Saturday, March 14, 2009

PSAC Perfect

What a day for the PSAC -- a perfect 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Atlantic Regional tonight. I'm not sure how to handle this emotionally. I've attended several Great Lakes regional tournaments over the years, and kind of got used to Gannon's league (then the GLIAC) getting slapped around and sent home with nary a consolation prize.
  • The most surprising of the PSAC wins was #7 IUP's steady 69-63 victory against #2 Va. Union. Though it said "Union" three times on the Panthers' uniforms (once on the jersey, twice on the shorts), their team was anything but. When head coach Willard Coker yanked Lemoyne Williams just 31 seconds into the game, the two of them debated for longer than that on the sidelines until Coker walked away in disgust. Down the stretch, Coker had scorer Gregg Thondique (injured ankle), leading rebounder Williams, and #2 scorer Braxton Byerson on the bench. In the game instead was little-used Travis Berry (1.6 ppg, 4-for-24 on 3-pointers on the season); Berry jacked up 5 trey attempts in the final 8 minutes of play, missing 4 of them. Meanwhile, Byerson rolled his eyes on the bench as coach Coker shuttled other players onto the floor.
  • The most pleasing game of the evening was Gannon's 76-53 demolition of UPJ. The game was enjoyable not just because Gannon won, but because both teams played incredibly hard and respected playing defense. That was in sharp contrast to Kutztown, who rallied past West Va. State, 99-88, despite the Golden Bears frequent defensive lapses. I'm not talking about missing an assignment on D; I'm talking about some players (including KU's all-region guards) not even crossing midcourt to play defense on a few occasions. If they weren't so freaking talented offensively, their season would have ended long ago. Again, it was good to see Gannon and UPJ give maximum effort on defense. Neither team was afraid of a little floorburn.

Other observations from Saturday:

  • Alderson-Broaddus scored 55 points in the second half of its 92-83 quarterfinal win over Johnson C. Smith. I'm not one for predictions, but I'd bet a dollar or two they don't score that many in the first half against Gannon Sunday night.
  • What a stinker of an evening for the CIAA, who exited the tournament on day one. Their league tourney was broadcast on ESPN Classic this year. Do you think we could petition ESPN execs to show the PSAC tourney instead next season?
  • Former Missouri All-American and LA Laker first-round draft choice Anthony Peeler was on the bench as a Va. Union assistant coach. Surprisingly, there was no biography on him in the VUU media guide. For more info on the smooth-shooting lefthander, click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Peeler. One detail the bio won't mention -- he clearly had the nicest suit of the 5 Panther coaches.
  • I felt confident at halftime of the Gannon game when I saw the stat sheet and the Knights were leading by 7 despite scoreless halves from both Joe Lindsey and Tyler Stoczynski. Stosh finished the evening with 13 points and sparked the run that broke the game open.
  • Very bright note for the Knights: they committed only 9 turnovers against the intense UPJ defense. Joe Lindsey had an off shooting night (1-for-7) but totaled 9 assists and 0 turnovers. If the Knights continue to handle the basketball efficiently, they'll be a tough out.
  • It was great to see several of my former Gannon teammates at the game in support of our former assistant coach. (I'm referring to coach John Reilly. If you didn't know that, why are you on this website?) In attendance were Erie residents Gerald Blanks and Darryl Freeman plus out-of-towners Jim Rocco, Chris Hollan, and Dave Callahan. All of them looked to be in excellent shape ... just like our old coach.
  • This Gannon Hoops blog gained some major street cred today. We were issued an official NCAA media pass for the Atlantic Region tournament. Eat your heart out, Billy Packer!

5 comments:

  1. Great win tonight ... A truly unselfish performance ... That may be the fastest NCAA game by time in history. UPJ sat back in a zone and was content for GU to rain in threes.

    For those who weren't there, A-B looked very good at times, very bad at others. They turned over the ball a lot. They have three fantastic players (Liggine, Hall, and Eargle, who apparently was on the GU roster briefly). It should be interesting.

    The UPJ game went so fast that people got to watch or listen to the end of the women's game. GU's overtime win is their first trip to the sweet 16. They earn a date against powerful California. The game is on the B-2 network on Monday night at 7:00. You can find it on www.ncaa.com.

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  2. GREAT GAME(S) GANNON KNIGHTS!!! We watched the entire men's game and this lady behind was watching the game and listening to the women's game at the same time so we had "live" updates throughout the men's game, then after the game we stuck around to listen to her updates. (Although towards the end, we just waited for the Gannon announcer to make a comment because she told us Gannon was up by 6 with 2.4 seconds left and we were shooting FT's, and then goes Oh **** we're going to OT.... no one was sure what we missed there haha)

    Tonight's games should be good matchups, but if A-B is as sloppy as they were for some of the game last night, Gannon should be poised to advance to the Championship. Unfortunately, last night's game was the only game I can attend because I work tonight and (if Gannon wins *fingers crossed*) I have class Tuesday night. But BEST OF LUCK GANNON UNIVERSITY GOLDEN KNIGHTS!! Keep it going!!

    (How awesome would it be if both teams broke the school record for wins in a season?! Men can do it tonight, Girls can do it tomorrow night. And if the girls do it tomorrow night, they're in the Elite 8)

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  3. one game at a time. We face an intense AB game who knows what they're playing for, and clearly pulled a 20 point swing in a game with 8 minutes to go. Eargle, from what I hear, is a player. Maybe he'll transfer back to GU next year?! :)

    Seriously, Jim, do you know if they'll show games on B2 at all? or Penn Atlantic even? Or was it simply not financially profitable?

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  4. Jim - if there's one thing GU fans can be thankful for its your blog - thank goodness you don't take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously.

    have you seen your counterpart in UF nation's blog?? http://thecourier.typepad.com/orange_black_attack/

    He's not made ANY friends on the GLVC front. Really - I don't know how many friends in general. He does have some cool stuff on there, though - including interviews with players Bostic, Lewis and Roberts.

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  5. No games will be shown on B2 during the Atlantic Regional(maybe in Springfield games will be shown?! regardless if Gannon makes it there, I'm saying maybe Springfield will be televised). B2 had originally advertised the Atlantic Regional as a package. It was $42.50, but Thursday night I got an e-mail saying that the B2 coverage of the Atlantic Regional had been cancelled and my credit card would be credited with the amount. Friday morning the $42.50 was back in my account. Didn't give a reason why, just said it was cancelled and everyone would receive their money back. My guess is that Gannon didn't want to pay to televise all of the games (because every other regional tourney that's on there EVERY game is televised, regardless of if the host is playing or not).

    California, PA has their own "TV Network" that they show almost all of CUP's athletic games on. (I was talking to a guy at the game yesterday that's from that area and he was telling me about it). Apparently, the "tv network" they have is part of the B2 network, which is why Cal women are airing all of the games for free on B2.

    You all better be loud to tonight because I'll be listening from work. My father said you could barely hear the announcers most of the game because of the crowd, so I'm hoping it'll be that way tonight :)

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