Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breaking News: GU Announces 7 Recruits

Gannon just announced the first wave of the 2010 recruiting class this morning. I'll do more research on them in the near future ... wanted to post the press release now so we're all in the loop.


ERIE, Pa. - Gannon head men’s basketball coach John T. Reilly has announced the addition of seven student-athletes to the program. The newcomers include four juniors, two freshmen and one senior.

The seven newcomers will join five returners from last year’s squad: senior Travis Brannen, senior Danard Crouch, junior Steve Piotrowicz, junior Malcolm Woodbury and sophomore Tanner Furno.

Gannon (13-15) qualified for its third consecutive post-season appearance last season. The squad tied for third place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division with an 8-6 conference mark despite graduating six of its top seven scorers from the previous season. The Golden Knights won the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region championships two seasons ago.

A brief capsule for each student-athlete in the 2010 recruiting class to date can be found below.

Kelvin Agee (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Niagara Falls High School)
~ 6-2, Guard, Redshirt Freshman
~ Transferred from NCAA Division I Saint Bonaventure, but did not play last season
~ Led Niagara Falls High School to a pair of New York State Final Fours during his three varsity seasons
~ Recorded 1,043 points and over 400 rebounds during his high school career
~ Was a two-time all-tournament choice at the New York State Tournament
~ Led Niagara Falls to a 69-6 record over three seasons
~ Earned All-State first-team honors as a senior
~ Averaged 22.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists en route to being named Niagara Gazette Player of the Year and selected to the Buffalo News All-Western New York first team as a senior
~ Led Niagara Falls to a 24-1 record, a Niagara Frontier League title, a Section VI championship and a Far West Regional title as a senior
~ Scored 1,000th career point in the Class AA Far West Regional final when he had 27 points, a school-record 11 steals and nine rebounds during a victory over Greece-Athena

Stephen Battle (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone High School)
~ 6-5, Forward, Freshman
~ Averaged 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and three assists as a senior
~ Averaged 16.7 points and 12 rebounds as a junior while posting 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore
~ Recorded 17 double-doubles during his senior season
~ Reached the 20-point plateau eight times as a senior
~ Blocked 164 shots during his three years on the varsity team
~ Unanimously named Southern Maryland Athletic Conference (SMAC) Most Outstanding Player and All-County Player of the Year as a senior
~ Was a two-time all-conference first-team selection and landed a spot on the second team as a sophomore
~ Earned All-Country first-team honors as a junior
~ Scored over 1,000 points in his career
~ Is the second-leading scorer (1,115 points) and second-leading rebounder (791) in school history
~ Led Thomas Stone to three consecutive regional championships and the Maryland Class 3A title game last season

Kareem Brown (New London, Conn./New London High School)
~ 6-2, Guard, Senior
~ Transferred from NCAA Division I Coppin State
~ Led Coppin State last season in points per game (10.0) and three-pointers (57)
~ Scored a season-high 23 points at Navy
~ Added 11 points at USC
~ Transferred to Coppin State prior to the 2009-10 campaign after spending two seasons at Monroe Community College
~ Averaged 15.0 points per game in 2008-09, helping lead the team to a 30-7 record and a berth in the national tournament
~ Named to the national all-tournament team
~ Participated in the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Star game
~ Averaged 12.6 points per game as a freshman
~ Was a two-time New Haven Register All-State selection at New London High School where he scored over 1,400 points during his high school career
~ Was a three-time all-area selection
~ Named Player of the Year by The Day

Anthony Clagett (Washington D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy)
~ 6-1, Guard, Junior
~ Transferred from Allen County (Kan.) Community College
~ Led Allen CC to a 17-13 record last season
~ Averaged 12.1 points, 4.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals last season
~ Shot 49 percent (80-165) from the field in 2009-10

Dennis Rumph (Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista Community High School)
~ 6-6, Forward, Junior
~ Transferred from Allen County (Kan.) Community College
~ Led Allen CC to a 17-13 record last season
~ Named to the all-conference second team
~ Earned All-Area honorable-mention accolades
~ Averaged nine points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks last season
~ Shot 49 percent (90-185) from the field in 2009-10

Kyle Servance (Laurel, Md./Reservoir High School)
~ 6-0, Guard, Junior
~ Transferred from Howard (Md.) Community College
~ Ranked among the NJCAA Top 10 in assists and three-point percentage
~ Averaged 16.7 points, 6.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals last season
~ Made 50 three-pointers
~ Led the Reservoir High School team in scoring and assists as a senior
~ Named team MVP
~ Earned All-Star and All-Country honors

Ramon Smith (Dumfries, Va./Patterson High School)
~ 6-3, Guard, Junior
~ Transferred from Frederick (Md.) Community College
~ Named to Region XX Division I All-Tournament team last season
~ Recorded 19 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists during the region championship game
~ Led Frederick to the program’s first-ever region title


  1. Seems like the talent is there. Now if they can gel as a team.

  2. Looks like we might be running the Villanova four guard set. Only four big men and one a freshman awful thin on the base line.

  3. So how many of these guys make it to the Porreco Cup still on the roster?

  4. jeremy, please don't say that!!! hopefully all of them!

  5. Porreco Cup? We're all taking bets on how many are playing in the Gary Miller Classic! lol

    but as sad as it is to joke around about that... we'll have to wait and see about all aspects; I believe last year proved (to quote Kevin Garnett), "ANYTHING IS POSSSSSIIIIIIIBBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEEEEE..."

    And Kareem Brown is going to have to do alot to get my attention already as he's started out on the wrong foot with me... Ugh, Kobe/Lakers fan? I strongly dislike Kobe; and Lakers?? Does he not know this area?? :)

  6. I think it's a little early to be casting negatives about the character of the new players. I'm guessing Coach Reilly learned a lesson last year about recruiting kids that fit his philosophy better than many of last year's recruits. Hopefully, this group will demonstrate a better work ethic and be better teammates.

    I do agree that the team seems a little small and thin in the post. Also looks to me like Coach Reilly is rewarding the returning guards for their loyalty and all their hard work last year with a nice seat on the bench. 5 new guards, 4 of whom are juniors or seniors? Really? I didn't think that was the biggest area of weakness. I was thinking that the post and small forward positions badly needed upgrades or at least added depth, but I don't see the type of player I was hoping for. I'd feel better if there were two less 6'1" kids and one more 6'8" kid, and a 6'4"-6'5" juco shooter who can step in and start right away instead. Oh, well.

  7. Loyalty and hard work do not win games... talent, points, teamwork, attitude and defense mixed with hard work win games. Tanner and Brannen will be starting (obviously unless he recruits bigger, experienced players still), but Steve and Crouch should be coming off the bench. Nothing against either one of them!! They both came up tremendous at many different times in the season last year. However, I look at Steve as more of the "Cory Knight" of the team. He started because there was really no one else; now, however, I'm hoping he'll come off the bench to replace or play along with an even better guard (reference - Cory Knight/Joe Lindsey combo).

    Regarding the lack of height, it is a bit shocking (and disappointing), however, if any of these 6'6 - 6'5 forwards can play like Brannen did last year (with Brannen at the same level); it could make for a very interesting lineup. Brannen played much taller/bigger than he was all year. My only wonder, right now, is who is expected to be Furno's back up? Take him out of the game and you're down to all 6'6 guys as subs. Makes for a whole different ball game.

  8. WOW!...When did Gannon change its name to JUCO University / Transfer College???...I wonder what the graduation rate will be for this bunch?...I wonder how many will make it to Christmas break?...

  9. How will all these guards get playing time??????
    I'm sure we will see more exits again this year. These kids aren't transferring in to sit on the bench.

  10. cc3, you said that-

    "talent, points, teamwork, attitude and defense mixed with hard work win games"

    So, what you're saying is that the returning guards don't have any talent (I disagree), because they HAVE proven to provide all the other traits you're looking for.

    Face it-they aren't going to play. There are now 7 players (2 seniors, 4 juniors, and a frosh) for 2 positions. Those 2(a senior and a local kid) have nowhere to go. You know that, if they WERE to play, we will indeed, as john says "see more exits next year" from the 5 who have been brought in. Reilly won't make that mistake again. No, don't look for either of them until garbage time.

    As far as so many JUCO's, well, what else could Coach Reilly do? He needed to bring in guys who can contribute NOW. I just wish some of them were taller post players. The way GU's defensive style seems to eternally cause foul trouble for their bigs, this group is woefully thin inside. They would've been better off with at least one more post, a 6'5' small forward and 2 less new guards.

    Maybe Crouch and Piotrowicz can back up in the post. That's the only way they'll play much.

  11. I feel that neither Crouch nor Steve are Division 2 level starters. Steve is most def a D2 player, but not a starter. As I said before, I rank him with Cory Knight. Great player, amazing player, huge contributor! But if he's starting, that means there is next to nothing coming off the bench. However, with Steve coming off the bench that means that we have somebody (hopefully) even better than Steve already on the floor, which is saying a lot!

    Steve will get playing time, Crouch I do not believe will see the court much and neither will Woodbury. I'd expect some of the players may redshirt and I don't see the frosh from St. Bona starting right away or playing much right away (unless he is THAT good). But I really feel Steve will get playing time... not many of the recruits are 1-Guards, they are 2,3-Guard players; Shooters and Slashers.

  12. In my other post, I said I felt yesterday’s recruiting class announcement was like Christmas. Apparently many of you hang out with the Grinch during the yuletide.

    My general thought with every recruiting class is to wait and see. It’s dang hard for basketball experts to judge how good a kid will be at the DII level even after watching them play a million times. But lots of commenters have already drawn conclusions: too small, not enough post players, “I’m sure” many of them will quit, not enough playing time to go around, the returning guards won’t play, too many jucos, too many transfers, they won’t graduate, etc. Let me see if I can address some of these issues:

    When did Gannon change its name to Juco/Transfer University? Back in ‘89, when Tom Chapman had just one player (Jim Rocco) returning, he brought in Dave Callahan, Chris Hollan, Andy Adams, Cass Wright, Gee Blanks, and Darryl Freeman – all from junior colleges. That team went 18-9 in 89-90 (Freeman redshirted) and next year advanced to the Elite 8. Of those 6, I know 5 of them graduated for sure (I think Adams went back home to run his family farm before finishing his coursework). Not exactly a disappointing bunch of guys athletically and academically.

    Plus, the 2007-09 club that won 56 games and made it to the Elite 8 was led by Jucos Howard, Lindsey, and Dave Wilson plus transfers Goldcamp, Stoczynski, Knight and Scandrett.

    Not enough playing time to go around: Coach Corey occasionally makes some zany comments (and he knows it!) but he was dead on correct when we talked about some of the players redshirting. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but that’s a real possibility. Don’t assume that all the scholarship players will be on the active roster this season.


  13. And as far as too many players with not enough time to go around, would you have preferred that half the recruiting class have been benchwarmers at Seneca? To win you need players and lots of ‘em. I’m glad that Reilly had decent depth in that 2007-09 stretch where Lindsey, Goldcamp, and Robert Buckner missed extended time.

    As far as not enough post players, don’t assume this recruiting class is complete. Seven new guys plus Brannen, Crouch, and Furno equals 10, and I’m pretty sure the scholarship cap is 11. Plus, based on need and academics, there’s a good chance not everyone’s a full ride. I’d bet money (okay maybe just $5) that before school starts Gannon will add at least one more scholarship player. (Please refrain from snide comments about how many players will QUIT before school starts. I know you’re thinking them …)

    Don’t fret if the next signee isn’t 6-8, 6-9, or 7-foot-13. It’s more important to have a player who is skilled, mobile, and tough than just having a tall guy. When Findlay won the national championship a couple years back, their post players were in the 6-5, 6-6 range. Cal Poly Pamona won the national championship this year with everyone 6-5 and under except for one big kid who came off the bench. If you hit the lottery and land a big like Goldcamp, Husted, or Morgan, scoop ‘em up. But if Brandon Altmann’s the only guy left, tell him no thanks and get the smaller guy who can play.

    Sorry to get all argumentative. The reason I did wrote this was when the class was announced I was EXCITED. And then when I read many of the comments above, my excitement hit the floor like Steve Piotrowcz going after a loose ball. (Side note: It will be hard to keep Steve out of the rotation this year. I’d be surprised if he was a starter, but I agree with Coach Corey – AGAIN! – that he could very well play a Cory Knight role.)

    I’m not saying don’t be critical, but don’t leap to negative conclusions when you have 1/10,000th of the story. This season is going to be entertaining one way or another. This team may end up back in the NCAAs or they might be another defection-filled soap opera. Either way, I’m fired up to see what’s going to happen. Please don’t rain on my optimism … until after they lose to Urbana for the second time.

  14. Jim:
    1) I make zany comments, no agrument there. I'll even admit sometimes I make comments just to get others "going" haha (i've been good though!)
    2) Thank you for agreeing with some of my views as many others haven't. Just the way I feel, but in regards to Steve, even last year I said repeatedly "he's going to be a Cory Knight". And I strongly feel he will be (if we get a solid 1-guard over him).
    3) Be honest... how hard was it for you not to only agree with me (twice), but to ADMIT IT.. TWICE?? haha

    I'm equally as anxious for this season... it could be "the beginning" like when we received Goldcamp, Johnson, Howard, Lindsey, etc. or it could be "the end" when we lost Dexter, Sanders (did we ever really have him though if he quit before even playing?), etc. Either way... as always...


  15. Furno was written off as a dud last year yet the majority of the negativity towards him had to be retracted as he ended up having a good season (remember - 4x freshmen of the week and freshmen of the year west div.) Not bad for a skinny kid who was to red shirt. Other recruits who were thought to be impact players didn't. So, I'm going to try to with hold most of my criticism until league play a time period long enough IMO to see how things develop.

  16. Jimbo.. as I said in a previous post AA (Andy Adams) did get his degree... fairly certain there...
    he did take a couple of extra semesters but I am fairly certain he got his lementary ed degree... but yes he is back on the farm - Milkin dem cowz! yee haa