The legend of the Olean Yeti has grown over the years. While many of the locals will deny his existence, purely for safety concerns, if you dig deep enough you’ll hear the stories of a remarkable ape-like being who has become the heart of the Saint Bonaventure community.
Thanks to advances in technology and an expanding communication platform, tales of the Olean Yeti (or Abominable Snowman if we are being politically correct) have begun to surface with tangible evidence. Years of rumor and speculation have been replaced with facts and certainty. The Olean Times Herald recently opened up some archived material that was previously unavailable to the public. This has led to a fairly precise timeline in which the Olean Yeti’s activities can be documented.
According to sources, the Olean Yeti appeared on the Saint Bonaventure campus sometime in the late sixties. Apparently, he enrolled in class and walked onto the basketball team the same day.
[su_testimonial name=”Larry Weise, SBU Head Coach, 1961-73″ photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/larryweise-e1483394271956.jpg”]That goddamned thing walked into my office and I immediately reached into my desk where I kept my .22 and shot it right in the chest. He fell down, and when he got back up I was sure my life was over. Instead, he grabbed a ball off my desk, ran onto the court and dunked from the foul-line. I remember thinking — Larry, we might have something here. We shaved him down and told people he was an Italian. Problem was, people hated Italians more than Yetis back in them days. Can’t say I blame them. He smelled like dogshit being burned on a tire.[/su_testimonial]
Of course, things didn’t go to plan for the Olean Yeti. A few days after walking into Weise’s office he allegedly disemboweled his roomate and has been a rather reclusive character since then. Only a few people on campus knew of his existence and the police were never able to track down the 8’9″ snow creature. On the plus side, Bob Lanier was able to use the Yeti’s custom-made size 20 sneakers that were left behind after the murder (Lanier had size 16 feet but the University could only find him size 14 basketball shoes. Lanier wore several bread bags over his socks in order to fit into the Yeti’s high-tops).
Nevertheless, there were numerous sightings over the years. The Yeti allegedly attended a few parties on campus during the eighties and appeared to have his life back in order.
[su_testimonial name=”Rick ‘Ricky’ Rickerson, Class of 1986″ photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/960×595-e1483395894324.jpg”]Oh, for sure, man. The Yeti was the party God. The dudes dug him, the chicks loved him, he was just a rad dude who wanted to drink some brews and rage. He did a nineteen minute keg stand one night and people were like, what? He stunk like an Iranian toilet, but there was no one you wanted in your corner more when the fucking townies wanted to throw hands. I saw him punch a guy and his hand came out of the back of the dude’s head. It was so gnarly. [/su_testimonial]
After a brief resurfacing, the Olean Yeti seemed to go underground again. There were reports that he ran to Mexico, some speculation that he was a trigger man for the Sinaloa Cartel. A police report in Salamanca, New York states that a 8’9″ man “of swarthy complexion, possibly Armenian” was involved in a drunk-driving accident that killed a family of six on New Years Eve, 1990. The man escaped Cattaraugus County Jail two days later. By all appearances, the Olean Yeti had once again disappeared into the night.
When Mark Schmidt took over as the head basketball coach at Saint Bonaventure in 2007, his first mission was to make a trek deep into the Nine Mile Creek State Forest in nearby Allegany.
[su_testimonial name=”Mark Schmidt, St. Bonaventure basketball coach, 2007-present” photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Mark-Schmidt.jpg”]I went to the park with five frozen chickens, a small tent and a few back issues of Honcho. I set the chickens down and waited. Three days later I saw the Yeti emerge from the woods, he grabbed the chickens and I called out to him. He looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and lumbered over to me. We embraced for a minute or so, just holding each other. He smelled like a dead body that was just pulled out of raw sewage.[/su_testimonial]
The Yeti worked with the basketball team as a special consultant, particularly earning his keep through his work with SBU’s big men. Andrew Nicholson, the Bonnies first NBA draft pick since 1986, credits the Yeti’s knowledge of the low-post game as the turning point of his career.
[su_testimonial name=”Andrew Nicholson, former St. Bonaventure player” photo=”http://www.blackburnreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Nicholson-Andrew_300.jpg”]Yeti was instrumental in my development. Going against an eight foot-nine inch guy with that kind of footwork every day in practice improved my game tremendously. We used to laugh about our comically large feet and the fact that he used to haze all the walkons by eating their dogs. He smelled like rotten eggs soaked in embalming fluid. I would douse myself with Comet Bleach Powder before I got in the shower after practice.[/su_testimonial]
As you can clearly see, the Olean Yeti’s history is real and sustantiated. So the question is, at this point, why does the Bonaventure fan base go so far out of their way to deny his existence? Was it the murder, the fact that SBU is skirting employment laws? We may never know. Maybe they just want to hold onto something pure and beautiful, free from the prying eyes of the rest of the world.
The Bonnies are 9-4 on the year, coming off a win at UMass to start their conference campaign. Picked to finish fifth in the A-10’s preseason poll, Mark Schmidt’s team has been the most offensively impressive squad in the league. As a team, Bonaventure shoots 39% from three, 78% from the stripe and clocks in with an efficienty rating of 112.5, tops in the league.
SBU is one of the quicker paced teams in the confernece, as only UMass, the Dukes and Dayton get shots up faster than the Bonnies (Schmidt’s squad has an average possesion lenght of 16.4 seconds). Here’s something else you guys don’t know or care about — St. Bonaventure gets after your ass on the offensive boards. The Bonnies are currently posting an astounding 37.1% offensive rebounding percentage. Here’s what’s even more telling — SBU is horrible and atrocious when it comes to defensive rebounding, ranking 305th in that category. The Bonnies are so offensively-minded they’ll scratch and claw for every second-chance opportunity they can get but protect the defensive glass with the same care Casey Anthony showed for her daughter (you guys remember Casey Anthony, right? Kinda hot-slutty chick that killed her kid? Whatever).
If you don’t know about the Bonnies backcourt tandem of Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley you should log off now. The Atlantic Ten’s best guard duo averages a combined 45 points a game and can knock down shots from damn near anywhere on the floor. Adams was a first-team All Atlantic Ten player a year ago and will be a candidate for player of the year this season. He’s Bona’s version of Charles Cooke, they will go as far as Adams takes them. Mobley sat out last season after transferring in from Central Connecticut State. Even Archie Miller, the A10 king of the free agent market, has to tip his cap to Schmidt as Mobley has been nothing short of tremendous for the Bonnies. He’s knocking down 41% of his three-point attempts, scoring 20.5 points per contest. Like John Holmes every time he took a piss, the Flyers will have their hands full with the Bona guards.
Idris Taqqee, Josh Ayeni and Denzel Gregg (he is still around) will round out the St. Bonaventure starting lineup. Gregg is having a solid season, averaging around thirteen points a game and leading the Bonnies in rebounds (7.4 rpg). In addition, he’s racking up two blocks per contest. Gregg does a lot of the little things well and will be a factor around the bucket. Taqqee is a junior wing that Schmidt relies on greatly due to the squad’s short bench. He comes into today’s game averaging seven points and five boards. Ayeni, a native of Nigeria, came to Olean in late August — not suspicious at all. He’s a 6’8″/220lb forward who is deathly afraid of the Yeti.
David Andoh and LaDarien Griffin are St. Bonaventure’s main reserves. Andoh is a 6’7″ senior forward that has scored in double figures in six of his last eight games. Griffin had six points, four rebounds and three assists in the Bonnie’s win at UMass.
St. Bonnie is another one of those good offense/bad defense teams, yay! Not to the degree that La Salle was, but they’re 32nd in offensive efficiency and 198th in defensive efficiency. On the offensive side of the ball, the Bonnies excel at shooting threes, getting to the line, making their free throws and hitting the offensive glass. If they would put their foot on the line and bury the threes as two-point jumpers they’d be a Red Sweater’s wet dream. Regarding the rebounding front there’s good news! Dayton actually protects the defensive glass fairly well, your Flyers are actually 34th in defensive rebounding percentage.
This game will come down to Dayton’s ability to control (limit?) Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. I know that’s probably obvious, but they play over 90 percent of available minutes and constantly have the ball in their hands. The Bonnies have no bench to speak of as they’re almost dead last in bench minutes. As stated above, Bonaventure scores from behind the arc and at the line. That’s because that’s where Adams and Mobley score. They’re both shooting over 40% from long range and are drawing over five fouls per game while shooting over 80% from the line. If Charles Cooke has a shitty hand, he can still play defense. His perimeter defense on the pair may be the part of his game Dayton really needs.
I think the game opens as a pick. The line moved two points when Cooke was announced out against VMI. Something tells me our bookmaker friends aren’t as in tune with Archie’s injury descriptors as they are with setting NFL Playoff lines. It stays at a pick if he doesn’t play, goes to -2 if he does. If you think Chucky C suits up at relative health, get your money down now and take two free points. Flyers opened up -9 against La Salle moving to 9.5. Our boys got to the window despite shooting the dead opposite of what Bonaventure does. 5 points off openers, 8 off the close to date.
Nothing feels good about this game. Charles Cooke may sit out, it’s in Olean (I know the students are still out) and the Flyers usually put up a stinker or two on the road during conference play. This one, on paper, looks like a possible stinker.
I think Cooke plays — I mean, why else you would bring him? — but the Bonnie guards are just too much for the visiting Flyers. St. Bona wins, 77-71 and Dayton has to turn around and get prepared for a YUGE game against Rhode Island this Friday. Yes, another godddamn Friday night game. See you at the sock hop afterwards.