Monday, August 18, 2014

Potential New Knight: Jean Yves Toupane jr. F 6-7 185

For years I've heard Gannon basketball rumors from a variety of sources including friends, family, former GU players, co-workers, blog commenters, and anonymous emailers. Now I have one to add to the list: ESPN.

According to ESPN college basketball writer Jeff Goodman, junior forward Jean Yves Toupane (pronounced jawn two-PAIN) has transferred from Division I St. Bonaventure to Gannon. That rumor has been floating around for a while including on a Bonaventure message board and in the Olean Times Herald.

Toupane's stats during his two years of Division I play are rather pedestrian (18 total points scored), but his bio is anything but boring. A native of Senegal, he was first discovered by U.S. scouts while participating in the Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEEDS) program in Africa. He went on to earn MVP honors of both the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Africa and the Jordan Brand international game in 2010. His final year of high school play, he was named one of the top 100 small forward college prospects in the U.S. by Gannon-rumor-starter ESPN.

Before we talk more about Toupane's basketball ability, let's look at a little Gannon history. I believe only one other player who hailed from Africa has suited up for the Knights. Akol Tong, a 7-foot-3 reserve center and native of the Sudan, played for Gannon from 1987-91. "Footer" was a Hammermill fan favorite despite limited playing time. Now back to Toupane:

* Played 6 games as a sophomore, registering 4 points (0.7 ppg) and 1 rebound in 11 minutes of play.
* Saw action in 7 games his freshman year, scoring 14 points (2.0 ppg). In 30 minutes of action, he grabbed 4 rebounds and made 3-of-8 three-pointers.
* Scored a career-high of 7 during a 92-73 loss at NC State on Dec. 22, 2012. Hit on a pair of three-pointers and a free throw vs. the Wolfpack.
* If you really want to break down his stats, this web page from DraftExpress will do that for you.
* This is the press release from his signing with Bona back in 2011. Bonnie head coach Mark Schmidt said, "Jean is a long, athletic player with great skills. He can really score the ball from the wing and we're excited to have him join us."
* This string from a Bonaventure message board is an interesting read for a few reasons, most notably a nugget that he was being recruited by Georgia, USC, and Bradley before committing to SBU.
* Before Bonaventure, Toupane played at Lee Academy, a prep school in Lee, ME. This web page gives some background on the Lee program and lists alums playing collegiately. I didn't recognize any of the players, but the schools include Oregon State, Colorado, UMass, SMU, Texas A&M, LaSalle, Fordham, and PSAC foe Millersville. (Side note: That list made me think of this Sesame Street song.)
* This article in the New England Recruiting Report says, "Jean Yves Toupane is a long and athletic swingman who knows how to put the ball in the basket." Another NERR article describes him this way: "Toupane is a long and skilled perimeter forward with a soft shooting touch from long range and a knack for scoring the basketball. His jumper comes complete with a high release that allows him to get it off with very little separation from his defender."
* NERR named him one of the Top 20 players in the New England Region in 2012. I didn't think that meant much -- Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hamphire aren't exactly basketball factories -- until I saw other names on that list included recent NBA first round draft picks and NCAA finalists Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas, current Detroit Piston Andre Drummond, and University of Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski.
* I couldn't find any revealing video on Toupane. This YouTube snippet is from his days at Lee Academy; he is #44 in blue.
* This second clip from some Lee game action offers little value besides Toupane's three-pointer at the 4:15 mark and that Lee's offensive strategy gave me a skull-splitting headache. Pass the ball! Move the ball! Swing the ball!
* OK -- I can't end on that note. Let's conclude with my citing NBA journeyman Ronny Turiaf's personal website that mentions Toupane. I predict we will never do that again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Potential New Knight: Adam Holm-Weber fr. PG 6-1 170

I know highlight tapes can be misleading, but I'm ready to gush over soon-to-be Gannon freshman guard Adam Holm-Weber after watching just the first play on his highlight tape. Check it out here -- Holm-Weber's crossover followed by a finish in traffic is terrific.I don't know who the defender is, but I guarantee this clip isn't showing up on his highlight tape.

Watching the rest of the film, Holm-Weber, who hails from Denmark, appears to be a complete guard. He has size, ballhandling skills, a nice stroke, penetrates defenses, and passes from all angles with confidence. He will certainly keep his defender off balance with his array of moves and change of pace dribbling. Again, I may be jumping the gun here to make predictions based on highlights, but Holm-Weber has the makings of being a very productive Division II guard.

If you want to see an extended version of his AAU highlights -- and you want to see some really interesting gymnasiums -- watch this nearly 6-minute YouTube video of Holm-Weber.

Here's more information on Holm-Weber:
* OK, let's get this trivia out of the way right now. He's only the fifth Knight with a hyphenated last name. The others include Zaid Al-Khas (1998-2001), Mikael Ibanez-Lavesson (1995-96), Clinton Springer-Williams (2011-12), and current Knight Raphell Thomas-Edwards (2013-present). All five of the hyphenated Knights were born outside the United States.
* Will join fellow Dane and Alexander Basketball Academy (Md.) product Marc Fabricius at Gannon. Both suited up for Alexander's "Global Squad" which appears to be a collection of international players who compete against elite AAU programs here in the U.S.
* Holm-Weber's coach at Alexander, Kevin Breslin, said this about the 6-foot-1 guard: "Adam is a true floor general who runs a team like a point guard should. He’s a phenomenal passer and one of the smartest basketball players to ever wear a Global Squad uniform. When he’s on the court it makes my job significantly easier."
* Established the Global Squad all-time career record for assists per game (5.4 apg) while committing just 2.3 turnovers per contest
* His 23 steals in 18 games (1.3 spg) ranked second on the club
* Finished third on the team in scoring with an 8.2 ppg average
* Averaged 4.0 rebounds per game
* Shot 41.3% from the field, making 35% of his three-point attempts. Connected on 66.7% of his free throw attempts.
* Tallied 10 points and 10 assists during a 27-point comeback victory over Cuse Select at the Hoop Group Summer Jam Fest.
* During that same tournament, registered 17 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds vs. the New Jersey Cyclones.
* Alexander finished its season with a 12-6 record
* According to the Alexander website, he was recruited by UMass, the University of Maine, Long Island University, Ithaca College, and the University of Vermont
* For more video of Holm-Weber and his Alexander team, follow this link then click on the "Video/Media" tab

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Potential New Knight: Marc Fabricius fr. F 6-7 200

After several months of non-blogging, we are back to talk Gannon Hoops. Work has kept me away from the site, but the lack of solid information on recruits has also hampered my efforts. The PSAC Letters of Intent page used to supply me with reliable prospective Golden Knights, but because that web page is now password-protected, all I have to go on now are rumors. And if I took time to track down every GU rumor, I'd miss summer altogether.

So I'm going with the "at least two sources" method. If I hear twice about a player potentially coming to Gannon and then find what seems to be reliable information through Google, I'm going to go for it. These guys aren't guaranteed to wear the maroon and gold, but I think there's a high likelihood they'll be on the roster or redshirted next season. I have at least 5 potential Knights to preview and will seek out information on all of them in the coming weeks.

One more thing before I get to the new guys: I've been told -- by more than one source of course -- that every underclassman who was in John Reilly's rotation at the end of last season will return for the 2014-15 campaign. That means the team will be built around standouts Adam Blazek, Girbran Smith, Matthew Dogan, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and A'Darius Porter. That's a pretty-decent-I-must-say nucleus to start with.

The first potential Golden Knight is forward Marc Fabricius, a native of Denmark. Fabricius played most recently for the Alexander Basketball Academy in Maryland. I'm sure you've never heard of this version of the ABA, but they could play a big role in Gannon basketball the next few years. In addition to Fabricius committing, the Academy reports that 6-foot-1 Dane point guard Adam Holm-Weber has signed with the Knights as well. (More on Holm-Weber coming in a future post.) Fabricius and Holm-Weber both suited up for Alexander's "Global Squad" which appears to be a collection of international players who compete against elite AAU programs here in the U.S.

Here's all the relevant information I could round up on Fabricius:
* Even though Gannon hasn't announced Fabricius' signing, Alexander is not shy about shouting the news from the rooftops.
* Pretty much the only words I can read in this article titled "Fabricius tager til Pennsylvania" are "Gannon Knights," but I think they are announcing Fabricius' signing with GU.
* He's described as "extremely versatile, athletic, and has a high basketball IQ" and is regarded as a "fantastic defender."
* Averaged 6.9 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game. Also led the Gold Dragons in field goal percentage (56%) and blocked shots (1.6 avg).
*  Averaged 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
* Recorded 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 steals and 2 assists vs. the PA Renegades. Made 5-of-10 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 three-pointers.
* Registered a double-double vs. the New Jersey Cyclones with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
* Alexander finished its season with a 12-6 record.
* Was recruited by Division I, II and junior college programs including University of Maine, Long Island University, American International, Lincoln, Elon, and UIC (University of Illinois-Chicago).
* Attended Falkonergardens High School ins Denmark. You know how at Cathedral Prep five or six kids run around the court and spell "Prep" during big basketball games? I'm guessing the boys at Falkonergardens would take up all of halftime spelling their school's name.
* Led his school with 16.3 ppg in 2012-13.
* He was MVP of the Danish League Finals in 2012 and was a member of the Danish National Team in 2012 and 2013.
* This web page shows his stats from his Vaerlose club team and the Danish National team from 2012. He didn't play much for the club then and wasn't a big scorer for the national team, but he did post 10 points against Poland.
* If you go to his Alexander Academy bio page and click on the "Video/Media" tab, you an access three highlight films and four full games. I have not watched the full games (saving for a rainy day), but the first highlight tape which features only Fabricius is revealing.
* He says he likes to be "the general on defense" which might have motivated Coach Reilly to offer him a scholarship on the spot.
* If he steals and dunks like this in a close game at the Hammermill, the place with go bonkers.
* And if makes this move frequently against PSAC foes, we could start using the "Jammermill" nickname once again.
* This passing sequence is tremendous. And if you look in the background, it appears this game is being played at Philadelphia University, formerly known as Philadelphia Textile. The school has clearly upgraded from crummy old Althouse Hall.
* It looks like he can finish with either hand inside. I had to play parts of his video a couple times to see if he was left or right handed. He's a righty but can turn over his right shoulder and shoot inside with his left hand on occasion.
* The tape also makes me think him being listed at 6-foot-7 is legit. He's got long arms and plays close to or above the rim when attacking the basket.
* He has his own Eurobasket web page which lists him as a Gannon recruit. It also says he's 2016 NBA Draft Eligible, which would be an awesome problem for GU to have in a couple years.
* I'll go out on a limb and say he's the first player in Gannon history to hail from Ledoje-Smorum, Hovedstaden in Denmark.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Score One For "Stats"

Photo courtesy Gannon University
One of my highlights this season was finally seeing Gannon's all-time leading scorer inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame. You might be thinking to yourself, "Wait -- I thought Butch Warner was already in the Hall of Fame." Warner, who scored 2,090 points in his Golden Knight career and is listed in the media guide at the top of the scoring charts ahead of Gerald "Bad News" Walker, Glen Summors, and Steve Moyer, was named to the GU HOF in 2010.

But the actual all-time leading scorer is Rick "Stats" Klapthor, Gannon's official scorekeeper for 39 seasons. Stats was inducted into the hall this year and was gracious enough to share his induction speech with me. It was so good, I wanted to share it with you:

Dr. Taylor, Mark Richard, committee members, fellow inductees, past inductees, family, friends, and the rest of you who are simply friends who I have yet to meet.

A few years ago, a wise man was asked, "How does a physical therapist become a university president?" Dr. Taylor's response was, "I'm not quite sure, but it's kind of neat isn't it?" Similarly, I'm wondering how someone as unathletic as myself is being inducted into an athletic hall of fame. I'm not quite sure, but it's kind of neat!

I need to thank the Hall of Fame committee for naming me the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award this year. When I consider that the three most recent recipients have been Joe Gaeta, Gary Miller, and Chuck Campagne, I'm humbled to be thought of in the same category as those gentlemen.

I would like to acknowledge three people who are influential in my being here tonight. My mother Louise, who is 94 years young, but despite having never attended a Gannon sporting event is one of the most loyal listeners to the basketball broadcasts on radio. My brother Bill, who passed away in 2003, is responsible for getting me started on my career path by teaching me how to keep score of baseball and basketball. On the other hand, he taught me how to root for the Indians and the Browns. Let's call that a push. Bud Elwell, who in 1975 had enough confidence in an 18-year-old freshman with a full head of hair to anoint me the official scorekeeper for his men's basketball team. Hopefully in the past 39 years I have rewarded that confidence.

Now back to my lack of athleticism. The extent of my athletic career was two years of Boys Baseball, Erie's version of Little League. I played in the 2B division for 11- and 12-year-olds. But, truth be told, I actually wanted to keep score at 11 years old. I never signed up to play Boys Baseball, I never tried out for Boys Baseball, but to make a long story short, I ended up on the Security-People's team in the Lawrence League. Some people will tell you that I had a batting average of .500. However, those same people will tell you that they calculated the .500 batting average by dividing my one hit by the two years that I played. I was horrible. I counted my foul balls until I finally grounded out — and I didn't ground out very often. So if you look at the list of speakers tonight, you'll notice that I'm hitting ninth in the batting order, a place that I am very familiar with.

But the silver lining in having played those two years was that it confirmed what career path I should be on. As the years have gone on, I never once looked back and thought that I should've been more of a jock in high school (going out for football, wrestling, basketball, whatever). I know exactly where I belonged. I belonged in the football press box keeping stats. I belong at the basketball scorers table.

If someone had told me then that I would be getting inducted into an athletic hall of fame, I would've told them that the day that happens, the NFL would be playing a Super Bowl in an open air stadium in the Northeast.

But the greatest thing about being involved in athletics even on the periphery are the people that you meet along the way. When I started 39 years ago I was as young if not younger than the players; now I'm older than most coaches and older than most officials. How many people do you think I've met, both directly and indirectly, over these 39 years? Whatever number you come up with is woefully low. As I look around the room at my many friends here tonight, I realize that the longest friendship that I have in this room (other than family) is tonight's emcee Steve Bohen. Steve and I go so far back that he can vouch for how bad a baseball player I was.

As I wind up tonight, let me leave you with one thought. On a night when it is really, really nice to be important, it is much more important to be nice!

Thank you and may God bless you all!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The World Is Flat

That's my conclusion upon the conclusion of the Division II men's basketball season. Central Missouri rallied past Atlantic Region champ West Liberty this afternoon, 84-77, in the DII championship game which was televised live on CBS. After watching tons of Gannon games this year plus several Atlantic Region NCAA tournament contests and many minutes of the Elite 8, I can say that the distance between teams like our Golden Knights and best in Division II is slim. Very slim.

Not only do I think my claim passes the eyeball test but I think the stats also back up my assertion. I know comparative scores can be misleading, but when you stack these four data points together, there's a trend that's hard to deny:
1. WLU vs. the World: West Liberty was victorious in its first two Elite 8 games and very well could have won today's championship tilt had they not misfired on some key threes in the closing minutes. That would prove the Atlantic is a strong region, competitive with Division II's best teams.
2. GU/UC/WLU: On March 9, Charleston (W.V) defeated West Liberty 63-60 in the Mountain East championship on a neutral floor. Six days later, also on a neutral floor, Charleston lost to Gannon, 66-64. And it wasn't like either team played out of its minds to win those games.
3. WLU's Closest Call: Until their loss in the finals, West Liberty's toughest test of the NCAAs was an epic 86-85 triple overtime loss to Indiana (Pa.). IUP missed a free throw to extend the game to a fourth OT, so flip a coin who is the better team.
4. GU > IUP: When comparing Gannon and IUP, you can keep the quarter in your pocket. The Knights were 2-0 against the Crimson Hawks this season and looked better for the vast majority of the 85 minutes those two clubs tangled this year. IUP finished with a better record, but in February and March, Gannon was the better team.

I'm not saying Gannon is the best team in the country, but they are less than a full step behind the elite. I recall past seasons watching the DII finals and thinking, "Sheesh! Gannon couldn't compete with those guys. They're too quick. They fly all over the place. We'd get killed." That thought never crossed my mind today. In fact, as the teams exchanged easy baskets at times, I'd say to myself, "A John Reilly team would never give up that play. Go over the screen or hedge on it! Put a body on somebody!"

Does it seem to you that the Knights are one player -- just one player -- away from having a great chance to play on national TV a year from now? The Knights should have four starters returning (guards Adam Blazek and Girbran Smith, forwards A'Darius Porter and Raphell Thomas-Edwards), Matthew Dogan a year older and wiser, plus proven Division II performer Rich Austin eligible and in the rotation.

If even just one of Gannon's redshirt guards proves to be a solid ballhandler/defender and the Knights can sign an immediate impact juco or Division I transfer small forward, they'd have to be preseason PSAC West favorites and top 3 in the region behind annual power West Liberty and East Stroudsburg, who was loaded with underclassmen this year. To bring this post full circle, we saw today that if you're among the best in the Atlantic, you're among the best in the nation.

UPDATED 4/1/14: A co-worker of mine shared this photo of his son with Adam Blazek Friday night at the Erie Insurance Arena. Gannon's men's and women's teams hosted a youth basketball clinic in conjunction with the Women's Elite 8 that evening. I'm really proud of this Gannon team not just for how they perform on the floor, but also for actions like this. Blazek is an All-American, but he's not "too good" to teach kids -- in this instance the son of a Slippery Rock grad no less -- the finer points of basketball.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sickening Conclusion To A Special Season

Tim Rohrbach photo compliments of Gannon University
That's the best way I can sum up Gannon's 66-58 loss at top-seeded East Stroudsburg in the second round of the NCAA tournament. I debated saying "sad" instead of "sickening" and replacing "season" with "semester," but I think the current headline is most appropriate. "Sickening" appropriately describes not just the feelings of despondent Gannon fans but also the physical state of many Golden Knight players over the weekend. I've heard from multiple sources that a stomach flu or possibly food poisoning hit some members of the team, most notably C.J. Oldham. Add to that Adam Blazek's reported injury -- I've heard knee problem and hernia, but either way he was clearly not 100% -- and you can't help but shake your head over the timing of these maladies.

The reason I considered "semester" instead of "season" in the headline is that Gannon was ordinary in the first semester (just 6-7 and drawing the ire of many Gannon Hoops commenters) but brilliant in the second semester, posting an incredible 14-3 mark. But I think the first 13 games of the season are what truly made this campaign special. Winning 82% of your final 17 games is great, but doing that with the same roster after a sub-.500 start provided the context for a truly remarkable achievement.

I wish the season could have lasted a couple more weeks and ended only after a long run in the NCAAs, but that's just being greedy. Deep down, I'm thrilled that this team -- especially the seniors -- finished in their typical give-it-everything-you-got-then-give-a-little-more fashion. Think about the story C.J. Oldham can tell to prospective employers. First, he posted the highest grade point average among all student-athletes at the PSAC Final Four. Maybe more importantly, even when he was miles under the weather, he sacrificed himself, gave until it hurt, and willed his team to victory in their biggest game of the season. "I'll do the same for your team," he can tell the interviewer, who would have to be impressed.

I wrote Saturday about Jabs Newby and him persevering despite less playing time than he had been accustomed to. Roger Livramento and Brandon Emmitt can also for the rest of their lives tell the story about how they busted their tail for the good of the whole, performing their role to the best of their abilities whenever called upon. As I've said here before, that high-character behavior is more important than your winning percentage or assist-to-turnover ratio.

In the years these four seniors played at Gannon, did you ever see them saunter, mope, or not battle? Sure they made mistakes, but did you ever question their effort? I think that's a credit to those young men and the Gannon coaching staff who got the best out of this roster. If you don't believe me, watch the video of them taking the #2 team in the country to the wire despite illness and injury ... and some deplorable officiating. (Brief digression: East Stroudsburg's post defense was floptastic, often throwing themselves backwards when the Gannon big men made their moves. Late in the game, the GU post men froze when they got the ball on the block because the banging that had been allowed all year was suddenly an offensive foul. I rarely criticize officiating on this blog, but some of the calls Sunday were preposterous. Digression over.)

One of my proudest moments as a Gannon fan occurred just over 20 years ago -- March 11, 1994 -- when Bob Dukiet's Knights battled region #1 and nationally ranked California (Pa.) on the road in the NCAA tournament. Gannon was clearly out-talented but hung with the Vulcans for 39 minutes and 55 seconds. An off-balance, 16-foot bank shot by Cal in the closing seconds proved to be the difference in the 65-64 final score. I was so proud because that Gannon team worked incredibly hard all year, respected the game and every opponent, and more than fulfilled its potential.

I can say the same thing about this year's team. I was overjoyed when they fought past Charleston (W.V.) Saturday and filled with pride Sunday as I watched a patchwork lineup whittle a 19-point deficit to 5 in a hostile environment.

I'm disappointed with the loss, but I'm not sad. I'm appreciative of everyone in the program and thankful they gave us reason to be proud. This was a special season indeed.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

NCAA First Round: #5 Gannon 66, #4 Charleston (WV) 64

C.J. Oldham's season-saving tip-in.
I'm absolutely thrilled Gannon won its NCAA first round game Saturday night against Mountain East champ Charleston (WV), 66-64, but not just because they advanced to the second round. I'm happy for the team because they were left for dead by almost all of us in early January and by many of us watching the video broadcast tonight. GU blew a 14-0 lead and trailed by 5, 50-45, with under 10 minutes to play. All the momentum was with Charleston, and all I could do is stare at my computer monitor and watch the season slip away.

The Knights were running uphill. They had been outscored by 19 over the last 24 minutes of action, were racking up the turnovers, and team catalyst Adam Blazek hadn't scored a field goal. At that point, would you have bet money Gannon was going to survive and advance? But from that point on, Gannon held the athletic and skilled Golden Eagles to just 11 points, not including a desperation heave at the buzzer.

Also gratifying is that everybody who was on the floor contributed. With 3 minutes on the game clock and 3 seconds on the shot clock, Girbran Smith faked, dribbled, and hit a 16-footer near the free throw line as the buzzer sounded, breaking a 58-all tie. When the Knights trailed by 1 with under 90 seconds to play, senior C.J. Oldham -- who didn't start and played only 16 minutes -- outjumped and outefforted everyone else to tip in Smith's miss, giving Gannon a 62-61 lead. That was the score (after a Raphell Thomas-Edwards block) when Blazek stepped to the line with an "0-for" hanging over his head. Mr. Clutch hit both, then A'Darius Porter grabbed his 11th rebound and hit both ends of his 1-and-1 as well to clinch the victory.

Bottom line (in my opinion): On this night, Charleston looked better than Gannon. But the Knights were tougher on the court and between the ears. Gannon's 14-0 start was executed by a calm team against a jittery one. And Gannon executed in the final minutes while UC missed free throws and was discombobulated in their half-court game.

Teams "step up their game" in the postseason, but I suspect this was not the most difficult situation the Knights have faced all year. Not only did the PSAC West prepare them for this moment, but John Reilly's never-relax-for-a-second approach to the game pushed them over the finish line tonight.

A few other thoughts on the game:
* I really have to hand it to Jabs Newby. The kid had reasons to quit working hard -- heck, even quit the team -- but he came through tonight when the Knights needed him. Newby shocked everyone by starting, playing 16 solid minutes (only 1 turnover), and hitting for 8 points, including just his second three-pointer of the season. Former Gannon coach Bob Dukiet would always preach "sooner or later ... sooner or later you'll get your chance." Tonight was Newby's time, and he came through.

* When has Charleston seen a defense like Gannon's all year? The Knights are special on that end of the floor.

* Speaking of defense, before Smith hit his big jumper to snap the 58-58 tie, Gannon was getting killed inside by big man Aleksander Kesic. So Reilly switched to a 1-2-2, collapsed on Kesic, and forced a long jumper. Even the most anti-Reilly Gannon observers have to applaud that move.

* Thank goodness Girbran Smith didn't pick up his 5th foul down the stretch. He finished with a game-high 21 on 8-of-15 shooting. He deserves tons of credit for continuing to work despite very limited playing time earlier in the year.

* Two questions I don't have answers to: Does anybody know why Oldham did not play the first 10 minutes of the game? And was Tee Talley in uniform? I was told he didn't make the trip but haven't had that confirmed.

* I know the answer to this question: Who would have thought Gannon would win an NCAA game with Blazek ending the night 0-for-7 from the field? Nobody. Blazek was harassed all evening by super-quick UC guard Tino diTrapano -- UC knew where Blazek was all evening long and really bodied him up. However, the junior missed his share of open looks. Blazek has played a lot of ball, but this was his first-ever NCAA tourney game.

* Gannon was about 4 inches away from playing #8 seed Livingstone Sunday night at 7:30. The Blue Bears rallied from 10 down late but left a jumper short just before time expired in front of a capacity crowd at East Stroudsburg. The result was an ESU victory, 99-98. The announcers said after the game back in 1990 Stroud won an NCAA game by that same score (vs. Slippery Rock in overtime). Guess what happened the next evening? The Warriors had their season ended by Gannon. All of Erie is hoping for a repeat of that.

* I wanted to keep on this site to a link to this web page assembled by the Gannon sports information department. You can access everything you need to know about the Atlantic Region tournament from there.