Analyzing the changes for Bobcats Basketball


Jon Surratt

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team has had a ton of turnaround in just one offseason. After not being able to play in the 2020 MAAC Championship tournament, as the world stopped and the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The team was supposed to play Monmouth in the first round of the tournament, but was not able to take the court that day before the decision was made to cancel. Now, the team has a ton of new faces in the door, and some important faces out. Oh and those important faces are arguably two of the best players to ever play for the Bobcats.

Guard Rich Kelly and forward Kevin Marfo left for Boston College and Texas A&M, respectively. Those schools are not powerhouses in their conferences, but are bigger programs where Marfo and Kelly look to make the NCAA tournament before they graduate. Kelly is coming off a season where he led the Bobcats in scoring (16.7 PPG) and assists (4.5 APG) and named to second team All-MAAC, while Marfo not only led the Bobcats in rebounds (13.3 RPG) but led the country while also being named second team All-MAAC. However, they announced their decisions to leave Quinnipiac a few months ago, and now it’s time to see how the team will replace them. Namely, looking at ways the team can replace their production, and players that will come into Kelly and Marfo’s roles.

How the Team Will Replace Them

Let’s start off and say it will be very unlikely an individual player on the Bobcats will replace the production Marfo and Kelly are leaving behind. However, time to look at the candidates if any are to.

Junior Guard Tyrese Williams

Williams coming into the season has been on the Bobcats for all three years at Quinnipiac and has been a starter since day one as a true freshman against defending national champion Villanova Wildcats. That is high praise for Baker Dunleavy to start a true freshman in a season opener against one of the best teams in the country. Ever since, Williams has gotten better and better through his first two years and now is respected across the conference, being named pre- season All-MAAC second team. Now with no Kelly in the backcourt, Williams has to be the leader in the backcourt along side other players in the backcourt like Savion Lewis and Matt Balanc. Williams has been known to be a great scorer, inside and out, but in order to replace Kelly his playmaking and leadership are going to have to make a major leap going into his third year.

Sophomore Center Seth Pinkney

He is not going to average 13 rebounds a game, but now after a year under Marfo’s wing, Pinkney is the big man on campus for the Bobcats. At 7 foot 1 inch, Pinkney is not as strong as Marfo was, as Pinkney has a smaller frame at 200 lbs, but he still has a ton of length that other MAAC teams do not have and may not be able to handle. Pinkney has the ability to alter any shots in the paint from other teams, while always being a constant lob threat for point guards on the roster that have a knack for their passing ability. Look for Pinkney to have a lot more pick- and-roll plays for him set up this year, and as long as he stays out of foul trouble to be a bigger force on the defensive end while getting starter minutes.

Deep Point Guard Rotation

Although Williams figures to be the top scorer for the Bobcats, who is going to bring up the ball, facilitate the offense and get the whole team involved. Kelly was that man for the team the past few years, and now the team cannot rely on one player to do that. However, the depth they have at the position is what can help. The team has a ton of youth at the point guard position, with first year guards Bol Akot, Luis Kortright and Tymu Chenery, redshirt sophomore Lewis and junior guard Tyree Pickron all able to handle the one guard spot. Do not expect any one of them to get the majority of the minutes, but for Dunleavy to use them all throughout and put in the hot hand during their games. Expect all of them to average around the two-to-three assists per game range, but all to help with the facilitation.

Team Mentality

To repeat, no single person on the team is going to put the insane individual numbers Marfo and Kelly put up last season, however, if all the players on the team increase their roles slightly and no players try’s to be that “guy”, then the team may be able to have more success than last season. There were points it seemed where Kelly was the only reliable player on offense, and Marfo was the only player able to do anything to protect the paint and get rebounds. If the whole team can have a buy in approach, hustle for more loose balls and rebounds, get back on defense, have more scoring options on play sets, they may be able to have a lot of success in the season without their two big stars out the door.