Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Board Out Of Their Minds

With rivalry games, everyone says, "You can throw the records out." But for tonight's Gannon/Mercyhurst game you may need to throw in the record book. The Knights thoroughly dominated the glass on their way to a 56-42 thrashing of the Lakers. The final rebounding margin was 34-11, but the first half rebounding stats are among the most incredible I've ever seen.

Gannon 20, Mercyhurst 3

How many times have we seen a team gather three rebounds on one 30-second possession? Mercyhurst couldn't do that tonight over the span of 20 minutes. I looked up online "fewest rebounds in one half" for a college basketball game and couldn't find anything. But we know the Lakers were no more than three rebounds away from the futility record.

Here are some other ridiculous rebounding numbers:
* For the game, Darrell Blanton had as many offensive rebounds (3) as the entire Mercyhurst roster.
* Tanner Furno played only 11 minutes but had just one fewer offensive board (2) than the Lakers.
* Gannon shot 49% for the game (20-for-41), a perfect 11-for-11 from the line, and totalled 13 offensive rebounds. Mercyhurst registered only 8 defensive rebounds. So when Gannon attempted a shot, 84.6% of the time something good happened. It either went in or the Knights secured the rebound.

We won't see numbers like that again any time soon, but I'm sure we'll see more of this stifling defense from a team that's looking more impressive every outing.


  1. Typical ugly Gannon / Hurst affair (36 total turnovers). Down 'n' dirty defense. But GU shut 'em down. Held MU to 42 stinkin' points.

    Stat of the game -- 'Hurst got just three measly rebounds in the first half. I've seen teams get more rebounds on one possession.

  2. To add -- not sure if anyone heard the halftime interview with Mercyhurst AD (and former football coach) Joe Kimball.

    When asked about the pressure of the rivalry, he said, "When the school president tells you that he doesn't care if you lose all your games as long as you beat Gannon, there's some pressure ..."

    Always a pleasure to ruin Mercyhurst's season.

  3. If you would have told me before the game that GU only scores 56 points AND wins by 14, I would have said you are nuts. Very good defensive effort by the team tonight, also nice to beat the evil empire on the hill.

  4. Where is Jeremy today and where are his excuses of why this team is winning. Still amazing to me that after a loss it is Armageddon and there are 40 comments, we win and there are 3. Gannon fans: greatest pessimists in the world.

  5. There were 28 comments following the Edinboro win. I think that the 40-comment game had quite a long time lag between games (and posts by Jim). Give it time ... the game ended late yesterday.

  6. Quote from Wednesday's newspaper: Manchel said. "They (Gannon) have all kinds of players who can score, where we need somebody else besides Luis to step up on offense. We don't have that guy right now. For us to steal a couple of wins against these upper-echelon teams, we need other people to have good offensive games.''

    When a coach says that his own team is very one-dimensional (and that one dimension sure does travel alot), I have a hard time considering them a high-caliber opponent.

    Gannon does have good talent that plays well together in the open floor; but I'm reserving my judgment on calling it a great team.

  7. I forgot to ask....why wasn't Torrance and Wilson dressed?? I hadn't heard anything

    1. If I were to guess based off postgames and body movements, Wilson's got a back issue flaring up and Torrance I thought I heard ankle?

    2. listening to the post game show (although you can't hear everything too great), Wilson does have something with his back that has been a recurring problem he's dealt with for many years. Coach Reilly didn't give a time table for either, as he said he didn't exactly know, but sounded hopeful that Wilson would be back sooner than later.

      Torrence injured himself in the California game, but apparently played through the pain to finish the game. He didn't practice Monday or Tuesday and did some limited things Wednesday. Coach Reilly wasn't sounding too optimistic of Torrence being back for Clarion.

  8. Gannon is a really really really good team, if they can knock off Iup on on the road(with blazek back I think they can) then this team will be great. I want a couple postseason games at the mill this year. This team is starting to come together.

    1. I think SRU is going to be the more important matchup if GU wants to play anything at home. My guess is that loss at WCU will loom large in having a first round bye. But in general, a win over SRU will mean more I think for this team given records at play and records against opponents.

  9. Fantastic win.

    Was I having an optical illusion, or, did Coach Manchel actually complain to the refs........after a favorable call FOR his team???


    I get the feeling that some fans are hoping, per chance, Glen Summors will actually trot out onto the floor from the locker room.

    They won't be satisfied any other way.

    It was nice to see Coach Viscuso given credit in today's paper for his contributions to the strength, conditioning, and rebounding ability this team has.

    Well deserved!

    Clarion: Next!!

  10. Can someone possibly confirm: Is this team in the midst of an approximate 34-36 (or better) free-throw run????



    Confirmed. The FT run is 32 straight (4th to last paragraph) and the team has made 48 of its last 50 free throw attempts. That's 96%. For comparison purposes, Larry Bird made 89% of his free throw attempts in his career.

    This is a strange year as Coach Reilly's team have always been good defenders, but were usually below-average from the charity strips. The increase in FT shooting is a pleasant surprise and should serve us well down the stretch of close games.

    Good FT shooting was always the mark of Slocum's teams, but not Reilly. But the 2012-13 Knights are 15th in the country from the line as well as 7th in scoring defense (and this was before the Mercyhurst game where we gave up 42 points and shot 11/11)

    1. jabs must not have attempted too many during this span because his overall is still awful!

  12. Got me looking at the stats (thru Jan 20). This team is a study in contrasts. Don't forget there are 286 D-II teams:

    The good:
    Scoring offense #120 -- if this team is adequate in offense, we'll go places so far, so good
    Scoring defense #7
    Scoring margin #15 (+14.2) wow!
    Field goal percentage #10 (50.5%) -- this is the most surprising at all
    Free throw percentage #15
    Rebound margin #6 (+10.5) -- frighteningly good
    Field goal percentage defense #5 (37.8) -- a trademark of Coach Reilly
    Three point FG defense #23 (29.8%) -- helps to be ahead a lot as opponents force up three's late in games

    The bad --
    Three-point FG's per game #270 (4.4) -- need to make more threes
    And you knew it was coming -- TURNOVERS #278 (18.4) -- we are the eighth most generous team in Division II.
    And turnover margin #252 (-2.8) -- we force our share as well which moves us up, but not much.

  13. Sorry for dominating this, but I noticed one more thing on this TMT thing ... let's look at the records of the teams in the bottom 12 in turnovers per game.

    4-13, 0-7, 3-12, 6-8, 1-14, 1-7, 3-13, 0-9, 14-3 (GU), 1-14, 3-12, 2-12

    Everyone else has a losing record and most teams are well below .500. Astonishing that we have this good of a record despite turning the ball over so much. Or to look on the bright side, GU is 15-3 and still has room to improve (three-point shooting and way TMT).

  14. Gannon89...great posts. Thanks for the research.

  15. I second that.

    Thanks, Golden89.....gotta be some kind of record, no??

    Nice posts!!!

  16. No doubt that GU is playing well, doing all the things that need to be done to win.

    However, I have to lean in the direction of whoever it was who posted that the teams they are playing are just NOT that impressive. And I don't believe that GU is making them look that way. They just aren't that good, talent-wise.

    Think about it for a second. Take Edinboro. They have Theriot and Prince. Other than that, no formidable inside player (like that guy who called himself Sheriff something), no spectacular outside threat (like so many they have had).

    Take Mercyhurst. They have Leao and Dailey. No one else looked like any kind of consistent threat.

    Even IUP, in beating GU, didn't overly impress. Last year, they had those 2 guards (Sanders and Smith, I think it was) who could take over the game both from the outside and going to the hoop. The year before, they had Webb, a national Player of the Year candidate. This year they have that 7'3" kid, who's not bad (but no National Player of the Year candidate) and someone named Scooter. C'mon.

    Honestly, is there anyone that attended the 2009 East Regional held here that is of the opinion that we've seen any team this year that could come within 25 points of those teams? I don't.

    We'll see what develops as the season progresses and we get a look at the other teams like the Rock. No one is enjoying this more than me, but it doesn't appear, IMO at least so far, that GU has been taking down the Michigan's, Duke's, or UCLA's of DII. We can hope, but I'm not making my Elite Eight reservations yet.

  17. Say Gannon goes 6-4, 7-3 or 8-2 down the stretch (all reasonable totals considering that they play at IUP and Slippery Rock, the Rock in Erie plus two more rivalry games.) That puts GU around 21-23 wins on the season. Now lets say that GU does NOT get a bye in the first round of the PSAC tourney and IUP/Slippery Rock do(already lost once to IUP). GU then plays an extra game, with the additional chance to have a bad game and lose (not trying to be negative, its just the reality of the possibilities).

    If GU ends the season around 22 wins and leaves the tournament early, is that enough to get GU into the NCAAs? What are the signature wins to date that would boost GU over other teams in the region that end up with a similar record? And, as TheObservor pointed out, if the Knights do make it to the PSAC finals or the NCAAs, are they ready to beat those upper echelon teams? I'd like to answer yes to the last question, but considering that each time they have played a team with a high winning percentage, they have lost, I can't confidently say GU is ready to make that leap yet.

    1. Even though I don't necessarily agree with the majority of your posts, Jeremy, I will admit that any realistic person has to be able to somewhat agree with this. Is there a chance that if they get knocked out early of PSACs but end up with 21-23 wins that they could make NCAAs...? Of course there's a possibility. However, if they get knocked out early that would make their chances that much slimmer. Also, if they got knocked early and a team not named IUP, SRU or ESU wins it, that then means you have three very good teams not earning an auto-bid that would be vying for spots ahead of Gannon as well. Gannon needs to win AT LEAST one of the remaining games vs. IUP and SRU (2) to even have a chance of surviving any playoffs. If they can't beat the "good teams", they won't be making NCAAs.

      Also, to counter, with the exception of the independent games... the teams have all played the SAME teams. So if Gannon finishes with, let's say, 22 wins and IUP, SRU, ESU (etc) finishes with 24-25, that doesn't put Gannon too far behind them (however, it still leaves them behind... period)

  18. All last year there were so many negative posts about wins and losses and now we are winning all it is about is whether we beat a good team or not???? We should have beat IUP at home they are not as good this year. Heck they even lost to a "bad" team. If Gannon played the faster style that they play now against IUP they would have won and without Blazek. Remember we didn't have Tanner that game either. They changed their slow pace style right after those two straight losses. I would take this Gannon team over IUP now. Can we be happy that they are 15-3???? A win is a win. Mercyhurst lost to the Rock by 2pts. Does that make the Rock an untalented team since Mercyhurst is "so bad" and only has 2 good players but only lost by 2????

  19. I'm not making my Elite 8 reservations yet, but this is still a good team. For cryin' out loud, we're 12 games above .500.

    Remember, the last few years, we were talking about just making the PSAC playoffs. It's nice to be talking about our NCAA chances.

    This is Division II ... every team is flawed. There are no great teams in the PSAC this year. We're only one game out of first in the west. Let's see how the season plays out. It's nice to have a shot.

  20. Hey ffroo, of course we can't be happy at 15-3. Don't you remember that in the 80's we never lost a game and we won all 10 NCAA titles that decade. Nothing can compare. And on top of that it really wasn't coach Reilly in 2009 that recruited that team and coached them, it was a stunt double basketball genius.

  21. The region rankings do not come out to the first or second wednesday of February. Looking at the Atlantic Region it is not real impressive. The records of the top six teams in each league are:
    CIAA 14-3/14-3/12-6/12-6/12-6/11-7,West Virginia 16-1/12-4/12-4/11-4/11-5/9-7 and the PSAC 14-2/14-2/15-3/13-3/12-6/10-6. Should Gannon only lose two more games they should be in good shape in the region.

  22. Let's just attempt to take a business trip to Clarion, take care of things, and come back safely with (hopefully) 2 wins.

    This team remembers well the frustrations of last year. The mindset is 0-0: Literally, a possession at a time.

    My take: Perhaps Gannon's best defensive team ever.