Sunday, February 22, 2009

Going with his gut

One of the biggest differences between Tom Chapman and Bob Dukiet was their substitution patterns. Basically, Chapman had one and Dukiet didn't. It's not that Duke just removed players from the game randomly. He went more with his gut rather than some pre-determined methodology. John Reilly adheres more closely to Dukiet's philosophy than Chapman's, and it paid off yesterday big-time in Gannon's 69-64 comeback win over IUP.

Reilly's only sub for the first 12 minutes of the second half was Mark Demski, who occasionally spelled forwards Kyle Goldcamp and Tyler Stoczynski. Usually, Cory Knight, Dave Wilson, and Alphonso Scandrett would have seen some action during that stretch. But Gannon was chipping away at IUP's 13-point lead, so Reilly interfered with the lineup as little as he needed to.

But when Pierre Howard picked up two quick fouls, Reilly asked Knight to hop off the bench -- and he never left the game despite missing three straight shots and committing a turnover. Many coaches would have seen that and yanked Knight in favor of starter George Johnson. But Reilly went with his gut and it paid off. Knight delivered with a baseline floater at the 1:59 mark and then again with two swished free throws with 19 seconds left, each time giving Gannon a 3-point lead. Maybe more importantly, Knight blanketed IUP's Julian Sanders, a long-range gunner who entered the game with 55 threes and hit two bombs in the first half. Sanders was scoreless in 13 minutes of play in the second half, attempting only 3 field goals.

During a Porreco Cup tournament in the 1990's, I sat next to Slippery Rock coach Bob Bartlett, whose team played earlier that evening. I asked him what other coaches thought of Dukiet. "He'll burn an early timeout or he'll have a lineup out there that you haven't scouted," Bartlett replied. "Your staff is asking you, 'What's he seeing that we aren't?' It drives you crazy because you have no idea what he did or what he's going to do next." I have a feeling IUP coach Joe Lombardi muttered some of those same words to his assistants on a very quiet bus ride back to Indiana yesterday.

Also:
  • As GannonFaithful first reported in the comments section last night, Atlantic Region #1 Va. Union lost at Elizabeth City State, 77-65. That, combined with #2 IUP's loss at Gannon, should vault the #3 Knights to #1 in the region. But nothing's for certain -- I believe the mathematical formula for determining the rankings takes into account if teams you beat earlier in the season are over .500, and that can change frequently.
  • #4 Alderson-Broaddus was shocked last night at home by a very average Glenville State team, 82-79, snapping the Battlers' 16-game home winning streak. That means A-B lost twice this week, including Monday's loss at West Virginia State.

1 comment:

  1. Jim I am VERY glad you wrote this blog and gave Cory Knight the credit he deserved. I loved Times News article about how Pierre Howard shutdown Joe Jones. However, half the situations that ETN mentioned didn't involve Pierre Howard. One that was very obvious was when it said "Jones didn't even get his first basket until 3:52 (I'm not sure of the time that it said, but it was 3 something) when Jones made an off-balance jumper that Howard contended." Howard picked up two-quick fouls and was out of the game (vs Edinboro) was 7+ remaining in the first half. Nowhere in the article did it ever mention Knight. Now this is with no offense to Howard, in the 2nd half when he ACTUALLY guarded Howard he did a great job, but Knight also did a good job when he guarded Cummings on occasion.

    So Jim, thank you for giving Knight his credit when it seems everyone else wants to just focus on the starters. :)

    Also, I'm thinking for regional rankings, Gannon #1 and Kutztown #2? I don't think Kutztown is geting as much credit as they deserve.

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