Sunday, January 2, 2011

Feeling The Pressure

Millersville might own the nickname "Marauders", but Gannon did all the pillaging and raiding Monday night at the Hammermill Center. MU withered under GU's defensive pressure in the second half -- taking bad shots and committing a dozen turnovers -- as the Knights broke open a close game to win 74-52.

I didn't hear the announcement before the game, but apparently Millersville will self-destruct in exactly 26 minutes. At that juncture of the game, Gannon held a slim 42-41 edge and the 'Ville was shooting over 50% from the field. Just 10 minutes later, Gannon's up by 18. If we could go back and watch the tape (I'd actually like to but I don't think MU coach Fred Thompson would), you'd see during that juncture that Millersville had difficulty getting the ball to the wing let alone into the basket. When MU did score, it was often on a broken play after a Gannon deflection or a loose ball scramble.

I'd like to point out one guy who turned up the pressure, but that's not the case with the Gannon defense. The entire team pushed Millersville's perimeter players 25-30 feet away from the basket and flooded the paint when the ball went inside. Millersville turned the ball over 25 times and shot just 2-for-18 from three-point range. You'd do that to if for the previous 20 seconds of the possession you had to run for your life away from an aggressive defender (or two or three). I hope tonight was the beginning of a trend where Gannon dominates the second half because of their defensive pressure.

* West Chester, Gannon's opponent Tuesday, was pistol-whipped at Clarion Monday, 98-72. Let's hope that trend continues as well for one more day.
* It's PSAC crossover season. Keep track of all the results by checking out the PSAC men's basketball web page here.
* Millersville is one of my all-time favorite GU opponents. The 1987 East Regional final is still, in my opinion, the best game ever played at the Hammermill -- former Knight Jim Rocco aptly called it, "40 minutes of noise." Some of my all-time favorite Marauders include bespectacled big man John Fox, muscular Eric Yankowy, wide body Jon Dunmeyer, long-distance threat Lance Gelnett, muscular guard Mike Monroe, Strong Vincent grad Matt Harris and coach John Kochan. If you want to walk down Millersville's memory lane, click here for the MU media guide.


  1. My other favorite Millersville memory is the famous Leo Nadal three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left for a 53-52 win in the 1994 East Regional play-in game.

    Don't forget that the women's game is also a rematch of last year's Atlantic Regional Final.

    My prediction: There won't be a MOP controversy after the game.

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  3. Funny you say...

    I happened to stop by practice/shoot around that day, Dukiet was in rare form and ranting a little to himself on the sideline...

    at the end of the "shoot around" they ran the same play four or five times.. all to Leo, and in Duke's classic prescient/politically incorrect way ranted at Leo that they were going to need him that night and it had to be like 'red beans and rice' to him..

    everyone was a little taken aboack but then they kept running it until Leo hit two consecutive shots... with Duke ranting about redbeans and rice the whole time

    they ran the play over and over until Leo made his two in a row - from the same spot he drained it later in the evening - Like I said Prescient

  4. Looking at the pre-game guide, I noticed that this may be one of the most "spread out scoring" teams we've seen in a while. Even back a few years in the NCAA Tourney seasons, I don't recall the scoring being as even as it is now.

    15.1 Agee
    10.9 Battle
    9.7 Brannen
    9.5 Piotrowicz
    8.9 Brown
    8.0 Crouch
    7.7 Furno

    I know that when we had Lindsey, Howard, etc it was spread out to an extent, but I don't believe it was as close as these 7 are (i.e. - it was like 18ppg, 13ppg, 7ppg, etc).

    What I like most about this is that Brown's shots are normally dead on, just he seems to be shooting with a bigger ball than everyone else (haha)... but if he can get going and somewhat consistently.. that is a very, very dangerous threat! Especially when you have Crouch rotating in with the guards and Furno rotating in with the post players.


  5. Coach Corey: glad that you agreed with me on the MOP issue (and shocked, jk). Good point about the spread out scoring, I didnt realize that Denard was up to 8 ppg. It is nice to see this balance.
    Still wondering if we'll see more of Dennis Rumph? I know that our 3 bigs (counting Battle as a big even though he's smaller than a traditional big) have been doing well on both ends of the floor. I would still think that coach would like to have one more big guy ready to step up in the event of foul trouble/ineffectiveness/injury. It just takes one stray elbow or sprained ankle to put GU down to 2 big guys. Thats starting to tread on some thin ice right there.

  6. Jeremy - I'm a bit surprised that Rumph isn't playing even a few minutes a game (esp in pre-conference games). I've seen him in a few scrimmages and practices and he's in the thick of things with Furno, Battle and Brannen all the time. But who knows... don't fix what ain't broke, right?

    (but I do agree that if something major happened to one of the 3 bigs it's going to be quite a blow without a solid backup.. only real option would be to go to a 4-guard lineup and pray that the 3-ball is our friend)

  7. Oh and referring back to a previous post of mine from a while back - anyone know what's up with Shanna Thompson?

  8. Welcome back, Shanna!

    She sure made a difference. Hope she's back for the long haul.

  9. Well nice to see two GU wins tonight...well hear about them anyway thru a couple of friends. Shanna got to play tonight?

  10. Thompson came into the game midway throught the first half and played very well. 10 points, two rebounds, and two assists (and four turnovers) in 14 minutes of action.

    She made two pressure free-throws with about 16 seconds to go to put GU up by four.

    Good win by the men. Their defense didn't look too strong early, giving up about 21 points in the first 10 minutes, but then held MU to about a point a minute the rest of the way to coast to a 74-52 victory. MU shot 9/31 in the second half, including 0/10 on three-pointers, and 12 turonvers.

    Another prediction: Jim's post-game blog post will not include any comparisons of Millersville coach Fred Thompson to either John Wooden or Coach K.

  11. Sweet, glad to see Shanna got into the game and played well, maybe she will get some more game time now.

    And nice job by the guys...if work wasn't so harsh on using the internet...I would have been live stating. haha. Hope the trend continues tomorrow!