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.


  1. Having followed Erie County sports for years I can attest to the athletic abilities and personal character of Corey. He's a great athlete, a good student and an even better person. I admire his willingness to walk on to the team knowing Gannon's past history of playing time for walkons. He loves to play the game. I wish him well!

  2. Absolutely agree. I don't know this young lad
    but I have to give him credit. He's paying for
    his own education but is also willing to put in all the hard work and effort for a chance to be
    a Golden Knight. God Bless him and I hope he gets plenty of wood time under his BK shoes.

  3. Nice to see a local kid getting some credit, instead of the typical "he can't be any good if he's from around here" response that most local kids that play here get from many GU fans.

    One would wonder if Bailey chose to play @ GU because of the playing time that Piotrowicz was able to earn after he walked on. A little hard work and falling into the right situation can sometimes be a good combination. Good luck to Bailey in his GU career.

  4. A local high school coach familiar with Bailey and Gannon hoops told me today that he's very high on the freshman. "His work ethic is among the 5 best I've ever witnessed," the coach said. "Because he works so hard, he could do something at Gannon maybe. You know who he reminds me of? Aaron Garrity. He could be another Garrity."

  5. I agree. He has that "bulldog" Garrity work ethic. He could actually help Gannon, if he's given a chance. Playing time could be at a premium though with so many upper classmen on the roster, unless someone gets reshirted. We'll see.


    Gannon Men's Basketball Team Spends Weekend with Renowned Sports Psychologist Dr. Joe Carr

    ERIE, Pa. – The Gannon men's basketball team has had its share of success on the court under head coach John T. Reilly, winning 119 games during his seven seasons at the helm. But the Golden Knights recently added a new activity during their off-season program that they hope takes the program to the next level.

    Gannon became the latest group to come under the guidance of Dr. Joe Carr when the Golden Knights spent the weekend of September 14-16 with the renowned sports psychologist. Carr has worked with National Basketball Association (NBA) stars LeBron James, Allen Iverson, DiKembe Mutumbo, Carmello Anthony and others. He has also spent time on the collegiate level with programs such as Marquette, UMass, Duke and Georgetown among others.

    Carr has spent decades helping basketball's best players and teams develop cohesion and positive energy. “Dr. Carr was tremendous helping us work on developing team chemistry and becoming closer as a family,” noted Reilly. “We learned more about each other on a personal level and learned how to help each other with situations or problems as they occur.”

    His lifetime achievements include working with Oscar Robertson to help develop the NBA's rookie orientation program, which helps players adjust mentally and emotionally with the bright lights of the league. He is also the founder of Doc's Gym in Washington, D.C., where great players learn the game of basketball and life.

    “It really was an incredible weekend,” said Reilly. “Dr. Carr was able to bring our team closer together. He gave us the tools to help believe more in ourselves and trust our teammates even more. We call it the “Blind Trust.” Dr. Carr's presence has already brought us closer and I think it will help our program in the long run.”

    The process called for the student-athletes and coaching staff to open up to each other. There were activities designed to develop their relationships, teach them how to better accept criticism, how to recover from their mistakes and better accept coaching.

    “My job is to get the players to make sacrifices for the sake of the team,” Carr indicated to Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle after his session with NCAA Division I North Texas. “The teams that win are usually the ones that make the most sacrifices. The teams that lose are the ones that do what they want to do. If we can get these guys to develop some blind trust and buy into principle, they are going to out-play a lot of people. They are playing for something else and that is for each other.”

    Gannon returns seven letterwinners and five Golden Knights who started at least 11 games from last year's 14-12 team. The program has reached the 20-win plateau during seven of the last 13 seasons. The Golden Knights have the 12th-highest all-time winning percentage (.639) among NCAA Division II schools. Between 2000-09, the program ranked 27th among all NCAA Division II programs in winning percentage (.693) and 28th in victories (203).

    Gannon opens the 2012-13 schedule November 9-10 at the PSAC-WVIAC Conference Challenge hosted by Ohio Valley. The Golden Knights will play Friday, November 9 against Glenville State (6 p.m.) and Saturday, November 10 against Ohio Valley (4 p.m.).