ST. BONAVENTURE vs. ALFRED
Wednesday, Oct. 30 – 7:30 p.m.
Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center
Online Coverage: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
TV: ESPN+ | Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM (Olean area) / WWLZ 820 AM/101.3 FM (Elmira area)
The Centennial Season of Bonnies Basketball is here and fans can get their first look at the 2019-20 squad Wednesday night with a little bit of October action in the Reilly Center. St. Bonaventure again plays host to I-86 neighbor Alfred as the Bonnies and Saxons meet in exhibition play for the fourth year in a row. The game is slated to tip off at 7:30 p.m., or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women's exhibition game.
All tickets are $7 and include admission to the women's game vs. Cortland which gets underway at 5:00 p.m. For more details, call the SBU Ticket Office at 716-375-2500 or visit GoBonnies.com/Tickets.
LOFTON, OSUNNIYI NAMED PRESEASON ALL-A-10
When the Atlantic 10 preseason all-conference teams were revealed last Thursday at the conference's Media Day in Brooklyn, a pair of Bonnies sophomores received second and third team accolades. Kyle 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. 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.
This season marks just the third time since 1999 that the Bonnies have had multiple preseason All-Atlantic 10 honorees, joining Tim Winn and Caswell Cyrus in '99 and Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley in 2017. Both of those previous seasons ended in NCAA Tournament berths.
BONNIES SELECTED FIFTH IN A-10
St. Bonaventure was selected fifth in the preseason Atlantic 10 rankings. Last season's ninth-place preseason ranking is the only time in the past four years that the Bonnies have not been selected fifth or higher. While last season's ninth-place ranking in the preseason polls turned into a fourth-place finish and ultimately a spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game, the Bonnies look to continue their trend of surpassing preseason expectations: St. Bonaventure has not finished lower than its preseason poll selection since the 2012-13 campaign.
The Bonnies return a nucleus of exciting talent – including sophomores Kyle Lofton, Dominick Welch, Osun Osunniyi and Alpha Okoli along with senior Amadi Ikpeze – but those are the only five players back from last year on the active roster. A new but experienced player is redshirt sophomore Bobby Planutis who was with the program all of last year, sitting due to NCAA transfer rules after transferring from Mount St. Mary's where he started 25 of 32 games as a freshman.
The team's lone junior is a newcomer – transfer Matt Johnson, a guard from Howard (TX) junior college. Sophomore Jaren English joins the backcourt from Ranger (TX) junior college as well. The team also welcomes freshmen Robert Carpenter, Alejandro Vasquez and Justin Winston. Another newcomer, junior Jalen Adaway, will sit this season after transferring from Miami (OH) and have two years of eligibility remaining beginning next season.
SHOES TO FILL
While there's much to be excited about with the returning players and newcomers, the Bonnies will need to fill the shoes of what was an outstanding senior class that graduated following last season. Courtney Stockard was an All-Conference performer, averaging over 15 points per game last year. LaDarien Griffin earned the league's Most Improved Player award two seasons ago and started 23 of the 24 games he played a year ago. Both of those players are playing professionally overseas now, becoming the 23rd and 24th Bona players under head coach Mark Schmidt to sign pro deals. Joined by four-year player Nelson Kaputo, the trio was part of 86 wins during their Bona careers.
THE CENTENNIAL SEASON
This year marks one of the most anticipated in program history as the Bonnies open their 100th season of intercollegiate men's basketball. Special celebrations are planned throughout the year. For more information, visit GoBonnies.com/100.
The Saxons were outstanding last season, finishing the year with a 24-5 record and a 14-2 mark in conference play. Alfred danced all the way to an Empire 8 Conference Championship and its first bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament since 1997 with its first-ever conference crown. The Saxons will need to replace their three leading scorers from that team: Dom LeMorta (20.4 ppg), Sage Brown (11.7 ppg) and Scotty Stopera (10.0 ppg). Senior guard Sam Dagon (9.6 ppg) and junior guard Cole Eells (7.8 ppg) lead all returning scorers. Again, the Saxons bring a Schmidt family connection – this time it is freshman guard Mike Schmidt who will get the opportunity to play against his father after a standout career at Olean High School.
Though the Saxons have much work to do in replacing their senior class from a year ago, the program has a history of success under head coach Russell Phillips who ranks third in program wins (81) in just five seasons at the helm.
BONNIES ON ESPN+
The Atlantic 10's agreement with ESPN+ to be the official video streaming partner of the conference means all St. Bonaventure games that are not shown on a national or regional TV network will be shown on ESPN+. The broadcasts will be produced in-house under the direction of Rick Karnath, an adjunct professor in the Jandoli School of Communication. Karnath will lead a group of students who will work alongside Athletics Department staff to air both men's and women's games. ESPN+ can be accessed in the Watch tab of the latest version of the ESPN App, available on the web, iPhone, iPad, tvOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast and FireTV for a subscription of $4.99 per month. This season, no fewer than a dozen Bonnies men's games will air on ESPN+.
Season tickets for the Bonnies remain on sale. To order, call the SBU Ticket Office at 716-375-2500 or click here. Flex packs and single-game tickets are also now available.
St. Bonaventure opens the regular season Tuesday, Nov. 5 in the Reilly Center against Ohio. That game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off and follows the women's home opener that evening vs. St. John's.
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.