- Jackie Benitez Leaving Siena
- Siena Beats Monmouth: What Happened At Half Time?
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Semifinal Win Over Monmouth
- Siena Marches Into MAAC Semifinal With Win Over Fairfield
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Win Over Fairfield
- MAAC Tourney Preview: #4 Siena vs. #5 Fairfield
- MAAC Tourney Preview: #4 Siena Women vs. #5 Iona
- All MAAC Teams Announced
- Men’s and Women’s MAAC Championship Brackets
- Siena Tops Marist On Senior Day
Q and A With Bona Blog’s Ian Nolan Previewing Siena At St. Bonaventure
- Updated: November 18, 2014
In advance of Siena’s Wednesday night matchup at St. Bonaventure, we caught up with Ian Nolan. The Atlantic 10 Insider for Collegechalktalk.com , freelance writer focused on the A10/college hoops and editor of The Bona Blog gives his insight on the Bonnies and previews the Franciscan Cup game.
What are the keys to victory for St. Bonaventure against Siena?
Schmidt always talks about his trifecta: rebounding, defending and limiting turnovers. Over the last few seasons the Bonnies have been a good team in terms of rebounding and defending but they are prone to turning it over. If they do 2/3 well and pound the ball inside to Ndoye and Dion Wright they’ll be in good shape. If they allow their young and inexperienced guards to settle for threes early they’ll be giving up their size advantage inside. They have a very skilled and experienced seven foot center in Youssou Ndoye and he should give Siena fits if they go to him and he stays on the floor.
With a young team and so many new additions, how are the Bonnie’s coming together as a group?
I think the fans were very happy with the Dartmouth win. The Bonnies found out right before tip they would be without Ndoye (one game suspension for playing in a summer league game), without Denzell Gregg (6 game team suspension) and Jordan Gathers (still injured) and then went out with a very, very young and green team and beat Dartmouth by 20. Schmidt has a pair of exciting freshman guards in Jay and Jalen Adams (no relation) who could be a pair we build around over the next four years…something we haven’t had in a long time. If everyone stays healthy, this is Schmidt’s deepest and most athletic team top to bottom…not his best, but his deepest.
The Bonnies had five players score in double figures against Dartmouth. Would you expect that type of scoring from multiple players to continue this season?
I would expect Ndoye, Dion Wright, Marcus Posley and likely Gathers to all be very close to double digit scorers. This team doesn’t have an Andrew Nicholson whose going to get 25 shots a night so scoring will likely be balanced much like it appears to be with Siena.
Bonaventure played without Youssou Ndoye in their opener. What does he add to the team and what do that Saints have to do to stop him?
Ndoye is a premier shot blocker with a still emerging offensive game. He was a pre season third team all A10 pick but could probably finish on the second team if he plays to his ability. Siena needs to double down on him on the catch and try to strip the ball/force him to dribble or pass poorly out of the double team. If he gets the ball close enough to the block and can go right up with it he’s going to be a nightmare to defend. He really started to come on last year at the end of the season and I expect him to be a player who averages around 15 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.
Of the newcomers who has stood out so far for the Bonnies?
The guards Jay and Jalen Adams. Jay (really Jaylen) is the point guard who knocked down 4-5 threes in the opener. He looks like he’s a four year starter at point which is exciting since the Bonnies have generally had JUCO guys hold down that spot under Schmidt. Jalen (RS Soph) is Schmidt’s best athlete he’s ever recruited at Bonas. He could be a special wing player once his skill meets his athleticism. There’s a chance by the start of their junior seasons we have one the A10s best backcourts.
What is your prediction for the game on Wednesday?
We picked every game at the start of the year and I picked Siena to win. I’m starting to change my mind a bit given their schedule over the last few days and my positive impression of the Bonnies in their opener but I won’t change it. At the time my thought process was Siena is a more experienced team who is used to playing together in close games which we are not yet….I’m hoping I’m wrong. I think it will be a close game though and would be surprised to see either team win by more than around 6 points.