Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hooray! Gannon, Stoczynski hitting stride

With all the success Gannon has experienced over the years, Golden Knight fans have become a bit spoiled. High expectations lead them after victories to say, "Whew! I was worried we were going to lose," instead of "Hooray! That was a great win."

The Knights' 76-59 win at Mansfield today deserves a huge hooray. GU moved to 3-1 without All-American Kyle Goldcamp, sweeping the two-game weekend road trip. They won decisively; the combined margin of victory in the two games was 54 points.

I'm thrilled that Tyler Stoczynski has found his rhythm on offense. The last five games he's 26-for-42 from the field and has shot at least 50% in each of those contests.

Because my younger brother Zack and Tyler are the same age, I've watched and coached against Stoczynski since he was a skinny middle schooler at J.S. Wilson. Two constants to his game were his ability to score in bunches and his air of confidence (some might even say cockiness). Early this season, coming off an injury, he lacked both. He forced off-balance shots and missed most of them. It was very common during GU's season-opening homestand to see the senior jog back on defense looking at the Audi rafters in frustration.

Both Gannon and Tyler deserve their current hot streaks. Stoczynski leads the club in charges taken (unofficially), quite a feat on a team that leads Division II in scoring defense (officially).

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