Monday, March 9, 2009

Rock shock, ticket talk

"God got them back." That's what Bob Dukiet told our team in 1990 after Slippery Rock, all season long one of the top teams in Division II, was upset in overtime by East Stroudsburg in the first round of the NCAA East Regional, played at the Audi. The Rock program has to be equally surprised this year as their club, one of the hottest teams in the region down the stretch, was not selected for this year's D-II Big Dance. On paper, they should have made it. But maybe because of their (and their football team's) boorish behavior during their win over Gannon last month ... "God got them back."

The details behind Dukiet's statement reveal one of my favorite Gannon basketball stories. Dukiet always showed great respect for our opponents. Even when we played a patsy (like Daemen), he treated the scouting report like we were facing Division I (DePaul Blue) Demons. He was also very respectful of the other team's shootarounds and practice times. If we arrived early for our floor time and our opponent was in the gym, we were instructed to wait outside quietly and not even look inside. Dukiet preached discipline.

Apparently Slippery Rock coach Bob Bartlett did not share Dukiet's sense of decorum. We were on the Audi practice floor the night before the opening day of the 1990 regional tourney and with about 20 minutes left in practice -- in middle of running our press breaker -- we heard a ruckus in the Audi lobby. Moments later some members of the Slippery Rock team emerged from the shadows of the tunnel, talking as if they were entering their cafeteria. I vividly recall as one player, "Big Bill" Johnson, plopped his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame (and 19-inch biceps) into a plush seat and stretched his legs into the row in front of him. Make yourself at home, big fella.

As you might imagine, Dukiet was irate. He immediately stopped our press breaker, sent us all to the foul line, and then paced at midcourt as he seethed. The SRU players continued to yak it up when Duke summoned us to the middle of the floor. In the huddle he gave us specific instructions: when he blew his whistle, we were to sprint as fast as we could to get the basketballs that were on the floor, then sprint to the ball rack, and then to our lockerroom hallway in absolute silence. He wanted to show SRU that we weren't just disciplined; we were psycho disciplined.

TWEEEEEEEEEEET! We did exactly as Duke said, carrying out our instructions as seriously as an Army Special Forces unit. Outside our lockerroom, we held our breath and listened for Slippery Rock's reaction. Complete silence. The next night, our team loudly celebrated a comeback win over C.W. Post while Slippery Rock mourned its stunning season-ending loss to Stroudsburg -- in complete silence. God works in mysterious ways.

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Ticket talk -- You already know NCAA Regional tickets will be available Wednesday starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Hammermill Center. You also already know you need to bring cash to purchase them. But here's a special scoop for Gannon Hoops readers: bring your appetite, too. Want details? Show up at the Hammermill around 8:00 Wednesday.

11 comments:

  1. Bring your appetite? Will Tom Chapman will be dishing out donuts?

    Speaking of tickets Dan Teliski deserves either a raise or canonization as a saint for the number of phone calls from sometimes irate season ticket holders regarding the reserved seat policy.

    It's okay to be frustrated about the plush seat situation, but people need to understand, it was either do it the NCAA's way or have the regional in Richmond, VA. Dan's gotta be the hardest working SID in the business.

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  2. As much as I feel the 'Rock got screwed, I also feel they deserved for their poor show of sportsmanship when Gannon traveled to SRU (as Jim said).

    Also, I agree with Golden89 that Dan is one hell of a SID. I know I've sent him several e-mails (not complaints or anything) asking questions about tickets regarding students, advancement, etc. and he's been very cooperative and responded in a timely manner. I even came right out and told him in one of the e-mails that I thought he did a terrific job with communication and his e-mails regarding what's going on are always sent out in advance and explain what's going on in specific detail. Kudos to Dan!

    On a side note (not dealing with Gannon, but with basketball). I was watching the St. Mary's/Gonzaga conference championship game. Gonzaga was awarded a free throw before the game even began because a player from St. Mary's dunked the ball in warmups/practice. Is this only a DI rule, or all of basketball? Reason I ask is because I've noticed Gannon doesn't dunk in warmups (they may come close, but no actual dunks), But I've seen opposing teams at the 'Mill dunk in warmups and no technicals were assessed. I'm assuming this may just be a DI thing, but want confirmation if anyone knows. Thanks.

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  3. The pregame dunking rule is on all levels of basketball, grade school to pros, men and women, though officials of parochial league girls' games don't have to worry about it too much.

    Once the officials' jurisdiction begins (20 to 30 minutes prior to the game), players can't dunk in warmups.

    The only time that I saw is waived was one time before the McDonald's Classic.

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  4. The one player from Cheyney dunked in warmups (with referees on sideline). And I mean he slammed it. That's what made me even ask.

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  5. Was down at 7:00 am to get my tickets this morning. Like days of old big crowd everyone in great spirits and very well organized by Don, Kathie and Dan a thank you to all. For season ticket holders info the NCAA wanted 100 tickets behind the benches originally and Don worked it down to 40 so we should not be complaining.

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  6. From what I hear, Gary Miller didnt get the ticket for his usual courtside seat and will be boycotting the NCAA tournament. What a big baby.

    Just to be in the Hammermill Center for the games this weekend will be a treat, whether you are sitting courtside or touching the rafters.

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  7. I think that's funny that Gary Miller didn't get his regular seats... I know a bunch of season tix holders, and they've all got their original seats haha too funny.... cry baby!

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  8. I don't want to tell anyone what to do, but I think we should avoid calling a longtime Gannon fan and one of the program's biggest sponsors derogatory names. I've had tons of interactions with Gary over the years and they've all been very pleasant. He's even traveled to Gannon games far and wide over the years (including at Slippery Rock and Lake Erie this year), so he's a diehard fan. Let's not tear him down.

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  9. I know Gary as well, as I play soccer with his son (Jr). And he is a very nice person! I just think it's funny that he didn't get his seats as he is a big time sponsor (and Erie name) and other "nobody" regular tix holders got their seats (don't mean these people are nobodys, just that they're not huge names or sponsors). My only thing is if he is actually boycotting the tournament, he's a crybaby. That's trying to use your power to get your way... politics. And I can't stand that, from anyone. However, it is a part of life....

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  10. you're not telling anyone what to do - you're speaking wisely, jim. what I see above is a lot of assuming about a story you're hearing at least 3rd hand. unless it's from the horse's mouth, it's probably not wise to assume anything about anyone, their motivations, etc.

    heard from family and friends it was a great atmosphere - wish I could see it on b2tv. sort of. it's pretty bad pixelation and i feel bad - whoever is running the camera is either a) highly distractable or b) highly focused on the game. Too many times on fast breaks, I'm staring at an empty half court. :)

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  11. I just want to say that I think this is 2 years in a row that John Reilly has been jipped of Coach of the Year award. Last year GVSU got it, and I couldn't understand it because they did exactly what they were EXPECTED to do. Gannon was predicted to finish dead last, and ended up winning the Regular Season GLIAC. To me, being predicted last and finishing first is definitely credibility for COTY recognition. However, it went to GVSU after they won the GLIAC tourney (which they were expected to do). This year it goes to Slippery Rock, which I feel is deserved as well. Yes, Gannon did what they were EXPECTED to do, however, they did it 11 games without potential All-American Kyle Goldcamp, initially without previously 2-year starter Tyler Stoczynski (coming off the bench due to injury) and with a limited bench (I say limited because even though they played a lot of people in some games, only a few were big contributors in their success. However, I will acknowledge that everyone played their part whether it was big or small!!)

    I just feel that one of these two years Reilly should've received Coach of the Year. If Gannon has a season next year, like they did either of these past 2 years, and he doesn't get COTY, then something is definitely wrong with the voting process.

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