Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two-mendous!

Today's blog post is sponsored by the number 2, thanks to Gannon's frenetic 56-53 win this evening at California (Pa.). The number 2 represents:
** Gannon wins this week on the road.
** The number of Gannon road losses this season through 10 games, a scintillating 8-2 mark.
** The number of opponent three-point attempts at the end of regulation that missed which, had they connected, could have sent this season into a nosedive.
** The number of points my 7-year-old daughter scored on her team's first possession at her Upward basketball game this morning, Evelyn's first field goal of her life. She followed that up to 2 more baskets. (Sorry -- that has nothing to do with Gannon basketball. I'm just a very proud daddy.)
** Most importantly to the GU program, the number 2 represents where the Knights stand currently in the PSAC West, all alone there thanks to Slippery Rock blowing an 18-point lead during their 60-57 loss at Mercyhurst this afternoon.

Here are some more thoughts -- not sponsored by the number 2 -- related to today's game:
* The Knights (19-4 overall, 13-4 PSAC) control their own destiny to earn a first round bye in the league playoffs. And with just one loss by IUP (14-3 PSAC), GU could earn the right to host the conference tournament. Were you thinking this was possible after Gannon fell to 1-2 and last place in the league after their second consecutive home loss on Dec. 8 to IUP? I sure didn't.

* Great factoid from Gannon SID Dan Teliski's post-game summary: "Gannon picked up a rare win on Cal's home floor. The Golden Knights entered the contest 1-7 all-time at Cal, including 5 straight setbacks. The program's only victory ever at Cal was an 86-71 verdict during the 1954-55 campaign." All that is true for games played there vs. the Vulcans. But Gannon did win a game at Cal's Hamer Hall on March 12, 1994, when the Knights bested Edinboro 75-66 in an NCAA regional consolation game.

* It's great that senior Tanner Furno, the PSAC Freshman of the Year and a former Gannon starter, is ready to play when asked. With Darrell Blanton in foul trouble, today Furno led the Knights in scoring with 12 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes of play. He could have been sulking after seeing just 8 minutes of floor time Wednesday night, but instead responded with maturity.

* California starters Keith Lowe and Quentin Harding were averaging a combined 27.5 ppg entering today's game, but Gannon held the pair to just 15 points on 5-of-27 shooting from the floor in 74 minutes of play. Shut down defense like that is what earns you wins on the road.

* You know why you should never bet on sports? Gannon shot just 28.6% in the first half (8-for-28) and then were a blistering 65.5% (15-of-24) in the second half. Same guys, same opponent, same gym ... radically different result.

* Slippery Rock is now 0-2 in Erie County this season after today's three-point loss at Mercyhurst. SRU collapsed down the stretch at Edinboro on Jan. 26 when they lost to the Scots 62-59. When the Rock visits Gannon on Feb. 27, you'd have to make the Knights a three-point favorite, right?

* We are now just 11 days away from the first official regional rankings of the season. My best guess/hope is that 19-4 Gannon will be in the top 5 along with West Liberty (22-1), East Stroudsburg (18-2), IUP (18-3), and Winston-Salem (17-4).

* Maybe this week was payback for all the gutwrenching, heartbreaking, exasperating close losses the Knights have suffered the past three seasons in the PSAC West. Let's hope next week, with home games vs. Edinboro and Clarion, isn't payback for our good fortune this week.

23 comments:

  1. Good win. And Slippery Rock lost!

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  2. We need to stop making the last minute more exciting than it needs to be. But any league win on the road is a good win. Build up enough of a lead and hang on for dear life.

    Tough loss for the women ... really tightens up the PSAC.

    Beat Boro!!

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  3. Considering that GU missed 11 or 12 layups during the game, the fact that they won is a minor miracle. That last 3, all of us that were there saw that 3 bounce off the rim, go into the hoop and somehow bounce right off. Better lucky than good at times. A win is a win.

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  4. Prediction Gannon breaks the top 25 this week if not there should be an investigation. A lot of the top 25's had losses this week some more than one.

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    1. No foolin' Bob. I looked at the 19 teams on the NABC list ranked ahead of Gannon, and only 3 of them didn't suffer a loss this past week: Dixie State (UT), St. Leo (FL), and Indianapolis. Dixie State scored an 82-80 road win over the Academy of Art Urban Knights Saturday, which made me wonder (1) why is a team named "Dixie" located in Utah? and (2) what in the blazes is an Urban Knight?

      It warmed my heart to see the Kentucky Wesleyan, who started the week at #23, lost two at home, giving them 6 defeats in their last 7 games. The Panthers were #3 in the country just a couple weeks ago but should officially fall out of the top 25 Tuesday.

      It would be cool to have a number next to "Gannon" when the Edinboro game preview is featured in the paper Wednesday.

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    2. Gannon has been ranked 137 times. That's 5th most all time for Division II.

      Here's the top ten all time from the 1960-61 season to the beginning of this season: 330, Kentucky Wesleyan; 217, Southern Indiana; 212, Virginia Union; 160, Florida Southern; 137, Gannon; 134, Central Missouri; 124, Philadelphia; 123, Bentley; 122, Metropolitan State and 121, Cal State-Bakersfield.

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  5. Kinda hate to bring up an old sour spot. I sat real close behind the team down at Cal U and I particularly listened to hear what all the complaints were as to the coaches always yelling
    at the players. I did not notice any stress on the players part. It seemed all game mgt and encouragement. I didn't think there was anything astray, all normal coaching and urging
    as a coach should.
    I've seen nothing out of the ordinary.

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  6. I'm wondering if Coach Reilly has one of the best road records of any coach in Gannon history. Perhaps some of the stats guys here can help us with that!

    ----

    As far as criticism of coaches yelling too much, I'll add my final comments (before a key stretch of the season): Perhaps, just perhaps the coach-player relationships this year are such that, after the game, all is forgotton because the players know, TO A MAN, that the coaches have THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE TEAM in mind at all times.
    ----------
    Hmmmm....indeed, The Rock stubbed their toe yesterday!!!!!

    .....as did Kansas (again, to an unranked foe, I believe!!!)

    Are the "experts" on the Kansas blogs calling for Bill Self be fired soon??




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  8. Thanks much on that!!

    I will say this, his squads, over the years, seem to compete much better on the road than other coaches at the helm.

    I could be dead wrong on that as well!!
    ---------------

    Pretty quiet board all of a sudden for a 19-4 team.

    (Maybe some posters went to the Kansas blogs!)

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  9. Need some cheese1 whole lot a whinning - and winning going on

    been standing on the sidelines observing: negative nellies and koolaid drinkers... let all go down to Jonestown for some old fashioned churchin up!

    I do not know that I have ever heard riles or cuso be profane... although I may be wrong, not a plush guy myself...

    but is the hububb that they are constantly intense and directing?

    We used to call that coaching in my day... dunno....might be that I am getting grey in the beard and long in the tooth

    ohh welll enjoy the ride

    remember:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQmBXEZEYtg

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  10. Photos from Gannon's Hall of Fame banquet are now online:
    http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2013/2/11/GEN_0211130457.aspx?elinkdata=515613

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  11. The blog is quite because it was a Saturday game, out of town, and not on the web to watch, so I'm assuming not too many people tuned in to listen on the radio, some did though. I personally didn't listen just checked the stats once.

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  12. I'm predicting at least the #22 spot for the men. Women probably fall to 9th.

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  13. mmccoy articulated my thoughts perfectly. Two straight out of town games ... not too much to say. We're all gearing up for the 'Boro!

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  14. Replies
    1. Here's the press release --

      http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2013/2/12/MBB_0212134954.aspx?elinkdata=517771

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  15. This is fabulous. Great job Gannon Knights!

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  16. Just think how high GU would be ranked if the coaches didn't yell so much.



    Just kidding ... nice accomplishment! Beat the Boro!!!

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  17. Glad to see the GU Men ranked again, team is in primed position to make a good run in the PSAC's at least.

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