Saturday, April 30, 2011

Potential New Knight: Brandon Belt G soph. 6-1

According the most recent PSAC Letters of Intent web page, junior college guard Brandon Belt has committed to attend Gannon. Belt just finished his freshman year at Baltimore City Community College, where the sharpshooter averaged 16.1 ppg for the 20-11 Panthers.

Here's the skinny on Belt:
* Belt started and played in all 31 games at BCCC, leading the team in three-pointers (73-187) and three-point percentage (39%). The 175-pounder shot 45% from the field overall and a stunningly low 56% from the free throw line (39-70).
* Here are his averages: 21.8 minutes, 16.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.9 turnovers, and 1.4 steals.
* If you check out the season stats for BCCC, look at Micah Fraction's numbers. The guy averaged 25 ppg in just 23 minutes of action per game. Can Gannon sign that kid, too?
* BCCC advanced to the NJCAA Region XX finals where they fell to Cecil College (MD), 82-78. For his efforts, Belt was named to the all-tournament team. (Note: Cecil is located in North East, MD. Who knew there's another city called "North East"? The college's nickname is the Seahawks, not Grape Pickers. Too bad for them.)
* Belt graduated from Arundel HS (MD), transferring there just prior to his senior season. He averaged 14.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists for the 18-4 Wildcats, earning second-team All-Anne Arundel County honors. If you're dying to know more about Anne Arundel the person, just click here. If three Gannon Hoops followers click on that link, we'll set an all-time record for site traffic to that web page.
* This article from the Baltimore Sun gives insight behind Belt's choice to attend BCCC, including that he chose the school over Gannon and Pace last year.
* In that same article, published in July 2010, Belt makes this comment which I'm sure he wishes he could take back now: “I didn’t want to go to Division II. After this year I think I can be a Division I player. That’s why I wanted to come to BCCC.”
* This MaxPreps page on Belt is basically worthless, but I'm trying to give you all the info I came across on him.
* Here's something worth clicking on: it's some video highlights of Belt's junior campaign at Southern HS. He's certainly not a stiff. He can both shoot it and slash to the bucket.

The PSAC Letters of Intent web page also says an Anthony Wilson from Lorton, VA signed with the Knights. But the only Anthony Wilson from that area I could find played football -- not basketball -- at Hayfield HS. If anyone can confirm or deny that the Knights hoops team signed an Anthony Wilson, I'd appreciate it. For now, I'll just assume that the PSAC made a typo and the kid should have been listed in the football section. Web sites make tpyos all the time! UPDATE: Moments after I posted this, a Gannon fan emailed me that Wilson is a 6-foot-3 juco transfer to Gannon from Frederick (MD) Community College, who lists him as T.J. Wilson on its basketball roster. I'll gather more details in the upcoming days.


  1. Here is some info on TJ Wilson Frederick Community College

  2. Looking through the Ashland site, it looks like Fraction played 28 games with them in 2009-10 as a freshman, averaging 5.5 points per game. Then I'm guessing he bolted for BCCC.

    Also interesting about Ashland -- one of their assistants is former Prep point guard Jared Ronai.

  3. safe to say it sounds like Belt may be taking Agee's place...?!

  4. I'm not taking issues with these latest two guards in particular, but why more guards? What happen to the two redshirt junior guards on the bench? Are they one & done also? What about the two Juco's who sat at the end of the bench all season? Returning or one & done?
    School is almost over...does anyone know who is actually returning next year? Who's on the merry-go-round and who got off?

  5. All we know for sure is that Agee is not returning. There are rumors about a lot of these kids, but nothing has been announced. I'm sure that lack of playing time this past season may cause some casualties (you'd have to think that at least a couple of these kids were not happy with their PT)and there are always academics to worry about.

    Incidentally, there were 3 kids redshirting last season- Eisenman is a point guard, Tucker a wing, and Blanton, even at just 6'3"-6'4" or so, supposedly a very good power forward.

    I do agree that GU now has enough guards. It is imperative that an effective inside scorer/rebounder at least 6'6" or taller be added.

    Roster at this point(*-players rumored to be attending GU)

    Forwards:Furno, Battle, Rumph, Blanton, Springer-Williams
    Wings:Woodbury, Smith, Tucker, Belt*, Wilson*
    Points:Piotrowicz, Clagett, Eisenman

    I'm guessing that Blazek will be redshirted-we'll see.

    Except for Furno, there is again a glaring lack of height. No question at which position more players are needed.

  6. Belt sounds like he will make a very nice addition for some NAIA school in two years after leaving Gannon.
    As for speculation on the reason for Agee's departure, I would watch to see if he appears on a roster anywhere next season. The NCAA drug policy requires a player to sit a year for drug violations.
    Why has the Gannon Athletic Department not put out a press release on Belt and Wilson? It's clearly not an issue of rules forcing teams to keep it under wraps because a) the Blazek signing already happened and was announced b) the names are on the PSAC website. What an incredible waste of good PR for Gannon and a great chance to build positive momentum to a program saddled by negativity over the past half decade or so. If it wasn't for the good detective work of Jim, the fans wouldn't have a clue.
    Will the last one out of Gannon please turn off the lights?

  7. "Belt sounds like he will make a very nice addition for some NAIA school in two years after leaving Gannon."

    Funny...and sad...

  8. Because, Jeremy, junior college transfers don't have to sign letters of intent, therefore, when announcing that the player is coming, you are essentially advertising to the world that the kid is available thus increasing the chance that another team could swoop in and take a kid you're hoping will show up in the fall.

  9. Blazek is a high school student and bound by the National Letter of Intent. No other school can contact him after he's signed.

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  11. Jeremy-

    Thank you for the upbeat comment. Way to stay positive! With "fans" like you, no wonder people are down on the program.

    Just what are you trying to say? How do YOU know Agee's reason for being dismissed was related to drug use? There hasn't been any official word. Don't think we need that kind of speculation without some substantiation. What's your source? Or are you just starting yet another rumor?

    As far as announcing new players, you need to quell your need for instant gratification a little. In case you haven't noticed, the trend lately in DII and at GU has been to get all their recruits signed and approved for admission to the school, then announcing them all at once. I'm guessing that process is not yet complete, so they're not about to announce yet. Blazek being local and a freshmen-to-be (and not a transfer) makes his a different case.

    Good PR or not, they're better off getting everything in order first, then making the announcement. If memory serves, that was in June last year. We'll know when we know.

    Thanks again for your positive contribution.

  12. gannon74...IMO, people are down on the program because players keep transferring or leaving or getting kicked out, etc etc etc...not because of negative comments by posters here.

    coupled with the fact of 2 disappointing years in a row...

    Hard to be positive about a program that doesn't keep kids long enough to get to know them AND hasn't been winning...

  13. Gannon74,I'm a fan who is tired of seeing the program become a shell of what it has been in the past. Nothing wrong with pointing out the criticisms of the school; there's no way they get better without addressing those.
    I have no idea if Agees departure was drug related, but I just responded to one commenter's earlier speculation with information that could eventually prove or (hopefully for Agees sake), disprove that as the reason for the departure.
    Willow: I get the idea that Blazek is tied in by a letter of intent, but dont follow on the idea of keeping the signings quiet to prevent other teams from knowing. Didn't that whole secrecy thing go out the window when the PSAC posted the names on the webpage? Why not then tell your own fans the news instead of making them find out in a secondhand manner?
    From a PR standpoint, wouldn't it make sense to spread out the signings, to maximize the number of times Gannon basketball is in the news?

  14. fauves-

    So it's the fault of the program that Agee misbehaved in such a grievous manner as to get kicked out of school? I disagree.

    If you are presenting an individual with an opportunity for a free education in exchange for playing a game and that person screws it up because they cannot act in the way that the school wants them to, the blame is solely on the individual, not the coach or the program.

    Jeremy-Point out all the criticisms (whatever that means) you want. I was referring to your "last one out of Gannon turn out the lights" comment. Those of us who prefer to think about what could be in the future rather than the way things were 20 years in the past (I also remember it fondly, but that was then-this is now) don't need that kind of negativity.

    As for the program being a shell of what it used to be, you are correct. It is, but so is all of D-II basketball. The continued migration of small D-I schools that were at one time D-II and the resulting dilution of the player pool in both physical size and ability that gradually resulted has lowered the level of play to a mere shadow of what it once was. Did you see the D-II Championship Game, even the semi-finals? It was pretty much a bunch of 6'4" (and smaller) guys running around throwing up 3 pointers. Very little defense, very little inside play, very mediocre. That championship Bellarmine team would've gotten demolished, particularly in the post, by the teams back in the mid-80's.

    It isn't just Gannon. Sadly, it's the way things are in D-II now.

  15. Jeremy, I misspoke, JC transfers do sign national letters of intent. However, you can't even begin to understand all of the rules and regulations regarding the announcement of recruits by the sports information office. The SID office plays by the rules and announces when they are allowed. You don't see 80% of the releases that Dan Teliski sends to the Times. In this case, you haven't heard anything because the NCAA forbids it until a number of things happen...

    1. players must be accepted
    2. players must be officially transferred

    "It's clearly not an issue of rules forcing teams to keep it under wraps because"

    Was there a release from Gannon about Blazek? That came from Prep.

    You saw the signings on the PSAC page because the conference requires that all NLI's be reported when they are signed. That doesn't mean you're allowed to report it.

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  17. G74...I absolutely agree with your point but when players leave and transfer at historic levels at GU, coach and presumably, AD must have some culpability.

  18. OK ... Time to be positive:

    I'm positive that way more players are leaving the program compared to other Division II schools.

    I'm positive that we are wallowing in mediocrity and it's really hard to get excited about the future.

    I'm positive that GU has lost its leading scorer AGAIN.

    I'm positive that this hurts even more because Coach Reilly is such a likeable guy and there's no coach that I've wanted to succeed more.

    The one thing that I don't want to be positive about is that 2007-08 and 2008-09 were flukes, but the overall track record is proving otherwise.

  19. Golden, couldn't agree with you more.

    Interesting note is that Coach Reilly won 62% of his games over 12 years at Brescia University and has won 61% of his games over the last 6 years at Gannon. That is pretty consistent!

  20. Golden, I could not agree more on all points. The one thing that gets overlooked when looking at the 2007-08 and 2008-09 is three names Kyle Goldcamp ( if we were in the east region he never wears a Gannon uniform) Cory Knight (learns why northeners do not go to small southern schools and put local player on the bench)Tyler Stoczynski ( in the wrong place at the wrong time exonerated but to late). Understand from students attending at this time that this team had its problems but Kyle and Tyler were great leaders on and off the court and held things together. Take away the two locals and one of the best centers we have had and the team would have been OK but not 56 - 9.

  21. Earlier, I believe in another topic/thread, a comment was made that there hadn't been any 4 year players under Reilly.

    Was just thinking about it the other day, and it seems to me that Mark Demski, Preston Harris, and Robert Buckner had all been eligible to play 4 years, although Harris graduated with a year of eligibility remaining (I think) and Buckner, of course, couldn't play because of his knee. Am I off on that or not?

    As for Bob's "3 name" comment, put the shoe on the other foot. Without Mosley, Lindsey, Howard, etc that were brought here under Reilly's watch, the result would've been the same-an OK team, but not 56-9.

    Sounds like what Bob is really trying to infer is that those 3 players, so crucial to those teams' success, fell into Reilly's lap, rather than being recruited by him. Apparently, he's attempting to discredit Reilly for that how well they did. Is that it, Bob? Why not just say it?

  22. Good post Golden89...i think you expressed what a lot of us feel pretty nicely.

  23. Gannon74: I am saying that John had some good luck in picking up those three players. He was the coach that put it together and made it work. Take a look at the players that have been recruited and left and see how many have had success else where. Not very many which leads me to believe that they were not able to compete at our level to begin with. I am saying that we have not had very good recruiting success. That responsibility is who ever is giving out the scholerships.

  24. No one can argue that the recruiting has not been what it was before GU's program lost the assistant coach (whose name I cannot remember)that was largely responsible for bringing in players like Lindsey, Howard, Mosely, Wilson, etc. When that coach left was when recruiting started sliding. That point is well taken and cannot be disputed.

    However, I was just amused at how you are trying to criticize Coach Reilly indirectly without actually saying it.

    I'm pretty sure that Coach is as disappointed, if not more, with the performances, attitude, work ethic, and now, behavior, of many of the players he has recruited the last couple years as all of us are.

    What is becoming increasingly clear is that a large number of commenters on this blog would rather complain about how bad things have been the last couple years and how those years haven't measured up to the glory days of the past (no kidding, really? What a revelation!) than look forward to next year and hope for an improvement. No offense, guys (and gals, if applicable), but you sound like a bunch of grumpy old men (and/or women) stuck living in the past. It's 2011, folks. A lot has changed. This isn't the Division II basketball or the Gannon basketball of your younger days.

    If venting in this manner makes you feel better, then have at it, no matter how immature it makes you look. But, other than that, it really isn't helpful,and certainly isn't constructive. You are displaying the same kind of negative attitude that some of the departed players had. That makes many of you much closer to being part of the problem than part of the solution.

  25. G74 you obviously disagree but your tone is really condescending to "a number of commenters".

    How is posting legitimate criticism of a program and or coach complaining about "glory days"?

    It sounds as if you give Coach Reilly a free pass to all of this negative, while the rest of us choose to speculate on his degree of accountability.

    We all want GU to be successful and in turn Reilly to be successful. Hopefully Reilly turns it around this year, but a lot of us doubt his capability.

    And do you really believe that a handful of posters on a message board are part of the problem? Yet you seem to give Reilly a free pass? Interesting logic there.

  26. My 2 expectations for coach Reilly:

    1. Graduate the kids he recruits
    2. Be competitive every year

    He's not doing either. Why should't he be reasonably scrutinized? All other GU coaches have met those expectations, at least since I've been watching (since 1991). Unless you're saying nobody could do this in "today's division 2", in which case I respectfully disagree with you.

  27. Fauve well said.

    I don't believe that any of the posters here, award the scholarships or determine the funding for the program or establish the administrations expectations for the program.

  28. Jim:
    Follow-up to your comments on Micah Fraction. It loooks like we will see him play this year but not in a GU uniform. According to the PSAC website he signed with Kutztown.

  29. Clagett, Rumph and Ramon Smith gone...according to LeCorchik on 1330.

  30. 6 new in
    8 returning
    4 gone
    (per AM 1330)

    No info given about new kids although I'd assume blazek and belt are 2 of them...

  31. No shock that when you bring in JUCO guys and dont play them, they will leave.
    At what point do we as fans stop following this program and enabling it to wallow in the medocrity?

  32. Jeremy:
    Look at the attendance last year...a lot of fans have already quit following the program with more to follow.
    Now, by my count,at least 28 players ( or more) have left the program early in the past 6 years. It's not even so much about wins & losses anymore as it is about the reputation of the University. What an absolute embarrassment to Gannon.
    Where's the AD in all this mess? Why does Gannon allow this to happen? Gannon Alumni and loyal fans deserve better.

  33. Hey, Jeremy, since you feel that the program is "wallowing in mediocrity", feel free to stop following it as soon as possible, like NOW. You're certainly not adding anything worthwhile, so you won't be missed.

    Speaking of that, of the 3 players that are alleged to be leaving voluntarily (as opposed to the one that was dismissed from school), only Clagett will be missed. He really was coming on at the end of last season, and I thought that there was a good chance that he'd start this coming year. I also liked the way he and Piotrowicz played together when the situation called for it. The other 2 likely weren't going to contribute much. No real loss. Who knows, maybe that frees up 2 positions for players that are better. They can't be much worse than 2 kids who apparently never showed enough in practice to earn a chance to play.

    Looking at the numbers game with a "glass is half-full" attitude (as opposed to the "glass is half-empty" mindset that seems to pervade this blog), you COULD say some improvement has been made. Last year, only 5 players were returning and 10 new players came in (3 of whom redshirted). This year, reportedly, 8 returning and 6 new coming in. In my mind, that's far from ideal, but it IS an improvement. It's a start. There's a long way to go, but it's a start.

  34. I would never think of not supoorting the team no matter their record. Sure I would like them to be competitive every game winning the majority but I like just watching the game. I also like seeing how players develop from year to year (like Trav, Steve, Furno, Denard) and seeing them graduate and hopefully stay in Erie becoming supporting alumni.

    I agree with you completely but, unfortunately, your third point is not happening. Players are not developing year to year because they quit before it can happen. In my 51 years of loyaly supporting GU I have never seen such a big mess and, believe me, the cause is more than just the players. And now we know where the AD is with all this mess.....according to today's newspaper...he's looking to quit also.
    This is a really sad era in Gannon basketball and the worst I've seen in 51 years.

  36. The AD, as you can see from his work history, moves around quite a bit, as many people in his profession do. It's something you have to do to get to the upper level in that business. It should be no surprise that he's looking to move up to a school at a higher NCAA level, particularly if they contacted him.

    Although we all realize things are not ideal, there HAS been improvement in the number of players leaving and the number coming back. Why can't we embrace that instead of bemoaning the loss of 2 kids that weren't going to play, a kid who got kicked out of school for cause (would you really want him around influencing the other players?) and the one kid who WILL be missed (who actually got more and more playing time as the season went on, so why he would leave for a third school in 3 years is puzzling at best).

    Although you are well within your rights to do so, continually grousing about the siutation is NOT going to help make it better. You all have made your point. We get it and agree. Things are not the way they should be. Your choices are to unproductively wallow in the misery (which so many have chosen to do)or look forward to seeing it improve (which very few commenters are doing).

    Go ahead, think about it. Choose to be miserable or look forward with the attitude that it can get better.

    Knowing the mindset of the typical "long-time Gannon fan", you'll choose to be miserable. Until things improve, that is, whether it will be under Reilly's leadership or someone else's.

    I apologize in advance for trying to drag you out of your misery.

  37. g74 you certainly deserve a medal for optimism.

    I really hope Reilly turns things around this year. And I agree with your assessment of players lost (I thought that Claggett would be the starter and hopefully play the majority of minutes at the 1 this year)and also believe that it is better than last season...but losing Agee really hurts (I know, I know he screwed up and was a bad guy and all that, but I wish they'd stop bringing in "bad guys"). I can't help but read Brandon Belt's bio and think, he's going to be gone...another kid who never wanted to play DII, went to CC (grades?)...It is this mindset that is making me crazy...before, when a recruit came in I assumed they would graduate. Now I don't.

    Also, I see that Malcolm Woodbury is back. There's a 4 year player...although he never played.

    Does anyone know Reilly's contract status? Is he in the last year of a contract?

    "I apologize in advance for trying to drag you out of your misery."

    That's pretty funny but I'm not sure that I agree that realistically assessing the program and being miserable go hand-in-hand.