Ever since the glorious 2012 season where we saw the Bonnies win their first ever Atlantic 10 title, there has been much anticipation as to when this basketball program would break through the seals and make another glorious run to the dance.
They came close in 2014 with a dramatic finish in the Friday A-10 tournament game that saw Jordan Gathers hit a game-winning jumper that sent the Bonnies to the semifinals before losing to the eventual winner, St. Joseph’s.
Well, two years later with a much more mature roster, here we are at the tail-end of the 2015-2016 season and the Bonnies have put themselves in a position they haven’t been in for over 15 years. They have a chance to secure an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. That season, the Bonnies lost to future NBA stars in Tayshaun Prince and Jamaal Maglorie of the 5th-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, but the Bonnies didn’t go down without a fight.
Even further, they have a chance to win the Atlantic 10 tournament outright which would put the Bonnies in their best position heading into the NCAA tournament.
This season proves to be even more special than what transpired over 15 years ago as this team has won the most regular season games sine the 1976-1977 season with a 22-7 (14-4) record.
With everyone still being a little unfamiliar with the Bonnies, we will go through their top players to get an idea of who to look out for in the coming days once the Atlantic 10 tournament and post-season begins.
PG – Jaylen Adams
Adams has become that special guard that the Bonnies have been searching for over 10 years now. Ever since the departure of St. Bonaventure great Marques Green, the Bonnies have had some decent guard play, but none of them in the category that Adams has already put himself into. As a sophomore, Adams was voted 1st-Team All-Conference with an average of 18.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, and a stellar 45% from 3. Without Adams, the Bonnies aren’t where they are because Adams has come through in some of the biggest games of the season. 31 points in a win at #15 Dayton, a game-winner in a must-win game vs. St. Louis, just to name a few.
SG- Marcus Posley
Time and time again, Posley is proving himself to be a man amongst boys. Whether it’s a 20 point second half outburst after a slow start, clutch shots in the final seconds, or 47 points to tie the most in a Division-1 game this season, Posley has been the Alpha Male of this team. The senior won 2nd team All-Conference with an average of 19.3 ppg, 3.6 apg, and 12 20+ point games.
PF- Dion Wright
With probably one of the biggest snubs I have ever seen when it comes to All-Conference awards, Dion Wright should be ready to burst out this Friday at the A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn. Wright has been the work horse of this team with the numbers he is averaging. 16 points and 9 rebounds from a guy who never recieved any other D-1 offers besides Bonaventure speaks wonders for not only Dion’s hard work, but the willingness of the coaches to get him to this point. Dion still has one more piece of hardware to grab this weekend in Brooklyn.
SF- Denzel Gregg
Denzel Gregg is the definition of hardwork. Going from a guy with limited minutes off the bench, to a guy who has now won the A-10 C0-Sixth Man of the Year award, Gregg has worked his way to becoming this team’s biggest x-factor. With guy like Gregg who can dunk and slam over anyone in this league, don’t be surprised when he scores a quick 12+ points on you before you even blink.
Where Do The Bonnies Stand For An At-Large Bid?
As of today, the Bonnies are looking like they are on the right side of the bubble. But who wants to be a bubble team? No one does, everyone wants to earn the automatic bid so they don’t have to sweat out Selection Sunday like so many other teams will be. That being said, senior Marcus Posley has the perfect mindset heading into this weekend’s A-10 Tournament at the Barclays Center.
— Nick Filipowski (@NICK_WKBW) March 9, 2016
Posley’s right, the more we keep winning the less we have to worry about. We all know this team is capable of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament because it all starts with the guard play. Lead by Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams, these Bonnies have a tandem to reckon with. The famous quote by head coach Mark Schmidt is, “You’re only as good as your seniors.” Schmidt hits the nail on the head because without these seniors, Posley and Wright, the Bonnies wouldn’t be in the position they are in today. It’s the leadership they have instilled that has this team in the position they are in today.
They should be damn proud of themselves.
As far as the at-large discussion is concerned, there are three important brackets that have the Bonnies in the field.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Bonnies as an 11-seed in the play-in game vs. Monmouth.
Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the Bonnies comfortably in the field.
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) March 9, 2016
No matter what happens this season, it’s been a special year for the Bonnies. Picked to finished 8th in the conference, to a share of the regular season title, no one expected them to be here. But once again, St. Bonaventure knows how to prove people wrong, and they can very well do so this year.
— The Bona Blog (@BonaBlog) March 9, 2016
The Bonnies are just getting started. See you on Friday night in Brooklyn, NY. It’s going to be a dog fight. #Sayless