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Bonnies Finish Road Trip at Winless Duquesne

The Bonnies look for a much-needed conference road win as they travel to Duquesne to take on the Dukes. St. Bonaventure leads the all-time series with Duquesne 26-15. The Bonnies had won six straight head-to-head meetings before the teams split a pair of meetings last season. Bonaventure will look to fix its shooting woes on the road while Duquesne will look to grabs its first Atlantic 10 win of 2024. Here’s everything you need to know before tonight’s game.


The Bonnies

St. Bonaventure enters tonight’s game with an 11-6 overall record while dropping to 2-3 in conference following the loss at George Mason this weekend. The Bonnies only scored 60 points in that loss which was tied for the second lowest total so far this season. When the team has not been clicking, only one player seems to remain consistent. Chad Venning leads the Bonnies in scoring average at 14.4 points per game while also grabbing 4.8 rebounds per contest. The redshirt junior also leads the team in free throw makes (43) and attempts (58) while blocking 1.8 shots (31) per game.


Mike Adams-Woods and Charles Pride also have double digit scoring averages. Adams-Woods averages 13.8 points per game while also leading the Bonnies in assists (61) per game at 3.6. Pride is scoring at 12.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.0 rebounds per game. Moses Flowers remains the fourth Bonnie averaging double figures with an even 10.0 points per game average. The redshirt senior also leads the team in made threes with 32.


Outside of the top four scorers, Schmidt continues to get solid contributions from his role players. Daryl Banks continues to play whatever role is asked of him as he has come off the bench the last two games. Banks averages 7.8 points per game and is the team’s best free throw shooter, hitting at an 88.6% rate. Assa Essamvous has started all 17 games for Bonaventure this season. The sophomore from Gabon averages 6.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game along with playing top-notch defense. Noel Brown and Barry Evans also continue to pivotal bench roles, Brown averages 6.4 points and 5.5 board per contest while Evans averages 5.5 rebounds per game and leads the team with 20 steals.


The Bonnies enter tonight’s game 75th in the Net Rankings and 86th in the KenPom Ratings. St. Bonaventure presents Duquesne with an opportunity to grab a quadrant two victory.


Projected Starting Five: Assa, Adams-Woods, Flowers, Pride, Venning


The Opponent

The Dukes come into tonight’s game with a 9-8 overall record but an 0-5 Atlantic 10 record. Duquesne has lost five straight games to St. Joe’s, Richmond, Dayton, Loyola Chicago and UMass. Some other notable results for Keith Dambrot’s team have been wins against Charleston, UC Irvine and Cleveland State along with losses against Nebraska, Santa Clara and Princeton.


Dae Dae Grant has led the Dukes in scoring this season. The 6-foot-2 senior scores 18.3 points per game. Grant leads the team in made threes (42), made free throws (82), free throw attempts (87) and free throw percentage (94.3%). The guard also rarely turns the ball over with 15 turnovers in 15 games this season. It’s a two-headed attack for the Dukes as Jimmy Clark III averages 16.2 points per game. The 6-foot-3 senior also loves to shoot with 102 three-point attempts and leads the team in steals with 39 in 17 games. However, Clark is only 43/63 (68.3%) from the charity stripe.


Outside of those two players, Duquesne has struggled to find consistent offense. Kareem Rozier and Andrei Savrasov averaging 7.4 and 7.1 points per game respectively. Rozier is a 5-foot-9 guard who also loves to let it fly from beyond the arc. Savrasov stands at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds and adds 4.2 rebounds per game to his stat line. Fousseyni Drame and David Dixon have both appeared in all 17 games for Dambrot. Drame is 6-foot-7, 200 pounds while averaging 6.6 points and a team-high 5.4 rebounds per game. Dixon stands at 6-foot-9, 215 pounds and averages 6.6 points and 4.5 boards per contest.

 

Other players likely to see the floor for Duquesne tonight are Hassan Drame (3.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG), Jake Dimichele (4.1 PPG), Dusan Mahorcic (5.3 PPG), Halil Barre (2.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG) and Jakub Nicholls (1.1 PPG). The Dukes enter tonight 100th in the NET Ranking and 105th in the KenPom Ratings. The Bonnies have a chance to pick up another quadrant two win.


Projected Starting Five: Clark III, Dixon, Grant, Barre, Rozier


Players to Watch


Chad Venning – Venning continues to be a monster down low as Schmidt’s offense runs through the 6-foot-10, 245-pound center. On paper, this game feels like another situation where the opponent simply does not have an answer for him on the defensive end. Venning should be able to do pretty much whatever he wants on the offensive side of the ball. I would not be surprised to see a 20-point night from the big man.


Dae Dae Grant – This pick was between Grant and Clark. With how little production Duquesne gets behind these two players, all the Bonnies need to do is neutralize one of these two guys. I expect Pride to guard Clark and the combination of Flowers and Banks guard Grant. Schmidt’s team needs to limit Grant’s looks from deep along with keeping him off the foul line.


Last Season’s Matchups

The teams split a pair of meetings last season. Both teams won on their home court with the Bonnies taking the first of the two games. Bonas had four players in double figures in that game. Banks led the team with 15 points while Venning tallied 12, Assa totaled 11 and Luc grabbed 10. Clark led the Dukes in scoring with 12 points while Tre Williams had 11 and RJ Gunn Jr. had 10. The Bonnies made eight threes compared to Duquesne’s six while both teams struggled from the free throw line.


The Dukes took the second of the two meetings led by Clark and Grant who had 12 points each. Rozier chipped in 11 as the teams once again struggled from three and the free throw line. Banks led the Bonnies once again with 15 points while Venning totaled 14 and Flowers added 10. Bonaventure turned the ball over 25 times in the one-point loss.


Prediction and Keys to the Game

The Bonnies are once again in a spot where they have an opportunity to go into a conference road game as the better team and take care of business. However, that has simply not been the case since conference play began. This team seems to forget how to consistently score on the road which has cost them a pair of conference games.


That being said, I am going to ride with the Bonnies against an inferior team once again. This game is going to be close regardless of the winner. Duquesne has kept the majority of their conference games close despite the 0-5 record. The Bonnies must contain one of, or both, Grant and Clark to win this game. The offense should have an efficient day running through Venning. The Bonnies gut out a road win by 4-7 points.

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