Sunday, November 14, 2010

All Eyes On Cedarville

While the Golden Knights are still trying to figure out each other, their opponent for the opening round of the Gary Miller Classic is already raising a trophy. Cedarville is 2-0 after defeating host Rio Grande, 85-78, in the championship game of the Rio Grande Bevo Francis Tournament Saturday. Here are some stats on the Yellow Jackets you might find interesting (thru 2 games). Please keep in mind that two games doesn't exactly make a trend, but it does shed some light on the club:
* Two seniors and two sophomores average double figures -- Matt Harner (15.5), Austin Foote (14.0), Brian Hecker (13.5), and Derrick Hannon (13.0)
* The Yellow Jackets are 25-of-55 on threes (46%) and 74-of-129 (57%) from the field overall. Good shooters, right?
* Well, maybe that's only when they have a hand in their face. They're only 10-for-21 from the foul line, a paltry 47%. Harner has made 7-of-9 threes but he's 0-of-4 from the charity stripe.
* Opponents are shooting 50% from the field against them.
* They've outrebounded opponents an average of 38-25.
* The attendance for the championship game was 340. I've had bigger parties at my house. Apparently the Yellow Jacket fans don't travel well, but they support their team like crazy on campus.

Before heading to the Hammermill Center, Cedarville -- who is ranked #14 in NAIA Division II -- will play two more important games in their division. They host #24 Indiana Wesleyan as well as preseason #1 and defending national champion Saint Francis (Ind.) on Nov. 19-20 in the 33rd Annual Cedarville Invitational. (We'll provide updates on those games on the Gannon Hoops website. And if you think I'm the only one blogging about Cedarville basketball, guess again.)

I'm trying to get a gauge on how good Cedarville is, but I'm not sure if I should be impressed that they beat Bluefield (W.Va) by 23 to open the season. I don't know anything about Bluefield -- not even their team mascot. CU was 26-9 last year with one of those losses by 17 at Urbana (88-71). Then again, they shellacked Urbana at home 97-75. Other W's came against Roberts Wesleyan, Daemen, and Taylor (Ind.), who GU held off for a two-point home win last year. Everyone else on their schedule from a season ago sounds like a high school (St. Xavier), a bank (Huntington), or a merger between a blood-pressure drug and a rural church (Trevecca Nazarene).

Update #1: (11/16/10) Cedarville led at halftime, 45-39, but lost at Findlay tonight by a 94-75 final. The Oilers are preseason #3 in Division II play.

Update #2: (11/20/10) Cedarville lost at home Friday night to NAIA Division II #24 Indiana Wesleyan, 70-65. The Jackets shot just 41% from the field in front of a nice-sized crowd of 1700+.

Update #3: (11/21/10) Cedarville fell to 2-3 overall after their 100-84 home loss to NAIA Division II #1 St. Francis (Ind.). Cedarville was just 4-of-12 from the foul line, making them an even 50% for the season (25-for-50) on charity tosses. I'm perplexed how a team that shoots it so well from three-point range (40%, 50-for-125) can be so abysmal when uncontested. I also can't understand how St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, could be so mean to Yellow Jackets.

Update #4: (11/24/10) Cedarville ended its three-game losing streak with an 87-75 home win over Ohio Christian. The game was close throughout. CU jacked up 35 threes (making 11) and shot 59% from the foul line, bringing their season FT percentage to 53.2%.

Geez, I think we know more about Cedarville than we do our own Knights. We'll learn a lot Nov. 26-27. And so will coach John Reilly.


  1. Jim, I'm surprised you don't know that they are the Rams of Bluefield College, picked to finish third in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Located in Bluefield, VA, BC has 3000 students...or so I've heard.

  2. Pretty exciting stuff on the Cedarville blog ...

    They watch episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" on the brand spankin' new team bus. That ought to attract the recruits.

    The blogger is an exercise science major. That's a bad sign for GU as Cedarville is finding majors to hide top players. And you thought that the athletic majors were restricted to big-time D-I.

    He plans to report on the gruesome happenings ... I'll have to check out this blog more often. Jim -- you may need to make yours more gruesome to compete with other teams' blogs.

  3. anyone go to the Maroon/Gold scrimmages last night for either team?

  4. Yes, and while it is early, I was underwhelmed by what I saw.
    The big problem came on offense. The guys did all the same things that made last year's offense so anemic. Pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass-pass. Very very few looks inside to the post guy. No post ups by the post guys. No guys taking the ball from the wing to the hoop on the drive. Wide open missed shots. The other four guys on offense standing around 90% of the time while the offense plays its pass-pass-pass game.

    While the guys were super aggressive on defense, they play way too timid on offense. I know its early and will take time for the guys to get to know each other. But I saw very few attempts at good, set plays to get someone open for a shot. You aren't going to win 40-37 every game. The last 10 minutes of play saw them score 4 points on Tuesday. That's not going to get the job done.

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  6. don't put too much weight in a intrasquad scrimmage.

  7. It is nice to see that Tyler Stoczynski and Joe Lindsey were added to the staff and will be on the bench this year.

  8. did Kelvin Agee put up some points? I saw him earlier and he was lights out from everywhere... but I can agree that there was really no one else doing much...

    And Tanner gained 20 pounds???? WHERE?? in his hair??

  9. You have to remember that offense always looks bad in intrasquad scrimmages because the defense knows the plays that the offense is trying to run. It's particularly true of GU's motion offense, in which offensive movements and shot opportunities depend on the movement/reactions of the defense. If the D knows where the offense is trying to go, well, you get what you saw on Tuesday.

    It's true at every level and is one of the most difficult things coaches have to deal with in polishing their teams' offensive execution.

    The GU players looked like they were trying to show Coach Reilly they know the plays. Didn't see anything resembling creativity. That should change when they play another team. Not guaranteeing better results offensively, but I think games will be a better indicator of where they are.

    As far as Furno, if you hadn't seen him in a while, you'd say that he is definitely broader in the back and shoulders. As for his hair, if anything, it actually looks shorter and more organized, making him look a little more mature, which isn't saying much because facially, he looked about 14 years old last year.

  10. Yes, he definitely looks broader in the back and shoulders.. his arms also look a bit more "toned" than they were last year, however, I don't see 20lbs worth of it!

  11. Furno going from 195 lbs. to 215 lbs on a 6-9 frame will not be very evident. Let's remember that most on this blog wrote him off last year as a dud and what was Reilly thinking recruiting this guy ... yet ends up freshman of the year ... and that at 195 lbs ... he should be as good or slightly better with a little more weight and muscle and as coach says is a good student that stays out of trouble. Tanner is not a fifth year developed Goldkamp ... get use to it, he's a developing sophomore. It would have been nice if Anthony stayed having him at the 5 spot and Tanner at the 4 which is a better position for Tanner to play IMO. So we have a skinny 4 spot guy playing post and giving his best, I can live with it b/c it he is our only "big man".

    I would expect an offense to be mechanical when it has 3 to 7 new players rotating in. As G74 said, hopefully as time goes on, the flow will loosen up. I would have thought coach would have had more scrimmage games to help this, but I'm not the coach. I'm afraid we may not look to good against Cedarville b/c of the offense being insecure and Cedarville having what 5 or 7 games under their belt when they come to GU. Let's also remember that coach is defense focused first ths not surprizing the defense looked much better than the offense.

  12. When they scrimmaged Behrend, the offense looked great and the defense looked pretty bad (Behrend's big guy ate Gannon up and they hit a ton of 3's)

  13. I think 3 scrimmages (Lake Erie, Canisius, and Behrend - one from each Division) are enough. IMO, what they should have had was a game this weekend in advance of the Miller Classic, seeing as the team they are scheduled to play will have played, as GUBB said, 5 or 7 games before the game with GU.

    I would be surprised if GU looks good vs Cedarville. In fact, if they even can stay close, unless Cedarville is terrible (their results so far seem to suggest otherwise), it should be considered a major accomplishment. To be in the game when your opponent has played 25% of their season already and you are making your debut is difficult at best. That is a huge factor.