Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Knight: Darrell Blanton F jr. 6-3

This should be the 9th and final installment of "New Knights" and "GU Recruits" for the 2010-11 season. When I sat down at my computer to research Darrell Blanton, I honestly thought I'd find some ho-hum stuff on just another guy. Here's Blanton in a nutshell: high-scoring Division I signee, juco All-American, and all-state high schooler who drew comparisons to NBA stars. Pretty decent first impression, huh?

Below is some more info on Blanton. Let's hope everyone sticks around so next off-season we only need to talk about the replacements for seniors Danard Crouch, Travis Brannen, and Kareem Brown.

* A May 30, 2010 story from the Akron Beacon-Journal stated: " is reporting that Darrell Blanton, a Chicago junior college player originally from Euclid, has signed a letter of intent to play at Akron. A team source tells me that Blanton, a 6-foot-3 forward, will likely be a walk-on in 2010 if his grades are sufficient." I'm not sure if Blanton didn't make the grade at Akron or if a Gannon scholarship offer was better than walking on for the Zips.

* Blanton played his sophomore season at Kennedy-King (IL) College in Chicago. If you know Kennedy-King's nickname, I'll buy you a bag of popcorn at Gannon's home opener. If you know Blanton's stats at Kennedy-King, I'll buy you a drink as well. K-K has very little information on their website but they are the proud owners of one of the lamest schedule pages in all of college basketball.
* Blanton was an honorable mention NJCAA Division I All-American at Kennedy-King.
* He was named Player of the Week for his region after two games with cumulative stats of 52 points (64.7 percent from field), 17 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.

* As a freshman, Blanton played at Fort Scott (KS) Community College, where he averaged 17.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.2 steals, and 1 block per game. He shot 55% from the field and 64% from the foul line.
* At FSCC, Blanton was named to the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honorable mention team. If you're thinking you've heard of that conference before, it's where GU recruits Anthony Clagett and Dennis Rumph played last year.

* At Euclid High School, Blanton received several honors including Division I All-Ohio 3rd team All-State by Ohio Prep Stars and Honorable Mention All-State by the Associated Press. He was also accorded Northeast Lakes All-District 1st team accolades after averaging 19.1 ppg in 2007-08.
* Blanton was the #40 senior in Ohio in 2008 as rated by Hoop Scoop Online. Everybody from #52 and up was either going Division I or uncommitted to a college.
* The info related to Blanton's high school days that really jumped out to me were the statements made by his former assistant coach at Euclid when talking about a current EHS player. Tedd Kwasniak, who won back-to-back state championships as the head coach at Villa Angela-St. Joseph in 1994 and 1995, is an assistant at Euclid. Talking about Demetrius Treadwell, Kwasniak "brought up names such as former NBA player Ruben Patterson, current New Orleans Hornet forward James Posey, former VASJ standout Jerome Davis, former St. Joe's and Ohio State standout Treg Lee, and former All-Ohioan Darrell Blanton - a Euclid grad."

* I couldn't find a photo online of Blanton, so I'll pretend that this is him. Man can that kid get up!

So that's all the new Knights. We've pretty much exhausted every detail of the entire Gannon roster and we talked about a guy who was never on the roster. What do we do for the next two months until the Gary Miller Classic? Research Cedarville, I guess.


  1. Safe to say no one has anything to say anymore?

    I suppose we are waiting for the winds to change - and a new season to dawn...

    "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds." (Albert Einstein)

  2. Amazing...another 'almost' qualifier at the D1 level but welcomed with open arms at GU...another JUCO wonder...academics first, then hoops...yeah RRIIGGHHTT!!!

    not to beat at dead horse but will any of these guys actually finish school, contribute to the GU community and eventually give something back as alumni? guess is no chance!...

  3. When did any of them?

    Not Chapman era... Not Dukiet Era...
    well may be to a certain extent, but really...

  4. I have to say I'm a little stung by those comments. First, to predict the future misfortunes of a young man based on a snippet in a newspaper is at best presumptuous and discouraging.

    Second, during my 4 years at Gannon, we added several players to our roster who were "JUCO wonders" who had prior academic issues and, quite frankly, struggled to make it through school. Gannon gave them a second chance, and everyone benefited.

    Not only did they earn a college degree, but they are now serving the greater good. Of the three guys I'm thinking of off the top of my head, one is an assistant principal, another is a non-profit executive, and the third is a counselor. They've also served as coaches in our community. They are proud members of the Gannon community, and the Gannon community should be proud of them.

    So if your question is do JUCO athletes who struggle academically and get accepted by Gannon finish school and give back, my answer is an emphatic YES. Let's give each kid a fair chance. I'm glad someone did when I was at Gannon.

  5. Forget even JUCOs...

    I believe I recall that Tyler Stoczynski got into some kind of trouble at the school he was at before he came home to Gannon. I don't remember what exactly the trouble was (it was serious enough to make some minor headlines though), but Gannon accepted him with open arms. He played 3 tremendous years at Gannon, was only in the paper for good things, and graduated with a relatively good GPA. Should Gannon not have given him another chance? Or is it different because of his last name, his "home town advantage" and that he wasn't a JUCO?

    You have to remember.. Kyle Goldcamp is not your every day college basketball player. Not everyone going to play college ball at any divison level is going to be an all-star and graduate with a tremendous GPA.

    I'm all for the high GPAs and the great academics... but in terms of basketball, are we looking for a roster of brainiacs and scholars? or are we looking for kids who are going to help Gannon Men's Basketball win games and lead us to the post season (and hopefully further?) Now, I'm not saying I want us to pick up a bunch of all-americans who have 1.0 GPAs, but you have to look at it that you're not going to be both all the time.

    So... do you want a 3.75+ GPA kid who is no more than an average basketball player, or are you willing to accept a mid range 2.0-ish to lower 3.0ish GPA kid who is an above average basketball player?

    (regardless of your answer to that, YES I do want kids who are going to receive the GU Diploma though)

  6. Any word on that rumored Canisus scrimmage? Its not listed on the Golden Griffiths website.

    If there is a game, this is what Tanner Furno gets to look forward to...

    Maybe put Ty Batts on Furno's shoulders, and then he can guard this guy.

  7. A couple of the posts above apparently got under someone else's skin, too. Here's an email I received today:

    Let’s not forget that someone who doesn’t qualify for Division I doesn’t necessarily have bad grades. There are countless examples of kids with GPAs over 3.0 but didn’t get the SAT and/or ACT scores to qualify. It happens.

    Also take a look at the Gannon athletic department’s academic achievements – and that includes basketball. The men’s basketball combined cumulative team GPA last spring was 2.72.

    Your bloggers might want to ask (former Golden Knight) Dave Wilson how Gannon gave him a chance. Graduation day was one of the happiest days of his life. Gannon spends a lot of time and energy preparing its students and student-athletes for life after college.

  8. Jeremy -Yah, the dude is 7-3 but last year avg. 3 points and 6 rebounds a game. Doesn't sound like a super threat other than he avg. 5 blocks a game. Coach would have to move Furno out of the post to get the big fella away from the basket in any hope of getting an offensive rebound.

  9. If the canisius is a "scrimmage" it won't be listed. If it's a scrimmage it'll be a simulated practice game like when they scrimmages behrend last year. If it's an exhibition game then it would be listed. However I don't see canisius coming to Gannon for an exhibition game.

  10. Regarding the possible Gannon/Canisius meeting, I received this email from Gannon SID Dan Teliski: "There is no Canisius exhibition game for the men’s team --- here or there. As for scrimmages, all scrimmages are closed door per NCAA rules and regulations."

  11. Wow, is there an echo in here? :)

  12. not for the clairvoyant like yourself

  13. that was not clairvoyance... that was taking past known info and putting it towards a "supposed" thought about an upcoming event similar to the event of the past

    aka common sense

  14. relax, just a lil tongue in cheeck

  15. I imagine by asking this question, I will cause the “common sense” stick to come down from on high, but is there any word of any open practices, exhibitions, or a Midnight Madness on the 15th?

  16. Chill, just sarcasm :-)

  17. Anything on the order of "open practices, exhibitions, or a Midnight Madness", as pretty much everyone who's enough of a fan to be on this blog knows, is something that Coach Reilly just doesn't go for.

    Now that we know that any Canisius exhibition game (which is sure to be a closed scrimmage, if they get together at all)ain't happening, look for the Maroon-Gold Scrimmage to be the first opportunity to see the Knights on the court. As usual.

  18. Well I'm more than definitely fan enough to be on the blog, but that doesnt preclude me from hoping for a change of heart by Reilly and have them open up something for the fans. I enjoyed the years that Slocum did the Midnight Madness...

  19. Ahhh there in lie's the rub....

    With all of the more recent rules on time, Coach, I am certain feels a certain amount of pressure to "make Hay while the sun shines" as my college buddy the "Sheepherder" used to say.
    Secondly, they are largely wastes of time, dog and pony shows...
    BUT, they do carry a certain amount of goodwill to the community. But does that good will really produce anything?
    I would guess not:
    the people who love GU hoops will always be there
    the nay-sayers would use it to find a way to criticize
    and the majority of Erie and Gannon students are simply not interested

    There is no win-win here, and the possibility of negative publicity probably outways any possibility of any good

  20. The natives are getting restless.
    If Gannon had a MM I would be there.

  21. Not trying to question anyone's "fandom", that wasn't the intent at all.

    Just trying to expound on how little Coach Reilly thinks about anything except preparing his team. It is his #1 priority, and he does it his way. He has blinders on, for the most part, about everything else. I can't see him EVER changing his mind about having a "Midnight Madness"-type event unless someone higher up than him on the organizational chart insisted on it, or it was done for the benefit of some really good cause.

    On another subject, part of the students' apathy about the basketball program is that Gannon sports teams don't outwardly support each other that much. I saw the women's basketball team on TV supporting the volleyball team, but that seems to be more of a gender thing, and an exception to the norm.

    Somehow, there are different dynamics in place @ GU. Instead of support, there seems to be a feeling of jealousy over the amount of attention and the amenities (fan support, publicity, trips, funds, gear, etc.)that one or the other team receives.

    At Edinboro and Mercyhurst, for example, members of the football team show up for the hoops games, their faces (and sometimes their bodies) painted, and make a lot of noise supporting their teams, even doing their best to intimidate the refs, the other team, and other team's fans. Ever see that at GU? I have heard members of the GU football team say they don't like the basketball players, and won't support them, and vice versa. I have heard members of the men's basketball team say they don't like and don't support the players on the women's hoops team and vice versa.

    If the other athletes, for whatever reason, don't support the various sports teams, you wouldn't expect many of the non-athlete students to do so, either.

    There's a problem at GU amongst the sports teams. I'm sure there are reasons for it (might be good reasons, I don't know) that I'm not privvy to, but it wouldn't hurt if the powers-that-be within the school take a closer look at the situation. There exists the real possibility that whatever is causing the sports team to dislike each other may be affecting the student body as a whole in the same manner.

  22. I can honestly say that in my 20+ years of affiliation with the university there has never been any real support, unless there was some cross sport dating going on.
    Secondly, the reality is that it is rare anywhere you go, as for the Edinboro example - is that all games or just the GU game? I remeber going to Cal-Boro game back in the days and there were maybe 200 people in the stands... Gannon showed up 3 days later, on a Tuesday night, and it was packed to the rafters...

    I do like the idea of some type of 'open' event as a 'fund raiser' for some organization. that is something if Reils sees he may just jump on board for...

  23. Coach Reilly has had the "Maroon & Gold" Scrimmage before where you like donate a can of goods and get in the door and get a hot dog and a pop or something like that. I've been to that. I don't recall it last year, but definitely his first and second year because I remember seeing Stosh for the first time at that and also Goldcamp.

  24. Here are the att #s for the PSAC schools.
    While they do not have a student breakdown
    it shows where we stand.
    2008/09 PSAC BB att from web site

    sch h-gm tot ave

    Gannon 22 38583 1754
    Cheyney 12 9855 821
    Indiana 16 13015 813
    Kutztown13 10914 728
    Edinboro13 9418 724
    Millersville13 9051 696
    E Stroudsburg13 7935 610
    Mansfield12 6770 564
    California12 6524 544
    West Chester15 7145 476
    Shippensburg11 5007 455
    Slippery Rock16 7158 447
    Clarion 15 6555 437
    Lock Haven12 4968 414
    Mercyhurst14 3835 274
    Bloomsburg13 2687 207
    222 149420 674


    Indiana 18 19921 1107
    Gannon 17 17594 1035
    Kutztown14 14044 1003
    California12 9757 813
    E Stroudsburg16 11596 725
    Clarion 14 9093 650
    Mansfield15 9414 628
    Cheyney 10 6246 625
    West Chester12 7121 593
    Edinboro14 7897 564
    Millersville 14 7267 519
    Slippery Rock13 6077 467
    Mercyhurst14 4986 356
    Lock Haven13 4306 331
    Bloomsburg14 4421 316
    Shippensburg14 2893 207
    224 142633 637

  25. that's not bad for Gannon at all... just shows that the "fans" go when the team is winning...

    when we made our run to the playoffs we averaged 700 fans more than when we had a season filled with constant change of players and a dismal season..

    IUP had a great season in 08-09 and only averaged 300 people more in their dream run to the national championship in 09-10.

    Gannon will always have a "good" following regardless of if they pack the place or not, if they play D1 Scrimmages, if they have open practices, if they release player info months ahead of the schedule, etc.

  26. The problem with Gannon (and Erie too but that’s a discussion for other blogs) is that people are way too content to settle for what is just good or decent. Of course Gannon has a nice following and one that is more than numerous other schools. But don’t forget that the Hammermill Center can seat almost 3,000 fans. Getting 1035 fans means that the place is barely 1/3 filled. It can be better.
    Yes there is a solid core of fans. But A) why not grow that core? A bigger core gets bigger crowds, with more excitement, more revenue for the school and the program. Maybe enough money to do some improvements to Hammermill. I hate the idea of “you play the game they will come” and I hate settling for what is ok.
    B) There is not as large of a group of fans in the younger age bracket. Many of the boosters and fans now will not be around in 20 years. I think its pretty easy to look at the plush seats and see that many of those fans are getting older. This isn’t meant as a slight to those fans, its simply the truth. It isn’t always easy, however to look towards the future.
    If Gannon fans want to continue to have a fun, vibrant atmosphere for basketball games for years to come, you can’t accept the status quo. If you want to see how Gannon could be in 20 years, just look up the hill to Mercyhurst and their tiny crowds. Do you want that to be how the Hammermill looks? That’s why as a program you do have to do everything that you can to be accessible to the fans and build up excitement and support in the community to bring in new fans. Have some deals for schoolkids/cubscout and girl scout packs/ anyone in the community just to fill more seats. An ad or two in the newspaper or on TV. Anything to get the word out about the team.
    Anyone else agree?

  27. Gone are the days when the knights are the only winter show in town...

    entertainment dollars only go so far..

    with the advent of 'semi pro' sports, bayhawks, otters, even the storm, I have no doubt we are loosing fans to them. Now I am realistic and do not believe it is a large contingent it does have some impact. And college students rarely go to games, unless it is a rival, or unless there is a bandwagon to jump on... look at IUP and there jump as an example...

  28. They can promote all they want, it's not going to help. There's too many things going on in Erie nowadays. Otters, Bayhawks, Seawolves, Playhouse, Warner, Civic Center, school events, Gannon is offering a ton of night classes nowadays as well.

    Look at the "Pink Zone" games.. you get in FREE... they still had something like 2300 last year or something. a FREE day didn't even pack it. It's not Gannon, it's Erie. People have many options now rather than just a college basketball game. Also, I know many people who skip high school/college games in Erie to stay home to watch the big college games on ESPN.

    And then you have to take into consideration those who are affected by the economy... I'm sure family time has become stronger now.

    The one thing I will grieve about however is Gannon's lack of advertising that Gannon Students get in for free with their ID. I didn't find that out until the end of my sophomore year. That is one thing that I was extremely disappointed with!

  29. Some thoughts on the above posts.
    GU has led both the GLIAC and PSAC (except last Yr) in att.
    One of the strong reasons is the plush seating availible only on a season pass. As a Sr I can get a $3 seat on a sliver but I choose to pay almost $12 a seat to cushion my ol' butt. I've talked to others who have said they wouldn't even come to games if they had to sit on the wooden benches. Those old timers you see in the plush pay $175 per seat just for the comfort. Most yrs there is a waiting list for these seats.
    I had said before GU should hire a sports mrktg dr. They should tie in more with Prep sports and also allow their students free entry with ID. This may help set up a pipeline from Prep. They both belong to the Bishop.
    I don't know how much or even if GU pushes sporting events to the students, its been 40yrs since I was of college age. GU has a small am't of UC @ 2600. Many go home on wkends or live at home and are disconnected to campus events. GU needs to push a little with student contests wildest outfit, loudest fan, etc. Most people know and enjoy Everett the loudest and face painted GU fan at BB and FB games. What happened to the pep band of a few yrs ago. Get them free pizza or whatever. They were fun.
    As far as the many events to take my dollar around town and I remember the cry "there's nothing to do in Erie". I have given away $24 seats to the BHawks when they were on the same nights when GU played.
    That's where GU needs to make it more than just a game. A Sprt Mktg Dir turns a game into a "I need to be there" event rather than just a game.
    The AD and SID have too many other duties. GU needs a specialist to pull in those entertainment dollars. The days are gone when Gannon can go on its name alone they have to push to compete like the athelets do. Ask any coach winning brings in better recruits, name recognition which brings in more fans and more money for the program.
    A winning program also has a certain amount of draw for perspective students to help grow the University.
    It all ties in.
    Does this make sense or have I just rambled on?

  30. GU Fanman: You make complete sense. I agree 110%: It needs to be more than just a game in order for the program to not only sustain itself but to grow for the future.

  31. GU Fan: I agree completely. The other part you need is the coaches (no matter what sport) need to get out in the community and promote their sport. Remember Tom Chapman he was on TV, radio, in the newspaper talking at sports banquets communion breakfast. I remember before games Tom would go through the cafeteria during lunch and stop at every table and invite the students to the games. The old saying " If you do not blow your own horn no one is going to do it for you"

  32. That was Chapman's personality. He embraced that kind of interaction with the fans. In fact, I think he thrived in that environment.

    However, that's not Coach Reilly's personality at all. I don't see him seeing that type of thing as part of his job descrioption. This is not meant as a criticism of him, just stating my opinion of whether he'd do something like that. I can't see him doing it.

  33. Chapman was another time/place/era

    And be honest, Chapman viewed GU as a stepping stone, while Riels sees it as a destination...

    Chapman theatrics were designed to help him sell him, and as far as exposure, back to entertainment dollars again - local sponsors are not dropping the $ to broadcast games, and the attendance is down. He was the only show in town, and people wanted in...

    Part of it may be a lack of interest on coaches.. but the rest is really the fact that times have changed and a marketing department such as you find for a pro sports team is not part of the college atmosphere...

  34. BMOC: I might have bought that idea that Gannon was a destination for Reilly until he applied for the Southern Indiana position. Not that there is anything wrong with that but but it leads me to believe this is only a pass through in John's mind also.

  35. Did Coach Reilly apply for the SIU position or was he asked to interview for it? Either way, yes, it does show that he probably isn't looking at this as a retiring gig.

    However, if he applied for it, then that's a definite sign, but if he was called and they said "We were wondering if you'd like to interview the position"... he could have just toyed with the idea and said sure.

    But I definitely don't see Gannon being his final coaching era. I think, as almost every coach wants to, his end game is back home.

  36. I was under the impression they sought him out after the season..

    but who am I?

  37. That's the impression I got as well BMOC. It sounded to me like he was doing it more to get them off his back than anything else.

  38. Men's team BB pic is now up on the web.

  39. well, on paper and in the picture it looks we have potential.. hopefully all sticks together and pulls through..

    have to say though... #10 just doesn't look right :(