Thursday, March 5, 2009

Made to order

As a Gannon fan, if I could have conceived the perfect scenario at this point in the season, I couldn't do much better than the spot the Knights in now -- especially compared to when they participated in the GLIAC/Great Lakes Region:

  • The opportunity to play local rivals Edinboro and Mercyhurst 5 times and beat them every game, including in a home playoff game in front of an enthusiastic near-capacity crowd.
  • A chance to play an old rival (Cheyney State) in the conference semifinals at home.
  • An opportunity to see a few away games -- and still sleep in my own bed that evening.
  • One of the best win-loss records in school history. To say your team is 25-3 is kind of stunning. The max number of games Gannon will lose this year is 5. My favorite baseball team, the Pirates, will lose that many games in one homestand.
  • And Gannon has achieved that glossy mark with no knuckleheads on the roster. Can you recall a moment when you were embarrassed by the team's performance? A lack of hustle? A showboating player? An emotional outburst at an official? John Reilly has made sure that this team wins with class.
  • A #1 ranking in the region with just two games left to play.
  • PSAC West champs against a host of teams (IUP, Slippery Rock, Edinboro) that were anything but pushovers.
  • A realistic chance to host the NCAA tournament at the Hammermill Center. It feels like the "good old days" again. Though it makes me feel not so good that the late 1980's and early 90's, when I attended high school and college, can now be classified as "old."

For years many GU fans have said to me things like "I miss our old rivals", "I miss home playoff games", and "I miss seeing them play on the road." Now it's time to say to coach Reilly and whoever orchestrated Gannon's move to the PSAC this year a giant THANK YOU.

* Did you see the new regional rankings? 1-Gannon, 2-Kutztown, 3-Va. Union, 4-Johnson C. Smith, 5-West Va. State. With the CIAA tourney over, I don't see anybody leapfrogging Union for the chance to host the regionals. Basically, this is Gannon's or Kutztown's to win. I figure if both teams win Friday, Saturday's game isn't just for the PSAC crown, it's for the right to host the regionals. If neither GU or KU win the PSAC, then I think it's a total crapshoot among GU, KU, and VUU who hosts. Because I've been so bad at predicting the regional rankings this year, the only prediction I will make is that Mercyhurst will not host the regionals this year.

* Interesting stat from Tuesday's Edinboro/Gannon game. It was unofficially square root day -- 3/3/09. In other words, the month muliplied by the day = the year (3x3=9). On that day late in the game, the Knights led the Scots 81-64. In other words Gannon had 9 squared while Edinboro had 8 squared. Thanks to my brother Rob for catching that one.

* Sorry it took me so long to post after the game. Everyone in my family is sick, and my role as a husband and father (plus as a Jameson Publishing employee) supersedes my role as a blogger.

11 comments:

  1. Don't know if you saw that Marcus Fowler, a 6' 11" center, of Newton Falls High School in Newton Falls, OH signed a letter of intent with Gannon. One slight problem. He's going to play center on the football team and not for Coach Reilly. He's got athletic ability (second team all-state in football) and a ton of smarts (National Honor Society, mechanical engineering major).

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  2. Jim: I love the facts from the game, and this may be one of the funniest blogs I've read in a while (not just yours, but blogs in general!)

    Good points though on everything. And it is nice to think that we could host the NCAA's, that would be awesome!

    I've already got my Semifinal/Final tickets and even if Gannon were to lose in the Semis (which I'm really praying they don't), I'm ready to watch the PSAC crown it's last team standing. MAROON AND GOLD, AND HERE WE GO!

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  3. I think that a GU-SRU final assures Gannon of hosting the regional. Only Kutztown can take it away from them.

    Also, a GU-SRU final also creates the possiblity of a 1-8 matchup in the NCAA tournament between Gannon and Slippery Rock. Division I doesn't allow regular season rematches in the first round of the tourney, but in Division II, they don't care if you have a "do-over" game. That is, the teams will play back-to-back games. I don't like those situations.

    Nice to see a few comments again. Is anyone having trouble posting comments? In the past week or two, I have to try twice in order for the post to successfully occur. I don't get the code-word to enter until a second attempt. It's kind of frustrating. Is anyone else having such a problem?

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  4. I think the best way that SRU has a chance of playing GU 2x is if they lose to GU in a final. My guess is they'd get higher than an 8th seed if not. What I'm curious about is how many teams the PSAC will end up with at the regional? Right now, SRU is hanging on for dear life - they just killed the 7th seed 2x, only once affecting the rankings. So if the WVIAC has something crazy happen, and SRU loses on Friday, things could get only more interesting.

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  5. A few things

    1) It is nice to see more comments. I wasn't sure if everyone was out celebrating Gannon's home playoff win vs. Boro and forgot about the blog or if no one was commenting because Jim hadn't blogged in a while.

    2) Yes, I've experienced problems with this blog, as well as my own blog, and some others. It constantly comes up and says "you're comment was not posted, please try again later". It's annoying.

    3) Has anyone checked out the stats/roster on Cheyney? They may not have a spectacular record or highly impressive win-loss schedule, but they have some players. 6'4 guard is their second leading scorer, 2nd in assists (but asst-to ratio isnt great), leads the team with 40 or 50 some blocks. I'm not saying that I think Gannon doesn't have a chance, but I think they definitely have their hands full. Their roster reminds me of SRU's team. No real tall guys, but all their guards are taller than our guards by quite a few inches and they all are "big bodied"

    3) I would love to see a SRU/GU matchup in the final so we can hopefully get revenge for the ridiculous display they called a game at SRU a few weeks ago. I would not, however, want to see them play SRU again immediately in the NCAA's as I think that would give more fuel to SRU to want to win. But I'm hopeful that whoever we play, it'll be a good game and, when we're on, we can beat just about anyone.

    4) Did anyone read Duane Rankin's article about Goldcamp and Joe Jones being considerations for D-League?! I've always enjoyed John Dudley and Duane Rankin's articles (I may not always agree with them.. actually most of the time I don't agree with them), but I like them because they tell it how it is and they have that sarcastic sense of humor that I like. (example, my favorite was last year when it was close to the oscars or some award show, they "handed out awards" to different athletes, teams, situations in sports, according to themes from the oscars or whatever show... it was hilarious).

    5) But this article was absolute non-sense. Yes, Goldcamp is a threat inside and it's tough to stop a left-hander. Yes, there are times he doesn't finish as hard as he should and, yes, he's weaker with his right hand. When has he EVER lose his composure? He may get excited and chest bump someone or pound his chest and yell, but I've never seen him last out at a teammate, a referee, or anyone else. How many T's has he received at Gannon? I believe nada. I'd say that means his composure is pretty well intact. Also it said he needs to work on his jumpshot. KG has one of the best jumpshots of a big man at Gannon that I've seen since Josh Morgan. He can shoot the deeper shot and quite consistently, but I really don't think that's what Reilly want him doing. Doesn't fit their style, game play.

    6) As for Jones. The only thing Rankin got correct was that JJ is not a good ball handler and does dribble too much to try to create shots for himself. "This guy can shoot from anywhere on the court." Yah, I can shoot from anywhere on the court as well, I'm not going to make them all though. Neither does he. In the first GU/Boro matchup at the 'Mill, he was shooting 25+-footers and not even getting close. When you put a good defender on him, it appears he has no idea what he should do. How would he make it in D-League?

    7) Also, he mentioned Johnson as potential in the future for D-league. I could definitely see this as he is shaping up to possibly be a superstar at Gannon. What about Pierre Howard though? He can drive, he can dribble, he does layups, reverses, has a great cross over and head fake (as Rankin was so giddy about with Johnson), can shoot the short jumper, long jumper, 3 pointer (not as well, but still can shoot it decently) and he uses the bank board like no one I've seen in a long time. I would think Pierre and KG would be the most potential D-League players. However, I don't see either of them playing in Erie, as I don't see Erie lasting much longer. They're two largest crowds were on nights that they gave away thousands of tickets.

    Anyways, just wanted to get that off my chest and it was disappointing to read the article from Rankin.

    Jim, you're right, all he cares about is the BayHawks. What's he going to do if they do crumble? Move with them? At this point, I wouldn't mind that

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  6. Jim: Sunday night on CBS College Sports All-Access the division ll selection show is on at 9:00 pm for those that want to watch it.

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  7. You can also view it online. Gannon usually posts a link for it (just incase you dont get CBS college Sports All-Access). What channel is that (number-wise, do you have Time Warner?)

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  8. Or is that an online site? haha after I posted that I realized that you may be referencing an online viewing. Let me know as I want to watch it!

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  9. Today is almost 23 years ago to the day of Cheyney's 65-62 win over GU in the East Regional Final. That was one of the most fiercely contested games I've ever seen, both on the court and among the fans. I can still hear Cheyney's fans (who were right in front of us), who brought a celebration cake to the game, chant "I say you sure are quiet ... Oh Boy ... You must be losing!" after the game was decided in the final few seconds. That was a truly wild and unforgettable night.

    Hopefully Coach Reilly will have more sense to call a time out if Cheyney starts cutting into an 11-point lead in the second half.

    One more point ... Goldcamp and Jones are good players, but neither of them have NBADL (or NBA) potential. The NBADL isn't interested in local guys who can sell tickets; they are interested if you have a shot to play in the NBA. Both could play somewhere in Europe, however.

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  10. A potential situation looming in the WVIAC ...

    #1 seed WV State lost to Wheeling Jesuit last night.

    The semi-finals feature #2 A-B vs. #3 West Liberty and #4 UPJ vs #9 Wheeling Jesuit.

    Bubble teams in the Atlantic Region won't sleep well knowing that the final will feature one team that could screw everything up.

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  11. Rumor has it that regardless of who wins tomorrow night, NCAA Regionals will be held at Hammermill Center because Kutztown's gym is "not suitable for playing". As this is just a rumor, I am still rooting for Gannon to win. As I am an avid Gannon fan, I am rooting for Gannon to win. And I want them to win it so there's no "Well it should've been at Kutztown" excuses...

    Great game and Let's go Knights vs. Kutztown!

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