Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Former Knight in FIBA World Championships

I'm sure that not every Gannon Hoops fan is following the FIBA World Basketball Championships taking place now in Turkey, but after reading this post you might follow the tourney a little closer. And I'm not talking about Team USA. Former Gannon player Zaid Al-Khas is a member of the Jordanian national team and receives quite a bit of playing time. Through three games, Al-Khas has played 66 minutes, scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.

Since his days in a Gannon uniform, Al-Khas has been playing professionally in Jordan and doing well. Heck, the guy has his own Wikipedia page and is a hit on YouTube. Al-Khas was one of the most underrated Golden Knights of all-time. He was big, strong, wide, had good hands, a soft touch, and rebounded like a bull. Yet when GU fans talk about the best big men in recent Gannon history, they talk about Josh Morgan, Geoff Husted, and Kyle Goldcamp but rarely is Al-Khas in the conversation. Good to see him fulfilling his dream as a pro basketball player and representing his country in a prestigious tournament.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gannon to Wright: Cleve, Don't Leave!

Just wanted to make sure that everyone heard the great news today that Gannon extended Cleve Wright's contract through 2012-2013. My only criticism of this is that GU didn't extend it through the 2112-2113 season when Wright will be 145 years old. Does anybody have anything negative to say about this guy? (I'm asking that rhetorically. I'm really not looking for dirt on him.) Kudos the the Gannon administration for making this move.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reilly, Gannon Hoops making headlines

Kudos to John Dudley of the Erie Times for this mid-August story on John Reilly and Gannon basketball. The story appeared on the front page of the Sunday paper. The following is an excerpt from the piece. (I won't copy-and-paste the whole thing fearing that the Meads, Cuneos, and Bob Jarzomski will track me down, string me up, and then beat me senseless with a heavy typewriter for violating their copyright.)

"It might be August, typically a down time for college men's basketball, especially at the Division II level. At Gannon, though, where men's basketball is king, and where there is a full-time, independent blog devoted to the school's marquee athletic program, there really is no offseason.

"'That's a positive,' Reilly said last week of the year-round interest in his team, even if some of that interest takes the form of blind speculation, Monday morning quarterbacking and straight reporting of plain old bad news.

"'I think it's great that people care that much about us,' he continued. 'I also think that not everybody really understands everything that we're dealing with on a day-to-day basis.'"

I'm thrilled that Gannon basketball is making headlines in the middle of the summer. If I have an ulterior motive with this site, it's to make sure that interest in Gannon Hoops doesn't wane. Cheering fans packing the Hammermill is the best-case scenario, booing fans are second best, and apathy about your program is by far the worst.

I'm glad that Reilly sees it that way, too. He was a positive influence on my life, and, to be honest, I feel twinges of remorse when a website that I started is the platform for people to call him some form of a meathead.

And how about Gannon Hoops getting some street cred from Dudley? As we've talked about the past couple months, Internet sites like this are really nothing more than a nitwit at a keyboard speaking his feeble mind. Your ongoing commentary makes the site what it is today. Thanks very much for your time, your interest, and your comments. Apparently, lots of other people are watching what we do.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Dwayne Soders Saga Continues ... Before It's Even Started

I don't know if there's ever been more discussion around Erie or on local sports talk radio regarding a kid that Gannon hasn't even acknowledged they're interested in than Dwayne Soders. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can catch up on Soders, aka Mr. Walk Like Jordan, by reading the comments on this recent Gannon Hoops post.

Just when I thought this was over (before it ever really began), this comment shows up on this site yesterday. I'm sharing it here because not everyone will read 20 comments deep on a post. Here goes:

darius said...

Its funny how people will sit up and talk about a individual they've never met to make themselves feel important! I know the kid Dwayne Soders from fort worth witch is one of the greatest players to come through fort worth ISD. He was the MVP of the district of fort worth, leading his team all the way to the semi finals in 2007. Signed with McClennan Community College where he was a very important piece of what was a great program, playing in the national junior college playoffs being recruited very highly from schools like Arkansas razor backs Nevada, Rutgers, Morehead State,MISSOURI IN THE BIG TWELVE, TCU and many other schools. His sophmore season from kilgore College where he was one of the important pieces leading them to the playoff's witch they hadn't made before he signed. he led them in field goal percentage, while leading the team in rebounds while he was 4th in scoring. Dwayne Soders decided to sit out a year to work toward his associates degree he needed to compete at the division one level. while Dwayne Soders took a year off he did a lot of community service to give back to those who helped him get to where he was and receive his accomplishments. He was called to give a speech to the chairman and board of the BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF GREATER FORT WORTH on why they shouldn't close boys and girls club's, he gave his time the entire summer coaching a AAU team of young men took them to La's Vegas and won the entire tournament! I know Dwayne Soders personally i deal with him on the every day basis he is a great individual with the heart and desire to make a difference in the up coming future! Dwayne attends church where his grand father is a pastor witch is who he stays with, he plays the drums and participates in all kind of activities in the church. I Believe it is sad how you guys will sit up and down grade a person you know nothing about. I hope you guys know that Dwayne Soders is coming to Gannon University feeling better than ever, while sitting out this summer Soders has trained with Arkansas hall of fame and NBA'S retired veteran OLIVER MILLER KNOW AS BIG O, and the Harlem Globe Trotters LARRY COLEMAN ALL SUMMER. DWAYNE SODERS IS A 6'6 ATHLETIC, VERSITLE GUARD FORWARD, HAS A TONE OF STRENGTH, AND HAS BEEN SAID TO BE ONE OF THE HARDEST WORKING PLAYERS TO HIT THE FLOOR, DWAYNE BRINGS HIS GAME IN A TONE OF WAYS, HE'S A BIG TIME REBOUNDER, VERY SKILLED AND POWERFULL POST PLAYER, CAN PUT IT ON THE FLOOR, AND SHOOT THE THREE. LOOK OUT GANNON!!!! I AM DARIUS THOMAS WHEN I SAW THIS ARTICLE I HAD TO LEAVE A PIECE OF MIND!
August 4, 2010 11:18 PM


I find the dynamic of this whole thing fascinating. Most of our sources for this is user-generated text on the internet which could have zero validity whatsoever. Any day now I'm expecting to hear that this whole thing was a charade. At the same time, I'm expecting a press release from GU SID Dan Teliski announcing Soders' signing.

Is this whole thing fact or fiction? Don't know, don't care. Either way it's drama. Most Division II basketball teams don't get fans talking about them during the season let alone in the dog days of August. As long as we're talking Gannon hoops, I'm a happy guy.

Side Note: I've been told that spotted on the Gannon campus this week was Ferrakohn Hall, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Seton Hall (the Pirates had a coaching change this off-season). He didn't have great stats at Seton Hall (2.4 ppg), but he was first-team all state at White Station HS (Tenn.) and is described as "long and athletic." I've also been told that Hall was offered a scholarship by coach Reilly and accepted immediately. Could he be the big man we've been waiting for?

No -- because what I said in the previous paragraph was completely fabricated. As far as I know, Ferrakohn Hall has never heard of Erie, let alone visited here. I just made it up. But I had you going for a second, didn't I? Be careful what you read on the web ...