St. Bonaventure brings senior lineup into Shootout vs. Virginia Tech

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  • Kyle Lofton
    American basketball player

In this new era of college basketball ,where players believe the way to greener pastures is through the transfer portal, some college teams bear little resemblance from year to year.

Then there's St. Bonaventure (8-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10). When Virginia Tech (7-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) faces the Bonnies in the Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, it will contend with a veteran unit that's all about stability under 15-year coach Mark Schmidt.

Kyle Lofton (17.4 points per game), Dominick Welch and reigning A-10 defensive player of the year Osun Osunniyi (10.2 points, 2.9 blocks) are in the starting lineup together for the fourth straight season.

Jaren Holmes (17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists) is in his third year as a starter, while relative newcomer, Jalen Adaway (14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds), is in his second year at St. Bonaventure after transferring from Miami (Ohio).

In search of its second straight A-10 title and trip to the NCAA Tournament, St. Bonaventure has an all-senior lineup.

Just one problem: Lofton has missed the past three games with an ankle injury but returned to practice on Monday. His loss was felt in a 74-64 defeat Saturday to then-No. 15 UConn.

"We're straight hungrier," Holmes said after the loss. "We're truly excited about it. We're going to talk about this loss right here for 24 hours and then we're going to get right back to work."

By contrast, Virginia Tech is a team much more representative of the current state of college basketball. It's floor general, Storm Murphy, is a graduate transfer from Wofford, its top scorer Keve Aluma (14.4) also is from Wofford, and its top rebounder Justyn Mutts (10.1 points, 7.4 rebounds) is at his third Division I school.

After a hot start, the Hokies have lost four of their past six and are trying to find some cohesion and how to protect the ball.

"You're playing with fire when you're turning the ball over," Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. "Turnovers and bad shots turn into fast break opportunities for the opponent. It's typically a lay-in or it's typically a three because you're not set."

--Field Level Media