Leading up to the 2022-23 season, each week we will be examining one of the position groups of the new-look St. Bonaventure Bonnies on SBUnfurled.
The forward group for St. Bonaventure heading into the season is the most experienced position group, having two of the three returning players on the roster, while the group also includes a handful of newcomers who are ready for a big role with the Bonnies. Now, we're using 'experienced' as a loose term here as of those returners, one spent his only season so far as a redshirt, while the other has played a total of 30 minutes for the team.
As the season gets closer, rotations are starting to take a bit more shape, at least in terms of who may be on the floor for a healthy amount of minutes to start the year.
To see what may be to come for the forwards, let's look to each player and what they could bring to the new look Bonnies, including a handful of notes from recent team events.
Hill, the sophomore transfer from Farleigh Dickinson, seems to be one of the sure-fire starters to begin the season for the Bonnies. Hill is a 6'9 forward that started 17 games during his freshman season at FDU. Potentially the most notable, he was named the Northeast Conference's Rookie of the Year for the 2021-22 season.
Hill will bring rim protection to the Bonnies' starting five, while there is some uncertainty who will start the year for the team at center. He averaged close to one block per game during his freshman season, and could see that number increase if Hill sees himself playing a greater share of minutes for Bona's.
Hill generated some offensive momentum as the year progressed at FDU last season, seeing much more scoring volume as he developed into a starting role with the team. Once he was a consistent starter, Hill scored in double figures in nine out of 13 contests to end the season.
Assuming Hill sees similar or greater volume this season with the Bonnies, he should be a consistent contributor on the offensive end of the floor as well.
One thing I will keep an eye on for Hill this season will be 3-point shooting. He was a low volume 3-point shooter for FDU last season, averaging just one attempt per game. However, as his freshman season progressed, Hill started to see shots fall on the nights he took some attempts from three.
Per SBUnfurled, Hill hasn't been shy to take 3-point opportunities when presented during practice and scrimmages with the Bonnies so far, and appears to be confident from that range if he gets a good look. If this carries over into the season, 3-point shooting could be an interesting, and fairly unexpected, storyline during his first season with the Bonnies.
Evans is a 6'8 freshman hailing from Putnam Science Academy, where the Bonnies have developed their own #PutnamPipeline. Former Bona players Justin Winston, Kyle Lofton, and Osun Osunniyi, as well as recent commit Miles Rose and fellow visitor Will Lovings-Watts, also played at PSA. Further, Mark Schmidt's son Nick also works as an assistant for the Putnam staff.
Evans also happened to record one of the wildest, and possibly my favorite, statlines during his time at PSA. 17 points, 21 rebounds (!!), 10 assists. I mean, a 20 rebound triple-double at any level, let alone for one of the top prep school programs in the nation is incredible.
Most likely, he'll be in the Bonnies' starting rotation to begin the season, giving him some quality experience at the next level right out of the gate. Evans' frame and athleticism will help him contribute in any role the Bonnies need, bringing help as a switch defender as well as helping run the floor in transition, whether it be as a scorer or a distributor.
As he told Assistant Athletic Director Scott Eddy, Evans models his game after Kevin Durant, hoping to help score in as many ways as he can and defend as many positions as he can.
Of course, as Evans has yet to log any collegiate minutes, how his game will translate to the higher level is yet to b