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Update: St. Bonaventure’s Nelson Kaputo academically ineligible for first semester

Bonnies depth will be seriously tested against a tough schedule with their backup point guard out until December.

NCAA Basketball: St. Bonaventure at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Update (11/2)

The school has confirmed that Kaputo will be out for the Bonnies’ first nine games, all of which are against teams ranked in KenPom’s top-149.

The earliest he would be eligible to return is the team’s Dec. 17 game against Niagara. The below quote comes from a release provided by the school to Mid-Major Madness.

“Our players come to St. Bonaventure to get a degree and represent the university in competition,” said Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt. “We want to make sure Nelson is able to achieve both of those goals.”

Original post (11/1)

The Bona Blog is reporting that St. Bonaventure sophomore guard Nelson Kaputo has been declared academically ineligible for the first semester.

If the report is accurate, Mark Schmidt would be left with a short bench for the Bonnies’ non-conference schedule.

St. Bonaventure had an excellent 2015-16 season, going 22-9 (14-4) and winning a share of the A-10 regular season crown. But Schmidt relied heavily on three players: guard Marcus Posley (37.2 minutes per game), forward Dion Wright (37.1 mpg) and guard Jaylen Adams (37.5 mpg).

Posley and Wright ran out of eligiblity, putting the onus on several players to step forward and support Adams, a preseason All-Conference first teamer. Kaputo (16.7 mpg) was expected to back up Adams at the point after averaging the third most assist per game on the team as a freshman (1.8).

His absence shouldn’t affect Adams’ workload much, as the junior won’t leave the court no matter who is coming off the bench. But it could mean more minutes - at least early - for freshman guard Tareq Coburn.

Schmidt’s comments about the ESPN two-star prospect in an April 2016 release suggest that while he likes his ceiling, he wasn’t expecting to play him much this season.

"Tareq is like many of our players in the program now and many who've graduated," Schmidt said. "Even though he was on a high caliber (high school) team, he was a little under the radar, a little unknown. But, he's a guy who has really improved over the last couple years and has a big upside. We think he will fit right in with our program because he has the right mindset – to come here and work at his game and do whatever it takes to get better. He can be a sponge and learn a lot from our guys, especially Jay (Adams) and Idris (Taqqee).

Schmidt also has Idris Taqqee (25.9 mpg, 5.1 ppg) and Central Connecticut transfer Matt Mobley (37.0 mpg, 17.2 ppg in 2014-15) as options in the backcourt. JuCo transfer Courtney Stockard’s availability is also in question after aggravating a foot injury that sidelined him last season.

St. Bonaventure opens its season at home against St. Francis on Nov. 12 before eight consecutive games against teams ranked in the KenPom top-149, including a Nov. 18 tilt against Florida in Austin.

The Bonnies are ranked #20 in our preseason mid-major top-25 poll.