By Jeff Uveino, Staff Writer
This past weekend, the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team traveled to the Florida panhandle to play in the Emerald Coast Classic. The Bonnies went 1-1 in Niceville, Florida, beating the Maryland Terrapins in the first round before falling to the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in the finals.
The Bonnies received key contributions from several players over the weekend, but the performance of freshman Izaiah Brockington stood out.
Brockington, a 6-foot 4-inch guard from Philadelphia, got his first career start against Maryland, scoring eight points. His better performance of the weekend, however, came Saturday night against TCU.
Brockington scored 20 points in 23 minutes against the Horned Frogs, and went 4-8 from three-point range. It seemed as if every time TCU would extend their lead, Brockington would hit a shot to keep the Bonnies within reach.
“I just had to go out there and play my game,” Brockington said. “With Jay (Adams) being gone, we had to have guys step up. I knew I could help the team in multiple ways so I just went out there and tried to stay aggressive.”
The freshman’s efforts over the weekend earned him Emerald Coast Classic All-Tournament team honors.
“It was unexpected, I was definitely grateful for the award,” he said. “It would have been nice to get the win, but it was nice to recognized for making an impact. That’s all I really want to do, is go out and contribute to wins.”
This was not the first big performance the Bonnies have gotten out of Brockington, as he scored 18 points off the bench earlier in the season in a game against Maryland Eastern Shore. Despite a small sample size, he has shot 53% from three-point range so far.
The Bonnies’ performance last weekend gave them momentum going forward, after previously losing their season opener. Brockington commented on the impact of their win over Maryland.
“A lot of people were doubting us, saying our season was dead, so it gave us confidence that we were still one of the top teams in our league and among the NCAA,” he said. “It gave us confidence that we can hang in there with bigger level teams.”
Maryland and TCU are both “Power 5” schools, which means they play in conferences that are regarded as the top five in the NCAA. The Terrapins play in the Big 10, and the Horned Frogs in the Big 12.
Going into this season, Brockington was not expected to play as big of a role as he has thus far. However, with injuries looming, and Brockington showing coaches he can give them productive minutes, it has been hard to take him out of games. This, he said, has been an adjustment.
“It’s just getting a feel for how the college game is played,” he said. “I feel like I’m adjusting to it pretty well so far, I’ve just got to keep improving and hopefully continue to contribute.”
The Bonnies stayed hot Wednesday night with a 75-55 win at Siena. Brockington had two points and three assists on the night.
The Bonnies will travel to the University at Buffalo, Saturday, Dec. 2 to take on the Bulls at 2 p.m.