Welcome to A10 Talk’s Preseason Top 25 Player Countdown for the 2017-18 season. Each day, we’ll be publishing a new article, counting down our best 25 players for the coming season. Today, we feature #9 Matt Mobley of St. Bonaventure.
Our Top 25 Player Countdown is a compiled list based on voting from our staff and writers from across the league. Thanks to the following for helping configure this year’s Top 25 Atlantic 10 Player Countdown:
Grant Labedz (@GrantLabedz), Mat Shelton-Eide (@MatSheltonEide), Grant Kelly (@GrantKelly07), Andrew Phung (@LoveRI401), By George (@ByGeorgeGMU), Davidson Recruiting (@DavidsonMBBRecr), Steve DiMiceli (@SteveDiMiceli), Rhody Rampage (@RhodyRampage), UMass Recruiting (@UMassRecruiting), Bona Blog (@BonaBlog), Petey Buckets (@PeteyBuckets), and UMass Ball Report (@theumbr).
What He’s Done
With the departure of his transfer predecessor Marcus Posley, Matt Mobley had big shoes to fill in his first season in Olean. Mobley met, and then blew past, even the most optimistic predictions. As a junior, he finished fourth in the A-10 in scoring, averaging 18.5 PPG while also shooting 38% from behind the arc and 86% from the line. His stellar performance earned him a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Third Team.
Perhaps most impressive though was his ability to stay on the court. He led all of college basketball last season by playing 38.3 MPG. Mark Schmidt has been very vocal about his belief that college players should never get tired (“You can rest when you’re dead”), but Mobley’s ability to maintain a high energy offense for nearly 40 minutes was pivotal for a team that often had long stretches where everyone else would go cold.
What He’ll Do
There won’t be anyone slipping under the radar this year at St. Bonaventure. The national media is well aware that Mobley makes up half of the highest scoring duo in the country. With Mobley’s work ethic, it would surprise no one if, like the many other transfers to come through Olean, Mobley improved upon his junior campaign after a full season of A-10 competition. Mobley already proved he can hit the big shot for the Bonnies last year, and they will certainly need a few of those this season, with big games against Syracuse, Maryland, and either TCU or New Mexico St.
Mobley has all the tools to be the elite scorer and defender that landed him on the Preseason All-Conference First Team. However, for the Bonnies players and fans, individual success is irrelevant compared to the main goal of reaching the NCAA tournament. A successful senior year from Mobley will go a long way in getting them there though.
Previously: #10 Otis Livingston II