With their share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title in the rearview mirror, St. Bonaventure has shifted its focus toward next season.
The Bonnies will lose three seniors, including one of their tallest players in Dion Wright, who was also the team’s leading rebounder. 6-foot-10 rising sophomore Jordan Tyson also announced his intent to transfer, leaving St. Bonaventure with a lack of frontcourt depth.
That's where Syracuse transfer Chinonso Obokoh, who committed to St. Bonaventure last month, comes in.
Obokoh is a 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward who took advantage of the NCAA graduate transfer rule and will be eligible immediately. As of now, Obokoh is the tallest player on the Bonnies' roster.
With the Orange, Obokoh played in 13 games as a junior, averaging 0.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. He followed that up by playing in 11 games this past season and averaging 1.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Obokoh’s career-high for points is 11, which came in a win over Montana State last year.
Obokoh is originally from Enugu, Nigeria and was a top-20 ESPN-ranked center coming out of Bishop Kearney High School. The forward also played for the Albany City Rocks AAU program alongside rising St. Bonaventure senior Denzel Gregg. Gregg and Obokoh’s connection should help to make this an easier transition for the team and add more chemistry to the program.
This addition is important for the program, especially for this upcoming season. Obokoh can provide length and solid defense inside along with his ability to rebound. Coach Mark Schmidt will also look for him to score within 15 feet of the basket. Those are all skills that the team needs going forward.
At this point, Obokoh is one of six players who will enter his first season with the program, so it will be important for the team to develop some continuity during the offseason. With Obokoh, it seems like the Bonnies grabbed a player who is a perfect fit for what they need. If all goes well, he could help to pick up the slack defensively and on the boards for a team looking to climb to the top of the conference again in 2016-17.