... a loss by the margin 20! Boy, did the holiday season come crashing down suddenly. That felt worse than watching my Christmas tree topple onto a stack of fragile presents.
We can dissect the 64-44 loss to Seton Hill a lot of ways, but here's what jumped out to me:
* As goes George Johnson, so go the Knights. Playing with a bandage on his left hand, Johnson was just 2-for-15 from the field (including 1-of-10 on three pointers). His scoring was the main reason the Knights entered the game on a two-game streak. When he scores only 5 points, expect Gannon's point total to be in the 50s or 40s like tonight.
* Players in John Reilly's system aren't plug-and-play. The foundation of both his motion offense and team defense is 5 players operating as one unit. When you saw Mark Demski directing James Bryant where to cut after just the first pass of the offensive set, you knew Bryant wasn't going to run the show effectively yet. He's quick, but it doesn't help the team to move quickly in the wrong direction. Tom Chapman's system was easier for new players to adapt to -- basic man defense with a lot of quick-hitters in a patterned offense.
* Also, there's a big difference between being in shape and in game shape. Bryant, Anthony Simmons, and Larry Swann won't have their game legs until after this upcoming weekend's PSAC crossover games at the soonest.
* Remember -- it's still the Christmas season, so don't be so depressed. The Gannon fans I chatted with after the game were overreacting a bit. The Knights played a terrible second half, tallying only 17 points on 30% shooting from the field while committing 17 turnovers. Reilly admitted after the game that the right guys aren't on the floor for the reasons I mentioned above. This team is a work in progress, so there will be plenty of bumps in the road.
* I have confidence that the consolation game vs. Taylor will go Gannon's way. It's the 5th day of Christmas, and the gift is something Golden, right?