Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Team of destiny, team of density

Gannon's nailbiting 54-53 win over Slippery Rock, combined with Mercyhurst's 62-55 loss at Edinboro tonight, puts both the Knights and the Lakers at 5-4 in the PSAC West. That's good for a third-place tie right now. So, because the two teams meet in a couple weeks, Gannon controls its own destiny as far as snagging the #3 spot for the PSAC playoffs. Despite a slew of errors vs. The Rock, Gannon is a team of destiny.

Slippery Rock, on the other hand, is the team of density. I've never seen a team take so many stupid, ridiculous, asinine shots so consistently. And I coached grade school basketball for 5 years. Heck, I coached 4th graders at an MYAA camp and they knew not to shoot right handed after dribbling to your left while fading over the baseline. With a man on you. And with 25 seconds still on the shot clock. But, doggone it, that's just what SRU's Jabril Bailey did vs. Gannon tonight. To make matters even worse, on the next possession -- the next time he touched the ball -- he jacked up a long three-pointer that clanged hard off the rim. And then he stayed in the freaking game? Not a shocker that he finished the night 5-for-17 and his team lost. If SRU had those two possessions back, they could have won the game.

A couple other observations (which I promise will be delivered much more calmly):
* God bless George Johnson for demanding the ball again with the game on the line. This was like a repeat of the Edinboro game, except against SRU Johnson was clearly fouled.
* Why does Slippery Rock bring stools to sit on away from the sidelines during timeouts? I know big-time college programs do that to get away from the noise of 20,000 opposing fans, but most SRU games don't have 20 dozen fans. It just seems like wasted effort to me.
* The Knights committed 12 turnovers in the second half after just 7 in the first stanza. At times it looked like they played hot potato with the ball, which resulted in extra passes, unforced errors, and heartburn for the Gannon faithful.
* I should have asked Donna Reilly why after the game, but holy smokes was her husband irate with the officials all game long. He usually doesn't say boo to the refs, but Riles was downright Slocum-like tonight.
* I'm still in shock over Tanner Furno's behind-the-head slam dunk in transition. (And kudos to Filmore Bouldes for the on-the-money pass.) I hear that during the offseason the Furno family plans to meet with Gary Miller and Lou Porreco and beg them to invite Slippery Rock to both the Gary Miller Classic and Porreco Cup next year. The Furnos might even buy a car or 8 as a means of persuasion.


  1. The ladies... as expected
    The men... WOW "Thrill in the Mill"

  2. This is how I'm summing this game up...

    We may not be the best team in the country.
    We may not be the best team in our region.
    We may not be the best team in the conference.
    We may not be the best team in our division.
    We may not have a great team or record.
    We may not have the prettiest plays or games.

    Good win Knights!!

    Also, I stuck up for Swann in the early going when everyone else counted him out. However, I think it's now time we can say he's not the player we want on the floor when the game is close. He has a nice shot, but his misses are horrendous!! He's a hustler, but having 5 hustlers on the court isn't going to win. Johnson shot something like 4-17... BUT!!! He was 3 assists away from a triple-double. I think he only had 3 TOs as well. 10 pts, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and the game winning free throw. I'll take it!

  3. CoachCorey -- I agree. Great win.

    Two words sum up the game: FURNO-MANIA!!! Okay, it's one hyphenated word. He now has more points against Slippery Rock than all other teams combined. And he hit two clutch free throws in the last minute. Great game ...

    I don't want to hear anything about "cold-shooting" Slippery Rock. They were throwing up crappy shot after crappy shot. Their 29% shooting was a function of their shot selection; it wasn't because they missed wide open looks.

    Coach Reynolds needs to worry about his team, not his incessant whining on the bench. He has enough suits on the bench to worry about everything else regarding the game.

  4. I refuse to jump on the Furno bandwagon (although I must admit that he has made great improvements) however, I was FURIOUS that I chose the exact moment of the dunk to look down at something. Talk about a bad time to look away!!

  5. Re Rocks coach... Has he coached before? Haha I've never seen a coach who didn't know the rules. When he called the TO with a second left he threw a fit because they were inbounding full length of court. He thought it should be up at half. Coach, this isn't NBA!!! You inbound where the TO is called, regardless if you or the player called it. Also when he threw a tantrum because he felt they should be shooting FTs on Gannons charge call. They changed that rule how long ago now? No FTs on most offensive fouls. Cmon coach, this could possibly explain your teams record.

  6. Sooooooo.. IUPs Daryll Webb was just the #5 play on ESPNs Top 10 plays...

    It was vs. Edinboro. The PG lobbed ball off backboard and Webb slammed it. Watch SportsCenter if you get espn.

    Definitely not a IUP fan, but nice to see smaller schools getting kudos on a national spotlight.

  7. Beth don't you mean you were FURNIOUS when you missed the dunk hahaha just kidding

    but I agree not jumping on the bandwagon (didn't know there was one until we met his girlfriend at Hurst game and she asked us if were part of the Furno Fan Club.......)

    he's definitely improves, but definitely has a ways to go!

  8. Jim- SRU always has the stools. Home and away. They had them last year too. Apparently their 80 average fans must be pretty loud in that little gymnasium of theirs.

  9. The rock coach is wise.
    He knows that Gannon has hidden mikes underneath and all around the visitor's bench that transmits directly to a well place receiver under coach Viscuso's fake rubber bald head.

  10. BMOC - Winning causes folks to become jocund (Jocund is the word right after jocular. I'm not very clever).

    Jim - Why in sock re: Furno's dunk? Had 3 thunder dunks in the first game against Rock. With a step or two the kid can get up.

    Beth/CC3 - What do ya expect from a girlfriend? A Furno Fan Club - too funny. If they breakup she'll have a different type of fan club for sure! IMO he's the most improved to date on the team and on this blog!

    CC3 - You mentioned in the Cal blog that you think some players aren't going to stay in the program. Earlier in the year, I heard Simmons and Mook were grumbling but I figure that would have stopped since they are playing. Since no one responded to your comment on this, is this a taboo subject or folks just waiting until the season end to discuss. Hmmm, as I read my own comments, and how this season has gone, probably best to hold comments until there are "for sure" facts ... i.e the person has actually left. I hope everyone sticks around.

    For the coaches on this blog - how do you teach the reduction of turnovers w/o causing players to be overly cautious? Or maybe they need to be overly cautious, they sure force many passes. The student assisting on the audio broadcasted mentioned taking a step to the ball when receiving a pass esp. the guys on the post. That's how I was coached but neither Furno, Ant, Zo, Travis do.

  11. Gubbfwlr- I've also heard of some players thinking about leaving the program, however, I think it's all talk until the roster is officially changed. I would also like to see the players stick around, as I am starting to see real potential for this group.
    cc3- Def not joining the fan club this year... maybe in the next 2-3 years :)

    As for the rock coach- did anyone else notice that he and his assistants were completely in the way of the poor kids mopping up the floor? The stools were completely unnecessary, and the fact they kept walking over where the kid just mopped was a little rediculous.

    Not that I coach basketball, but I know that when some coaches are unhappy with the turnover ratio, they make their players do rediculous drills. Coach Wright makes his girls do things like the crab walk and something called an inchworm multiple times down the length of the 'Mill. The drills are a bit embarrassing, but they get them to focus on what they missed, and they're playing not only to win, but to not embarrass themselves in practice.

    As for entry passes to the post, you typically do not want post players to step to the pass - theyare then giving up position the fought hard to get, and arenow moving away from the basket.

    A good Post entry pass requires:
    1. Post players establishing strong position with an arm bar - or 'chicken wing' lock - AND - a well established 'target' hand (that needs to be in the right position). A good target in the wrong spot assists the D
    2. A good entry pass ie; to the correct hand, in the correct manner (lob, soft, high, bounce whatever). Mid or low hand = bounce, high hand = lob or high pass.
    3. Feel/Timing - not often found or created easily, more like a fine wine...comes with aging...

    Pessimist note:
    I would guess that some would/should go:

    Good Luck keeping 4 point guards on the roster
    - positive side: given that Bouldes is starting he less likely to go, Crouch and Bryant have been memebers of the traveling pants - they may decide backing up is not where they want to be
    - My guess is at least 1 of 4 hits the road... Jack, and doesn't come back no more no more no more no more.....

    Unless Woodbury loves the school - I would guess N Virginia is a long way to go not to play
    - Goodbye Malcom...

    Simmons, Furno, Brannen - given relative ages - and playing time I would think that these three would stay

  13. There's only two named I've heard in the rumor mill... Crouch and Bouldes. I've heard both are disappointed with playing time. Bouldes is starting, but steve is getting the bulk of the playing time. Now in defense steve has stepped up in games to earn the right to be on the floor more. Yesterday I was a little curious however as to why Bouldes played like 5 minutes the second half. 11 pointsin the first, 3-4 shooting and he's watching. But they won, so can't question it. Crouch I've heard is also upset with PT. Yesterday I can somewhat agree with him. Wasn't sure why Swann played nearly the entire second half. Yah, Crouch had a few off shots, but Swann just about doubled him. Who knows, but again, they won so Coach Reilly obviously knows better than most of us, and apparently better than the players because what he's doing is working!

    I think two obvious candidates for leaving would be Malcolm and James. However, James, right now and for the past several games (even when he was starting) is the teams biggest supporter. First one up off the bench to cheer, first one up to slap hands with whomever is coming to the bench. Look at Furnos dunk yesterday, Bryant, sitting second from the end of the bench, was the second person to come hug him. As for Malcolm, he too is very verbal on the bench in a good way. He also is up cheering, slapping hands, yelling out on the court telling people where other players are. Also, as said before, I was told that he knew not to expect much time on the court. And from what I heard he was fine with that. He's got two more years, he could become a big player.

    Regardless of who may be upset, who may be contemplating departing, etc. I'm glad NONE of them are showing it. It's great to see EVERYONE on the team cheer and support their teammates, whether they are playing 40 minutes, 20 minutes or just watching. Dexter showed his disappointment in several games which made me very unhappy to see. And Reid, in only one game, was obviously not happy. After his only game, I said to my friends "He won't be back". His throwing of the Gatorade bottle sealed the deal for me.

    I'm glad with who we have and where were at. Despite some turmoil, were still in a tie for third in PSAC West. I have no regrets on this season whatsoever!! To both teams, KEEP IT GOING KNIGHTS!!

  14. Ok so now on a new SportsCenter with new Top 10 Plays, Daryll Webb now has TWO of the Top 10 Plays. #8 and #5. And IMO #8 is better than #5 haha

  15. Coach Corey

    I would have to agree with you re: the importance of body language from the bench - and given the Juco's that have transferred already - anyone is fair game for departure

    And from my experience, seldom is a departure a bad thing, it may disappoint us, but it is better for the long term in the long run.

    Again going old school - but my first year at GU the run of 89-90 seemed to be fueled by the departure of Simpkins, Mack, and Wright, I think there was another but that's a little back in the memory bank...

  16. Jim, didn't know if you were going to mention it or not, but given BMOC's reference to '89-90....

    At halftime of the men's game vs. Clarion, the 1989-90 Elite Eight squad will be recognized for their acheivement that year. Coached by the late, great Bob Dukiet, that team went 24-8, losing to Morehouse College in the Elite Eight (last EE team before last season. Not all of the players (or coaches) will be there, but it should be cool to see those that are able to attend.

    Makes for a great afternoon. The Pink Zone. The #3 Lady Knights looking to go 26-0, the men continuing the unlikeliest of conference playoff runs (admit it, did anyone think the PSAC tournament was possible after November?), honoring the '89-90 team, and all free of charge.

  17. Fanman- Your sign caught the attention of the Erie times news- "A Gannon fan held up a sign during the game that read, "The Rock can't swim in Lake Erie."

  18. Yea Beth I saw that. I come up with the idea but in all honesty my daughter GU04 dues the art work.
    Besides it cost me $40 to pay for the Erie T-N ink.(hee hee, only kidding)

  19. Not a lot of talk about the intentional FT miss by GJ with 1.8 seconds left.

    I think that it was a mistake. IMHO, it's only good to miss on purpose if the other team has no time outs left. It still gave SRU time to set up a play, which almost won.

  20. I agree with you Golden about missing a FT intentionally if the opposing team has no timeouts. However, did you read the write up in today's paper? They quoted Coach Reilly as saying he made the decision because of a play that occurred when he was at Brescia. He and Coach Viscuso had debated having their player miss the FT and they ended up telling him to make it. He did, and the other team made a 3 to win by 1. Now of course that couldve happened last night as well. However, by letting them call the TO they 1. forced .8 seconds off the clock and 2. forced them to inbound the length of the court. Had he made
    it, SRU still couldve called the TO. They also though couldve caught Gannon off guard and inbounded the ball quickly and got a decent long 3 look with nearly 2 secs on the clock. Like I said, I do agree about the no TOs when missing the FT, but I like that Gannon was able to set up a play to defend what they knew was coming. Would hate to see some long garbage 3 win it for SRU.

    Now back to my rant about their coach. The write up makes me doubt him even more!! 1. He is whining about the foul against George at the end of the game. Did he not see the game vs. Edinboro? If you compare those two fouls, the SRU foul looks like a flagrant-intentional compared to Boros. 2. He said the play they ran (long inbounds) was what they thought to be unorthodox. Unorthodox?! Seriously?! With 1 sec on the clock what other option do you have? You knew Gannon was giving them nothing from half court on, so a long 3 was out. And they weren't going to try to pass it near and let time run out. Now that wouldve been unorthodox!

    Ps- disappointed that ETN didn't ask their coach the question that everyone really wanted to know... Are the stools really necessary?

  21. cc3- We were asking that the whole game. The stools were dumb!

  22. I have seen coaches complain and whine before, but Coach Reynolds took it to a new level last night.

    After the game, I was sitting around talking to some friends about the game, waiting for a friend who wanted to talk to one of the GU players, and I noticed that the 'Rock coach was waiting in the hallway under the stands outside the refs' locker room after the game. He was telling the Gannon security guys he wasn't going to make any trouble, he just wanted to talk to them (or words to that effect). The security guys did the smart thing-they called in another couple officers.

    Anyway, when I finally left (after some of the GU players had already left the building), the refs were still in their locker room and the coach was STILL waiting. It was funny to see him walking around trying to stay mad by pleading his case to almost anyone who would listen, going on and on... and the refs just kept him waiting. It was almost a half hour after the game ended, and still no refs. Coach was still talking, trying to keep his edge, pretty unsuccessfully, I might add. Hilarious! What a whiner!

    The thought occurred to me today that it's possible that someone told the refs that Reynolds was waiting and they went out the other way(and that Reynolds didn't know there WAS another way out) and he never got to confront them. That would've been outstanding to see his face when he found out. Only wish I could've stayed around. Anyone who was still there know how it turned out?

  23. I do not know how it turned out, however, I'd be willing to bet the referees were gone about 28 minutes before he waited out his half hour. When security notified for the additional security to come, someone wouldve alerted the AD, some other security, etc. They wouldve gone in through gannons locker room, informed the refs, and got them escorted out quickly and safely.

    The only reason I'm saying this is because this has happened before. A game vs. Mich Tech when Slocum was coaching. I had created a sign for the game and An assistant coach saw it and invited me to come after the game and show it to Coach Slocum and the players. I met the asst. coach near the concessions and he walked me to the hallway near Gannons lockerroom. We talked for a bit as we waited then I was told I had to leave by Gannon security. I walked away and as I was the three referees rushed out through the Waldron exit escorted by security. As I was leaving I over heard Gannon officials talking and the one
    said he couldn't believe how mad the Mich Tech coach and some players are. A friend afterwards had told me Gannon security would
    not let anyone out the Yehl exit because the coach was throwing a fit in that hallway.

    Hate to see things like that... The game should always end when the final buzzer sounds.

  24. Two shockers in the PSAC last night. In the East, Bloom won at Stroud by 2. In the West, Cal won at Clarion, 72-60. Gives me more hope for Saturday and the first round of the PSAC playoffs. Gannon's big game on Saturday just got bigger.

  25. Here's another shocker. In WBB Cal lost to Clarion by 10pts 93to 83.

  26. Those stools were ridicules...does anyone else remember any coach at the Hammermill that used them??? The guy sitting next to me said that he thought the old Philly Textile coach used to do this...I have absolutely no memory of seeing this at the D2 level, other then Kevin Reynolds.

    Anyway, Coach Reynolds certainly isn't winning any popularity contests around here...

  27. So, looking at schedule for Saturday PSAC games... the rest of this season could be very interesting for everyone (exception possibly being IUP).

    If we can manage to clip the Golden Eagles wings, and IUP does their job of defeating Hurst we'll be up a game over them. However, California is playing at Lock Haven (which we've seen it's hard to play AT Lock Haven, regardless of their record). Cal could win that and then have 4 PSAC wins. They at this point are becoming the sleeper team of the PSAC West. I'm not sure if Cal plays Hurst again, but win against Hurst could almost knock them out and put us in competition with Cal.

    I know this is all future speak, but it's kind of interesting to see how things COULD play out given how everything started.