St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Siena Saints
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 29
Location: Albany, N.Y. | Times Union Center
St. Bonaventure 3-2 | Siena 1-4
Bonnies Statistics | Saints Statistics
Video: SienaSaints.com (pay-per-view)
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Wednesday night in Albany, St. Bonaventure plays sister school Siena in the annual Franciscan Cup game. This is the first of three straight road games for the Bonnies against traditional rivals. The Franciscan Cup series has featured close, competitive games, with St. Bonaventure holding a 4-3 edge.
• Last weekend in Niceville, Fla., the Bonnies went 1-1 in the Emerald Coast Classic, falling to unbeaten TCU in the championship game. St. Bonaventure reached the final with a win over Maryland, handing the highly-regarded Terps their first loss. Both Matt Mobley and Izaiah Brockington were named to the All-Tournament Team.
• The Bonnies are 3-2 despite Jaylen Adams missing the first five games of the year due to a sprained left ankle. Already one of the most accomplished players in the program's history, the two-time first team All-Conference selection is on the preseason watch list for three national player of the year awards, the Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson Award and the Naismith Trophy.
• Matt Mobley, the other half of the Bonnies' dynamic duo in the backcourt, has certainly done his part to fill the void. Mobley ranks 32nd nationally in scoring at 21.8 points per game; he led the Bonnies with 16 points in the win over Maryland. Like Adams, Mobley was named to the Atlantic 10's preseason first team All-Conference.
• Courtney Stockard's story is much more than just a game-winner against Maryland. The 22-year old redshirt junior missed all of the last two seasons due to foot injuries, leaving his career in serious doubt. He persevered, though, and is averaging 13 points per game off the bench.
• Freshman Izaiah Brockington, who only committed to the Bonnies in July, has been a pleasant surprise to start the year, averaging 9.8 points after a 20-point showing against TCU.
• Now in his 11th season at the helm, coach Mark Schmidt got the 250th win of his career on Nov. 20 with the victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Schmidt led the Bonnies to consecutive 20-win seasons the past two years, and he stands second on the program's wins list with 169.
St. Bonaventure vs. Siena: The Last Meeting
Nov. 30, 2016 at Reilly Center: Bonnies 81, Siena 74
For the previous years, St. Bonaventure watched Siena pull out narrow victories in the annual Franciscan Cup game. Last year at the Reilly Center, Jaylen Adams and his teammates put a stop to that trend. Adams scored 27 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead the Bonnies. Matt Mobley, Adams' backcourt partner, scored 20 points. Denzel Gregg finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while David Andoh scored 13 points in 27 minutes off the bench. The Bonnies led 39-34 at halftime and expanded the lead to as many as 10 points on two occasions in the second half. Siena rallied behind Brett Bisping, as his layup pulled the Saints to within 74-73 with 1:03 remaining. Bisping led Siena with 23 points. Adams followed Bisping's shot with a drive for a score plus a foul, and his three-point play put St. Bonaventure up 77-73 with 41 seconds left. Mobley sealed the decision with two free throws.
This will be the 40th meeting all-time in the series, which St. Bonaventure leads 29-10. Siena had won the Franciscan Cup in 2013, 2014 and 2015 before the Bonnies ended that run last season. The Franciscan Cup series started in 2010.
• Siena picked up its first win of the season last Saturday, topping Hofstra 85-76 at the Times Union Center. Freshman point guard Roman Penn led the Saints with a double-double of 14 points and 11 assists while freshman center Prince Oduro had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. The Saints made nearly 60 percent of their shots from the field including 10-17 from three-point range.
• A young team, Siena starts three freshmen alongside junior swingman Nico Clareth, who leads the club in scoring at 17.8 points per game.
Mobley Off To Quick Start
Even with the added pressure of Jaylen Adams' absence, Mobley has gotten off to a great start to 2017-18. After averaging 17 points per game with seven assists in the Emerald Coast Classic, he was named the the All-Tournament Team. Mobley has scored at least 16 points in every game and now has 17 games of 20 points or more in 36 games at St. Bonaventure.
Stockard Back After Two Years; Scores Game-Winner vs. Maryland
Entering the season, no player on the roster would have been more accurately described as the "X Factor" than Courtney Stockard. That is because the 6-6 wing missed all of the past two seasons due to a broken bone in his foot. He first broke it in the fall of 2015, then re-injured the same bone in the same foot in the first official practice of 2016. Now a 23-year-old redshirt junior, Stockard has shown he will be a valuable contributor. During his two years on the sidelines, the St. Louis native became well-versed in the Bonnies' playbook and what the coaches expect. That knowledge is showing up on the court. After scoring 14 points against Maryland and 16 against TCU, Stockard is averaging 13.0 points per game, which makes him St. Bonaventure's second-leading scorer. He scored the game-winning bucket against Maryland with 3.2 seconds left.
Griffin Making Most Of Opportunity
LaDarien Griffin's journey to becoming a regular contributor is similar to many past St. Bonaventure players. He started his college career as an unfinished product who had to work his way into the rotation. The first part of his maturation was to become stronger, and he's added 15 pounds of muscle to his 6-6 frame, now at 215 lbs. Griffin also worked to improve his shot and ball handling. His freshman season, Griffin played in only 11 games, scoring six points. Last season, he earned time in 29 games and averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. This year, Griffin has moved into the starting spot at power forward and through five games, is the Bonnies' leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer.
Griffin's Career Progression:
FR SOPH JR
Minutes/Game 2.7 12.3 33.2
Scoring 0.5 2.7 9.4
Rebounding 0.5 2.2 6.2
Blocked Shots 0.1 0.4 1.2
Brockington Named To Emerald Coast All-Tournament Team
The concept of "small ball" has certainly gained momentum in the basketball world and this season, the Bonnies are also likely to employ some smaller lineups. In those rotations, freshman guard Izaiah Brockington has earned the opportunity to play meaningful minutes. And by earned, we mean a game-high 20 points against TCU, earning Brockington a spot on the Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament Team. Nov. 20, he scored 18 points against Maryland Eastern Shore. On the year, he is 8-15 (.586) from three-point range. Brockington only committed to the Bonnies last summer after changing his mind about going to a year of prep school.
St. Bonaventure basketball tickets are available via GoBonnies.com/tickets; by calling (716) 375-2500 or in person at the St. Bonaventure ticket office in the Reilly Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
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