Saturday, January 8, 2011

Road Kill

I'm not shocked that Gannon lost at 9-2 Cheyney this afternoon, but I'm blown away that the Knights got blown away for the third time in three road games this season. I know the final margin of GU's first two losses were by 9 points and 4 points, but they had to rally from near 20-point margins to make those close. At Cheyney, the Knights trailed by as many as 34 points in the second half. I can't comprehend that a team this talented and on a five-game win streak fell behind 28-7 just 12 minutes into the game. I also can't fathom that Gannon attempted only four three-pointers vs. the Wolves after averaging nearly 20 three-point attempts per game coming in. I'm not angry at anyone; I'm just completely perplexed.

Hopefully Coach Reilly and crew can right the ship before they face the Ship (Shippensburg) Sunday. The stats aren't in their favor:
* GU is 0-3 on the road this season
* Shippensburg is 4-1 at home
* Earlier today, Ship beat previously undefeated Clarion, 69-63

UPDATE: Now I'm even more confused. Wayne State, who Gannon handled a little over a week ago, trounced #1 Findlay today, 91-68.


  1. Well ... if the weakness of our defense is the fact that the perimeter is left open ... it sure was exploited today.

  2. I always cringe when I look at an opponent's starting lineup and see that their tallest guy is only 6'4", because that means that one or both of GU's bigs have to defend someone launching 3's all game. Happened vs. Urbana and Central St. Sounds like that was the case again today.

    It also sounded like GU struggled controlling the pace of the game, as Cheyney used an uptempo attack to get easy baskets and wide open jump shots in transition to take over the game

    Listening, it sounded like Cheyney was making a lot of low percentage contested shots, but, particularly when he's by himself, Sean Amicucci can't keep up with every facet of every play (not a criticism-it's a tough job), so who knows. Maybe we'll find out later from someone who was there.

    There are 2 things I can't understand.

    First, if GU has a decided height advantage as they did today, why is the team unable to exploit that advantage by getting the ball inside consistently to score and get to the line? How can Brannen get only 4 shots, and, although Furno got 6, most of those were after the issue was long decided. Battle got a lot of shots, but it sounded like he was shooting mid-range jumpers, not low post shots or layups. Is it the angles the offense sets up for the entry pass or are the post players unable to establish position long enough to get open for a pass?

    Second, when an opponent's height and offensive strategy forces GU's bigs to guard 20+ feet from the hoop, why can't GU seem to adjust their own lineup and get a more mobile player(s) into the game to defend more effectively? As long as they aren't able to get the ball inside anyway, why not go to a lineup (4 guards and a wing or 3 guards and 2 wings) that can match up better defensively and run a different offense that utilizes their quickness better?

    Oh, well. It shouldn't be hard to put a game like that behind you (as opposed to losing by 1 at the buzzer)and bounce back on Sunday.

  3. couldn't listen but just looking at recap A LOT of turnovers early.

  4. Gannon74, the answer to your question is that, simply put, the point guards aren't making penetrating passes into inside people. Supporting evidence is Piotrowicz, who played 23 minutes, getting exactly ZERO assists, and Clagett, who played 26 minutes, getting just 1 assist. C'mon, regardless of the type of offense that you run, you've got to get SOME assists out of your point guards, particularly your STARTING point guard, which is the reason why Gannon quickly fell behind. The offense, no matter what style is used, STARTS with your point guards, and if they aren't making passes that start the flow of the play toward a shot, simply put, you aren't going to score -- or win.

  5. Well. you are entitled to your opinion, Lifer, but basketball is a team game. Even more so, in Gannon's offensive sets, where, as I've pointed out before, the point guards mostly get the ball into the front court and pass it to the wings to start the offense. The PG's don't have the ball any more than the wings as they look to get the ball inside to the bigs who either post up or pitch it back out if double-teamed. It is NOT an offense that relies on any one person to handle the ball the majority of the time. Thus, the potential for assists is also spread out among all the players.

    Besides, how can you tell how ANY player performed without seeing the game? You certainly can't just by looking at the stats. How do you know if players were open or not? I don't know about you, but I didn't see the point guards missing a whole lot of wide open receivers for passes last week in the Millersville and West Chester games.

    No, to me, it seems like the problem is the offense. It simply does not create enough easy shot opportunities. It doesn't free up shooters coming off screens. In fact, the majority of the screens are set by the 2 bigs backscreening for each other to theoretically create good low post position, but that doesn't work all that well, either, because the bigs aren't that effective scoring the ball with their backs to the hoop. Additionally, since GU doesn't look to run much, there aren't people open on the break, either.

    Just who are all these open players and when are they open? I haven't seen it. At this point in the season, this is NOT a strong offensive team, but it's not the fault of any one player. Every player on the team could be criticized for one thing or the other. but unlike you, I am choosing not to throw blame at specific kids who are giving a great effort, as Coach Reilly mentioned in his post game show.

    Did you hear him say that, or were you too busy waiting for the box score to hit the website?

  6. Jim, Findlay losing to WSU is a bit perplexing, but no more so than the Oilers being #1. Caught a bit of their game versus Ashland on STO last week, and it looked like a high school game. No evidence of the tough, athletic players Niekamp had in the halcyon days of GU in the GLIAC. Also, there were fans sitting ON the baseline in droves. They either have to expand the facility or open another IHOP. Someone is going to get injured, and soon. (BTW, have now used more acronyms in this post than in any other communication, ever. LOL.)

    I'm not sure what to make of this, other than reputation must be the presiding element in the D-II rankings so far this season.

  7. Boze is 100% (and then some) correct!!!

    I saw the replay of the Findlay/Ashland game on STO and it was not a "Findlay"-esque game. To be honest, it was quite boring. I remember saying to myself "Wow, is this what the GLIAC is like now?".

    Hopefully Gannon can turn it around today and buck the trend... because losing this game could play on the morale mightily going into their first conference game on the road at IUP. Yikes!