Bonnies trying to think positive entering A-10 tournament

Bona has not made a conclusion yet about its basketball game season.

St. Bonaventure is focused on the possibilities – not the probabilities – every bit it heads to Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10 Briefing men’south basketball tournament.

Three weeks ago, the Bonnies were sitting pretty for a double cheerio into the quarterfinals of the outcome at the Barclays Center. Now they own the No. v seed and volition take to play in a pre-quarterfinal game at ii:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner between No. 12 seed George Stonemason (16-15, 5-xiii A-10) and No. thirteen Saint Joseph’southward (half dozen-25, 2-sixteen), who play Midweek at i p.m.

“Saint Louis beat the states concluding year, and they played on Thursday,” said Bona coach Marking Schmidt, referring to final year’s A-ten title game. “Two of the last 5 teams that have won it accept played on Thursday. Nosotros gotta take care of Thursday and then we worry well-nigh what happens afterward that. It’s not like no one’s done it.”

“I’m excited to go downward there and compete,” said sophomore guard Jaren English. “I know the guys are mentally getting ready. We’re excited to go downward at that place and prove people that they tin can’t cantankerous us off their listing.”

Saint Louis won the A-x championship final year equally the No. 6 seed. Virginia Commonwealth won it in 2015 as the No. five seed.

Information technology volition have a dramatic turnaround, however, for the Bonnies to execute a Th-to-Sunday run in Brooklyn.

The Bonnies (19-12, 11-seven) accept lost iii of their concluding five games and four of their last six. The A-10 bracket does not wait good for them.

They volition be the favorite Th, no thing who wins between George Stonemason and St. Joseph’s. Bona beat both teams twice this flavor. The game volition be televised by NBC Sports Network.

But a win Th would bring a 2:30 p.m. Friday meeting with No. 4 seed Saint Louis, which just pounded the Bonnies, 72-49, on Sabbatum.

Saint Louis (23-8, 12-6) has won five straight and ranks No. 49 in the NCAA’southward Internet Rankings, the analytics tool used to help pick the 68-team NCAA Tournament. Bona is No. 121. The Billikens are a physical team that’s No. 1 in the A-ten in rebounding, and they’ve held foes to just 61 points per game in the past seven games. They’re a bad matchup for the Bonnies.

If Bona somehow upsets Saint Louis, its reward surely is a semifinal coming together Saturday with Dayton (29-two, 18-0), the No. 3 team in the nation and the A-10’s meridian seed. Dayton stomped the Bonnies, 86-62, in January.

Had Bona dropped to the No. half-dozen seed, their A-10 road would have gone through Rhode Island (which they played tough) and Richmond (which they beat 3 weeks ago). Of form, the basketball gods don’t always deal the easiest hands.

Bona’due south players had a much narrower focus as they prepared to go to Brooklyn.

“Nosotros really had a little wake-up call that last game,” said Dominick Welch, referring to the loss at Saint Louis. “Just knowing we really wanted to get that 3rd seed. We listen to passenger vehicle Schmidt and try to accept information technology one game at a time.”

“It’s the team that plays the best is going to win,” Schmidt said. “Preparation is important, but you don’t have a lot of it.”

“They play at 1 o’clock, so you got 24 hours,” Schmidt said, referring to the George Bricklayer-St. Joe’s game. “The training isn’t going to be that important. It’s simply going out and playing and doing what you do best. We just have to go out and play.”

The immediate task for the Bonnies is to get the offense sorted out after they shot xviii% from two-point range and managed a flavor low in points against Saint Louis. The Bonnies routed St. Joe’south, 89-73, last calendar week. Just the offense also wasn’t good in a 73-65 loss at LaSalle on Feb. 29.

Sophomore guard Kyle Lofton was two for 11 from the field at Saint Louis and freshman forward Justin Winston was 1 for 9. What are the odds that’s going to happen again? Slim.

Only the Bonnies ignored sophomore center Osun Osunniyi. He took just 3 shot attempts and scored 2 points. He needs to get back in the period. Osunniyi ranks 2nd in the A-ten in field-goal percentage at .615.

St. Joe’south is indelible the worst season past record in its 111-year basketball game history. George Bricklayer figures to be the more formidable pre-quarterfinal foe for the Bonnies.

George Mason has had some decent outings of late, losing past seven to Dayton and by three to Duquesne. The Patriots are a pretty expert rebounding team. Only they make the virtually turnovers of any A-x team; their shooting from the perimeter is poor; and their interior defense has been soft.

Dayton is in position to get a No. one seed in the NCAA Tournament if information technology wins it all in Brooklyn. No. two A-ten seed Richmond is 38th in the Cyberspace Ranking and is on the NCAA bubble. If Richmond reaches the last, it deserves a bid. No. 3 seed Rhode Island and No. 4 Saint Louis probable demand a win over Dayton to get an NCAA bid.

The A-10 championship is i p.grand. Sunday on CBS.

. . .

Lofton, the Bonnies’ 6-foot-iii sophomore point guard, earned outset-team All-Atlantic 10 honors in voting past the conference’s 14 head coaches. Osunniyi, the 6-ten sophomore, earned 3rd-team all-conference honors and was voted to the league’southward all-defensive squad. English, a 6-iv sophomore, was named to the A-ten All-Academic team.

Dayton’s Obi Toppin was named A-10 player of the year, and Dayton’s Anthony Grant was named charabanc of the year.

Joining Toppin and Lofton on the first team were Dayton’s Jalen Crutcher, Rhode Island’southward Fats Russell, Richmond’southward Jacob Gilyard and Saint Louis’ Jordan Goodwin.

Lofton led Bona at fourteen.1 ppg and averaged an league-best 6.0 assists while playing 38.4 minutes a game, the about of whatsoever A-10 player. Osunniyi 10.8 points, 8.iv rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game. Osunniyi ranked 5th in rebounds and fourth in blocks.


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