Postgame interviews: St. Bonaventure 60, UB 58

By Nick Veronica

St. Bonaventure guard Marcus Posley hit the game-winning shot to beat Big 4 rival UB Wednesday night, but he didn’t want any of the glory.

“All credit goes to Dion [Wright],” Posley said. “I don’t take any credit. Just because I hit that last shot doesn’t mean anything. Dion kept us in the game.”

dion

Dion Wright

Wright had a night to remember, scoring a career-high 26 points to lead the Bonnies to their second consecutive win over UB, 60-58. The senior forward scored in a number ways, beating defenders for layups, floaters, hooks and runners while going 12-for-19 from the field.

“This dude’s crazy,” Posley said, estimating Wright has 10 different ways of finishing from close range. “He could throw the ball at the rim without looking and it would go in.”

“He’s got like the YMCA game a little bit,” UB coach Nate Oats said. “You don’t think he’s going to blow by you and then he’s to the rim finishing a second later.”

Wright kept it simple: “My teammates found me in positions where I was able to score. I just tried to make the most of opportunities when I caught the ball.”

“It wasn’t a pretty game,” coach Mark Schmidt said, “it was just two teams going at it. It wasn’t great execution at either end. We won the game not because of our offense, but I thought we defended so much better in the second half. … We didn’t play our best but we won on the road.”

UB interviews

“We shot 1-13 from 3, missed 13 free throws, it was bad,” UB coach Nate Oats said. “Twenty-one turnovers. I still can’t figure out how we were even in the game to be honest with you.”

Oats also took a little dig into his team’s decision-making.

“We got some young guys in the program who thought they’d figured out what a good shot was,” he said. “Apparently tonight we’re back to ground zero again and where they can’t remember what a good shot is and what a contested one is and [when] to make the one more pass and get your teammate a wide-open look. It was just bad on offense tonight.”

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Bona’s Adams, Smith to transfer

By Nick Veronica

St. Bonaventure reserves Jalen Adams and Xavier Smith will look to transfer out of the school, the team announced Thursday.

BonnieslogoAdams, a freshman guard, averaged 1.7 points per game in 14 appearances. Smith, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, averaged 1.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 12 games this past season. Both averaged less than 5 minutes per game.

(Jalen Adams should not be confused with Jaylen Adams, the team’s promising young point guard.)

The departures of Adams and Smith open up a wide recruiting window for coach Mark Schmidt, who was already graduating five seniors.

“Jalen and Xavier have both been good students and members of our program,” Schmidt said in a statement. “They both want more playing time and so we understand and support their decisions. We wish them the best of luck in the future.”

Postgame video: St. Bonaventure 74, Niagara 59 — Big 4 Doubleheader

By Nick Veronica

St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt had predictable but positive things to say about the future of the Big 4 Doubleheader. Center Youssou Ndoye was glad a team finally played a man defense against him instead of a zone.

Coach Mark Schmidt

Center Youssou Ndoye

Canisius only Big 4 basketball program meeting NCAA regulation

The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate public report earlier this week, which listed the men’s basketball teams at Niagara, Buffalo and St. Bonaventure all to have APR levels below what it considers acceptable, as well as UB football.

Tom Parrotta and his group of seniors received national recognition for graduating with their Master's degrees in four years.

Instituted in 2005, the APR is a coarse measure of how many student-athletes are on track to graduate. As an attempt to hold institutions accountable as well as individuals, the NCAA punishes schools it grades below an acceptable score of 925. Repeat offenders can lose scholarships, practice time, playoff eligibility or, in a worst-case scenario, recognition as a Division I program.

Each player on a team can score two possible points, one for staying academically eligible and another for returning to school the following year (not transferring) — two key stats the NCAA sees as crucial to graduation rates. The scores for every member on the team are added up, and then divided by the number of possible points the team could have earned, yielding a percentage. The percentage is multiplied by 1,000 (lose the decimal point) to give the score. The 925 level means a team has earned 92.5 percent of the points it could possibly earn.

Joe Mihalich’s Purple Eagles, which scored a perfect 1,000 in 2008-09, dropped below the cutoff to 917 last year. NU will not be punished because the perfect score inflates its multi-year average to 929, just above the limit.

Reggie Witherspoon’s UB basketball team scored a deplorable 885 in 2009-10, the academic year this report was released for. The Bulls will not face penalty because their multi-year average is 943, still above the 925 level.

Down in Olean, the Bonnies came up short at 902, but will not be punished. They are still feeling the effects of the coaching change that brought in Mark Schmidt, when several players transferred out and brought Bona’s APR down to 826 in 2006-07. The school’s multi-year average is still below the limit at 894, but they have already been penalized for the 826 year and, according to a report, St. Bonaventure is within the parameters of a waiver it filed with the NCAA two years ago.

On Main Street, Tom Parrotta’s bunch made the grade with a 936 score, bringing the multi-year APR to 953. The Griffs have never missed the cut and, in fact, no Canisius team in any sport has ever fallen below the 925 limit.

UB football is in a similar situation to St. Bonaventure. Several players left following the departure of Turner Gill in 2010, but the large roster size in football allows the Bulls to absorb several losses. The 2009-10 APR was 918 but Jeff Quinn’s team will not be punished because its multi-year score is 930.

The ice hockey programs at Canisius and Niagara were both well above the limit (1,000 and 977, respectively), and all four women’s basketball programs scored very highly (UB, Canisius, Niagara: 1,000; St. Bonaventure: 981).

It should be noted that these scores say nothing about how well student-athletes are doing in the classroom, just that they remained eligible.

For more, check out the NCAA’s APR page yourself, here for the penalty breakdown, or here for more details on how the APR is calculated.