Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Knight: Cory Bailey fr. 5-11 165

No offense to the rest of the Gannon team, but Cory Bailey may be my favorite Golden Knight. For starters, he's local (North East High School), he's a walk-on, and he's close to my size (5-foot-11, 165 pounds). In addition, a friend of mine who has watched the North East program for years told me he's an excellent student and person. The role of a college walk-on is similar to a D-League player when they make it to the NBA. Be a great locker-room guy, always show up early, work your butt of in practice, never complain, never be selfish, and get good grades. (And you get extra credit for waving a towel during games.) Bailey looks perfectly suited to fill that role. And -- who knows? -- he could in time become one of those non-scholarship guys who develops into a key contributor.

Here's some more information on Bailey:
* Click on this link for his official Gannon bio.
* Was named North East's most outstanding player after averaging 10.4 ppg as a senior, second best on the Grape Pickers.
* North East was the Region V and District 10 runners-up in 2012. The Grape Pickers won both titles Bailey's junior campaign.
* The Grape Pickers were eliminated in the first round of the 2012 PIAA playoffs by Summit Academy, 44-43. In that game Bailey scored 13 points and hit 4-of-4 free throws, earning himself Erie Times Breakout Player of the Week honors.
* His free throw in the closing seconds helped North East hold off Lakeview in this year's D-10 Class AA semifinals, 41-40. Bailey totaled 8 points for the game.
* When Gannon plays at Edinboro this year, I hope Coach Reilly draws up this play for Bailey. I implore you to click on that link -- the highlight is amazing and turned out to be the difference for the game.
* Stayed very busy at North East: he was a member of the honor roll, earned a perfect attendance award, and played football for the Region IV champion Grape Pickers. Was named first-team all-region at defensive back and second team all-region at quarterback.
* If you're a fan of both stiff-arms and muddy high school football (me, too), here's a great photo of Bailey in action when the Grape Pickers annihilated Fort LeBoeuf.
* Here's a photo of Bailey shooting a jumper at Gannon wearing maroon and gold. No, I don't have time machine; the Grape Pickers played Greensburg Central Catholic in a playoff game at the Hammermill Center this past March.

If you're keeping score at home, I managed to say "Grape Pickers" 7 times in this post. Greatest school nickname ever.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Knights Team Photo

This photo of the 2012-13 Knights was just released on the Gannon Athletics Facebook page and team roster page. Front row (L-R): Cory Bailey, Jabs Newby, Oscar Macias, Brandon Emmitt, Adam Blazek, and Alvin Tucker. Back row (L-R): Darrell Blanton, Robert Wilson, Rogerio Livramento, Tanner Furno, Dmitry Martynenko, C.J. Oldham, Algeron Torrence, and T.J. Wilson.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Knight: C.J. Oldham jr. 6-8 205

Last month I received this email from a longtime Gannon fan: "I think the other Div 1 transfer is from Akron C J Oldham 6'5".  I believe he will have 2 years left and as a sophomore was voted captain of the team. Have to wait to see if it is official." Then, shortly after that, Gannon announced that Brandon Emmitt, a native of Akron, had signed with the Knights, so I figured the Oldham transfer was a rumor that would never come to fruition. But when the Gannon roster was revealed earlier this week, Oldham was on it. Looking at his Akron bio, it seems like he's a good kid -- mechanical engineering major who was voted the Zips' team captain last year despite only being a sophomore and not scoring a single point as a redshirt freshman.

One of the advantages of gaining DI transfers is that their sports information department is likely to be close to on par with Dan Teliski, Gannon's excellent SID. That means the player's online bio provides quite a bit of info. Here's some of what Akron had to say about Oldham:

* Last season played 9 games, scoring a total of 11 points in 30 minutes of play for 22-12 Akron.
* Made 5-of-9 field goals, including 1-of-2 three pointers. His trey came during a 21-point loss at West Virginia. (Editor's Note: Part of me hopes he pointed in Bobby Huggins' face as he ran back on defense.)
* Recorded two points and two assists* against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, followed by a two-point, two-rebound performance against Florida A&M. (*Another Editor's Note: The Akron website says "dimes" instead of assists, but nobody who knows basketball actually uses the word "dimes.")
* The Zips, seeded #1 in the MAC tournament, would have played in the NCAAs had they not lost a heartbreaker to Ohio in the conference finals, 64-63. (Ohio went on to beat Michigan and South Florida before falling to North Carolina in the Sweet 16.)
* Oldham played 8 games his freshman year but did not score.
* Redshirted the 2009-10 season.
* Played scholastically at Solon (Oh.) High School where he received accolades including all-Northeast Ohio, Greater Cleveland All-Star and Greater Cleveland All-Academic Team.
Averaged 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists as a senior.
* Spent his freshman and sophomore years of high school in Germany where his father Calvin Oldham was a professional basketball coach. His dad currently coaches in South Korea.
* Speaks German and lived in Germany for 13 years.

Here's some other info I dug up on Oldham:
* Was named to the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) Honors Court this past season because of his 3.250 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major.
* According to this message board, Oldham was a walk-on at Akron. I'm not sure of his scholarship status with Gannon.
* This message board thread about Oldham transferring from Gannon doesn't provide much value beyond entertainment. I did laugh out loud at this comment from Zips Junkie: "Losing a team captain has to be a devastating loss for the program. I just hope it doesn't have a ripple effect on the women's swim team."
* Another fan noted on a different thread, "Walk-on CJ Oldham appears to be transferring out. It's been noted that CJ could be a starter on some D-I teams that lack UA's depth. Don't know where CJ is headed. Could be the source of Zach's rumor about a basketball player transferring to Lake Erie College. CJ could be a real force in a D-II program like Lake Erie's, should he end up there."
* Oldham hasn't played much in college, but he has his own DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect web page.
* According to this article, Oldham's Solon Comets finished his senior year with a 7-14 record and were eliminated in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
* Scored 17 points in this Solon loss to Twinsburg.
* This article featuring the obvious headline "Comets frustrated by losses" mentions that Oldham scored 12 points in a loss to Strongsville. The article does not mention that Strongsville is the alma mater of former Golden Knight Bobby Bossman.
* This website rated Oldham as a two-star power forward back in 2009.