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Fresh Faces in the Reilly Center: The Freshman

The Bonnies take the court to begin the 2023-24 season in less than one month. Head coach Mark Schmidt returns seven scholarship players, while six fresh faces will play their first game as a Bonnie come November. Two true freshman, one redshirt freshman and three transfers fill out Schmidt’s roster.

Meet the three new freshmen to the program with the insights of new St. Bonaventure assistant coach Dana Valentine.

Miles Rose – Freshman – #10 – Putnam Science Academy

Rose is next in the long line of recent Bonnies to play prep ball at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut. The 6’4’’ guard calls Rochester, New York, home and previously attended Bishop Kearney High School before making the move to Putnam.

Rose is a defensive-minded player and described by Valentine as long and athletic. The freshman was coached by Valentine at Putnam over the past 2.5 years, which gives both guys some familiarity in a new setting. Offensively, Rose gets to the free throw line often, while Valentine said he is excited about his “already improved shot.”

Rose has also been described as extremely hard-working and having a positive attitude every day. “It’s going to be tough to find minutes for everyone, but they could be possible early on (for Rose),” said Valentine. Regardless of playing time in the 23-24 season, the offensive progression of the defensive-minded guard will be something to watch.

Duane Thompson – Freshman – #11 – Putnam Science Academy

Thompson joins the ranks of Osun Osunniyi, Kyle Lofton, Barry Evans, Justin Winston, and now Miles Rose as yet another Putnam Science Academy graduate to commit to St. Bonaventure. The official roster lists the Boston, Massachusetts native as a 6’8” forward. but his coach does not agree with that measurement. “If you ask him, he’s 6’9” but I think he’s closer to 6’7’’ or so,” said Valentine.

Either way, Thompson is still an above average rebounder who “shoots the ball well.” Valentine described the freshman as a hard worker who is extremely tough and brings a ton of energy to the floor. Do not be surprised if Thompson gets some early-season minutes. “Duane commits off the dribble and his energy is infectious. That could get him some minutes early on,” said Valentine.

Keep an eye on Thompson to get into games to give Yan Farell a break against taller rosters. The non-conference schedule could be the perfect introduction to college ball ahead of the Atlantic 10 Conference season.

Melian Martinez – Redshirt Freshman – #21 – North Florida Educational Institute

Martinez took a redshirt year last season, which leaves him with four years of eligibility. The center stands north of 6’10’’ and used his year in residence to get technically better and stronger. Martinez has a reputation as defense-first center who protects the rim and impacts any shot taken near the paint. That should sound familiar to Bonnies fans everywhere.

Valentine raved about the depth of the team’s center group. “Melly is the most mobile of the guys we have at center and has been learning a lot from Chad (Venning) and Noel (Brown),” said Valentine. Another good quality for the lengthy center is his athleticism and ball handling abilities.

Martinez will get his opportunities this season as he battles for the backup center role. “Him and Noel come in everyday and battle it out. Friendly competition makes both players better,” said Valentine. High hopes are not unreasonable for a near seven-foot, shot-blocking center playing in the Reilly Center.

Only time will tell how much we see these three freshmen in game action. However, keeping tabs on the future of the program will never be frowned upon.

1 Comment

Good luck, Bonnies!

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