Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rankings Rollout

When I was a kid, my favorite time in the fall wasn't football season or the World Series. The best moment was shopping at Loblaws and spotting the new Street & Smith's College Basketball Preview on the magazine rack. I'd immediately flip to the back of the book to look for the Division II rankings to see if my beloved Golden Knights were listed. Man was it cool to see Gannon mentioned in a national magazine! And if the Knights made the top 10, they might get a one-paragraph writeup as well. The paragraph included information I already knew (and some misinformation I could have corrected), but I'd read it a hundred times anyway. It was so cool to see "Mitchell Smith" in black and white.

Now I understand that national DII rankings are worthless, and pre-season rankings are a step below that if possible, so the romance is gone from my favorite autumn moment. Furthermore, the rankings are announced online and seeing "Gannon" on the internet is no big deal.

But I still get a kick out of the first poll of the year. It means the Maroon/Gold game then season opener can't be far away. Here's the Division II Bulletin pre-season rankings, courtesy of Gannon SID Dan Teliski. You'll notice only one PSAC team (#24 Stroud) and only one other school from the Atlantic Region (#1 West Liberty). Coming off a 14-12 campaign, Gannon of course didn't make the Top 25. But the little boy in me is thinking, "Well, they must be #26 then."

1. West Liberty
2. Franklin Pierce
3. Findlay
4. Washburn
5. Metropolitan State
6. Alabama-Huntsville
7. Colorado School of Mines
8. Western Washington
9. Bellarmine
10. Seattle Pacific
11. Winona State
12. Stonehill
13. Christian Brothers
14. Bloomfield
15. Florida Southern
16. Montevallo
17. Southern Indiana
18. Chico State
19. Northwest Missouri State
20. Indianapolis
21. Barton
22. Midwestern State
23. Saint Leo
24. East Stroudsburg
25. Lincoln Memorial


  1. it feels strange to not see a Kentucky Wesleyan in there...

  2. Never thought that I would be saying this, but, why can't we be like Findlay? Was wondering why they have been so successful of late---is it a higher level of financial support of the program, better coaching or what? If certainly is not because of their gym!!!

  3. gary1656 The hard part of this success is that everyone knows you cannot build a program without using transfers. The fact that out of sixteen players they have one transfer who was a local kid who transferred back after his freshman year all the rest recruited as freshmen makes it impossible to have this kind of success.

  4. Well played sarcasm card, Bob.

    Unfortunately, the heat Coach Reilly took when he tried the strategy of building with an emphasis on freshman recruits way back in Year 2 convinced him that the GU fan base was too impatient to wait for that type of team construction to develop. So, the blame is partially on Coach Reilly for straying from his plan and allowing public opinion to determine his recruiting/team construction philosophy and partially on the fans for being so vehemently impatient.

    Now, with his job clearly on the line in the minds of so many GU followers, you cannot seriously expect him to start trying to build with freshmen now. He doesn't have that luxury anymore. He knows that there must be a major improvement this year, including the playoffs, or the wolves will be back at his door, even more than they already are. It's unlikely that can be done with freshmen.

  5. I agree with both Bob and The Observor. The ideal way to build a team is with a mixture of underclassmen, upperclassmen and maybe a few transfers (ask Cleve Wright). However, Coach Reilly is under the gun to win now and had no choice but to load up with transfers this year. We'll see if it pays off.

    Take a look at Edinboro's roster. 10 players total; eight of them are transfers. Everybody has to win now!

    PS: let's not forget the women. 14th ranked preseason!

  6. A little OT, but does anyone have info on those who left the team and where they have xfrd to?

  7. Brandon Belt transferred to Millersville and is a junior guard there. Now, will he be able to play immediately since he transferred within D2?

  8. looking at Bubby Johnson's Twitter page he is at Utah Sate University - Eastern Utah College (NJCAA). There's a team pic and his individual pic on his page but I can't find anything current for the school itself. Everything is last year still.

  9. Maroon-Gold tonight will not be a game or scrimmage. See below for details.

    Annual Gannon Maroon-Gold Basketball Night Set for Wednesday, October 24; New Format to Include Shoot-Outs, Contests and Giveaways


    ERIE, Pa. – The Annual Gannon Maroon-Gold “Meet the Basketball Teams” event sponsored by the Gannon Athletic Boosters will take place Wednesday, October 24 at the Hammermill Center. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free of charge.

    Gannon radio play-by-play announcer Sean Amicucci will be the Master of Ceremonies. In addition to the introduction of both teams, the evening will be filled with exciting contests and giveaways. Autographed women's and men's basketballs are included in the gifts to be raffled off during the event.

    This year's “Meet the Teams” night will feature a new format. Following team introductions, there will be a post player shoot-out and a mixed double three-point shoot-out that will include student-athletes from both teams. A question and answer session will then follow with both squads. Fans are asked to fill out question forms upon entering the Hammermill Center. The student-athletes and coaches will answer randomly drawn questions during the question and answer session.

    The night will conclude with several giveaways. Selected Gannon students in attendance will get the chance to participate in a shoot-out. Winners will receive gift cards of their choice. There will also be a drawing for a flat screen TV. Only Gannon students are eligible for the TV drawing. They can submit their name upon entering the Hammermill Center and must be present at the time of the drawing to win the prize.

    Wednesday's activities will conclude with a raffle drawing by the Gannon Booster Club for autograph basketballs and clothing.

    For more information regarding Wednesday's “Meet the Teams” night, please contact the Gannon Booster Club at 814-871-5668.

  10. I recently received this email from a Gannon Hoops fan:

    ESPN Magazine has a story on 4 Div I transfers to other Div I schools saying that this year over 450 Div I transfers to other Div I or Div II schools. So maybe some Gannon fans should know that this is a problem at all schools.

  11. anyone go to the Maroon and Gold Basketball Night? Any takes on what you saw from the players? I know they didn't do much, but even just from their introductions or Q&A or the diff contests, etc. Anything?

  12. I think the PSAC's release of this info should have been titled, "Death, Taxes, and Lock Haven Finishes Last"

    Gannon Men's Basketball Team Picked Third in PSAC Preseason Coaches Poll; Blanton and Blazek Earn Preseason Accolades

    ERIE, Pa. – The Gannon men's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division, according to the league's preseason coaches poll released Thursday afternoon. In addition, Darrell Blanton (Cleveland, Ohio/Euclid) and Adam Blazek (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep) were named to the Preseason All-PSAC Western Division team.

    The preseason rankings were announced in conjunction with the PSAC Basketball Local Media Day which featured the women's and men's basketball teams from Gannon, Mercyhurst and Edinboro. The event was held at Edinboro's Pogue Center.

    Indiana (Pa.) is the preseason favorite in the PSAC Western Division, accumulating three of the eight first-place votes. The Crimson Hawks have won three consecutive PSAC Western Division regular-season championships. In addition, IUP captured the PSAC Tournament title in 2010 and 2011, as well as the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region title in 2010.

    Slippery Rock, Gannon, Edinboro and California (Pa.) rounded out the top five. Slippery Rock picked up three first-place votes while Gannon and Edinboro received one first-place vote each in the tight voting. Mercyhurst, Clarion and Lock Haven completed the PSAC Western Division poll.

    East Stroudsburg is a heavy favorite in the PSAC Eastern Division, taking home seven first-place votes. West Chester picked up the remaining first-place vote and sits in second place. Bloomsburg, Kutztown, Millersville, Mansfield, Shippensburg and Cheyney follow in the PSAC Eastern Division predictions.

    Gannon returns seven letterwinners and five student-athletes who started at least 10 games last season from a team that finished 14-12 overall and 12-10 in conference action.

    Gannon has posted at least 14 wins four times during the last five seasons and has recorded 36 winning seasons during the last 40 years. The Golden Knights enter the 2012-13 campaign 12th all-time among NCAA Division II programs in winning percentage (1,142-644 / .639).
    The remainder of the Preseason All-PSAC Western Division Team was filled by senior Luis Leao (Mercyhurst), senior Isaiah Prince (Edinboro), senior Devin Taylor (Slippery Rock) and junior Bryan Theriot (Edinboro).

  13. I didn't like the format. It was the same as street practice everyone standing around shooting baskets. Ho-hum...
    The sound system is so bad 3 or 4 people around me complained that no-one understood what was being said.

  14. A photo gallery from Maroon-Gold night is now online. The script on the practice unis is tremendous. I'd be fired up if the regular unis looked like that.

  15. so off topic but still on Gannon - The women beat Kent State 70-61.. and did it without Papich?????

  16. Corey,

    Correction, GU won without Papich..and Nettie. They started off slow, but got it going quickly.

    1. WOW! I totally forgot about Nettie (and that's nothing against her... I just noticed that I didn't see Papich and didn't look at any other names).

      Hopefully that's a promising sign for this team, esp in the sense that some freshmen stepped in and and produced immediately on a HUGE stage. I don't care if it's exhibition.. still D1!

      Can't wait for season to officially begin!

    2. They looked very well I thought overall, defense was solid, and they were able to make key shots when it mattered. The game against Buffalo Saturday should be fun.

  17. Well another I missed is Jenny Jordan Soph.
    She was injured mid way last year.
    I certainly hope all is well.

    Anybody know anything?

    1. She is not even on the roster... I don't remember the name. Anyone else know anything

  18. Jim, I enjoyed the piece about looking for the College Basketball preview on the magazine rack, because that is exactly what I have done every October. Of course, the years that Gannon is in contention that moment of searching the magazine is much more fun. But I know the feeling of excitement to see GU in the national magazine! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Wasn't Jordan the guard that tore her ACL in mid-season that was supposed to have surgery, then return? That was in January, if I remember correctly, Perhaps she is red-shirting while she rehabs. That type of injury/surgery often takes a year to recover from.

    Whatever the situation is, I'm pretty sure she's not in the team picture that's on the website.

    1. she's not even listed on the roster... usually even redshirt is on roster. But she did compete in the Free-Throw-A-Thon this year...

      is this her third year academically and she RS'ed her first year maybe? so she's taking off this year to not lost her year of eligibility? I dunno, just throwing out alternate reasons.

  20. What a feather in Mark Richard and Cleve Wright's cap. The fact that back in 2010 when we had the Atlantic regional it was a big success and the reputation of Cleve's program made this possible. Here is a great chance to show case Gannon and Erie. For the record Jeni Jorden did participate in the fund raiser free through contest must be red shirting.

    Jeni Jordan

  21. Not to take anything from thr Gannon people
    as hosting school but Erie has a Sports and event Authority headed by Ron Sertz. They brought with Hurst as host "Frozen Four" to Erie. They are set up to bring major sporting events here. I actually talked to Ron S about
    trying to get WBB Elite Eight after going to
    ST Joe, Mo when GU played there.
    We have a larger venue and will be completly re-done by March 2014.
    Congrats to all GU & Erie fans.