Busting Brackets

4 takeaways from the unofficial A-10/MAC Challenge in Cleveland

Legends of Basketball Showcase - Ohio v Davidson
Legends of Basketball Showcase - Ohio v Davidson / Ron Schwane/GettyImages
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3. The best St. Bonaventure offense goes through Chad Venning

The best Mark Schmidt led teams have centered their attacks around excellent guards. Names like Adams, Stockard, Lofton and Mobley immediately come to mind. Meanwhile, the best centers have been defensive anchors. But since the departure of Bonnies legend Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure hasn't had a big man with the offensive talent of Chad Venning.

On a day where the Bonnies went 4-15 from deep, Venning was the lone double digit scorer. And despite the Bonnies being an above average three point shooting team, they will continue to be inconsistent on that end with multiple starters still struggling from deep and with the team as a whole being bottom fifty nationally in free throw rate. If Venning (the only Bonnie to make at least four field goals each game) can start getting to the line more often, St. Bonaventure can avoid having to play future rock fights to 60.

4. Barry Evans has earned a big increase in crunch time minutes

Back in February, Evans was removed from the starting lineup as St. Bonaventure was searching for extra shooting. But since coming back for his second season, Evans has made significant strides. Like Pride, Evans doesn't make much of an impact in terms of scoring but contributes so much else. He's second to Pride on the team in terms of rebounding and his per forty minute rate of 12.8 boards is flat out elite.

But it was Evans' defense that really made a huge difference in the win over Akron, as he was responsible for guarding Akron's leading scorer Ali Ali throughout the game and shut him down on the final possession. After the game, Coach Mark Schmidt left no question that Evans deserved the assignment, "Barry's probably our best defender on the ball." Schmidt also noted that Evans provides length that the rest of the team doesn't.

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Despite scoring just four points, Evans was named the MVP of the game on Kenpom, underscoring the tremendous impact that he is starting to make. Moving forward, with Assa Essamvous continuing to struggle this season, the Bonnies may just have to leave his floor spacing on the bench late, as the duo of Evans and Pride provide too much in terms of rebounding and defense to be left out in the game's most important minutes.