The only thing better than watching a current star, is being there for the emergence of one. If you have attended a St. Bonaventure game over the course of the past two weeks, you have had that opportunity. It has come in the form of Bonnies’ Freshman guard Kyle Lofton, and he is showing everyone that the next Jaylen Adams may have arrived sooner than expected.
On Wednesday night, the Bonnies came into Pittsburgh 9th in the Atlantic 10 standings, directly at the midpoint of the conference season. But while the tip was set for 7:30, the Bonnies were ready to roll much earlier than that. There was a certain sense of readiness and focus in warmups, headed by none other than Lofton. Lofton had played in every minute of his past six games, and his play has definitely backed up his minutes.
And it didn’t take long to see why the Freshman from Hillside, New Jersey is raising some eyebrows. Just two minutes into the game, he took the ball the length of the court and showed his touch that he has displayed all season. It was part of nine straight points to open the game for the Bonnies.
But with 11 minutes left in the first half, Lofton picked up his second foul, and consequently was pulled from the game. Duquesne would then cut the deficit to 5. If we didn’t know what happened next, I think we could have guessed… in comes Lofton.
But to say that the change flipped the script would be misleading, as at halftime it was just a one point game. But the delay didn’t affect the Bonnies, and more specifically didn’t effect Lofton, who would hit four straight shots and put the Bonnies up by 8 with twelve minutes to play in the second half.
And while Duquesne would keep it close throughout the rest of the game, St. Bonaventure would ultimately come out on top. And even with the limited minutes due to foul troubles, Lofton led the team with 16 points.
Lofton’s performance in a way perfectly relates to this season for the Bonnies, and that relation is how you battle back from adversity. With the win, St. Bonaventure is in fair shape in the standings, and it will be interesting how the standings shape up come tournament time.
Sometimes guys just have good stretches. There is no way to tell for sure if this is just a stretch, or the beginning of an incredible career. Either way, things in Olean have gotten a lot more exciting, any fan of the Bonnies could confirm that. But for the rest of the fans of this conference, make sure to keep your eye on this kid… because there is nothing more invigorating than the emergence of a star.