Well, that was probably the last time Lock Haven's John Wilson Jr. will coach at the Hammermill Center, a 70-43 shellacking by the Golden Knights. The Central PA school has already announced that Wilson's contract won't be renewed after the season. Today was Wilson's 150th road game as LHU boss, and guess how many he's won? If you said 20, that's too many. Wilson is now a robust 19-131 away from Lock Haven's Thomas Fieldhouse, a stunning win percentage of only .127. I hope you had a chance to witness Wilson's woes while you could.
While the Wilson Era is ending, could Gannon's high-energy, high-scoring, defensively suffocating second half today be the start of an uptick for the Knights? During halftime, when Gannon held a slim 30-28 lead, Jim LeCorchick and I talked on the radio about what's been nagging the Knights the past few games, and we couldn't put a finger on it. The Knights have seemed in general to be low confidence on offense and a step slow on defense. But in the second half tonight, I saw something I hadn't seen in a few games: smiles. When Kareem Brown checked in late replacing Kelvin Agee, they exchanged a few words and a smile. It was nice to see this team loose -- enjoying themselves in the midst of a game.
I'm a big believer that you need to have fun in order to play well, not the other way around. The best team I ever played on, the 1989-90 Golden Knights, had fun everywhere all the time. Senior Andy Adams laughed constantly -- except when he was exchanging elbows in the paint. Darryl Freeman, who I hope will be inducted into Gannon's Hall of Fame in the near future, constantly rode his teammates. He'd walk into the lockerroom and proclaim, "All right -- who am I gonna crack on today?" We even laughed after three-hour practices when Mike Crawford would dress into his street clothes faster than a superhero. And I haven't been to many comedy clubs, but I doubt they'd be funnier than Gerald Blanks in the Gannon cafeteria.
Let's see how the Knights come out in the first half at reeling Edinboro Wednesday night. Are they tight and shaking their heads when things don't go as planned? Or are they loose and enjoying the atmosphere no matter what the situation? What we see could set the tone for the rest of the season.