Saturday, February 4, 2012

Help Me If You Can, I'm Feeling Down

I work at Jameson Publishing, and one of the benefits we enjoy is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides a wide range of services including assistance with personal problems, family and relationship issues, wellness, and work/life balance. I bring this up because I'm requesting that Gannon starts an FAP -- Fan Assistance Program -- to help all of us struggling through this season. The Knights, who everyone expected much from this season, are now 10-10 overall and on the brink of PSAC playoff elimination after Saturday's sickening 68-67 home loss to Cal.

Even before the horrifying loss, Gannon fans were berserk. When I bump into fans at the Hammermill, I usually hear comments such as, "Blanton's great, but I still love Glen Summors more", "Blazek's better than I expected" and "the women's team is really starting to play well." But what did I hear prior to and at halftime of the Cal game? Comments like, "I'm sick of this" and "I can't take this anymore." If we had an FAP, I could point them to someone who could help. All I could say to folks is, "We've had so many close losses, there's no way this streak can continue." And then Cal sticks a three with 7 seconds left in the game to win by a point. Incredible.

I'm stunned how Gannon's offensive productivity has dropped off this season. After their 74-54 drubbing of Mansfield on Feb. 7, GU was flying high with a 6-2 PSAC mark and pouring in over 80 ppg. But against the real teams in the PSAC West this season (that's a nice way of saying don't count winless Lock Haven), the Knights are averaging only 64.4 ppg and have a pathetic 1-6 win/loss record in those games. I know several Gannon Hoops followers believe that's a result of physical fatigue, but I'm not so sure. I think offensive execution -- weak screens, little dribble penetration, predictable plays, poor three-point shooting -- is a bigger contributor.

And where I think this team is most fatigued is mentally. Intense college basketball seasons wear on your brain more than they do your back, and this season is a few weeks longer than normal because of the Knights' mid-October Canadian exhibition tour. Additionally of the 7 Knights who have played all 20 games this season, only one guy (Tanner Furno) has been through this before on the Division II level. Adam Blazek was in high school last year while rest of the crew played junior college ball, where defensive intensity isn't necessarily required.

I was really hopeful a week ago that the IUP game could be a turning point for the Knights. But two losses later I'm simply trying to find a place to turn for help.

89 comments:

  1. A couple PSAC West games just went final:
    SLIPPERY ROCK 73, Mercyhurst 71 (OT)
    Edinboro 68, LOCK HAVEN 66

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  2. I can't attend tonight's game and no live stats from GU tonight. :-(

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  3. No live stats = Lock Haven primitive style :-(

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  4. Tonight Mark Weir is cementing his reputation as the worst official in the PSAC.

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  5. *takes knife and stabs it deeper into heart*

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  6. Total off topic side note - on Psac LOI site, GU women already have 5 girls inked to join them next season; including Amanda Berchtold from Mercyhurst Prep. She had some tantalizing D1 offers. "believe in Cleve"

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  7. Well I think my soul just got ripped out from my chest tonight. That was beyond painful. I don't even have words to describe that one.

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  8. Nail in the coffin....I hate to say it as I have tried to remain positive but that is all she wrote my friends in regards to the Reilly Era. I think the talent is their but it is time for some fresh blood. The losses have been heart-wrenching but you can't lose this many games at the Hammermill!! The boo birds were out tonight and I hate to say it but they are right.

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  9. I forgot to mention I had originally thought Gannon would finish 17-9 but obviously I must amend that prediction...With 6 games left Gannon will close out 3-3 and finish 13-13 and that is just not good enough at this University.

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  10. http://gannonhoops.blogspot.com/2009/05/whew-reilly-staying-at-gu.html

    My how quickly people's feelings change! :-(

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  11. http://gannonhoops.blogspot.com/2010/01/gannon-at-east-stroudsburg.html

    Jim - always remember to be careful what you ask for!

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  12. Well ... That's it for the optimism from me. We're done. Stick a fork in us. In seventh place, two games out of fourth and two teams in between us and the fourth place team, and we were SWEPT by one of them.

    Hard to believe that it's not the Super Bowl yet, but it's all over.

    We're just out there for the exercise.

    I'll be there for the Edinboro game, but largely to see whether our Lady Knights can take down the undefeated Lady Scots. I'll stay for the men's game because it feels like the right thing to do. And because the weather forecast looks like it will be a rare GU at Boro game where we won't have to drive through a snowstorm -- better take advantage of it.

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  13. A few observations-

    -I realize I am getting old and my hearing is going, but I personally didn't hear any boo-birds at tonight's game.

    -The difference between this game and Wednesday's IUP debacle is that GU played well enough to win tonight. They obviously didn't play a great game, but they did play good enough to win. It took yet another tough and in this case, well contested 3 to beat them.

    -Typically, a team will get beat by a long trey once every two years or so. This has happened to this team 3 or 4 times already this year. Amazing. The law of averages and Jim Roddy's basketball gods are certainly not smiling on GU this year.

    -Not sure about Reilly's fate. If it was up to me, I would only extend him if he agreed to bring in an assistant that specializes in offense. Their offensive patterns simply do not create enough opportunities for easy shots. It's just too hard for them to score consistently. It shouldn't take making a shot with a high degree of difficulty to score every time, as it did Saturday during most of their 13 point run late in the game.

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  14. Concerning Reilly......ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

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  15. Oh, I almost forgot. Mark Weir. IMO, he is incapable of calling a game fairly. While Bruce Bolivar is simply incompetent, Weir cheats teams. He continually calls the close (non-obvious) plays against Gannon in every GU game he officiates. I heard someone in the crowd say tonight that he acts like everyone is there to watch him ref (I particularly like it when he makes the sign for the 30 second timeout, as he holds his arms up way too long so that it looks like he is flexing), not to watch the teams play. Until Reilly got the technical tonight, every call Weir made was against GU.

    Just 4-5 years ago, Weir was reffing high school games in Erie. Prior to that he was an assistant basketball coach at East High School. IMO, he is too inexperienced to be doing games at the D-II level. He needs to go back to working high school games, gain the necessary experience, and then try to work his way up.

    He is awful, and his superior attitude is worse.

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  16. I still stand by what I said on this blog on November 26 . . . "Reilly must go. Now."

    Reilly on the post game show lamented how he has never seen a team lose so many games on crazy last second shots. Well, John, like other nights, this one should never have come down to a late three pointer. Oh, and there were seven seconds left to get the ball up court and get a decent shot. But again Gannon had no play to run and couldn't advance the ball against the press of yet another mediocre team and settled for an at the buzzer heave that clanked from 25 feet.

    Happy trails, John. Now can somebody in this administration give us back our ever lovin' dunkin' winnin' championship Golden Knight basketball program?!

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  17. I am amazed at the insightful content and knowledge on this blog. While I'm just an avid fan who foams at the mouth when we loose, I do wonder what has happened to our glorious Golden
    Knights. I don't like it. Wether Reilly must go, I'm not qualified to judge.
    I have seen on his face the wear & frustration. He has the look of a worried man. The pressure is on.
    When is his contract up?
    When the alums, high dollar backers and the "meat in the seat" starts to drop off then Mark R will be forced to act until then its ride the 1 glory year. 2yrs and no playoffs = What's with that?
    I don't have an ans, but I do know my Maroon and Gold is starting to fade and I need an Earl Shrieb new paint job.

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  18. How many of us in the stands last night, when Oscar missed the 2nd free throw that would have put us up by 3, knew that Cal was going to make a 3 on us? I could almost feel it was gonna happen before it happened. I know it's tough to think about a positive, but the fact that they did come back from 10 down with I think 6 minutes or so left (Maybe another minute more or two) shows that they do have heart. Something is still missing though. It's just so frustrating to see a team with so much potential not being able to finish the job.

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    1. Actually when Blanton committed a lane violation in the first half which gave Cal an extra point, the pessimist in me thought that would cost GU.

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    2. I forgot about that play happening to be completely honest. Go figure, that also bit us in the end. I just have never seen a team over the past couple of years lose this many close games like this. You got a prediction for the next way they lose a close one?

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  19. One more loss and you should just turn this into a women's blog for the rest of the season. But seriously, the only reason I will be heading out to the Boro on Wednesday is to hopefully see the Lady Knights upset the Boro. I will stay for the men's game, but if the girls weren't as good as they are I wouldn't even bother going out to Edinboro for the games. I hate to say it, but I can't help but think Wednesday's game is going to be another heart breaker for the Men. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

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  20. Jim, you mentioned Blanton's lane violation costing Gannon an extra point -- those things happen, and you can't blame the loss on him -- but we CAN blame it on Reilly for that stupid technical he earned in the first half, which cost Gannon one point, which ultimately was the difference in the game. Reilly had been on the official for quite some time, and should have gotten a technical, but instead the official warned him. But rather than shutting up at that point, Reilly kept it up, and kept it up, and kept it up until finally the official tee-d him up, and then they made one of the two free throws. Although he was fortunate enough to just get warned at first, Reilly didn't quit, and in the end, it cost Gannon the game -- which was a critical loss that possibly killed off their playoff hopes. Just ANOTHER reason why he is headed to what will likely be his FOURTH losing season in seven years, and why the once-storied Gannon program has sunk to the depths that it has during his tenure.

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  21. Ok - how can you blame a loss on a lane violation or a coach getting teed in the first half? If that's the case, then the loss can be blamed on a turnover in the opening minutes or not winning a tip or missing a hail Mary heave at halftime. The only time those kind of things can truly be blamed for a loss is if they happen at the end of the game. Macias' missed free throw at the end could easily be a targeted blame. If Coach Reilly got teed at the end of the game then, yes, that would be his blame.

    These losses can all be blamed on various things. At times Gannon's been unlucky, out played, out coached, made stupid mistakes, looked fatigued, etc.

    All in all, though, Gannon has lost. And to make it worse it's been heart breakers rather than blow outs (which still suck). It doesn't matter how we lose or by how much... all that matters is that they are losing. They've been losing. That needs to change. None of us can guarantee that one thing or the other will change it, but it needs to change.

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  22. No matter what you say, the bottom line is that Reilly, as coach, should have known better then to continue to push the ref after getting warned -- and it cost him -- and that one point from the technical ended up being the difference in the game. It was a terrible mental mistake by the coach, at a critical point in the season -- so is this, and likely a fourth losing season in seven years, what we want out of a Gannon coach?

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  23. No disagreement from me that he should've laid off. My point was solely that not one single play, unless it occurs in the waning seconds of the game, can be pinpointed for a loss.

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  24. Gentlemen....the air is out of the balloon....it is well past time to make a coaching change.
    The program is not improving, the crowd has dwindled and the luster has been removed from Gannon basketball. They have turned into just another very average basketball team/program,
    Very very unfortunate that it has come to this.

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  25. I agree with most that has been said above so there is no point repeating it again. We have been scouted to death and have failed to adjust.
    What hurts a lot is that the Hammermill is no longer the feared venue it used to be. Now teams come in expecting to win and shoot with confidence. Six losses at home in one season and still counting. Very, very unfortunate what the GU program has sunk to.

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  26. Not going to enter the Reilly stays/goes argument-YET. At this time, I will stand by my assertion that he should stay ONLY if he brings in an assistant that has the necessary exeprience to take over the "offensive coordinator" duties.

    However, I have to disagree that Reilly's technical cost GU the game. In fact, I thought it turned the tide regarding official's calls. To that point, every questionable call (and EVERY one by Weir) went Cal's way. After that, things evened up considerably. Getting a T at that point in the game is a strategy that old-time GU fans will recall that John Chaney (and others like Al NcGuire) successfully employed on many occasions to get calls to start going their way that may not have been to that point. IMO, the T actually helped GU.

    If we're going to start bringing up plays that may have cost GU the game, anyone else remember that other play also in the first half that cost GU a possession and maybe an easy basket when a GU player (may have been Macias or Belt) deflected a pass and one of the refs got in his way, resulting in him stepping on the sideline in front of the scorer's table with the ball in his hand?

    Jim, your analysis of the flaws in GU's offense "weak screens, little dribble penetration, predictable plays, poor three-point shooting" is right on, but you know better than I do that all those things MIGHT be attributed to physical and mental fatigue.

    Hate to harp on the same theme time after time, but I think that the cumulative effect of over 100 marathon practices starting on October 1 (probably earlier) that has resulted in so many injuries combined with extended playing time in so many games has effectively robbed GU's players of the mental and physical energy to do the right way when they need to do, particularly when the game is on the line at the end.

    Take Adam Blazek, for example. Last year, his official practice season started on November 10 (or thereabouts) and went to the end of February (or thereabouts), incorporating around 25 games or so. This year, his official practice started on October 1, and he's already played 25 games (counting Canada), and I'd like to speculate that GU's practices may have been a tad longer, more intense, and substantially more physical than Cathedral Prep's. It's a miracle that the kid has lasted THIS long. Looks to me like he sure has hit "The Wall". In fact, when he was out with foul trouble on Saturday, GU seemed to play better. Remember, Belt's PT was pretty limited in the first 10-12 games of the season.

    There's a saying, attributed to both Vince Lombardi and General George Patton, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all". I think it is most appropriate when discussing this team.

    As I have said before, due to injuries, there isn't much Coach Reilly can do now except hope for the best. At this point, playing Tucker couldn't hurt, but that's the only other thing he has left to try.

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  27. Sometimes I wonder if this site is a fan site, with so much negativity. I agree with Jim in his analysis. Gannon has a kid straight out of high school and a bunch of kids that are good athletes but played for JUCO's that need to get used to the D2 play. I am sure Coach Reilly's plans for this year included Robert Wilson which would have definitely made a difference in these close games. It is sad to think how this kid played last year, and looking at his bio that he is sitting on the end of our bench. Blazek is going to be awesome but he has to learn that the second half of the season they know who you are and you have to adjust. I think we played better with him on the bench Saturday because when he gets excited he tends to dribble too much disrupting the flow of the offense at times. I am disappointed in this season but will stay positive that this group will be something to watch in the near future.

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  28. Ffroo...are you confident that all these kids will be back?


    I'm not.

    Is that negative or realistic?

    Fans expectations are generally formed by how the program behaves. My expectations for a Reilly team is to have high turnover in the offseason.

    Nothing has been done over the last seven years has to convince me otherwise.

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  29. I'm pretty confident that we won't lose much more than Steve and Shameel. I have 2-3 I could see departing on their own, however, none of them would be great losses. I think most will be back.

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  30. I predict 5 will leave (in addition to Steve and Shameel)

    I hope I am wrong.

    I have no inside info.

    And Furno has the opportunity (if he doesn't leave or quit the team) to be Reilly's 1st four year player!

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  31. Corey...I agree completely. thefauves1...it is only realistic when it happens this year, until then its negative. I just hope for the positive, athletes may leave, athletes may stay, who knows what goes on behind the scenes too many variables to determine why an athlete stays or leaves. So I will stay on the positive side of things, it is much less stressful. It sucks to lose but it would be nice to see some more positive comments about what the team does do right.

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  32. I wouldn't be so sure about all those kids coming back. A lot of them were pretty unhappy at the frequency, the length, and the level of intensity of GU's practices. Although players always think that coaches make them do too much, the fact that so many kids from so many different programs have had a similar reaction to GU's practice load is telling. Even players that never complain have been doing so. That could lead to some attrition.

    Other kids have injury issues (and the way the coaching staff reacted to their injuries) that could impact their ability, if not their desire, to come back.

    Hard to say whether any friendships that have been formed on this team will create a domino effect. Like last year, when I had heard that Claggett left because he was upset that his friend Rumph left. That could create some attrition as well.

    Although many have said that, like Blanton last year, Robert Wilson has been GU's best player in practice as a redshirt. He wiil definitely make a positive impact next year should he return. Urbana's coach's refusal to release Wilson when he had readily released the kid that went to Edinboro was just another thing that went wrong this year.

    The question will be how many new teammates Wilson will have if he returns. Will it be just the 2 that have exhausted their eligibility? Or will it be 6 or 7 again?

    One other thing to think about. If a new coach IS brought in, GU is almost guaranteed to have a large number of new players and next year would be another mishmash of styles, personalities, and philosophies. Ask yourself if that is something you are prepared to endure.

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  33. The observer

    I agree that we could see a lot of turnover if we see a new coach.

    But how is that different than any of Reilly's years?

    Ffroo...what you call negative causes me 0 stress when it comes to Gannon bball. What you call negative I call realistic.

    And my opinions are formed by Reilly/gu bball past behavior.

    Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior
    I never thought of players leaving during slocum's or duket's tenure (that's as far as I go back)
    Insanity is expecting different results

    To me that is stressful!

    In the meantime, Go Knights...

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  34. Observer

    Btw...I like your idea of keeping Reilly but hiring an offensive coordinator.

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  35. thefauves1...there you go, "In the meantime, Go Knights" Positive. So much discussion about wins and losses, how about the nice article for Tanner Furno being possibly selected to Academic All-American. That is fantastic to hear, I will keep my fingers crossed for the Gannon team hoping that he recieves that honor. How did the other players on the team do last semester? Does anyone know that? I love the game of basketball and I would love to see wins, but rather see them winning in the classroom.

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    1. Especially nice to see since Furno takes a bashing on this blog

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  36. Keep in mind the athletes actually read this blog and there have been little to no accolades in almost a month's time (pretty only happens in wins, and far and few between even during those, as we still manage to complain about the coach (not that I disagree with the issues)). This team is by far the most talented we've had in 4 years and deserve to know that the fans enjoy the effort and skills they offer.

    Many students have already lost redshirt years, so it's difficult to imagine transferring for a sr. year (not that that stops people). The talent in most positions deserve multiple options on defense (i.e. zone D) that is killing Gannon at the end of games. The fact is in D2, you're assisting as a way to step up in the coaching system and learn other methods, not teach. Anyone who has the skills and talent to bring a new offense or defense would already be coaching.

    Also, the issues guys like Blazek, Belt or Blanton have faced in 2nd halves have less to do w/ their personal adjustments and more to do with our needed (and opponent) coaching adjustments. If the other team knows they can quickly switch to a zone out of a TO, or know that GU only runs a man D, it's easier to prep kids out of half time and a time out, just as LeCorchick explained he's overheard visiting coaches comment about during games. Gannon's lack of options creates problems at the end of games - and it's a shame that fans boos of Reilly could easily be translated to the student athletes; they're doing what their coaches tell them to.

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  37. Reilly should have been gone a long time ago.. he has managed to bring down a former proud, powerful program to mediocre at best. He can't hang on to players and he can't win games. His stubborn insistance on man to man defense is losing game after game. There is talent every year, but this coach manages year in and year out to take great talent and turn them into weak teams. Get someone in here soon who can rebuild this program before it is too late.

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  38. After reading a few of the other posts above I decided to add something to my comments above. The problem has nothing to do with the players. We probably have the deepest, most talented team I've seen at Gannon. The coach doesn't have a clue how to take advantage of that. He has no idea how to highlight the players strengths. For example, Battle has a great mid-range jumper, but Reilly has him out beyond the arc this year --- not his game. And I have to believe that Johnson could have been huge for the team, but Reilly pretty much refused to play him. I hope all of these players come back next year, but with a different coach so that they can show everyone how good they really are.

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  39. One correction. We HAD the deepest, most talented team you've seen at Gannon. Then, the injuries started.

    Not disagreeing that Coach Reilly's strength is not the offensive end of the court and that he doesn't tailor his offensive sets to the players' strengths. But, in his defense, there have been problems that were out of his control.

    Sure, it would've been great to have Johnson on the court this year, but he had an injury of his own-a foot problem that made it impossible for him to play.

    As for Battle, you may be right that his strength is in the mid-range game, but he's been out for what, 6 weeks, with no conditioning at all to enable his knees to recover. He is far from game shape, certainly a little slower than normal, and can only play in spurts anyway because of his knees.

    Having said that, just because he starts an offensive set out on the perimeter doesn't mean he is going to stay there-he could make a back cut and flash into a closer position or drive to the basket if he has an opening. I don't think he is a post player, so, IMO, he isn't out of position where he is.

    There are far bigger problems with this team that have little to do with how Reilly is using Battle.

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  40. This team, the coaches, the fans are enduring a season LIKE NO OTHER BASKETBALL TEAM AT ANY LEVEL IN THE NATION IS GOING THROUGH.

    To me, the arguement is ridiculous to even think about replacing anyone on the coaching staff.

    A question to all: Does this team play hard, or not?

    We are a smidge from being 15-5, or, perhaps a play or 2 more in our favor from being 16-4 (or better)......yet, this season, the basketball godz are not on our side.

    Anyone: Check around on the 'Net: There is NOTHING that comes close to what this team is going through this season

    If these were blow-out losses, (Come to think of it, does a John Reilly team EVER get blown out?..........No.), I could see the justification of the negativity. Yet, this season (as well as last), nothing could be further from the truth.

    Maybe I missed something, but, I calculate this season so far as 10 losses by 40 points.

    One thing I know for sure: This is all going to change, for the better, in a positive way.....with the entire team intact (except our seniors).

    We all thought that this would be a successful season......so far, it hasn't been.....

    Let's quit trashing the coaching staff, and applaud them for putting a squad on the floor who gives it 110% night in and night out.

    The fact that they are painfully learning this lesson, and, are going to make something positive out of it, is a good thing.




    -------------------------------

    This INTACT team, with the present coaching staff at the helm, will win the PSAC next year.

    Just watch.

    To the "fans" who continue to trash our coaching staff: Do us all a favor and go home and perhaps watch Duke (who sleptwalked through yesterday's game in a lackluster HOME loss.....it happens....)

    We all are sick and frustrated......yet, nobody can deny the fact that this team, it's coaches, and (most) fans have their minds in the right places.

    I know this: The team, and the coaches, are one strong group. All are feeling pain. But, all are proud, and have slight (but growing) chip on their shoulder....

    This too shall pass.................

    PS: It might be a mistake to count this team out this year yet.................

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    1. A 7th place team which has never won more than 2 games in a row and you're suggesting they'll beat EUP, IUP and SRU on the road (all teams they lost to at home, and were outplayed), and at Clarion (on the road) who will be out for payback. Plus beat a Mercyhurst team with Leao on the court (last game he scored 27, 10 reb. I'm not being mean, I'm trying to be realistic.

      I will continue to applaud the players on this team for putting 100% on the court. This in spite of the coaching staff. I have heard former players say they won in 08-09 by drawing up their own plays in spite of what their coach told them to do. Hmm... Also, watch the players when they're being coached at by Mini-me 1 and Mini-me 2 - I've seen multiple guys look befuddled and roll their eyes regularly. I've worked enough with college and high school students enough to observe that there's lack of mutual respect and cohesion on this team - it's palpable. Watch an enjoyable girls squad and the interactions between the players and the coaching staff during games.

      They're also 2 wins (Kutztown, Millersville) away from being 8-12. For as much bad luck as people are suggesting, they've had some good luck too.

      Compare teams? How about MC? They lost Leao 2x in one season and two other guards to injuries this season. Sounds similar to me.

      Coaching staff's teams never being blown out? In the last 3 years with losses of 15+: 2/5/11 to IUP by 15, 1/12/11 at IUP by 20, 1/8/11 at Cheney by 19, 1/16/10 at Clarion by 19, 1/3/10 at East Stroudsburg by 20, 1/2/10 at Kutztown by 16, 12/29/09 to Seton Hill by 20, 12/5/09 at Urbana by 26,
      11/21/09 to Urbana by 30.

      This is not a character assassination (nor was my first post). But removing personal loyalties, looking at both the stands, student interest, and compare the relationship WBB to MBB at Gannon, and you'll see vastly different relationships to players, fans and the community.

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    2. Only 9 losses of 15+ points in 3 years is a bad thing?? You do realize that equates out to 3 blowouts in those 3 years, correct? which mean that for as bad of a team as they were some of those seasons, they still only lost by more than fifteen 3 times a year.

      North Carolina was demolished by 30 earlier this season, does that mean they don't deserve to be ranked? They never get blown out, literally.

      People need to quit comparing teams to past teams and players to past players. the only time I will is when I say "if that group did it, these kids can do it" (if the Howard, Goldcamp, Lindsey, etc group "dealt" with the coaching staff, these kids can "learn to" as well).

      And about "drawing up their own plays", complete and utter ignorance. Sit behind the bench. You'll know that doesn't happen. One game Lindsey strayed away from a play and did his own thing. He scored and it was a critical basket at that point in the game. He was then benched for about 5-6 minutes immediately after and the exact words said to him, and not in a mean way or anything (no yelling; just "explanatory" tone) were "If we have 5 players doing what they want, then no one else is going to know where to be or what to expect... we have to make sure people are looking for rebounds when a shot is going up".

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  41. Note to Observor, I used Battle and Johnson as examples. Reilly has always played players out of their comfort zones. He rigidly uses his highly predictable sets on both ends of the floor, and makes no attempt to use his players strengths. It not just this season. This is an ongoing problem.

    He's had one good team and a couple of decent teams since he's been here while having good talent most of the time. And to those who think he only needs an offensive coordinator...his defenses are generally pretty bad too. They can never defend the arc or a decent driving guard. They do play hard, which is a tribute to the players, but they're stuck in a bad system. And yes, they have lost a lot of close games. I think that is the coaches' fault too. I remember one close loss this year when Belt was having a hot game, but the coach decides not to use him down the stretch. And how about that wonderful call at the end of the game against Seton Hill which lost the Porreco Cup? This isn't a one year thing. He's had his chance, now let's move on.

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  42. I'd like to give all Gannon fans two jobs to do. The first is more important than the second, but if you could do both that would be great.

    1. A house divided falls. Let's show up at Edinboro Wednesday and cheer like crazy for our Knights. No sitting on your hands or moaning about how we wish things were. This team is playing very hard and with enthusiasm -- trying to win every game, trying to succeed on every possession. Everyone in the program needs our support. Let's show our Gannon price at the Boro.

    2. Please read this article when you have a chance: http://www.bigblueview.com/2012/1/16/2710653/fire-tom-coughlin-and-perry-fewell-and-jerry-reese

    See you Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You had to post a Giants article to read, I just went back into a fetal position. lol..

      On a serious note, completely right on #1, hopefully we have a good crowd at the game

      Delete
    2. If Reilly wins the NC this year, then we can have the conversation about premature firings.

      Delete
  43. Thank you Jim and #453, well said.

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  44. Don't mistake everyone’s frustration for non support of the team.....If no one cared this column would be blank.
    Although I agree, it's time to move on with a different coaching staff. I believe as well as most people here that these players are VERY talented. I hope to H*** they ALL come back next year. I agree that they have a great chance of winning next year whoever is at the helm.

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  45. @#453: Welcome to the blog Coach Reilly...

    @the coaching staff supporters: If this was a one year fluke of bad losses by a clueless coaching staff, thats one thing. But it's a recurring trend. Could you possibly list 3 reasons to make us all believe that anything will change with this stubborn coaching staff?

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  46. Trying to stay positive...

    1. R. Wilson

    2. Johnson

    3. NONE of us know the true behind the scene information such as players personal thoughts, injury reports, or their future plans. Next year you have Blazek with a year under his belt, deeper bench, Belt as a sharp shooter, R. Wilson to be a true floor leader, return of Blanton dominance, Battles and high energy from the bench. It will be tough to defend a team with several strong options. (Yes, I know, I hear you, "if they come back".) How many of these kids would leave if Coach Reilly leaves? Love him or leave him...you just don't know as a player if you are going to jive with a new coach. At least you know what you have with the same.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Boro is having a "white-out",
    be sure to wear your Maroon.
    Please yell your fool head off.
    Act like a college kid again and
    enjoy the game more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so scared of the boro.......NOT. Mental note to self, act crazier than usual. Check!

      Delete
    2. which means all 300 in attendance will be wearing white?

      Delete
  48. Don't forget the Girls game is at 5:30pm.
    Go Knights!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should be a great matchup. Hoping for a spoiler.

      Delete
  49. I am reading everyones concerns about our men's basketball program I will tell you as an alumni what concerns me is the fact that of the forty four players (I can name maybe more ) that have been recruited in John's first six years we have eleven graduates. There are still six currently in school and assume they all graduate that would be seventeen or thirty nine percent. Remember a lot of these recruits were one and two year players. I do not think this is a positive reflection on Gannon University as an educational institution. I know some will say they quit or left early but I say who is doing the recuiting? Speaking of leaving early I could only find three leaving early during Jerry Slocum's nine years and one was Chad Hunt who went to play for his Dad. Wins are important but our school's reputation as an educational institution is much more important.

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  50. You're comparing Reilly to Tom Coughlin?? Seriously!? I am a life long NY Giants fan. I watch Tom Coughlin on TV. I saw Tom Coughlin win a Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin is a hero of mine. Reilly, sir, is no Tom Coughlin.

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  51. Reilly has the worst winning percentage of any coach in the modern era. More losing seasons than any Gannon coach ever. He gave us the second worse single season record in the history of the program. His players don't graduate. They don't stay in school. He's currently got his team ranked 11th in the 16 team PSAC. If not for two overtime one-point wins, it would be even worse 8-12). He is terrible with the press. Remember how long he refused to even talk to the Times News? One Elite Eight appearance in seven years does not make someone a great coach nor does it make a program a great program. Think Roy Williams would still be at North Carolina with only one Elite Eight appearance in seven years?

    I can't understand how anyone can suggest Reilly deserves another year at the helm of this sinking ship. What it's gonna take? One more year in oblivion? Two? How about four? Will four more years of insane coaching do it for you? Or do you want to wait until Gannon becomes a cupcake on the PSAC schedule? Actually, that wait might be over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen a cupcake team that loses 10 games by a combined 40 points; normally the cupcake teams lose each of those games by 40 points.

      Delete
  52. Not going to argue with any of that, Walt, EXCEPT the part about the Times-News. Their hitman-style writer reinterpreted a Reilly comment into an extremely unfair column which probably hurt Reilly's program with prospective players more than anything in his time here. I wouldn't have talked to them after that, either.

    ReplyDelete
  53. How was the ETN article "hitman style"? Reilly is the one who threw the team under the bus with his "not my guys" comment. Then he cancelled his newspaper subscription. Criticizing the paper there is playing a classic game of "taken out of context" which always is just an attempt to deflect the blame.

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  54. I can add a few more things to Walter Ego's above post on why Reilly should go:

    1. He currently has 77 career losses, which leaves him just one loss behind Jerry Slocum's career high 78. (However, Slocum's 78 losses were in 9 seasons versus Reilly's less than 7, while Slocum's won-lost percentage was .696 to Reilly's current percentage of .599.)

    2. In 7 seasons, he has not had one -- NOT ONE -- four-year player, whereas that was the norm for all other Gannon coaches over the years, and remains the norm for the woman's team.

    3. If Gannon doesn't make the conference playoffs this year, Reilly's teams will have made them just 3 times in 7 years, versus Slocum's 9 for 9 in the tougher GLIAC.

    4. Assuming Gannon will not reach the NCAA playoffs this year, Reilly's teams will have reached them just 2 times in 7 seasons, versus 6 for 9 for Slocum, 4 for 7 for Dukiet and 4 for 5 for Chapman.

    5. Whereas Gannon's all-time winning percentage at the once-feared Hammermill Center is .778, it is .721 under Reilly, including .538 (7-6) this year. By comparison, it was .856 under Slocum (125-21), .786 under Dukiet (99-27) and .899 under Chapman (89-10).

    6. Gannon's record in 3 point and overtime games under Reilly is 17-17, and 5-11 the past two seasons (2-6 so far this year and 3-5 last year).

    7. Local rivals Mercyhurst and Edinboro regularly beat Gannon, and Gannon is no longer the "only game in town." So far this year, Gannon is 0-2 versus Edinboro and Mercyhurst, while last year they were 1-3 versus them and 2-2 the year before. That makes Gannon 3-7 versus their backyard rivals the past three seasons. All-time, Gannon is 46-17 versus Mercyhurst and 60-34 versus Edinboro.

    8. Attendance has declined considerably during Reilly's tenure. There have been zero sellouts since the 2008-09 season, and nothing close to one this year or last.

    9. Student support at home games is virtually non-existent, yet there has been no evidence of the coach doing anything about it. (Remember Chapman going into the dorms and encouraging students to attend the games, going through the stands before the games to psyche everybody up, treating fans to coffee and donuts while waiting in line to buy tickets, and his applause meter?)

    10. Other than being a nice guy, Reilly has done little to unite the Gannon fans. (Remember Chapman's and Dukiet's post-game parties at the Marketplace Grill and Pufferbelly's, and Dick Fox's and Ed Sparling's post-game get-togethers at Tivoli's Tavern? And Dukiet playing the piano and singing to fans?)

    11. He has done very little to promote the program or create new fans. (Remember Chapman's weekly television shows, junior booster clubs and visits to schools?)

    Combine these points with Walter Ego's, and what does it indicate???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just want to talk about #9 on your list for a second. The student support has been pathetic as a whole, and this is coming from a current (grad) student. There has to be something that needs to be done on this (I personally think that if you can start with the freshman, getting them to regularly attend games, more likely to go in future years). If this doesn't change, it is going to get even worse (If that is even possible, I have no clue on that at all).

      Delete
  55. Wow, Lifer, where do you think that one will register on ffroo's POSITIVE meter? Yikes.

    As for the ETN piece, as he does on a regular basis, the writer took a comment and added his personal spin on it to turn it into a "story" that is highly critical of a person or an institution that is an easy target. This was not the only time he has chosen to do this. I have noticed that he hasn't done a similar article since the last one blew up in his face.

    Again, I am not defending anything that is happening now with GU hoops, but every coach, when starting out at a new school, wants players that match his style/philosophy on the team, and isn't comfortable until he is able to get them in place. That shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that knows anything about college basketball. There was no story there, and the writer created one by the way he emphasized Reilly's comments. That's a hitman piece, IMO.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Read Reilly's quote from the original story. Not sure where the hitman spin comes when you read the quote. Not to mention, as Rankin stated in his piece, he was new to Erie at the time, so logically what kind of ax would he have to grind with Gannon?

    http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060304/SPORTS0512/603040393/-1/RSS

    "This season is over," he said. "We didn't bring in these guys. We brought in Aurimas Truskauskas, and he epitomizes what this team is going to be in the future."

    Clearly, Reilly has always been stubborn, controlling and incapable of finding ways to connect with the kids who don't already have his preexisting mindset. That's part of the job description for good coaches and good leaders, and it hasn't worked for this staff.

    ReplyDelete
  57. If you have been reading this writer's work, it is clear that he fancies himself the voice of the player/kid/(some say minority) vs the coach, the institution, etc. At that time, he may not have had a personal ax to grind with Reilly or Gannon, but, in the bigger picture, he is speaking out for what he sees as the underdog whenever he gets the chance to jab the established institution/coach whenever he can. That isn't reporting, it's his opinion.

    I'm not typically looking back 5 years for newspaper stories, I am not able to remember every word of the piece. I am speaking of this writer's propensity to slant a story to "his" side based on the cause he sees himself championing. He knows the coach/institution isn't going to dignify his accusations by commenting on them, so he ends up being the only voice in the story. That's hitman journalism, IMO, in Erie, PA. This ain't New York City, and this ain't pro sports. That's where such journalism belongs.

    Since you seem to be a fan, go back and read his story on the injured football player vs. Cathedral Prep. Sounded like the kid was an innocent victim. Then, search for the various events that have happened since and see who turned out to be the "protagonist" in that sequence.

    I'm not defending Reilly here. I'm questioning the writer, and that was my original point.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Side note: If you go to the WBCA website to check out the DII women's rankings, Cleve Wrights' picture is on the home page.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Observor your right, his comments don't even register on the positive meter. After reading some of these posts I have to keep reminding myself that I am not on a blog with Mercyhurst fans!

    ReplyDelete
  60. It is pathetic for Gannon to be a 500 team in the PSAC. They have 10 full scholarships and play against teams who have as few as 2.5 scholarships. If you can't be an constant contender in this league with 10 fulls then it is time for a new coach

    ReplyDelete
  61. http://www.goerieblogs.com/sports/oncampus/?p=3061&preview=true/

    Incase anyone didn't know, you can go to that site (goerie page) and it'll take you to link to see Gannon/Boro for both games. Not sure if there's a cost, but it's through Edinboro TV.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Duane Rankin is a troll. He admittedly tries to find and/or write inflammatory stories because, in his words, "that's whats going to be picked up by the Detroit Free Press or AP." His MO is to make mountains out of mole hills. Reilly isn't the only one in the athletic department who doesn't care for him, to put it mildly.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Isn't it time we quit comparing any coach's program to Chapman's? That was another time, when class attendance was optional, grades were of little concern, and entrance requirements were a lot more lax, if they existed at all. There were a lot less D-I teams, which made finding good players a lot easier, particularly when you didn't have to worry about whether they could get into Gannon to start with. There are a lot stricter recruiting rules in place today, too. I also doubt that even Coach Chapman's techniques for motivating the student body to come to the games would be enough to get them to put down their electronic devices and show up at the Hammermill.

    Better economic times allowed more sponsors to participate in sponsoring GU basketball, even enough to bankroll a television program. Today's poor economy, the reduced number of local companies large enough to fund such endeavors, and the proliferation of charities looking for donations make such projects impossible at the D-II level.

    No coach today could hope to duplicate Chapman's run here. Not because they aren't as capable, but the rules have changed immeasurably. Let it go, people. We were there, and it was great, but it could never happen that way today. Too much has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  64. fan support at Gannon is unbelievable compared to our competitors. I remember when the Gannon Edinboro game was standing room only with rabid, insane fans. Yesterday, a generous 1300 was reported, many of those attributable to holdover fans from the women's game.

    ReplyDelete
  65. For some reason I am unable to post replies so this is to Yup's earlier comments about blow outs. Those two Urbana blowouts were because of the kid that is currently sitting at the end of the Gannon bench waiting for next year. See Jim's post regarding new recruits and what he did against Gannon. I would be willing to put it out there that Gannon is definitely in the running to win the PSAC next year with this crew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those two blowouts were still blowouts. He wasn't recruited on the Gannon bench at that time, and whatever plan to defend him the 2nd time was clearly not effective. The blowouts happened w/ talent on the bench (who quickly started to leave frustrated w/ something).

      Delete
  66. Also, what is the big deal with 4-year players? Who cares if we recruit freshmen? Don't get me wrong, I don't like that we don't have a few more freshmen, but I don't want a whole class of freshmen. Unfortunately, this isn't Kentucky and our freshmen class won't be the top 10 All-American HS players in the country who leave next year for the pros. I was very enthused that Coach Reilly and his staff recruited a younger class this year (Blazek Fr, Belt SO, Bubby SO) rather than just all JUCOs.

    Coach Reilly's recruitment to graduation ratio may not be great, but is any college now a days? I mean for crying out loud every school Coach Calipari goes to he has at least 4 players leaving every year (mostly freshmen and for the pros or transfers). He keeps bringing in all-american freshmen and then upperclassmen transfer away. And he still hasn't been able to do ANYTHING with them. Closest was when Memphis lost in the National Championship. (this year could be different as they look real good, but still... according to all of you, it's only ONE championship... doesn't mean anything).

    Look at the players who have came under this coaching staff and graduated. It's not like we've not had ANYONE graduate.

    Joe Lindsey
    Pierre Howard
    Cory Knight
    Alfonso Scandrett
    Kyle Goldcamp
    Tyler Stoczynski
    Mark Demski
    Preston Harris (graduated in 3 years)
    Aurimas Truskauskas
    Dave Wilson
    Ty Batts
    Robert Buckner (lost to injury)
    Steve Piotrowicz (lost to injury)
    Danard Crouch
    Malcolm Woodbury (lost his scholarship, but is still on pace to graduate and is still a part of the team)
    Travis Brannen

    That's not too bad.. no, not what we are used to, but like others has said above... this isn't "back in the day". This is 2012. Academic standards are higher, athletic standards are higher, more division I teams and much more questionable recruiting methods by several colleges.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Corey

    I think part of the issue is that if we are not going to graduate players (our graduation rate is pathetic) and not consistently win (see the million past posts) then exactly what are we evaluating Reilly on?

    His potential to maybe recruit kids who may stay and maybe win?

    I wish I had a job with those expectations.
    Is anyone evaluated on what they did in the past or what they "may" do? For those Reilly supporters How do you want us to evaluate him?


    I ask everyone on this blog:

    1. Do you want a program that consistently does not graduate players?
    2. Do you want a program that occasionally "hits a HR" but in most seasons is average to below average (see the million blog posts before)?

    After 7 years that seemingly is what we will get with Reilly.

    I think I lost faith after last year's defections and this year's debacles.

    When is enough? I think we all support the team and the players but other then a small handful there are very few Reilly supporters left.

    Personally I hope they run the table but they will be lucky to go 2 - 2. They barely beat an average (6th place without there best player) Edinboro team.

    At least we have our "playoff" game...our home contest with Mercyhurst (have expectations ever lowered around here!).
    My family has held season tickets since the 60's. I have had them since my dad passed in 1996. I am seriously considering not renewing because of the coaching situation.

    But I'm just another lost fan. .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure there are many on the waiting list for the cushioned seats who would love for you to not renew.

      Delete
    2. CE: Recooping's not the issue. The issue is the number of people not renewing, thus losing fan support in general. So we get 300 people to now get season tickets, but the revenue the university loses is pretty significant. Left and right I hear people saying that if Reilly is here next year, they're gone (we're talking 20-30 MINIMUM).

      30 ST lost = $5250 lost.
      If all 30 tickets are sold to new ticket holder, you still lose their normal ticket purchases (30 x $5 x 15 = $2250). So, at a MINIMUM, they're losing $2250 even IF all those seats are replaced, and it's only 30 seats replaced.

      Delete
  68. Competitive edge...you think?

    What do you want to bet? I' m not sure the "waiting list" is what it once was.

    I have been watching season ticket holders disappear around me the last couple of seasons. Replaced by no one.
    bunt they cOuld be buying their tickets and not using them waiting for this coach to be replaced.

    So maybe there are still waiting lists. But lots of empty season tickets around me.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Well I do know that there is still a waiting list because my friend has been on it for 3 years now and he thought maybe with the way things are going this year he'd have a good chance at getting tix next year and they told him that he's moved up to 28th on the list (from 30th where he's been for almost 2 years). My grandparents have reserved seats and their row is almost always empty. Not because the people dropped their tix, but because 1) they said they didn't want to watch a game against Seton Hill or Malone, 2) they have grandkids doing things that they are attending and 3) at their "age, can't handle too many more heartbreaking last second losses" (haha). But they keep their tix. They keep coming when they can.even the 2 years that Gannon did great, they inconsistently attended. Yes, Gannon's subpar performances are not helping but let's remember it's not 1973 where there's NOTHING else in Erie but college basketball games. Otters, BayHawks, Indoor Football, Outdoor Football, Family First, grandparents have grandchildren events, HS basketball games, etc.

    ReplyDelete