Thursday, February 26, 2009

A tradition unlike any other

Gannon basketball is all about tradition, and I have one of mine I'd like to share with you. After every Gannon/Mercyhurst game for the past few years (including tonight's 73-44 pistol-whipping of the Lakers), I pull out a quote and re-read it. The quote is from Mercyhurst coach Gary Manchel after an 18-point loss to the Knights on Jan. 24, 2005.

Despite the humbling defeat, Manchel stated confidently: "The bottom line right now is, as of today, Gannon is a better basketball team than Mercyhurst and that's going to change as long as I'm here. In the near future, that will change. But right now, it's not."

Ironic, isn't it?


  1. I honestly don't see Mercyhurst ever being a "great" team under Coach Manchel. He's too cocky and too proud. Did anyone else notice that when Mercyhurst was "in the game" (within 10-15 pts), Manchel was up and down the sideline arguing just about every call and instructing his players what to do and calling out plays. Then, in the 2nd half, when Gannon just absolutely terminated them; he did nothing. He sat on the bench, didn't yell at any refs, didn't call out plays, and most importantly didn't "instruct" his players what to do. Even a few years ago when Gannon was horrible, Reilly would still "coach" the team even if they were down by 40+ points. He would try to make them better for the future games. It's almost as if Manchel has just said "well, this season is over, so I'm done" (which I don't blame him, because it's the truth) but being that I am a coach, I know you never stop coaching, no matter what. Whether you're 25-0 and up by 50 points in a game or 0-25 and down by 50 points in a game, there is always an opportunity to coach players. Starters, subs, and scrubs can always learn something in any situation. Shame on you, Manchel. You might as well just forfeit your last game, what difference would it make in your mind?!

  2. MC's performance last night was one of the most embarassing I've ever seen in a game between two local schools. They completely gave up once they got down by 10-12 points in the first half. The first four minutes of the second half were abominable.

    I'm not taking anything away from Gannon; they put forth their usually solid, businesslike effort, but MC just embarassed themselves last night.

    MC certainly had less talented teams in the past (the Dr. Barry Copeland days), but at least they gave an effort.

    It makes you appreciate how lucky we are as GU fans to have coaches like Reilly and Slocum. No matter the level of talent, injuries, score, or the situation, their teams always put forth a full effort.

  3. The post-season is officially here! Hooray!

  4. Johnson C. Smith beats VUU 70-63 to win the CIAA tournament.

    Now they all sit around for two weeks until their next game on March 14, hopefully at the Hammermill Center.

  5. We're getting ahead of ourselves, but I was asked, "If Gannon makes Springfield, how long before they have to face Findlay?"

    The answer ... not until the final game. The matchups:

    Atlantic vs. South Central (top teams: SW Baptist, Central Missouri, Central Oklahoma)

    winner plays the winner of West (BYU-Hawaii) vs. Central (SW Minnesota)

    The other side of the bracket is Southeast (Augusta State) vs. South (Clafin, wherever that is) and East (CW Post) and Midwest (Findlay).

    If form holds in the East-Midewest regions, two undefeated teams could play in the first round of the Elite Eight.

    But a long, long, long way to go. I'm just answering a question that I was asked.

  6. Question.... Gannon has top spot in PSAC. IF they were to lose to Edinboro 1st round, do they still host the "final four" of the PSAC at the Audi? Or would the next best West team host it (most likely IUP)? Just wondering... I figured if Gannon were to lose, it would go to the next team, but I don't know for sure

  7. If Gannon lost Tuesday, the PSAC would not be hosted at the Hammermill. The highest remaining West seed -- either #2 Slippery Rock or #3 IUP, whoever wins that game Tuesday -- would host.

  8. Thanks Jim. That's what I figured, but didn't want to go assuming again :)