The St. Bonaventure Bonnies are one of the best mid-major teams in college basketball this season. Coming off an A10 Conference championship, the Bonnies have one of the best defenses in the country led by a menacing shot blocker. With multiple double-digit scorers, St. Bonaventure has a well balanced offense. Mid-major cinderella runs are some of the best stories in college basketball, and the Bonnies are talented enough to be the next in line.
The Bonnies’ defense is simply one of the best out there this season. Ranked 17th in defensive efficiency, St. Bonaventure is 3rd in allowing a stingy 60.4 points per contest. Also, opponents are held to a weak shooting percentage of 38.9% from the field, this is 5th in the country. In result, opponents only muster 21.4 made field goals per game ranking 11th in college basketball.
Alongside impressive opponent shooting stats, the anchor of the St. Bonaventure defense is Osun Osunniyi. The 6-foot-10 center has a ridiculous wingspan of 94 inches or 7-foot-8. Also, Osunniyi has a knack for swatting opponents’ shot attempts. His wingspan and shot-blocking ability makes him one of the best shot blockers in college basketball. Osunniyi is 10th in the country with 2.8 blocks per contest. As a team, the Bonnies only average 3.9 blocks per game. To clarify, the St. Bonaventure defense would be completely different without Osunniyi.
Furthermore, Osunniyi has dominated the paint in several games this season. In March, the Bonnies’ center has two 7 block performances against Dayton and St. Louis. Against St. Louis, Osunniyi swatted everything thrown up in the first half. In result, St. Louis could not figure out how to score with the shot-blocking monster lurking in the paint. Truly, it was one of the more impressive defensive performances in the 2020-21 college basketball season.
Evenly Distributed Offense
The St. Bonaventure offense is 38th in offensive efficiency. In addition, the Bonnies score 70.5 points per game while shooting 44.9%. Led by five double-digit scorers, St. Bonaventure’s offense is well balanced and hard to stop. Kyle Lofton is the lead scorer averaging 14.6 points. Further, Lofton has the talent to take over games after posting 23 points in Sunday’s victory against VCU. With this in mind, the Bonnies also have two good three-point shooters. Jaren Holmes shoots 39.4% from three, while Dominick Welch shoots 40.8% from beyond the three point arc.
Additionally, Jalen Adaway is an athletic, slashing forward scoring 12.3 points per contest. Adaway has two 17 points performances in his last five games. Considering Adaway, the Bonnies have two slashing guards in Adaway and Lofton, and two shooters in Holmes and Welch. Not to mention the scoring ability of the big Osunnyi as he pours in 10.5 points per game. The only real weakness of the St. Bonaventure offense is lacking depth. All five starters play well over 30 minutes per game. Anyhow, the Bonnies have several scoring options making them difficult to guard.
As a No.9 seed, there will be no easy game for the Bonnies. In the Round of 64, St. Bonaventure will face off with the LSU Tigers. LSU is coming off a close loss against Alabama. The St. Bonaventure versus LSU game will be strength against strength. With a top five offense, LSU will be a very tough offense to slow down. In short, the Bonnies have a very tough game right off the bat.
In the event that St. Bonaventure wins their matchup with LSU, they will likely play the No.1 seed of the East region the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan could be without one of their best players Isaiah Livers. Hence, the Bonnies would have a decent chance to pull of a major upset in the Round of 32. St. Bonaventure has a decent shot at a Sweet 16 birth if they can play at their upmost potential. Certainly, LSU or Michigan is no cakewalk for the Bonnies.
All stats courtesy of ESPN, Kenpom, NCAA and Team Rankings.