Sunday, June 28, 2009

Urbana-mania! Let the countdown begin

I'm always thrilled when the Gannon hoops schedule is released because I can begin my official countdown to the season opener. (As of today, it's only 146 days away!) But apparently not everyone is excited when the schedule is unveiled. Based on some of the comments on this site, you'd think some folks just received a jury summons. For example:
  • why such a weak start? 2 games against urbana? i know the men will be rebuilding this year but powder-puff opponents new help at large buds in the ncaa tourney.
  • i'm getting nauseous with urbana, lake erie, etc. why aren't they playing the teams that think we suck - North Central teams, etc. I guess its all about $$$$$$.
  • I'd rather see teams GU could see later in regionals playing in the non-conf. schedule than LEC/Urbana/Tiffin who have been recent bottom-feeders as new DII teams, even though they are new (or recent) additions to the GLIAC.
  • The non-conference schedule is very weak. I hear many saying that they are going for a "weak" non-conf schedule because it's a "young" and "new" team... but here's a thought... this young and new team needs to be tested early or else it's going to be "HELLLOOO" when it comes to PSAC time. We play Daemen (whoopppiieee!) once and Urbana twice in a one month's span.
You guys make Murderer's Row look like the Sisters of St. Joseph. Here's my take on the Gannon schedule. It's considerably more sedate than the above comments.

Do you remember who Gannon's national finalist team played to open the 1986-87 season? Of course you don't (unless you're Rick "Stats" Klapthor). The Knights hosted Penn State-Behrend and Pitt-Bradford and won those games by a combined 54 points. Gannon has always had cream puffs on its schedule and it always will.

Look at the many intriguing games you'll get to watch (or listen to) this winter: local rivals Edinboro and Mercyhurst twice each; Cal, IUP, Slippery Rock, and Clarion also twice; plus Kutztown, East Stroudsburg (the only team to win at Gannon last year) and potential dates with Ferris State and Bowie State. Don't focus on teams on the schedule that make you wretch: Urbana, Daemen, and Lake Erie, though they're all scholarship schools, at least.

Yes, it can always get worse than those DII/NAIA dregs. Remember non-scholarship opponents Thiel (98-53), Nyack (84-49 and 91-50), Allegheny (105-64), and Wooster (95-53)? And don't forget pitiful Penn State-McKeesport (100-50). They were so embarrassed, they changed their name the next season to Penn State-Greater Allegheny and fared even worse (127-50). And, finally, thank goodness there's no Hilbert (130-43) on this year's schedule ...


  1. Jim, I do agree that it could be MUCH worse than what it is. However, my biggest complaint, is the weakness of the Classic and the Cup. Taylor, IN? Lake Erie?! Why won't Pitt-Johnstown come up any more? Or even maybe some of the PSAC East teams we don't play...? I loved going to the tourneys and sitting on the edge of my seat as Josh Morgan missed the game-tying 3 pointer with miliseconds left. Or when Steve Moyer hit the game-tying 3 from nearly 3/4 court to send the game into OT. Now, I will be honest and admit I don't remember who they played, but I do know that they were "tournament" caliber teams. Now, it's like if Gannon wins or loses a close tourney game, it a disappointment because they should've crushed the opponent (given the other team's stats, etc). But, again like you said... it could be worse!

  2. What frustrates me the most is that GU fans think that Gannon can wave a magic wand and ... Presto! We have home and home games with teams like Findlay, Central Missouri State, Kentucky Wesleyan and Bentley. And since these teams aren't on the schedule, the only logical conclusion is that Gannon simply has chosen not to play them.

    Back in the 70s and 80s many teams were indpendent and played 14-16 conference games. Now many play 20-22. The GLIAC plays 18-19; the PSAC plays 18 and many want it to be increased to 22. It makes it much, much tougher to schedule independent games. Fewer teams have room to come to GU for two indy games anymore.

    The Porecco Cup and GM Classic are weaker because beggars can't be choosers.

    Hoops Fan 4 Ever ... Why won't UPJ come up here anymore? Well ... last year they were members of the WVIAC ... and had 20 league games on their schedule. In case anyone cares, last year UPJ's indy games were PSU-Greater Allegheny, PSU-New Kensington, Cal, Bloom, Clarion, Ship, and UDC. I don't have a map in front of me, but all their opponents (save maybe UDC) were closer to Erie than Gannon is.

    And why should PSAC East teams travel clear across the state when they can play teams closer to them (e.g. Philly U and other CCAC teams)?

    I wish it could be different, but I have chosen to live in the reality of the situation and be pleased with the fact that Gannon as 25-26 Division II games on the schedule.

  3. I understand all that, but my question is what has happened in the last 6-7 years that we've lost all the good independent games? I know the conference games haven't gone up that much in that little of time...

    and just FYI... Coach asked Findlay to play home and home last year and Coach Niekamp said he didn't feel his team was "ready" to face a team like Gannon at that point. And Coach Reilly also asked Findlay again and GVSU this season for a home and home series and both declined stating that "they didn't want to deal with the travel". My rebuttal.. 1) Like Gannon does?! and 2) Findlay?? Seriously??? You're in Ohio, not the Upper Peninsula.

  4. Findlay has scheduled exhibition games this year at Duke and at Utah, so I'm not sure how traveling to Erie would be a problem for them.

  5. my point exactly...

  6. I do want to clarify, as a number of things I said were maybe misconstrued or were misspoken (on my part). Games are games, and it's great that they have as large a home-schedule as they do. I think the PSAC schedule will certainly give GU a run for their money. SRU looks scary, again. IUP will be dangerous. MC and EUP are always a delight - I have fond memories as a child in tote with my father driving the treacherous roads of I-90 and I-79 to see these games.

    My thoughts (or perhaps viewed whining) lie more in what came out of the NCAA meetings recently (see below). As the playoffs become more and more based upon regional play and its competition (and with my sincere doubt that the caliber played against some teams in the Atlantic is the same as in other regions (just as others would say, I'm sure)), it seems as though the NCAA is suggesting (and I would argue clearly) that those whom you play matters, and it's not simply that it's a DII team that serves as the level of assessment.

    "'DII basketball committee looks at "significant wins'
    The NCAA News

    The Division II Men's Basketball Committee at its recent meeting in Indianapolis discussed how to better define "significant wins," which is part of the primary criteria in the selection process.

    Significant wins to the committee are the evaluation of results versus Division II opponents with records at or above .500, and Division II road results, including neutral-site games.

    The committee also wants to differentiate true road results and results in neutral-site games as part of its subjective analysis of teams.

    The committee believes teams that are attaining results away from home should be recognized for their accomplishments."

    This tells me two things.

    1) Yes, it's great that we play away at a team like Urbana or Lake Erie, b/c let's face it - at this point in time, it's a road win you'd like to hope for (and it means no disrespect to these teams, it means they're still in fresh transition to the caliber of DII BBall).
    2) It does matter who you play, where you play, and what those teams' records are. in that sense, yes, it's different when you play LEC 3 times vs. KU.

    I don't think the schedule is remotely atrocious. As you stated, Jim, we could be play PSU-GA or Hilbert. All I'm saying is sometimes, I wish Erie weren't in Erie. I guess that's why I moved away as soon as I graduated HS. :)

  7. ohmadlibs - i agree with you 200%!!! We were fortunate enough last year to win the PSAC outright and get the #1 seed in the Atlantic Region to host the tourney (we got all this because of 1) our record and 2) because we ended up beating a quality team like Kutztown in the final). Let's say this year, however, we don't have a year like last year (or the year before)... will the NCAA committee be as generous to us with possible wins over LEC, Urbana, Taylor (IN), Daemen, etc. If we don't do well in the PSAC, our independent games will not help us out at all.

  8. Coach Reilly confirmed he got a verbal comittment from the guard out of Texas. He didn't specify if he was a Freshman or a JUCO or just a transfer. He did say, however, he's 99% sure he'll sign the official LOI (if he hasn't already). Didn't say much about the kid but did say he could be a starter if he transitions to the college game like Coach Reilly thinks he will.

    Rumor about the kid - 6'4, 6'5 point guard/shooting guard (naturally a point guard, but senior year of high school played shooting guard). Not too sure about this as the source of this rumor has been wrong in the past, but just passing along what I've heard.

  9. Heard a rumor (or as they say in Canada, rumour) that Ty Pace has not been practicing with the team over the past six weeks. Some are saying that he is no longer with the team. Thoughts?

  10. Ty Pace dropped out or was kicked out of school with about 2 months left in the Spring 2009 semester. So that would make me think he's not with the team anymore. Also, Coach had said that there never were any "transfer regulations" that kept him from playing... he just couldn't cut it at the d2 level. Also, we saw him in several scrimmages and practices in preseason last season... he was awful! He has no jump shot (mosley X10), and he has no "force" inside. We saw several times when Ty Batts shut him down under the hoop. He looked identical to Mosley (tried to dunk everytime and missed, was a decent rebounder) only about a billion times worse. Also, I had heard he was carrying a 1.9 GPA.

  11. update on texas recruit - he's a 6'5 or 6'6 forward... not a guard. But still has the ability to possibly be a starter next season if he adapts to the college level quickly. Still not sure if hes freshman, JUCO, transfer, etc.

  12. ty pace update: he is definitely gone. Signed LOI with Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

  13. Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks everyone!

  14. if you havent heard or seen already.. check out gannon men's basketball site for a brief description of the 9 recruits Coach Reilly is bringing in.. with the exception of the 2 walk ons, it looks like it should be a solid class. Young, but solid.

    Also, I spoke with Ty Batts and he said most likely he is not playing basketball his senior year as he is playing football and I know Corey Dotchin had said last season he was probably leaving...

    Plus with 9 incoming people + george johnson, robert bucknet, preston harris, mark demski, malcolm woodbury, and alfonso scandrett that is 15 people right there alone, so unless some of them are redshirting (which im hoping that some of the freshman are NOT because they look to be the best incoming players), I'd say it's a safe bet that Dot and Batts are gone. Also, rumor has it that Harris lost his scholarship and may be leaving as well... but that is pure speculation by a source.