Saturday, February 20, 2010

After a weak week, Knights need strong finish

Gannon's 62-49 loss at IUP capped a disappointing 0-3 week just as the PSAC West playoff race was heating up. If the winless stretch wasn't bad enough itself, the details behind it may be even uglier:
* Lake Erie entered Monday's game 1-10 on the road, shot only 36% from the field, but still beat the Knights. The Storm's other road win this season? At Gannon on Nov. 27.
* At Edinboro Tuesday, the Scots shot only 35% but still nipped the Knights by 9. At least the weather was pleasant. I heard they shifted the Olympic short-track speedskating preliminaries to the McKean exit on I-79 because it was icier than what they had in Vancouver.
* Gannon was just 4-for-22 in the second half at IUP, including a staggering 0-for-11 on three pointers.
* For the week, Gannon was 12-for-55 on threes, a shade under 22%.
* Overall, GU shot just 38% from the field, totalling just 59 field goals over three games. The low-water mark was just 17 field goals at IUP.
* The Knights registered 59 field goals and 54 turnovers for the week. Their opponents totalled 66 field goals and just 39 turnovers.
* Here's the weekly total for starting PG Mook Bouldes: played just 23 minutes with 2 points, 1 field goal attempt, 1 assist and 8 turnovers.
* Remember when the Knights had a streak of like a zillion games outrebounding their opponents? GU was outboarded every game last week.

OK, I'm going to stop there. If the Knights duplicate that three-game stretch over their next three games ... well, there won't be a third game. They'll crash and miss the PSAC playoffs. If the Knights can hold onto the ball, shoot straight, and finish the regular season strong with victories over Mercyhurst and Lock Haven, we'll all forget about the weak that just was.


  1. Another win for the 28-0 (!!!) Lady Knights, taking down a good IUP team by 21. Freeman played, so she's OK and Thompson played as well, so she's back as well.

    The #1 ranking is just around the corner next week. Wow!

  2. Why does Jim have to sound so amazed to have a lead. He is supposed to be a hometown announcer...
    It's not like we are Bryant or Hilbert...

  3. And... regardless of the talent, IUP is still IUP

  4. Ill actually defend LeCorchick here. IUP is number 8 and we haven't exactly looked terrific lately. And I don't want to listen to a homer announcer, as much as I love the Knights.

  5. And reality comes back with the start of the scond half


    To be sorely tempted to believe...

  6. I am not saying be a homer, but do not sound so shocked...

    It's fair to say that we are playing well, and that we have had a hard time putting together extended periods of good play.
    I think it is fair to say that we have consistently failed to play for a whole game, that we play in spurts, and recently the spurts have not been very long
    But we have played well at times, like we did against them at the Audi


  8. Great first half. Great second half ... on defense. Holding IUP to 62 pts ... pretty good. Second half GU was - 18% from the floor and 4 shots from the floor the last 9 minutes. 18 to's. In part of the offensive lack luster, we run the same motion offense play and the defense is not fooled. So, they totally over play us and shut us down. I know it is easy being critical when my butt isn't on the line as the coach, BUT imo we need some variations on O. How about a back cut??

    Last two games are must wins ...

  9. Hmmm-

    4 for 22 in the second half, 0 for 11 from 3-land. 5 Knights playing 32 minutes or more. Anyone still doubting that the fatigue issue is rearing its ugly head?

    Now, I'm sure IUP had something to do with it, but still...

  10. For today's game I agree with the fatigue issue. We only played 5 players! The other three played 24 minutes COMBINED!!!!! If this was last years team, no problem; they were built for it. This team isn't.

    Some things I noticed
    1. Leading scorer... Geor... Uhh wait... Steve Piotrowicz..?! Love the kid and great player and hustler, but if we have to rely on him to lead us offensively (exception setting up the plays etc) were asking alot of him.
    2. Sticking to my guns... Furno (and Steve) (and Scandrett) are bench players!!! Furnos first start since (game 3, 4?) and he reverts back to the Furno we saw early on... 7pts, 5 TOs.
    3. Scandrett cut his TOs down, but looking through the play by play it appears he didn't touch the ball as much as he had been either. So essentially we played 4v5 for most of the game offensively.
    4. I want to file a missing persons report... Travis Brannen has been gone for about 2 months now.
    5. So, Simmons has been solid as a starter and is coming off arguably the best game of the season and he gets rewarded with... 5 minutes playing time and loss of starting position. Was he sick? Something wrong? Regardless I don't think that warrants the loss of start...
    6. Bouldes played another great 6 minutes. I'd be willing to bet he's a top the list nationally of starters averaging the fewest minutes played.
    7. Swann?
    8. Has anyone else noticed (and this isn't referring to this game as I didn't watch it; just in general) that we miss many open layups because it appears we are more focused on trying to draw the foul then get the easy 2?? Vs. Boro, Brannen and Simmons both missed at least 3 open layups each as they attempted to get a foul call. On the one play, Simmons was alone, but knew that the defender was trailing him. Simmons went up for the layup, but arched his back backwards trying to lean back into the defender to get a foul call. He then airballed the layup and Boro hit a 3.
    9. Sounds like we had a good Gannon fan showing tonight, that's good to hear.
    10. I know the team will be more experienced next year, but were also about 11 games more experienced on the season from when the rotating roster finally settled. I hate to look last our last 2 games, but were not imoroving on a game to game basis anymore like we were. Some players are occasionally, but not as a team. Next years looking rough at this moment if we don't bring in a shooter to offset Johnson and a big guy that can consistently scare people inside.

  11. Look past*** our last 2 games

  12. Coach Reilly was asked about Simmons on the post game show, and stated that there were some academic situations that needed to be straightened out. Not sure on Swann?

  13. Same for Swann academic issues.

    Not sure with Mook but coach stated on the post game show that Steve plays because of his hustle and toughness.

    cc3 - So Ant starts plays three minutes and then is replaced by Furno who ends up playing more minutes. I don't see much difference if Furno starts and plays 3-4 minutes and Ant comes in with Furno playing more minutes any way. And as stated, Ant not getting it done in the class room and did not start. Also just looking at the numbers doesn't show the whole game. Yea, Furno was credited with 5 to's ... but he played tremendous defense on their star center ... held him to 10 points. Plus added 7 points sometime he did not do early on. Coach seemed to like Furno's effort on and off the court. No one think Steve is the main guy though he joins the club of players who stepped up in a particlur game ... like Furno, Ant, and others have.

  14. Because Furno has been playing better off the bench. Plus, Simmons starts and may only play 15 minutes total, but it works. Simmons does well and Furno does well. Leave it as is, give Simmons the confidence. Start Furno, that's got to be a head scratcher to Simmons as Furno is nothing better proven than Simmons.

    It's all about confidence. With the young ones, it needs to be built. Keep starting Simmons and Bouldes, even if they only play 30 seconds.

  15. cc3 -- Like JRD said, Simmons is not getting the job done in class so coach dished out some discipline. Good for the coach. I would argue Furno is better than Simmons but not worth arguing about. Hopefully Simmons got the message and will take care of off court business and the line up will return, as you suggest, to what's work.

  16. I did not heard post-game show, but for sure they said Simmons has off-court problems? or Swann? I heard from someone and just confirmed it with a player that Simmons suffered a concussion against Edinboro and wasn't cleared to play until Saturday morning. After entering the game, Simmons didn't feel up to par, which is why he didn't play much.

    No idea on Swann... But with the grades/GPA that Simmons had in HS and at Prep School, I can't see him having too many academic issues.

  17. Post radio coach interview: I can say for sure Swann's name was mentioned for class issues. They mentioned several others ... I thought they said Simmons but I must be wrong due to your confirmation. At any rate, we need to find an offense for the next two games. IMO hitting Travis in the post is the starting point.

  18. GUBB: Like I said I didn't hear it, and all the player said was concussion, not class BUT I mean if it was me, I probably wouldn't say anything additional to concussion either, so who knows. Regardless, hope whoever with whatever.. gets straightened out!

    And I agree Travis has been under-utilized past games.

  19. Just seems to me, I was there and I freely admit I don't know anything about the game as others on this post go, but our guys are not concentraing on the ball when receiving a pass. Seems like they are like "hearing footsteps" and are thinking of getting rid of the ball even before they have it.
    Just my observation.

  20. No, GU you are definitely right. That goes along with my idea on the fact that they are trying to draw the foul rather than get the easy basket or move to the ball. On layups, they heard footsteps and try to position themselves to get hacked.. where in turn the defender stops and 40% of the time we miss the wide open layup. Then, when someone's posting up, and the ball gets passed to them, they either try to do something with the ball before they even have the ball, or they backup into the defender trying to get a foul call where, in that case, the defender just steps in and steals the ball.

    I could not agree with any post more than I do yours GU Fanman.

  21. And going back to BMOC's comments on LeCorchik, I agree with your post. Even the last 2 years, when we had the real good teams, he sounded shocked sometimes that we did something right. He would always criticize Coach Reilly for something and then if the team did it right the next time, it'd be a "Wow, must be a full moon tonight." (etc).

    IMO, the only thing that has been more disappointing then the Knights' downfalls has been the the "color" radio announcer. There's actually been road games (or games I couldn't make) that by halftime I turned the game off. And a few of them, the Knights were winning/playing decently!!!

  22. This team badly needs outside shooting. Defenses do not need to guard the perimeter and focus on the inside players.

    In the game at SRU, Swann got hot from the outside and it opened the inside, where Furno got hot.

  23. I agree with you as well Golden. Which brings me to an thought that everyone on here has just made me realize.

    There's not one thing we need to work on; we need to work on everything!!

    Some say the big guys aren't pulling their own; then someone else brings up a good point that if the perimeter shots were dropping the inside game would pick up.

    We've all criticized them for turnovers, but it's really a 2-way thing. It's not only the person receiving the ball or the person passing the ball; it's both. If they aren't all on the same page, that's when the turnovers occur. It may appear one guy was responsible, but who are we to say another person wasn't involved. That pass that was deflected and stolen, it could be because a bad pass or a unsure receiver. It could also be that a person didn't set a screen, someone shifted the wrong way, etc. It's collectively the team that needs to improve.

    So we can all point fingers, myself included, but it is a team effort. The good players can't make up for the weaker players, however, they can help lead them in the right direction.

  24. This probably isn't something that Gannon fans dating back to the pre-GLIAC days (and then some) want to hear...

    But I'd like to say congratulations to Herb Magee (Philadelphia University coach; formerly Philadelphia Textile... Also the school that Marcus Lemon transferred to and finished his final 3 successful years at) on matching Bobby Knight for the most wins in NCAA history at 902.

    Regardless of Division, 902 wins is an incredible feat! Hats off Coach Magee.

  25. Also Jim, Lake Erie had 2 road wins entering Gannon game. They beat Missouri-SL at the Florida Southern tourney. Albeit it's a "neutral court", it's still not a home game so whoever wins, in my eyes, picks up a "on the road win".

    One of their road losses was a 2 point battle at 6th ranked kentucky Wesleyan. But also lost by a bagillion at non-ranked findlay. Speaking of which, how about neither Findlay nor grand valley state being ranked. Both have, I believe, 3-4 gliac losses and like 5 or 6 overall. No gliac teams ranked. This has to be a first in a while.

  26. Not all turnovers are bad passes. Often, a violation like traveling is called.

    Some passes have been so bad it's difficult to tell who the intended receiver was (is), so it's difficult to blame the receiver in those cases.

    I think Lake Erie and Urbana were bad matchups for GU that aren't necessarily bad matchups for other teams. Both are deeper teams with a lot of speed and quickness, rather than sheer size and both are adept (or were adept vs. GU) at shooting the 3(defending the 3 is a GU weakness because their defensive "help" philosophy is designed to limit the drive as opposed to stopping the outside shot).

    Re:LeCorchick, At least GU currently HAS a color announcer for road games. For so many years, the inability of a color announcer to take 3-4 days off to go "on expedition" for marathon GLIAC road trips left the play-by-play guy talking to himself or the someone from that athletic department administration. That was ugly. LeCorchick's strengths are not game reporting. I'm not sure he completely understands game strategy/coaching moves, that sort of thing. He is much better hosting in a talk show format.

    As far as continuing to improve, it's almost impossible to do that at this point in the season. The players are wearing down(freshmen are hitting the wall of a season that's already a month longer than HS) physically and mentally, nagging minor injuries are slowing players somewhat, you're playing teams for the second time this season, the pressure of playoff contention is kicking in, teams have seen all your sets and your lineup combinations and know what to expect, etc. At this point in the season, it comes down not to improving, but rather to trying to win by sheer ability, depth and mental energy.

    In Gannon's case, their relative inexperience and lack of depth are really starting to show, as are nagging injuries and now, apparently, academic issues. We all hope they gut out 2 home wins, but, in reality, it's unlikely that any playoff run would last more than a single game at best(the playoff road game is even more challenging than the regular season), so, it doesn't make THAT much of a difference. Let's just see what happens.

  27. Gannon: I agree with you about the improving this late in the season is not the issue. And also about the turnovers. That was my point, that not one person can always be blamed for a turnover, but sometimes they can.

    In re to LeCorchik, though, I have to disagree. I'd prefer to have NO color commentator at this point. I remember when Bohen was still the play-by-play, the old (AD?) Doug (Zimmerman? Zimmer?) would occasionally due the color commenting. Besides the fact that he would occasionally be a "home announcer" rather than an unbiased viewer, he was very good.

    In all honesty, all joking/sarcasm aside, the best was Bohen and Roddy. Both were passionate about GU Basketball. Both were good announcers, both knew the game and were always on top of the game. Both interacted with each other and kept the "lulls" going smoothly. Both would emphasize Gannon's goods and bads, but were still unbiased (and not "homers") as they would easily give the other team some expression and credit when the opportunity arose.

    On a totally different note - I'm sure many of you know that John Bowen is the District 10 All-Time High School Boys leading scorer in HS basketball. But, did you know... he is in 8th place all-time in PA State HS History. ONE POINT ahead of... #9 Kobe Bryant. I thought that was pretty interesting to read.

  28. I don't disagree about Bohen/Roddy, however, pointing to their partnership emphasizes two of my points.

    First, Roddy couldn't always take all the time off work necessary to travel on those 16 hour one way, leave early Wednesday, return late Sunday trips that would happen 2 or 3 times a year in the GLIAC. That would leave Boze by himself or with the assistant AD or the SID, neither of whom were accustomed to being a broadcaster, let alone describing a fast-paced hoops game.

    The second point is that Roddy played the game, knows more about and understands the ins-and-outs of the game of basketball far more than LeCorchick does, so, naturally, he was better as a color guy. LeCorchick played baseball, and I'm sure he would agree that Roddy is far more versed in hoops. That's not really a fair comparison. It would be great to have Roddy do the color, but I don't think it's feasible now.

    I still think you're nit-picking on LeCorchick as a color man. Maybe he sounds surprised at certain things that happen, but he's usually very positive about the Knights.

    Additionally, IMO, even, though they say they enjoy broadcasting the games from the scorer's table, I think they're TOO close to the action there, and lose perspective of what's going on all over the court compared to being up where Bohen likes to call the games. This could lead to the surprise Jim sometimes displays that you mention, particularly for someone who never played the game on an organized level.

  29. Is there another PSAC (or GLIAC team for that matter) that actually has a separate broadcast for b-ball? Like on a real station, not just the college station.

    I get the impression that most schools just use student announcers and broadcast on the college station...and the quality varies greatly.

    Personally I always thought we were always lucky to have a professional broadcast team, because the quality of the student broadcasters vary wildly.

    The men are just bad this year...hopefully next year will be better...bottom line, not enough talent...but encouraged by the way they play defense.

  30. fauves, last I knew, Millersville (with the legendary Byron Kinzer)was the only other PSAC school with a commercial station doing games. As for the GLIAC, it was much more commonplace; Findlay, Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Ashland, Hillsdale and Northwood all had commercial stations doing their games.

    A couple of reasons: at PSAC schools, the college stations broadcast with more power and are integral co-curricular parts of the communications department; not so much at GLIAC schools.WERG-FM, while offering tremendous opportunities for students, has never emphasized live sports broadcasts. Also, not many of the schools in either conference have the basketball team-community relationship Gannon has.

  31. Congrats to Furno for his 4th time being named PSAC West Div player of the week.

    "Furno averaged nine points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists during three games last week against Lake Erie, Edinboro and Indiana (Pa.). The true freshman shot 76.9 percent (10-13) from the field and 87.5 percent (7-8) from the free throw line during the week".

    Not bad for a player who was called on this blog at the beginning of the year as "terrible", "horrible", and "when he is on the court, can't wait for him to get off". Shows we need discretion when taking about players ... I include myself with this admonishment.

  32. Gannon74: I would like to state publicly that me doing color for the Gannon games IS feasable. VERY feasible. All we'd need is for Gannon fans/alums/boosters/sponsors to raise about $75,000 (cash preferred), and I'd do the games for the next 3 seasons. I'm sure LeCorchick wouldn't mind retiring ... if I slid some of the cash his way, too.

    Seriously, thanks to you guys for your kind words about my color commentating. I enjoyed every minute of it. Even the game vs. Thiel.

  33. Congrats to Furno for Freshman of the Week. I'd like to see what the record is for most awards in a season... He's got to be up there.

    Here's my question... What's the odds of him NOT being named freshman of the year? With as much recognition he's received, you'd think he'd be a lock. However, should Gannon falter and not make PSAC playoffs, he may be overlooked.

    Hopefully a teams downfall won't affect players achievements when they truly deserve the recognition.

  34. OK, Jim, I stand corrected. I'm sure raising that much money is very, VERY feasible, as is the chances that Mrs. Roddy would approve of your 3 year plan. Yeah, right.

  35. Hey if it meant LeCorchik would be gone, I'd head the fundraising committee to get Jim back as color. I'd also babysit his kids for free so his wife could be with him on road if shed like.

    I'm serious, Sean is great... He needs someone with him that doesn't bring him down so far.

  36. cc3 -- My thoughts exactly. Furno is a good bet to get PSAC West Freshman of the Year! Furno-mania is here to stay!

  37. IMO (and I know I'm being a little overly critical of someone so new to the business), Sean is adequate. Not great. Sounds like he's still learning the craft. He sometimes falls behind the play and is often quite a bit late describing a made basket (you can tell from the crowd's reaction). His delivery is a little monotone, without enough inflection at the right time. His voice is a little high for a broadcaster.

    His description of a made basket which he so often descibes as, for example, "Jumper and it goes down for so-and-so" or "It goes in for so-and-so off the glass" sometimes makes it difficult to follow (because he doesn't always describe the length and type of shot)and slows down his delivery. It would be simpler to just say, for example "So-and-so from 15, Good!" or So-and-so lays it in."

    I'm certain Sean will continue to improve as his experience increases, but, with all due respect, at this point, saying he's great is overrating his performance.

  38. I have no problem following the game with Sean. I'm not too fond of his voice at times ( feel like I'm listening to hockey... Uhhh) but I think he's great. To me, I don't really care if it's from 4 feet, 14 feet, or 24 feet. It's still 2 or 3 points, that's all he needs to say. But most of the time he does describe the shot. And the times he falls behind the plays, which I agree he does, is due to LeCorchik rambling on about something irrelevant and Sean trying to interact with him. There have been a game or two this year I felt Sean was a little sub par, but then after hearing LeCorchik do play by play and hearing other schools announcers, Sean is gannons marv Albert haha

    I really feel if Sean had someor who was more accustomed to announcing and was more passionate about Gannon and basketball itself, he'd be an even better play by play guy.

  39. With all due respect to sean, i think he is far from great. He sounds inexperienced, and often times awkward (case in point, take the last broadcast when he got hung up on a mispronunciation). He certainly has the potential to become a good broadcaster.

    Even though Jim LeCorchik is certainly not your prototypical color guy, he knows Erie sports as well as anyone and IMO Sean, if he indeed is going to continue in a local sports role is well served to spend some time with LeCorchik.'

    IMO, the best play-by-play guy in Erie is Chris "Red" Hughes.

  40. The best play by play right now is when Steve Bohen does the Gannon girls' games. Red is definitely a close second, and then Sean would be third, IMO.

  41. I agree that Hughes is the best, although I'd put Bohen right behind him. Sean would defintitely be third, since there are only 3 guys doing basketball play-by-play in Erie these days. I will heartily agree that Sean is way better than all the student/amateur announcers from other schools (like those clowns from Lock Haven).

    Some may not feel that describing the location of the ball and the players and from where shots originate is important, but I definitely do. You listen to a game because you can't be there to watch it, and being made aware of those types of things helps me understand how well or poorly my team is playing. Some examples- if the opposition is getting a lot of layups, I can tell that that we're not playing good D, If the opposition is making a lot of 3's from well behind the arc, there may not be anything that the defense could do about it, but if they were from right at the arc, again, I could tell that the defense is slacking off. Too many putbacks, I can tell that we're not boxing out. That's an important part of the game to me, and Hughes is very good at that part of the job. Sean is still learning.

    I still think you're overly critical of LeCorchick. As others have said, he has a wealth of knowledge about Erie sports and Gannon basketball history, and that, too, is important. He is honest to a fault sometimes, and if something that happens surprises him, he will tell you that, whether that disqualifies him as a "homer" announcer or not in some people's minds. Is he the smoothest color guy? Of course not, but I think blaming him for getting in Sean's way is ridiculous.

  42. I see that Lake Erie lost to IUP 72-66 last night. Lake Erie only has 1 senior on that team. I wonder if we will have them on the schedule again next season? I know they will be in the GLIAC.

  43. Since the home and home agreement with Lake Erie was altered this year due to teams dropping from the Classic, I'd think Gannon may play them twice on the road next year, if they play.

  44. It's official... With 25 of 27 first place votes, Gannon University is #1 in the nation in the NCAA Division II Womens Basketball poll.

    Congrats ladies!!! Keep it up!!!

  45. Not enough O's in "CoooooooooooooL" to describe the Lady Knights being Number 1! Congratulations to Coach Wright and his squad. Tremendous acheivement.

    Re: Sean and Jim. First, Sean IS young and learning. But he has many qualities that make for a good announcer, not the least of which are having a strong work ethic, being teachable and a desire to get better. What, you think Michaelangelo did that ceiling on his first time out? And the point that he can learn from Jim is well-taken. Jim is an outstanding interviewer and a great networker. You aren't born with those skills, so Sean will benefit from their working together.

    Thanks for your kind words.

  46. Nobody, but nobody holds a candle to the greatest PA announcer in Erie history:

    Former Erie Wave announcer Paul Chestnutt

    Buzzbomb ... RIPS THE CORDS IN HALF!!!

    (OK ... just kidding ...)

    And he's still involved in sports in Florida:

  47. Wow!!! Talk about the ultimate blast from the past! Great find, 89.