Vegas line: VT is favored by 8 points
$-Line: VT is a 3.3:1 favorite, St.Bonnie is a 1:2.7 underdog
Four returning starters off of (2-1) Saint Bonaventure’s first winning season of hoops in 11 years is this year’s team in a holiday nutshell.
The Bonnies enjoy the services of one N.B.A. pro in waiting, a couple of other good looking parts, and then a whole lotta JuCo’s or Canadian imports fill out the rest of Coach Mark Schmidt Olean New York’s roster. Not exactly Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as rotation or bench substitute depth goes where Seth really should hold an Atlantic Coast edge. All the more so at home as the Bonnies have not exactly been road warriors in recent years.
That said, this is quite possibly the first or second best St.Bonaventure hoops team in over a decade. That’s not half bad for a team that has made one tourney appearance in 31 years.
Now, do be fully awears that most of the pre-season print magazine progosnoticinti has the Bonnies slated for a middle of the pack Atlantic-10 performance. Which gives you an idea of just how far the Bonnies have come, and likewise a notion of how much further they have left to go.
VT is the rightful favorite here, after the 38-zip shellacking vs. france.
St.Bonnie at a glance:
- 31st in defensive rebounding
- 53rd best in FG% (48.4% from the floor)
- 72nd in points allowed (61 per game)
- 109th in assists per game (14)
The Bonnies enjoy the services of the #1 ranked N.B.A. prospect in the entire A-10 basketball conference. He is also the early-season odds on favorite to be the A-10 player of the year come March twenty-twelve. #44 senior season Andrew Nicholson is a F/C combo low-post stud and he is a horse at 6`9“ and 255 lbs. of heavy set, if not just a touch heavy mixed-mass. This size 19 sneaker Canadian N.A.F.T.A. savvy imported kid is the real deal down low and he is easily one of the tougher frontcourters that Seth and company will face all season long. ‘drew leads the Bonnies with 19 points, 7.7 boards, 3.3 blocks and 15% attempts on the year where he converts 80% of his ‘throws. Dood is also listed as the top shooter in the entire A-10 by Lindy’s which perfectly illustrates the depth of his soon to be Associated game. That’s pretty damn good for a kid who is a monster on the defensive glass. Mr. Nicholson gets some help upfront from 6`6“ 203 lb. Mr. Demitrius Conger who gives you 11 points and 6 boards as something of a frontcourt backcourt ‘tweener with a lean to the inside where he plays bigger than he is. Conger is a up tempo springy kinda kid as the pace can never get to fast for this Brooklyn native’s open-court liking. 6`8“ 235 lb. senior year Da’Quan Coook also gives you 6 rebounds and 5 points even if his offensive game and shot-making are a bit robotic or stiff looking at times. Nicholson plus Conger plus Cook gives the Bonnies a sizable starting frontcourt presence. The 6`11“ 235 Youssou Ndoye of Senegal and 6`9“ 210 lb. Jake Houseknecht of the Beber girl’fro hair-cut combine to give Coach Mark Schmidt some useful size and not much else off the Bonnie bench. Last years sixth-man Marquise Simmons a true 6`8“ 230 banger is out for the year with a blown Achilles –God Bless.
Eric Mosley is a junior 5`10“ 170 lb. Louisville native by way of JuCo transfer from Austin.P (Peay) who kicks in a second best 12 points per game on a sizzling hot 65% from the floor and likewise scorching 57% from range. Eric is one of those rarefied today’s-ballers whom you have to encourage to shoot the rock a bit more –making Mr. Mosley a breath of fresh-air if you ask me. Matthew Wright is another Canadian import and a 6`4“ 190 lb. sophomoric combo-guard from Toronto who chips in with 9 points and a team leading 3 assists for the Bonnies on a very reasonable 38% from the downtown. Michael Davenport rounds out the Bonnies backcourt rotation can checks in at 6`5“ 210 lbs. worth of southpaw shooting-Guard outside stroke from the ‘Nati (Cincinnati) campaigning in senior year. Michael is currently mired in a season opening slump, as his points per game and his 3-point stroke have basically been cut in half from his junior season last year. Michael is now down to 6 points per contest and a downright chilly looking 16% from the arc. Not quite what you’d expect from the lockeroom glue that holds the Bonnies team together. Chris Johnson 6`5“ 2o5 lb. is an athletic Texas junior college swing who contributes off the pine with some defense and precious little else at this point in on his development curve.
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Closer and OPT digits:
Not an easy game in which to pick the upset; beyond a major hot shooting night from the Bonnies or beyond a major NYC hangover from Tech or possibly both. The Bonnies have improved to their credit; and they very likely have the best player on the whole entire court in Mr. Nicholson who is one of the better bigs in all of D-1 college basketball that you’ve never heard of. Dood can play and he is a likely late round N.B.A. draftee come June of twenty-twelve. If Virginia Tech can get “four-four” into early foul trouble or if he just so happens to have that once or twice per season off night; the Bonneis won’t be in for a bonnie time in Blacksburg VA.
Right now St.Bonaventure needs a big night from Mr. Nicholson in order to upset might Atlantic Coast Virginia Tech inside the Cassell. The Bonnies opened the year beating Cornell by 21 at home, got beat by the fringe NC2A mid-major otherwise known a 5-o Cleveland State by a 3-pointer out on the road and then beat Siena by six as the visitor. That said, this is very possibly a borderline 20 win A-10 hoops team. The Bonnies will be 100% juiced up to play a sleepy looking Virginia Tech in a yawning festival facitliy with a post-uva football hangover and with the kids still on holiday for Thanksgiving break. That tells me that the Bonnies have a better shot at this one than you think.
Just don’t have a great great feel on this one, as this one looks like a ugly little trap game where VT struggles in victory or VT struggles while getting upset. Either way, this one is gonna be a struggle.
Virginia Tech=66, Saint Bonaventure=68