Saturday, February 11, 2012

What A Week!

Seven days ago, us Gannon fans were tossing daggers at the team, the coaching staff, and each other lamenting a season gone bad. Today the sun is shining on us (figuratively, not literally) after a 2-0 week capped off by Gannon's 91-80 victory at Clarion Saturday night. Who would have thought a club coming off two home losses (59-48 to IUP and 68-67 to Cal) could suck it up, get its scoring groove back, and stay in PSAC playoff contention?

About the PSAC playoffs: it's still going to be a longshot for the Knights. As Golden89 outlined in the comments below, the Knights have to win two more games than Cal over the final four games of the regular season. Let's set the scene for Gannon's playoff chances in the PSAC West:

1. IUP (15-3):
Last night's thumping of Mercyhurst pretty much locked up the #1 spot in the West.

2. Mercyhurst (13-5): Technically the 10-8 Knights could catch the Lakers, but that would require Mercyhurst to repeat last year's late season final five game epic fail. Remaining games: @ GU, vs. Cal, vs. Edinboro, at LHU.

3. Slippery Rock (12-6): The Rock got a big W last night at Edinboro to extend their win streak to 3. The Knights could catch Slippery Rock, but SRU's last game of the season is vs. Clarion, and we know they'll mail it in if their postseason chances are dashed by that point. Remaining games: vs. Cal, at IUP, vs. GU, vs. Clarion.

4. California (11-7): Cal is as hot as Slippery Rock, running its win streak to 3 win a hammering of hapless Lock Haven Saturday night. If Vulcan Chad Tipton hadn't nailed that three to beat Gannon, the Knights would be in the PSAC playoffs driver's seat instead of Cal. But Cal has the tiebreaker over GU, so Gannon needs to finish a full game ahead of CU in the final standings. Remaining games: @ Slippery Rock, @ Mercyhurst, vs. Clarion, @ Edinboro.

5. Gannon (10-8): Don't look now, but Gannon has won two straight and still has a game to play vs. winless Lock Haven. GU had better be 3-0 heading to IUP for the season finale; there's zero margin for error over the next 11 days. Remaining games: vs. Mercyhurst, vs. Lock Haven, at Slippery Rock, at IUP.

6. Clarion (10-8): The Eagles have lost three straight but should get well Wednesday vs. Lock Haven. I wouldn't bet money on them to finish the season on a win streak, though. Remaining games: vs. LHU, vs. Edinboro, @ Cal, @ Slippery Rock.

I agree with my main man Golden89 that Gannon still has less than a 50/50 shot at a PSAC playoff bid. Based on what we saw from the Knights this past week, you might feel confident. But this team's longest winning streak of the year is just three (back in Dec. vs Cheyney, Ship, and Malone), so it's hard to count on them ripping off 5 or 6 straight. And I guess I don't see a motivated Cal team dropping its final two games to Clarion and Edinboro.

Pessimism aside, I'm eager for a Hurst/Peach Street Kids classic Wednesday. This Gannon team hasn't produced the most wins in school history, but they've made nearly every game an adventure.

Knight Knotes:
* If Adam Blazek doesn't get PSAC West Player of the Week honors, I'd like to see the stats of the guy who does. In two key road wins, Blazek averaged 31.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3 assists, and 2.5 steals while shooting 21-for-33 from the field (63.6%), 6-for-8 on threes, and 15-of-16 from the foul line. UPDATED 2/13/12: Blazek was officially named PSAC West Player of the Week today.

* Press releases are usually pretty bland, but Gannon SID Dan Teliski had some golden nuggets in his Gannon/Clarion game summary: "The story Saturday night was about a Golden Knight playing his first career game at W.S. Tippin Gymnasium and another who was playing his 44th. Blazek won the match-up of PSAC Western Division Freshman of the Year frontrunners with Clarion's Winfield Willis by pouring in 37 points during his first visit to Clarion, equaling the 11th-highest single-game total in school history. The freshman guard became the first Golden Knight to total 37 points in a game since Shelby Chaney netted 37 points against Daemen on December 29, 2005. Meanwhile, Carty made his first return visit after playing three seasons (2008-10) for the Golden Eagles. The senior guard was held scoreless in the first half, before scorching the nets for 15 points in the second half."

* How would you like to be Clarion coach Dr. Ron Righter this morning? Your playoff chances are dealt a body blow, and one of the guys doing the most damage is a former player of yours. Ouch.

* BIG THANKS to everyone who reads this blog or participates in the comments section. You've helped made this an incredibly entertaining week. Over the past seven days, Gannon Hoops has received over 5,000 page views and in the month of January set an all-time site record with nearly 13,500 page views. Thanks again, and we'll see you at the Audi on Wednesday.

82 comments:

  1. Let's go Knights! Going to being listening to every second of this huge PSAC game!!!

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  2. I am going to be on here all night...so hopefully some other of you fans are to and we can talk throughout the game

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  3. They are going toe-to-toe right now!

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  4. Can hear the Gannon Faithful through the radio! They are loud.

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  5. Blazek is going nuts -- 12 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes.

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  6. Blazek is on Fire!! Will go down as one of the greats at Gannon when it is all set and done!

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  7. I am jumping around listening on the radio!

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  8. Don't hurt yourself -- this team has enough injuries ...

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  9. Are you hinting at something Jim? haha

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  10. I can't get the actual individual stats to load for some reason but from the on court stars I see that blazek has 18 pts. Not too shabby and glad that Yhe rest of the team has chipped in. (I'm assuming Blanton is right behind him... also is Blanton in foul trouble? Wasn't in for a while a the end).

    Hope we can make a run and put the game away early!

    GO KNIGHTS!!!

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    1. The way this season has gone, "putting the game away early" means winning in regulation time.

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  11. Blazek's first half scoring tonight (18) + his second half and OT scoring Wednesday at Edinboro (22) = 40 points. Not too shabby for a freshman some of us thought was out of gas.

    During halftime of the GU/CU game, click on this link to watch the end of Jerry Slocum's Youngstown State squad battling Valpo, the #1 team in the Horizon League. Right now YSU leads 55-41. Slocum could be Horizon coach of the year if the Penguins stay hot.

    http://livestats.prestosports.com/ysusports/

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  12. Well folks looks like its going to be another close one. Of course.

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  13. Blazek, Wilson, and Blanton each have 3 fouls with 16:28 to play. Uh oh.

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  14. Wilson we can live without but no more fouls for Blazek and Blanton...Oscar and Belt have to hit some key shots, even if each of them just hit one three pointer would be huge.

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  15. Have to play Blazek the rest of the game, keep him in.

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  16. Cal won...no surprise there. And Blazek...PLAY SMART, no stupid fouls!

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  17. Gonna need to play Dmitry just to pick up a couple fouls

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  18. Well here we go Coach Reilly, with the season in the balance this remains a must win..

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  19. Use your subs come on..Gannon getting tired? Rotate in Wilson, Carty, etc

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  20. Clarion 45 attempts Gannon 30..

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  21. Blazek is going to finish with 36

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  22. That's what we need Oscar has got to score more then 6 or 8 points

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  23. Gannon 14 turnovers Clarion just 7...Can't double up the opponent with that stat line..Must make a run here and tie up the game before it gets down to the 5 minute mark, otherwise Gannon will find itself in a familiar position we have seen play out too many times this year

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  24. Good to see Carty showing up this season and getting the opportunity to do so.

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  26. macias has had 2 bad turnovers in the last 12mins of play come on play smart!

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  27. I love Blazek! willing Gannon to victory!

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  28. Very happy for Carty, what a feeling to do that against your former school/teammates.

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  29. My prediction for Blazek getting 36 might come true lol or he might go over!

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  30. That's it folks! Blazek finishes with 37! Gannon scores 91!!! BRING ON THE HURST!

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  31. Last time a Gannon player scored 37 points in a game? Shelby Chaney (the Mercyhurst defector) had 37 in the Porreco Cup in the '05-'06 season. Color me impressed.

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  32. Wow ... 37 for Blazek. And 28/44 from the field and 28/36 from the line on the road!


    Two questions for our fine SID Dan Teliski: When was the last time a GU player scored 37 or more points. And when was the last time a freshman scored 37+ points, if ever?

    So I guess that we're back in the conversation for a PSAC berth, for now. We're tied for fifth with Clarion, and the good news is that we win the tie-breaker with the season sweep. The bad news is that Cal who swept us is in fourth one game ahead. The good news is that we have a matchup with Lock Haven left and they don't.

    Cal has @SRU, @MER, CLA, @EDI.
    Gannon has MER, LHU, @SRU, @IUP.

    Basically, we have to win two more games than Cal does over the final four. To be honest, I'd give it a less than 50/50 shot.

    Can it happen? If it's one thing that this season has shown is that anything can happen.

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  33. PS: It would be a mistake to count this team out just yet!!!

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  34. Agree ... I'm not counting them out. Just mentioning that it will still be a tall order to finish in fourth. Still a stretch to think that GU can go 3-1 in the last four with games against the top three teams remaining and two on the road; and that means that Cal needs to go 1-3, including home against Clarion and a road game against slumping Edinboro.

    That home loss to Cal last week looks like the dagger.

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  35. Just got back and settled from the bus trip. They played a DAMN good game out there tonight. Adam was just in the zone, and had some solid help from everyone (Almost everyone) tonight. So excited for MErcyhurst Wednesday

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  36. Hey Ev, what is cool Gannono Faithful said he could hear us cheering over the radio. That's especially nice becthe radio team was on the other side of the court, :)

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  37. Yeah, I think after the adventures with the trip there, we had extra motivation to yell. We need that now for Wednesday night

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  38. And the question remains...If Gannon does not get into the PSAC Playoffs is this the end of the road for Coach Reilly? He most likely won't get a long term extension anyways if anything maybe a 1-year extension (if anything), I just want to know what everyone thinks?

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  39. My belief is that I think I want him back next year but I am not sure lol...I am torn, it's hard to explain. I love the intensity, the effort, some of the recruiting...I hate the home losses, underachieving at a school that you should win at year in and year out, predicating recruiting class mostly on jucos & transfers (yes, I know it worked a few years back but you have to have a certain mix of the Blazeks on the team. Those 4-year kids that can grow and not just have 1 or 2 years at Gannon and be gone. The other dangerous part about transfers is that year to year he has lost so many that don't stay at Gannon for whatever reason. This hurts big-time and makes it hard to have a successful program. I truly am torn but I do know that I enjoy watching this team, I just don't know if the leader of this team is the right choice for the future or if it is time for a change.

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  40. I would "put up with" Rielly one more year just to have these kids back for another year. It wouldn't hurt to add a talented inside guy of 6'8" or so though lol

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  41. Thomas ---- what I think is no different than I've thought all along. If it was up to me Reilly would be gone.

    Gannon wins two games and now everything's coming up roses?

    Meahwhile, I don't think the only way to keep these kids here is to keep Reilly for another season. Does anyone really think Blanton, Macias, Blazek, etc. are going to transfer because Reilly is gone? If anything, history shows crystal clear that they are more likely to leave if Reilly is NOT gone.

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  42. Painfully and publically, this team has certainly learned how to lose prior to this week. They did it with effort, and, most importantly, class.

    I believe they are just now learning how to win.

    My take: Although we all thought this year would be more successful winning-wise, perhaps all these close losses will be hard-earned lessons that will set the table for a spectacular year next season.

    In the meantime, we are in the playoffs NOW.

    I'm a-thinking that the Gannon/'Hurst game Wednesday night will be the best Division II game in the country. Let's all get there early for both games and enjoy!!!

    Go Knights!!!

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  43. I know we're all caught up in this season, but I hope this kid is on Gannon's recruiting radar:

    http://youtu.be/Y4-CThQskBM

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  44. Great win Saturday, I was not able to attend but listened on the radio. Wow, they are learning, gaining experience and improving. Great game for Carty. Fantastic shooting game for Adam, my only concern is a point guard playing so many minutes and very few assists. He will need to up the assists to make this team dominate but that comes with experience and he is definitely moving in the right direction. Go Gannon!! I can not wait until Wednesday.

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  45. OK-here's a little realism, not negativism.

    On the topic of players leaving if Reilly stays, I wouldn't worry as much about the players that are playing-Blanton, Belt, Macias, TJ, etc. Highly doubt that Furno would go anywhere (after being here 3 years) and would be surprised if Martynenko were to leave (would that be a huge loss if he did?).

    I would worry more about Tucker (obviously not playing at all) and Battle (likely not happy about how the "now he's out for the season, now he's not" fiasco went down). Good chance that if Battle goes, Bubby goes as well.

    And, snicker if you will, but after enduring 4 months of 3+ hour practices, having an hour cut off of practice every day CAN re-energize a team in just a week. Marathon runners "taper" for a week (often cutting their mileage by up to 50%) right before a race in order to achieve their best effort on race day. Similarly, having practice time cut by 33% makes a difference. You may not want to admit it, but it is way too much of a coincidence that the GU offense came back and the team became more competitive as soon as practice time was reduced.

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  46. On the topic of Blazek's assists, I don't expect that his totals will ever be consistently high in that area, because that is not his style of play. Think back to when Piotrowicz was playing and remember how he used to look to pass the ball down the sidelines almost as soon as he touched it in the backcourt or how he looked to pass into the post as soon as he crossed the mid-court line if he dribbled it up. Blazek almost always dribbles the ball all the way into the offensive end and usually looks to create something for himself first. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with that, it's just a different style. But for that reason, he will never have consistently high assist totals.

    In the future, Adam will have games here and there where the opponent's defensive scheme puts more emphasis on stopping him, which will open up opportunities for his teammates and his assists will increase. However, IMO, it's unlikely that he'll have a high assist to turnover ratio on a consistent basis if things saty as they are. Things could change as his reputation as a scorer grows, teams look to devise ways to stop him, and if another strong post player besides Blanton (perhaps a 6'8" player who can finish consistently)is incoporated into the lineup next season.

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  48. Observor don't get me wrong I think Blazek is great, I just prefer several players with double digits, although we needed a big game from someone Sat. How are you sure about the length of practices? The player I discussed this with said they only had 2 a days during Christmas break, and the one was just drills. Since the end of December they only practice 2 hours that he knows of because he says he doesn't pay attention to the time....I kind of laughed at the statement about the time because of all the discussion about lengthy practices.

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  49. Since Blanton and Adam have ripped it up this year, if they have gotten the attention of other programs, like D-I schools who may steal them away? Not sure about transfer rules if they would have any bearing on moving or not.

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    2. Probably not. First, D-I schools cannot "recruit" other kids that are in school.

      Second, while they are playing well, it's not like they are All-Americans or anything like that.

      Third, where would they go? I could see them moving if they were suddenly good enough to go to an ACC or Big Ten school, but the dregs of D-I are about as good as a top 20% Division II team.

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  50. And here I though this was a place for posting your opinion. I didn't know I needed a Ph.D in anything, a lifetime of experience in debate, or a glossary of forensics terminology to post my opinion.

    I also have several exceptional sources for information about exactly how much GU has been practicing. Do you really expect the coaches to admit that they might've been practicing more than the NCAA regulations allow? Think about it.

    Also, if you reread my post, I never said Battle was unhappy. I said that I would worry that he might be unhappy as compared to other players that I didn't think are likely to be unhappy.

    Lastly, I have been giving my opinion, nothing more. I don't give a crap if someone with a PhD disagrees. (By the way, CE, why do you think marathoners taper right before the race for maximum performance? By your theory, they should be running 100 miles a week right up to the day of their race).

    I have spoken with several former posters on this site who quit participating because they were tired of being attacked by others that disagree with their opinion. Since I never started posting here until recently, I used to think they were exxagerating. I see now that they weren't.

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    1. bottom line is this, just because its "your opinion" doesn't mean you can say whatever you want without being refuted, especially when "your opinion" can be refuted with fact.

      By the way, I know why marathoners taper. My point in the fatigue issue is that you have been quick to blame ANYTHING negative that happens on the court to fatigue and Reilly working the kids too hard in practice which is just not true.

      1. Bad decision (in bounds play) at the end of the Seton Hill game = fatigue.
      2. missed free throws = fatigue
      3. Blazek's 1 for 12 performance a couple games back = fatigue (even though his "1" was his last shot)

      I'll be the first to admit that I have questioned some of things Reilly does with the team, personnel decisions, etc., but at some point you have to a. give credit to the other guy and b. put some onus on the player

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  51. Congrats to Adam for FINALLY earning PSAC Player of the Week award. 31.5 ppg vs Boro and Clarion, both on the road and both must win games. Amazing! And the even better stat line... 12-12 from the FT line in the final 2 minutes of each game. Unbelievable!!

    Gannon needs to bear Hurst, just for the flat out reason of what their name is, and then if they can beat Rock and then at least stay toe-to-toe with IUP... I will be thoroughly happy with how they finished the season, despite the unfortunate injuries. (even if they don't beat Rock but at least take them to the wire, I'll still be happy with how they finished the season).

    Something positive to look forward to for next season if try can make the unremarkable run to the playoffs or just at least finish it strong!! GO KNIGHTS!!!

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  52. Amen Corey...absolutely positive moving forward from here! GO KNIGHTS!

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  53. Go back and reread the posts, CE. I questioned having Furno in the game for a game-deciding play that required his handling of the ball, both in that game and another one. Reilly has made any number of bad on-court decisions, and I have critcized him often. Never said a word about fatigue in those cases. Exxagerating what I posted or misquoting me does not help you make your case.

    As for free throws, almost all basketball coaches have their teams run before the end of practice, then shoot free throws when the players are tired. Why do they do this? Because it's more difficult to make free throws when you are tired. EVERYONE who has played and/or coached competititve basketball knows that. The fact that you apparently don't identifies you as a book learner without much, if any, practical experience. That is, if we are to believe that you actually have a PhD. (I have to wonder why would someone with a PhD lower themselves to griping on a blog with a bunch of non-PhD holders like this one?)

    As for Blazek's 1-12 performance, the answer is simple. He got lucky on the last shot. It happens. 1-1 at the end does not diminish the fact that he was 0 for 11 up to that point. If he'd made the last 6 in a row after missing 11, then your theory would be better.

    I like that my opinions can be "refuted" but yours cannot. Interesting dynamic. You're not refuting (which is defined as 1.Prove a statement or theory to be wrong or false; disprove), you are simply disagreeing. Disagreeing is your right, and I have no problem with that at all. But you aren't actually refuting anything. You are effectively saying that I am wrong and you are right because you say so.

    I did like how you chose to ignore the marathoner example since it doesn't fit in with your opinion.

    You also said "Reilly working the kids too hard in practice which is just not true." How is that a fact that can be proven? That is your opinion. Some, including me, feel differently. Whether a team is practiced too much or not is in the eye of the beholder. When I see a bunch of otherwise healthy 19-22 year old kids struggling to cross the street in the middle of the day (on the day before a game, no less) it makes me think that perhaps they had just been pushed harder than they needed to be.

    For someone (allegedly) with a PhD, the flaws in your logic are conspicuously blatant.

    It is a FACT that Gannon has shot and played better since practice time was reduced.

    Jim- I apologize in advance for going after another poster, but since this person has been attacking my opinions repeatedly, I felt that I needed to answer. This will be my last post on this(or perhaps any other controversial) topic.

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    1. What case am I trying to make, I offered contrary opinion to your opinion and you've attacked my opinion with your contrary opinion. Did you honestly expect that you could post consistent criticism about the team and/or Reilly without having anyone post the contrary.

      If you want to throw a hissy fit and leave because i've been more vocal in disgreeing with your opinion, that's up to you, but you have to have expected that consistently offering negative opinion would be met with opposition by those who don't necessarily share your views.

      As an aside, we shot 21% in the first half of the edinboro game, hardly evidence that the reduction in practice was effective.

      I havent attacked you, I've attacked your opinion.

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  54. Can you read? There it is right in my post above your post-

    "this person has been attacking my opinions repeatedly"

    READ MORE CAREFULLY, Mr PhD!I never said you attacked me.

    Additionally, you did not present your opinion as opinion. You said you were refuting (which means disproving) what I posted. Present your opinion as your opinion and we'll be fine. But that's not what you said you were doing. That's the difference.

    And now you're going to explain your position as supporting Reilly and the team by posting positive response to my "consistent criticism?" That's hilarious. Let's go back and check out your posts criticizing Reilly and the team...oh, wait, you went back and deleted all your posts. Way to stand behind your words, CE

    As for the Edinboro game, GU may have shot 21% in the first half, but they improved to 45% in the second and 50% in OT. I'd call that evidence that the reduction in practice WAS effective. They shot better as the game went along. Could a tired team do that?

    Keep posting and it becomes more and more evident that you're no PhD in anything but BS.

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    1. Your right, I posted before I read your post more carefully. And the posts that I deleted were those that went after your opinion, nothing that was critical of reilly or the team. I did this as an olive branch because I felt that maybe I had been to aggressive in my attacking of your opinions. One post had to do with blazeks assists and you saying that he wouldn't high in that category which I countered with his 2nd place rank in assists in the west, one had to do with ncaa rules about practice time, one had to do with blanton and transferring, one had to do with the mens team not practicing any more or less than any other division II team, one had to do with none of our players ranking in the top ten in the league in minutes played, all of them went after your opinion either directly or indirectly, and I took them down because of that. You're welcome to check out my posts in other threads, I find no value in airing public criticisms of the team, and haven't been critical of the coaching staff nor the players, quite the opposite.

      I've been posting here for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, its not like i'm the message board bully that has driven all contrarians away.

      This is not a big deal. I don't agree with your theory that fatigue is an issue, I do have plenty of experience playing, and coaching, and book learning that supports my opinion. I do agree with your criticisms of personnel decisions at times and I haven't disputed that opinion when you've posted it. If you post things that I don't agree with, I will state as such, but will refrain from doing so agressively.

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  55. I don't mind debates, but can you guys please be cordial to each other? Any future posts of this tone will be deleted. Please don't make me have to babysit the comments. I have a family and a full time job, plus I just started coaching my daughter's kindergarten basketball team which means practice, recruiting, scouting, breaking down film, etc. Thanks.

    P.S. No I really don't take my daughter's hoops team THAT seriously. But a blog about it would be interesting ...

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  56. "In this corner we have the Observor, the blogger with the theory, and in this corner we have the Competitive Edge the PhD"...Ding Ding Ding. Kidding, just trying to lighten the mood on here. What will tonight's game bring to the blog this week? Go Knights! Get this win so we can talk negative about Mercyhurst!!!!!

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  57. I think we all can agree on this. Let's go Gannon! Take down the Hurst! And on a side note, looking at the potential playoff possibilities, I almost think SRU may have a chance to limp home to a 1-3 finish. If that were to happen, and there is lets say a 3 way tie for 3rd in the PSAC, how do the tiebreakers break down?

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