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Slideshow: Bona-Florida State game preview

The News' Brian Meyer compiled this slideshow as Rodney McKissic and Bob DiCesare preview this afternoon's game:

Lanier Keeping Tabs on Bonnies

NASHVILLE -- All-time Bona great and NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier has told school officials he won't be in attendance today when the Bonnies play an NCAA game for the first time since 2000. Apparently commercial air travel doesn't sit well with his aging, 6-foot-11 body. But Lanier said he'll make the journey nonetheless if the Bonnies advance to the Sweet 16.

Lanier led Bona to the 1970 Final Four but suffered a season-ending knee injury against Villanova in the regional finals. Bona then lost to Jacksonville -- which had two 7-footer in Artis Gilmore and Pembroke Burroughs -- in the semifinals.

Many basketball fans -- and certainly those in WNY -- believe Lanier's injury cost Bona the national title. UCLA, which went on to win the championship, was between dominant centers at the time. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) had just left and Bill Walton was on his way.

-- Bob DiCesare

"We got no pressure on us."

---The Bonnies appear loose and carefree, apparently because they've heaped all the pressure on Florida State.

“Florida State is supposed to win,’’ Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “They got the pressure on them. Going into the Atlantic 10 Tournament, we weren’t supposed to win that. I think when you go out there and play like it’s a pickup game, you have a better chance. You don’t have that monkey on your back. We’ve got some good players that play well together but when you play loose, you have a better chance. That’s not to say we’re going to win, but no one has expected us to be here.’’

The Bonnies are currently six-point underdogs.

---Rodney McKissic


Audio from Nashville: McKissic, DiCesare preview Bona-Florida St.

NASHVILLE -- Rodney McKissic and Bob DiCesare preview Friday's NCAA Tournament matchup between the No. 14 seed St. Bonavanture Bonnies and No. 3 seed Florida State Seminoles:

Download audio

Earlier today, McKissic and DiCesare reported about the atmosphere at the Bonnies' practice.

Audio from Nashville: McKissic, DiCesare at Bona practice

NASHVILLE -- Rodney McKissic and Bob DiCesare report from the Bonnies' practice, a day before they face Florida State in the NCAA Tournament:

Download audio 

Because of Nicholson, scouts will come

---NASHVILLE, Tenn. -One of the main attractions to St. Bonaventure for guard Matthew Wright, in addition being close to his home in Toronto, was the presence of Andrew Nicholson.

Guards like to play with talented big men – they free up space to shoot, make them look better on assists, clog up the middle when they get beaten defensively, etc. – and Nicholson forced NBA scouts to come to Olean to watch practice, giving his teammates exposure as well.

“As a guard, you want to affiliate yourself with a good big man and me knowing that he’s getting a lot of looks by NBA team, he draws the NBA scouts to practice,’’ Wright said. “If you practice well, they also see you.’’

Point guard Charlon Kloof said it was one of the greatest moments when coach Mark Schmidt informed the team that scouts were in attendance.

“At first you’re nervous, but then that’s why I like my seniors that much and my coaches so they’ll walk you through it,’’ Kloof said. “Once you’re comfortable, then it’s over but it’s a great experience.’’

---Rodney McKissic


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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |