Following weeks of practice the exhibition is a welcomed change. It gives the players an opportunity to face outside competition. The coaches get a handle on the team’s progress and what needs to be addressed.
On Wednesday St. Bonaventure defeated Alfred 76-48 in an exhibition at the Reilly Center. A look at the numbers of note:
Possessions: 72- moderately uptempo
eFG Pct: Bona 51, Alfred 43
FT Rate: Alfred 29, Bona 20
OREB pct: Bona 33, Alfred 23
TO rate: Bona 19, Alfred 36
In raw numbers the Bonnies forced Alfred into 26 turnovers while committing just 14 of their own. Mark Schmidt’s club led in points off turnovers 24-6. Closely related was a 21-2 Bona edge in transition points. A case of good defense igniting the offense.
Alfred visited the charity stripe more than the Bonnies. Chalk it up to pressure defense. Bona pressure was effective but a by-product is a susceptibility to foul. Pressure however saw the Bonnies break open the game early in the second half. The lead was nine at intermission before Bona extended it with a 15-2 run to start the final stanza. Sophomore transfer from Holy Cross, Kyrell Luc, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year last season, was instrumental disrupting the opposition and forcing turnovers from the guard spot.
Alfred did not have a double digit scorer as Brewster Marshall led the way for the Saxons with eight points. Bona redshirt junior Darryl Banks III led all scorers with 18 points and seven assists. Luc added 17 points, four assists and five steals. Freshman Barry Evans contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Another freshman Yan Farell added 10 points while grabbing a game high 11 boards.
Schmidt said the five position will be by committee. “Whoever is playing well at that point,” the coach told gobonnies.com. In the rotation are 6-10 Max Amadasun, 6-10 Chad Venning, 6-8 Anouar Mellouk and 6-10 Meliam Matinez.
Bonnies attempted 19 of their 31 shots from long distance the first half. Second half they regrouped and attempted only four of their 35 from three point range. On the night they were 9 of 23 for 39% from three.
“We want to control the paint,” Schmidt said. “The team that controls the paint and rebounds is the team that wins. Getting the ball to the paint is an emphasis for us this season.”
Back in the Seventies Sly and the Family Stone sang about ‘a family affair’. It was certainly a family affair in this contest. Mark Schmidt’s son Mike, who starred at Olean High School, scored four points while handing out four assists for Alfred. Associate head coach Steve Curran had two sons in action. Casey scored two points with four rebounds for Alfred. Younger brother Tyler scored two points with one assist in his Bona debut. Both had excellent high school careers at Allegany Limestone.
“First half there was too much jump shooting and we got stagnant. Second half we came out with a lot of energy especially the first ten possessions. Kyrell (Luc) ignited us…We did a good job rebounding and forced 26 turnovers. I think we are at our best when we get our offense off our defense….Credit Alfred, they will have a really good year this season. I thought we took positive steps but at this point they are just baby steps.” – Bona coach Mark Schmidt
Bonnies open the regular season Monday as they host St. Francis(PA) at the Reilly Center.