Meet the Atlantic 10: St. Bonaventure Preview

Posted In The Reading List - By Alan Kelly On Saturday, February 15th, 2014 With 0 Comments

Coming off a successful two game road trip, George Mason (9-15, 2-8) comes home for a Homecoming matchup with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (14-10, 4-6) tonight at 6 pm (TV: MASN). After earning their first two Atlantic 10 conference victories at Duquesne and at Massachusetts, the Patriots will look to continue their winning ways with their first home victory since Jan. 2. Mason has six regular season games remaining in which to change how this season will be remembered, and there’s no better time for a hot streak than leading into next month’s Atlantic 10 conference tournament.

The Bonnies currently sit in 9th place in the Atlantic 10, but they bring an RPI of 74 into the Patriot Center, which emphasizes the strength of Mason’s new league. With a win today, the Patriots would be guaranteed to escape last place in the league for the first time, by virtue of the game between fellow 2-8 teams Rhode Island and Duquesne, and could move even higher in the standings if 2-8 Fordham loses at Richmond.

There is a strong administrative connection between the two athletic programs, as George Mason athletic director Tom O’Connor was the AD at St. Bonaventure from 1992 until coming to Fairfax in 1994, while deputy athletic director Kevin McNamee and director of business development Greg Kennedy also formerly worked in the St. Bonaventure athletic department.

The Bonnies have used the same starting five almost all season, with 3 seniors and 2 juniors in a very balanced scoring lineup. Senior guard Matthew Wright averages 15.3 points per game, while fellow senior and point guard Charlon Kloof averages 12.5 points and 4.8 assists per game. Junior guard Andell Cumberbatch adds 9.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. The Bonnies have a height advantage over most opponents in their backcourt, with Kloof standing 6’3″ while Wright and Cumberbatch are 6’4″.  In the frontcourt, 7-foot junior center Youssou Ndoye contributes 9.4 points and 5.6 rebounds, while redshirt senior forward Marquise Simmons (6’8”) scored 8.2 and averaged 5.4 boards.

ST. BONAVENTURE BONNIES FACTS
Institution
Founded: 1858
Type: Private (Franciscan Catholic)
Endowment: $53M
Location: Olean, NY
Campus: Rural
Students: 1,900 undergraduates
Men’s Basketball Program
Athletics Budget: $8.3M (2012)
Men’s Basketball Budget: $2.1M (2012)
Began Play: 1902
Joined A-10: 1979
A-10 Championships: 1
NCAA Appearances: 6 (Most recent: 2012)
NCAA Record: 6-8 (.429)
NIT Appearances: 15 (Most recent: 2002)
Head Coach: Mark Schmidt
Coaching Tenure: 7th season
Coaching Record: 102-105 (.493)
Arena: Reilly Center
Arena Opened: 1966
Arena Capacity: 5,480
Colors: Brown, White, and Light Brown
Mascot: Bona Wolf
Student Section: Wolf Pack
2013-14 Season
Preseason A-10: Picked 12th
Current Record: 14-10 (4-6)
RPI: 74
Pomeroy: 64
Top wins: at Iona, vs Delaware, vs Richmond, vs UMass
Bad losses: at Siena, at Duquesne
George Mason Series History
Meetings: 3
Record: Mason leads, 2-1
Current Streak: Mason, 2 wins
Most Recently: 12/28/2004, Mason won 95-58

Meet the Atlantic 10: An introduction to each team in George Mason’s new conference
VCUSt. Joe’sUMassURIFordhamGWSLUDaytonDuq. – St. Bona – Rich. – La Salle

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About - Alan Kelly is a 2010 and 2013 graduate of George Mason University and a former member of the Patriot Platoon. He had the memorable experience of being in the middle of the college decision process as George Mason's Final Four run unfolded. He currently resides in Northern Virginia.

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