Saturday, April 21, 2012

Knight Knotes

Part of the reason for this post is because the prior post (March 28) has 67 comments to date, and I feel bad for you (and me) needing to scroll through 60-something quotes to see a new comment. If this keeps up, I'm going to burn a hole in my smart phone screen soon.

Another reason is to share some thoughts and info related to Gannon Hoops:

* For several reasons, I don't like perusing the Twitter accounts of college students, but some of the data on Brandon Belt's Twitter feed is applicable to the Gannon program. Here's a recent exchange between Belt and a Gannon fan:
@coachcorey3: gannon fan here.. just wondering if it's true you're leavin GU? If so, sorry to see ya go man... one of my favs this year.
@BdotBelt: yea man sorry to say it but I won't be back next year. I need to go to a school closer to home. 6 hours is too far away for me
@BdotBelt: I haven't decided whether I was gonna continue to play or not though...
@BdotBelt: yea it was a tough decision but it was what was best for me.

The smooth-shooting sophomore from Maryland played in 26 games this past season, starting 16. Belt led the team with 51 three-pointers and was fourth in scoring (9.1 ppg).

* Speaking of Twitter, on April 20 Steve Piotrowicz Tweeted, "Officially an IUP crimson hawk!!" Some of his next few Tweets indicate that Piotrowicz will be a grad assistant at IUP. Good for him -- Steve's a great kid and one of my all-time favorite Knights because of his work ethic, unselfishness, and basketball IQ. My concern is that he'll help IUP coach Joe Lombardi craft an air-tight scouting report on the Knights.

* Gannon Hoops follower ffroo posted a link to an interesting and very loooooooooooooong list of Division I basketball transfers. You can click here for a recent update of the list. I'm sure there's a complex story behind every one of these moves, but the one I'd really like to hear about is about 6-foot-6 freshman Michael Green and his decision to transfer from Akron to Division II Chaminade in Hawaii. I guess the Dublin, OH native wants some fun in the sun ... and more playing time.

If you want to read more about transfers, this column from CBS Sports titled "Player Transferring Has Become An Epidemic" will fill your appetite. I heard the author of this article during a radio interview, and he said one of the big reasons for increased transfers are reduced recruiting budgets that limit a coach's exposure to a player before signing him. Interesting point.

* I had an interesting conversation recently with someone who gave me insight into Tom Chapman's recruiting success at Gannon. What attracted kids to the school wasn't just the fan support and the opportunity to compete for a posteason berth every year. Chapman hyped up the Hammermill Center and the chance to travel to big cities like New York City (Pace, Adelphi), Philadelphia (Philly Textile), and Syracuse (LeMoyne) for road games. Chapman was able to recruit talented players from all over the nation because few other small schools, including some DI programs, could match what he was selling.

Playing in the PSAC, those recruiting advantages are gone. Not only are road games to Lock Haven, Slippery Rock, and Clarion unappealing, the facilities some schools offer absolutely crush Gannon. Try to be impartial for a second, and put yourself in the shoes of a 6-foot-7 18-year-old kid. Would you rather play at the old-school Audi, Cal's new multimillion-dollar arena, or IUP's new cajillion-dollar facility? The state-funded arenas create a big-time wow factor which is topped only by the state-of-the-art lockerrooms.

* Nominations are now being accepted for the Gannon Athletics Hall of Fame. To answer the question that just popped into your head, my last name is spelled "R-O-D-D-Y." Seriously, the guy I'd like to see join the GU HOF is my former teammate Darryl Freeman. In just two years, he scored 1,112 points which currently ranks 21st among all-time Gannon players. He led the 1989-90 team to the NCAA Elite 8, earning all-MCC, all-region, and regional MVP honors. If Darryl does make it to the hall, let's have Steve Bohen introduce him as "Darryl FREEEEEEEEEman!" The deadline for Class of 2013 nominations is July 31.