St. Bonaventure Men's Basketball Game Preview: Davidson Wildcats
Friday night St. Bonaventure will meet Davidson for the first of the teams' home-and home series. The Bonnies hope to get back on the winning track after dropping their last three road games. The game will air on ESPN2.
• The Davidson trip is the final contest of a very challenging stretch that has St. Bonaventure on the road for four out of five A-10 games. The Bonnies were sent to Dayton, Saint Joseph's, Rhode Island and now Davidson in a 16-day span.
• This game pits St. Bonaventure's excellent three-point defense against Davidson's strength. The Bonnies rank 13th nationally in three-point defense (.299) while Davidson is 18th in the country in made three-pointers at 10.7 per game.
• Senior point guard Jaylen Adams has earned A-10 Player of the Week honors three times already this year. He leads St. Bonaventure in scoring (18.5 points per game), assists (5.1) and three-point shooting (.529). Already one of the most accomplished players in the program's history, Adams was on the preseason watch list for three national player of the year awards: the Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson Award and the Naismith Trophy.
• Adams' backcourt partner Matt Mobley is averaging 17.1 points per game; combined, the duo average 35.6 points per game and are shooting .401 from three-point range.
• Junior forward LaDarien Griffin averaged 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds last season. This year, he is at 9.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. In the win over Fordham, the 6-6 Griffin posted career highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
• Courtney Stockard's story is much more than just a game-winner against Maryland. The 22-year old redshirt junior missed the last two seasons due to foot injuries, leaving his career in doubt. He persevered, though, and is averaging 11 points per game off the bench.
• Another young guard who is showing his potential is freshman Izaiah Brockington, who is averaging 6.6 points per game while shooting .463 from three-point range
• Since the start of the 2015-16 season, St. Bonaventure is 27-14 in A-10 games.
• Davidson, which is 5-1 at home, brings a four-game win streak into Friday's game. The Wildcats have topped Saint Louis, George Mason, George Washington and Fordham over the past two weeks, and their only A-10 loss came at Richmond.
• Of the Wildcats' seven losses, four were to top-50 RPI teams (North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico State and Nevada).
• Davidson is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, averaging 10.7 three-pointers per game and making them at a 37 percent clip.
• Senior forward Peyton Aldridge, a preseason first team All-Conference team selection, averages 19.8 points (third in the A-10) and 6.9 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Kellan Grady is at 15.8 points per game while making 40 percent of his three-pointers. Point guard Jon-Axel Gudmunsson averages 14.6 points per game. After those three players, no other Wildcat averages more than 6.4 points per game. The starting five does not have a player shorter than 6-foot-4.
St. Bonaventure vs. Davidson: The Last Meeting
Feb. 28, 2017 at Belk Arena: Davidson 68, Bonnies 63
St. Bonaventure twice rallied from double-digit second half deficits but came up just short. It was a 58-49 game when Matt Mobley scored consecutive field goals to make it a five-point game at 58-53. Davidson went up 64-56 with 2:56 left but Mobley made a three-pointer and then St. Bonaventure pulled within 64-61 on two Jaylen Adams free throws with 2:08 left but could never take the lead. The Bonnies missed a shot and turned the ball over once. St. Bonaventure was undone partly by free throw shooting – a strength all season long – as the Bonnies went 14-24 at the line. Matt Mobley led the Bonnies with 16 points. Jaylen Adams finished with 14 and Josh Ayeni scored 12. Playing in his final home game for Davidson, senior guard Jack Gibbs led all scorers with 29 points.
This will be the the ninth meeting between the teams and the fifth since Davidson joined the Atlantic 10. The series is tied, 4-4. St. Bonaventure is 1-2 at Belk Arena.
Adams Reaches 500 Assists
Jaylen Adams handed out his 500th career assist during the Rhode Island game Jan. 13. He is only the third player in program history to reach that milestone. Adams ranks third on St. Bonaventure's all-time assist chart behind Marques Green (657) and Shandue McNeill (616).
Backcourt Back Together
All-America candidate Jaylen Adams missed the first six games of the season due to a sprained left ankle which he suffered in the exhibition game against Alfred (N.Y.) on Nov. 4. That meant the Bonnies' dynamic backcourt duo had to wait until Dec. 2 to be reunited. Now with 11 games back together, the Adams-Matt Mobley pairing has started to look and perform like they did last season. Dec. 30, they combined for 60 points -- the most they have scored in one game together -- in a home win over UMass. They combined for 38 points Jan. 13 at Rhode Island.
Adams & Mobley Statistics:
PPG Assists Steals 3-PT% FT%
36.5 7.9 2.6 .401 .851
Three-Point Efficiency Climbs
As expected, Jaylen Adams' return to the lineup has helped the Bonnies' three-point shooting. The past nine games, St. Bonaventure made 60 of 146 attempts (41 percent) from behind the arc. The streak has improved the team's three-point percentage to .380 for the season, which is tied with UMass for the best in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Experience certainly can help a team win in college basketball and the Bonnies have plenty of it. Combined, seniors Idris Taqqee (107), Matt Mobley (110) and Jaylen Adams (92) have played in 309 career games. As a trio, they have played in 49 games together.
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. 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.