St. Bonaventure head men’s basketball coach Mark Schmidt has been dealt a tough offseason hand as All-Atlantic 10 players Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi entered the NCAA transfer portal Thursday, sources confirmed to 247Sports. The Bonnies had already lost Jaren Holmes and Dominick Welch to the transfer portal, while Jalen Adaway entered the 2022 NBA Draft and opted to forgo his remaining season of eligibility.
As such, St. Bonaventure has lost all five starters from last season’s team that made the NIT semifinals after being projected as a clear NCAA Tournament squad in the preseason.
Lofton posted drop-off numbers in 2021-22 as he battled through an ankle injury sustained early in the season. Still, the New Jersey native averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is a three-time All-Atlantic 10 player and has one season of eligibility remaining.
Osunniyi, meanwhile, further cemented his status as one of the top mid-major centers in college basketball by averaging 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.9 blocks per game on 61.3% shooting. The 6-foot-10, 220-pound big man won the A10’s Defensive Player of the Year award twice to go with four appearances on the league’s All-Defensive team and three appearances on the All-A10 teams. Like Lofton, Osunniyi will have one season of eligibility left.
Both Lofton and Osunniyi figure to be heavily pursued by high-major programs, as has been the case for Holmes. Holmes has heard from Memphis, Mississippi State, USC, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Ohio State, Clemson, Boise State, Maryland, Seton Hall, Pittsburgh, Alabama, Clemson, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Georgetown and Florida, according to Jeff Goodman. Osunniyi notably posted 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks against LSU in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament when the Bonnies lost 76-61. Lofton went out in style with 15 points, five rebounds and 11 assists last month when the Bonnies lost to Xavier in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The NCAA introduced the transfer portal Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer. They merely need to request that compliance enter their name. Usually, it takes 24-48 hours for a player to appear following their request. Schools are free to contact a player without restriction once their name appears in the portal.
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While a player entering their name in the transfer portal means they intend to explore their options, it does not necessarily mean they will leave. A player is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep a player on scholarship once they enter the portal.