Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 14 Coach Countdown of the 2016-17 season. We like to rank the players of the A-10 each season, but we’d also like to take a look at the brains of the operations. Who were the best coaches of the 2016-17 season? Who were the worst? Our site voted and compiled a list based on last season alone. This list is representative of how well each coach performed in the 2016-17 season, not in his entire career. Today, we feature #6 Mark Schmidt.
1. Five straight non-conference wins
Truthfully, it was a ho-hum year in all respects for coach Schmidt and the Bonnies. Although they suffered no truly bad losses they didn’t pick up any marquee wins like they did in the 2016 season. However, after five straight non-conference w’s against Central Michigan, Pepperdine, Siena, Buffalo, and Hofstra, and a big matchup against UNCW on the way, the hype of avenging last season’s snub was real.
2. 83-65 win against La Salle
The 18 point victory over La Salle was the only conference win this season where they controlled the game from the tip. The Bonnies were firing on all cylinders, and senior Denzel Gregg had a career night, with 28 points and 8 rebounds. Credit to Schmidt for getting his team to bounce back with an all-around performance after a horrendous loss to GW in the previous game.
1. 101-106 loss to Canisius
The Bonnies had already lost three non-conference games, and their NCAA hopes were in critical condition. This was a matchup to an inferior opponent, at home, that they simply couldn’t afford to lose. Period. An uninspired defensive effort that was capped off by surrendering 17 points in overtime, ended any remaining hope of an at-large bid.
2. 70-76 loss at GW
This was not as much about the loss itself, but more about how it happened, and the circumstances that surrounded it. At 7-4 the Bonnies were very much in the hunt for a top 4 finish in the conference. This game followed the pattern of many other Bonnie’s losses this season. Fall way behind early, and spend the rest of the game playing catch-up. Their late game run fell short, and the Bonnies lost another chance to cement themselves amongst the top teams in the A10.
Coach Schmidt and the Bonnies will have high expectations entering the 2017-18 season, as they return potentially the best backcourt in the A10 in Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. For many fans, this has always been the year that they have projected the Bonnies to finally make it as an at-large to the NCAA’s, and now, with the departures of Will Wade and Archie Miller, the league is as open as ever. The fact that Schmidt has the Bonnies always competitive with the smallest budget in the A10 is remarkable. But the NCAA committee isn’t going to do them any favors. The path to the tournament starts with Schmidt and Co. picking up some big non-conference wins next winter.