You might be expecting me to write at length about the officials from Gannon's 96-86 victory over West Chester Wednesday. The refs certainly caught the ire of the Golden Knight faithful for calling 52 fouls on the night, none of them charges against the Rams. I never saw a home crowd watch their team win by 10 and still end the game booing the zebras off the floor. I think I even saw official scorer Rick "Stats" Klapthor put on his jacket (covering up his black-and-white striped shirt) during the final seconds of the game, just for his own safety. I'm going to take the high road and resist saying anything derogatory about the crew of Don Gambridge, Paul Skirtich, and Mark Tortorella. I think they just had a different perspective than the rest of us. I won't perpetuate an argument than any one of them is the worst referee ever.
Let's talk basketball. We learned vs. West Chester that the Knights now possess a multdimensional offense. First, they obliterated West Chester's zone defense with a flurry of first-half threes by Kareem Brown and Kelvin Agee. The Rams had no desire to play man-to-man (the 96 points will attest to that) but were forced to when Brown scored 11 points in span of just 1:45. Nine of his tallies came from behind the arc. Meanwhile, on the other wing, Agee torched West Chester with 33 points of his own. I agree with Jim LeCorchick's assessment after the game that what made Agee's scoring figure even more impressive was that he didn't force the issue. Nearly every one of his 18 field goal attempts (he made 12) were layups or jumpers after his feet were set. If Agee wasn't at the top of every Gannon opponent's scouting report before, he's there now.
Another new dimension we saw from Gannon was the ability of supersub Anthony Clagett to penetrate and score (15 points, 9-of-12 free throws in 26 solid minutes). Part of the struggles for last year's Gannon team was an offense that had to create everything off the pass or in transition. Steve Piotrowicz is more of a ball-control PG than a break-you-down-off-the-dribble guy. All night long Clagett squared up on his man and blew by him at will. You know how Gannon gets into offensive ruts on occasion? Well now John Reilly can insert Clagett and in the context of the offense have him set up teammates or score off the dribble. When I played with Darryl Freeman (1989-91) at Gannon, we'd use him that way frequently to salvage possessions. We'd work the ball and get nothing for half a minute, then give it to Darryl who could always get by his man and either finish or draw a defender.
All that said, the Knights have an opportunity this weekend to add another even more important dimension to their repertoire -- the ability to win away from the Audi. Road games at Cheyney (8-2) and Shippensburg (4-6) could be turning points for the Knights as they step closer to PSAC West play.