Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On The Bright Side ...

Partly as a coping mechanism, I'm going to go all-positive after another gut-wrenching Gannon loss in the PSAC, this one on a last-second shot vs. Edinboro, 69-68. On the bright side ...

* We know that Gannon coach John Reilly hasn't sold his soul to the devil. Riles is one of the most upbeat, positive people I've ever met, but God is really testing him with this stretch of devastating losses. Reilly is becoming the Job of the college basketball world. (Click on the link if you don't understand the reference. And shame on you for not paying attention in CCD class.)

* Freshman Stephen Battle showed that he can be a big scorer (19 points) and go-to finisher (his jumper with 10 seconds left gave Gannon the lead). If the Knights can recruit a slashing guard who can create opportunities for his teammates, he and Battle will be a formidable 1-2 punch next season.

* We all got our money's worth. I know Gannon lost, but was that second half tremendous or what? The Jan. 19 Gannon/Edinboro game was close, but you left the gym bitter that Gannon was so pathetic in the first half. You could walk out of this game disappointed with the outcome, but you couldn't question the team's effort or most of its execution in the second half. Except for that botched press breaker. What in the heck were they ... wait, I'm trying to stay positive. Sorry for that outburst.

* I sat with former Golden Knight Cory Coleman at the game. Cory, a co-worker of mine for several years and an assistant coach at Strong Vincent, knows the game and has a passion for it. He made some really good points during the contest. It was like having a personal TV analyst for free. Cory will never admit this, but after Danny Walsh's game-winning shot, this was the exact expression on Cory's face.

* I heard a great line at halftime of the game. Talking with a former English professor, I said, "I know this doesn't make sense, but Edinboro is 'exceedingly average.'" He replied, "I understand exactly what you're saying, but I can't diagram it."

* Mercyhurst won at Clarion and IUP blasted Cal tonight. Despite being 2-7, Gannon still has a legit shot at the #4 seed in the West. They'll have to go on a blitz to make that happen, but none of their final 5 games is a guaranteed loss. Here's the remaining schedule: @ Lock Haven, @ Mercyhurst, @ Cal, vs. Slippery Rock, and vs. Clarion. The Knights already beat Lock and Clarion, and they should have won vs. Cal, SRU, and the Hurst. I'm not saying they're going to win all 5, but I have hope for each of those games.

* After yet another heartbreaker, I should be bitter and despondent plus angry and dejected, and maybe a little perturbed and depressed. But I'm not. On the bright side, I still have hope for this Gannon team.

37 comments:

  1. Womens team has played great, and is down by 2 at the half. Doesn't bode well.

    It just dawned on me ... we'll be decided underdogs at the 'Hurst. Lose to Edinboro and we could go 0-4 against the local schools. Not good.

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  2. Should GU lose tonight vs Boro and presuming they would lose to Hurst (can't beat them at home; that much harder on the road).. when was the last time the men went 0-4 vs locals? Even in the down years I can remember Gannon winning at least one game!

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  3. (Beats head against wall) Wow....that was like getting your heart ripped out and seeing it get stomped on. I am not even going to go into great detail about how pathetic the gannon student body as a whole is...

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  4. Thats what you get when you don't full court press in the closing seconds and let the opposition dribble at will down the floor. Just another screw up by our coaching staff.

    Viscuso did have a terrific chair throw after the Walsh shot. Stay classy Gannon.

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  5. The 2006-07 team went 0-1 against Edinboro and 0-2 against Mercyhurst when GU was still in the GLIAC. Not sure if either team was swept twice.

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  6. What a tough loss ... As much as I hate to say it, I am almost getting the feeling of impending doom down the stretch. Once Klimchock hit the three to cut it to one, it felt like it was a matter of time before we made enough mistakes.

    Can we append the pre-game prayer to ask for some intelligent basketball down the stretch? Can we pray for some ball-handling and maybe some outside shooting?

    Steve P's three pointer was the first three by any GU player of any gender the entire night. The women were 0/10 and the men were 0 for their first 7.

    I did some more checking and 2006-07 was the only year (at least since 1980) that Gannon did not have at least one win against either Edinboro or Mercyhurst. Can we add Behrend to our schedule at the last minute? Or Alliance?

    Hang in there ... this is a mistake-prone young team ... it'll get better.

    Hang in there everyone ...

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  7. I disagree with the strategy of a full court press up one with less than ten seconds lefft. That could leave too much potential for an easy shot, maybe a layup, by the opposition.

    However, I would like to have seen GU double team Walsh maybe at half court to make him give up the ball.

    In either case, since GU didn't call time out after Battle's shot, they didn't have the chance to set up their defense. That might have been an idea with some merit.

    Amazing how GU got so many good breaks like Johnson's "stoppage time" basket vs. Clarion last year, yet this year, they really have gotten one bad break after the other at the end of games.

    It is a mostly young team, hope they're learning from all this adversity. They certainly weren't lacking in the effort level department tonight.

    Should get an idea of whether they can bounce back by gauging their effort level at LH. If they can't rebound from this, they might not win again. Hate to think they'd be so down that they'd lose to LH. We'll see.

    It was a shame to see them lose that game after working that hard.

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  8. FYI, I could see from my vantage point that Reilly was desperately trying to call time out after Battle's shot, but the referees didn't see him and couldn't hear him.

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  9. So then, why didn't GU call a time out with 1.8 seconds left?

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  10. Gannon called time out to set up the potential winning shot. Did the coach tell them to call time out if they scored so they could set their defense? If he told them and they didn't do it then the team messed up. If he didn't tell them then the coach messed up because he should have known how difficult it would be for him to get the ref's attention with all the noise. The GU players were under the basket next to the ref. and could have called time out.

    And yes, why didn't someone call timeout after EU scored? They had 1.8 seconds. You never know what would have happen.

    Nonetheless, our kids played hard and well enough to win and we will continue to support them. Really tough losing to the Boro twice. Saturday will be a real gut check.

    Disappointed in the crowd for a GU/EU game. I thought the GU crowd should have been bigger and louder. I don't know if we'll ever get that crowd magic back.

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  11. IMO, the referees were not consistent in their approach to calling the game. They were allowing Edinboro to utilize a LOT of contact at both ends of the court, while the slightest bump by a GU player often resulted in a foul call. It's no wonder they ignored Reilly's pleas for a timeout.

    The best example was the steal by Stauffer from Piotrowicz right in front of the GU bench. Stauffer clearly fouled him not once, but twice-once from the side with his body and once a hack across both arms, but despite the ref standing within 10 feet and looking right at the play, he called nothing. Several GU players were obviously knocked flying on drives to the basket without calls, but #23 for Edinboro went to the line nearly every time he stopped traveling and shoving GU defenders out of the way and attempted a shot.

    The biggest perpetrator was Mark Weir, who has done several GU games this year. He is a fairly new official that was doing an average (at best) job on high school games just 2 years ago and was somehow promoted to doing D-II games now. He is extremely inconsistent with how he calls plays involving contact. Sometimes, the slightest touch is called, sometimes fouls that you'd see called on a schoolyard are ignored. Last night, as he typically does, he allowed GU's opponent a lot more leeway. Maybe he should spend a litte less energy kibitizing with certain players and more time getting the calls right.

    While we're on the subject, another theory I have is that GU plays too "clean". By that, I mean that when their opponents are playing overly-physically and getting away with a lot of it, GU doesn't adapt and play the same way. I don't know if it's Coach Reilly's philosophy, whether they're trying to avoid fouls, or the players are just too "nice", if you will. Maybe the GU players need to get a little more physical and start leading with their forearms (as IUP's guards all did), slamming their butts into defenders and using their elbows to create some room under the basket (as every conference opponent seems to do-did anyone closely watch Theriot under the hoop last night? It was ridiculous how he was shoving GU defenders out of his way), and using their hands and arms more on defense. At this point, how could it hurt?

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  12. Refs are inconsistently inconsistent!Coach R had his arms above his head in "T" formation, running down the base line screaming for a TO as well as the bench ... as well as some of us fans! and the refs missed it? Maddening.

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  13. This guy does not know what he is doing as far as coaching (Reilly that is...). Coach Reilly has some of the most talented Players on his bench and he does not know how to coach or sub them in as needed in the game and neither does his coaching staff. He needs to stop playing that one offensive play that he does and allow the players to go ahead and play the damn game and give them an opportunity to showcase their individual talent. Coach Reilly needs to allow his player to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor and drive to the damn basket. Coach Reilly needs to have more confidence in his players. The Mens Basketball team has so much talent to the point they are in a choke hold where they are not allowed to play freely. It shows in all the games they have played at home as well the away games. The #5 position needs to be stronger so they wont get pushed around in the middle. Coach Reilly needs to put in a player that is stronger, more physical and has the IQ for basketball and if he looks further down his bench he would find his player to play the #5 position. Coach Reilly has not only squashed the spirit of his Mens Basketball team, but he has also cause Gannon University an opportunity to have a shot at the playoffs.

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  14. Enlighten us. Who are these players that are wasting away on the bench? Who is the stronger, more physical player with an IQ for basketball to play the #5 position? Who are the "most talented players" that are on the bench?

    I'd really like to know, then maybe as a group we can figure out why they're not playing.

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  15. There are a lot of things wrong with the officiating but they are NOT the reason why GU is losing games.

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  16. Not saying the refs were the reaon for the losses. It WOULD, however, be nice to play a game without the opponent crawling all over the GU players. It's not hockey, but that's the way it's being called, it seems.

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  17. gannon74, being a Gannon fan I tend to agree with you.

    But, sitting behind the visiting bench (this is where my tickets are) and often around fans on other teams, they have the same complaints about officials that we do.

    For example, last night, the assistant coach of Edinboro was all over the officials about a perceived illegal high screen that GU was allegeded setting on multiple plays night last night. I can guarantee you that the EU fans sitting around me last night thought that Gannon got "all the calls". Coach Walcovich was yelling about charges all night last night.

    My point being, I think all teams tend to look at officiating, when, well they're just not that good. And I see in Gannon (and in Edinboro for that matter) a fairly average team. (which is why we're 11-10 or whatever we are).

    Hopefully next year we'll be better. IMO, IF the existing guys stay around, and if Reilly can add some more talent, we have the opportunity to be pretty good.

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  18. On the bright side...we are very good in losing the close ones...I believe we lead the league in theoretical wins...

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  19. thefauves1 - I agree w/ G74 on the refs not being the cause of GU's loss. We had our chances and better FT shooting. 50% isn't good enough. I would just like to see consistency - a charge is a charge, a push a push, a hack is a hack on both halves of the court and to get obvious calls right - IMO there were three possession calls that were missed ... two went their way and one ours.

    Emmi - Are you saying Rumph is the player that should be playing the 5 spot over Furno? Really?

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  20. Perhaps we should give Rumph a chance at the 4 or 5 spot. We have not seen enough of him to really evaluate if he could spell Furno or Brannen for a breather. If he really is not capable of playing at this level then GU wasted a scholarship. If he's in the coach's doghouse for some reason he'll never play. With the season almost over why not give him a chance?

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  21. I'm seriously still shocked that Rumph hasn't played at all... Seen him in practice and in some scrimmages and he goes head to head with Brannen and Furno and Battle. (and he's much stronger inside than Furno; no question).

    Who knows...

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  22. CC# - If what you say is true, he must be in the dog house. Rumph has played in 4 games for a total of eleven minutes, 2 pts, 3 rbs.

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  23. It's not the point of adding more talent to the bench. GU has the talent already and willing to play up against any team...trust and believe that. If you, the GU fans only knew what each player can actually do...believe it when I say, it's not the GU team. I sit and watch the game right behind GU bench just as some of you do, but as I have stated...Reilly needs to know how to coach and know who to sub in at the right given time depending on the game situation and stop playing that one offensive play that he does every single time and allow the players to go ahead and play basketball. GU Men Basketball team should be given an opportunity here again to showcase their individual talent. Yes, we can say it's the the officiating of the game, but Coach Reilly needs to allow his player to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor and drive to the basket and have more confidence in his players to get the job done. I will say again.....GU Mens Basketball team has the talent, Coach Reilly needs to stop having such a choke hold on the entire team and allowed them to play freely. I have sat behind the GU bench and only if you knew what some of the fan were stating about the coaching strategy. It's terrible!!!! So it's not the GU Men's Basketball team, not at all and I will say again...The #5 position needs to be stronger so they wont get pushed around in the middle. Coach Reilly needs to put in a player that is stronger, more physical and has the IQ for basketball and if he looks further down his bench he would find his player to play the #5 position. Reilly has not only squashed the spirit of his Men's Basketball team, but he has also cause Gannon University an opportunity to have a shot at the playoffs. I understand all about stats, but when it comes down to the stretch...it's all about strategy and Reilly has none. Knowing how to coach and know who to sub in at the right given time depending on the game situation is also the key in a tight game such as having 1.8 seconds left in a game!!!!

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  24. @ GUBBFWLR - Not necessarily saying that he should be the #5 spot over Furno BUT if Brennan and Battle can hang with Furno then Rumph sure can!
    Again, its all about the coach utilizing and strategizing the full potential of his ENTIRE team!

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  25. Emmi-you basically repeated yourself in your latest post, saying the same things again with a little elaboration added.

    However, you still have yet to explain who needs to come off the bench (particularly at the #5 spot) that can help the team.

    WHO? And what can they do to make things better?

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  26. This is my favorite line from both posts (and it's the same in both posts)..

    "Reilly has not only squashed the spirit of his Men's Basketball team, but he has also cause Gannon University an opportunity to have a shot at the playoffs."

    So he's squashed all of their hopes and dreams, but he's put them in position to make playoffs...?!

    I'm glad I graduated from Gannon when I did because the education standards are obviously declining (guess that could explain the lack of student attendance..?! ha ha ha ha)

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  27. So what he's in the doghouse with coach. Coach needs to leave the personal issues of the court and play the better player....what is he trying to do sabatoge the team because of a personal issue or is he trying to win a game. So, if that means putting Rumph in....WHY not, what is it going to hurt and to CoachCorey3, you HIT the nail on the head. @ GUBBFWLR....yes REALLY!!!!

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  28. Yes, I did basically repeat myself. I feel for the GU Men's basketball team and fans, bcuz I have stated it in black and white...Coach does not know how to use the talent he has on the bench and does not come with some strategy!!! To CoachCorey3, I want to say...thank you, becuz you know exactly where I am coming from when I made the statement on the coaching issue.

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  29. Emmi: I don't think any of us are in a position to say that a guy on the bench is better than anyone else we've seen play. The coaching staff has seen these guys play hundreds of hours in practice and in drills and has a grasp on each player's attitude, so I kinda think we should defer to them. Plus, I've never known a coach to intentionally bench a better player "just cuz." Most coaches would trade their first born for a win.

    Fauves: Great line -- "I believe we lead the league in theoretical wins." Hilarious AND true!

    There have also been several comments about what else Reilly should have done in the huddle during the final timeout of the game. I've been in a huddle with over a thousand screaming people in the stands and the game on the line. There's not a whole lot you can communicate to kids in that spot. And, quite frankly, you SHOULDN'T communicate a whole lot. Tom Chapman's philosophy was to communicate only 1 message per timeout. So with Gannon down one, the entire timeout should have been spent talking about how to get the shot that would give Gannon the lead. I'm sure they went over option 1, option 2, and option 3 on the play to win the game and then reviewed it again to make certain the players understood what to do.

    What else do you have time for beyond that? Even there was time, you don't talk about "if we don't score", "if we score with 11 seconds left" and "if we score with 2 seconds left." It's just too much for a bunch of 19-year-olds to comprehend in that pressure situation.

    Also, if Gannon had been granted a timeout after Battle's shot and then Edinboro scored anyway, you darn well know a few people would have chimed in saying, "Edinboro didn't have any timeouts left but Reilly called one for them, which let them set up the game-winning shot. Reilly's a bum. He should listen to my Monday morning quarterbacking even though he's won 333 games as a college coach and I've won zero."

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  30. Coachcorey3, the education at Gannon is still quite good, don't worry about that. lol...I guess on Wednesday there was a kegger party on campus I wasn't aware of (Hey, that could explain the student attendance). A few of us students are attempting to drum up attendance to the rest of the home games, and especially the game on Wednesday against Mercyhurst, but at this point I am not holding my breath. And on the subject on should have Coach Reilly called a TO. He was in a position where he is damned if he does and damned if he doesnt'. I felt it was good that Edinboro didn't have the chance to discuss a set last second play, my view anyway.

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  31. It's pretty obvious from these blogs that there are pro-coaching staff and anti-coaching staff bloggers out there. Players get recruited to get a good education and win games in the process. I think they are both important. They get an education whether they win our lose.

    However,the main reason most coaches get renewed or fired is wins and losses. Unfortunately, that's the bottom line at most schools.

    Let's see how the rest of the season plays out and then all can make a fair and honest critique.

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  32. Emmi- No I have no idea where you're coming from because, honestly, your posts aren't making a lot of sense and you contradict yourself quite often in them.

    Wensel- Gannon education/academics will always be top of the line.. I was kidding about that :)

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  33. Let me some up what Emmi is saying. He would like the Gannon Men's basketball team to be a glorified Rec Center pick up game where all of the players "showcase their talent" which means letting them run and gun. Which always works. Its always the coach's fault, always the system, never the players, especially not the guys on the bench who don't play and are getting treated unfairly and who are light years better than the guys who regularly play.

    Also, its obvious that Emmi is a good friend of unnamed mysterious player on the bench.

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  34. Mr. Roddy, I was just reading through these blogs with a neutral perspective until I got to your last post. I understand you have never met a coach that benches a player "just because" and neither have I. But I can 100% say that I have met coaches before that bench players because of personal issues they have with them, whether it causes them to win or lose. Some coaches pride and hard-headed mentalities mean more to them than winning or losing and thats the honest fact. They may lose their job over it but they can rest easy at night knowing they didn't change for anybody. Unfortunately this can ruin a player's career and potentially cost the team a ticket to the playoffs.

    You aren't in the practices and you don't know what goes on behind closed doors. As someone who played basketball for years, I can assure you, everything is not always how it seems to the fans.

    AND to WILLOW, no need for the sarcastic evaluation really...you know what Emmi means when they say Coach Reilly should let the players play. It doesn't have to be a "Rec Center" style game, but when it gets to the point where you have a play called "fast break" for fast break situations (therefore defeating the purpose of a real fast break), and you only run one flex offense the whole game that any team can scout, you pretty much setting yourself up for a loss. It's getting to robotic. They need to just play. If they got to the college level, they obviously have some basketball IQ and can think for themselves...that's just my opinion.

    Time will tell who really has talent. Time will tell who is a good coach. Time will tell who's comments were right.

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  35. I'll be sure to take your comments under advisement.

    There was nothing sarcastic about it.

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  36. @312d674c-37f7-11e0-9ade-000f20980440, I would like to say thank you!!!! It was getting to the point were that others schools were scouting out GU's one offensive play that coach was running and it was setting the GU Men's Basketball team up for quite a few of the losses they had the pass 3 to 4 games. To the point it is very ROBOTIC. To WILLOW....you are being very sarcastic about it and to your statement.....no there is not a good friend of unnamed mysterious player on the bench. Anyone who knows anything about the game of BASKETBALL, again I will say.....you should know how to run the floor, use the clock and use good coaching strategy. In knowing how to sub in, at the right given time, depending on the game situation, is the key in a tight game such as having 1.8 seconds left in a game!!!! :) To WILLOW.....you were being very sarcastic about it, but it's all good and no.....I am not a good friend of unnamed mysterious player on the bench, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Coach Reilly needs to stop having such a choke hold on the entire team and allow them to play freely. As it was said it's becoming to be very ROBOTIC!!!! To Coachcorey3, you knew exactly where I was coming from or you would have never stated on February 11, 2011 @12:25pm..."I'm seriously still shocked that Rumph hasn't played at all... Seen him in practice and in some scrimmages and he goes head to head with Brannen and Furno and Battle. (and he's much stronger inside than Furno; no question).

    Who knows..." Now you want to get all brand new and say I'm not making any sense, but it's all good and to EVERYONE....when this started out it was never about the EDUCATION at GU. The education/academics has never been a question. Everyone knows EDUCATION always comes FIRST!!!! It all started when GU lost that game the weekend of February 4th. Let's not get it twisted...it was never about the EDUCATION. I would like to say THANK YOU again to.....
    312d674c-37f7-11e0-9ade-000f20980440 for truly understanding what was stated in my blog...AND TO MR. RODDY, NEVER ONCE DID I SAY THAT A GUY ON THE BENCH IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE WE'VE SEEN PLAY. I WILL REPEAT MYSELF AGAIN.....its all about the coach utilizing and strategizing the full potential of his ENTIRE team!

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  37. how much different is the system being run now than the one Reilly ran in 2009 when we won the regular season conference title, the conference tournament title, the regional title and finished 8th in the country? none.

    you bring in players who fit your system not change you system to fit your players "Anyone who knows anything about the game of BASKETBALL" knows that.

    Dean Smith, Bobby Knight, Rick Pitino, John Wooden, Roy Williams...all of them among the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball, ALL OF THEM SYSTEM coaches who coached kids to play in their system. "Anyone who knows anything about the game of BASKETBALL" knows that.

    I'm guessing you're the type of guy who would complain to Jesus that the bread is stale.

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