Inside the Numbers w/ St. Bonaventure: Bonnies soaring and why their backcourt is so important
Inside the Numbers is a brand new series on Hoop Ten Harbor that looks at some of the most interesting statistics regarding each team in the Atlantic 10 conference. This week, we’ll take a look at St. Bonaventure, currently tied for first in the conference race. The Bonnies boast an 11-3 overall record and a 3-0 record in the Atlantic 10. First, we’ll take a look at how St. Bonaventure has been so successful in conference play, and then we’ll take a look at just how important St. Bonaventure’s backcourt has been this season.
1. Bonnies on the Rise
St. Bonaventure’s 3-0 start in conference play has been a result of high-powered offense. Through the last three contests, the Bonnies are averaging an incredible 87.3 points per game. This beats any other team in the Atlantic 10 by a long shot. During this three game stretch, St. Bonaventure put up a season-high 97 points against the Davidson Wildcats in its A10 conference-opener. While Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams have led the way in scoring for the Bonnies (we’ll get to them later), it’s been team basketball that’s gotten the job done thus far in conference play. Though it may look as if Adams (23.3 PPG in conference play) and Posley (21.3 PPG in conference play) have been doing everything, the Bonnies have gotten scoring contributions from a number of different players.
Dion Wright has been a prolific scorer, averaging 13 PPG in conference play. Denzel Gregg has 12.3 PPG during this stretch; Nelson Kaputo has 6.3 PPG. Despite the amazing performances we’ve seen from the Bonnies’ backcourt of Adams and Posley, the bottom line is that St. Bonaventure has options. Particularly, Wright and Gregg have continued to score the basketball. If St. Bonaventure can have four double digit scorers (need I mention, 2 of which average more than 20 PPG), they’ll be a nightmare to defend. Even better, if one or two scorers have an off night, there will be other options to put up points. Look for this array of scoring to be St. Bonaventure’s forte moving forward.
2. St. Bonaventure’s Backcourt is Very Important
The Bonnies are using just about all they can get from guards Jaylen Adams and Marcus Posley. According to Kenpom, Adams leads the A10 in percentage of minutes played. If you think he gets any time on the bench, think again. He’s been on the court for 98.3% of the Bonnies’ minutes in conference play. Marcus Posley isn’t too far behind with 85.0% of possible minutes played in conference play, ranking 17th. Though we’re only three games into conference play and are likely to see these numbers dwindle, it’s easy to see just how important Adams and Posley are in terms of the amount of time they’re on the court. St. Bonaventure’s Dion Wright is the next most used player, but he’s only seeing court time for 76.7% of the total possible minutes.
If sheer playing time isn’t convincing enough, it’ll behoove you to know that the two guards rank in the conference’s top 25 in 11 different statistical categories according to Kenpom. In addition to percentage of minutes played, they’re top 25 in effective field goal percentage, offensive rating, and free throw rate just to name a few. Kenmpom also considers the two to be major contributors, as they’re each involved in at least 25% of the possessions that they’re on the floor for. Needless to say, the Bonnies have a backcourt that they’re putting a lot of trust in. They have two offensive juggernauts that are allowing this team to have the most efficient offense in the Atlantic 10. What’s so good about St. Bonaventure though, is, as mentioned above, they’ve got more scoring options as well. The Bonnies don’t only rely on two players for points. There are 4-5 players who can score in double digits on any given night.