Friday, December 16, 2011

Making A List

Our good friend Santa usually does the list writing this time of year, but this time it's your turn. Make your list in the comments section below with your opinion of 3 Knights who you believe rank at the top of these categories:

1. Best pure shooters
2. Best slashers
3. Best ballhandlers
4. Best shot blockers
5. Favorite players

If you'd like some help to jog your memory, click here for a list of Gannon's all-time record holders and click here for the list of all-time letterwinners at GU.

I'll share my favorites with you later; I'd like to hear first what you have to say. Just click the comments link below or (because the Blogger format is far from perfect) just email me at if that works better for you.

Thanks to Steve Bohen, my former partner in Gannon's radio booth, for this idea to help get us through the near three-week layoff from live hoops at the Audi. If Steve didn't make this suggestion, I was going to start a blog on Mercyhurst basketball called "ManchelMania!"


  1. 1. Best pure shooters
    A) Steve Moyer B) Pierre Howard C) Josh Morgan
    2. Best slashers
    A) Troy Nesmith B) George Johnson C) Rich Bush
    3. Best ballhandlers
    A) Javar Cheatham B) Joe Lindsey C) Joe Rivera
    4. Best shot blockers
    A) Geoff Husted B) Tahron Briscoe C) Forrest Kirby
    5. Favorite players
    A) Aaron Garrity B) Steve Moyer C) George Johnson

  2. Best shooter

    Steve Moyer
    Mike Crawford
    Brandon Andrews

    Best ball handler

    Javar Cheetham
    Joe Lindsey
    Joe Rivera

    Best Slashers

    Javar Cheetham
    Troy Nesmith
    Darrell Blanton

    Best shot blocker

    Geoff Husted
    Kyle Gold camp
    Zaid Al Kas

    Favorite player

    Javar Cheetham
    Troy Nesmith
    Pierre Howard

    I'm curious to see who the folks who go way back choose....

  3. 6. Most Passionate Players
    A) Geoff Husted B) Kyle Goldcamp C) Tyler Stoczynski
    7. Biggest Hustlers
    A) Aurimas Truskauskas B) Aaron Garrity C) Cory Knight
    8. Favorite Locals
    A) Aaron Garrity B) Joe Rivera C) Tyler Stoczynski
    9. Favorite "Big Guys"
    A) Kyle Goldcamp B) Geoff Husted C) Josh Morgan
    10. Favorite "Lil' Guys"
    A. Steve Moyer B) Cory Knight C) Steve Piotrowicz

  4. Shooter
    Steve Moyer – How can you not vote for the then-NCAA three pointer record-holder
    Chris Hollan – Just for the 1990 Clarion game alone.
    Butch Warner

    Darryl Freeman
    Roland Shannonhouse
    Troy Nesmith

    Ball Handlers
    James “Mo” Jamison
    Joe Lindsey
    Javar Cheatham

    Shot Blockers
    John Matthews
    “Shanghai” Matthews
    Some guy from Clariton, PA named Matthews
    Nobody was ever better at blocking shots. It’s not even close. Shanghai dominated a game under the basket like no other GU player has since.

    (Aside – How the heck is Todd Stablein ranked #12 all time in blocked shots? I don’t remember him ever blocking a shot. Not questioning the stats crew; just never thought of him as a shot blocker)

    Favorite Player
    Kyle Goldcamp – Hard worker, talented and tough-nosed player. And an academic all-american. Thank you, UPJ.
    Javar Cheatham – Best assist man ever. Never got the ball to the wrong person.
    Dave Callahan – He would be the most hated player if he played for another team.
    Mitchell Smith – I cheated and mentioned four. Not a model citizen or student, but nobody created more excitement every time he touched the ball.

  5. 1. Best pure shooters - Steve Moyer, Chris Hollan, Matt Jones
    2. Best slashers - Darryl Freeman, Troy Nesmith, Sean Hazel (did he ever suit up?)
    3. Best ballhandlers - Javar Cheatham, Joe Lindsey, Juan Rankin
    4. Best shot blockers - John Matthews, Geoff Husted, Akol Tong
    5. Favorite players - Jim Roddy (Somebody had to mention him right?), Charlie Burk, and Gerald Blanks.

  6. Excellent choices. If I may add

    best pure shooters
    Steve Moyer
    Ben Wiley
    Larry Daly

    Gerald Walker
    Darryl Freeman
    Butch Warner

    Javar Cheatham
    Mo Jamison
    Butch Warner

    Shot Blocker
    Glen Summors. Period. Much as I love Goldcamp and Matthews, they were no Summors. Not even close. Matthews had 224 blocks in his career. Wouldn't be a stretch to think Summors had that in a season and a half. Too bad nobody counted. We need a Glen Summors movie marathon where highlights of all his games are replayed on a giant screen at the Jammermill. For those who never saw him play, words don't adequately describe what we who did see him play witnessed. Still remember the SOS All Star game at the end of his senior year when Summors scored 43 points against a team of Division I All Stars, including the Louisville Cardinals center who, after having three straight shots rejected by Summors, threw up his hands and said to the ref "Who is this guy?!"

    Glen Summors
    Bobby Baker
    Harry McLaughlin

    (P)hi Slamma Jamma fraternity
    Glen Summors
    Mitchell Smith
    Darrell Blanton

    Hardest working walk on
    Jim Roddy

    Favorite Honorable Mentions
    Al Lawson
    Sam Iacino
    Craig Dixon
    Larry Peacock
    Al Farmer
    Cal Graham
    Goose Pryor
    Dave Stoczynski
    Mike Kennedy

  7. Love these lists and the walk down memory lane. My lists will only go back to the mid 80s or so. Let's start with shooters:

    1. Steve Moyer -- I've never seen another shooter like him on ANY level. Everyone remembers his 37-foot pullup at Edinboro. But no Gannon fans (except for Steve Bohen, Jerry Slocum's wife, and me) saw his just-as-long off-the-dribble 3 during a comeback vs. Wayne State in the GLIAC tournament in Battle Creek, Mich. Everyone in the arena, including some veteran coaches, stared at each other in disbelief when they saw Moyer's ridiculous range. If he'd have taken one big step backwards, he'd have committed an over-and-back violation.

    2. Chris Hollan -- You recall the 148 threes he made in a Gannon uniform. I recall the 10,148 threes he stuck in my eye in practice every day for 2 years. Sometimes my hand in his face was touching his nose and he still drained the jumper. And as Golden89 mentioned, Hollan put on a one-man show during an improbable comeback win at Clarion in 1990.

    3. Yoav Kadman -- Scored only 256 points in his GU career, but I think they were all from deep. I can still picture his bomb in the closing seconds to tie the 1986 Porreco Cup championship, only to have Michael Hammond of CW Post sink the game-winner moments later.

    Honorable mention: Khyl Horton, Mike Crawford, Cory Coleman, Juan Rodriguez. (OK -- just kidding about Rodriguez.)

    Best Slashers
    1. Javar Cheatham -- I saw him score inside hundreds of times, and I still can't figure out how he did it. He'd somehow knife his way through traffic, gather all 170 pounds of himself, and then explode to the rim. Truly Javar the Superstar.

    2. Darryl Freeman -- His transition baskets in the 1990 NCAA tournament are etched in my brain forever. Against East Stroudsburg in the regional finals, he started the game fast with two 100 mph twisting layups and finished it with a resounding reverse dunk. Free is one of the best competitors I've ever been around.

    3. Jarming White -- He didn't play a lot of games at Gannon, but when he did (and was focused) nobody could stay in front of him. He was the Allen Iverson of small college basketball. Feel free to interpret that comment several ways. If he'd have played 4 full seasons at Gannon, Jarming be among the all-time greats to wear maroon and gold.

    Honorable mention: Darrell Blanton, Pierre Howard, Shannon Grant, Sean Hazel. Hazel played just one year (1987-88, scoring 126 points) but GU fans didn't get to see him full-speed due to an injury. I saw him 100% healthy during summer games at the Gannon Rec Center. He would single-handledly destroy the 1989-90 team that went to Springfield. He had an NBA body and explosiveness no one could match.

  8. Wasn't Moyers 11 3's against Wayne State at home as well?

  9. 1. Best Pure Shooter

    Steve Moyer
    Butch Warner
    Chris Hollan

    Hon. Mention: Mike Crawford, Mike Macdougall

    Ball Handler

    James"Mo" Jamison
    Javar Cheatham
    Jarming White

    Hon. Mention Dave Callahan, Joe Lindsey


    Daryll Freeman
    Troy Nesmith
    Mitch Smith

    Shot Blockers

    Glenn Summers
    John "Shanghai" Matthews
    Josh Morgan

    Hon. Mention Kyle Goldcamp, Zaid Al-Khas, Geoff Husted

    Favorite Player

    Troy Nesmith
    Mitch Smith
    Daryll Freeman

    Hon Mention Mike Runski, John Bowen, Kyle Goldcamp

  10. JRD....Totally agree !!!! Maybe not fav player but some of mine are there as well.
    Add one more column
    Favorite Coach: Chapman

  11. Steve Bohen emailed his best-of-the-best list today:

    Jim, I’m gonna pick one, with honorable mention. Here goes:

    Steve Moyer: ridiculous range, uncanny accuracy, ice water in the veins and a flair for the moment. Few seconds left, close game, everyone in the building, including the opposition, knows it’s going to Moyer. Count it!
    HM: Chris Hollan- 3 for 3!
    Mike Crawford- once he got his confidence, wow!
    Bobby Baker- absolute money from the corner

    In a close call, Gerald Walker. News didn’t jump very high, had an average handle and a decent jumper. But in an isolation situation, buckle up.
    HM: Troy Nesmith- mostly unstoppable
    Darryl Freeman- Dervishes learn how to whirl watching him
    Mitch Smith- cleared for take-off

    Another close call. Mo Jamison had a 4.5-1 assist-turnover ratio during the heyday of the tougher-than-remembered MCC. Great strength and uncanny vision combined with the most maturity in GU history gives him my nod
    HM: Willie Wade- tough-as-nails during what might have been toughest schedules in GU lore
    Javar Cheatham- slight, in frame only. Not enough O’s in smooth to adequately describe him
    Juan Rodriguez- Never let the moment get to him (half court alley-oop to Runski against Millersville is my all- time favorite moment; the Audi was NEVER louder)

    Seriously? The only reason you don’t see Glen Summors atop this list by a country mile is that they didn’t keep stats for blocks back then. He was, for his entire career, the most dominant player on the floor, regardless of the opponent. Young-uns should ask old timers about Summors.
    HM: Josh Morgan, Shanghai Matthews, Andy Adams.

    I’m going to choose a trio as a unit: Moyer, Tony Lyons and Zaid Al-Khas. Mentally tough, athletically gifted and so much fun to watch. Their two years were my favorite watching GU hoops.
    HM: Motown Morris, Geoff Husted, The Stosh Brothers, Mike Runski, Dave Callahan, Danny Adamson

    Not complete, and just one person’s opinion. Everyone is right in this discussion. Merry Christmas.

  12. Here's the rest of my list:

    Best Ballhandlers: This is a tough category to pick just three.
    1. Mo Jamison -- He's only #6 on the all-time assist list, but I felt confident whenever the ball was in his hands. He not only got the ball to guys in the right place at the right time, he could settle things down when necessary.

    2. Javar Cheatham -- He was incredibly reliable plus could create for teammates or score for himself.

    3. Juan Rodriquez -- He was like a coach on the floor for Chapman. He protected the ball and could set up the bigs in transition better than anyone who ever donned a Gannon uniform.

    Honorable mention: Dave Callahan, Troy Nesmith.

    Best shot blockers
    1. I agree with Golden89 -- John "Shanghai" is the best shot blocker I've ever seen in maroon and gold. Picking a #2 and #3 doesn't seem right. Shanghai is Gannon's all-time blocks leader by over 50 (224 to Josh Morgan's 171), but that doesn't even take into account how many shots he altered or that teams gave up attempting shots in the paint when he was in the game. The guy was 6-foot-9 and had an out-of-this-world vertical. I have in a box somewhere a game-action photo of Shanghai blocking a shot with his fingertips near the top of the square on the backboard. I must have stared at that a thousand times when I was a kid. In fact, I'm going to go find that box right now ...

  13. Favorite players: I'm going to leave my former Gannon teammates off this list because it wouldn't be fair to compare them to other Knights.

    1. Mo Jamison -- When he was steering Gannon in the late 80s, I was the point guard for my high school basketball team. I tried to do everything like Mo. I tried to imitate his pause and bounce before he shot a free throw. I'd tried to do my hesitation dribble just like him. And when I hit a jumper, I didn't run back on defense; a shuffled backwards just like Mo Jamison. He wasn't spectacular, but he was a steady leader of some of Gannon's greatest teams.

    2. Steve Moyer -- He was just as intense a competitor as he was a great shooter. I loved checking out the chart that tracked the Knights' individual shooting workouts. Moyer's numbers were cartoon like; every day he'd make something like 97 of 100 free throws and 168 of 200 three-pointers. He willed himself to be great.

    3. Mitchell Smith -- Defensively he was inattentive. But with the ball he was Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. At 6-foot-7 he could soar over opponents but was happier launching one-handed threes. And then he'd fake the three, drive baseline, and dunk on a helpless defender who was looking for the rebound. I recall one time he drove the right baseline, got cut off, and without hesitation swished a LEFT-handed jumper. The oversized goggles were pretty cool, too. I can't recall a bigger personality to ever play for the Knights.

    Wait I just thought of one: Troy Nesmith. Can he be my "3a" favorite player? He could score from anywhere on the floor and defend anyone you threw at him. Heck, when he was the point of Jerry Slocum's 1-3-1 full-court press, he could defend the entire backcourt for 40 minutes. He was a well-conditioned, crazy-confident, high basketball-IQ machine.

    Honorable mention in no particular order. Hold on tight:
    Geoff Husted -- talent with a temper
    Josh Morgan -- muti-tooled big man
    Mike Runski -- did someone say multi-tooled big man?
    David Morris -- a wide body with soft touch
    Cory Knight -- relentless; plus it was special to watch him develop from 5th grade to his senior year at GU
    Zaid Al-Khas -- maybe the most underrated player in Gannon history, which is partially my fault
    Aaron Garrity, Cory Coleman, & John Trocki -- local guys, good guys, phenomenal development under Jerry Slocum
    Joe Lindsey -- big-game player
    Jarming White -- loved watching him explode to the hoop
    Javar Cheatham -- what was his weakness?
    Camara Mintz -- all muscle and intensity
    Roland Shannonhouse -- he played in a Gannon practice when I was on the team and I literally couldn't dribble the ball up the court when he guarded me. I almost cried right right there on the floor.
    John "Shanghai" Matthews -- see above for details
    Bronze Simpson -- super citizen and athlete

  14. Good comments. I have enjoyed reading all of these.

    Two Walter Ego -- I agree that Summors may have been a better shot blocker. But let's not forget that Matthews' 224 blocks came in only TWO seasons at GU.

  15. All these choices are good ones. Every single GU fan is likely to have their favorites. It's only natural.

    However, you can tell the difference between someone who saw Glen Summors play and someone who didn't. There has never been a big man at Gannon that could compare to Glen in any way.

    For example, Shanghai Matthews was a great shotblocker, strong rebounder, and a capable scorer who gave the ultimate effort at all times, but he simply cannot compare to Summors. Someone mentioned they saw Shanghai's fingertips near the top of the box on the bankboard. I saw Summors pin the ball at the top corner of the board-a foot over the box-on at least 2 occasions. His ability to get off his feet quickly was astounding. Add in long arms, a decent shooting touch, and an incurable thirst for every rebound, and you have the ultimate package. Check the career rebounding totals-I think Summors has like 700 more than anyone else, and he's up there in scoring as well. He did all that in just over 3 years, too.

    Best ever? No contest-Glen Summors.

  16. I once saw Glen Summors take off from half court and block a shot from the baseline out of bounds to the concession area. On the ensuing inbound, he hit one-handed sky hook from 30 feet. He then grabbed every rebound for the last 15 minutes. For the game, he scored 47 points, grabbed 39 rebounds, blocked 24 shots and dished out 15 assists.

    The next day, he saw a kid trapped in the catwalk of the Audi rafters and jumped all the way to the ceiling just as the boy was about to fall to floor.

  17. It's unfortunate you've never seen him really missed witnessing as great player.

  18. I never saw either Matthews or summors but my grandpa saw them both (and then some) and he even says without a doubt Summors was Gannon's all time best player.

  19. Well, Golden, thanks for your sincere contribution to what was before you chimed in, a worthwhile and interesting discussion.

    Although I'm not sure what purpose your sarcasm serves, it turns out that your exxageration isn't far off. Summors scored 40 and grabbed 28 rebounds in one game vs Shaw college back in '71 or '72, if I remember correctly. Too bad they didn't keep stats on blocks back then, as I'm sure he had a few of those that day as well.

  20. Who was it that averaged like 20ppg and 20rpg in a season? I may be off but
    I thought someone for Gannon did it once?

  21. What ever came of Akol Tong? Not much skill but sure loved watching him "float" down the court. Remember watching him hit his shoulder on the backboard.

  22. Good gravy ... Just having a little fun here and people act like I send the Chet Moffett e-mail.

    Like Boze said here, there are no wrong answers, but when someone questions the selection of Matthews at the top shot blocker, it's suddenly an incorrect pick because of Glen Summors.

    Summors was probably the best ever, but (a) basketball was much different in the 60s and 70s where big men were able to be more dominant (b) shooting percentages were lower and more rebounds and blocks were to be had and (c) Division II ball was way, way different and much better quality.

    And it's easier to wax poetic about blocks when stats were not kept.

    As an aside, I also chuckle about how many points a great outside shooter before the three-pointer era would have had. Well, maybe LESS actually, because the shooter would have been defended much differently because his shot was more valuable.