Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wake Up Call?

You can interpret the above headline two ways after Gannon's gut-wrenching, confounding 70-62 loss at Edinboro tonight:
1. Optimist: "The second half was a wake up call. After shooting just 22% in the first half, committing 14 turnovers, scoring only 17 points and giving up some open threes and dunks, the Knights came to life. Maybe they'll learn from this and play faster and extend their defensive pressure the rest of the year. This could be an excellent learning experience for the coaches and players."
2. Pessimist: "Can somebody please give these guys a freaking wake up call before the game instead of at halftime? How many road games do we have to endure where they get down by 17, feverishly rally to get within a possession, and then let the game slip away? We're 14 games in the season and have followed this pattern like a half dozen times. Can the booster club buy 15 giant alarm clocks for the players so they'll wake the heck up already!"

Other thoughts on the game, from a hopefully less schizophrenic perspective than the comments above:
* I was happy to see Gannon make offensive adjustments in the second half. Instead of just running the motion offense, GU set double screens for Kelvin Agee and tried isolating Travis Brannen inside. As a result, they scored 45 points, hit half of their field goal attempts, committed only 5 turnovers and got to the free throw line 15 times in the second stanza. If Gannon can do that for 40 minutes, they'll ... you know how I was about to finish this sentence, but I'm tired of typing it after nearly every game this season.

* I'm not going to take the time to break down the first half play-by-play, but Gannon hit 5 of its first 8 field goals and then had a 1 for 20-something stretch for the next 15 minutes of the first half. It was excruciating to watch.

* You're not going to win many games when your off guards go 2-for-15 -- Agee 1-for-7, Danard Crouch 1-for-6, and Kareem Brown 0-for-2 -- and commit 8 turnovers.

* Stephen Battle continues to impress me. While rest of his teammates struggled tonight, he was consistently excellent: 19 points on 7-of-11 field goals and 5-of-5 free throws, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, only 1 turnover in 35 minutes. His only real flaw of the night was an ill-advised three-pointer ... and then the kid scrambled to corral the offensive rebound. He's a special player.

* Take away Battle's 7-for-11 performance and the Knights were 14-for-59 from the field for just 28.5%. Yech.

* Stephen is still not the best Battle to play at McComb. Former Scot Land Battle continues to have that distinction. (Note: Any time I have a chance to mention "Land Battle", I'll take advantage of the opportunity.)

* Don't ever question Danard Crouch's commitment to the team. Right before a second half media timeout, Crouch badly dislocated the pinky finger on his left hand. Those sitting behind the Gannon bench had a clear view of it, but most turned their heads away in disgust. Crouch couldn't even bear the sight. He walked directly to trainer Danielle Mignemi and told her, "I broke my finger. My finger's broken." To undislocate a finger -- I'm sure that's not the correct medical term -- you have to really grab the sucker to force it back into place. Kudos to Brian Zimmerman, a physical therapist and the son of Gannon Assistant Athletic Director Doug Zimmerman, who came down from the stands to do the heavy lifting with Crouch's finger. As he was doing so, Mignemi grimaced while holding Crouch's right hand; you know it's bad when the degreed athletic trainer is wincing. After that painful experience, Crouch got the finger taped up and checked back into the game moments later. Again, don't ever question Crouch's commitment. I see that Danard's a senior Business Management major. Can somebody forward his resume to me please?


  1. You could at least be comfortable and wear these...

  2. 7 of 32 from the field, 2 for 7 from the line, 14 turnovers. Jim do you remember a gannon year where we trailed by double digits at half as frequently as we have this year?

  3. So is it a half empty or half full day out there?

    Down big... come back and make it respectable/have an real chance...

    Do we take a long look at where we are going? I don't know

    But I can't wait to see...

  4. The first 33 minutes of the game was a sleepwalk.

    Then we finally put the defensive clamps on, but came up short.

    We have to stop having these atrocious halves. Not like Edinboro is like IUP. The 'Boro is very average.

    Interesting stat by Edinboro SID Bob Shreve in the program ... In his 22 seasons as Edinboro coach, Greg Walkavich has five five-game losing streaks, but never losing streak of six or more. This win by the 'Boro snaps yet another five-game losing streak. Maybe it was just meant to be.

    And thoughts on the Edinboro video-projector board? Never seen anything like that. It's just too darn light in there for a thing like that to work. Though, they could be the first school to have a halftime Power Point presentation.

  5. By the way ... just heard Gannon legend Jue Luckey passed away ... Great guy, great sense of humor. Always had the Hammermill ready. RIP.

  6. Well that was a long night. Both the men's and woman's teams put up a hell of a fight in the 2nd half, just ran out of steam at the end. I would like to comment that I was not exactly thrilled about the finish of the guys game with Edinboro finishing the game off with a slam dunk...really Edinboro? Way to win with some class...NOT. The guys just dug too deep of a hole to climb out of.

  7. God Bless Joe!

    A True Gannon MAN!

  8. Heck of a second half, but unfortunately not able to pull it off (I HATE losing to them and Mercyhurst.. loisng at all haha but ESP the home town teams). Hopefully we can turn it around when they visit the Audi and I hope Battle has several of his powerful dunks (none of which would come at the end in a game already well decided.)

    I wasn't able to listen to the whole game because I was at work so away from the desk off and on but did I miss something? Eisenman played? Thought he was redshirted? Is that correct or a typo? If correct, did they say why he was no longer redshirting?

  9. Watching the Danard Crouch "finger pulling" was great. I'm glad you mentioned that Jim! Kudos to Crouch and his toughness!! Did anyone else hear him scream right before he came off the floor?

    Oh yeah, you won't win many games, especially on the road with a 1 for 20 shooting stretch. And it wasn't like a lot of those shots were contested or fadeaways...there were just some bad misses.

  10. My theory for the loss: the Knights were too mesmerized by the outstanding projector screen presentations to focus on the game...

  11. Those projectors did little but annoy. Really difficult to see anyway. They WERE distracting. Perhaps the players took that long to get used to having them flickering in the shooting background. I know I never got used to them.

    As for the Knights, there is no explanation for the numerous missed layups in the first half or the lack of intensity during that time frame. One thing I noticed as I was sitting a lot closer to the floor than I usually do was the lack of importance some of the GU players seemed to feel when they made stupid turnovers. It was as if they had just missed a contested 3 pointer. It was as if they were saying, "Oh, well, I missed."

    Not what I expected to see. Not what this team needs. They MUST value the ball more. They aren't good enough to overcome that many turnovers, even as hard as they played to catch up in the second half.

  12. I like the tone of the above comments. IMO comments are of the liking for this particular blog ... no sniping, no hostility yet some positive comments. Critical comments are more generally speaking vs calling out individual players. Coaches can call out individual players but some of the past negative criticism of individual players is disturbing to me.The interactions I have had with some players of late are that they are well aware of their individual and team strengths and areas that need improvments. They wish to win games more than we do.

  13. You are all wet. Every last one of you.
    The main reason EUP won (we didn't loose)
    was bec I didn't yell and cheer enough.
    I saw so many of our regulars sitting on the EUP side like they were embarassed to be GU fans. Then when the scotties came in they had to sit near our team and yelled their head off. Seems some of the GU fans are too sophisticated to do anything more than clap.
    Its like God forbid they yell a little less their wife slap them. Really aside from a few students I heard well... actually very little

    Mea Cuppa maybe its just me. I never played the game and look at things differently. I always thought the encouragement might bring out just that little edge to try harder, jump higher block a shot, whatever. For me it has always been my team above myself. I could handle personal defeat that was on me but oh dread! If it was I who caused the error and let the winning run score.

  14. Well ... that didn't last long ...

  15. Stop fiddling there is a fire out there

  16. Well GU Fanman tell us how you really feel? lol...I thought at the end of both games we had the crowd on our side going pretty good...we just needed to bring the noise the whole game and not just when we finally got close.

  17. Now it's the GU fans' fault? I certainly hope that was a facetious explanation of the reason for the loss.

    A player goes 3-13 with 6 turnovers and GU lost because the fans didn't cheer enough? The players have a first half scoring drought that sees them going 1 for 20-some (including a large number of missed layups) and the fans didn't encourage them properly? The team turns it over 14 times in the first half and GU followers didn't make enough noise?

    Hilarious! And I thought last week's discussion of the LH game defied description.

    GU lost because they played with no sense of urgency at the start. That's not a problem if you're playing Lock Haven at home, but @ Edinboro, you can't afford to do that). They had a horrible half of shooting and ball control. There were some interesting defensive matchups that enabled EU to take advantage of their one-on-one abilities when the game got close.

    It was another bad half by a team that depends on some very inconsistent players for a lot of their offense. The second half comeback had to give some reason for optimism. They CAN do it, they just have to do it for longer periods of time. Like an entire game for a change.

    Hopefully, they'll learn from it and use it to their advantage somewhere down the road. Not much else can be done right now. Can't change players or coaches. Got to ride it out and hope the players and coaches figure it out in time to make this year a success.

  18. Wow Tongue meet cheek - Cheek meet tongue...

    SMile the fresh air is good for your teeth

    GUFANMAN - I saw how firmly your tongue was pressed into your cheek and found it refreshing... to the hyper-sensitive..

    In the word's of the immortal FRANKIE:

    However if you honestly believe cheering you cheering would have a serious impact, couple of things:
    1. Do you need to check into Betty Ford or Hamot Rehab?
    2. Have you gone off your meds?
    3. How long have you had these kinds of delusions of grandeur?

    in the words of the bard:
    "If we weren't all crazy we would go insane"

  19. Not to rehash our LHU "thread", but this was the point I was making about that game. Yes, they won... but they looked awful; no sense of urgency, no passion... they looked as if to be thinking "Ah, if we lose, it's just one loss". That was why I was so enthusiastic about my feelings re: the LHU game.

    As a player and a coach, I've always hated playing a "joke" team and then either playing a great team or going on the road to play a good team next game. You get into a lax state of mind against the crappy team and sometimes, most times, it can be hard to get back into the highly competitive state of mind needed.

    Let's just hope they can keep the home win streak going this Saturday

  20. I figured as much, hence my comment about facetiousness in the first graph and my line calling the post hilarious and comparing it to cc3's misguided campaign about the LH game. I tried to add some levity as well, but either my material was poor or I guess only some people are allowed to try to be funny.

  21. gannon74 my apologies.

    next time, in the words of homer simpson...

    "be more funny"

  22. Lighten up guys. On Sat maybe I should boo for every 2ptr that it wasn't a 3ptr.
    Bottom line I think positive cheering works better boos. Ha ha

  23. In more positive news, it will be nice to see Steve Moyer return to the Mill tomorrow for his hall of game induction. Can it really be ten years since he was routinely hitting shots from near halfcourt?

  24. gannon - trying to be nice here, but thefauves is right.. your attempts are "being funny" are really just more derogatory towards the person whom you're commenting at.

    Everyone has a different sense of humor though, so it's okay.

  25. Anyone know whats up with Shanna Thompson, she did not play at Edinboro and was not even on the bench.

  26. Bill,

    Shanna from what I was told was sick, and sick enough that she did not even make the trip down. That was also why Papich did not play in the game, illness