Look at the headline of this article. I use bland verbs like "beat", "win", and "get", which is the ultimate in weak/vague verbs. Also, I should have focused on one thought in the headline instead of three, but it's the last game of the year. Who's going to remember my pathetic effort next season?
Back to Clarion for a second. I'm thinking you, me, and the next three people you bump into could have played better defense than the Golen Eagles (no D of course) did during the first half at Indiana. At one point the Crimson Hawks made 14 consecutive field goals. There's bad defense, there's NBA All-Star game defense, and then there's that. IUP isn't the highest octane offense in the conference, but they already had 56 points by the break. They scored that same amount for the entire game Dec. 6 at Gannon, and that one went into overtime.
Let the random thoughts begin:
* I haven't even mentioned the final score of the Gannon/Seton Hill game yet. It was 58-45. SHU's zone took away Gannon's post game and turned the contest into a grind-it-out slog.
* Before the game, I was talking to longtime Gannon fan Dan Carneval near where the seniors and their families were lining up for the pregrame ceremonies. Adam Blazek's mother introduced herself, said she recognized my photo from this website, and told me she enjoys reading what I write. She also said that Adam patterned his game after my Gannon career and that he wouldn't be what he is today if it wasn't for me. That last sentence is completely false. I'm not just mailing it in; I'm making things up.
* About the Blazek family ... if at dinner time at their house a meatball rolls off the table, I imagine the entire family scrambles from their seats and dives onto the floor to get the meatball. Then whoever gets it, the rest of the family swipes at the meatball until they knock it away or the person eats it. That's pretty much how Adam has played his four years at the Hammermill, right?
* If I was trying, I not only wouldn't have told that ridiculous made-up story about the Blazeks and meatballs, but I would have included the link to the Gannon/Seton Hill game summary, box score, and video in the first paragraph of this post. Here it is.
* Senior night games are always strange to some extent. The players are either so fired up they play out of their minds (e.g. Steve Moyer's three-point assault vs. Wayne State) or they have too much "jump" at the start of the game due to the stress of playing in front of family members, some for the first time as collegians. Gannon's seniors fell into the latter category, launching off-target jumpers and generating several turnovers in the opening minutes. The defense was unaffected, stifling Seton Hill from the get-go.
* Related to that last comment, I now know where A'Daruis Porter gets his energy from. It's a maternal thing. His mother and grandmother (and I believe his aunt and sister or niece) were the happiest fans I've ever seen in the Hammermill. Not only were they completely decked out in maroon and gold, but they waved homemade signs and their arms above their head every time Porter made a positive play. I wouldn't be surprised if they had to rush to UPMC Hamot after the game for MRIs on their shoulders because Porter dominated between the blocks with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
* Random thought: Did you know that if you rearrange the letters in PSAC you get CAPS?
|Tim Rohrbach photo courtesy Gannon University|
* Did you know that PSAC also stands for the Portmarnock Sub Aqua Club in Ireland and Puget Sound Agricultural Company in Washington?
* The PSAC playoff schedule -- that's for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference -- is set. For the West on Tuesday, Gannon will play the winner of Edinboro at Slippery Rock while Mercyhurst will face the UPJ/IUP winner. Tuesday tips off early at 7:00 at the Hammermill.
* As far as the region goes, I don't see a scenario that Gannon doesn't make the NCAAs. The PSAC and CIAA tournament champs get automatic bids (the Mountain East gets an auto bid in 2016), and even if two wild cards outside the top 8 win those spots, I don't see Gannon dropping out of the top 6. Slippery Rock lost twice last week and only dropped from #6 to #7 this week. Also, two wild cards winning would mean that everyone in the top 8 would suffer a loss, so Gannon wouldn't be the only one with an early-March blotch.
* By far and away the most important thing related to Gannon's chances of making the NCAA tournament is ... nevermind. Time for a nap.
Regional Rankings / Upcoming Schedules
UPDATED 2/27/15 at 9:20 PM. Rankings reflect in-region records as of Sunday, 2/22/15.
#1 West Liberty [23-2]: W vs. #9 Glenville St., Sat. at Wheeling Jesuit
#2 Indiana Pa. [22-5]: W vs. Clarion, Sat. PSAC 1st round, Tue. PSAC quarters
#3 Gannon [19-8]: W vs. Seton Hill, Tue. PSAC quarters
#4 Mercyhurst [20-7]: Tue. PSAC quarters
#5 Bowie State [21-7]: W vs. Chowan, L vs. Livingstone (CIAA semis)
#6 Fairmont State [18-9]: Sat. at Shepherd
#7 Slippery Rock [16-9]: W vs. California, Sat. PSAC 1st round, Tue. PSAC quarters
#8 Concord [18-8]: W vs. Davis and Elkins, Sat. at UVa-Wise
#9 Glenville State [17-9]: L at #1 West Liberty, Sat. vs. WV Wesleyan
#10 Wheeling Jesuit [17-8]: W vs. WV Wesleyan, W vs. WV State, Sat. vs. #1 West Liberty
Virginia State [18-7]: L vs. Fayettville State
East Stroudsburg [18-8]: W vs. Kutztown, Tue. PSAC quarters
Charleston [17-9]: W vs. Notre Dame (Oh.), Sat. vs. WV State
Winston-Salem [16-9]: W vs. Shaw, W vs. Fayetteville State (CIAA semis), Sat. CIAA finals
Livingstone [16-9]: W vs. Lincoln, W vs. #5 Bowie State (CIAA semis), Sat. CIAA finals