Monday, March 1, 2010

What a long, strange trip it was

Gannon's odyssey-like season came to an end tonight with a closer-than-the-score-indicated 62-53 loss at #6 IUP. As I watched the final seconds tick off the clock (via the Internet telecast), I couldn't help but think how different I felt after Gannon's first loss of the season versus this season-ending loss. When the Knights fell at home to Urbana by 30, I could only laugh in utter disbelief. After game #1, the consensus prediction for the season was "disaster." Fans were thinking the Knights might not be competitive with any opponent this season, let alone one of the best teams in the nation. But, dang it, Gannon just went toe-to-toe for 40 minutes with 26-2 IUP. I'm not sure if Catholics are allowed to believe in zombies, but the way the Knights kept coming back from the basketball dead this year, I'm a believer.

I'm not ready to look ahead to next year; I still have to look back and marvel at the season that was. Didn't it seem like every game in the second semester the Knights (a) shot 30-something percent from the field, (b) committed nearly 20 turnovers, and (c) struggled to rebound AND STILL COMPLETED WITH EVERY OPPONENT?!? I'm thinking Ivan George was running the scoreboard at the Audi this year, adding points to Gannon's total when nobody was looking. How else could a team with those stats stay in the game?

Sure, this season had a bunch of warts, but the persistence and perseverance shown by the Gannon coaching staff and the guys who finished the season is commendable. "Nothing in this world," said President Calvin Coolidge, "can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." I wrote three months ago in my Open Letter To George Johnson after he quit the Gannon team that the habits young people develop in college will determine where they end up in the future. Persistence and perseverance are among the greatest attributes one could ever possess.

Congratulations to the Golden Knights on a gutty season. Now let's root like crazy for the Gannon women.

43 comments:

  1. Referencing the last post in Finally consistency...



    Well to those who go
    You would have to wonder what they are thinking...

    If you are a JR and leave (4 possibles)
    Where do you think you are going to go, and to do what? - Do you even want a degree?

    To the sophmores...
    #1 how many times are you going to go before you realize it's not the school, it's you
    OR
    If you can't play here where can you play

    For the freshman, you probably came thinking wow look at this place to play, there are almost 2,000 fans here, and kids asking for autographs - where else can I get this...
    Well yeah you had a tough year but where do you think you are going to wind up now?
    the potential is here...
    Bottom line if the 5 that have started recently, and 2 or 3 of the others remain - They will experience the rebirth, with a core that could be around for several years.

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  2. Your points are all good ones, BMOC. They make logical sense. I agree wholehartedly on your point about the juniors. However, right now, anyway, most of these kids aren't thinking that way.

    They are badly embarassed because they aren't playing, some of them not at all. In the circle they are used to running in, when you are "wronged" like that, there is a perceived loss of credibility among their contemporaries, and thus a need to get that credibility back. In hoops circles, you go to another school and do well. A couple of the players rumored to be leaving are talking about transferring within the PSAC. Others have mentioned other D-II schools that they had talked to before they came to GU.

    Having said that, I also heard that one of those that left earlier may have already figured out that there isn't much of a market for his services out there and is trying to come back. So, your theory is right.

    Comes down to whether any of these kids actually have realistic alternatives or if they're just saying that to try to save face with their "peeps".

    It isn't hard to figure out who is most likely to return. Based on what I've seen, attitude, potential, and ability-wise, I can think of maybe 6 or 7 I'd like to see back. If that happens, and Coach Reilly can scour the JUCO ranks and bring in a good shooter to play the 2 or 3, a solid 4 or 5, and a good defender-combo guard, then fill in with 2 or 3 freshmen in other spots, things could be a lot better next year.

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  3. gannon74 - very true regarding respect amoung one's friends. Sad that first priority isn't going to a good school and graduating in order to get a decent job doesn't come into the equation with BB being a close second. What is it, less than 1% play pro ball.

    Not knowing the NCAA rules, if a GU player transfers to another DII school, do they have to sit a year? What about DI? DIII I doubt one would have to sit out but can't see any of our guys going down to DIII.

    I would hope that coach R would not take back a player who left the program in a huff. If Sanders, his style of play does not fit w/ coach R team approach. Sander played at Columbus State CC and they are a run and gun team. Reid seemed (in the short period of time observed) could have worked for the Knights - but wasn't he the one in the paper talking about how hard practices were? IMO a player thumbs their nose at the sport program and leaves, I would not take a second look (Geo was a different situation and does not apply to my opinion here).

    Boulds and Simmons were barking about leaving earlier in the season but talk died down once they started playing. I would like to see them stay. I see Woody and Denard staying. Furno not going anywhere - I hear he loves the school and course of study as well as the BB program. Geo would be crazy to leave ... he's the big fish here. Steve got to be having the time of his life ... DIII to starting at a upper level DII school, wow!. Travis not going anywhere either - I think the 4 spot is the best position for him and he'll be fine.

    One thing for sure, the women are 30-0, are playing well, and their tourney future looks good!

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  4. According to standard transfer rules...
    At least from many moons ago.
    transfers up sit
    transfers across - sit
    transfer down - play
    now then there is a question of a release, if it is given you can appeal to play...
    Fresh or Sophs may be best served going to a juco. and then going on..leave after the season, complete course work to get associates,,, and then likely transfer mid yr...

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  5. Everyone here is slamming the athletes without considering their perspective in situation.
    I have a very hard time believing that guys like Larry Swann and James Bryant were told by the coaches "come to Gannon, you simply will not play for games at a time." Do you really think those guys came to GU with that expectation? I seriously doubt it.
    I would think that they were lead to believe that they would be at least contributing to the team. That they would at least see SOME action, 5-10 minutes/game. Why else would two juniors have come to Gannon?
    I suspect that the coaches are creating unjustified expectations in the players in order to lure them in. Just imagine if you were told in a job interview that you would have responsibilities X, Y, and Z. You accept the job and when you get there, you find out you are given nothing to do but stare at the walls.

    Say what you will about Bryant, Swann and others' performances in their debuts. They might not have been been terrific, but they have to be given some time to grow into the roles. Thats what happened with Steve P, and look how well he is doing now.

    So to mock the players and their "peeps" is unfair to the young guys. Undoubtedly there are players whose egos do get in the way at times. But in my mind, the Gannon coaching staff needs to shoulder blame as well.

    A commentor on the previous post noted about the bench guys needing to do what is best for the team. That is a nice cliche to toss around, but what kind of "team" is it when only 6 or 7 guys see any playing time? A good leader would give those other guys an opportunity at least once in a while to feel like they have contributed to the team. Reilly every year picks his favorites and let the rest of the players rot away. Thats no way to build a team or a long-term successful program.

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  6. My intention was not to slam any of the players individually, just to give my observations of the way athletes in general think and act now.

    Regarding what the players were told, it is likely true that players were told they would play. Bryant's situation was likely affected by the confusion that arose over his inability to participate and play during the first semester. As for Swann, it's likely that he didn't have a lot of options, based on the circumstances under which he left his prior school, and, when a desperate Coach Reilly (based on how the season was looking at that point) offered him a chance, he accepted. The fact that neither is playing anymore, though unknown, likely has more to do with their inability to play in Coach Reilly's defense-oriented style than anything else, something neither side could have known coming in.

    Regarding using the bench players, IMO, some of the current starters would do even better if they had 2 or 3 minutes to rest a couple times a game. However, it looks like Coach Reilly either doesn't believe in that philosophy and/or doesn't trust his bench.

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  7. Jeremy, while your point about the players' points of view is good for the sake of discussion, your following reasoning seems a bit off.

    First, of course the coaching staff told these players that they would see playing time. It IS called recruiting.

    Second, as far as being given time to grow into their roles, just how long a time is that? And can a coaching staff, who has seen the players EVERY day at practice (something we as fans do not), take additional time during games to guage the growth process? I don't think that luxury exists.

    Finally, what is the players' responsibilities in this situation? At the D-II level, coaches try to find the players available to best fit their needs and styles. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. But the players are also making (possibly unjustified)promises: work hard during practice and in the classroom, play as a member of a team first, give consistent effort in return for an education, room, board and books. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. The "playing favorites while the others rot" just might be in response to the effort shown.

    "..no way to build a team or a solid program"? What is your definition of those terms? If it's graduating players,(mostly) winning records and playoff appearances, sign me up. I think the program is in solid hands and will continue to improve. Last year was wonderful; to think every year MUST be like that is naive.

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  8. Jeremy: have you watched a single game this season? Every player on the team (exception Woodbury) has been given the chance to "fit in".

    Bryant started 8 games and averaged nearly 7 turnovers a game during his stint. Should Reilly have just let him keep starting and keep giving the ball away at crucial moments? I think 8 games is a fair amount of time to see that he's not "ready" yet.

    Swann started something like 10 games, and played in probably 15 or 16... he had ONE good game. ONE. Out of 15ish. Is that not enough proof that he wasn't "pulling his weight" for the team?

    Furno started first 4 or so games. Was by far some of the worst showings of the season by any player. He then was put on the bench and his playing time was cut each game. Then, he got into a game as a sub, and came out and absolutely shut down the opposing team while also contributing offensively. His playing time picked back up; he's starting now.

    Everyone has been given the same chance as Furno (Steve was definitely given the biggest chance) and no one else has really stepped up to the plate and hit the home run. Furno did. He was rewarded.

    Did Crouch, Swann, Bryant come to Gannon expecting to be a benchwarmer on a team with a losing record? No. Do you think the freshmen did either? Doubtful. But they came and they didn't give what was expected. That's how a sport works. You bring in who you think will work but you can't tell until they get there.

    And for the remark about "playing favorites and letting others rot"... Isn't the point to try to win? So if by favorites you mean those who will help win, then yes.. yes, Coach Reilly does do that. Swann has shown nothing, thus he's not seeing the court. Woodbury obviously must not be at the level of the others if he's not playing. I really can't see any coach leaving "good players" on the bench because he wants to play his "favorites". If they're on the bench, they're there for a reason.

    Everyone was given a chance, some took advantage of it, some didn't. We move on.

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  9. "I really can't see any coach leaving "good players" on the bench because he wants to play his "favorites". If they're on the bench, they're there for a reason."

    True dat cc3...

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  10. "coachcorey": I have followed every game this season, like I have my entire life.
    First, Bryant had 30 turnovers in 8 games,check your math, thats not 7 a game. I know that he started out rough, but eight games is no time in which to condemn a guy. If Steve P had eight games to prove his shooting, he wouldn't be in there today. (For the record Im glad to see Steve starting, he absolutely deserves it.)

    Everyone on here is permanently writing off guys like Bryant and Swann while simultaneously mocking them for daring to entertain the thought of transferring. If you want to "move on" from those guys why rip them for feeling "wronged?"

    I do believe that Coach does play favorites and if you are in his doghouse good luck getting out. Its not that he is leaving "good" players on the bench so much as that he is not letting those guys who very well might be "good" get the opportunity to prove it. Everyone commenting here (and Reilly as well) is too quick to write off players as 'good' or 'bad.'

    Boze: You omitted a key phrase from my entry, "long-term" program. That means a group of 8-10 players that can play at pretty much anytime of the game. A program that doesnt have losing seasons 3 out of every 5 years. A team for which the top-notch for which recruits will be on the same wave-length as the coaches. I give the guys that played this year a ton of credit and was entertained by them. But here's to a more consistent 10-11, and 11-12. I don't think thats a ton to ask.

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  11. The PSAC Final Four: IUP, Clarion, and Kutztown will play at East Stroudsburg. Looks like no NCAAs for regionally ranked Mansfield (#9), who won the East but lost at home tonight to Kutztown by 4. I'm sure followers of this website are already writing sympathy cards for Mountaineer Ryan Callahan. As Bob Dukiet said repeatedly during his coaching days, "Sooner or later, God will get you back."

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  12. Coach Reils has always... as any coach would ... let the players prove it in practice. He obviously broke with that by trying to get some guys w/o much exposure to the system prove it in games. But if they were tearin’ up people in practice, they would see the floor at game time.

    Maybe he hasn't adequately communicated this to some of the guys, that no one knows.
    But, it is his job, and being petty does not make for a successful career, given the right attitude and effort, ACCOMPANIED by skill and performance IN PRACTICE.

    He is not so stubborn as to not play someone for petty reasons, nor loose games to make a point. He would, as a matter of character ‘harm’ (by loosing) the school, or the team. It just doesn’t make sense.

    If you considered me to be mocking anyone, I am sorry I am trying to express a logical formula to an emotional situation.
    But again, you prove it in practice, unless you are Allan Iverson – Practice? Practice? We are just talking about Practice!
    And as it used to say in the locker room, I am not sure if it is still there…

    Talent alone is not enough play like a champion TODAY – for some practice is their game and they should try to tear THAT up

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  13. 22 turnovers again
    13 for Iup

    Same old Same old..

    Jim - The Greatful Dead?
    Really? You?

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  14. Sure was an interesting season. One stat that I'd like see is how many times a player went from starting a game to later not playing at all due to coach's decision (meaning that Demski doesn't count). Harris, Bryant, Swann, Furno, Batts, more? Furno came full circle, going from starting to DNP, to starting. If anyone wants to count this up, feel free.

    Big surprise for the PSAC women ... West Chester beat East winner Millersville in double-OT. So Friday, it's California vs. West Chester at 5:30 and Kutztown vs. Gannon at 7:30. Too bad ... I wanted to see a California / Millersville matchup.

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  15. I couldn't believe my ears when Reilly insisted on the post-game show that fatigue didn't affect his players tonight. Im sorry but your point guard shouldnt have to log 40 minutes a game. That is a physically and mentally demanding position. Ditto for George at guard. We didnt rely on only one point even last year; Joe and Cory shared the duties. So I can't blame the guys so much for missed free throws or rebounds when they are worn. And no matter if Reilly thinks "its only 40 minutes," it still is exhausting. I'd like to see him get out there and try.

    Of course the guys should be giving it their all in practice, but watching how intense the coaching staff is in a game, I doubt that any player slacks it in practice. You can practice until you are blue in the face, but if you don't get any real court time, you won't get better overall as a player. There simply is something different about getting into the games that builds the players confidence, and you can't replicate that in practice. I simply don't believe that whatever guys like Bryant, Swann and Harris did in practice was so incredibly mediocre that they didn't warrant even a sniff of game action.

    I will continue to insist that a program that enjoys long-term success is one that consistently goes at minimum 8-10 deep. We need not look any further than our 31-0 Lady Knights for an example. How easy would it be for Cleve Wright to ride his five seniors the whole game and maybe sprinkle in a youngster for token minutes? No, he consistently goes to his bench, 8-9 deep, keeping the starters fresh for when they need it most and giving the young girls experience. If it works for Coach Wright, why can't it work for Coach Reilly?

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  16. Well, we played one of the best teams in the country 3 times and lost by a combined... 20 some points? Not too shabby.

    Even kutztown didn't accomplish that last season I don't believe.

    And Jeremy, 8 games was more than enough time for me to see that Bryant was not what we needed at the time. I hope he stays, I love the potential I saw, he just needs to adapt to Coach Reillys system. And the turnovers was an exaggeration. But still he was averaging over 4 a game... Nowhere near good for a point player.

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  17. Jeremy: the reason Coach Reilly can't do what Coach Wright does is simple... He doesn't have the bench like the girls do!!!!!

    You can't even throw Harris in the same category as Bryant. Harris got the chance to play and was just as subpar as Swann was. Bryant wasn't terrible, but he wasn't near good either.

    I have no complaints about the coaching staffs decisions with the lineup over the past games. Would I have liked to see Bryant and Bouldes play more? Most definitely. But Steve did the job.

    And I don't blame fatigue either. When you're a starter, you're expected to be able to play 40+ minutes a game. No it's not realistic, but you're not going to recruit a player in football that you expect to play every 7 downs or a baseball player to only bat once a game. If they can't handle their responsibilty, that's their problem. Plus, Steve has been the only one to play 40 consistently and he's been one of our best players. Fatigue... I'm not buying it.

    And you win your time in practice. End of story. If you can't stand out among your own teammates, what makes you think you'll do so mich better against better competition? I've seen Harris practice before. He's a hustler!! But his shooting was just as poor in practice as we got to see him in games. So poor shooter in practice... No worries, let him play against #8 IUP, he'll show you he can play.

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  18. Also just looking throught the stats from the guys game... Gannon shot better than IUP all aroud, minus FTs. IUPs leading time getters played 38 and 32. So why did they miss more shots than us? Let me guess... Fatigue?! Nope.

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  19. CC3-

    You wrote "Everyone has been given the same chance as Furno (Steve was definitely given the biggest chance)". Not sure what that means, but I think I disagree.

    Furno started the first game, while Steve was buried on the bench. Steve's PT was minimal in a backup role and stayed that way for pretty much 2 3/4 months, when, given the choices available, Reilly played him more each game to the point where he started the last 3 games, including playing all 40 minutes in all of his starts.

    As pointed out above, Furno got a chance right out of the blocks, managed to fritter it away, then worked his way all the way back to starting again at year-end. He got 2 chances while Steve worked all season to get just one.

    Another point I wanted to touch on is the fatigue issue. Anyone who watched that game, whether in person or via the Internet, could tell that the Knights were dead on their feet at the end. It's simply too difficult to play that intensely and so physically against players that get a chance to rest. For example, Piotrowicz played all 40 minutes again tonight, guarded and was guarded by 2 guys that played 29 and 28 minutes, respectively. Johnson played 38 minutes, and the 3 guys who alternated covering him and he covered played 28, 28, and 38 minutes (he obviously didn't cover George all night). Coach Reilly can deny that fatigue is a factor(I'm sure he did that to take away the possibility of having that used as an excuse), and it wouldn't be, IF all the players played the entire game. But if the guy you're going up against is rested, and you are not, it's difficult. Most college and pro coaches rest their players at one point or the other(even Kobe and LeBron sit for part of the game). It's just that Coach Reilly apparently doesn't have confidence in many of his subs.

    The last point to touch on is once again defensive rebounding. You cannot give up 25 (twenty-five!) offensive rebounds. Your 5'9" point guard cannot be your leading rebounder, particularly if he manages just 6 boards. You simply can't win under those circumstances, particularly if you throw in 25 turnovers, too.

    The Knights looked tired and slow out there, particularly on the boards and while inbounding the ball(lots of standing around there), in comparison to IUP. Talent level is part of it, but fatigue is a bigger factor, IMO.

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  20. Steve was given multiple chances to prove himself is what inwas saying. His PT was not limited for that long. Batts started, Steve played a good 12-15 mins. Bouldes started, Steve got most of the playing time. Bryant started, Steve saw good action. Steve was never benched a whole game for games at a time, even after he had a poor performance. Also, he's a walk on. I can't imagine him even grasping on to the fact that he just started the last 3 games yet. He deserved to start, but he earned it. Swann and Bryant both just immediately started. Neither produced. Bouldes the same. You're not going to start or play a walk ok over scholarship players until they've all had their chance to show their stuff. That's exactly what happened. Steve showed more.

    Furno was given several chances as well and it paid off for him. He struggled as a starter, struggled off the bench, saw limited time and then started making an impact. Know why? He practiced his butt off. Oh but wait... practice
    doesn't prove anything...

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  21. Obviously the girls had a collective better talent pool this year than the guys did. But Reilly never will develop a good bench if he doesn't let them play. Practice only does so much for a player, he needs real game time too in order to see the real player. And eight games is far too short of a time in which to write off a player.

    Where do you come up with this idea that starters are expected to play 40+ minutes a game? LeBron is the best basketball player on the planet and he doesn't play the entire game. Your football and baseball analogies fail to hold water, as those sports see more downtime between plays than basketball. Some of the free throw misses were pretty bad down the stretch, and I absolutely believe that fatigue played a part.

    Finally, thanks for proving my point exactly by citing IUP's top time-getters at 38 and 32. Those few minutes off proved valuable. Thats exactly what I would advocate: keep guys like Steve and George playing the majority of the minutes but using bench keys in key roles for 2 to 8 minutes a game.

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  22. Yes, I did prove your point. BUT, my point is, they got the time off and shot more poorly than Gannon did. What's their excuse?!

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  23. And the 40+ minute expectation was taken from a game I watched last week with Bobby Knight as a commentator.

    The other guy brought up fatigue as a possible issue for why the team was struggling...

    Knight said "Anyone who uses fatigue as an excuse for performance is trying to cover up for one's lack of effort and/or talent. A basketball starter is expected to be able to provide 40 minutes (or more) a game. They're not going to... but you run them in practice like they are going to. Every player should be prepared at any point to play a full game without forewarning. If they can't handle it, they may want to try out for the golf team."

    (that may not be exact word for word.. but I tried to quote it as best as I could remember)

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  24. Also, Gannon74, I'm not sure how these minutes are considered "buried on the bench" for Steve..

    16 minutes, 6, 18, 14, 13, 15, 14, 9, 13, 2, 18, 13, 10, 12, 13, 15. (then the Bouldes start for 3 mins, Steve plays rest started)

    Average = 12.56 minutes per game.

    If that's buried on the bench, does that mean that Crouch, Woodbury, Batts, and Furno were buried alive during that span?

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  25. Good Gannon defense or a cold shooting night could serve as IUPs excuse.
    So then what is Gannon's excuse for missed free throws? You have to eliminate IUP's defense on free throws. I point to fatigue as a factor.
    How about Gannon getting outrebounded? Committing too many fouls? Or turnovers? I believe that a well-rested team makes fewer of those mistakes. I never claimed that fatigue is the only factor but it would be crazy to dismiss it altogether.

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  26. I'm not dismissing fatigue altogether, but I'm not considering it even close to a number one factor.

    Outrebounded? How about 1. our best "jumpers" are 5'9ish Steve and 6'3ish George? Simmons and Brannen are not good jumpers at all.. Furno came along in the end with a good jump and Scandrett can jump but... 2. when we go up for rebounds, we try to tip it or one hand it? What is so hard about using to hands to grab a ball? The whole season that's been an issue. The ball is right there... grasp it in both hands. You can't palm a rebound every time or tip a missed shot in from 4 feet away.

    Turnovers? That's obvious... the whole team STILL isn't on the same page. Which is expected with the roster changes they've had. But also, I hate to do this but I'll give in this time, I have to agree with LeCorchik. "I've never seen so many big guys who don't know how to just catch a ball. We were blessed with Kyle last year. He would control the pass, and then put up the shot." Speaking of Kyle, after watching BayHawks games I've decided we can't really consider them a professional team.. so can we try for that medical redshirt still?

    Fouls? 1. Effort and Hustle! I will never be harsh on a player (and Coach Reilly never is either) who gets fouls for trying to get the ball. I'd rather have them collect the foul then just step out of the way and let the guy go uncontested for a layup. I'd say 70% of Brannen's fouls this season have been effort and hustle fouls. Trying to stop the play rather than just give up the easy 2. (Unfortunately, however, I'd have to say about 8-10% of his fouls have been just "dumb fouls". An unnecessary pushoff here, an over the back that he had no chance at getting the ball there, etc).

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  27. And I agree.. Good Gannon defense or cold shooting for IUP could've been the issue.

    But could we actually play good defense if we were so fatigued? And why would IUP be so cold from the field if they were better rested than us?

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  28. NBA players play lots of minutes...and games

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/minutes

    GU could play IUP 10 times this year and probably lose 9 of them...not enough talent.

    I think (or at least hope) GU will compete for a PSAC Title next year.

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  29. I'm glad I'm just a simple fan of Gannon and don't have all the insight into the game as others on this board. I like to beleive Coach Rielly with his what? 20+ yrs of coaching knows a helluva lot more than I could hope to learn. He knows about how his players are handling fatigue after all he's seeing them a lot closer than I.
    I can't 2nd guess any of his decisions. He has more wins at coaching than I. Hee Hee.
    He may be holding back playing time on some players that may not fit into his style hoping they'll xfr and release some scholly money. See I told you I don't know a thing about the roundball game.

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  30. On the GU ladies. I'm so proud of how well they represent GU. They work hard every game. I think Tiff C played all 40 min. They seem to be so unselfish and willing to make what sacrifices are necessary for the team.
    In the last 2 yrs GU M&W BB teams have turn the PSAC basketball gods (IUP and CalU) to cry in their beer for the raising of the power from the North. Ladies keep up the good work and I'll follow you to Mosourri.

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  31. Great game at the Audi last night. Edinboro showed why they are such a tough matchup for GU: bigs who can score inside and out, terrific guard play and a solid bench (sound familiar?). On a night when Freeman and Tabron were off stride, Gannon still had enough. I've said this before, but this team will be a real handful for any opponent. Good luck this weekend, and beyond, to Coach Wright and the Lady Knights.

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  32. cc3-Since the purpose of this forum is not to see who can do better research off the GU website, I'm not going to get into a spitting match about who played exactly what minutes. Let's stop trying to prove who's the best at arguing and discuss GU basketball without the forensics competition.

    IUP's poor shooting last night had liitle to do with fatigue or lack therof. It was pretty good defense by GU, but, more importantly, terrible shot selection by IUP over the first 30 minutes of the game. The McClain kid was throwing up long 2's and even a couple 3's, and he wasn't the only one. Many other bad shots were taken. They also were throwing up some wild shots in the lane off offensive rebounds. They weren't really playing with any urgency, which matched their crowd, who cheered 5X harder for the kids' shooting contests at time-outs than they did for the team, until the last 10 minutes.

    To be honest, until GU reclaimed the lead mid-way through the 2nd half, IMO, IUP players weren't thinking they'd really have to buckle down and play really hard to win. Once they fell behind, however, the ball got worked inside more, they turned up the defensive pressure, put together a run and put the game out of reach for all intents and purposes.

    Since GU players couldn't answer, for whatever reason (hmmm... what could it be?), that was the ballgame.

    IUP is deeper, more experienced, taller, playing at home, etc. GU played them very close 2 or 3 times. Hard to expect much more, given what each side had to work with. Now, the onus is on Gannon to build on what they learned throughout this most trying season.

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  33. I'm not trying to prove who can dig better stats off the site... I was just trying to figure out you're justification for saying Steve was "buried on the bench" for the first 2 3/4 months. With the exception of about 3 games, he played 12+ minutes (which is more than half the team can say).

    Not trying to prove who's a better arguer either... just trying to make any sense of half the things you said.

    And you're right... IUP is deeper, more experience, taller, playing at home, etc. But you forgot the most important thing.. they are BETTER than Gannon. They have better players, they have a better team.

    And the reason they "couldn't answer" is because they missed wide open layups (again), Brannen thought he was playing Rock N Jock basketball and hoisted three's from every spot on the court hoping to get more than just the 3 points, Scandrett had more IUP assists than IUP did (Steve had a few as well), and IUP shut down our only hope of winning (George Johnson). Not to mention Furno and Simmons fouled out, and it looks like we got called for a lot more fouls than IUP did (ditto for Gannon girls vs. Boro).

    I'm just tired of hearing the "fatigue excuse" (every pun intended). If they can't handle the minutes, they shouldn't be here. The past 2 years the starters played the bulk of the time, with people like Scandrett, Demski, Knight, Wilson, etc. playing "role player". But even though the Knights' bench was deeper the past 2 years, Coach Reilly still played his starters A LOT. Heck, most of the time they'd have a 25+ point lead with less than 4 minutes to go and the only subs in the game were Knight and Demski (who could've started for half the teams we played last year).

    Even though Knight played a lot of minutes off the bench, Lindsey did as well. Knight rarely came in for Lindsey. He normally subbed in for Stosh (who was hurting) or Howard. So Lindsey still played the majority of games.

    Steve is a helluva player and he is the only one playing 40 minutes a game. And he's still consistent. Fatigue not a problem. Let's face it.. problem was... we just weren't as good as mostly every team we played (even games we won, we got a lot of help from Mr. Luck.. or Mr. Referee).

    Love the Knights and will always support Gannon and Coach Reilly... but this season was just not our year. Hoping next year will be MUCH better, but not holding my breath... yet!

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  34. cc3-You say you're not trying to win any arguments, then you spend most of the rest of your comment doing just that. Just can't help yourself, I guess.

    I think we can agree that, in his 3 starts, Piotrowicz averaged 40 minutes a game, right? And, if you check the website, Johnson averaged 36 minutes a game. Those are GU's 2 starting guards at year end.

    Now, if you check, you'll see that last year, no Knight starter averaged more than 32 minutes (Lindsey), and Howard averaged 30, the same as the year before. In 2007-2008, Lindsey averaged just 30 minutes. Those 6-8 minutes make a huge difference in a player's ability to go hard every second he's on the court. With no rest, it isn't possible, particularly if the opponent's players are rested.

    The parts of the game where fatigue is most evident is in shooting (did that part of the game fade at the end Tuesday?), moving without the ball on offense (notice any of that on inbounds plays Tuesday night?), and moving your feet/boxing out on defense (how many offensive rebounds did IUP get?). GU displayed all the classic signs.

    The last 2 years, Coach Reilly didn't play it that way. This year, he apparently didn't trust his bench enough to play them the same number of minutes almost every coach, including him in prior years, uses his subs.

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  35. Thank you! That's all I was looking for were justifications. All people were saying was fatigue was an issue, fatigue was an issue, etc. There were reasons (poor shooting, poor rebounding, etc. but not justifications on HOW fatigue affected those. In your post, however, you did. And you're right! The inbound plays were a disaster (even though they always are, but more so towards the end of IUP game), the shooting wasn't necessarily poor because, well... we didn't even shoot in the last X minutes and also with the moving without the ball aspect. I agree with all of those points, and now, I am starting to consider fatigue as an issue (still not sold on #1 issue, but definitely see where everyone is coming from now).

    Honestly, I didn't think I was arguing (in the last post)... I took what you said and added on to it. I did, however, argue the part about Steve being "buried on the bench" because (if you compare his numbers to others) he clearly wasn't in the early goings. And the only reason I argued that was because I said that Steve was given the most chances of all to prove himself, which I still feel he was. He was never benched for a poor game, rarely did he play less than 10 minutes (I think 2 or 3 games..), and even when he wasn't starting he was playing the bulk of the time. That was my only point in "giving people chances" was that he was given several chances, whereas others were given a few chances and never seized the opportunity to get more chances.

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  36. After the first couple of games, this thread turned dooms day. The team was horrible;some players were horrible;what was Reilly doing; they may not even win a game in their division; and forget being in the tournamnet.

    At season end, the team is tied for third and they made the first round of the tourney - not bad for a horrible team. A couple of young players (Steve, Furno, Simmons) got valuable playing time. Furno who probably got the most early negative bashing is a five time freshmen player of the week ... maybe even freshmen of the year. Not bad for a horrible player that was not even suppose to play this year. A lot of player sunamies. For those that left, good ... less time, money, and energy spent on their development. Bottom line to play for coach R is - team first, must play tough defense, work hard in practice, games, and in the class room. If a player doesn't fit into the program, IMO better for them to leave ... "a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough".

    So, overall, not a bad season considering all that has happened. Hopefully, this season's lessons will not be lost next year BUT one never knows until, like so many have said, the player gets on campus, then you see their true colors. Next year looks promising but we'll see what happens. No matter what the results, I am for the players, program, and coaches.

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  37. Wish list for next year:

    1. Two shooters for the #2/3 spot

    2. Assuming Simmons stays, two large bodies for the #4-5 spot.

    3. New away uniforms

    4. New shooting/warm-up jerseys.

    5. New players that stay for the whole season.

    6. Ten or fewer turn overs a game.

    7. Ten offensive rebounds a game.

    8. Beat hurst and boro every game

    9. And ...?

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  38. GUBBFLWR

    Assuming the groups that has played consistently at the end of the season stays...
    I would wish for ....

    A freshman with shooting potential, and a JUCO - one to develop and one to play

    for the 4/5 I would hope for 2 developing guys with the 2 freshman, and returning jr I would not want to spoil the mix, unless you find a Goldcamp, or MCClain type abil;ity

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  39. I'm cheering ESU or Clarion. But ESU first!

    Well I guess I'll root for IUP too.

    Oh who am I kidding... As long as KU doesn't win!

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  40. My 2010-2011 Wish List (1 = most important)

    10. New road unis. Hate them, but that is the least of their concerns.
    9. The cheerleaders to go back to the maroon and gold outfits rather than the red and yellow ones they wore this year. (when we played boro at home, had they not said Gannon on them I wouldve pinned them as Boros girls).
    8. A more devoted following. I know when they're struggling numbers will be low, but that's not what I'm talking about. I don't care if they have 300 a game as long as it's a consistent, faithful and LOUD 300. We averages around 1000 I believe and had bigger crowds vs. Boro and Hurst. The 700 attendance seemed to always be louder than the 1800+. This season... Less = More.
    7. A solid 4 that could possibly put Brannen into a backup role. If we could get a JUCO or someone that is better that Brannen, imagine that depth. Love Brannen, but wouldn't mind loving having him come off bench meaning someone is better.
    6. Furno puts on about 15-20. He's probably been a bean his whole life, and has adapted to playing in that body, so don't want him to gain too much. However, would be nice to see him pushing some guys around.
    5. When I look at my inaugural program sometime near end of season, 99% of the pictures will match the faces on the current roster.
    4. Point guard situation gets figured out. 3 PGs on the roster will not sit well with the other 2.
    3. A CONSISTENT 3 to compliment Johnson or a CONSISTENT 2 that will move Johnson to the 3 without regrets. (I know we were blessed with Pierre, but cmon, there's gotta be someone out there!!)
    2. AT LEAST these players return: Steve, Mook, Johnson, Furno, Simmons, Brannen. I'd like to see Bryant return, but again 3 PGs will not be pretty (Mook redshirt?). And if I had to choose between Bryant and Bouldes... Bouldes. Better shooter, rest will come.

    And the #1 thing I wish for next season, more than anything at all...

    Is....

    1. At least 2 wins against Urbana and Lake Erie. (or don't play them at all).

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  41. I won't get into a specific wish list, other than to say that a couple consistent shooters at the 2 or 3 spots and a 4 or 5 that can go get the defensive rebounds would definitely help(watching IUP play volleyball until they got the ball in the basket Tuesday was quite disturbing). After that, filling in for players that leave will be a priority.

    Why does everyone hate the Knights' road uni's? I don't mind them at all.

    Just to warn all GU fans: Individuals(not Laker fans, by the way) who have seen Mercyhurst practice have reported that they have 2 kids who sat out this past year as redshirts who are better than anyone on their roster from this past season. A 6'5" kid from Brazil that is said to be spectacular, and a lightning quick point guard who can shoot. Coach Reilly better hit the recruiting trail hard.

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