Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winning ugly, sitting pretty

Some of the stats from Gannon's 51-48 win at Lock Haven ain't a thing of beauty: shooting just 35% from the field including 3-of-14 on three-pointers; leading scorer George Johnson making 3 field goals but missing 11; forwards Alphonso Scandrett and Tanner Furno combining for 54 minutes but only 8 points; and starters Anthony Simmons and Mook Bouldes registering a combined 1 point in 15 total minutes of playing time. But look at the PSAC standings, and Gannon (4-2) has the same in-conference record as Kutztown, currently ranked #7 in the country. A win next week at Mercyhurst would put Gannon solidly in third place in the PSAC West and withing striking distance of second.

How in the blazes did that happen? Defense. The Knights allowed only 16 field goals to the Bald Eagles and forced them into a 6-of-25 shooting chart on threes. GU also outrebounded LHU 42-32, Johnson (8), Furno (7) and Travis Brannen (7) carrying the load there. Gannon's excellence these last few weeks on defense and their penchant for winning close, frenetic games could be their tribute to the 1989-90 team that advanced to the Elite 8. That team was comfortable playing games in the 50s and won 13 games in tight, come-from-behind fashion. Maybe the wildest of those wins was at Mercyhurst as GU overcame a 13-point deficit -- and an ill-advised Andy Adams three-point attempt -- in the final minutes to win, 69-64. Let's hope that's a harbinger of things to come Wednesday.

Side note: While I appreciated the video internet broadcast of the GU/LHU game, it was an embarrassment to the athletic and communications departments as the school. The facility reminds me of a classic line from the The Simpsons, which I hope they don't mind me paraphrasing: "Describe the Lock Haven gymnasium in one word." "Um, is 'craphole' one word or two?" Worse were the broadcasters who were comfortable with dead silence or regularly stringing together a series of words and grunts full of sound and fury signifying nothing. (I'm paraphrasing Shakespeare there; had to earn back some credibility.) I've done a lot of games on the radio and had my share of gaffes. But there's no excuse for lack of preparation.


  1. Go lady Knights. Sloppy 1st half. Used their "5 hour energy" in the last 20 min.
    Nice 101-97 win for the GU men alims over MC,

  2. I need heart medication. Steve is playing great bb - NO TURNOVERS in 32 minutes, 7 points, and some bounds. If Geo didn't make the FT and would give Steve the game ball. Defense won this game. The refs get a F-.

  3. A win is a win....even if it is a 3 point win against (5-12) Lock Haven. 4-2 PSAC!

  4. Way to hold on and win that one!

    Four wins so far is amazing considering what we had seen back in November. A few weeks ago I broke the PSAC West into two tiers, saying that the Knights needed to find a way to get 2 upper tier wins and 5 lower tier wins for 7 wins. They already have the two wins against the Upper Tier teams (Slippery Rock and Cal). (I know that Cal is down this year but still a good win).
    Two wins so far in the lower tier (EU and LH).
    Looks like they might even get to 8, possibly 9 wins if they keep playing like they have lately.

  5. A gutty win by the Knights. Have to give credit to Johnson for leading the way. Thought Piotrowicz was solid throughout. As a whole, though there are still way too many players making way too many stupid unforced errors, many on real bad passes. I realize that LH had smaller players that were bad matchups for Simmons, but it would be nice to get a few more minutes out of him somehow. Furno had his moments, but took too much license on offense and committed some awful TO's. Swann/Furno were OK, Denard on D, Larry mostly on O, but they, too, made some really bad mistakes.

    As for the refs, well, let's just say that just once, ONCE, I'd like to come to the end of the second half of a game at the Audi and see the opponent with 12 team fouls and GU with 4 or 5, then see a couple "mystery" traveling calls made against the opponent. It seems to be automatic when GU's on the road. I agree on the "F" grade.

    As far as the announcers on the webcast, well, I didn't think I've EVER heard announcers that bad. I know they're students (at least I hope so), but c'mon, at least do a LITTLE prep work, learn the players names/numbers and consult the pronounciation guide in the media guide. If you can't pronounce "Scandrett" and "Denard", you probably shouldn't attempt "Piotrowicz". They were even mispronouncing the LH players' names! Just awful. If the refs get an "F", the announcers should get a "Z".

  6. Jim ... In case you haven't looked, their blog still has yet to be updated since its June 2008 inception.

    Jeremy -- Cal is 0-6 in the PSAC. They are not a upper tier PSAC team. They looked dreadful when they came to the Hammermill Center and it was apparently not an abberation. In related news, the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs were not an upper tier NFL team. :-)

    Didn't see the game today, but any conference road win is nice. As I've said before, if you play good defense, it gives your offense a ton of room for error. And we're 9-9. It's certainly over the over/under that would have been set on December 1.

    Speaking of bad announcers, I recall a road PA announcer pronouncing the assistant coaches as John Rugby, John Ripley, and Rollie Pul-jee-zee.

  7. Sean and Jim were not on top of their game either in terms of announcing. Not sure If the pace of the game advanced quicker than they were ready for or what but there were several moments I, and others listening with me, had ni idea what was going on. Did Johnson make the T foul shots? 1? 2? None? Both? It was a foul against Gannon and then all of a sudden a T on LH an then seconds later lecorchik states he wishes George wasn't taking them because of how bad he's been on T throws. Then, with no talk of the FTs, the guy for LH is shooting his FTs. The other big frustration was the end of the game. LH player intentionally missed FT down by 3 with 2.9 left and this is the cast "hr misses intentionally and scandrett pulls down the rebound and is fouled with .3 secs left... And (LH player)'s 3 rims out and the knights win". 1. How'd they get the ball?? 2. What happened to the rebound and foul? 3. Scandrett had already fouled out so who actually was the knight on the floor?

    Anyways... Another extremely ugly but "well take it" win. Let's go for 3 at the MAC.

  8. g74 - I turned the web broadcast audio off but had the GU radio broadcast on - much better than the LH announcer whom I could listen to for only a minute or so.

    I give all the GU players high grades for defense ... held them under 50 pts when they avg 70 or so.

    I rather see Furno being aggressive than playing "scared". Probably see Simmons play more when the opponent's center is bigger and slower. Simmons doesn't match up well with smaller but quicker post players.

    Yep, still too many TO's Note sure what coach can do.

  9. Lock Haven got the ball back with .3 on a jump ball. Alfonso got tied up and Sam and Jim did a terrible job telling us what happen in a very critical part of the game.

  10. Coming into PSAC play, you could have considered them upper tier, which is why I had them there. Im going to stick to that calculation because it gives the Knights an unexpected win, possibly two. Now they have to pull off one against Clarion, who is really now an upper echelon team.

  11. Gannonfaithful- glad it wasn't just me. Thought maybe my cputer was messing up. But if scandrett got tied up does that mean he didn't foul out about a min earlier like they said he did??

  12. I would have turned down the sound on the weebcast and listened on the radio, except for one problem, at least with my computer: The 2 broadcasts were not in sync. The radio account was happening about 10-15 seconds before I saw it happen on my computer. After a few minutes, that became even more maddening that listening to the LH yahoo announcers on the webcast, so I went back to them.

    To attempt to explain the holes in the coverage that cc3 asked about, Johnson missed the first, made the second of the 2 FT's that we thought were for a technical, but the box score showed no T's for LH, so I'm guessing it must've been a double foul. As far as the end of the game, I think Simmons was the Knight involved (although I can't remember for sure-I initially thought it WAS Scandrett-are you sure he had fouled out?), but whoever it was, he got the rebound and was, according to the officials, tied up for a held ball (not called a foul, but it more closely resembled a football tackle, but I digress). The arrow was pointing LH's way, so they inbounded (didn't look like the refs gave GU much of a chance to get ready to play D-just handed the ball to the LH inbounder), got a remarkably good look in the confusion, but missed.

    The officiating, particularly in last 2 or 3 minutes resembled something out of the 60's, when the officials often looked like alumni of the host school.

  13. Gannon74- thanks!! No I am not sure if scandrett fouled out. I was only going by what Sean and Jim said on the radio. But with about a min left they said he fouled out on a horrible call in which the LH player just ran him over.

  14. According to the official play-by-play from the game, Scandrett committed his 5th foul at the 0:00 mark of the game. Not sure what that means, other than he could have been in the game at the time questioned, and he did foul out.

    A win is a win is a win.

    Congrats to both men and women's teams for coming out victorious.

    And Jim, "craphole", while one word, is a grave over-estimation of the arena used for yesterday's games. I know you used to visit various venues on your travels, but I'm also certain you would have passed this one by. Yeccchhh!