basketball

St. Bonaventure Bonnies open its 99th season of men’s basketball on November 7 in the Reilly Center against Bucknell University. This year the Bonnies are led by Seniors Courtney Stockard, LaDarien Griffin and Nelson Caputo who hope to make a big impact for the season and lead the Bonnies back into the NCAA tournament. Junior center Amadi Ikpeze and sophomore Tshefu Ngalakulondi return to the team and hope to make a bigger impact this season. There are also six new players including four freshmen to join the Bonnies squad.  

In last year’s season the Bonnies (26-8) were led by duo Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. They won 13 of their 14 home openers. The Bonnies will now look to Senior Courtney Stockard to leave where he left off last year and make big plays. He had his most notable win with 26 points against UCLA in the NCAA tournament.  

In this year’s roster six players will be making their official St. Bonaventure debut. The Bonnies will look to junior guard Jaylen Poyser who redshirted last year due to NCAA regulations. He played two season at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (UNLV). At UNLV he averaged 10.4 pints and started 21 of his 31 games in the 2015-2016. 

The Bonnies opened an exhibition game against Alfred State on November 1 in the Reilly Center and cruised to a 90-42 win. The four freshman each showed they are ready for the season. Reserve freshman guard Alpha Okoli led the Bonnies with 20 points and 4 of 5 from downtown. Starters and freshman guards Dominick Welch and Kyle Lofton combined with 27 points. Freshman forward Osun Osunniyi scored 4 points and 2 blocks in his Bonnies debut. It will be very interesting to see what they will bring when the season official begins. 

The Bonnies will look to leave off what they started in the 2017-2018 season. They will look to Courtney Stockard, LaDarien Griffin, and Nelson Caputo to lead this young team. There is a lot of talent on this team, but time will tell to see how well they can work together to pull a successful season! 

 -Keara Donnelly 

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