I had the honor of working as the radio play-by-play man for Gannon's 81-66 win over Notre Dame (Oh.) in the opening round of the 2012 Porreco Cup. I pride myself on being prepared -- some would say overprepared -- for each broadcast. For example, did you know that that Notre Dame reserve forward Kalomo Figueroa-Jackson attended Africentric Early College in Columbus, and their team nickname is the Nubians, a people of Sudan? And did you know the best-known Nubian is the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat?
had all that info in my game notes, but here's the only data I had on
Gannon senior forward Tanner Furno: "Ankle surgery -- out until
January." Furno proceeded to thrill the Knight faithful not just because
he suited up, but because he looked smooth scoring 15 points on 5-for-7
shooting from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 chart from the free throw
line. Radio color man Jim LeCorchick and I suspected that since the
Porreco Cup was moved up to mid-December, Furno coordinated his rehab
with the GU schedule and arrived early as well.
great as Furno and soon-to-be Porreco all-tourney team member Darrell Blanton (26 points, 12
rebounds, several Jammermill moments) were, there were some low points
for Gannon. Coming off finals week, the Knights trailed 36-34 at
halftime. During the break, which is the only time the play-by-play guy
gets to think during the game, I started contemplating the fallout if GU
lost to the sub-.500 Falcons. The 594 fans in attendance might have
thrown their popcorn and dentures on the court (unless they were already
celebrating Prep's state championship victory).
the Knights erupted for 47 second-half points while stifling Notre Dame
for the first 12 minutes of the second stanza. If Gannon can stay
healthy, keep Blanton out of foul trouble, cut down on their turnovers
(20 vs. NDC), and make some threes (just 1-for-12 Friday), expect the
Knights to raise some hardware tonight.