What’s next for Quinnipiac men’s basketball?


Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn

Chris Longchamp

How does Quinnipiac respond to some of its biggest names entering the transfer pool?

It is never easy to have some of the most important players on a team leave. Rich Kelly possibly leaving the Bobcats along with Kevin Marfo will certainly have a strong impact.

Most of Quinnipiac’s offense this season was built around Kelly and Marfo. Kelly accounted for 500 of the team’s 2088 points scored this season (nearly 25%). Quinnipiac’s point guard reached the 1,000 career point mark in just his third season this year for the Bobcats.

If Kelly decides to stay, he provides so many different attributes that could help a young team develop. First, he is a leader that the team can depend on. When there is a big situation, the team can have some comfort in knowing that Kelly can be the guy to come through with the clutch shot or make the right pass. Another thing that Kelly could bring to the new team is his vision and awareness on the court. He knows when to drive but also when to slow the offense down and find the open shooter. These two things will be huge for the Bobcats success next season at the point guard position, whether it’s with Rich Kelly or not.

Quinnipiac definitely can fill the role with Savion Lewis bouncing back from an injury-plagued red-shirt freshman season. The Bobcats also have other viable options in Tyrese Williams and Ty Pickron. Both Williams and Pickron showed that when Rich Kelly needed a break (even though it wasn’t often at all) that they were capable of filling his role on the floor.

Kevin Marfo might be a little harder to be replaced. He accounted for nearly 40% of Quinnipiac’s rebounds and created second and third chance opportunities for the Bobcats to continue to look for the open shot and wear down the defense.

Marfo brought that physicality to the team with his grittiness in the paint. He would fight for every rebound and was a force to be reckoned with down low. At 6’8” and 245 pounds, it would be hard to win against Marfo. He also provided on the defensive side of the ball with his blocks and especially the block against Canisius which sealed the game for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats are going to surely miss Marfo’s presence in the paint, but they certainly have options, including Seth Pinkney or Jamal Riggins.

Pinkney had the second most offensive rebounds on the team only behind Marfo. Pinkney certainly looks like the most likely replacement for Marfo having more experience than Riggins, but does have some areas to improve. For starters, Pinkney wasn’t that force that Marfo necessarily was in the paint. He may have the height advantage over many of the other big men in the MAAC, but there were points where he was getting pushed around in the paint. Pinkney also needs to improve his finishing abilities. There were many times when Pinkney just could not finish the play in the paint from a couple feet away. If he can improve these two things, then he certainly may be the viable replacement to Marfo.

Riggins sat out his freshman season, but will have to take on a much larger role in his second season in Hamden.

Forward Nathan Davis is transferring, as well, but he played just 8 minutes this season not having a major role.

The Bobcats still hold out hope that Rich Kelly returns to the blue and gold. Without him in the lineup along with Kevin Marfo Quinnipiac does have some options. Where will they go with them? That is to be determined.