ST. BONAVENTURE – The “second season” kicks off today at Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center as the scorching hot Bonnies open A-10 play against the Umass Minutemen.
St. Bonaventure’s 10-2 start is the program’s best since the 1999-00 season, when Jim Baron’s club opened 12-2. The Bonnies’ 10 wins are tied for fourth-most in D-1.
Not only are the Bonnies off to their best start this century, but the program’s seven game winning streak is the longest such streak in nearly 40 years.
A win today would be the 8th in a row and would signify the longest such streak in nearly 50 years (1970-71).
After playing the first six games this season without senior point guard Jaylen Adams, who sprained his left ankle in the exhibition game Nov. 4, the Bonnies got him back on Dec. 2 at Buffalo. He shook off the rust quickly and is now averaging 18.2 points and 5.2 assists per game.
He has already earned A-10 Player of the Week honors twice. Already one of the most accomplished players in the program’s history, Adams was on the preseason watch list for three national player of the year awards: the Wooden Award, the Oscar Robertson Award and the Naismith Trophy.
St. Bonaventure’s opponent, UMass (7-6) is under the guidance of new coach Matt McCall.
The Minutemen have, perhaps, exceeded expectations with a 7-6 mark in non-conference play and all seven of their wins were at home. UMass is 0-5 in games away from Amherst and was picked 12th in the A-10.
This will be the 70th meeting between these long-time Atlantic 10 rivals. UMass holds a 41-28 series lead, but the Bonnies have won the past five meetings and nine of the last 11. Last season, the Bonnies were 3-0 against UMass including a second round win in the A-10 Tournament by a 73-60 final.
Tip off set for 2:30 pm.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: WPIG 95.7 FM with Gary Nease and Don Scholla
Game Promotions: Superhero Saturday (adults who wear superhero costume, shirt or hat receive a $12 ticket); free Bonnies Adidas T-shirt with purchase of ticket in student end-zone bleachers; $7 kids tickets with paying adult.