* I was thrilled with Gannon's approach to last night's 76-41 thumping at Lake Erie College. An ordinary team would have been sloppy with the ball and lackadaisical on defense. After all, the Knights entered the game 19-3 with two of those wins blowouts over the 6-16 Storm. But the Knights were extraordinary from the start, especially on defense, forcing Lake Erie into a slew of mistakes -- 20 turnovers, 26% shooting, and outrebounding them 49-26. From the opening tip, the Gannon bench was exhorting their teammates, whooping and hollering as they scrambled on defense and forced the Storm into bad shots and dangerous passes.
Kudos to coach Reilly and the Knights for respecting their opponent and respecting the game. In addition, Reilly significantly limited the minutes of his two starting forwards, Kyle Goldcamp (19 minutes) and Tyler Stoczynski (13). They're going to get banged around Wednesday and Saturday, so they really needed the rest.
* Gannon official scorer Rick "Stats" Klapthor doesn't know everything about college basketball; it just seems that way. He told me at halftime of last night's contest that Mike Roberts, one of the game's officials, was a big-time college referee. After the game, Stats e-mailed to me Roberts' last 5 Saturday assignments: Feb. 14 Florida at Georgia, Feb. 7 Michigan at UConn, Jan. 31 Providence at UConn, Jan. 24 Xavier at LSU, and Jan. 17 Alabama at Auburn. And yesterday Roberts worked Gannon at Lake Erie in front of 382 fans? Cue up the Sesame Street song "One Of These Things (Is Not Like The Others)." http://members.tripod.com/tiny_dancer/one.html
* Saturday I criticized the Erie Times for their overexposure of Erie BayHawk Eric Daniels and their lack of coverage of local college hoops. I wrote, "How do locals Cory Knight, Joe Jones, and Tyler Stoczynski feel about playing in front of Erie crowds for so long? I doubt that I'll see [that story] any time soon in the paper." I stand corrected. Today's paper had an enjoyable front page article titled "Homegrown Hoops." The heart of the story was -- you guessed it -- quotes from Cory Knight, Joe Jones, and Tyler Stoczynski sharing their feelings about playing in front of Erie crowds for so long. The devil on my shoulder tells me I was the catalyst for the article. But that same demon told me 20 years ago that Tom Chapman should have given me a scholarship and more playing time, so I don't exactly trust his judgment. Seriously, I'm sure Bob Jarzomski had this article in the pipeline well before I spouted off last Saturday.