Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"The most intense 20-point game I've ever seen"

That's what I said to my wife during the second half of Gannon's 79-62 suffocating of Edinboro at the Hammermill Center. Immediately after the game we talked with my brother Rob and the first thing he said to me was, "Man, that was the most intense 20-point game I've ever seen." He added that two other people at the scorer's table (Rob is one of the official statisticians) shared that same sentiment with him. The two teams made their share of miscues (Gannon committed 21 turnovers, Edinboro made only 31% of their field goals) but they certainly were aggressive errors. Composure is the most underrated attribute in college hoops, and the Knights had more than the Scots tonight.

Other post-game thoughts:
  • I was told that Gannon officials turned away some fans from the game, and the box score listed the attendance at 2,800. I guess today's fire code if much stricter than the Chapman days when fans would sit in the aisles and stand four-deep in the corners. I had several open seats around me, so I thought they could have crammed in a few hundred more folks.
  • I felt bad for myself last year when Joe Jones torched Gannon at the Audi. I felt bad for him tonight as he was tortured all night by Pierre Howard and Cory Knight and forced into a 3-for-16 evening. I coached Joe (and Tyler Stoczynski and Knight) for a couple springs when he was a member of the Erie Red Storm AAU basketball team. Back then observers felt he didn't play up to his potential. After watching him the past couple of years, he's absolutely fulfilled his potential. I'm glad to see he matured and took advantage of his abilities.
  • The win was the 300th of John Reilly's head coaching career. The over-under on how many text messages he will initiate saying, "I won my 300th game. Pat me on the back!" is 0.0001. I'll take the under.
  • Going into the night, Gannon was 3rd in the Atlantic Region behind #1 Va. Union and #2 IUP; all 3 clubs began the night 17-3 in the region. Who's #1 after tonight? Your guess is as good as mine. Edinboro was #8, so the win helps Gannon's strength of schedule. IUP nipped now sub-.500 Cal, 60-58, so that hurts their strength of schedule. I would guess (though it's just a guess) that whoever wins Saturday's IUP/Gannon matchup will be #1 in the region.
  • I saw Times sports writer Duane Rankin walk into the arena just a couple minutes before tipoff. He hasn't covered many Gannon games this year, so I thought to myself, "Why is he here?" I got my answer at halftime while purchasing a snack for my daughter. Standing to my right in the concession area was Erie BayHawk Eric Daniels. I can see the headline in tomorrow's paper: "Daniels Devours Hot Dogs, Tootsie Rolls" with a sidebar titled "Extra Mustard Is All-Star's Secret."

13 comments:

  1. I was disappointed with Gannon's sloppiness at the end of the game, but glad we held on (after Boro cut the lead to 12) for a well-deserved win. However, I was not impressed at all with Joe Jones. Now I'll admit I've not seen him play much, but a few weeks ago I was reading an article about him and it made me ask myself "How could Gannon not find a scholarship for him?!" After watching tonight's game, I can see why. 1) He's lazy on defense and 2) he shoots the ball from any where on the court. Both things of which Coach Reilly will not put up with. I came out of the game thinking "Yah this kid averages almost 23 points per game, but it probably takes him 50 shots to get there". However, in his defense, I was looking at Edinboro's season stats and it says he is shooting just over 50% from the floor and around 40% from 3-point range. So, even though I didn't find him impressive, I will credit that to Gannon's defense and not to his "lack of talent". He's obviously a very talented player, but Knight and Howard got the best of him. The one person that did impress me was local Bobby Stauffer. Earning his first start in a HUGE local rivalry game and coming away with 10 pts, 5 assists, and 0 turnovers... very impressive! Kudos to the McLane Grad.

    Another thing that disappoints me is how can we not beat the full court press?! Full court press and inbounding the ball has been a huge problem from Gannon in every season that Reilly has coached. I know full court press is tough to beat, but it seems like 98% of the time we turn the ball over on full court press (or we don't get it inbounds on time).

    Question for Jim... What are the rules on recruiting players who play for another school?! Obviously JUCO and CC players are "free game" because they are only two year players at two-year schools... however, how did Gannon ever get Goldcamp away from Pitt-Johnstown?! What was that coach thinking in allowing ANYONE to talk to him. There's usually only a few reasons why a kid transfers schools in middle of a 4 year school... 1) The kid has academic problems (not KG, 4.0 in pre-med), 2) the kid has bad attitude (definitely not KG, nicest kid I've ever met), 3) the kid wants to play on a "better team" (I don't see this being the situation as UPJ had a good team and Gannon (season before Goldcamp transferred) had one of it's worst seasons in a long time, and 4) they want to be closer to home (obviously not case at UPJ was much closer to home than Erie). I'm thinking maybe he decided Gannon had a better pre-med program than UPJ?! Do you know anything about the situation, Jim? I am so glad we have him, but just wondering how UPJ ever let him go?

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  2. Where we were sitting people had toilet paper, but someone snitched and security came up and took it and actually kicked two people out. Things just aren't the way they used to be.

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  3. Coaches are in no way allowed to recruit a player who is at another school unless that player has announced a transfer. I'm sure that Reilly played by the rules.

    It wasn't a coaching change as the UPJ coach has been there for 20 years. Maybe KG's playing time shrank from his first to his second year and he saw a better future (and pre-med major) at GU.

    It looked like two years ago, UPJ had some athletic upheaval as longtime women's coach Jodi Gault (540 wins in 25 years) and longtime assistant quit over a dispute with athletic department staffing.

    Whatever it is, GU is happy to have KG as a student, athlete, and university representative.

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  4. I totally agree with you about having him and I did not think Reilly broke any rules. I just didn't know what the rules were (I figured it was pretty much like signing a 4-year contract when you started). Reilly has had 1 technical foul in 15+ years of coaching and never been ejected, so I definitely didn't think he cheated in any way.

    I was talking to some friends today (two of which are pre-med majors) and they said the KG always says he misses UPJ and the team and his parents, but that he needed some "me" time. So I'm thinking that may have been his ultimatum.

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  5. What exactly do you mean by him needing some "me" time? Time away from the Pittsburgh area and such?

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  6. I am not sure what exactly is meant by "me" time... as I said this is third-party info so things could be miscommunicated BUT these students are all 4.0 students and I don't see them "making up" things, especially like this. But that's how they said that Kyle said it, "me" time. I'm assuming it means get away from Pittsburgh, go out on his own (maybe it's his first time by himself?!), meet new people, etc. But don't let this be a "rumor" started as I said this is third-party but I found it as a possible answer to my question of "How did UPJ let him get away?"

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  7. Average Joe: I figured thats what you meant by me time, and that makes sense for a college guy to want to do that.
    As a Gannon fan, I'm glad that Kyle decided to "find himself" as a Golden Knight!

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  8. As just a college basketball fan, I'm glad he "found himself" at Gannon :) haha Yah, I took a year off school to kinda "find myself" and ended up returning to Gannon, but in a different major and went from a 2.8 GPA to a 3.45 GPA within three semesters. So you definitely need to "find yourself" and be comfortable with who you are, where you are and what you are... especially at the collegiate level.

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  9. Other than the GU/IUP game on Saturday, the next most important game for the Golden Knights will be held in Elizabeth City, NC. That is where Virginia Union will take on Elizabeth City University at 5 p.m. Apparently the game is on ESPN +, for those who might get that channel.
    Gannon needs VUU to lose (and a GU win of course) in order to leapfrog back into its rightful spot in first place in the Atlantic Region.
    Luckily, Elizabeth City is 20-6 and on a four game winning streak. They are also 8-2 on their home floor. Here's more info on that squad: http://www.theciaa.com/sports/mbkb/2008-09/schedule?team=Elizabeth%20City%20State%20University.
    Saturday will be Virginia Union's last regular season game before its conference tournament starts the following weekend. This means that VUU will end the regular season only having played 24 games while Gannon plays 27. That works in VUU's favor because they have less opportunity for racking up another loss and dropping in the rankings.
    Needless to say, I have a new second-favorite team in college basketball: the Elizabeth City Vikings...

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  10. I always found the name Elizabeth City State kind of humorous with City and State in the same name. If they every picked up a cross-country following, ESPN could call it "Elizabeth City State Nation." Since their following will extend to Erie County on Saturday, we'll say that it's an "Elizabeth City State County."

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  11. now now people, let's not even worry about that game yet. Let's get through IUP and then pray VUU loses. But regardless... they should'nt be #1 to begin with... since when do you lose to a horrible team and move up a spot?! IUP jumped 3 spots with 2 wins that weren't that impressive.. again, rankings are a joke. But something I noticed on the regional rankings site is that it says something like Regional rankings are published starting such and such date and the final regional rankings will be posted March 4. I just went to the site to doublecheck but for some reason it's not finding it. So my question, does this mean that the PSAC tourney, as well as every league tourney, won't affect regional rankings?! If so, then really we just have to win out and we'll host most likely?! Just curious.

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  12. Just finished watching the game versus IUP. And now I am exhausted.
    What an incredible incredible win. I thought there was no shot of a victory. But to buckle down on D like they did and finally get the stops they needed was great. Forget LeBron James. Its LeKyle Goldcamp. Even when IUP knew where the ball was going, they couldnt stop him from getting 16 in the first half.
    And if you notice, who was in the game down the stretch, but Cory Knight. I'm telling you, when he is in the game Gannon will win. When the Knights lost to Findlay last year (repeatedly) Cory was on the bench in the final crucial minutes. In the East Stroudsberg loss, Cory was on the bench. If Im not mistaken, he was on the bench in the Slippery Rock loss.
    GU needs him out on the floor as a smart ballhandler and a terrific defender. Granted, he had a turnover late today, but his presence and intensity on the floor will lead the Knights to a win everytime. You can take that to the bank.

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  13. GANNON WILL BE #1! VIRGINIA UNION LOST TO Elizabeth City State 77-65!

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