It feels so good to be back!
What a warm feeling I had in my heart on Tuesday afternoon! The anticipation of what the Bonnies would look like, the ESPN+ stream fired up, the ESPN+ stream buffering immediately after tipoff and I miss the Bonnies first basket of the season... I felt so alive!
If you missed it because you were actually paying attention like the most of us, the Bonnies had about as impressive of a game as you can ask for while shooting 1/14 from 3 against Akron in Cleveland. They passed the ball like Patrick Mahomes on the pill from Limitless in the first half. Osun turned into a slashing small forward for a few minutes. Dom Welch was dunking left and right.
It wasn't a "blowout," but we dominated from start to finish for the Winn. Zips coach John Groce, forever living in the groundhog-sized shadow of Keith Dambrot, decided to keep fouling when the game was well out of hand so the over would hit, but the Good Guys not only won, but covered!
The Bonnies return home for the next two weeks (until playing at Rhody on the 30th) and they'll welcome a team that got a once-in-a-century ass-kicking last season: the Hofstra. That's right, the beatdown we gave them last season was so bad, we literally took the Pride from them. Let's just call them the Hofstra Basketball Team, so it looks less like I'm referring to them like "the Ukraine," even though they share the same colors and Putin probably wants to annex Long Island too.
When I wrote last year's preview, we didn't really focus on the Hofstra Basketball Team because we were rightfully preoccupied with the 100 Years of Bonnies basketball celebration that happened that weekend. All you need to know about what Hofstra is as a school is summed up by one single fact. We scheduled the centennial celebration for the Hofstra like a football team usually schedules homecoming: get someone you know you can clobber.
And WOW, did we clobber them... 73-45 and it didn't even feel that close. Welch and the artist now known as Holmes were drilling threes in front of The Dobber. Hofstra's sharpshooters couldn't hit the side of Dev. It was a magical day, even for those of us not lucky enough to be packed into a full Reilly Center (remember when we could do that?) to watch Bubba Gary dance on the Hofstra Basketball Team's grave.
Hofstra actually has a decent program and is expected to win the CAA, but this result isn't too surprising in hindsight. The Bonnies are 5-1 all-time against the HBT. All but one of those wins were by double digits. Hofstra actually uses their bench this season, but they only have two real scorers: Jalen Ray and former Bona's great Tareq Coburn. Ray was ON FIRE in last year's game, shooting 1/10. Coburn wasn't much better and their top two scoring threats this season scored a combined 6 points in last year's game. I actually really liked Coburn in his limited time at Bona's and I'm happy for him that he's leading the HBT now, but on Saturday, I want Shoon to shove him in a locker.
The Hofstra Basketball Team also needs to be punished for colluding with fraudster Steve Bannon. If you watch The Circus on Showtime, you'll remember an episode when they watch the first Presidential debate with Bannon. Hofstra hosted a Presidential debate in 2016, so they met him on campus and for some reason, they chose the Hofstra basketball locker room. I'm guessing it was the only room where Bannon's ankle monitor would cause frequency issues with Showtime's recording equipment.
Seven Steps to Victory
Make more than one three please.
Hack into Hofstra's GPS and make them drive through the 40 inches of snow in Binghamton.
Tell Hofstra that since Bona's went virtual only for classes after Thanksgiving, they have to play via Zoom.
The formerly named Flying Dutchmen will be surprised to learn the FAA has ordered a no-fly zone over Cattaraugus County.
The grease from Steve Bannon's hair and skin still left behind in the locker room months later will be on Hofstra's hands, so expect them to turn the ball over a lot.