Saturday, January 23, 2010

So that's what a 'good loss' feels like

After a slew of double-digit losses to average teams this season, Gannon's 73-66 loss vs. #9 IUP last night was actually palatable. No, it was more than that. It was a sign that the Knights are progressing both as a unit and as individuals. Many in the Hammermill Center crowd recognized that and gave GU a standing ovation as the final seconds ticked away. Could you have pictured that after a loss last year? Expectations have been so high the last two seasons that even some wins left Gannon fans disappointed. The only thing the angered the GU faithful last night was the officiating. Among the referees' mistakes, one call and one non-call really stood out to me.

Darryl Webb, IUP's best player who tallied 20 points and 14 rebounds last night, picked up a loose ball on the sidelines and, out of control, lept in the air and threw a crosscourt pass, crashing over Gannon's George Johnson in the process. Despite loud protests from the Gannon coaching staff and Hammermill faithful, the Crimson Hawks retained possession and Webb was not charged with a foul (pun intended). Later, at 8:28 mark of the second half, Gannon's Alphonso Scandrett caught the ball in the middle of the lane during a fast break, and quickly turned to the rim as Webb slid underneath him. The basket was waved off, and Scandrett was whistled for a mind-blowing and momentum-blowing charge. I'm not saying those two calls blew the game for Gannon. But if they would have gone Gannon's way, Webb would have played less than the 36 minutes he logged last night, and the complexion of the game certainly would have changed.

Speaking of Scandrett, I think last night may have been his best game in a Gannon uniform. Every night he brings intensity and rebounding, but vs. IUP he was a legitimate offensive threat. Scandrett hit for 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, mostly from the wing. Furthermore, his aggressiveness stretched the IUP defense and made Johnson (23 points) even harder to guard. With Mark Demski's apparently season-ending injury, Scandrett is the only scholarship senior on the GU roster. That fact, plus the "good loss" to IUP, is giving Gannon fans hope for the rest of this season and beyond.

37 comments:

  1. Erie Times News is reporting today that Demski's career is truly over but will remain as somewhat of a coach.

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  2. At the SRU game, Demski was sitting next to the coaches.

    See y'all tonight! Go Knights!

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  3. Tonight would be a good game to break out the toilet paper....anyway, hopefully we can be upset no.9 IUP. If we hang close for most of the game the audi will be rockin'.

    Let's go Gannon, Let's go Gannon, Come on!

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  4. 11 players dressed. Crouch not in uniform.

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  5. So not trying to gossip or start rumors, but is there any word on why Bryant has suddenly found himself sitting? Injuries, doghouse?

    His attitude appears to still be good as he's jumping up to cheer and slapping fives with players coming to the bench so that's at least good.

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  6. what was with ty batts sitting as well? boys looked decent until they threw it away at the last minute. also, refs were rediculous.

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  7. Radio interview coach said he coaches by feel and feels Steve and Mook are playing the best. Said its hard to play three players at point ... disrupts the full. I hear James is not in the dog house, wants him to play better defense. Personally, I like Mook over James.

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  8. Yah I heard the radio interview. I like Bouldes as the #1 guy right now. He's calm with the ball and controls the team.

    I really feel nothing we did tonight fueled the loss. I honestly feel we got best by a better team.

    Can't fault the offense 50% (free throws are still suspenseful), cant fault the defense they hustled and played well, can't fault the hustle or the energy. We got
    outrebounded but they were also taller and more athletic.

    I can honestly say I liked what I see. Now let's focus on busting up the Boro!!!

    I'm guessing Batts is being bothered by his I believe hamstring. He injured it during football season and it never properly healed. He missed a few games
    at the beginning of the season as well because of
    it.

    Hope Crouch won't be out too long. I know he's not a huge scorer off the bench but it is nice to be able to bring in to give Swann ad Johnson breaths here and there.

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  9. Before the game I saw that Batts had an ice pack on his leg and crouch is injured.

    The zebras out did themselves today. I"ll bet their cheques are cashable only at the Bank of Indiana,.. CAMPUS BRANCH.

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  10. fanman, i was sitting behind ya (had to duck out before the end or would have said hello) but did you notice several of the women's team sitting in front of you & their reactions?! when they're getting riled up & have to be calmed down by their teammates, you know the refs aren't calling very fair.

    cc- i agree with you. this was one of the first, if not the first, games i was truly happy with the golden knight's performance, regardless of the outcome.

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  11. Good performance tonight. I figured that the best case scenario was to keep it close until the last three minutes and see what happens.

    IUP made two great clutch, well-defended shots to take the lead and ice the game. Hats off to them.

    I thought that the officiating was poor both ways ... lots of make-up calls.

    And the women's team moves to 20-0 with a solid performance against a pretty good IUP team. They broke out to a 34-14 lead and never pulled away, but never let IUP back in it, either. Shanna Thompson played very well. A bench player has been the high scorer in the last two games!

    Now the local rivalries begin ... Beat the 'Boro!

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  12. I don't know who should get the most improved Lady Knight of the yr, Shanna Thompson or Julie Kleber?

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  13. GUF- Kleber hands down. She came in with pretty big expectations and was disappointing her first year. She improved last year, but still was not up to the hype. There were talks last year that Julie may leave because she was frustrated and apparently coach didn't feel she was giving it her all.

    She has def stepped up and is living up to the hype of being a 3 point threat. Shanna has been solid her entire time at Gannon. It's just now she's getting more playing time. Julie was given the chances and didn't produce so her PT was relinquished.

    Jim- I agree with the no-call charge on Webb. Horrible!! However the call on Alfonso was legit. I was just returning from the bathroom and had a real good close look at it. It was almost certainly a charge. He put his head down and then put hid upper forearm into the defender.

    Other plays I thought hurt were the lane violation, I definitely didn't see that. Regardless, they called it so delayed it was ridiculous. Also the timeout awarded to IUP when the guy lost the ball and was rolling with it when he signaled the T.

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  14. Also Jim, I would say you finally got your heartbreaker.

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  15. I was told that Batts' injury is his knee, which is a torn cartilage suffered during football season. Supposedly, the reason Crouch didn't play was not injury-related, but involved something like being late for a team function.

    IMO, the refs came out, particularly in the second half (was there a halftime chat between the IUP coaches and the refs?-It sure looked that way)determined to call the game in a manner in which GU would've had to completely outplay IUP to win. There's no doubt the refs knew who was 18-1 and who was 7-8, that's for sure. The road team got freedom on defense to use their hands freely, and nearly every touch by a Golden Knight was whistled.

    Hate to disagree with CC3, but the best examples I remember were the Scandrett charge and another whistled against either Brannen or Simmons, In each case, the IUP defender took a theatrical dive after a minimum (or non-existent)amount of contact, and even though the defender in each case was either not in position or still moving, the charges were called. On the one on Scandrett, the defender was right under the basket, and I'm quite sure I remember from the NCAA directive at the beginning of the season that those were not going to be called charges anymore. Anyway, typically, the home team gets at least one of those calls. The timing on Alfonso's was crucial, and it really hurt GU's chances.

    Have to look at that game as a stepping stone to better things. Think about it, except for Scandrett, every Knight player who contributed will return next year, and many of them have 2 or more years left. An experience-gathering exercise, for sure. Every game, I'm thinking more and more that this season we GU fans will end up having to be satisfied with chalking this season up to experience. If most of the players return next year and an impact shooter and a quality 5 man can be added, things could be much better next year.

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  16. No, the NCAA decided not to adopt the NBA no charge zone. Thank God!! A charge is a charge no matter where you are. But the scandrett foul was definitely a charge. Head lowered and forearms up. I thought he was taking tips from Batts on running the football. But I agree refs were bad. However my grampa has always told me (after complaining about calls and poor referees) that in most cases you can't blame a loss on the refs and I've learned that that is right, in most cases. And as much as I'd like to blame the refs we had our chances and we blew it. Despite the poor calls, we were down 68-66 and brannen missed the front end of a 1 and 1. We got the call ad we blew it. Those free throws couldn't dazzled iup a bit, but instead they make the 3 to put us down 5 (that three was ridiculous. 6 hands in his face and not even looking at the hoop when he hoisted it up). But that's just one incident. Refs didn't miss the free throws, we did.

    I do believe the reds can ruin and kill momentum and I feel they did that. But as for losing the game or changing the result, that's on the teams.

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  17. okay, i wanted to keep my mouth shut on this topic, butttttt....

    cc3- as i'm sure i said before, i am very close with a close source to the team. i asked her about the comments made above about julie & she made it very clear that julie has been a team player this whole time, she never intended to quit, and cleve was not planning to let her go. some players just need a little time & the right combination of other players on the court. also, there was an article in the erie-times news about julie & how she spent all summer practicing her 3's. practice is clearly paying off.

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  18. I'm not saying the NCAA had formally adopted the NBA no-charge zone. I said that, prior to the season, the NCAA officials were told not to call a charging foul on a collision in that particular area of the court. I read at least 3 different stories to that extent and the subject was discussed on ESPN at length by Bilas, Vitale, etc, and they definitely said they weren't to call that a charge anymore.

    I agree, however, that the refs didn't cost GU the game, and I didn't say that they did. I said that they hurt GU's chances.

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  19. Oh I know, I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was putting that out for everyone. You're fine.

    But about the no charge, it's D1 only. They implemented it for D1 to experiment. But during the Texas/K-State game they said that it was collectively unliked by everyone and the actual no charge zone most likely won't be painted next season or used. But D2 and D3 don't use it and, if they do decide it was a failed experiment, will never get the chance to use it.

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  20. I really hope that the coaching staff is looking at this kid from East. He is about 6'6 and is averaging a double double on the year. I am not quite sure what offers he is receiving, or if he would be receiving some small D 1 offers, but I do think he would be a nice pick up to go along with what we would have coming back next season.

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  21. Again, I hate to disagree, but, IMO, the Torres kid from East, though a very fine HS player, is a little small height and width-wise to play the post in the PSAC, and too limited shooting range-wise and lateral-quickness-wise to play the 4.

    He lost a lot of weight between his sophomore and junior seasons, and, while he's in much better condition, he has not been as strong under the basket as before.

    I'd be surprised if he's received a multitude of offers above D-III. Most of his real good games have been against teams that don't have a proven big man that he had to contend with.

    Good kid, good player, good student, but impact player @ D-II? IMO, no. He'd be more of a Demski/Scandrett- a backup, not an impact player

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  22. Again, some of you all don't like the kid but Furno is PSAC west div player of the week. Reading his bio and some press releases last year, he seemed to be a good student athlete ... why I kinda stood up for him.Yea, he started slow in the first two starts giving him a bad label but the NKU, Urbana #2, Taylor and esp. the Rock game shows his potential. Let's hope he continues to improve and always has the refrigerator door open!

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  23. Torres could go to a D2 school, but I don't see anything local or psac being involved. He gets pushed around quite a bit. Furno is small, but he's at least shown that he's willing to bump and grind with the big boys. Torres could be able to, but the games I've seen he gets pushed around quite a bit. The thing I do like about him is he has the ability to shoot the 3 pretty accurately. That's the one thing I wish we could get. A 6'7, 6'8 (or bigger) kid that accurately shoots the long jumper. Like that kid we played against from Ashland. 6'8 freshman center shooting 47% from behind the arc.

    Congrats to Furno on his recognition; well deserved!

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  24. I don't know enough about his game, but what about Josh Chojnacki (sp?) from Mercyhurst Prep. He's a big guy. Any thoughts that he might look at GU?

    Note to Jim: is there any way that you can change the order that comments are posted on here, with the newest comments coming first? That way its easier than scrolling to the bottom to read the latest. If not thats fine, just a thought.

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  25. Furno is the freshman of the week??!!

    He averaged 13.5 points per game ... during two games last week ... and scored 27 in one game. You do the math.

    From all accounts, it seems like he's a nice guy and a good student ... it's just funny that he wasa held scoreless on one game and got Frosh of the Week. Congrats, however and it is indeed well deserved! We wouldn't have beaten The Rock without him.

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  26. Wasn't it Simmons that just got freshman of the week last week or so? His was pretty much based on one game. I think they're looking at the impact that player made. Furno has the huge offensive attack vs. Slippery Rock and then did a great job of defending McLain on Saturday.

    I've not seen Chojnacki play either so maybe someone else knows... It'd be nice to get a 4 spot player that can hit from deep

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  27. Since it is an award for the week, I guess they had to divide up the stats though on the GU sport web page states the award was primarily for the Rock performance. cc3 is right, Anthony got the same award for primarily a 14 pt 8 rebound game.

    Travis seems to have a nice shot and has taken a couple of threes. I think he could develop into a 4 position player with deep range though we only have him another year.Coaches do need to recruit a couple of 4's.

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  28. GUBB: I agree about Travis. I remember when he took a few 3's in his first couple of games; they were, well... they left a lot to be desired ha

    But the past few games, his jumper (in general) has become much nicer! Scandrett as well. He may not have the "prettiest form", but he's getting more accurate it seems. (and I still think he got robbed on his one long jumper in the first half vs. IUP. They called it a two, but both feet definitely looked like they were behind the line).

    I had heard many people saying they didn't know why Scandrett, Brannen, and Furno didn't shoot more because they had seen them in practice and those three knocked down jumpers from everywhere. I remembered these words watching these three in the first 6, 7 games and thought "What team are these guys watching practice?" But with Brannen and Scandrett starting to knock down the long ones, maybe Furno's jumper will come around as well.

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  29. Chojnacki IS a decent outside shooter, including 3's, but, IMO, he is lacking in the strength and bulk to play under the basket, and he's a little deliberate as well.

    I think the difference between Chojnacki and Furno is that while Tanner may not have the shooting range yet, he is much quicker and more agile and capable of/willing to playing better defense because of that agility and a better work ethic.

    Chojnacki has not been helped by playing in a weaker Double A league, with almost no competition anywhere near his size. He really hasn't had to work that hard to look good.

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  30. How tall is Chojnacki? 6'4? If he's around there, he could be a 3 guy if his jumper is consistent. Even if he's taller than that, he could play the 3 and create defensive mismatches. But unless he's 6'7 or so, I don't see him playing 4 or 5 spot at all.

    Heard that the local PSAC schools were looking at Girard senior Rickard.

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  31. cc3, if signing at Mercyhurst means the locals are "looking at Rickard", then, yeah, they're looking at him.

    74, totally agree about Chojnacki regarding competition. That said, he has some good skills, and you can't teach height.

    As for Torres, I think he can definitely play in the PSAC. Strong, good skills and a tremendous motor; most importantly, he is very teachable and a tremendous kid. He'd be a good fit at either of the three locals.

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  32. Boze: I agree in regards to Torres. Having seen him play a few times, I think there would be a tremendous upside in having him in the program. Maybe with Matt Jones being a former Golden Knight standout he could steer him to Gannon if there is interest?

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  33. Oh I thought maybe he had just given a verbal commitment. Because on Friday Night Lights the other night they said he has been receiving a lot of interest from the 3 local PSAC schools.

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  34. Nope. Signed in November during early signing period. Good signing, as the kid can really shoot the basketball.

    How 'bout the Lady Knights moving up to 3rd AND receiving a first place vote? Outstanding! In a previous conference life, had a chance to see a number of Top 5 teams; this year's squad is really special. Senior leadership, experience from last season's post-season run, tremendous depth, great size, outstanding shooting, rebounding and defense and a coach who's done a great job preparing this team. The depth is the big factor, to me anyway. It really does not matter who Coach Wright substitutes or what lineup is onn the floor. They can shoot from the perimeter (Freeman, Nolan, Crocker, Kleber, Vargas, Lowe), they can run the high-low sets (Tabron, Vargas, Thompson and McCoy), they can utilize dribble-drive action (seemingly every non-post player), they rebound (+11/gm) and defend like crazy.

    I realize it's early, but...........

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  35. I just hope they get a loss outta the way before the tournament. Unless you're name is UCONN Lady Huskies, undefeated at the Big Dance isn't good odds.

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  36. Re: the women's team, IMO, we shouldn't get too overconfident to the point where we're worried about them going to the tournament undefeated. They still have to go to Cal and IUP, and other "roadies" at Mercyhurst and Edinboro. Stranger things have happened. Besides, with their record so far, they're wearing a target now.

    The focus should be on winning the West and hosting the conference tournament. That is a tried-and-true formula for success in the NCAA's. Worrying about anything else, at this point, is putting the cart before the horse.

    This team has it all: Size, experience, depth, balanced scoring, etc. Let's have the season play out and point toward winning the Division. It's way too early to suggest that they'll go undefeated. Way too far to go yet.

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