BROOKLYN – St. Bonaventure sophomores Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi each earned Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference honors and the Bonnies were selected fifth in the preseason poll, which was announced Thursday as part of Atlantic 10 Media Day.
VCU was selected as the A-10 favorites with 19 first-place votes and 381 total voting points, ahead of Davidson which took eight top votes and 359 points to place second, and Dayton which grabbed the final first-place vote as well as 341 points to stand third. Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure ranked fourth and fifth respectively with the Rams just three voting points ahead of SBU with 283 to 280. Richmond, Saint Louis, Duquesne, George Mason and La Salle make up the second five while UMass, George Washington, Saint Joseph's and Fordham complete the preseason rankings.
Lofton, fresh off a standout freshman campaign that saw him garner All-Rookie and All-Atlantic 10 Tournament honors, picked up a Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection.
Bona's point guard, Lofton played over 37 minutes per game while starting all 34 contests last year and averaged 14.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He ranked 14th in league scoring during his debut campaign, was eighth in A-10 assists and ninth in steals (1.4 spg) while handing out 127 assists, just 16 away from the program's freshman record.
Osunniyi, who made not only the All-Rookie Team but also the league's All-Defensive Team last year, is on the Preseason All-Conference Third Team as well as the Preseason All-Defensive Team.
The second-year player averaged 7.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in his collegiate debut and established himself as one of the nation's elite shot-blockers. His 92 blocks are the second-highest total in school history and ranked sixth in the nation as well as best in the A-10. No Division I freshman swatted more shots a year ago.
Last year, the Bonnies won 18 games and reached the Atlantic 10 Championship Game. In so doing, the Bonnies continued what has been a consistent trend of surpassing preseason expectations – head coach Mark Schmidt's squad came up just a buzzerbeater effort shy of earning the league's crown last year despite being picked ninth in the preseason poll.
St. Bonaventure's first competition of the 2019-20 season comes in exhibition action vs. Alfred Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies Centennial Season officially kicks off vs. Ohio on home court Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Bonnies season tickets, flex packs and single-game tickets are now on sale. For more information, contact the SBU Ticket Office at 716-375-2500 or visit GoBonnies.com/Tickets.
For the latest news on St. Bonaventure athletics, stay connected on social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get men's basketball updates @BonniesMBB. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.