If you're an optimistic Gannon fan, that headline is good news. If you're a pessimist, you're wondering when the next Otters game is. Whatever your mindset, it would be wise for us Gannon fans to listen to the advice of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. Here's what he said recently to new Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner, whose program is in a similar spot as John Reilly's: "[Coach Wooden] told me the best advice he had was to be patient. The peaks and valleys will happen, but keep patient, keep an even keel, don't get too high on the highs and too low on the lows."
That being said, last night's game was a significant valley, one Gannon fans will never forget. Heck, GU fans are still smarting from the night in 1995 when when Geneva College, led by McDowell product Lucas Marsh and soon-to-be-Knights Jerry Slocum and Troy Nesmith trashed Gannon, 88-68. That was only a 20-point home loss, and Geneva was a respectable program! Last night was a 50% larger deficit and Urbana is a crummy 11-44 over the last two seasons.
Things can, and will, only get better from here. Gannon shot a measly 28% from the field last night while Urbana was twice as accurate, hitting 56% of their shots. The question we're left to wonder is how much better is it going to get? If that's the lineup Gannon's going to use for the remainder of the season, it's not going to get much better. Here's hoping that James Bryant (who supposedly becomes eligible after the current semester) and Danard Crouch (who missed last night's game) provide offensive spark to the backcourt.
That will allow the big men to operate inside effectively. Last year, Goldcamp & Company could feel the double-team and kick out to Lindsey, Howard, Knight, Stoczynski or Johnson to knock down a three. I know DI transfer Isaac Reid was only 2-for-11 from the field last night, but he was frequently working against 2 or 3 defenders. Who was he going to pass out to? The only consistent three-point threat who played last night was Johnson, who was guarded closely all evening.
Important note for all Gannon Hoops commenters: We had it easy last year with the Knights going 30-4. This year is obviously going to be a bigger struggle. Let's not harshly call out names when pointing to Gannon's flaws. A Gannon Hoops commenter last night described one of the freshmen as "horrible." That's uncalled for. Remember two things before you click "Post Comment": They're still just kids, and they're all better basketball players than us.