On paper, Gannon's 2009 recruiting class looks strong. (For details, go to http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2009/7/16/MBB_0716091906.aspx.) The most encouraging detail I saw came in the Erie Times article that this year's senior class worked out these recruits and gave them their stamp of approval.
Players can B.S. coaches -- look good on game film, say all the right things, and have a good workout -- but you can't fool other players during the entire course of a recruiting trip. When Gannon volleyball was in its heyday in the 90's, coach Gerry Burbules basically let her players close the deal with recruits. She had an excellent group of upperclassmen who worked hard and excelled in every aspect of their life, especially academically and athletically. Guess what kind of girls liked hanging out with them? Other high achieving hard workers. If these hoops recruits could hang with Pierre Howard, Cory Knight, Kyle Goldcamp, etc., you'd think they must be pretty decent players ... and not punks.
My personal highlight of the recruiting class is seeing that Steve Piotrowicz is transferring from Behrend. I've known Steve's dad Larry for many years because he's been a huge Knight hoops fan and member of the GU booster club. I've seen Steve grow from a rugrat to a point guard at OLC, the Erie Red Storm AAU team, and then at Prep. Piotrowicz probably won't be an impact player, but you can't help but root for a local kid who says Steve Moyer was his childhood hero.
The lowlight was seeing that Robert Buckner won't be playing anymore because of his knee injuries. He was the brightest spot in Reilly's early Gannon recruiting classes, showing a quick first step and smooth stroke from long distance. I was hoping the former Gary Miller Classic MVP would regain his form and earn a starting spot this year, but that won't be the case.
The rest of the news surrounding this recruiting class seems promising, but you can't say much beyond seems. At this point, every recruit is unproven on the Division II level. "Hey -- what about Isaac Reid?", you might say. "He averaged 6 points and 6 boards a game as a regular starter at Division I Loyola, Maryland. He should be a superstar dropping down a level, right?"
My response: "Maybe. Do you remember the last Loyola starter to transfer to Gannon? Bobby Bossman." Bossman was labeled as an outstanding shooter and likely all-conference player; neither was the case. Time will tell if these recruits will live up to their press clippings.