Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mercyhurst Beating Gannon = Heartbreak Hotel

I don't have much to say about Gannon's incredibly disappointing 68-64 overtime loss to Mercyhurst Wednesday for one simple reason: I wasn't there. What could keep me away from one of biggest games of the year? A conference at this amazing hotel/resort in Maui, Hawaii that I had to attend. I actually followed the live stats poolside -- and nearly tossed my mobile phone into the water when the Lakers tied the game in the closing seconds. I can't imagine how frustrated John Reilly must be with a team that's better than last year's but achieving the same results. Let's hope they can right the ship Saturday at Clarion.


  1. Nice start so far ... 27-16. Most complete game of the season to date. Shooting well and holding MC to 25%.

  2. Gannon for the 2nd straight game played 2 complete and great halves!

    Too bad no one told them about OT. Not sure why they didn't foul down by 4 with 7+ secs left...?!

    Couldn't make game but Sean and Jim made it sound the refs blew some HUGE calls at end of regulation and in OT..? Hate to blame refs or use them as scapegoat but even Jim made it sound like they were blatant bad calls.

    They gave it their all and faired well considering Agee battle furno and brown all missed significant time. Speaking of brown, was he hurt? I don't know how much he played but i saw he was 0-0. Usually in a minute span he has 5 3's taken.

  3. ... and then crash and burn! Do they make gloves for basketball as they have for football? I don't think I have ever seen so many basketball thru the hands turnovers. Not going to win with 24 TOs.

  4. Sickening game. Nobody can rebound or shoot. Were Agee and Piotrowicz trying to lose the game down the stretch with their awful shot selection? Just terrible.
    Can anybody grab a basketball on this team and hold on to it?

  5. cc3 - Yes, refs definitely muffed the call at the end.

    Team GU tried to foul but got out passed.

  6. cc3 - Brown's not hurt. Got put in ... made a turn-over ... and pulled. I do like Battle playing the 3 spot, Trav the 4 and Furno the 5 though Furno has to contribute more on offense as he does on D.

  7. Am I the only one you felt like after that game just ripping their hair out? The team played basically the entire game as hard as they possibly could, that was a TEAM effort overall out there tonight. Also I believe that was by far the loudest the hammermill has been the entire season. I guess this saying seems to work for the game: "They say this builds character, but it still sucks."

  8. Near the end the refs blew a shot clock violaion
    and mc when on to score a vital 2pts. That changed the outcome bec it was at such a critical poit in the game.

    ewensel... My hair is already gone, so I had to beat the wife and kick the dog... Ha ha

  9. GU fanman. lol...I am still trying to figure how why the hell the Mercyhurst football team were sitting next to our cheering section, it was like they wanted to start a huge fight.

  10. Have to disagree regarding the shot selection. With the exception of that crazy backward over the head layup that Agee tried near the end of regulation, almost every one of those shots was taken near the end of the shot clock and SOMEONE had to shoot.

    If you notice, GU players have a tendency to stop moving and stand around watching the guy with the ball, and it gets worse as the shot clock nears :00. I think they know that the movement required in their offense takes so long to develop and once the clock gets low, moving really isn't going to help. Someone has to make a one-on-one move and they end up taking a low percentage shot. Happened to Piotrowicz at the end of the Cal game and happened a lot again today.

  11. What a gut-wrenching loss. 24 turnovers is just too many to win at this level. Letting the 'Hurst back in the game in the end of the first half changed the momentum and cost us in the end, IMO.

  12. I'll have to revise a bit my comment on the shooting down the stretch. The shots were still terrible choices. Agee's backwards layup was stupid then his shot with 11 seconds left in regulation was not even a high percentage shot and it came too early, almost allowing MC to win it after the miss. Piotrowicz's three in OT was unnecessary as well.
    The revision I have to make comes after looking at the box score and seeing the minutes played:
    -Piotrowicz: 43
    - Agee: 32 and that was only because of foul trouble.
    -Battle, Brannen, Crouch and Furno had 41, 39, 38, and 19 respectively. The next highest player is Claggett with 6 minutes.

    Steve is a terrific player but why is he leading the team for 43 minutes in a highly emotional game when a very capable JUCO transfer plays only 6? Why does Brown play 0+ minutes?? Why not play Springer-Williams more?

    The point is that these guys are logging too many minutes and come crunch time they are too mentally and physically drained to take good shots. I know someone will comment that these guys should be in shape, etc, and I dont care what shape you are in, that is an exhausting game to play in at a high level for over 40 minutes. Keep the guys fresher and they'll play better when needed. This isnt a new problem, it dates back last year to the games at IUP when Gu folded down the stretch. So I dont completely blame the players, I also blame the coaches for poor time management. If only they had more assistants....

    Take a look at the MC box. Eight players played at least 11 minutes. Noone played more than 38 and he is the leading scorer in the PSAC.

    So by looking at the coach's rotation, I should assume that Gannon has only 6 worthwhile players, correct? That those 6 guys on the floor are heads and shoulders talent wise above everyone else on the team, just like in the Elite Eight season when they only needed 7 guys. And I should assume that bringing in JUCOs means to defend the chairs on the bench, not opposing teams?

  13. Jeremy - I am usually one to say that athletes are prepared and trained to play the whole game (specific to whatever length of game their sport is). Starters are trained as if they are going to play 40 minutes every basketball game. HOWEVER, I do agree with you in this case. It's illogical to think that 5 players can play an entire game (unless you are playing Salem International in which you can walk the entire game and still win by 50+ points). I can see 1-2 getting the upwards of 40 minutes the majority of the season, but that would be if they are having games where they are blowing out teams and only play 20 minutes in between those games (etc).

    With the fast paced, high pressure defense that Gannon runs... they need subs! I am still befuddled at why Brown didn't play more. We were outrebounding MC the whole game, so even if Brown threw up some bricks the odds were with us (in terms of rebounding). But he also could've came in when Agee was out to give another 3-point threat. It also would've been nice if CSW could've played more to make up for the Battle foul trouble and Furno's lack of production. Brannen literally carried the team on his back end of the game and he finally broke. I still don't know why Rumph doesn't play at all. Would it hurt that much to give him a bit of playing time to give the post guys breaks? 2 minutes here, a minute there. Who knows some of these subs could step up and show what they have.

    Final comment... I hear so many people (not on this blog, just people in general) keep saying "Well at least this season is better than last season." Yes, we haven't had 8 players leave. Yes, we've won some good games and we've kept with some good teams. Yes' we (for the most part) have improved offensively and are starting to pick it up defensively. However, overall, last year we finished as a 4th seed in PSAC playoffs. Right now, we're keeping a little hedge-way between us and Lock Haven. IMO, seasons are about the same. BUT that is just me.

  14. Corey, the refs, as is tradition in the PSAC were ATROCIOUS.

  15. Corey, I think that as a whole, the team is much better this year than we were last year. We still have weaknesses in areas, we still have lapses in energy although last night I thought they played about as well as they could for the duration. The PSAC is better this year than a year ago so its difficult to compare.

    24 turnovers, including 8 by Brannen, are unacceptable, many of Brannen's were just carelessness and lazy passes.

    Fouls were an issue and that was entirely on the inconsistent crew headed by Mark Weir, a decent guy but as consistent as generic peanut butter.

    As bad as they were, the officials in the women's game were SO MUCH worse.

    The key is to keep kids in the system, this has the potential to be a very good team with Agee and Battle, but it will take long term commitment.

    Still need a point guard (no offense to Stevie P) who is a driving threat, Joe Lindsey made things happen, he would drive and draw and dish but could also make the midrange stop and shoot jumper.

  16. CC3, while I agree with your assessment of this season and last season, I think the biggest difference that folks are seeing this season is the emergence of Battle and Agee as legit players.

    Last year, with the amoung of defections, it was downright discouraging watching that team. And didn't George Johnson hit several winning shots or game-changing shots when the game was on the line? None of these current players have hit a shot like that this year...but I really think they will. What's not to love about Battle and Agee (and Furno) forming a nucleus of this team?

    I also agree with Gannon74's assessment of what happens when the clock is running down. I don't know what is going through the players head, but it is really frustrating as a fan to watch.

    As much as I hate saying this, you have to give MC credit in this opposed to trying to come up with reasons "why we lost". They responded like a good veteran team should and hit some key shots when we did not.

    A hard loss...

  17. The first thing that jumped out to me on the stat sheet was the 43 and 41 minutes by Steve P and Battle. Games like this wear you down mentally as well as physically. The big first half lead should have been used as a nice working margin so that the bench guys can go out there and give the starters a little rest for the stretch run.

  18. I've been making the argument about the overuse of players since last year. Playing too many minutes not only has an impact on players at the end of games (This is particularly true when the opposition limits their players' PT), but has an even greater impact as the season winds down as well.

    I noticed, for example, that Piotrowicz seemed to be limping slightly midway through the second half, so I'm guessing he is either injured slightly or worn down already (how he played all those minutes is a testament to his intestinal fortitude). I'd bet that may be true of some of the other players as well. Could Brannen's inability to catch and hold the ball indicate some type of hand or finger injury? By the way, I counted 10 turnovers for Brannen. They may have given a couple of what should have been his TO's to players who made passes to him that he dropped or fumbled out of bounds. Something didn't appear right with Travis last night.

    Regardless, my preference, if anyone asked, is that no one player play any longer than 30-32 minutes. Take a look at most successful college programs at all levels. Coaches limit their starters to similar minutes. I agree that it wouldn't hurt to see the players others have mentioned for a few minutes when possible.

    A major factor in the loss that hasn't been mentioned was GU's inability to keep MC's #15 off the offensive boards. I'm not sure who was guarding him, but there isn't any way one player should get 7 offensive rebounds in one game, particularly a 6'3" guard. That's inexcusable. Boxing out is a fundamental that is easy to execute. It's just hard work, and GU didn't get that done.

    One other comment: I think we'd all like to see another Joe Lindsey in a GU uniform. However, point guards with all the tools that Joe had (speed AND quickness, ballhandling AND passing abilities, great defense, and spectacular outside shooting)haven't really come along all that often at this level. To expect another one to materialize this soon may be more than a little unreasonable.

  19. I agree that we're overusing our players. I have an idea ... let's play an EXTRA game right in the middle of conference play.

    Hmmm ... when should we have it? Let's put it right between a tough game against last year's national runner-up and our Erie County rivals. We had 200 days off in December, but who has time to play basketball in December?

    Sounds like a plan to me. Rest? Who needs it? Rest is sooooo overrated.