Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Focused and fresh

* 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.


  1. Thanks for the compliment on the gumby name; I have always loved the big green guy.

    Just a couple of thoughts:
    1) what a raw deal that the Gannon women are getting in the national rankings. To be 20-3 and have beat the #2 team in the nation and not be ranked is a joke. I honestly am not up-to-date on the womens teams that are ranked, but I have a hard time believing that 25 teams are having that much better of a season than the Lady Knights. Coach Wright has the ladies playing well as usual and they deserve some recognition for that.
    2) I am pumped for the Boro game tonight, even if I am hundreds of miles away and cant make it. There should be a great crowd. Apparently a few of the GU frats have been sending text messages to the students to drum up support and get kids to the game. Hopefully they will be nice and loud too.
    3) Go Knights!

  2. Gumby, I totally agree with you about the women's team. I see no reason why they should not be ranked in the top 25 (at the least). They've lost 3 games (by 1 pt, by 10 pts, and by 13 pts... and the 10 and 13 pt deficits were to Indiana and California on the road). They even crushed (at the time #15) Shippensburg in the tournament out west that they went to.

    It's a shame.

    But on another note... GO Knights tonight!! (and the rest of the season!!)

  3. So I just saw the regional rankings. What a freaking joke that GU fell to third. How do they fall behind a team that they beat (IUP) at their place?? That is insane. There is obviously a long way to go, but that hurts a lot in terms of hosting. I wonder if they are being punished for playing Lake Erie and Urbana. The Knights need to win Saturday against IUP, that is going to be a huge game.

  4. I have to wonder now if more credence is given to the score than to whom you beat - Gannon loses by 10 to SRU (now ranked 10th in the Region) yet has beat the #2 team on the road. I really have learned to not give a crap until playoffs are over - that's the only regional ranking that actually matters. Gannon has to go big or go on the road.

  5. I want to know who the heck votes or makes these rankings... what a joke! Virginia Union loses AT HOME to a team that going into the game was 9-13!!! Gannon beat Indiana, so they should be ahead of them, and Gannon lost to SRU who at least has a decent record and is ranked in the rankings. Also, how can you be the highest seeded team nationally from your region, but not be the highest seeded team in your region?!

    This goes back to griping about why Gannon women are not ranked.. seriously who is responsible for these rankings?! They all need to be investigated.

  6. Yes, Jim, you're an old newspaperman. You know Bob, GU '76 and who covered sports for the Gannon Knight 15 years before you did, had that article in development long before your comment. But it does go to show great minds think alike. ;)

  7. Hi Friend,
    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

    Hula Hoops for Exercise