If you believe in preseason polls, this was a strong start to the season for the Knights. Gannon went 1-1 on its opening weekend, winning an 80-79 thriller today at Kutztown, ranked #1 in PSAC East preseason poll. Combine that with yesterday's 1-point heartbreaker at preseason #2 East Stroudsburg, and you have to feel the Knights have a great chance to improve on last season's disappointing 6-8 conference mark.
Did you realize that 9 of Gannon's last 14 games have been decided by 1 possession or less or in overtime? Take away the 2010-11 season finale where Clarion mailed it in, and Gannon's last 4 PSAC games have been decided by 3, 3, 1 and 1 points. Should we just show up for games about 90 minutes after they begin and then get down to business?
If you didn't listen to the game on the radio, check out the play-by-play of the game's exasperating final 20 seconds after Kutztown hit two free throws to pull within a point:
00:17 FOUL by FRACTION,MICAH
00:17 MISS FT by BLAZEK,ADAM; REBOUND OFF by BLANTON,DARRELL
00:15 TIMEOUT 30SEC by GANNON
00:13 FOUL by MCBRIDE,DEVON
00:13 MISS FT by BLANTON,DARRELL; REBOUND OFF by BLANTON,DARRELL
00:10 FOUL by BROOKS,TYLER
00:10 MISS FT by BATTLE,STEPHEN; REBOUND OFF by TEAM (GANNON)
00:08 FOUL by MCBRIDE,DEVON
00:08 MISS FT by BLANTON,DARRELL
00:08 MISS FT by BLANTON,DARRELL; REBOUND DEF by TEAM (KUTZ)
00:00 MISS 3PTR by EDWARDS,NATE
Despite that incredibly unclutch clang-fest at the foul line, I'm very excited about the upcoming Gary Miller Classic. Gannon has posted 90 and 80 points in their first two contests after surpassing the 80-point plateau only 5 times (in 26 games) a year ago. Darrell Blanton should be fun to watch, too. He exploded for 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting with 9 rebounds to help take down the Golden Bears today. And once this team learns to play John Reilly defense, they'll rack up wins with more comfortable margins.