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Bonnies get future security at guard with UNLV transfer Jalen Poyser

The St. Bonaventure basketball team got great news on the point guard position Monday with the return of Jaylen Adams for his senior season.

Now the Bonnies have found a backcourt star to slide into the starting lineup after Adams is gone.

Bona announced the addition of former top-100 recruit Jalen Poyser, a transfer from Nevada-Las Vegas. Poyser must sit out the upcoming season and will have two years of eligibility left. Poyser revealed he had picked Bona last week.

The 6-foot-4 Poyser averaged 10.4 points and 27 minutes a game as a sophomore for UNLV. He produced 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He was rated the No. 1 player in Canada and No. 83 in the Class of 2015 by coming out of Orangeville Prep, north of Toronto. He picked UNLV over Oklahoma, Bona, Rhode Island and Creighton.

Rhode Island, UConn, Texas and Tulane were other schools besides Bona that contacted him after he decided to leave UNLV.

Besides Adams, Bona also will lose senior shooting guard Matt Mobley and senior wing Idris Taqqee after next season.

“We are really excited Jalen has chosen St. Bonaventure,” Bona coach Mark Schmidt said in a statement. “We will lose three talented guards after this season, so we’ll have a ton of scoring, playmaking and leadership to replace. Jalen will really help us in all facets. He’s a combo guard who can score, can play the point sometimes and can lead our team. He should be a great fit in what we want to do.”

Poyser almost left UNLV after his freshman year, in which he averaged 5.4 points and 16 minutes. The head coach who recruited him, Dave Rice, was fired in January of his freshman season. Poyser opted to stick with new Runnin’ Rebels coach Marvin Menzes last spring.

Poyser started 21 games and began the season at the point. Then he was switched to shooting guard and struggled with his outside shot. Then he became a reserve the latter part of the season. Poyser shot just 28.8 percent from three-point range last season, even though he hit 80.2 percent from the free-throw line. He had hit 35.6 percent on three pointers as a freshman.

Playing at Bona allows Poyser to be close to home. He’s a product of the powerhouse CIA Bounce AAU program. He was coached in high school by Larry Blunt, now an assistant at Canisius. Bona assistant Jerome Robinson is a Toronto native.

“It’s close to home for me and I’ve seen the program for many years, what a great reputation it has for developing players and how good coach Schmidt is,” Poyser said. “It’s the best spot for me. I’ll spend the offseason and next year working on my game, addressing my weaknesses and getting stronger. Plus, I’ll go head-to-head with guys like Adams and Mobley every day, and the year after that I hope to fill their shoes.”

Meanwhile, Bona announced that 6-9 forward Chinonso Obokoh will not return to the team next season. Obokoh, who came to Bona as a transfer from Syracuse, played the first five games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He will remain a student at Bona as he pursues his graduate degree.

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