Saturday, February 13, 2010

Officially speaking

We can debate forever -- I think some of us will -- whether George Johnson's game-winning shot vs. Clarion was at the buzzer or after the buzzer. I had a chance to talk with longtime Gannon fan Gary Miller after the game (at the 1989-90 team reunion at the Plymouth), and his take on the validity of Johnson's shot rang right with everyone at our gathering. "The call on Johnson's shot was closer to correct than the foul call against Gannon with 6 seconds left," Miller said.

We tend to focus on the final play of a game, when so many other plays could have swung the game. For example:
* Clarion's Lloyd Harrison came in as an 80% free throw shooter, but he missed 5 of his 13 free throw attempts, including one near the end of regulation.
* Alphonso Scandrett's 5 offensive rebounds (none of them easy) kept the Knights in the game. His 7 turnovers nearly gave away the key PSAC West contest.
* Steve Piotrowicz may have his Prep diploma revoked after going 1-for-4 from the foul line. Prep kids are supposed to do better than that. And who would ever think that pass-first, shoot-later Piotrowicz would take the second most field goal attempts (3-for-11) in a game?
* How did George Johnson score 19 points (on just 15 shots) and dish out 5 assists with at least one Clarion player draped all over him from opening tip to final buzzer?
* The Knights shot just 13-for-23 from the line, but Tanner Furno, basically a 50% free throw shooter, drained 5-of-7. He was 0-for-1 on dunks in the game, however.

Again, all those added up to another one-point win for Gannon. And now, just one week after a self-proclaimed Gannon basketball expert (me) said second place was "basically an impossibility," the Knights are just one game out of that spot. This has to be one of the zaniest .500 seasons in college basketball history ... and now we're supposed to be heading into the exciting part of the season. Hold on tight!


  1. Good article about Furno in today's paper.

    Go Knights!

  2. Has anyone seen a reply of "the shot"? From my angle it looked late.

  3. i have no idea whether the shot was good or not???

    great game though!

  4. Sorry to say but I tought it was late.
    I'll take it without bragging.

  5. Nat'l ranked #2 WBB Indianapolis lost today.
    That should move o ur ladies to # 2 in the Nation on Tues vote.
    Congrats to the lady Knights.

  6. I and everyone near me said shot was late. It was almost definitely in his hands when buzzer went off. However, the one guy pushed him from behind so he couldve been given FTs had he missed.

    My thoughts is that the refs called it in so Coach Reynolds would have more reasons to wait around for PSAC officials (ha!!$

    good game though. Shouldve wrapped it up earlier, but I'll take it.

  7. Not only was Johnson fouled before the shot, the previous play at the other end was either traveling (he stopped his dribble, then took a little hop with both feet)on Harrison or an offensive foul on him (he just put his shoulder down and plowed right into the GU player). Should not have come down to the last shot.

    Now that we've established that, let's talk about that last shot. IMO, it was definitely late. To me, it was still in his hands when the light came on. Some thought he got it off in time, but I didn't. Spoke to a couple players, and most thought it was late, though Bryant wasn't sure. You might say, well what did Johnson think? Someone asked him on his way out of the locker room if he got the shot off in time. His reply, delivered with a mischievous grin- "We won".

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Question asked after the game -- When was the last Gannon shot at the buzzer that took them from being losing to winning (and not to tie the game and win in OT)?

    My guess is -- Kevin Krai at Edinboro in 1993. In the OT session, Krai hit a three at the buzzer from the right wing to give Gannon a one-point win.

    Here's the irony -- the game was sent into overtime on a three-pointer by Jason Stitcher that some disputed that it came after the buzzer had sounded. The official who allowed the basket? Don Gaimbridge, who was one of the three officials in today's disputed affair.

    I had a horrible view regarding whether the bucket should have counted. Sitting on the north end is a better angle to see the time, backboard, and the shot.

    If anyone can recall any other such shots, post it here!

  10. Wow I haven't thought about Krai or Stich in years!

  11. In re to Bryant: I've just heard that "he's not adapted to Gannons style of play yet, but is working hard to make sure he fits in soon.". I've heard that from players, students and then just plain fans. But, like I've said before, he's the first one off the bench cheering... Regardless of the situation, I'm glad he's still enthused to be there!!! That's great for team morale.

    Today I saw a player show some negative emotion/energy that gave me the impression he's not too thrilled with his situation. I'm not naming names, but I'm sure others noticed it or will notice it should it continue (and have a feeling it will). Would hate to see this player leave, he's really became one of my favorites.

    One negative - and I hate to sound like I'm criticizing the coaches - why was scandrett not taken out near end of regulation when he was in OBVIOUS pain for the FOURTH time in several minutes???? He was all by himself on the non-bench side wincing in pain grabbing his knee/leg. Right then I said "he needs to go out. I'm afraid he may get caught up and commit a stupid foul". Sure enough... He got hit with the foul to send CU to line and send game into OT. Hope he's alright!!

    Gannon74- agreed. Should definitely not have come to the last shot. Thanks zebras!

    Also, didn't realize it til now, but the foul was called on the shot. My friend pointed out that right before the buzzer (and shot) the referee whistled the foul and put his hand up. He then signaled that the basket was good and then signaled end of the game. Guess he made up for the other two refs (not really).

  12. By the way, Salem fell behind 15-0 en route to a 70-39 home loss. The Salem men's team did their part, too, losing 105-57 to 17-3 Fairmont State. THAT must have been a fun doubleheader to watch.

    By the way, in the men's game, Fairmont was 15/43 on three-pointers and Salem was 10/28 from behind the arc. Fairmont's Dan Bruner was 11/26 from downtown by himself (for 37 points). A total of 71 three-pointers were chucked up in the game ... almost two per minute. Yek.

  13. Paging through some stats ...

    Gannon men are ranked 266th out of 270 in scoring offense and 36th in scoring defense.

    Strangely, three of the four schools ranked below GU in scoring offense are ranked higher than GU in scoring defense (Eserine, USP, and Texas-Permian Basin). Brutal, low-scoring basketball. Let's invite all of them to the Porreco Cup.

  14. Off topic- happy valentines day to all the ladies!

  15. BMOC: If you're interested why I removed your post above, please contact me via email. Thanks.

  16. Jim, another oddity you didn't mention from the game was that Furno scored 15 points but didn't gather a single rebound. I'm willing to bet that doesn't happen often in the case of a 6'9" forward who spends so much of the game in the paint.

    I think fatigue was an issue with a lot of players in that game, since it was so long and hard-fought. It was definitely a factor in Harrison's (80% going in)and Piotrowicz's (77% going in)FT difficulties. Both guys were doing a lot of bending over near the end. At least Harrison got a rest in the last few minutes. Certainly looked to me like Steve could've used one, even with as much as 7 or 8 minutes left in regulation, but he gutted it out. I know Piotrowicz has a little more experience and is a warrior out there, but maybe a little more Bouldes may be in order from time to time.

  17. A couple of things......

    Jim, great job organizing the '89-90 reunion. It was great to see all of those in attendance. Duke would've been as proud of what you all have attained after basketbal as anything you did on the floor. Too bad James "Big Daddy" Henderson could not attend, if for no other reason than to see if his daughter was taller than you are now (I bet the over). Also, missed Chriss Hollan. He was Steve Moyer before Steve Moyer. Finally, amid all of the hoopla was a glaring omission: the head assistant for that squad, none other than John Reilly (but I'm guessing he had other things going on at halftime).

    The Pink Zone was an AMAZING success. I don't remember seeing that many people at a women's game.....ever. Add in the pink t-shirts, recognition of breast cancer survivors by the PA announcer, pre-game prayer and anthem performed by breat cancer survivors and moving to 26-0...WOW!!!!!

    If Kristina Freeman isn't an All-American, it would be a shame. I've seen every era of women's hoops at GU, and there isn't a more complete player on both ends than Freeman. Go to the GU athletics website and check out her lines in the box scores. In every game, she has made a substantial contribution in literally every category to a team that has won 52 games (and counting) over the past 2 seasons. The entire team is a joy to watch, and having FOUR 1,000+ career scorers is phenomenal. Leading the way is #34.

    As for the shot, makes for great blog/bar banter, but it counted, GU moves to 6-4 in the PSAC. End of story.

  18. Official attendance for womens game was 2085. Definitely don't remember seeing that many before!! Mens was 1832.

    I have no problem donating money when it goes to a great cause as the Pink Zone benefits. Also, for everyone who organized it and put it together, my hats off to you!!

  19. Speaking of fatigue, does anyone else think that it's a mistake to stick in a non-conference contest on Monday in the middle of the PSAC west wars? Teams need rest in February and this won't be helping. This is basically an exhibition contest at this time as GU isn't getting an at-large berth.

  20. Golden- yes!! I hate non-conference games once the "real" games have started. D1 is ridiculous with it! However, Id be willing to say that Gannon probably didn't want it as late as it is either. I'm thinking they needed the game to complete the schedule and that's when Lake Erie agreed to it. Are they still and independent team?

  21. Lake Erie - Independent (GLIAC in 2010-11)

    Furno did help keep the ball alive via tipping the ball but it is an odd line isn't it - 15 points and nothing else! I don't think I have ever seen a line like this.

    I hate non-cons this late in the season. Zero value and only fatigues the players and risks injuries.

  22. So I'm posting this because I'm disgusted.

    After the two games played yesterday, the thrilling mens victory and the womens 26th straight (paired with #2 losing), THEY GET NO RECOGNITION UNTIL PAGE 8 OF NEWSPAPER?? Absolutely ridiculous!!!

    Fort LeBoeuf wrestling getting the top article on first page I am totally fine with and very happy for them!! They definitely deserve it! But the other articles are
    a huge thing about Olympics and then an article about Manchels coaching record and a small article about Coach Cleve Wright. Seriously?!?! The Olympics couldn't have gone on their own separate page?? The articles about Manchel and Wright couldve been on the page that the two Gannon front page articles were continued on. Oh wait... No, we got 2 small articles on PAGE 8!!

    Absolutely ridiculous!!

  23. Also Jim I just realized you always spell Scandretts name wrong. You write "Alphonso", but he's listed as "Alfonso" on roster.

    Got to give Clarion coach kudos for his quotes in paper (from the article on PAGE 8!!!!!). Instead of being like the SRU coach and having every quote in the paper being him whining about the refs calls, he ignored the question of if the ball was off in time and focused on the skill it took for Johnson to 1. even get the shot off and 2. to make the basket. Now had he been quoted as ranting about the call of counting the basket I wouldve understood, but the fact that he acknowledged the feat that Johnson pulled off instead is nothing but class. Coach Reynolds should take a few notes from his Clarions handbook.