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.


  1. Darryl Freeman was an incredible player, an unstoppable slasher who could also shoot lights out from three. His dunks were usually of the acrobatic variety and he did everything with a special flare that had fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of his next unbelieveable feat. Oh, and the golden Georgia Tech stlye home uniforms belong in the HOF along with Darryl!

  2. Common Walter Freeman couldn't hit a three to save his (your descriptor here). He made exactly one his junior year, and seldom if ever looked to even attempt them, he had Mike, Chris, etc to shoot - he slashed.

    That being said he could score almost at will and was the best player on a great team, he was unselfish and motivated for his team and coach...

    YES he should be in the HALL! Will he? Who knows things have gotten strange over the years on Peach street!

  3. I also remember Freeman having the game-winning assist on Gary Douglas' three-pointer to beat LeMoyne in 1991.

    So CalU hypes their arena as the largest indoor facility between Pittsburgh and Morgantown??? What exactly is there between Pittsburgh and Morgantown? So the Hammermill Center is the largest indoor facility between State Street and Cleveland? Or State Street and Akron? Does Ashtabula have any large arenas?

  4. How big is the facility at the Spires Institute in Geneva, Ohio? I know that it has room for 6 basketball courts, but I'm not sure what the seating capacity is when they set it up for a single game. That's the only place I can think of between Erie and Cleveland that might approach the 'Mill. West of State St, that is, lol.

    1. I've only seen Spire from the outside, but it is giant. The website says 750,000 square feet for their facilities. This pictures on this link back that up. Who knew Geneva, OH would have something like this?

  5. The facility was HUGE when it was GaREAT and I've heard theyve expanded since Spire bought it. They had 12 basketball courts with limited court side searing but the upper section was all seating hat could see all courts and indoor soccer fields and flag football fields. The stadium was supposed to be the big attraction but wasn't finished yet when I was there.

  6. Wouldn't having Gannon play home games at the Tullio Arena solve the facilities problem?

  7. Nah, that might help on game days, but then they wouldn't practice that much on the court where the games would be played because the court is torn down a lot for Otter games. Many people don't realize that the Bayhawks practice most of the time at LECOM, not the Tullio. Also, part of the draw to players are the locker room and workout facilities that the newer gyms have, and the Tullio doesn't have those. Then there's the question of expense. Use of the Tullio wouldn't be free to GU. Don't see GU paying for court time at the Tullio for games let alone locker and training facilities.

  8. The other factor how would it look with 600 to 800 fans in the Tullio center which is all we are drawing and getting less every year.

  9. Ok Bob I don't know where you get your att numbers from.
    In 2010/11 GU MBK Ave is 1091,
    in 2011/12 GU MBK Ave is 1282.
    That's an increase of 191 per game.
    Kindly check the stats page on GU'S MEN'S Basketball page.

  10. GU Fanman I sit on the east side of the Center and atleast six games last year I counted ALL the people on the west side and the average was around 250. That means there were over 1000 people on the east side which makes the east side over 70% full I really doubt that. Those counts start at 400 for season tickets and goes from there and if you look at the plush a lot of people are coming disguise as empty seats.

  11. I can only go by the numbers GU puts out.
    I too have season tkts on the east side and haven't missed a h game in 4yrs.
    I know they use clicker/counters when people enter off Peach st. They don't count the students coming in through the Waldren Center. I know they get in free but I always see a bunch coming in the west doors.

  12. JET Sports confirms that Battle and Belt are gone. The beat goes on. Thanks Reilly for building a stable program.