Thursday, November 17, 2011

Knights Announce Starters

When I received the official game notes for Saturday's season opener at East Stroudsburg, I immediately scrolled to page 3 for Gannon's starting lineup. I half expected it to tell me nothing. In some past years John Reilly has simply listed the 5 guys who played the most the previous year.

So I was kind of shocked when I saw this starting 5: PG Adam Blazek, SG Oscar Macias, SF Stephen Battle, PF Darrell Blanton, and C Dmitry Martynenko. Of course Battle was a lock to be in the first 5, and GU insiders have told me that Macias could emerge as the best all-around Knight by season's end.

But Blazek's start shows me two things: first, Steve Piotrowicz's hip injury is more debilitating than some Gannon fans expected; second, that Blazek is adapting quickly to Reilly's system. I originally thought Blanton might be a spot player, but after seeing his supreme athleticism on display at the Maroon/Gold scrimmage, I could see why he couldn't be kept out of the starting lineup.

I'm curious to see how many minutes Martynenko gets with Tanner Furno and Bubby Johnson right behind him on the depth chart. And how will senior Shameel Carty feel coming off the bench? And will who starts really not be that big of a deal because Reilly divvys up the minutes evenly while playing a more up-tempo style? Lots of our questions will be answered in less than 48 hours.


  1. How soon will the exodus start ?????????
    I'm hoping it won't....BUT
    Anyone heard anything about player complaints yet?

  2. No surprise in Steve not starting. He held his own on 2 below average teams that had no depth at PG. this season they should have plenty at that spot. Carty (who I wouldn't be surprised if he starts once he's healthy), Macias and Tucker can all run the point and successfully. I always considered Steve more of a Cory Knight; if he was starting that means they had nothing comin off the bench. If he was coming off the bench that means they had a heck of a starting rotation. shoulder injury or not Steve should be 6th man.

    Dmitry I think will be an experiment. See how he does and if he handles his own leave him and if he doesn't go to plan B. he looks like he should be able to handle his own inside and I'd prefer him over tanner (injury or not).

  3. Blanton and Macias and Battle were no brainers after watching them in practices and scrimmages. Blanton is one to keep an eye on. Impressive.

    My players I'm interested to see how they handle coming off the bench are: Belt, Bubby, and tj Wilson.
    Bubby looks like hell be good but needs to learn Coach Reilly's system and get into the rhythm of the team. I don't see him leaving but could be a candidate if he doesn't catch on.
    Belt gives me the idea of Agee... Great player but all ego. (that's just from watching him play and his maneurisms and the persona he put off). He may be Gannon's best outside shooter so for him to play 2nd fiddle may not fly.
    Wilson only because I was equally impressed by him as I was Blanton. Blanton was a little more solid all around but Wilson was close. If Blanton struggles and no change is made I could see Wilson not keeping quiet.

    Regardless of my opinions or anyone else's well find out tomorrow. Real excited!

  4. Comments like Corey's latest are one of the reasons that I have been staying away from this site.

    At least someone (Corey) is happy that Piotrowicz is on the bench as he has been lobbying for him to be there for almost 3 years now. Finally got your wish, eh?

    Analyzing just the last 2 posts reveals that Corey's observations about the team has very little to do with what actually happened. I saw the Maroon/Gold Scrimmage and the Mercyhurst NE Scrimmage and I didn't see ANY of what he/she saw.

    Piotrowicz isn't starting because of the past "Lack of depth" that Corey mentioned. He is not starting because he is injured to the point that Reilly is trying to limit his playing time so that he can make it through the season, not because of any other reason. If he were not injured, he'd atill be starting. So essentially, Corey is happy because one of the members of the team he supposedly roots for is injured. Nice fan!

    Piotrowicz has had to suffer with the comparisons to Lindsey throughout his GU career. Sorry, he's not Joe Lindsey. Quit judging his play by comparing him to Joe. No one else is comparing shooting guards to Pierre Howard, centers to Goldkamp or power forwards to Vince Mosley. Quit ripping this kid for what he is NOT. By the way, his injury is not to his shoulder. All this kid has done is play hard for a lot of minutes very effectively through 2 different significant injuries, but your infatuation with wanting him out of the starting lineup is borderline creepy, like you have had some kind of spurned friendship with the kid.

    The statement that Carty, Macias, and Tucker could successfully run the point is ludicrous, IMO. I watched Macias try it for brief periods twice, and he actually was looking at the ball while dribbling it against pressure. It was obvious that he doesn't want anything to do with playing the point. Neither Carty or Tucker actually ever ran the point in my experience watching this team, but watching both of them handling the ball from the 2 or 3, neither impressed me that they could orchestrate the team effectively, as both their ballhandling and passing were average at best.

    As for the Blanton vs TJ Wilson comments, I again completely disagree. Wilson is strong, works hard, drives to the rack with strength and explosiveness and can defend well, but he's not anywhere near Blanton's total game. Blanton can explode to the hoop off just one step, and Saturday vs MNE, he made several 18 foot jumpers, and what was really impressive was the way he defended the very effective lead guard that MNE had. Blazek, Piotrowicz, Tucker, Macias, and Wilson struggled to stay in front of this kid, but Blanton more than held his own. TJ might end up being an effective backup for Blanton, but I cannot see Wilson ever playing in front of him.

    I'd like to think that the difficulties in posting to this site are the reason that the traffic here has significantly dropped off, but it could be that many quit following because they no longer want to bother with the comments like Corey's that seem motivated more from some creepy personal vendetta against certain players than anything with roots in reality.

  5. Gannon74: I think I agree with everything you said except for "the traffic here has significantly dropped off." The comments are down over the past few months, but I'm predicting they'll pick up when there are actual games to comment on. Web traffic has never been better. Over the past month, the site has logged nearly 6,000 page views -- not bad for the preseason.

    I would like to remind Corey and other posters to remember that the Gannon players are kids. Let's root for all of them and be slow to criticize.

  6. To make it clear I never said anything "bad" about Steve for one. I saw their scrimmage vs. behrend and he played 17 mins in the 2nd period. So much for resting him. He's not and shouldn't be starting because he's not the best PG on the team. Blazek is an amazing PG. I'd be willing to bet he starts all season unless he falls flat on his face. If that changes I'll eat my words respectfully. I like the kid and he is by far one of the hardest and scrappiest players Gannon has, but heart and hustle can only take you so far. Again, Cory Knight comparison... Coming off the bench means Gannon has some real good players.

    Also one criticism of evaluations, your basing your opinions off a scrimmage vs. MHNE and mine are off one vs. behrend. Now neither of us can say anything definite because neither team was caliber of D2 or even close, however, you are saying how amazing Blanton was against MHNE and that Wilson wasn't close. Well against behrend and their 2 huge kids, Wilson and Blanton were one in the same. Both of them ate them up with Wilson actually being more of a driver and Blanton just staying inside.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. And I think reason people don't post as much (besides the fact today is opening tipoff) is because when they post something they have someone who has nothing better to do with their time than to criticize other posters for their opinions when all that person is doing is using his opinions as if they were proven facts. Your word is no greater than anyone else's. The only person who can give this blog facts is Jim. Everyone else is just opinions.

  9. The post on 11/19/11 at 1:41 PM was deleted because it included an overly harsh criticism of a kid. That won't be tolerated. Let's all keep in mind that (1) all the players are kids and (2) they're all waaaaaay better basketball players than us. Thanks for your understanding.

  10. That's fine. It was to prove a point anyways.

  11. G74
    I agree with your comments but disagree with:

    "Quit judging his play by comparing him to Joe. No one else is comparing shooting guards to Pierre Howard, centers to Goldkamp or power forwards to Vince Mosley ..." I think Tanner has been compared to Goldkamp esp his freshmen year.