Recon: Saint Bonaventure

Recon: Saint Bonaventure

It’s not even March and the Archie Miller sweepstakes have begun in earnest.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

UNLV is interested in Dayton’s Archie Miller as its next basketball coach, but the feeling doesn’t appear to be mutual, sources said Thursday. Miller, who took the Flyers to the Elite Eight two years ago, probably will hold out for a school in a power-five conference, the sources said. He had that chance last year but turned down Florida. The Gators reportedly didn’t offer the more than $3 million it would have taken to lure Miller. The Flyers are 21-4 this season and ranked 13th in the USA Today coaches’ poll, and they are 111-51 in five seasons under Miller. Those at UNLV aren’t giving up on Miller, who coached under his brother, Sean, from 2009 to 2011 at Arizona. UNLV president Len Jessup was the dean at Arizona’s Eller College of Management from 2011 to 2014.Mark Anderson

I said last night on the podcast with Ian Nolan that Archie isn’t leaving UD for anything less than three million and this article seems to back up that assertion. Bottom line, Miller has a great thing going in the Gem City right now, schools are going to have to dig deep into their pockets to get him to leave (between you and me, I’d love to see Archie — and Mrs. Archie — end up in Vegas).

We can save all the “Where’s Archie Going?” discussion for the offseason, I’m sure they’ll be plenty to talk about. Until then, the Flyers look to get back into the win column against St. Bonaventure tomorrow afternoon.

If you haven’t listended to our podcast with Ian Nolan, St. Bonnie basketball connoisseur, and don’t have access to any other forms on engagement, it’s right here for your listening pleasure:

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Overview

The Bonnies, who were on the tourney bubble according to several licensed bracketologists, took a really bad loss against La Salle on Wednesday night. Any time you are on the outside looking in a loss to a 200+ RPI team will put a serious damper on your NCAA Tournament hopes. St. Bonaventure’s loss drops their overall record to 17-7, 9-4 in the Atlantic Ten. With Dayton and St. Joe’s still left on the schedule, there’s some room for the Bonnies to get back in the picture, but you’d have to imagine Mark Schmidt’s team would have to run the table to have any hope of making it to the postseason this year.  

This much is clear: Dayton, St. Joseph’s and VCU have separated themselves from the rest of the pack and seem, as of this writing, lock and loaded for the Dance (although, looking at VCU’s resume, the Rams probably want to avoid a bad loss to close their season). It seems like the only scenario in which the conference gets four teams is a season closing table-run and finals appearance by either George Washington or St. Bonaventure. And even that might not be enough. Anyway, enough about the league – let’s adjust our laser-like focus on the Bonnies.

3597-1024x741UD, of course, took care of St. Bonaventure a month ago, coming out on top, 85-79, in Olean. Dayton took a HUGE lead over SBU, the Flyers were up 56-25 with 13:07 left in the game, before an improbabe run by the home team made the game a lot closer than it should have been – the Bonnies scored 43 points in the last ten minutes of the contest, an unreasonable amount if I do say so myself.  

Bonaventure is overly reliant on its starting guards, two of the best in the A10, and shoots threes with abandon. This, of course, is an issue when the two aren’t producing in concert with each other. Bona turns the ball over on just 16.9% of its possessions and is the third best foul-shooting team in the nation. Those two elements will keep just about any team in a game. You take care of the ball, flush the commodes, convert foul-shots and good things will happen.

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Jaylen Adams and Marcus Posley combine to form the best backcourt in the Atlantic Ten. You know it and I know it. Adams has put together an impressive sophomore season, quickly evolving into one of the most dangerous offensive players in the conference. He has the ability to knock down threes, get to the basket and draw contact (where he currently ranks second in the A10 in shooting percentage). Over the next two years, Adams is going to be like a guy that owns his own pool cue – a fucking problem.  

Posley remains the team’s leading bucket-getter, often politely labeled as a “volume scorer.” He shoots with a great deal of false confidence, the kind of guy teammates probably hate playing with. He got hot late against UD back in January, finishing the game with thirty-one points on twenty-three shots. Bonaventure will need consistent offense from him if they are to have a shot at taking down the Flyers in the Gem City. 

NCAA Basketball: George Washington at St. Bonaventure

Dion Wright, Idris Taqqee and Jordan Tyson will probably get the nods in the Bonnie starting frontcourt Saturday afternoon. Wright, the senior, is the best of the bunch, a kid with size who can knock down jumpers. He is an elite rebounder who has already racked up an impressive eleven double-doubles this season. Taqqee has a last name that defies logic and doesn’t appear to do anything good enough to warrant the type of minutes he has been receiving this year (the sophomore wing was a complete non-factor in his 26 minutes of play the first time the Bonnies took on Dayton). Tyson is a 6’10” freshman from Columbus who has shown flashes of potential this season. Not a gifted offensive player, Tyson is a kid who will have to put on some size to become a factor in the Atlantic Ten. We wish him well. 

The Bonaventure bench has basically been three-deep this season: Forwards Denzel Gregg and Derrick Woods, and guard Nelson Kaputo (I feel like it’s a really bad idea to name a black child Denzel, just begs for trouble). Gregg is a multi-tool player, capable of hitting shots from the perimeter and around the bucket. He is also a solid rebounder. Woods is a freshman that has seen his minutes cut dramatically since St. Bonnie entered the conference portion of their schedule. Kaputo provides backup to Adams and Posley in the rare time they are out of the game. He’s a freshman the Bona coaching staff is very high on.

Nate’s Numbers

the-no-worry-warrior-printsYour boy will be RED, LOWD, LIVE and overserved on craft beers for this game, much to the chagrin of the editor in chief. Having already previewed St. Bonnie’s once, I’d like to take a look back at the previous game for a minute.

There was a bit of ruckus made after the Flyer’s “blew” a 31-point second half lead and only won by six. The Flyers had a 98% win probability at halftime. With 5 minutes to go that win probability took its biggest dip to…96% and quickly went back up north of 98% after a few buckets. The conversation about the end game was much ado about nothing. This is especially true as they won their next 4 games by an average of 25 points.

What sticks out about the last game? Well, having an effective shooting percentage of 66% certainly helps. It’s hard to deduce much about the Dayton defense as they certainly weren’t focused for much of the second half. One thing that has developed over the season is the correlation between the Bonnies free throw rate to their offensive efficiency. They don’t draw a ton of fouls, but are one of the best teams in the country at converting their free throws. The Flyers should win this game even without the heroic shooting efforts from the last matchup, as long as Adams and Posley don’t go off from long range or there is a parade to the free-throw line.

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Prediction

After a disappointing loss on Wednesday night, the Flyers will come out firing on Saturday against the Bonnies. Kendall Pollard’s knee will miraculously be good enough to go, less than 72 hours after the St. Joe’s game, and Dayton earns its twenty-second win of the season (moving into a two-way tie with the Hawks after VCU gets upset by Richmond on its home floor). Charles Cooke does most of the damage, scoring 23 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Flyers 77, Bonnies 68.

 

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Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o’ D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.

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