Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad Three, Good Three, Hee Hee

Bad Three: Gannon's 62-59 win vs. Slippery Rock Wednesday night was a thrill for those in attendance at the Hammermill. Regrettably, I wasn't one of them. Instead, I was on an Air Tran flight from Orlando to Pittsburgh, returning from the HIMSS Conference held this week in Florida. I was following the live stats until takeoff with the score tied at 41. You know how hard it is to watch your favorite team in a close game? Imagine them in a nailbiter with 10 minutes to play, but you can't learn the outcome of the game until 2 hours later.

What made the situation worse is that this was the third home game I've missed this season due to work travel. I think I was in diapers the last year I missed three Gannon home games. Each of the three contests was thriller, too: a 2-point loss to Cal and the OT loss to Mercyhurst. I love close games and I love Gannon basketball. It was like torture to miss out on these contests.

Good Three: Danard Crouch may have been just 1-for-8 from the field against the Rock, but his only field goal was a bigee. With the Knights down three with 47 seconds left, Crouch drained a trey to tie the game -- clutch shot. A year ago, that wouldn't have happened. I recall Gannon's first win of the 2009-10 season, a 40-38 slugfest vs. Northern Kentucky, when Crouch cracked under pressure. With 49 seconds left and the Knights up 2, the then-junior badly missed the front end of a 1-and-1. On Wednesday, the senior earned only his second career start and finished strong. You've got to give this kid credit for his work ethic and persistence. He didn't get a ton of playing time last year, but he didn't join the exodus and quit the team. When John Reilly recruited talented freshman and juco guards this off-season, Crouch didn't pout. Crouch will never be selected for the Gannon sports Hall of Fame, but his efforts these past two seasons will help him earn lots of honors in the game of life.

Hee Hee:
Gannon really damaged Slippery Rock's NCAA playoff chances Wednesday. The Rock came in ranked 9th in the region; the top 8 go to the tourney. I can't help but think this is left over karma from the boorish behavior demonstrated by Slippery Rock, their coach Kevin Reynolds, and their football players two years ago. As Bob Dukiet was fond of saying, "Sooner or later ... sooner or later ... God's gonna get you."

26 comments:

  1. I know this is a Gannon blog but gotta give credit where credit due.

    Congrats to Division 3 Caltech who snapped their 310-game, 26-year conference losing streak last night against Occidental.

    For me, at least, this makes these past years seem not too bad! haha

    ReplyDelete
  2. I find myself very irked by the SRU coach, especially when he pulls those stupid stools out during timeouts...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hahaha us students wished that we would have had a couple of stools to mock the coach. But I got to say this, at least the team is still playing even though they got eliminated from the playoffs, nice win out there tonight by GU!!! Came up huge from the line at the end of the game. Tanner I thought played a pretty good game offensively, made a few good shots, got some offensive rebounds. Overall a damn good effort by the team tonight. Agee was out with the ankle injury I take it?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I thought Brannen was the monster out there tonight. Furno had one of his best games but he was still getting moved all over the place. AC great at the line with the money laid down.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well Brannen is quite often the one GU player that has a monster game. Furno did still get pushed around some, but he seems to have a better game than usual rebounding, so that is true. And yeah AC was HUGE when they needed it. 5-6 from the line in the end is about as godo as you can ask for.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great win ... Big shot by Crouch. Thought that the charge with 13 seconds was a no-call at best, but anything to beat the irritating SRU coach.

    I was told that Agee is out with an ankle as well.

    And how about Mercyhurst coming back from 18 down at Edinboro?

    ReplyDelete
  7. You mean Mercyhurst WAS DOWN 18 to the Boro? Damn, I thought that the Hurst was working on finished 0-4 to finish the season, and than get bumped out of the PSAC's in the 1st round, maybe not. Doesn't the winner of the Hurst at IUP matchup Saturday win the PSAC west?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mercyhurst wouldn't host PSAC's this year would they? I thought IUP hosted last year so this year would be the East hosting...?!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Highest remaining seeded West team hosts this year, as GU did 2 years ago. It was held in the East somewhere last year.

    Agee DID roll his ankle at Cal, but he seemed fine to me, watching him run and jump in warmups.

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh ok, I had thought IUP hosted last year (I had also thought GU hosted my default 2 years ago because the team that was supposed to had a conflict or something.. i dunno!).

    Agee did look fine in warmups, BUT is there really any sense in him playing if it even slightly hurts or if he's anything but 100%? These games mean nothing. I'm not saying I want to see Gannon "throw" the final games, however, I really don't want to see Furno and Battle playing a lot either, or Agee if he is hurt. Why risk getting them injured in meaningless games? I'd like to see the bench get some decent time on Saturday (Woodbury, Rumph, Smith). Not a lot, maybe 10 minutes... give them a chance to do something. If not now, when?

    ReplyDelete
  11. IF Coach Reilly thinks there is a chance that the game means something for the evaluation of HIS performance, I'm guessing that he'll "play to win the game."

    It would be nice to see the subs play, but my guess is that, except for starting the seniors (Brown, Brannen, Crouch), Reills will coach to win. Likely that Clarion's coach wil do the same.

    I thought I HAD heard somewhere that the Hurst-IUP winner wins the West. Lakers dodged a bullet vs the Boro.

    ReplyDelete
  12. From a rivalry standpoint, I will always have a very difficult time cheering for the Hurst. This is no different.

    On the other hand, from a purely selfish standpoint, if the Hurst were to win, and the PSAC tourney were to be held there, we would at least have the option of having the games easily accessible if some of us who are basketball junkies wanted to go see them. It's not like Mercyhurst is going to sell out or anything like that. I don't know many people who would drive to IUP to catch the tourney, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gannon74- I agree as I am a basketball junkie myself, however, I can't cross that boundary. I'd drive to IUP before I go to Mercyhurst to watch the PSACs (unless Gannon was in them.. then I'd go to Hurst).

    But I'd feel too guilty if I went to Hurst to watch any kind of basketball..

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just a question, cc3. What is there to be guilty about? You're just a fan. No big deal.

    Have you ever driven to IUP? It's WAY too far to drive unless GU is playing there. I'm starting to dislike IUP just as much as the Hurst, anyway. And the IUP fans are a lot more obnoxious, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. For me.. I bleed maroon and gold when it comes to D2 Basketball.. so to go to Mercyhurst (or Edinboro) to watch D2 basketball that doesn't involve Gannon.. don't think I can do it. that's the guilt part.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cc3-I still don't get it, you'd just be going to a basketball game, but, to each his own.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If MC does host, I will be there for sure. I love college basketball and the chance to see the tourney live is great fun.

    Hey Jim, if SRU lost this game because of karma, what the heck did Reilly do to lose all those close games? It must have been REALLY bad! Or maybe he used up all his karma a couple of years ago and is "banking" it for later?

    Ha!

    Go Knights. Beat Clarion!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh...one other thing. I was at IUP this week and saw the new athletic facility. It is beautiful but it makes me wonder how are they ever going to fill it???

    Maybe D1 in their future?

    Anyone know anything?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Last year, I went to the IUP-GU playoff game, and wondered the same thing. Trying to figure out why they would build a 6,000 seat arena when only about 1,300 people showed up for a PLAYOFF game.

    One possible explanation would be a move to DI, but I would think that coaxing DI style athletes in sports like football and hoops to attend a school that is located pretty far off the beaten path would be difficult at best. IMO, of course. What other explanation could there be?

    ReplyDelete
  20. They could be trying to host certain events... Maybe their's non-IUP events in that area that with a bigger arena they could host now. Who knows?

    6,000 even seems small for D1.. but I guess for a low D1 school that would be right..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well they will host non-IUP events.

    The circus is coming this week or next. And the Harlem Globetrotters are also scheduled.

    But I can't imagine that the main motive for building a facility like this is to host the rodeo or whatever...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Maybe a tractor pull? ha ha
    I've heard that IUP being a school of !5,000
    that they don't have any place in the area large enough to hold graduation.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I hear people say that they can't root for Mercyhurst but I disagree. Sure they are our rival but that is when we play each other. I would love to see the Hurst host because it would drive the PSAC crazy. The first year we are in Gannon host the men the second year Gannon women host and now the third year they would have to come back to Erie. I am sure that would drive the PSAC coaches up a wall.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Stat check ... Forgot all year to check the national stats. What are our strengths?

    Best rankings (out of 275 teams):
    Fouls per game: 49th (17.3 fouls per game)
    FG Percentage defense 74th (42.2%)
    Scoring defense 76th (67.9 ppg)

    Typical of a John Reilly coached team

    Weaknesses:

    Steals per game 238th (5.6)
    Turnover margin 215th (-1.4)
    Turnovers per game 210th least (16.1)
    Three-point FGs per game 190th (5.5)

    These probably don't surprise anyone. Though we have a good defense, it doesn't get steals, which create easy baskets. Also, we turn the ball over too many times.

    ReplyDelete
  25. GU's (Reilly's)style of defense typically isn't conducive to making steals at a high rate. They don't deny the ball on the perimeter, preferring to sag off wing players to help cut off the opponents' ability to drive to the basket. It's a philosophy designed to limit the ability of the opponent to score on higher-percentage shots from in close, preferring to give up lower-percentage shots from further away.

    ReplyDelete