Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Doesn't It Feel Good To Be Alive?

Random thoughts after Gannon's 80-73 win at Slippery Rock Wednesday night:

* Please click here to see how I'm reacting to Gannon's victory tonight and their PSAC playoff possibilities.

* The Knights need Cal to win at Edinboro and Clarion to wake up and win at Slippery Rock while GU needs to steal a victory at IUP Saturday. Collapsing Clarion has lost 5-of-6 including a 13-point L Wednesday night at Cal, 74-61. The Eagles only win in the last half dozen games was a come-from-behind home victory against hapless Lock Haven. I know it's asking a lot for Clarion to give a crap and show an effort Saturday and asking even more for them to win, but stranger things have happened.

* Speaking of strange things happening, did you see what happened at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center yesterday? I was stunned to see the EUP men choke the Hurst 73-64. But that wasn't the biggest shocker of the doubleheader. How in the blazes did the Mercyhurst women take down #2 and previously undefeated Edinboro in OT?

* The Gannon coaching staff haters will need to take another night off. Coach Reilly and company are pressing the right buttons now, and this team is hitting its stride. Slippery Rock was 10-3 at home and outreboudning opponents 45-34. The Knights drove down I-79, punched SRU in the mouth, and beat them on the boards 37-31.

* I can't believe Gannon has won four straight games on the road (at Lock Haven, Edinboro, Clarion, Slippery Rock). Finally some consistency in a roller-coaster campaign!

* Adam Blazek is guaranteed to be PSAC West Freshman of the Year. But could he sneak into the first-team all-PSAC West discussion? He's been amazing down the stretch, including Rocking SRU Wednesday with 26 points and 6 steals. He was 3-for-6 on three-pointers against the #1 three-point field goal percentage defense in Division II play.

* Gannon is the only Catholic school still on the PSAC playoff bubble. Please pray early and often the rest of this week.


  1. We still got a shot as long as we win? I thought for sure we were officially dead with a Cal win tonight. At least if we handle business we got a prayer.

  2. Unfortunately I think the chances of Vince Mosley rejoining Gannon next year is a better bet than Gannon winning both games AND cal or rock losing both games.

  3. Corey,

    Realistically you are dead right on that. I have a 1% chance it actually happens. Fact being, it would be nice that the final game MAY have some meaning at least. Now, if somehow Cal can lose tonight and we win, we would have a little better hope.

  4. Oh believe me, I'm praying for it to happen. I know someone had made the comment that even if Gannon makes playoffs they face IUP immediately. Perfect! Beat them on the road to end the season... and then go back there a matter of days later to play them again.. Who has the momentum?? Gannon. Might not be much, but it's something.

    If anything, I could see Rock being the team to falter at the end. Cal seems to have too much "luck" with them to collapse.

  5. Corey,

    If Gannon somehow make the playoffs, they will have been on a recent tear, so they got some motentum to work with.

    The problem I see with the Rock choking it away though is that they got Clarion to end the season. I do not see them finding a way to lose to Clarion. Just does not seem very likely to me.

    On a side note, it is supposed to be a "white out" at SRU tonight, Wonder how the atmosphere will be down there tonight.

  6. ewensel - agreed, however, cal plays Clarion too. I'd bet on Clarion over Rock before Clarion over Cal. (but I'm not betting at all now haha)

  7. Corey - I would have to agree that clarion beating SRU is more likely. Mind you even if we are still alive for a spot after tonight, I really don't like the fact that GU needs to beat IUP AND get help to get in. Feels like there is a ton that has to go right for the guys to get in.

  8. The bottom line is that we are still alive with a win tonight.

  9. A 1% chance is still better than no chance! Go Knights!

  10. Well, our chances of winning a playoff bid, conference title, regional title and national championship are still not zero. We're still alive and kicking.

    At least we're not looking to Saturday as "The Last Game of the Seasion" yet.

    The Clarion / SRU game is at 3:00 on Saturday. Head to the Morrow Field House and cheer like crazy for Clarion, then make the trip down route 422 to IUP to watch the Knights clinch a playoff spot!

  11. One more thing to those who attended ...

    I got a text that Jen Papich left the game in the first half and had ice on her knee.

    However, the stats seem to indicate that she played six minutes in the second half. Is she hurt? Did she play in the second half?

  12. Golden89,

    Jen Papich did go back in the game in the 2nd half. She fell hard on the court near the end of the 1st half and had it iced before the 2nd half, but she seemed to be able to move pretty well. Should be good to go for the PSAC's (And probably Saturday)

  13. Well, they got a heartbeat for the playoffs still, that is all that matters at this point. Got a shot. They played a heck of a great game out there tonight, Blazek once again played a damn good game. It is going to be super tough, but they got that slight chance.

  14. Wasn't at the game but few questions
    1) did belt get hurt? See he only played 10 minutes (and was 2-4 overall) and Oscar played 31 minutes (and tucker played almost 20 and I noticed he was in with blazek quite a bit)
    2) what was the starting lineup for the 2nd half? I was just following stats online but it appeared that it was tucker, blazek, macias, Blanton, furno. Furno and tucker I assumed because furno had a TO before the 19m mark and tucker had a steal right after the 19m mark.
    3) we committed 5 straight fouls in just over a minute span in 2nd half (I believe it was like 13+ to just under 12m). What was going on? Dumb reaching fouls? SRU start playing quicker? Just bad calls by refs?

    Good win and hope we can pull it out vs IUP. But before that game, I will be decked out in clarion gear and act as if they were the only college basketball team I've ever known!

    1. Everyone who follows live stats should change sidearm stats links that schools provide. If you use or /wbballmedia you'll get a LOT more helpful information that you're wondering, including the starting lineup for each half.

      1) No. When Reilly subbed in Macias, he was a better height match-up (as you prob remember, for a good portion of the season Macias defended the top guard on opponents. Also SRU changed their matchup on Blazek in the 2nd half which also made the offensive match-up worse for Belt). I think he was defending Devin Taylor, who had a significant height advantage on BB. (I could have that match-up wrong). Secondly, Macias seems to be more apt to drive to the hole, which he did to start the second which was attributing to some early fouls on SRU's big men.

      2) Yes, that was the 2nd half starting 5.

      3) Both teams had strings of fouls. First half Gannon got 3 fouls (18:, 12:, 11: min ranges) and nothing was called on SRU until 2:31 remaining. In the 2nd, GU had 11 to SRU's 14. GU committed 4 in 30 seconds, but that's it and Blanton's was the only questionable one. They just called two totally different halves - not that they were all dumb, though I can count a few blocking calls that we were shaking our heads at the player NOT the ref. SRU is quite a bit taller than GU, so the fact that I think there was perhaps 2 over-the-back calls was astounding. FWIW, the girl's game was called far worse.

      SRU and their coach certainly whined about a few calls, but they were lucky he didn't have a T or two that would have definitely been called on Reilly had the situation been flipped. Particularly for one of the two, he ran onto the court, once all the way to the FT line exclaiming

  15. It was a very unevenly officiated game. SRU was not called for a single foul until just over 2 minutes were left in the first half, and then the first one was a charging foul. I think there were just 2 more called in the rest of the half. I think they only called 4 or 5 fouls on GU in the first half. In the second half, a lot of the same contact was called on both teams. SRU was in the double bonus and GU got there when SRU started fouling when behind at the end. IMO, this was a case of the refs seeing the game getting more and more physical and decided to change the tone of the game.

    Regarding the second half starters, I believe that it WAS Blanton, Furno, Blazek, Tucker, and Macias. Not sure why Belt and Carty were excluded. There were no glaring reasons to sit them down. Each took a semi-questionable shot here and there, but, knowing Reilly, their defense might've been a factor. Oscar WAS hitting his shots in the first half, and maybe they tried Tucker and liked what he was doing out there and stuck with him.

    GU got very aggressive on offense and defense in the second half, using their speed to get down the floor before the Rock's bigs on many occasions. SRU started playing volleyball on the offensive glass, and seemed to stop looking for the 3's until the last few minutes.

    It was a similar game as when they played at Gannon, but this time, when SRU tried to make their push at the end, GU held them off. Key play was, with GU leading by 6 (I think), a missed GU free throw (front end of a one-and-one) but SR committed an obvious lane violation. The GU player got another chance and buried both to keep it a 3 possession game.

    Prettiest play of the game was a steal by Tucker near half court, who then took off for the hoop. At the last second, with the SR players bearing down on him, he turned and dropped the ball off to TJ Wilson for a two-handed slam. Tucker played extremely well, particularly on defense.

    As usual, GU played hard, but this time, they played smart and did what they needed to do at the end.

    As usual, SR's coach spent more time whining to the officials than coaching his team. Twice near the end, he used some flimsy excuse (retrieving a towel that had been used to wipe up some water on the floor from the official, and then picking up something on the floor) to walk onto the middle of the floor, complaining the whole time. With all the yapping he does, I'm surprised that officials give him any calls at all.

    It's always fun to win, but it was great to see GU play so well in the process.

  16. Jim – you seem to be saying that “Gannon coaching staff haters” should now keep quiet because we thumped powerful Lock Haven and beat a tough Slippery Rock (I was at that game and SRU went stone cold, with clean looks, in the 2nd half. No obvious “button pushing done by this staff”) on the road. First, I am not a “Gannon coaching staff hater” – I just am not convinced that Reilly and the 2 yelling assistants can take the basketball team of great talent to the next level as obviously the women’s team has achieved. Personally he seems like a nice guy. His style is certainly projected to be militaristic, not to my taste.
    If you all are happy with 13, 14 or 15 wins every season with an occasional exception, then you have your man. If not, I have already stated my case.
    If by some convergence of circumstance occurs and we do get in to the PSAC’s (and I would like to see that happen for the team), we then get the prize of having to do that same task (beat Indiana on their home court) again four days later! This staff has relegated Gannon to a lower status even among the local teams.
    On the other side the women will also have a tough road in the PSAC playoffs, but because of their consistency they will probably get a NCAA Div II bid even if they lose in the PSAC playoffs!
    As my father used to tell me “you made your bed, now you have to lie in it!” I learned that lesson the hard way. So if a low winning percent is to your taste…

  17. I was surprised at the quietness of the SRU crowd who seemed to never get into the game.
    There were about 70 or so GU faithful who made the trip, but a few (Ev...) kept up a constant blather for both GU teams. The Knights knew we were there supporting them.
    I greatly enjoyed the moment when their big man a 6'10" Brazillion named Santos, on a fast break with a 3 step run-up missed a slam dunk.
    There was shock and amazement from the SRU crowd and GU.... why they just continued about hard working ways and finished the slimey pebbles.

  18. As I said, I am not yet convinced one way or the other that GU should change men's basketball coaches, so I'm not in either camp yet.

    However, I disagree that Reilly didn't make adjustments (button-pushing?) during the game Wednesday. He used Furno more than Wilson when it became apparent that TJ was having trouble rebounding with the much-taller SR players. He stayed with Macias when Oscar was obviously feeling his shot and kept Tucker in the game when his defense seemed to be making a difference as opposed to just routinely putting Belt and Carty back in.

    Whatever got adjusted defensively seemed to make a difference, as SR shot 51% from the field and 57% on 3's in the first half as opposed to 33% overall and 28% on 3's in the second. SR scored 35 pts in the second half after putting up 38 in the first, even though they had 7 more FG attempts and 9 more FT attempts in the second than in the first. IMO, saying that SR just "went stone cold" isn't accurate. I didn't think that they got near as many good looks in the second half. Also, GU became a lot more aggressive offensively late in the first half and again about 5 minutes into the second. Doubtful that the players decided that by themselves. Or did Piotrowicz suggest it in one of the last second huddles he held after Reilly finished speaking to the team? (I'm joking-kinda-but the anti-Reilly crowd would rather give Steve the credit, I'm sure).

    Like it or not, I think Reilly outcoached Reynolds last night. Does it mean that he should be kept? Not saying yes or no to that yet. All I DO know after hearing about the Kiernan resignation is that it's doubtful that GU AD Mark Richard is going to want to be holding 2 "national searches" for head coaches in his 2 most visible sports at the same time.

  19. Great win by entire team and coaching staff. I especially like out-rebounding a team that is nationally ranked in rebounding.

    I envision a similiar effort versus IUP Saturday night.

    Yup: Coaching staff critics are on hold: And, I believe they have always pushed the right buttons from the get-go. took a bit longer than some wished, but, now it is starting to come together.

    Said before, but repeated again: Team will post a great effort Sarurday nite at IUP.....AND, the team is locked and loaded for a PSAC Championship run and beyond next year.


    News Break: Football coach out????

  20. How crucial now is that foolish technical that Reilly got in the one-point home loss to California? If you remember, the ref warned him, but Reilly kept pushing until the technical was called, which cost Gannon one point and ultimately the game. No matter how you look at it, or what you say about the timing of it, it cost Gannon one point, which is what the margin of defeat was -- and that loss was the most critical loss of the season as far as their playoff hopes go. Had he not gotten that technical, and they won that game, they would be sitting pretty right now. If Gannon doesn't make the playoffs, mark down that foolish technical -- by a coach who should have known better -- as the turning point in their season.

  21. Gannonlifer

    I blame Reilly for a lot of Gannon's failures over the past 3 years, but I don't believe his technical at Cal is the reason that they will not make the playoffs.

    It is impossible to play out the game without him earning the technical. An argument could be made, that without the technical they get blown out. As you know, sometimes a coach will intentionally get a technical to "inspire" the team.

    So, while I think there's lots to critisize Reilly and the staff about, (ie strategy, sub patterns, recruiting, players leaving, graduation rates, adjustments, stubborness, refusal to adjust his system to the talent he has, etc etc etc), I think the technical in the Cal game had NOTHING to do with the way the season turned out.

    Just my opinion, though, maybe I'm dead wrong...

    1. i agree with you fauves... that teechnical cannot be pin pointed as the reason they lost the game. I honestly believe he did it to get a rise out of his team... how many T's has he gotten at Gannon? 3? Every time it's been a legit reason and to help the team.

  22. Oh, in the meantime...Go Knights!

    I would love to see this team squeak into the playoffs...

    (albeit unlikely, i know)

  23. I'm with you 453. It has taken a little longer but they are showing what they got now, and next year is going to be amazing. Gannon Lifer....seriously??? I would have gotten the same technical for one of my players being fouled like that. I appreciate a coach who sticks up for his players. One technical and it's the whole season??? You must think that we shot 100% from the free throw line all season. Come on now, that is a very desparate attempt to bash the coaches. I think we covered this topic in earlier discussions.

  24. Dunno about everyone else, but, I do know this: I had a very good view of the technical foul in question.

    I'm of the opinion that it was uncalled for. (If I rememember correctly, a piling jump-ball was called prior to this event.)

    Wouldn't a good ref simply listen to what the coach says, and, move on??.....possibly acknowledging a missed call??....not this one. He upstaged the coaching staff with a rather quick "T" from what I observed.

    I'm of the opinion that the official in question is a complete showboater.

    Always has been.......even in his infancy as a ref in the Family First rec leagues years ago.

    Watch him next year, and most will see where I'm coming from.

    Recruiting???........Too many fans here still think Glen Summors is going to come out of the locker room at any minute.

    Those days are gone.

    In the meantime, let's just enjoy the team that we have.

    Blazek: Anyone remember a better COMPLETE year from a freshman in a Gannon uniform??

    ...there hasn't been too many, methinks!!!

    Looks like pretty solid recruiting to me.


    A ref that I know who has observed Rock coach Kevin Reynolds told me the if he were on the game (regarding the distance Reynolds constantly runs from the bench onto the court), he would ask coach Reynolds: "Coach, would you like a 30 second, or a full time out? Otherwise, I'm giving you a technical foul RIGHT NOW."

    Amazing what he gets away with.

  25. You can say what you want, but take away that one point that Reilly's technical cost Gannon, and where would they be right now? In the playoffs, that's where. As a coach, he should have known better than to let something like that happen in such a crucial situation in such a crucial game -- particularly when he was warned first. (By the way, if you check the play-by-play for that game on the Gannon web site, you will see that California scored 7 of the next 11 points after the technical, so it cannot be said that the technical in any way inspired the team.)

  26. #453..I would also like to add to the recruiting list that next year we will have 4, yes 4, "freshman of the year" players that Coach Reilly recruited. Furno, Battles, R. Wilson and Blazek. I think you need to repost the points differential of our losses and IUP's again. This is a great team and next year it's going to be even better. I said on another post to someone's comments about recruiting "A" players...look at Roddy's post on R. Wilson,I would give him an "A" just for what he did against us, but his stats are huge for his size of a player.

  27. Yeah, really great recruiting.

    0 4 year players.

    Player turnover every year WAY higher than any national average.

    IMO, Reilly had 1 good recruiting year.

    With 10 scholarships we should be competing for a conference championship every year.

    We did under Slocum. We did under Dukeit. We have 2 out 7 with Reilly. That's as far back as I go.

    Seriously, with the amount of scholarship money, compared to other PSAC teams, we should be the NY Yankees of the PSAC West.

    I do agree that this team has a ton of talent. I hope all these players stay. Could be Reilly's second good recruiting year...

  28. #453, a serious question, because I want to know where you're coming from:

    What are the criteria that you assess a college coach?

  29. I should say, all posters on this blog:

    What criteria do you use to assess a d2 college basketball coach specifically Gannon?

  30. Give Reilly two more years. If there's not a conference championship And contending for a championship in the other year then he has to go. Two twenty win seasons with a conf champ and a run, if that doesn't happen he has got to go. 2 out of 7 just is not good enough. He's gotta win at home and BEAT MERCYHURST

  31. Remember when Gannon was admitted to the PSAC? Remember how Walkovich was crying the blues? How unfair it was, he complained, to let Gannon with all of its resources and tradition into a conference of underfunded state schools. Gannon, he reasoned, and no one argued otherwise, would dominate the PSAC like no team ever had.

    Flash forward to today . . . Gannon is fighting against all odds and down to its last straw in a struggle to claim the last playoff spot in a weak conference. Who would have thought this to be possible just a few years ago?

    And yet, on the wings of one win against Slippery Rock, we've got people on here ready to make Reilly coach for life. Good for you. The world needs dreamers.

    Like Section B said above, if you want 13 to 15 wins a year, Reilly is your guy.

  32. Well I know this much, there is not a single one of us that is making the final decision on Coach Reilly. I got a feeling we will find out about his future sooner rather than later. In the mean time, how about we support the team for probably their final game of the season on Saturday. Trying to round up a few students for the trip to IUP. It's been a frustrating season for both the team and the fans, but it is DAMN NICE to see that the team is still busting their butt out there.

  33. Anyone who has observed/studied basketball for any appreciable length of time, knows that coaches, when they feel that they are getting "squeezed" if you will, by officials, will often intentionally try to get a technical because doing so often leads to an evening up of the calls. It has little to do with inpsiring the team. This tactic has been used successfully by renowned coaches like John Chaney, Bobby Knight, and even the patron saint of Gannon old-timers, Tom Chapman.

    We HAVE covered this before. In the Cal game, the ref mentioned above as a "showboater" (a most apt description), had not made a single call against Cal to that point in the game. Afterwards, the calls were much more equal against both teams. I agree that, had Reilly not gotten the tech, the margin for Cal would have been a lot more than one point.

    I also agree that the in my opinion ridiculous contention that getting the technical cost GU the playoffs is a feeble attempt to further discredit Reilly.

    Look, just like there are reasons for keeping Reilly, there are plenty of reasons that can be listed for not retaining him. However, his actions in getting the "T" that night are not among them, IMO. That move helped the team stay in that game. It did not cost them that game.

    As for Walcavich's whining about GU's entrance into the PSAC, there are 2 things that are quickly forgotten, First, EU can offer a different tuition structure to PA residents, enabling them to spread out their scholarship money more effectively than can GU since their scholarship money is more quickly absorbed by full tuition amounts for each player. Secondly, the academic entrance requirements for EU are less stringent than those that potential GU recruits must meet.

    I still say that finding both a new football coach and a new basketball coach at the same time is not something GU officials will want to be doing.

  34. Fauves: My point is that if you can't see that this team has been thru a very tough, very unique set of circumstances this year.....and STILL competes hard night and and night out, then we simply disagree.

    Three short years ago, this nearly identical coaching staff took the school to the Elite 8.

    And they are not good??


    Nothing against Coach Slocum, (in fact, he is doing a superb job at YSU), but his NCAA tournament record???


    Hey, it's a free board to chat about Gannon hoops.....lotsa variables...I just don't agree with the mindset of even considering replacing the coaching staff. The New York Giants early December analogy comes to mind, discussed earlier.

    ...It's almost as if there is a mindset waiting for more negativity to prove one's point that a change must be made, when, in my opinion, no change is needed.

    I'll close on this point: the entire team could have easily packed it in during the last few weeks. My guess is that in this internet age, and, with all the traffic Jim Roddy has stated has hit this blog, that perhaps the team has read a few things here as well.

    Rather than mail it in (like more than 1 PSAC team is in the process of doing), this team, this coaching staff, has done just the opposite.

    Nobody can take that away from them.

  35. Jerry Slocum is doing a "superb" job at YSU? Fauves, if you think 15-13 and a seven-year record of 73-134, along with 6 losing seasons in 6 years before this year, is "superb," then it's obvious that you settle for mediocrity, and I can understand why you think Reilly should not go.

  36. Lifer - Have you seen what slocum has done with the YSU program?? 15-13 is one of their best records in years! He's set record for most Horizon League wins for the school.

    He took a laughing stock and made them into a team that is on the brink of conference playoffs.

    I'd say he's doing a pretty good job!

  37. Hi gannonlifer

    I'm not sure if you have even read any of my posts.
    I stated Slcoum was superb at GU.

    I'm not defending Reilly.

    I'm am disagreeing with you that the technical is even relevant.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Hi #453...we have more common ground then you think...

    I do agree with your point that this team has had some unique circumstances and continues to play hard. I would never critisize a Reilly team for lack of effort.

    I also was frustrated with Slocum's lack of tournament wins.

    Where we disagree, I believe change is needed.

    I assess a head coach on win/losses, graduation rates, player retention, and playoff appearances.

    IMO, and really, take it with a grain of salt because I work in marketing not college basketball, Reilly does not deserve a new contract. If he was in the middle of a contract I would be ok with letting it play out. In other words, I am not advocating that Reilly be "fired".

    But when assessing Reilly's career and what is best for GU, IMO, a new contract for Reilly is something I do not want to see.

    Also, Gannon's mediocrity is probably the best thing that ever happened to traffic on this blog!

    1. why does graduation rate affect a coach? It's not like every player that didn't graduate was within Coach Reilly's control.

      18 graduated
      7 transfers
      5 left team/transferred due to off-court problems
      12 currently on track to graduate (if they don't leave)

      Now I know players left before the 2007 season (brandon altsman, etc) but dating back to 2007 there are 25 players that are within Coach Reilly's control, and 18 graduated. 72% graduation rate. Nation average as of 2010 for Division I schools was 65%.

      Joe Lindsey
      Pierre Howard
      Cory Knight
      Mark Demski
      Robert Buckner - injured
      Alfonso Scandrett
      Kyle Goldcamp
      Tyler Stoczynski
      Dave Wilson
      Preston Harris
      Corey Dotchin (left team; remained as manager)
      Tyler Batts
      Malcolm Woodbury (lost scholarship; graduating this year as team manager)
      Steve Piotrowicz - injury
      Danard Crouch
      Travis Brannen
      Kareem Brown
      Shameel Carty

      George Johnson
      Vince Mosley (pursue NBA/hasn't played college since)
      Shamai Santiago (redshirt with no scholarship; not coach problem)
      Ty Pace
      James Bryant
      Filmore Bouldes
      Larry Swann (dismissed from school)
      Anthony Simmons
      Clinton Springer-Williams (citizenship issues)
      Dennis Rumph
      Anthony Claggett
      Kelvin Agee (dismissed from school)

      Tanner Furno - junior
      John Eisenman - walkon, at Gannon still
      Alvin Tucker - junior
      Stephen Battle - sophomore
      Darrell Blanton - junior
      Brandon Belt - sophomore
      Adam Blazek - freshman
      Bubby Johnson - sophomore/injury
      Oscar Macias - junior
      TJ Wilson - junior
      Robert Wilson - redshirt
      Dmitry Martynenko - junior

  40. Coaches must go? comparison todays coach vs. past coaches? Back and forth about each others opinions? (mostly about the coach). As fans hope you guys get some closure with this coaching thing, but bottom line he is here now, so just have to deal with it. Just like if they are here next year, got to deal with it, only thing I see that can be done is either boycott, petition, or picket...Untill then these boys have a heck of a game coming up! And I expect them to close out this regular season game with heart and determination like the competitors they are, DO DAMAGE! fellas, GO! Hard!

  41. #453,

    Since reply doesn't like to work on word, There is one major statement that you made that I agree with: This team could have called it quits a couple of weeks ago. But yet they haven't. They have been out there playing their heart out on the court and outplayed a fairly solid SRU team on Wednesday. I fully expect that the team is going to play an extremely hard 40 minutes at IUP tomorrow? Will it be enough to beat them? May not be. All I know is that this team will play as hard as they can for 40 minutes. Unlike some PSAC teams (Clarion, cough cough) this team has respect for the game

  42. These Gannon kids play as hard as they can. No kidding. Go down to any outdoor court this summer. Or the Y today. Maybe some kid's driveway. Lot of kids playing ball as hard as they can.

    Does anyone think Blazek or Blanton or name your player wouldn't play hard if Reilly and Company didn't make them do it? Were they just slouches and slackers before this coaching staff got a hold of them?

    Effort, we got effort all over the place. That alone doesn't translate into a winning team. And if you think Gannon has the only players who play as hard as they can, please go tell, I don't know, maybe Clarion's Bud Teer, that he doesn't play as hard as he can. Good luck with that.

  43. Football coach Kiernan resigned. Instead of helping the coach pack, Gannon AD Mark Richard lamented to the Erie Times News that he was "very surprised" Kiernan resigned. He added, "I can't believe it."

    Hopefully, he was just playing nice-nice for the media. Because if Richard didn't want to lose Kiernan, he sure doesn't want to lose Reilly.

    Kiernan had a 21-34 record at GU, which includes a 4-7 mark immediately after getting a contract extension through 2014. No playoffs. During the 2011 season, three of his assistants were arrested in two different incidents (kudos to the basketball assistants for staying out of jail this year!). I don't know if Kiernan's players stayed or graduated. My guess is that not too many people cared, judging from the game attendance figures.

    Compared to Kiernan, Reilly is a shining star. And he's apparently going to be OUR shining star for a long, long time.

    1. Look what Kiernan did with the football team though.. posted some record #'s compared to the past. 21-34 is stellar compared to what they did before him.

  44. It's beyond me how anyone can be a Reilly supporter. Gannon should be a perennial play-off team. What is Reilly's percentage in terms of making the play-offs? How about the NCAA tournament? It's pathetic. The problem is not just this year, it's his entire body of work at Gannon. He doesn't know how to win here so they should get someone who does.

  45. making playoffs - 58% (that's assuming they don't make it this year)
    making NCAA tournament - 43%

    nation average (of all divisions)
    making playoffs - 60%
    making NCAA tournament - 35%

  46. Corey

    I agree with your assessment of the football program and coach Kiernan.

    Also, your math may be a bit off.

    GU has made the NCAA's 2/7 years under Reilly.

    That's about 28%

    I read recently that IUP senior guards Julian Sanders and Ashon Smith have compiled 105 wins over their career at IUP.

    That's the type of stat I want to see for GU.

    1. Sorry about the math error.. I did 3/7, you are correct.

      I concur that I would love to see stats like that for Gannon, however, if they want that... they'll have to lower their academic standards. Sanders was put on academic probation last year because his GPA dipped below 2.25.

  47. I don't understand the sense of entitlement I see among some who have posted here.

    For example, someone posted "Gannon should be a perennial play-off team". OK, why is that?

    Because they have a history dating back 25 years when a coach who was better known for his oratorical skills than his basketball savvy (he had a strong assistant that handled that) took them to the national championship game, even though many of his players did not regularly see the inside of a classroom, particularly after the season ended?

    Because they were perennial contenders in the GLIAC but never won a single NCAA playoff game under another coach known more for his surliness than anything else?

    People. the instances of Gannon basketball achieving anything beyond conference playoff appearances are few and far between: Denny Bayer in the NAIA in the late 60's, Ed Sparling once in the mid-70's, the Chapman years, and the fluke year from the Dukiet team in '90. Other than that?

    It's more and more difficult to get "A" players to spend their college years in the winter wonderland that is normally Erie, PA. Teams like Cal and IUP are at least within shouting distance of Pittsburgh, and all of the PSAC has entrance standards less stringent that Gannon's. This is particularly difficult when GU doesn't have a strong assistant coach or a recruiting coordinator that relates better to prospects.

    Times aren't the same anymore, folks. There are a lot more schools out there trying to attract quality players (ex.-Seton Hill). Kids have to go to class now and stay eligible. You can blame the present coach, but I saw some of the same problems attracting the best players happening with Slocum and Dukiet, too.

    This isn't your father's DII basketball anymore.

  48. If you like average - then you got what you like! I have never been one in my life of work to strive for average. So, if it's average your after, that means you don't want a lot of the people that buy season tickets now and the season tickets should be a lot easier to get in the future.

  49. I don't think anyone here is striving for average. You don't need to give us your philosophy on life. This isn't the right forum for that.

    If you don't like the product, don't buy the tickets. That is well within your rights and you have made your position and intent abundantly clear. Face it-the way things are now, it doesn't matter all that much anyomre if any of us old timers quits going to the games. It's not like people are flocking to the games in today's world, with all the entertainment options that are available.

    However, some of us see progress that can be accelerated, IMO, this might well be accomplished with the addition of an assistant that can act as recruiting coordinator and offer input to game strategy, particularly on offense.

    If that need can be addressed, I think that things could improve even more. If not, then it is questionable whether anything will change.

    One other note-There's an old saying-"Be careful what you wish for". Things COULD get worse, you know, if a new coach were brought in.

  50. Observer, you're right that things could get worse if a new coach were brought it -- an example of that is what happened when Reilly got brought in to replace Slocum.

  51. You know the Hurst is looking for fans...they may even have a Section B. LOL.

  52. Go KNIGHTS & LADY KNIGHTS...beat up IUP.

  53. is possible, to support the team, root like crazy for the team and still critique the coaching staff/team.

    It's not like those two are mutually exclusive.

    We're fans, not sheep.

  54. Can someone dig out the newspaper articles from when Gannon joined the PSAC? I'd love to know what they said. Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't remember reading about anyone saying that Gannon couldn't compete in the PSAC because of its high academic standards, winter weather or distance from Pittsburgh.

  55. That's not the subject I'm discussing. What do newspaper articles have to do with anything? Love your manipulation of other people's posts to fit your agenda, Walt. (Sorry, Jim-just responding)

    I don't care what the newspaper pundits may or may not have written about GU joining the PSAC. They're never going to comment on a subject like this anyway. It's too subjective.

    What I am saying is that, in my opinion, with the exception of the year when Mosley, Howard, and Lindsey came in(the manner in which that team came together was obviously some kind of fluke), GU has no longer been able to recruit what I call "A" players like Freeman, Morgan, Hustead, etc, and that started happening under Slocum. I outlined some of the factors I think might be contributing to that problem.

    Didn't say they couldn't compete, just that they are having problems getting the high level of player that they used to get which has made it tougher to regularly contend/dominate as they once did.

    You are entitled to your opinion that the transition to Reilly when Slocum left was a downgrade, but, as someone else pointed out, for all the great things Slocum did while coaching @ GU, his total number of NCAA playoff wins was zero. At least Reilly has a few NCAA victories under his belt, no matter what the circumstances.

  56. Wishing everybody a good "Knight"!!

    Hmmmm.....Gannon 69 IUP 64 sounds nice to me right now!!

  57. As I recall, most fans, me included, were not sad to see Slocum go to Youngstown. He regularly had 20 win seasons but never won an NCAA tournament game. We were not happy with that. Most fans, I think, and again me included, thought Reilly was an upgrade, not a downgrade. He was "one of us," the former assistant during a winning era who'd come home. We figured we were keeping the 20 win seasons we'd been accustomed to plus some tournament success as well. And some better, more exciting players. Recruiting definitely started its downslide during the Slocum years. We thought Reilly would reverse that trend. Outside of Goldcamp, Blanton, Mosely, a few others, no.

  58. One other thing I think needs to be put into consideration when talking about how Gannon always contended in the GLiaC and the Psac teams were upset because of hurst and Gannon joining and that Gannon should be dominating the conference because of available scholarships, etc is how many nationally ranked teams did the Psac used to have? Was IUP always a national top 10? No. In the past few years, IUP SRU Kutztown and even east Stroudsburg have become familiar with being atop the standings. And in a very convincing fashion. Teams are getting better; not just Gannon not being good.