Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the 4th day of Christmas, Gannon gave to me ...

... 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?


  1. Seems like Gannon was playing with a larger than regulation basketball. Too too many easy shots missed, too many passes missed... but what do I know at 17 I was too short to play with the East side boys club 8 & 9 yr olds.

  2. Honestly, looking at Seton Hill's record, opponents, and stats... a 20 point loss is nowhere near as bad as the losses to Urbana and Lake Erie. Urbana is a solid team, yes. But don't have any big time wins to make you say "Wow, yeah, they're a contender". Lake Erie... just nothing...

    But Seton Hill played both Slippery Rock and IUP losing by close margins each game...

    The first half was "good", just that second half was sloppy and hard to swallow. Mixture of problems. Taylor should at least be a game to get players going, but who knows... Only time will tell.

    And just think... We could be playing against Kutztown and East Stroudsburg (both undefeated I believe...) on a 2-game losing streak to who? Seton Hill and Taylor... ouch!

    *praying* LET'S GO KNIGHTS!!

  3. Not pretty, but a solid win over Taylor. Furno was very impressive, not gonna change my mind about him totally after only one game, but definitely have a different outlook for his future potential.

    Bryant is definitely our point guard! I'm hoping Coach Reilly redshirts Bouldes though because he looked a little discontent on the bench sitting the whole game. Would hate to see him leave...

    In Swanns brief time he looked pretty solid. Not making any big predictions for this weekend, but I know well have a lot to talk about
    come Monday :)

    happy new year all!

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