A-10 honors Osunniyi, Schmidt

Photo by Keith Lucas | Atlantic 10 Conference St. Bonaventure junior Osun Osunniyi, left, was named the Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference Second Team on Wednesday.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – St. Bonaventure has placed itself atop the Atlantic 10 throughout the men’s basketball season and has rightly earned multiple accolades among the yearly conference awards — Osun Osunniyi has been named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference while Kyle Lofton again earned First Team All-Conference status and Jaren Holmes Second Team and All-Academic honors.

At the helm of St. Bonaventure’s regular season championship campaign, head coach Mark Schmidt has been tabbed Coach of the Year for the second time.

A dominant force defensively since arriving on campus as a freshman, Osunniyi becomes the first A-10 Defensive Player of the Year in program history as part of his third selection to the league’s All-Defensive Team. He was also selected All-Conference Second Team.

Osunniyi led the league in blocks per game (2.8) and his 54 swats were second total in the league despite playing 19 games, six fewer than the overall blocks leader. He also ranked second in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and on the offensive end was third in field goal percentage (56.2 percent) while averaging 10.3 points per game and also handing out 46 assists, second-most on the team. He anchored the A-10’s top defense, a squad that ranked seventh in the nation by allowing just over 59 points per game during conference play. For the second consecutive year, he is the only A-10 player to rank among the league’s top-five in blocks, field goal percentage and rebounding.

His 205 career blocks rank fourth in program history and stand seventh among all active Division I players. His career average of 2.6 blocks per game is good for third among all players nationally.

Photo by Keith Lucas | Atlantic 10 Conference St. Bonaventure’s Mark Schmidt was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year on Wednesday.

He also becomes just the third player in program history to earn selection to the league’s All-Defensive Team three times, joining Marques Green (2002-04) and Caswell Cyrus (1998-2000). Joining Osunniyi on the All-Defensive Team are AJ Wilson (George Mason), Jacob Gilyard (Richmond), Jordan Goodwin (Saint Louis) and Hason Ward (VCU).

Schmidt’s honor gives the Bonnies another of the A-10’s major awards as he adds Coach of the Year recognition again after first winning the award in 2016. Now in his 14th season at the helm, he continues to lead the Bonnies to the top of the conference, firmly establishing St. Bonaventure as one of the A-10’s premier programs. While leading the Bonnies to their first outright regular season A-10 title in program history, his team won double-digit conference games for the seventh consecutive year, the longest active streak in the league.

His 244 overall wins on the sidelines for the Bonnies are the most in school history while his 129 A-10 triumphs stand sixth among A-10 coaches all-time. Over the past seven years, Bona is 83-40 in conference games for the second-most wins among any A-10 program. This year’s squad has recorded a 15-4 overall record while achieving the best NCAA NET standing of any A-10 squad.

Among Schmidt’s many accomplishments has been an ability to grow and develop players in his program throughout their careers. That includes several talents who have risen to the top of the league — Lofton is the latest example of that as he takes First Team All-Conference honors for the second year in a row, giving the Bonnies a First Team selection in six straight seasons. Along with Lofton, Courtney Stockard earned the distinction in 2019 while Jaylen Adams received First Team nods in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and Matt Mobley also picked up the honor in 2018.

Lofton has again been the engine for Bona’s success, ranking as one of the nation’s top point guards. Along with leading the team in scoring (14.2 ppg), he ranked third in the A-10 in assists (5.4 apg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.08) and led the conference in minutes for the second consecutive year (38.3 mpg). He scored in double figures in all but four games this year, handing out at least five assists 14 times. The junior also ranked in the league’s top-10 for free throw percentage (80.8 percent, eighth) and steals (1.5 spg, 10th) during the regular season. He has started all 84 games during his career, handing out at least one assist in every one of those contests.

Photo by Keith Lucas | Atlantic 10 Conference St. Bonaventure junior Kyle Lofton was named to the First Team Atlantic 10 All-Conference on Wednesday.

He recently moved into seventh place all-time in program history for assists (417) and is 31st in career scoring (1,197 points). With this year’s honor, Lofton becomes the fifth St. Bonaventure player to earn First Team All-Conference honors in back-to-back seasons. Lofton is joined on the First Team by Kellan Grady (Davidson), Jalen Crutcher (Dayton), Tre Mitchell (UMass), Jordan Goodwin (Saint Louis) and Bones Hyland (VCU).

Holmes took the next step into becoming one of the conference’s elite players this year during his second season with the program. The second-leading scorer on the team at 13.8 ppg, he ranked 16th overall in league scoring while pacing the A-10 in 3-point percentage during the regular season. He posted a team-best 14.4 ppg during conference games.

He started every game during the year, also averaging over five rebounds while shooting nearly 44 percent from the floor in over 32 minutes per contest. He turned in an effort for the ages when he poured in 38 points during a January win over Saint Joseph’s, the most in a single game by any A-10 player this year.

A sports media major with a 3.6 GPA in the classroom, he also takes All-Academic Team honors for the second consecutive year as one of five A-10 players to be honored for their work academically and on the court. With the recognition, he becomes just the third player in Bonaventure history to be selected to the All-Academic Team in multiple seasons and the first since Maurice Young did so back-to-back in 2003 and 2004.

Photo by Keith Lucas | Atlantic 10 Conference Bonnies junior Jaren Holmes was named All-Conference Second Team and All-Academic Team.


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