BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Mark Schmidt and his 2023-24 St. Bonaventure team fly high in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll and awards voted on by the league’s head coaches and select media members.
The Bonnies ranked third in the A10’s preseason poll, receiving one first place vote. Returning players Daryl Banks III and Chad Venning received preseason All-Conference honors. Banks, the redshirt senior, was named to the preseason All-Conference first team after averaging 15.4 points per game (PPG), 3.8 rebounds per game (RPG), and 2.3 assists per game (APG) last season. He led the country in minutes per game (MPG), serving as the cog for Schmidt’s offense. Venning, a redshirt junior, was named the 2022 Gotham Classic MVP after leading Bonas past Notre Dame scoring 14 points, along with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. On the season, he averaged 12.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG.
🏀 Avg. 15.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.3 apg
🏀 paced the nation in minutes per game (38.4 mpg)
🏀 totaled 7 20-point games and scored in double figures 24x
— Atlantic 10 MBB (@A10MBB) October 17, 2023
Banks is entering his fifth and final year of eligibility. He will have new bandmates around him in noteworthy offseason additions Charles Pride and Mika Adams-Woods.
“We’ve just been learning to feed off each other,” Banks said at Tuesday’s A10 Media Day. “They give me insight on different ways that they played, how they get open so I learn how to get them the ball in situations like that, and vice versa.”
After bringing in new faces that are expected to make an impact on day one, the Bonnies are ranked behind only Dayton and VCU in the preseason conference poll. Dayton was selected as the league’s favorite for the second consecutive year.
The school’s all-time leader in wins, Schmidt is entering his 17th season at Bonas. The preseason voting results affirm that SBU is expected to compete in the A10, compared to last year’s unknown expectations with zero returning minutes from the 2021-22 team. Now, a season removed from complete roster turnover, Schmidt will lean on his veteran players to lead the team toward the top of the conference.
“In today’s game you can’t win young,” Schmidt said at A10 Media Day. “You got to have a veteran team and the portal is, you may agree or disagree with the portal and the NIL and all that stuff, but it is here to stay. If you don’t adjust, you’re going to die. So having veteran guys, that’s how you win. Guys that have been in the fire, guys that understand situations, guys that aren’t going to panic.”
He has the experience of Banks, Pride, Adams-Woods, and Moses Flowers as key pieces in their final year of eligibility. Venning and Kyrell Luc add experience to the main group with one more potential season at St. Bonaventure after this year. Even Yann Farrell and Barry Evans, who are entering their second season at Bonas, provide more certainty than a season ago.
The Bonnies will host Alfred for an exhibition game on Nov. 1 before officially tipping off the new season against Longwood on Nov. 6 in the Reilly Center.
(Photo Courtesy of St. Bonaventure Athletics, @BonniesMBB on X, formerly Twitter)