Monday, December 6, 2010

Trying My Patience

So, how should you feel when your team has already lost two road games this early in the season? The good news is that both the games have gone down to the wire. The bad news is that you're giving up nearly 80 points per game in those losses. Should you press the panic button? Here's what I predict will happen: the team we're talking about will once again win the PSAC and the Region and maybe even get back to the Division II national championship game.

Sorry to confuse you, but I wasn't talking about Gannon in that lead paragraph. I was describing pre-season top 5 IUP, who is now 3-2 after losing at West Virginia Wesleyan Dec. 7.

There's no reason for anyone in Indiana or Erie to panic, even if our Knights just lost at Central State. Opponents are averaging 74 points per game and are close to outrebounding the Knights (GU holds a slight 35-34 edge). John Reilly's history shows that he can teach his teams to play defense and to rebound. His history also shows that he needs more than 6 weeks to do that. So, I'm not panicked at 2-2 because the Knights still have 23 more games to get better. But if GU is 7-7 in mid-January, then you might have to talk me off the catwalk at the Hammermill Center.

38 comments:

  1. Wellll???
    Not sure what to think yet. Cent St lost to MC by 4 and MC is 4-1 but against who..
    I guess I'll have to wait til Dec 18th to get a better idea.

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  2. Same old story... Poor first half, great comeback falls short. Horrible shooting from the arc, tons of turnovers, foul trouble.

    Urbana loss I was ok with... This loss I'm not.

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  3. Why is this loss different? It was a closer result against likely a better team on the second day of a long (6 hours each direction 2 times in 5 days is less than ideal)road trip. You still have a team that is trying to integrate 6 new players into their top 10 (including a defensive system that is different in philosophy and effort required than most players are familiar with) playing a road game against a school that is notorious for being a difficult place to win (note that 4 GU players fouled out, none for the home team-hmmm), in only their second road game (4th overall), while the opposition was playing their tenth game.

    I'm guessing that, although he played, Piotrowicz was less than 100% (if he couldn't even make the trip Saturday, how effective could he have been after missing perhaps a week of practice?), and it sounded like they were thrown off by the pace of the game, which led to a large number of careless turnovers. Throw in a poor shooting night, and that is a formula for failure.

    Besides the turnovers, I see a problem with rebounding. The point guard position typically shouldn't be averaging 10 boards per game. The bigs may need to step up a little. Additionally, they seem to be having problems with transition defense. That could be because the other teams are playing smaller lineups OR it could be an effort problem. Hard to tell over the radio. It DID seem that the play-by-play man was having problems keeping up with the play, too, so that could make a case for the first possibility.

    On the plus side, they hung in, reversed a large deficit and made it a game when they could easily have given up on and gotten blown out. That didn't happen, and that should give us hope, anyway.

    This team is a work in progress. Roles are still being established (Who will be the go-to guy at the end of games? Who will be the defensive stopper against a hot-shooting opponent? Who will you want to have the ball at the end with a lead?, etc). It's way too early to know based on what's happened so far. With 11 days until the next game, then another 11 until the one after that, it's unlikely that all the details will be in place until mid-January.

    These games mean very little, anyway. If some things get figured out by the start of 2011, GU will be fine. Conference play is what it's all about.

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  4. This loss bothered me more than Urbana because Urbana at least had played some "name" teams and held their own in some of them. Who has Central State played (besides Mercyhurst?). The other reason is because the turnovers increased from 17 to 21. I was expecting a turnover turnaround after the loss to Urbana.

    I am not worried about the "season", I'm just saying that this loss was more disappointing than Urbana to me. Urbana was first road game and I expected a rebound win here.

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  5. CC3, it's fine to be upset with the number of turnovers and poor shooting. But, "who have they played besides Mercyhurst"? Really?

    Wayne State, Elizabeth City and St. Augustine from the CIAA, Fisk(same conference as Metro State). Not exactly a bunch of no-names. It's early; re-read 74's post. It makes perfect sense. As for the rest of the season, we shall see.

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  6. FYI - The Mercyhurst website says that the Lakers played Urbana but not Central State.

    Boze is correct on who CSU HAS played, although he failed to mention that they have already played Elizabteth City twice. Their website, regrettably, has not been updated with their scores since the 11/22 game, which means that the results from 4 games are missing, 5 if you count the GU game.

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  7. Central State's Opponents Record: 26-35
    Urbana's Opponents Record: 47-16

    Those are the combined records of the opponents that each of those teams have played. Central State's schedule includes Division III schools and a few JUCO's and CC's (Central state, however, is the only team to beat Elizabeth City State University) and Urbana's includes 2 DI schools and a slew of D2 power houses.

    So Central State is 7-3 against a schedule consisting of several D3 and JUCO schools that combined for a record of 26-35 so far.

    Urbana is 2-7 against a schedule consisting of D1 schools and several D2 powers that combined for a record of 47-16.

    That is why I am more upset about the Central State loss than the Urbana loss...

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  8. Truthfully, cc3, you thought of all that BEFORE you mentioned being upset by the loss that first time? You knew the records of each team's opponents and had added them up BEFORE the game? Or did you just do the research now afterward to try to justify your point? C'mon. You don't have to admit it to us. Just look in the mirror.

    Relax. It's early in the season. It was a close road loss in a place where it has always been difficult to win. GU came back from 17 down to tie, but ran out of gas and players (don't often see 4 from the same team foul out, but it WAS a road game).

    Maybe you need to get a little more realistic. This isn't the 2008-2009 team, laden with returning starters and reserves from an NCAA tournament team. It's hard to believe that some GU fans are still basing their expectations on that team's accomplishments-That team was very much the result of a rare, fortunate, impossible-to-duplicate situation where the planets aligned perfectly, but they're GONE, folks. Forget about them and move on.

    Maybe you shouldn't have been EXPECTING a win by this team as it is currently configured 3 games into the season. That would have been the case if this was the 2009 team, but it's NOT. Perhaps you should have been HOPING they'd win.

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  9. Obviously the record compilation was done after I said the loss was worse than the loss to Urbana. I did it to justify my point. I said that I was ok with the Urbana loss but that the Central State loss got to me a bit (I never said I was writing off the season nor did I say I was now worried about this team going forward in the season). My point was that Urbana is respectable, Central State not so much. Yes, the fact it was only 4 and on the road makes a difference but the fact that they played so poorly against a team that really has nothing to show (Urbana has a lot to show). The reason for the records was when everyone started talking about all these good teams Central State has played and jumped on me when I called them "no name teams". They may not be no names (although I've never heard of them before) but their records (and fact that alot are D3 and juco) speaks differently.

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  10. And yes after they were down by 17 and made the huge comeback against Urbana I was EXPECTING a win against Central State. But I'm sure in Coach Reillys pregame talk he told the boys, "let's not expect to win this game, let's hope we do".

    When your team is playing a team like Central State (after the first 2 games as getting the first road game out of the way) you do EXPECT to win. If it was IUP, ESU, Mercyhurst (etc) teams who are doing ok this year and have played worthy opponents and have a history of being good, then you HOPE for a win

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  11. I have this view of this team being like breaking a wild stallion. You strapped yourself up, get on and hold on working the horse until the horse gives in to the cowboy being master and the horse now respect and does what the cowboy wants.

    Reilly in the saddle bucking along and working the horse to his philos. Furno, Steve, Denard, Travis and Woody are already broken in. The other seven are in various stages. For example, Rumph hasn't played, it would appear he is still bucking hard. Agee and Battle are there or almost there - they play hard, play defense, and for the most part are blending into the team concept on offense. Kareem, not there - played self-centeredly on offense against CSU; old habits are hard to break.I could go on but you get the point. Coach R is working them hard and IMO getting them ready for conference play. What little I have seen and a lot of what I heard, this team will be a good one as time goes on. IMO I think they will finish higher than 4th as predicted in the pre-season poles ... I'm thinking second behind IUP.

    Regarding CSU, Steve was not 100%, TO's too high, impatience on offense, and the foul calling imbalance hindered GU winning.

    We are able to score, opponents scoring should decline as our defense improves, there is team chemistry ... I'm hopeful ... er ... expecting them to do well.

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  12. There's a BIG difference between what the coach and players are thinking and expecting and what us fans should be thinking and expecting.

    OF COURSE the coach and players expect to win. They HAVE to think that way. CC3, your suggestion otherwise (Coach telling players "let's not expect to win this game, let's hope we do") may be the least intelligent thing you have ever posted.

    If you want to be the type of fan that cannot look at situations objectively and expects your team to win every single game, you are going to be disappointed quite often. You've seen enough basketball to know that's not a reasonable expectation.

    As I said before, this is NOT the 2008-09 team. They're GONE. You cannot set your expectations for this team by that team's accomplishments. That combination of ability, experience, size, and depth is not present this year and may likely not ever again line up on a GU roster. This is not that talented a team, nor is their experience level anywhere near the Elite 8 team. Give these players a break.

    As for your breakdown of UU's and CSU's opponents, an argument could be made that a 7-3 team playing what you have deemed a weaker schedule (by the way, no D-II team plays juco's, so don't go there) just MIGHT be as good as a 2-7 team playing what you feel is a stronger schedule. If UU was 7-3, your theory would be a lot stronger, but they're not.

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  13. Go through Central State's opponents and look at their websites... one is a Junior College and one is a Community College.

    And I still see nothing wrong with EXPECTING Gannon to beat a team of the caliber of Central State University.

    I am looking objectively... Central State is a 7-3 team who has played a bunch of garbage teams (minus ECSU). Urbana is a 2-7 team who has played a slew of quality opponents. So if it's too high of expectations to expect a team to rebound against a team like Central State University... well.. I really don't care! haha you have your opinion, I have mine.

    And to reiterate, I said nothing about it changing my outlook on the season... one game at a time. It was just more disappointing than Urbana. We've played Urbana before, we know what they have and what they are capable of. We haven't played Central State, however, they only have 7 letter winners returned (2 starters; sounds a little familiar) and a bunch of new guys integrated in (de ja vu...). And they haven't played anyone worthy of really playing Behrend. It was one game... a disappointing game, but one game... I'm over it, but ya'll keep going with it by lashing at me for stating an opinion.

    P.S. - If UU was 7-3, they would have Central State's schedule.

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  14. It's early, but I believe this is a make-or-break season for Reilly...I mean if he doesn't win this year...that will be 4 out of his 6 seasons that are bad, or at least not up to GU expectations...

    I know that if I succeed 33% of the time in my job, I will not be around long...(it's not baseball).

    Personally I like the make-up of this team and I think they'll be good. And I think the nucleus has a chance to be very good in the upcoming years. But really, I'm just guessing...I have no inside information.

    BUT at least this team can score...previous Reilly teams, with the exception of the Howard/Goldcamp etc era have been really offensively challenged. Maddeningly so...

    I have confidence that IF these kids stay around they WILL be playing the defense and rebounding like a typical Reilly team.

    So who would win between Central State and Urbana?...cc and gannon74 please discuss...

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  15. I think Dec 18th and Feb 7th will answer a lot of the questions.

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  16. Right now... I'm going 100% with Urbana.

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  17. Done discussing the merits of UU and CSU, and that was never my main point. CC3 was too busy trying to justify his statements to see what I was trying to get across.

    My main point is that this is not the Lindsey-Howard-Goldcamp-Stoczynski-Knight-Wilson-Johnson team, which incidentally, played games 2-12 at home in 08-09. All those kids had played for GU the year before on an NCAA tournament team, and the steady diet of home cooking allowed them to settle into their roles, develop their confidence, and turn into a powerhouse. We were all aware of what they could do. A lot was expected of that team and they came through.

    This is NOT that team. This team returns a center who should be playing his first year this year (he was going to redshirt, remember?), a foul-prone power forward who has yet to prove that he can stay in games long enough to consistently contribute, an undersized point guard who was unrecruited out of high school and showed up on GU's doorstep before last year and started all of 3 games last year. Those are your returning starters. The other 2 starters are a freshman who didn't play at all last year and a transfer who, among other faults, might like to shoot too much. The bench is a complete unknown, for the most part. That's not exactly the lineup of the Los Angeles Lakers, and to be "expecting" them to go on the road and win their fourth game is unreasonable, IMO.

    THAT'S the point. If they lose to UU and, particularly, CSU (in February), then you can be disappointed. Right now, it's way too early for such expectations.

    That's my last word on the subject.

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  18. Just FYI, here are some scores from the games at IUP this weekend.

    IUP sneaks by Central State by 4 but demolishes Urbana by 24.

    Edinboro tops Urbana but loses to Central State.

    Hmmmmm. I guess CSU's easy schedule enabled them to rest up for their trip to IUP and Urbana's difficult slate to date wore them out a little. LOL

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  19. Here it is Dec. 14 and the Gannon men have had just two home games so far, and none since Nov. 27. We won't be seeing them again until Dec. 18th. They've played just four games total to date, which is the least amount of games played by any PSAC team to this point. Other years, they played upwards of seven or eight home games prior to the Porreco Cup. So what is the reason for this? Could it be that now that they are in the PSAC, they have nobody to play independent games against, which they often did versus PSAC teams when they were in the GLIAC? That could be the case, but if so, then why have all the other PSAC teams, including Mercyhurst (6 games) and Edinboro (9 games), played many more games so far? The Hammermill being dark through most all of November and December would have been unheard of as recently as a few years back. Where are our independent games? We miss our basketball!

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  20. Player Updates:

    George Johnson leads the 7-0 Augusta State Jaguars in scoring (14.8ppg), minutes played (just shy of 30) and is also tied for the team lead in steals (11). He is third in rebounds (3.7), 5th in assists (9) and has the fewest turnovers of all the starters (9). He is shooting 47.1% from the floor, 33.3% from 3FG and is 4th on the team in FT% (84.6%) George has started all 6 of the games he played in, missing one due to "personal reasons" (per site). The Jaguars are ranked #10 in Division 2.

    Anthony Simmons is the 2nd leading scorer (11.2) for the 10-0 Xavier University of Louisiana "Gold Rush Nuggets" (NAIA). He averages 7 rebound per game, which is tied for first, is second on the team in blocks (6) and third on the team in steals (9). He will face former GU teammate, Larry Swann, when the Nuggets face-off against Dakota Wesleyan University in the Miami Gardens Classic on December 30. Simmons has played in 9 of the team's 10 games, starting all 9.

    Larry Swann is the 4th leading scorer (10.7) for the 10-4 Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers. He leads the team in assists (33), but is also second highest on the team in turnovers (27). Swann has played in all 14 games, starting them all, and averages just shy of 26 minutes per game. He will square off against former GU teammate Anthony Simmons on December 30 at the Miami Gardens Classic.

    Daren Dexter has started all 7 games for the 4-3 Greensboro College Pride and leads the team in points (16.6), rebounds (6.9), steals (21) and minutes played (29.6). He is also 3rd on the team in assists per game at 2. He has led the team in scoring in 4 games and in rebounds 6 of the 7 games.

    Jerrell Sanders' dunk that landed him on ESPN's Top 10 Plays seems to be about the only bright spot of his year so far. He's played in 7 of 9 games (starting 4) for the Ferris State Bulldogs. He is averaging 3.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 19 minutes per game.

    After suffering a severely sprained ankle in the preseason, Filmore "Mook" Bouldes has played in all 8 games for the Missouri S&T Miners averaging 11.9 minutes per game. On the season he has recorded 11 points, 7 assists (4 TOs), 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. Totally understandable. Just don't read them when I post them. Also, please watch your language as I find that very offensive on a family-oriented blog.

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  24. I'll still comment on your posts as I choose. You can choose not to read mine!

    +++ Jim ++++ Best to remove my above post since virgin eyes my read it.

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  25. That's fine by me, I'm always open to comments. I just simply meant if a comment of mine makes you have the desire to curse, then you should just ignore my comments (reference the "cease fire" when Jim said there was a dad and son who read the blog and the dad was disgusted with the language).

    I have no problem reading yours or anyone elses, just hopefully the won't be vulgar and offensive.

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  26. Sure-fire sign that we need more games to be played ... the commenters are filling their spare time by sniping at each other. Give us more basketball!!

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  27. haha good call Golden.. and I agree!! WE NEED GANNON BALL!!

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  28. Jim -- can we start a separate tread on Gannon's lack of basketball games in November and December? I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on this.

    Last year I said that Gannon's schedule was the worst since the beginning of the modern era, but this year's is even worse than that. Through Dec. 15th, Gannon men have played just 4 games, and only 2 at home, while every other PSAC team has played more games, and all but one have played more home games. Here is a breakdown of games played by all PSAC teams through Dec. 15, with home games in parenthesis:

    Edinboro 9 (3); W. Chester 8 (7); Mercyhurst 8 (5); Mansfield 8 (4); Shippensburg 8 (4); Kutztown 8 (3); Bloomsburg 8 (2); IUP 7 (4); Lock Haven 7 (3); Slippery Rock 7 (1); Clarion 6 (4); E. Stroudsburg 6 (4); Millersville 6 (4); California 6 (3); Cheyney 6 (3); Gannon 4 (2).

    In addition, the following schools have played exhibition games against Division I schools: East Stroudsburg (Penn State, Binghamton); Kutztown (Syracuse); and Mansfield (St. Bonaventure).

    As you can see, Gannon, with just 4 games to date, is at the very bottom of the list in games played through November and half of December. Also, every other team except Slippery Rock has played more home games to date, although overall they've played 7 games.

    Basically, we are through around 40 percent of the college basketball calendar at this point, yet Gannon has played only 4 games, and just 2 home games. Here it is Dec. 15th, and it's almost like the season has yet to start. To see the Hammermill dark during all but two nights in November and all of December to this point is very sad and depressing.

    So where are our independent games? And our home games? Why are other PSAC teams, including Mercyhurst and Edinboro, able to schedule them, but not Gannon? I feel that we are getting cheated out of our basketball. I miss the old days, when Gannon played a November-December schedule such as West Chester and Mercyhurst have played so far.

    So what are others' thoughts on why this is?

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  29. cc3 - I agree and apologize to those that were offended by the inappropriate language. I will keep my responses "G"(approved by all audiences) rated.

    G89 and Gannon Lifer - Doesn't the NCAA restrict how many games can be played in a season ... I believe 23 this year but I don't know the rules so I could be mistaken. And I guess an "exhibition" game would not count against that total? Or can you have as many non-conference games as you wish? I too would like to see more games in Nov/Dec up to the weekend before final examines. Players need the weekend to prep for finals week.

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  30. I do know the # of games was reduced, but I thought it was like 25-26 or something.. I am not sure just the first #'s that sounded familiar.

    But I think because of the tournaments (Gary Miller and Porreco )it may restrict # of games allowed. I know there are several different "stipulations" so I'm not sure. But like for instance I know that if you play in a tournament outside the continental US, the games don't count towards your total # of games (in the eyes of the NCAA). And I believe there was something about playing in tournaments outside of your "region". Personally, it's stupid.

    I agree with Lifer and Golden, 4 games through a little over a month of play is very depressing! Honestly, I'd rather be playing the Behrends, Daemens, etc. than not playing at all.

    But who knows...

    Oh and of course, I HATE the 1-3 doubleheaders on Saturdays (because I am usually working) and I was so excited to see we had a 530-730 doubleheader... then I saw it was against Urbana... and on the same night I have prior commitments starting at 5. Yes, that is my luck! haha

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  31. When does GU's BB season start? I hope we can improve on last yrs 2 - 2 record. Ha!
    This is a crazy sched. No-one likes it. I just wish we had some explanation as to why it was done this way.

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  32. In the 2 home games GU has had, we had attendances of 1141 and 1132.

    At the Audi last night, Villa girls played MPS and had a crowd of "over 1500 people".

    Nothing against Gannon, but in total support of the bloggers on here, there needs to be better advertisement and promotion to get fans in the stands!

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  33. those two homes games were when students weren't in session. those are pretty large crowds with no students.

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  34. but honestly, I don't think there would've been 400 students showing up for those games. It seems the student-based dwindles year after year. I think the biggest fault to that is that Gannon doesn't go out of their way to let students know that ID gets them in for free. When I was in school, I didn't find out until my sophomore year and that was only because I asked. The response was that it was in the handbook. It was... a one-liner under some totally irrelevant topic. (plus, what kids are reading those books?)

    But, in agreement with your statement, those are decently big crowds for break time (didn't realize that until now).

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