I guess it's time for my annual rant about the Lock Haven men's basketball program, losers today at Gannon, 85-35, in a game that actually was not as close as the ridiculous 50-point margin. (For past comments on Lock Haven, click here and here.) This Bald Eagle team was especially deplorable in their talent level and aggressiveness on offense.
Back in 2004, current Harbor Creek High School head coach Jason Dolak and I put together the Erie Red Storm all-star basketball team to play in some spring AAU-type tournaments. The roster included Kevin Buczynski (Villa), Tywuan Thomas (Strong Vincent), Tyler Sekerak (Corry), Tony DeMichele (Prep), Robbie Fugate (Prep), Joe Jones (Prep), and Scott Veith (Fairview). That team of all local kids would have crushed winless Lock Haven today by double-digits. How can a full-time coaching staff work all off-season and come up with a team so small and unskilled? And they have some scholarship money to give. The Red Storm team had to pay tournament entry fees plus travel expenses before they took the court.
Lock Haven's offensive game plan in the first 20 minutes seemed to be: walk the ball over midcourt, throw it to the wing 40 feet from the basket, maybe throw it to the corner, dribble back out to midcourt, survey the defense, watch the shot clock tick down to 15, and then go 1-on-1 before either turning the ball over or forcing up a contested shot. On at least a dozen possessions in the first half, when LHU generated a pitiful 3 field goals (one tipped in by Gannon) and 0 assists, the Bald Eagles didn't even penetrate the three-point line.
I watched four basketball teams play today, and here's how I'd rank them in aggressiveness:
#4 Lock Haven
The Bumblebees and Fireflies are from my daughter's kindergarten basketball game Saturday morning at First Alliance Church. Her game's highlights included one girl dribbling sideline to sideline with two hands for 30 seconds and a boy running with the ball toward the wrong basket. And that's still more aggressive than Lock Haven! LHU is now 0-23 on the year and just 2-58 in their past 60 games.
As far as the Knights, I was pleased to see them deliver the KO punch early. Every second Lock Haven stuck around would have chipped away at GU's confidence (which wasn't exactly sky-high entering the game). Actually, LHU didn't even stick around for one second, ceding the opening tip to Darrell Blanton. The official tossed up the ball, and Blanton was the only one who elevated. Gannon led 13-0 five minutes in and 27-4 at the 10-minute mark, erasing any thoughts Lock Haven might have for winning their first game of the season.
The downer of the day was Cal upsetting Mercyhurst, 61-56, on the Hurst's home floor. Had the Lakers won, Gannon and Cal would have identical 11-9 marks in the PSAC West with the Vulcans holding the tiebreaker. Now with GU still a game behind, the Knights need to win at Slippery Rock AND at IUP next week with Cal losing at home to Clarion and at Edinboro.
I can rant all I want about how deplorable Lock Haven is, but the bottom line is in a week Gannon will be sitting next to them watching playoff games from the outside.