We have a big week of hoops in the A10 starting on Tuesday night. A few observations as we get ready to hoop:
- St. Bonaventure is 3-0 and has a huge match-up at home vs. Rhode Island on Wednesday. The Bonnies are playing solid ball right now thanks to the dynamic trio of Adams, Posley, and Wright. Bona’s “Big 3” are playing no less than 85% of its minutes and for good reason. Jayden Adams has become one of the most complete point guards in the conference. Adams is shooting 47% from 3-point range and runs his team with a confidence you would expect from a senior, not a sophomore. Dion Wright continues to expand his game and create advantages with his quickness and ability to take bigger defenders off the dribble. Posley is one of the top “heat check” guys in the country. When he is feeling it, watch out. Dude can score in a hurry.
- Bonnies freshman Nelson Kaputo looks to be another under the radar gem found by Mark Schmidt. I love his quickness and ability to get his own shot. He also plays with a kind of fearlessness about him that should continue to serve him well. Schmidt is such an underrated coach considering all of the restraints and hurdles he faces at Bona. “Doing more with less,” has never been more applicable for a college basketball program.
- And Denzel Gregg did this:
- VCU and Fordham will get after it on Wednesday night in a battle of Ram vs. Ram. VCU is going to be without Jordan Burgess for the next few weeks and Fordham should provide an interesting test for the Rams. Jeff Neubauer has come in and brought some much needed energy and enthusiasm to the Fordham program. Ryan Rhoomes is shooting 70% from the floor! I don’t care if you are playing Little Sisters of the Poor every night, 70% is insane. Mandel Thomas is as active a guard as you will find in the country. These kids play hard and are getting better. I wish Thomas and Rhoomes had another year of eligibility because they are thriving in Neubauer’s system. I’m not expecting Fordham to make a jump into the top 4 of the conference just yet but the Rams are definitely entertaining to watch.
- Dayton and GW on Friday night should be fantastic. I was at GW last year for this match-up and it was one hell of a game. The Dayton crew who made the trip to D.C. was not messing around. The number of red sweater vests was nothing short of incredible and made me somewhat jealous. I witnessed a man, somewhere in his 40’s, roll straight into the GW student section and he was ready to take on anybody who wanted to throw down. This was before the game had even started. I doubt we’ll have the same kind of traveling party for the Colonials on Friday but I’m hoping the game is as memorable. And if somehow Kendall Pollard could recreate this moment, the world would be a better place:
- We were worried he broke Yuta after this play. Thankfully, everybody was fine.
- Thinking about getting up to Fairfax on Wednesday to check out GMU and Saint Joe’s. I was really impressed with GMU on Saturday at Davidson. The Patriots are young and going through the growing pains associated with having a new coach and a completely different approach to the game but it is easy to see the progress that is being made under Dave Paulsen. Plus, if you are ever able to go and watch Bembry and Miles play in person, you should do it. Those two are some kind of nasty. Mike Jensen recently wrote a really nice piece on Miles. It is definitely worth checking out. http://articles.philly.com/2016-01-06/sports/69541100_1_hawks-coach-phil-martelli-bembry-isaiah-miles
- Free Throws. MAKE THEM!!!! We’ve already had more than a few crazy finishes this season and all of them have a reoccurring theme; missed free throws in the final 5 minutes.
- Gibbs and Schoochie tonight should be fun. I’m sure Davis will spend most of the night on Gibbs but just watching these guys run their respective teams is always a good time. Gibbs is a straight up killer and has no conscience as a scorer. Smith has improved steadily over his time at Dayton and has a great feel for when to get his shot and when to set up his teammates.
- And what if Michael Jordan Watkins does this again
- Yay basketball!