So the Knights are off to a promising 2-0 start after Saturday's 91-65 drubbing of host Ohio Valley at the PSAC-WVIAC challenge. I'd like to say it was an "impressive" win, but can I make that claim if I've never seen the team play? It seems strange to have the Knights begin the season so early and far away from Erie. It also seems strange to say, "I can't wait to see them play ... in a couple more weeks."
One conclusion we can draw from examining Saturday's stat sheet is that Gannon can be balanced offensively. Four players hit for double figures, including first-year
Knights Robert Wilson (20 points plus 9 rebounds) and Jabs Newby (12
points on 6-for-9 shooting). And, not to forget about the returning
players, if there was a tournament MVP award for the weekend, you'd have to give it to Darrell Blanton. Or you could set the trophy
on top of the bankboard and he could jump up to snatch it. Blanton
totalled 40 points and 18 rebounds while hitting 68% of his shots
(17-for-25) in the two Gannon wins. He played defense, too, recording 4
blocks and 4 steals.
Other thoughts on the weekend:
* If you rearrange the letters in "PSAC WVIAC," you get "wasp via CC." I knew you were wondering.
* A Gannon fan who attended the games emailed me to say, "Ohio Valley was everything we expected it to be. Facility makes Behrend's Erie Hall
look like a palace. About half their uniform numbers were different
from the program." That led the the erroneous conclusion by some
stat-sheet observers that OVU's Ashton Brown, who scored 43 Friday
against Millersville, was held scoreless by GU. That's what the stats
say, but the reality is that Brown scored 17 on 3-for-10 shooting. For
some reason his statistics are credited to Robert Smelser on the box score. Smelser-Mania will have a to wait a little longer.
Gannon will be a heavy favorite when they visit Millersville Dec. 18.
MU lost to Ohio Valley 93-92 Friday while the Knights shellacked the
Fighting Scots by 26 the next day. Also, the Marauders lost by 10 to
Glenville State Saturday, the day after Gannon beat Glenville by 3. What
also makes me feel confident that Gannon will be a favorite over
Millersville is that statistician Nate Silver is picking the Knights while Karl Rove and Dick Morris are both guaranteeing the 'Ville to win by double digits.
I really feel bad for Brandon Belt, who transferred to Millersville
after one season at Gannon. His new team goes 0-2 while his old club
finishes 2-0 in the same gym versus the same opponents. Belt scored 21
points in his two games, but was only 8-for-27 from the field including
1-for-13 on three-pointers.
* I'm the only one keeping
track of this stat, but I wanted to share it with you. Newcomers Wilson,
Newby, and Algeron Torrence have already passed me on Gannon's all-time
scoring list. Torrence (16 points) did in 17 minutes what I struggled
to accomplish in four long years. Sigh.
* Looking ahead to the Gary Miller Classic, defending champ Daemen is already 6-1
after annihilating several Canadian teams. The Wildcats play two more
games between now and their first-round contest vs. Virginia Union. VUU is 0-1 after a 71-69 loss to King College. Roberts Wesleyan,
Gannon's first round opponent, is both undefeated and winless. The
Redhawks have two games before tipping off at the Hammermill.