time.
Those days sure seem like a long time ago for the Snellville, Ga. native who is preparing to enter his senior season as a key component to a Bonnies team that has high hopes in 2017-18.
He has started all but one game the past two seasons, averaging a career-best 6.8 points along with 5.3 rebounds per contest in nearly 34 minutes per game last year.
The type of do-it-all player who facilitates his team's success without taking much of the limelight, Taqqee has served as one of head coach Mark Schmidt's most reliable players since joining the program.
Now one of the veterans on the team, Taqqee talks about the summer work going into his final season and helping bring along newcomers to the squad.
What do you hope to accomplish as a senior?
Just to get better all around, stay consistent and to get to the NCAA Tournament.
How are you helping the younger players get up to speed?
I struggled a lot my freshman year, so I try to give insight as much as I can. I never try to short the guys and to give as much input as I can because I took a lot of advice my freshman year.
The core of last year's team remains intact. How much confidence does that give you entering the season?
We've been gelling. We're definitely getting to where we want to get. Everyone being here over the summer, everybody being together has been huge.
You're the type of player that does all the little things teams need to be successful, but might not get the most press. How much pride do you take in being that guy for the team?
All the pride because we are all in it together. We all put in the same time and one thing I look at is my teammates find value in it, so I find value in it. I just want to win. We are all capable of doing what we need to do whether it's the top guy or the last guy on the bench. We hold everyone accountable and try to pull out the 'W' and that's one thing that I pride myself on.
What are you working on this summer?
Just working on all parts of my game. As a team we are working to get better all the time.
What is your best memory associated with being a part of the program?
There's a few. Beating VCU my freshman year and the win at Davidson we great moments. Being a part of this program means a lot because I've seen it evolve and transition to better things. It's been a great thing for me to see the program prosper.
Could you have predicted these last four years when you came in as a freshman?
It's definitely better than I anticipated. The good things that we've done are things that I will cherish.
Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant
Favorite food: Peach cobbler
Actor that would play you in a movie: Will Smith
Hobbies: Making music
Favorite movie: Ali
Favorite music artist: Kendrick Lamar
Pre-game rituals: I eat Frosted Flakes before every game
If you were to play another sport it would be: Football
Best advice you've received: Live every day like it's your last
If you could trade places for a day with one person it would be: My grandfather. I would like to see what it's like to be in his shoes.
For information on purchasing season tickets, contact the SBU Ticket Office at (716) 375-2500 or visit GoBonnies.com/tickets. Single game tickets go on sale in October.
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @Go_Bonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.