I won't offer a personal analysis of Gannon's 90-89 season-opening loss at East Stroudsburg this afternoon. Instead, I'll share with you the dialogue between the Devil on my left shoulder and the Angel on my right. (Just FYI: The Angel wears bright gold while the Devil sports deep maroon.)
Angel: What an incredible game! Back-and-forth with points galore! Gannon has had offensive struggles in past seasons, but to register 89 with a team that still doesn't know each other well bodes well for the rest of the season.
Devil: I waited 9 months for that -- to have my guts ripped out with a heartbreaking loss? It especially hurts me because I don't have much of a heart. How can you give up 90 points to a team who finished in last place at the Shippensburg Tip-Off Tournament when you're supposed to specialize in defense? This could be a long year if we can't get stops.
Angel: It would be great to win every game, but what really matters is getting into the playoffs and then playing your best in March. I like what John Reilly said in his postgame interview. He talked how this was a good lesson that every possession counts, every rebound counts, every free throw counts. I could see him saying that to the guys the rest of the year when they're not focused at practice or in games. This loss could be a trade for a few more (and more important) wins down the road.
Devil: Here's what I heard when you were talking: "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We're 0-1." There are no moral victories in college basketball. Gannon's gonna have to get rid of either the Gary Miller Classic or the Porreco Cup and play a cupcake to open the season so they're ready for PSAC play.
Angel: What in the devil are you talking about? Those tournaments are a Gannon tradition ... a community tradition ... a family tradition. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Knights get to go right back at it again Sunday against Kutztown. They'll win that game and we'll go right back to dreaming about this team making the playoffs.
Devil: When Gannon played at Kutztown two years ago, the Knights lost by 16. And the time before that in 1992, the team bus broke down after the game and the players and coaches were stranded on the highway for over 12 hours. I'm anticipating a repeat performance.
Angel: But Gannon won that game, right?
Devil: Whatever. Mercyhurst won today. I'm going to go celebrate.