Mark Schmidt has done quite the job in his 11 seasons in Olean. He’s done such a good job, that he’ll become the all-time win leader for coaches this year. In 11 seasons, Schmidt has brought in many game changing, all-conference players that have taken the Bonnies to heights that many fans thought would never be reached again after the Anthony Solomon era. If we were creating an All-Star team of Schmidt’s players, what would that look like? Would you go with a big lineup, or a smaller, quicker lineup? Who would you want coming off of the bench? I tried to create the best Bona team comprised of strictly Schmidt’s recruits.
There’s a caveat though. I only included eight players on this team, because my All-Star team will be utilized in the same way Schmidt utilizes his teams, by mainly relying on 7-8 players.
PG: Jaylen Adams, Class of 2018
Jay was one of the easier choices for this team. In his four years bringing the ball up the court for the Bonnies, Adams became the top scoring guard in Bona history , finished on the A-10 All Conference First Team, won A-10 Co-Player of the Year, became an Associated Press Honorable Mention All American, and carried the Bonnies to the NCAAT. Not too shabby for a player barely recruited out of high school.
G: Marcus Posley, Class of 2016
Marcus Posley became a fan favorite at Bona for his swagger, late game heroics, and hustle. In only two seasons, he scored 1,126 points, was named to two All-Conference teams, and was a pivotal part of the 2016 team that won the A10 Regular Season Championship. Posley will perhaps always best be known for his three game stretch in 2015 where he scored 11 points in the final two minutes of regulation to beat Duquesne, hit a buzzer-beater to take down Davidson on the road, and hit another buzzer-beater only a few days later to stun #18 VCU.
G: Matt Mobley, Class of 2018
Matt Mobley was an iron man. He averaged 38.3 and 37.6 minutes per game in his two seasons, played 40+ minutes in 24 games, and did not miss a single contest out of the 66 he was eligible for. He also finished with a 46-20 win/loss record, and averaged over 18 points in both his seasons with the Bonnies. Regardless of how well he was shooting, he was always the first player back on defense and crashing the glass. One has to wonder what the 2016 team could have done if he were eligible.
F: Demetrius Conger, Class of 2013
Conger would likely have been a superstar for Bona had he not been playing next to Andrew Nicholson for 75% of his college career. He was the ideal multifaceted player that succeeds in Schmidt’s system. He could score, rebound, run, and play defense. And while he averaged only 14.3 points per game in his senior season, he also averaged over seven rebounds and shot 87% from the line. Not surprisingly, Conger continues to perform, as he finished second in MVP voting in the Australian league (the NBL), which he then parlayed into a contract in Spain.
F/C: Andrew Nicholson, Class of 2012
No analysis needed. Andrew Nicholson is the most important St. Bonaventure player of this century. He was the driving force behind the resurgence that brought the Bonnies back from the dead, captured perfectly by his final stretch as a senior, where he put up video game type numbers and led the Bonnies to an A10 championship victory over Xavier in Atlantic City. On top of that, he also became the second leading scorer in program history en route to becoming the A-10 player of the year in 2012. Most of the recent success in the program would not have been possible without Nicholson laying the groundwork.
Bench: Dion Wright, Class of 2016
No one captures what fans imagine to be the typical “Bonnie recruit” more than Dion Wright. With only one D1 offer, he arrived in Olean with very low expectations, and averaged only 2.8 points per game and 1.9 rebounds per game in his first season. By his senior year though, he averaged 16.7 points, and 9.1 rebounds. Regardless of the situation, Dion was always a player that you wanted to have the ball. He played hard and smart, and showed how irrelevant the star rating system is in evaluating players.
Bench: Youssou Ndoye, Class of 2015
Youssou was a defensive force his entire career, finishing third all-time in blocked shots, and 11th all-time in rebounds. He also consistently improved on the offensive end all four years, going from a 2.6 points per game average in his freshman season, to an 11.8 points (and 10.1 rebounds) per game average in his senior season. Ndoye would be a solid rim protector for any contending A-10 program.
Bench: Eric Mosley, Class of 2013
The last spot on the team was the hardest choice of them all. I gave the honor to Eric Mosley because of his ability to knock down threes. In his final season at Bona, Mosley shot 43.8% from three, which left his career three point percentage at 40.7%, the second best in Bona history. For most of his career, Mosley was a great compliment off of the bench (he only started 19 contests), but in his final eight games, he reached his full potential, averaging 21.75 points, and scoring 30 and 39 points in back-to-back wins.
What a team. I went with a smaller lineup (instead of putting Youssou in at center and moving Nicholson to the four) so that they could spread the floor, and for the most part, run a fast paced offense. The unique aspect of this team is that all five starters have the ability to shoot the three, which would be a matchup nightmare for any squad in the A-10.
The one weakness of this team may be on the glass. Nicholson could hold his own at the five, but it would force Conger to matchup with the other teams’ power forward. Adams and Posley aren’t big rebounding guards, but Mobley plays bigger than his 6-3 frame, and could help out down low.
Eric Mosley may be the most controversial choice of the bunch, however, given that the other two players I already have on bench are Dion and Youssou, it made sense to have a fourth guard, especially one as deadly from deep as Mosley.
One truth becomes clear when looking at this team. Schmidt is bringing in talented players, and the quality is only improving. four of the eight players graduated in 2016 or later. Given the recent recruits that Schmidt has found, I wouldn’t be surprised if this team look quite different within the next few years.