Some of you may have heard the news about sophomore forward Derrick Woods transferring from St. Bonaventure.
While some fans seemed shocked, it really shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.
From the acquisition of Syracuse transfer forward Chinonso Obokoh, to the boatload of forwards and centers Coach Schmidt has offered for 2017 — the signs were there.
And truthfully, it’s not a huge loss from a talent standpoint. Woods may have been a starter for many games, but he didn’t perform well, even with the freshman curve.
Still, the move matters, it changes the way St. Bonaventure will distribute minutes and who gets the best track to be a starter.
Without further ado, let’s breakdown the effects of Woods’ transfer.
1. Obokoh will play, and play a lot
After the Bonnies landed the former Bishop-Kearney star and Syracuse forward, many fans speculated that he’d be the new center for Bona’s. This became more apparent when it was announced that Obokoh would be eligible immediately.
Now, with the loss of Woods, Bona’s only has three options to play the five. The other two being redshirt transfer David Andoh and 6’10 freshman Amadi Ikpeze.
Andoh is only 6’7, so he’d be a stretch at the five, but it’s doable. After all, Dion Wright saw time at the five when Bona’s went small-ball.
Then there’s Ikpeze. Ikpeze fits the bill much more at 6’10 245 lbs, but he still has a raw game. Now that Woods is gone, Ikpeze likely avoids the redshirt and rotates with Obokoh and Andoh.
But finally, with the depth so low at the five, Obokoh better be as good as advertised, or the Bonnies could struggle.
2. Denzel Gregg will see much more time at the four
One of the most improved players in the A-10 last year, senior Denzel Gregg rotated between the small forward and power forward positions throughout the season.
Now with Woods gone, and both Idris Taqqee and the now-healed Courtney Stockard likely splitting time at the three, Gregg should get more time at the four.
He will probably rotate with Andoh.
Outside of that, sophomore LaDarien Griffin and Freshman Josh Ayeni may also see time, though Coach Schmidt is not known to go too deep in his bench.
Gregg should see some time at the three, but my money would be on Gregg and Andoh combining to fill Dion Wright’s shoes.
3. Small Ball may be implemented heavily this year
We saw the beginning of it last year when Bona’s would go with Wright, Gregg, Taqee, Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams as their five in some situations.
But now, it looks even more apparent Bona’s is going with the small-ball/stretch-four approach.
Small-ball eliminates the power forward and center positions, letting the stretch-four and general forward replacing them.
But more important — it puts more shooters on the floor.
Last year, Bona’s finished third in the conference for three point field goals made per game at 8.3 and first in the conference in three point field goal percentage at 37%.
With these figures, and looking at the success of last year, it looks like Bona’s best chance to repeat success is putting as many shooters as possible on the court.
In the end though, it’s a bit early to speculate on how the rotation will look this season.
However, we can make inferences off what we know.
Still, while Woods’ loss may not hurt the Bonnies on the court talent-wise, it sets in motion many possibilities for next season.