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.