Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GU Recruit: Stephen Battle F 6-6 195 fr.

This hasn't been officially announced yet, but the PSAC web site says Stephen Battle has signed a letter of intent to play for Gannon next season. Looks like Coach Reilly has used his D.C./Maryland connections to land the standout from Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, MD. Battle averaged 17.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3 blocks per game, helping Stone roll to their third consecutive regional championship and Maryland state tournament berth. Mainly an inside and mid-range player, Battle hit on 72% of his free throws and made 9 3-pointers on the season. He scored double digits in all but one game and achieved double-doubles in 17 contests.

Here's how the website describes him: "Battle is one of the better players in Maryland, one that is getting major looks from Quinnipiac, Delaware State, St. Francis (PA), Central Connecticut and Cleveland State; many feel that even with that list he’s under-recruited. That sentiment must be respected, as Stephen can shoot, rebound, defend, pass and attack the rim -– he’s a do everything type guy. Battle, a three year starter, is taking the ACT in October, an event that may start a deluge of offers. Expect Stephen to commit around the late signing period."

These links will lead you to a slew of information on Battle:
* This link details game-by-game stats from his senior year. Looks like he dominated Westlake High, posting 18 points and 21 rebounds in their first meeting and a Glen Summors-like 26 points and 27 rebounds in the rematch.

* Battle was selected to play in the Capital Classic high school All-Star game at American University. Complete story here.

* This Washington Post video calls him "one of the area's best dunkers." Hard to disagree after watching these highlights ...

* ... or these highlights from a dunk contest video his junior season.

* Geez, this kid is a freaking dunking machine.

UPDATE: I just came across this tremendous feature article on Battle. It gives excellent insight into his incredible work ethic and defense-first approach to the game. On the surface, he seems to be the exact kind of kid -- both in attitude and athletically -- who will fit Reilly's system.

Thanks for JRD for the heads up on Battle's signing and to Jim LeCorchick at JRL Sports for many of the links above.


  1. Somewhat disconcerting is the fact that he said his top three choices were George Mason, Cleveland State, and Deleware st.
    All of these are considered to be Mid level D - I programs - and although it is great that he dropped to us I wonder why?

  2. Maybe he has the ability to play there, but it wouldn't be an immediate thing..? He may play right away at Gannon (considering we have what? only 5 players returning..)

    But I agree when I read his list of schools I was like "umm.. Gannon's not even on there or any other D2 school". Makes you scratch your head...

  3. Keep in mind that there are different academic requirements in D2 than D1. You may not be elgible to play immediately in D1 but can play in D2. This was the case with Geoff Husted. If you are not elgible for D1 you have to pay your way the first year till you get elgible. This doesnot imply that you are an academic risk just not good at taking SAT's Geoff worked out academically just fine.

  4. Just an update on "former" players (not sure if these have all been known yet or not on here)
    George Johnson ---> Augusta State
    Filmore Bouldes ---> Missouri S&T
    Anthony Simmons ---> Xavier (Louisiana; NAIA)
    James Bryant is undecided but possibly looking at Augusta State with GJ.

    Just got done talking with Mook and he said he wanted to thank all of Gannon and the "Hammermill Gang" for the "love this past season, but a change was needed and it was time to move on."

    I'd personally like to wish all of these players the best of luck in their future careers. Even though I may be disappointed and upset for them leaving I have to respect that there is more to the story possibly than what is known to the public eye. These boys have to do what they need to do to get their college degree and what's best for them.

    Also, off topic, thought and prayers go out to Coach John Wooden (and his family) who is deathly ill at this moment.

  5. For the ist time, I'm having an inkling of a doubt. I wonder if the university does any kind of exit interview with a concilor or the AD before release is granted.
    Like others have noted it is becoming a concern the number of players who leave.
    I just hope Gannon is on top of this before word gets out and it starts to erode the school's reputation.
    I don't know, I'm just an avid fan who wants the best for the students and school.

  6. It certainly seems like an alarming trend. I would think, it would be a concern for the administration, alumni and fans alike.

  7. Today, Coach Fralick leaves after 1yr to coach
    ah... a high school. Not even another college team. Hmm! I wonder. Maybe he's returning to an ol' ladyfriend afterall he went to and coached at AU. Oh well Good Luck

  8. I know scholarship players have to meet with University officials to be "released". When a scholarship is signed or a LOI, it states that you are committed for at least 4 years. Also, for an athlete to "look" at other schools, they have to get permission from the University first. So I'm sure Gannon knows ahead of time about these, but you would think it would definitely be a concern for Administration.. losing all this tuition money.

  9. I don't blame Fralick for leaving, even if it is for HS. Head Coach is Head Coach regardless of level (HS and college speaking; rec, elementary etc excluded). Now if he went from D1 asst to HS coach, I'd be very suspicious. But in this situation I think it's a good move for him. He was constantly on the road recruiting for Gannon, maybe he wants to just get to stay in one place for more than a week at a time. Maybe Coach Fralick feels by moving back to Ashland it'll keep him "in the loop" with Ashland University as well incase that spot were to open up. Who knows?? But best wishes to him; met him twice and was a standout guy!

    Off topic (but related to an earlier comment of mine)... The entire sports world lost not only a great legendary coach today, but also a truly amazing human being. RIP Coach John Wooden, 1911 - 2010.

  10. Don't get all Mystic or paranoid with Coaches move.

    One year at Gannon, regardless of our negative / pessimistic rants would not move this guy from a college assisstant to a 7,000 HS job...

    This has all the earmarks of a settling down/finding roots, family kind of move rather than a: "get me out of town, I don't care where" or "get out of town before sundown" situation...

  11. Very much agreed BMOC!

    Also correction on my typo... Wooden was born in 1910.

  12. Interesting that Fralick resigns and then the same day Danny Ferry, who I believe was a neighbor of Coach Reilly's growing up, steps down as Cavs' GM. Maybe he'll be on Gannon's bench next year next to Riles once again? Ferry did play in the Audi as a sophomore when DeMatha came to town.

    (Those thoughts are obviously just wishful thinking ...)

  13. Let's not sugar coat it though... Fralick resigned, Ferry was "not retained" aka fired.

  14. On a serious note however I heard there was a package deal in place.. Coach Calipari, Coach Kryszewski, and LeBron James to Gannon for the Knight, Gumby, and the rights to the Erie Storm nickname and free nachos for life at the Audi. NCAA officials said if LeBron agrees to this they would waive his professional status enabling him for 4 college years.

  15. If GU gets Coach Calipari, I'll become a Mercyhurst fan instead of cheer for that slimebag.

  16. Golden- if Coach Calipari came anywhere in Erie, I'm moving... I don't even want to be near the same area code as that meathead

  17. Congrats to GU for signing a 4 year player with unlimited potential!!!

    With time, coaching and some luck he should contribute not just to basketball program but to the GU community by getting a degree giving something back.

    He may have been recruited by lower tier D1 programs but don't forget, Delaware State did play in the NCAA tourny a few years ago and has been a MEAC contender every season under coach Jackson.

    JUCO's are not the solution but a quick fix. They traditionally arrive on campus with 'baggage', typically do poorly academically, and have behavior issues that preoccupy the coaching staff.

    To those JUCO's that have real success (ie - graduate with a degree) I tip my hat to you but at the end of the day, most JUCO's don't finish which is a disservice to the GU community and student base.

    Question for Jim: how many JUCO's did you play with during your runs to the NCAA tournaments? How many finished?? How many left???

  18. What is this Japanese/Korean or whatever grap that is posted? Virus my guess.

    Regarding Coach Tim, I believe his girl friend lives in Ashland ... I would think it hard to maintain a relationship when on the recruitment road.

  19. If nothing else, maybe if I post, BMOC will take a well-deserved break.

    I got a similar story about Coach Fralick, except with the added info that his girlfriend actually is an assistant coach of the Ashland women's team. Can hardly blame him for wanting to be living down there.

  20. Sorry

    I kept getting kicked out! and it said it wasn't posting...

    Uhh guess it did... EVERY stinkin TIME!
    I will try and get rid of the excess

  21. Yah, Coach Fralick's girlfriend is an assistant at Ashland University. I'm guessing its the asst. coach Frewelling (don't quote me on spelling haha i tried to type it from memory).. first name Robyn.. Reason I'm assuming it's her is because I know they met while both coaching at Ashland and this past year was her second year as an asst. where as the other asst. was in her first year.

  22. Just looking at the LOI's on the site, and noticed some things:

    1) Why isn't the other guard that Gannon signed listed on there? Is that because he redshirted at St. Bona, so technically isn't a LOI or early signing period guy? I guess he'd just be a transfer...?!

    2) Mercyhurst had 3 LOI's listed and now only have 2; Rickard and the kid from Arizona. Wonder what happened to the third?

    3) Gannon Women have signed another player. Megan McSwain out of Fort Washington, Maryland. She's a 5'6 guard from Washington Christian.
    This link has a listing of her stats from the past season... nothing too impressive points-wise, so I'm assuming she's probably a PG. Which, if that's the case, then she seems to at least be a consistent points person (upper single digits, with a few double digits and a pair of 20+s).
    This link has a brief bio about her, also lists her as 5'7 (I'm sure the next thing I find will say 5'8 haha). Says she was named conference MVP and led her team to the state championship this past season. One thing that is really a shocker (especially for coming to Gannon) is that under her "School Highlights" it only lists her GPA; a 2.7 (little disappointed with that, but who knows).

    That's about it that I could find on her. I did notice something on another page though... it appears she played for 2 different schools in her 4 years. 9th - 11th played for Montrose Christian and then 12th played for Washington Christian. At first I thought maybe the school just changed names, but when I looked at the schedule it was the same teams for 9th - 11th as opponents, and in 12th it was a whole different schedule. This would make one thing she may have been "recruited" by Washington Christian?? Wait, no!! High Schools don't recruit for athletics!! She transferred because it was in the best interest for her and the 2.7 GPA just means she had more of a challenge..?!

  23. cc3-- good info on mcswain. but you know since they list her at 5'7, she'll probably barely top out at 5'5 ;) second, with her schools, maybe she moved? there are several reasons for her to switch schools, not necessarily just basketball. finally, gpa wise, all athletes at gu are required to keep a 2.0. i know coach wright's standards are higher (i believe its a 3.0) so i'm sure if she doesn't meet his standards, she'll be viewing the game from the bench.

  24. To be fair the athletic situation in maryland is FAR more mercenary than in PA...

    Schools do recruit and will recruit over you if it serves their needs...

    Secondly if you think about the distances from Rockville (Montrose)and Germantown are good distances apart...

    It could be she was passed over at montrose, or a facts of travel time (an hour) or more in some cases...

    depending on where she lives some of the public schools are... well not very good... that why there are so many private schools in the area

    A wide range of factors could be in play that are beyond her simply shopping herself around

    And Montrose and Washington are pretty strong college prep schools - not just an average HS

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  26. Anyone have any thoughts on the new PSAC scheduling which will take effect the 2011-2012 season in regards to crossover games? Also congrats to Erie's Kayla McBride for being named to the final 12 on Team USA under 18 women's basketball.