Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If You Can't Finish, You're Finished

Back in the days of telegrams, a St. Louis Cardinals scout once famously and succinctly rated a player "good field, no hit." If we had to summarize Gannon's 62-58 PSAC Quarterfinal overtime loss to Slippery Rock in four words, I'd suggest "great game, brutal loss." We're all devastated because what could have been a promising postseason run crashed back to earth in the first playoff game. But wow did we experience an epic slugfest in a raucous atmosphere. Here are some of my stream of consciousness thoughts on the game which you'll see are a mix of "wow" and "waaaah!"

* For a variety of reasons, I had a bad feeling about this game as early as the first media timeout: (1) defenses that sag off one player always mess things up, (2) the boisterous Slippery Rock fans dominated the audio portion of the game, (3) the home crowd seemed nervous, different from last week's SRU/GU game, (4) Slippery Rock showed more confidence vs. the Gannon defense, (5) the physicalness in the paint favored the Rock, and (6) Mark Weir was one of the referees. Nothing against him personally, but when he calls games something bad usually happens to the Knights.

* The game reminded me of the NCAA East Regional final on March 8, 1986 when Cheyney nipped Gannon 65-62 at the Audi. Similarities included loud opposing fans sitting in the bleachers behind the opponent's bench. I can still here the Wolves fans taunting the Gannon faithful in the closing seconds -- I'll say you sure are quiet! Oh boy -- you must be losing! You must be losing! Another similarity was the defense not guarding the Gannon point guard on the perimeter. Back then it was Juan Rodriquez. Some 27 years later it was C.J. Oldham, who also wears uniform #3.

* I'm trying to think how much you'd have to pay me to watch that game again on tape knowing the outcome. It had great moments, but it was exasperating how many chances Gannon had to put the game away. Blazek missed a bunny or two (or more) on his way to a 3-for-19 night. Robert Wilson had a wide open left corner three late that missed. With Gannon up 4 and their zillionth chance to seal the game, Gerald Brooks stole the ball from Brandon Emmmit. I thought Brooks whacked him and Emmitt should have been shooting free throws. I could go on and on -- many of the folks in the comment section have and will continue to do so -- but that's just basketball. The Knights played outstanding defense again, hurt SRU on the offensive boards, and deserved to win on those hustle aspects alone. But they didn't make shots all night (21-for-70, 4-for-20 on threes), especially when it counted the most. As I said in the headline, if you can't finish, you're finished.

* How about the stretch in the second half when Gannon corralled four consecutive offensive rebounds against the #1 rebounding team in all of college basketball before scoring ... and then took a charge seconds later on defense. Fans will criticize some of John Reilly's strategies, but you have to give the guy credit for molding a team who can do that. The Slippery Rock bench was stunned they could be pushed around.

* Speaking of questioning the coaches, I'd have yanked Oldham much sooner or shifted him to the 4 position to thrwart SRU's defensive scheme. Emmitt didn't enter the game until 8 minutes into the contest which opened up the post immediately. When Oldham was in, he couldn't throw a post entry pass because his man was sagging so far back he denied that option. That really hindered Gannon's best offensive option of getting the ball to Darrell Blanton in the post.

* The Jammermill is now closed. Blanton's career came to an end with a typical performance: 17 points and 12 rebounds with intensity and energy that could fuel a rocket ship trip to Saturn and back. I'm really going to miss that kid. I love guys who are unselfish and never take a possession off. And I'll miss his dunks, too.

* I know everyone wanted Algeron Torrence to get more minutes, but Slippery Rock immediately exploited his lack of foot speed when he checked into the game. Torrence is a banger, but he couldn't guard any of the Slippery Rock bigs who played in the second half. When Torrence checked in, the Slippery Rock bench immediately called for plays to isolate the multitalented Brooks and Torrence on the right wing. When Reilly saw that, he had to get Torrence out or an SRU run would have happened fast. I love the kid and hope he's back next year, but this wasn't a great matchup for him.

* The emotion of the game was incredible. I don't think I've seen Emmitt say two words all year, but man was he pumped up. He let our a primal scream when Tanner Furno took a charge midway through the second half. And I don't know what it means when he points to his head after making a jumper, but I hope to see a lot more of that next season.

* When the Rock fell at Gannon last week, Darious Clark was a woeful 3-for-14 from the field, and during regulation time Tuesday he didn't make a field goal despite playing for 20 minutes. Then he goes and hits a nothing-but-net go-ahead three with 30 seconds left in OT. That was one of many head-shaking events that happened in the game. I love basketball, I hate basketball. I love basketball, I hate basketball. 

I have more I can say, but I'm out of gas at this point. It usually takes a week or so for my post-Gannon basketball depression to sink it, but it's here already. I had ESPN on before I wrote this and saw a Georgetown player warming up before their game at Villanova. I thought, "This stinks. My team's season is over." It will take a while to get over this one. I guess that's okay. I have about eight months to get it together.

Updated 3/7/13: A longtime Gannon fan just stopped by my desk at work, and we realized that if Gannon had stopped Slippery Rock on their last possession in regulation and Edinboro had stopped IUP on their last possession in regulation, the PSAC finals would be at the Hammermill this weekend. The Knights were that close! I'm going to need all eight months to cope with this.


  1. Apparently Jeremy wasn't on the selection committee. :)

    Gannon's Reilly Named PSAC West Coach of the Year; Blanton Selected to Second Consecutive First Team

    Gannon's John Reilly has been named 2013 PSAC Western Division Men's Basketball Coach of the Year and Darrell Blanton has been selected to the All-PSAC Western Division first team.

    The PSAC Western Division Coach of the Year selection is the second major award for Reilly during his eight-year tenure at Gannon. He was named National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Atlantic Region Coach of the Year after his 2008-09 squad won the regional title en route to an NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearance.

    Only three other Gannon men's basketball coaches in school history have received conference coach-of-the-year accolades. Current Youngstown State head coach Jerry Slocum was the last to achieve that status, being named GLIAC Coach of the Year in 2000. Bob Dukiet and Tom Chapman were named Mideast Collegiate Conference (MECC) Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1987, respectively.

    Reilly has guided Gannon to its fourth postseason appearance during the last six years in 2012-13, entering the PSAC Tournament as the Western Division's second seed. The Golden Knights finished only one game out of first place. The program rose as high as 17th in the national rankings and seventh in the regional poll this season.

    Gannon brings a 22-6 overall record into tonight's PSAC Quarterfinal against Slippery Rock at the Hammermill Center. The Golden Knights have recorded a 20-win season for the 25th time in school history. The squad leads the league in scoring defense (58.1), field goal percentage (48.3) and rebounding defense (28.1). The defensive unit's 58.1 points allowed per game ranks third among all NCAA Division II schools.

    Blanton was named to the All-PSAC Western Division first team for the second consecutive season. The redshirt senior averages 15.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and one steal per game. He has recorded three double-doubles this season, giving him 12 during his two-year career at Gannon. Blanton has reached double digits in scoring 22 times this season, hitting the 20-point plateau six times.

    The Cleveland, Ohio, native is second among PSAC players and 44th nationally in field goal percentage (55.6). Blanton ranks 11th among conference players in points per game, 13th in offensive rebounds per game (2.5) and 14th in total rebounds per game.

    Blanton has already put his name among Gannon's all-time best despite playing only two seasons in a GU uniform. He ranks 10th all-time at Gannon in career field goal percentage (.546), 11th in career scoring average (16.3) and 36th in career points (881).

    The remaining PSAC Western Division's major postseason awards went to Mercyhurst's Luis Leao (Athlete of the Year), California's Jake Jacubec (Freshman of the Year) and Slippery Rock's Luiz Santos (Defensive Athlete of the Year).

    Major postseason accolades in the PSAC Eastern Division included East Stroudsburg's Whis Grant (Athlete of the Year), Cheyney's Brandon Norfleet (Freshman of the Year), Millersville's Elijah Obade (Defensive Athlete of the Year) and East Stroudsburg's Jeff Wilson (Coach of the Year).

    Blanton was joined on the All-PSAC Western Division first team by Leao, Devin Taylor (Slippery Rock), Isaiah Prince (Edinboro), Bryan Theriot (Edinboro) and Mathis Keita (IUP). The second team comprised of Jay Fletcher (Edinboro), Scooter Renkin (IUP), Keith Lowe (California), Wali Hepburn (Lock Haven), Anthony Wells (IUP) and Gerald Brooks (Slippery Rock).

    The PSAC Eastern Division first team included Obade, Grant, Terrance King (East Stroudsburg), Jon Breeden (West Chester), Micah Fraction (Kutztown) and Joe Bell (Mansfield). The second team landed Duane Johnson (East Stroudsburg), Corey Blake (West Chester), Jason Saab (Cheyney), Dylan Edgar (Shippensburg), Larry Grant (Millersville) and Reggie Charles (Shippensburg).

    1. SRU was the better team and proved it. Score board. Congrats to those players, fans and coaches.

  2. If I was on the committee, who exactly else would have deserved to receive the award? :) Lock Haven's coach for finally winning more than zero games?

  3. Esu and west Chester win easily and big. Boro almost have Gannon home court for final four but IUP pulled it out and will host. Hope Gannon hangs on.

  4. Um what just happened? Perry was shown as fouled out and then when game went to ot it said he only had 4 and was playing again??

    1. Apparently, a foul that was originally called on Perry early in the second half was changed to Darius Clark (#4). It went down in the scorebook, but the stats crew was not notified of the change until Perry picked up his fourth, but it showed as 5 in the live stats.

  5. Speechless. I don't know how we lost that game. We had it won.

  6. I do not understand with 8 seconds to go in a tied game you fire up a three?? In overtime down by one with 15 seconds to go you fire up a three ?? This does not look like good game management. All you needed to do in regulation attack the basket if you get fouled all you needed was one free throw same situation in overtime one to tie two to win.Now we are at the mercy of the NCAA committee.

  7. This will be a tough one. There were 3-4 possessions in the second half and 2-3 in overtime where a Gannon bucket would have put the game away. Couldn't get the basket and it kept SRU in the game.

    Tough to lose to their coach and his stools.

    We'll be thinking about this a lot during the off-season. which started about 9:45 ET.

    Hope the Lady Knights can take care of business in Bloomsburg and bring the NCAA Atlantic Regional to the Hammermill Center!

  8. By my count, this was the first postseason overtime game for Gannon (that counted) in 25 years. And we haven't won a "real" postseason OT game in at least 30 years.

    I am purposely overlooking two post-season consolation games (1991 MCC win over LeMoyne and 1995 NCAA loss to Millersville).

    The other two OT losses that counted were the 1986-87 MCC semi-final against Philly Textile, our last loss until the national championship game.

    The most memorable of these OT postseason losses was the 1988 MCC championship game where a freshman named Len Rauch hit two free throws with no time left to send the game into OT when coach John Beilein and LeMoyne eventually prevailed 71-67, clinching what I believe was the schools first NCAA bid.

    This post-season OT loss will hurt the most, as the 1987 and 1988 teams both won recovered to host and win their NCAA regional and advanced to the Elite Eight.

  9. I think that I will be talking to myself in my sleep about this game. If I remember right, GU was up 48-39 late (About 6 minutes or so) and GU could only score 2 points the rest of regulation. Gannon had a few chances to bury SRU and didn't do it. Credit to SRU for winning that game. Was also surprised with the amount of fans that they had at the game, they were loud. Just wasn't meant to be.

    1. Slippery Rock's 50 or so fans were louder than Gannon's. But they're much younger, and all students. Where were Gannon's students? What will happen 10 years from now, when the old timers are no longer there? Who will go to the games? Even Mercyhurst, with their small crowds, get more students.

  10. I ask the question now, do you think Reilly should be given a new contract, or should he be fired. And what do u think the school will do? I have my doubts but I think he should get one more shot. There is a lot of pieces coming back next year.

  11. I thought GU quit being aggressive on offense too early, resulting in a lot of bad possessions with poor shots taken at the end of the shot clock. GU's offense was actually working OK earlier, but slowing it down and waiting until the end of the clock isn't a good strategy when you really don't have a player real good at consistently creating his own shot, particularly when Blanton is giving up 4-5 inches to the man guarding him.

    Let's face it. You can say what you want about coaching strategy, offensive sets, player usage, timeouts, etc. However, if your go-to guard shoots 3-19 and your go-to forward goes 6-19, you aren't going to win much, particularly when you're playing such a huge physical team and pure mayhem was being allowed under the basket. To get the game into overtime was a minor miracle. Perfect example of how defense can get you through when your offense fails you.

    That said, I think there were a lot of other strategic decisions that could've been handled differently, IMO. Thought Emmit had the ball way too much in crunch time, as he isn't a creator off the dribble. Hated the GU timeout right before the Brooks FT's after the steal at half court. He looked exhausted, but the TO gave him a chance to get his breath and he drained both. Wasn't sure Oldham was effective enough on defense to merit playing as much as he did. Not quite strong enough to deal with all those big bodies.

    Was surprised to discover that #1 for SRU had actually played for LaRoche vs Behrend in the AMCC back somewhere around 2003 or 2004. Dude is almost 30 years old! Add Brooks coming off his jail time and you see what a quality program is in place at The Rock.

    And finally, I would again submit that there is no more obnoxious coach in basketball anywhere than Coach Reynolds. He complained in a ridiculously theatrical manner on literally EVERY call that was made and even calls that weren't made, even those that were blatant violations by his team. What a ______ (most appropriate word not actually used in deference to Jim's ban on adult language on this site) crybaby.

    Tough loss to a good team. Wasn't like they lost to an inferior team or got blown out. It's a shame, but not a huge shock. The Stroudsburg-Rock game should be interesting, as both teams love to get physical. Likely another game where the first team to 60 wins.

  12. Congratulations to the Lady Knights and Good Luck on Friday. The men are definitely on the bubble and we will all have to wait patiently for the selection committee to make its decisions. Also, congrats to Coach Reilly for being named PSAC West Coach of the Year.

  13. I hate to say it but with west Chester and rock both making semis, I don't know if Gannon is even on the bubble anymore. They may be on ESPN Joe Lunardis "first four out" list. ESP if Rock wins it all. Rock winning it all could actually hurt more than just Gannon as rock wasnt even on the radar of the regional top 10 or national list.

  14. Whew....brutal loss.

    Observor, again good comments regarding shooting of "go-to" guys. I mean, several times, Blazek made incredible moves to get his body open and square to the basket, but the ball did not drop. Good shots that either spun out or, just curled off the rim.

    Like the last game, coach Reynolds complains so much, he even complains on calls that go his way. Judging from the refs, he was close to a "T" at one point. I'm going to give credit to him, though,for going for the deep corner "3" to win the game. Gutsy call, great (decently defended) shot. (We seem to have lost a few close games from near that exact spot in last 3-4 years...)

    Not much else to say on a pretty good 22-7 season. No matter how we look at it, I think we can all agree that the program stepped foreward this year.

    Wish list for next year: (no particular order): More students at games, Pep band, pizza, Bud Light! (just kidding!)

    1. also add to that list a big guy to replace Blanton!

    2. They will need a couple players for the 5 spot with Tanner and Dmitry graduating. I seriously doubt Al and Rogerio will stay. Oldham is more of a 4. Could play 5 with more weight/muscle and post defense instruction. Even if he is moved back to the 4 or 5 spot, GU needs a couple post players.

  15. Only way we still have a shot is if west Chester and SRU get blown out by 35

  16. A headline for last night’s game should be “Reilly’s Hubris Sinks Knights, Again.”

    He refused to play Newby more than three minutes, despite Gannon going on a 7-0 run as soon as Jabs entered the game. As soon as Jabs left the game, SR went on a 10-2 run. He refused to play Torrance nearly the entire second half of the season, for mysterious reasons (anyone can see it wasn’t his back.) He continued to use a forward at point guard, despite repeated possessions that came up either empty after a lackluster shot attempt or a turnover.

    Worst of all, he repeatedly called plays for his favorite players in clutch situations, despite the favorites having no track record of making clutch shots/plays. Why should he have had Blazek taking three key shots down the stretch despite going 3-for-19 from the field and 0-for-7? That ball should have gone to Blanton or Macias.

    Reilly is too stubborn to admit when his ideas are not working, and consistently uses the same failed game plan. The Gannon players deserved to win that game last night.

    1. Followed immediately by a 14-1 run by SRU when he came out.

  17. "..same failed game plan"....I don't quite understand the above quote for a team that just went 22-7.

    I feel some of Blazek's MISSED shots last evening were better than some of his MADE shots in the previous Slippery Rock game. An example of an extremely fine line between a 25 point game and a 7 point game.

    This loss was tough, to a very good team. Over 3 full games, plus an overtime, it appears the Rock outscored Gannon by a mere 5 points.

    I think it's kinda funny when some posters weigh in with expert opinions only after a loss.

    1. I'm sorry but I've told you before and I'm gona have to tell you again because you obviously don't understand, this is a blog! People post after wins, and losses. This blog was made for people to talk about the team, the coaching staff, and the games. People offer their advice after wins just as much as losses. You need to get off this blog if you can't accept the fact that people are going to offer their criticism or support on this blog, that's what it was made for.

  18. I have to agree with Jeremy on this game and #453 Blazek did not take good shots at all, needs to dribble with his head up because several times he missed players wide open while he dribbled in circles. Frustrating.

    Took almost 26 min of the game before Gannon realized that CJ is not a point guard, so recognizable that Coach Reynolds obvious game plan was to lay 15 ft off of the non-threatening, slower point guard and keep Blanton and Wilson Doubled when possible. It was very obvious the Rock made adjustments and we did not.

    Blazek with least amount of experience, having a horrible shooting game, shoots 33% from the arc this year, 0/7 last night, playiing every minute tired and Coach Reilly expects him to shoot a 3??? Dumb.

    Coach of the year was obvious, who else to give it too. Several huge games lost due to poor coaching the rest was clearly won by the talent on this team. I was a true supporter of Coach Reilly but since the Mercyhurst game, he just doesn't have it in clutch situations, game plans and substitutions or lack there of.

    Biggest question of the night was Who chose to play, "We will Rock you".....Twice???

    Great season for the team, disappointed in the coaching, this fan 2012-13 frustrated.

  19. I simply disagree that Blazek did not take good shots "at all".


    If indeed his yearly percentage is 33% from the arc, I LIKE his chances of making the next attempt. (Just like Devin Taylor's quote).

    I saw several spinning moves when, at the moment of release, Blazek was open and square to the basket.

    The shot's simply didn't go in. It happens. again, a very fine line.

    22-7: A nice step foreward this year. Yes, we are frustrated, but, compared to the last 3 years, I consider this season to be a success, and, a stepping stone to a better season next year.

  20. "A stepping stone to a better season next year"! Wow, you have a lot more faith in Reilly than I do. He will lose 6 seniors. I bet that you can kiss Newby, Torrence and Livramento good-bye too. Every year Reilly has turnover from disgruntled players. This year will be no different. I guess that leaves Oldham, Emmitt, Blazek, Wilson and Bailey.

    He has already recruited a kid from West Middlesex, plus a 5'9" guard from New Castle and word has it that he is hot on the trail of a couple kids from Prep. That will never strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

    If you ask me the future for the Golden Knights doesn't look very bright. No one will ever drop another Kyle Goldkamp or Cory Knight into his lap again. Maybe Reilly should ask Cleve Wright what the formula for successful recruiting is.

    1. Please, we don't need to compare the mens team (or coach) with the ladies team (or coach).

  21. SRU took them out. SRU fans dominated too. Kudos to SR, they earned that win.

    1. Gannon has the 'Coach of the Year'...SRU has the 'Coach of the Year Crybaby'.

  22. New regional rankings released today. Consider this our official kiss of death:

    1 West Liberty 27-1 27-1
    2 Winston-Salem 19-5 18-5
    3 Fairmont State 21-6 21-6
    4 Indiana (Pa.) 20-5 20-5
    5 Livingstone 20-6 20-5
    6 E. Stroudsburg 20-5 20-5
    7 Alderson-Brdus 20-9 20-9
    8 Shaw 16-11 15-10
    9 West Chester 19-7 19-7
    10 Wheeling Jesuit 19-10 19-10

    1. Well it looks like I was wrong in my initial belief that all GU was going to have to do was get to the PSAC Finals to make the NCAA's. Doesn't matter now, but all I hope for is that SRU doesn't make the NCAA's.

    2. How does wheeling Jesuit lose and go from not in top 10 to #10? Since when do you lose and advance in a ranking?

      That goes to show how awful it is that decisions such as who continues to play is base off voting.

  23. "64"...Yes, I stand by that comment. Time will tell, though.

    As for losing players, a common complaint on this board, I see it happening.......everywhere.

    Regarding Jim's regional rankings, OUCH!!!.....If the records are updated as of this morning,only 1 team has more wins than we do!!!

    A basketball official that I spoke to last night, has seen Gannon recruit Matt Dogan (West Middlsex) play 5 times this year and stated that "he will contribute nicely as a freshman in the PSAC".

    Again, we'll see!

    1. You might be right that lots of teams are losing players but not like it is here. I bet Reilly has lost more players in his years here than any other Gannon coach. One year he lost his entire recruiting class except George Johnson. Spin it any way you want but just face the facts that once a player gets in Reilly's doghouse he is left on the side of the road to die a slow death. Just look at Torrence. On January 16 he has a great game against Edinboro; plays 18 minutes. Then over a span of 48 days and 13 games he plays a combined 18 minutes. Last night they needed him. The poor guy was rusty and really did not contribute in a positive way. So by banishing him to the bench Reilly wins the battle but loses the war.

      Face it #453 it is time for Reilly to go on his way to another program. Look at what he has done to the Gannon program. In a span of 8 seasons Reilly has managed to take Gannon from one of the top Division II programs in the country to an average program. And before you say it, yes they had a decent year this year. But then even a blind pig finds an ear of corn once in a while.

      If Gannon brings him back next year I bet it will be another 3 years before they can compete again. If Gannon brings him back they should give him no more than a 1 year contract. That way they can cut their losses if he sucks next year. Maybe a 1 year contract will give him some incentive to do some decent recruiting.

      If I was Gannon the only way I bring him back is to INSIST that he cleans house of all his assistants and bring in some guys whose qualifications are more than his good buddy from years ago.

    2. Coach Reilly is a good person, and I like him, and I was happy when Gannon signed him 8 years ago. But looking at where Gannon's program was when he took it over versus where it is now, and most of all, what has happened in between, in my opinion, he has pretty much been a failure. If anybody can show me any progress he has made from when he took over, I'll be surprised. Yet I can show you all kinds of regression.

  24. I think it is a new trend that in recent years, transfers are happening everywhere.

    Hey, Gannonfan64, you are entitled to your opinions. I simply don't recall comments from you after several very good wins for the program this year.

    In a way, that is convenient for you by getting to have it both ways: silence after a win, full-bore bashing and criticism after a loss.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, certain players not playing at certain times this season were due to other issues that none of us even know about.


    I thought I saw Kelvin Agee at game last night.....I'm wondering if the next time we see him, he will be playing for the Rock (being the equal opportunity program that they are!!!)


    Thinking over the season, my vote for the ONE game I'd like to have back is NOT the game up at the Hurst.

    It's our home game here versus Edinboro. We have talked about it earlier on this blog, but, jeeze, I think, in the scheme of the entire season, that one hurt the most.

    As always, though, in every game this team gave it all they had. An excellent representation of Gannon that we can all be proud for.

    22-7. Go Knights!!

    1. By the way, the reason I "have it both ways: silence after a win, full-bore bashing and criticism after a loss" is due to the fact that I just signed up for this blog on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. I'm recovering from a recent medical problem and just got a computer. You see I'm an older gent and guys like myself take a little longer to learn about computer stuff. But rest assured, I will be around this blog for a while and will be posting after wins and losses. I'll even be posting when the season is over and before it begins, And as long as Reilly is the coach I'll have plenty to say!

    2. fyi you definitely didn't see Agee at the game..

  25. Now that Tanner Furno has completed his eligibility at Gannon, I'd like to offer my congratulations to Coach Reilly on finally having his first four-year player! And it only took him eight seasons to have one! I am so thrilled!

    Counting this season, Gary Manchel at Mercyhurst has had 6 four-year players during the same time, and 10 during his 9 seasons overall, according to their media guide. So how can anybody say that Gannon's turnover is normal? I'd like to see ANY coach at ANY level who didn't have his first four year player until his 8th season.

    1. I'd be willing to bet John Calipari can't be too far off on that...

    2. The reason Calipari doesn't graduate anyone is because they turn pro after one season. We should be so lucky for Reilly to have that problem. His biggest problem is recruiting freshman who want to stick with him for the full 4 years.

  26. Just curious, does anyone know the ratio of Coach Reilly's Juco/Transfers vs. high school signees? My guess is that he has signed a lot more Juco/Transfers than high school kids. Personally, I don't care where they come from just so they can play and contribute. From what I understand, both of this year's signees are very good students and have a good chance of making it at least academically.

  27. Corey: Indeed, I did.

    Agee was sitting sitting up by old radio booth. Two fans confirmed what I thought was an optical illusion!! (Not that anyone really cares, though!)

    Hope you are at 100% soon, "64"!!! Welcome to the board!!!

    Not much else to say, except Go Lady Knights!!!

  28. If you're a glutton for punishment, the Gannon/Slippery Rock men’s game will air tonight at 9:00 and tomorrow at 8:30 on Cal University TV online Here's the URL: CUTV.calu.edu/live. The California/Gannon women’s game will air at 6:00 tonight and tomorrow.

  29. This is a response for Reilly's mom... er #453 - Stop being an apologist for Reilly for crying out loud. He took a supremely talented group of men and turned them into an underachieving group. It is obvious that Blazek has not fully recovered from the injury (look at his percentage from 3's after his return from injury) yet he doesn't hint that he should back off on three's a little. Oldham is a very good player and playing him at the point is nice for a 5 minute change-up to throw off the opposition, but not for a whole game. Look at his turnover to assist ratio. He can handle the ball, he can pass, but he doesn't think like a point guard. Newby is a talented PG with size and speed, yet he doesn't get any (2-3 min per game)?? Jim - you say the Torrence doesn't have foot speed - how can you make that assessment when he does not get ANY playing time. If it wasn't for his “lack of foot speed” at Edinboro (a slow team - I think not) we would have had 2 losses to Edinboro. I appears (just an observation) that Torrence and/or Newby did something that got them in Reilly’s doghouse. Even though Gannon is a Catholic University, forgiveness does not exist in basketball at Reilly’s regime. And what about Livramento? He starts several games at the beginning of the year and then gets put on the shelf? Wow!

    Reilly did a nice job at recruiting (or whoever does his recruiting, as this year was heads and shoulders above the previous 2 years), I am sure he is a good teacher, he is OK with the media, but the fans, bench coaching at the end of a game, and his player rotations leave me cold.

    I don’t know all the discipline issues and all the things that goes on in the locker room, but if it is a discipline issue get them off the team/bench. The people I feel sorry for are the players. One of Reilly’s players from last year (since left) tweeted after the Slippery rock game “well, Reilly blew another one!” It is not just a few old men that are griping about the old days, it is many of all ages. Anyone that has anything to do with basketball can see what is before their faces.
    The women’s team at Gannon is the best show in the gym. It gets no love from this blog. They have a coach that relates to the fans, and the team, is a great bench coach and relates to the media. When watching their games I see multiple defenses, I see trapping and if we are in a close game I can pretty much bet that we will win. No bad feeling at the start of the women’s game, instead of as Jim says “I had a bad feeling about this game”. It’s an easy watch for the fans as well. Reilly always says that in this league ”everybody knows what everybody is doing by this time of year! Did anyone see the women’s game against Cal? There were at least 3 or 4 new plays on the offensive end that got Gannon easy buckets and an early, quick lead that put Cal in a hole. The men’s coaching staff does not exhibit ant creativity.

    Jim you will probably block this blog because it is negative but, do what you may, that won’t fix the problem.

    1. As for Torrence, Livramento and Newby, why did Reilly recruit them if he wasn't going to play them? If you recruit them, then PLAY them, for crying out loud!!! You don't sit people that you are paying good scholarship money to, that's a huge waste of Gannon's money, which we all contribute to, either through contributions or ticket purchases. You're supposed to be recruiting your players because you "want" them, right? In the future, he shouldn't be recruiting players who have "slow foot speed," or are "problems," or whatever reason it is that he isn't playing him. By not playing them, isn't he admitting that he made a big mistake in recruiting them? If so, then he's a bad recruiter.

    2. One thing that Reilly can't be accused of is being a good recruiter. He is absolutely horrible at it.

    3. The former player who tweeted that did not play for Gannon last year. Been gone for a while. And do you remember the newspaper article about why he is no longer at Gannon? Hint - not basketball related.

  30. Whew, "B": hindsight is indeed 20/20!!...VERY easy to be negative after a loss and have all the answers.

    Heck, that's what this blog is all about though, really.

    I agree with your "take" on the women's team defense. But, you better be objective during a negative rant on this blog bringing up the subject of defense: the men's team finished #3 in the nation in defense, I believe. In addition, mentioned before, I believe this was Gannon's best men's defensive team EVER.

    I closed a comment with wishing the women's team good luck!!...And, I mean that!!

    Your Blazek comments about his injury would have a bit more credibilty with me had you noted the same after he scored 25 point last week versus the same team. My take, like I said before, is that the shots simply did not fall.

    If just one or two did fall, and we win the game, would you have posted these same comments about a 23-6 team???
    What else did Kelvin Agee tweet about??? (just kidding!)

    1. Can you ever accept that maybe your point is a bit biased? Ever? Or that you have yet to use statistics to back up a SINGLE point?

      Also, good guess - it was Agee: https://twitter.com/_ageeee/status/309133775542050816 who happened to be cheering for the team prior to the game, if you can actually fathom that. Look, these guys are young, and growing (aren't we all?) - but the reality is, he's not the only tweet out there after that game with the SAME sentiment. That smart$@# comment still doesn't validate any of your points.

  31. I wouldn't call this team "supremely talented". I'd go with "good". Blazek is creative on offense and an excellent defender, but he doesn't pass the ball all that well. Blanton is exceptional in the paint (I, too, will miss his dunks)and works as hard as anyone, but he never got consistent with his outside (15 ft)shot and is only about 6'4" maybe. R Wilson is strong and tenacious, but seemed to lose some of the athleticism and consistent 3 pt shooting ability he displayed at Urbana. Oldham is a great defender, but his lack of offense was apparent all year. On offense, Macias was spectacular at times, below average on others, and he seemed to tire easily. Newby is quick and an excellent defender, but not even an average shooter. Furno is a good defender, but was limited offensively, and seemed to lose what explosiveness he did have to injury. Emmet made some big shots and was adequate defensively, but was inconsistent. TJ Wilson was a 6'1" guy trying to play a position that should've been played by, at a minimmum, a 6'5" guy. Torrance was slower that pretty much everyone except Theriot.

    The bottom line is that this was a team that had more talent than the last couple years, but was not "supremely" talented. They were undersized as a group, and none of them were particularly good at creating their own shot when necessary. My opinion is that they over achieved to a certain extent, finishing 2nd in the Division and taking a much bigger and much more talented (at least on paper) SRU team to OT in the playoffs. I don't think you can fault Reilly for what or how the team achieved.

    However, a case can be made for faulting Reilly in 2 areas. The first is recruiting. I still think GU needs more talented (particularly offensively) players and taller players to have a chance to compete for PSAC championships and nationally. They need to do better there.

    Second, the areas of offensive innovation and end-game strategies are, in my opinion, sorely lacking. Most coaches have a "quick hitter" series of 3 or 4 plays (other than their basic offensive sets) that they use occasionally during a game (after a timeout, at the start of a half, when they really need a basket). I have never seen that type of play from GU under this regime. Reilly's basic philosophy of never playing anything but man defense, although effective, seems to becoming an outdated philosophy among many coaches. Also, playing that hard in practice and games all the time contributes, IMO, to the fatigue that often seems to come into play with his teams.

    You can fault Relly in several areas, but the level that this team achieved based on their talent was NOT one of them, IMO.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. When I said “supremely talented” I am saying compared to his previous several years of recruiting. You say concerning Oldham, there was a “lack of offense was apparent all year”. Oldham shot 56% for the year. Macias shot 49%. Those are good numbers. Nobody can make a judgement on Torrence, but I was at the Edinboro game at the Boro and he was spectacular. But in 8.7 minutes a game how can anyone judge? I know that Newby had the highest number of assists (I think that is one of the main jobs of a point guard) at 90 and the best assist-to-turnover ratio of all the point guards on the team. I don’t think you can ask for more from all those players. “Undersized as a group”? The 2 biggest kids on the team, Torrence had averaged 8.7 minutes for 19 games that he played and Livramento had 5.9 minutes for 14 games. That is an average for 29 games of 5.7 minutes and 2.8 minutes respectively. My point was it not about the players, it is how they were played and/or underutilized. If you can’t blame Reilly, than whom can you blame? The President of the corporation gets blamed for bad results from his staff. Reilly, is who didn’t play guys with potential to even see if they can play. And don’t tell me they didn’t play well in practice – when they played, they played well.
      As far as fatigue with his teams – I don’t see that as a reason. He only had 2 players at or over 900 minutes, Blanton and Wilson, and they both played strong at the end of the year. He also had the aforementioned players that he could have played if that was a problem.
      I for one will miss all these kids, and I am sure that many won’t be back, in addition to the 6 seniors.

  32. I was referring (I think i said this) to his shooting from 3 pt range. If you looked at the box score Blazek was 2 for 3 in the game last week on 3's. Hardly a trend and certainly does't nullify my point. The best defense in the world doesn't help if the other team scores more points. I also leaves them 193rd in scoring offense and 210th in turnover margin and out of the playoffs. If you are one of those people that thinks "just competeing" is Ok then i understand that your happy.

  33. John Reilly is a god amongst men. 15 year contract!!!!! Lets draw it up!!!

  34. Walcavich retires from Boro. Maybe he'll come to Gannon. Or Reilly will move down I-79. Gannon fans can only hope (then #453 can follow and start a Boro blog and fan club).

    Btw, its easy to make comments after wins (defense was great, offense was great, we're all happy). We've all made our share of comments after both wins and losses. The real analysis comes after losses and of the tough games.

    The biggest shame is that a hardworking and pretty talented group did not reach its potential, not because of just a few missed shots, missed shots are part of the game for everyone. Blaming the team's record on a few missed shots is an oversimplification. Taking a deeper look at what caused the team's losses, a common theme emerges: poor play-calling and strategizing.

  35. Geez, I don’t pay attention to the blog at work, and then I get an email from my mother saying, “Reilly’s mom?” Things have certainly gotten testy here with commenters sniping at each other and casting blame all around. Do you know where the blame actually lies?


    What happened Tuesday night doesn’t have to be anybody’s fault. You can go there after any close loss and blame a coaching strategy or one player’s miscue or the referees, but it’s a ridiculous doom loop. Had Devin Taylor dribbled his final possession of regulation off his foot, would we be correct to crush the Slippery Rock coach for playing PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year Luiz Santos only 5 minutes in the second half? No.

    Blame basketball. Things like this happen.

    This team really gave us our money's worth this year in terms of effort, wins, and entertainment in a classy fashion. Let's be grown ups and appreciate that instead of being juvenile and tearing them down. I'm not saying we have to be all sunshine and lollipops. Be kind; don't be rude and so angry.

    Some other thoughts:
    - For the commenters who are so cocksure of their opinions and continue to kill the Gannon coaching staff, I invite you to apply for the Edinboro job. Seriously. Get off the sidelines and put yourself on the line. Then others can have the chance to lament who you didn’t recruit, ridicule your substitution pattern, and poke holes in your game strategy. None of us have the knowledge and experience to justify stating our opinions about coaching in such absolutes.

    - Reilly to Edinboro is interesting. He’d stay local and get the job security and much coveted benefits that come with a state job ... and he wouldn’t have to put up with us.

    - Section B: My opinion with Torrence not have the footspeed to match SRU is a matchup thing. Do I think he’s fast enough to bang with Theriot and Bobby Davis of Edinboro? Yes. To stay in front of SRU’s Brooks and Taylor? No. In a close game, you can’t wait 10 possessions to see if he can. If it doesn’t work off the bat, you have to adjust quickly. And if you think the women don’t get enough love on this blog or you have any other complaints, I’ll give you a full refund for what you paid to access this blog. Send your address to YesIComplainedAboutSomethingIReceivedForFree@gmail.com.

    1. So what are the odds that a wealthy Gannon booster or two donates a boatload of money to Edinboro to sweeten the pot for them to pay coach Reilly to take their job? :-)

    2. Someone told me that Bill Gates was a Gannon Booster!

  36. So many things need to be taken into consideration when you are looking at Reilly in his years as head coach. Reilly has been at Gannon 8 seasons. He has won 62% of his games. He is 141-86 over that period. During the last 3 years of Slocum's reign he was 60-29 which is 67%. However the difference between the GLIAC and the PSAC must be taken into consideration. The GLIAC is a much stronger conference; always was and always will be. You have to stop and ask yourself what Reilly's record might have been if Gannon stayed in the GLIAC. IMO it would have been somewhat worse.

    Reilly's teams always excelled at defense. No one can deny that his teams were great defensively. But then so were Slocum's.

    Offensively Slocum's teams were far superior to Reilly's. Jerry lived and died with the 3 pointer. Reilly loves to pound the ball inside, especially in his early years. Often you watched good shooters pass up open shots just to get the ball inside.

    Reilly's time management might be the worst of any coach I've seen. Every season he managed to use timeouts foolishly and be out of them at the end of the game. We sure could have used a timeout at the end of the Edinboro game. But then after watching the SRU game it is possible that he wouldn't have called the timeout anyway. But to get the ball with 12 seconds left and have Blazek dribble around then throw up a 3 pointer makes one wonder. In the SRU game he had 2 timeouts remaining in regulation and 7.5 seconds on the clock. Why not call a timeout to set up a play and try to pound the ball into Blanton? SRU couldn't stop him all night. What's the worst that could have happened? He might have missed it or maybe the Rock would have fouled him .... again! I guess we'll never know.

    Now look at the recruiting. Every year we hear about all of the great players that are coming to Gannon. Then before November 1st we end up losing the best ones. Remember his first year? There was a kid named Eagles (I think) that ended up playing for a WV school that we faced in the regionals. Then there was a kid from Cleveland that was 2nd team all-state that disappeared. Then there was another year that all 5 or 6 of his freshman recruits left after 1 year.

    I figured that having made an appearance in the Elite 8 would make recruiting much easier. Just the opposite occurs. We basically bring in nothing and the record slips to 13-15. Even the 07/08 and 08/09 teams didn't have much in the way of Reilly recruits. Howard and Lindsay were JUCO transfers and Goldkamp, Knight and Stosh kind of fell into his lap. With 6 seniors completing their eligibility (I bet graduating is probably a bit of a push) and another 2 or 3 that will walk away we're looking at almost a whole new team again next year. After the 30-4 season, Reilly went 42-38 or 53% for the next 3 years. Are we going to see the same thing happen again? Will it be another 3 years before we have another outstanding season like this one? I hope not.

    How do you fire a Coach of the Year whose record was 22-7? I know it looks foolish but when you consider where we are 8 years into his time at Gannon and where we probably are headed again I don't think there is any other thing to do. If we are going to start over why not do it with a new face and a new attitude and a new offense and new assistants who just might be somewhat better coaches? Maybe a new coach can bring back all of those season ticket holders whose seats are empty game after game.

    I've been an accountant all my life. I make decisions by putting all of the plusses on the left and the minuses on the right. If there are more minuses than plusses then it is time to cut your losses.

  37. With Gannon moving to the all Catholic Big East along with the northward expansion of the mill,
    things will get interesting.
    oops! I was wasn't suppose to say anything
    pay no heed the above.

  38. To reply to Section B, a good shooting percentage does not make one a good offensive player. Oldham shot the ball only 78 times this year, less than 3 shots per game. He also shot just 42% from the ft line and didn't attempt a single 3 all season. Those stats are not those of a talented offensive player. The simple fact that SRU opted to have his defender stand in the middle of the lane playing 15 feet off him is an indicator that he is not an offensive threat.

    As for Torrance, in the game at the 'Boro, he outquicked Theriot (not difficult) and overpowered Davis (who isn't that much of an offensive threat, so Torrance's lack of lateral speed didn't hurt GU on defense in THAT game). I agree with Jim that he couldn't stay with the much quicker and at least equally physical SRU front line. Now why he played so little all year is a separate discussion. I'm told that there WERE some off-court issues with him as well, and he did appear to have gained some weight between that first Edinboro game and season's end.

    My original post did not say Reilly wasn't at fault, just that he didn't cause a supremely talented team to underachieve. My opinion is that he actually got a small team with slightly above average talent to overachieve. My problem is with the level of talent and the size of the players that he has recruited. No question that there are issues in the areas of strategy and offensive creativity.

    A question to all of those who favor firing Reilly-Are you willing to patiently wait for at least 2 or 3 years for a new coach to bring in the players he needs to right the ship, particularly if he brings in several freshmen, as so many fans seem to want? Based on past history, I'd bet that you wouldn't be. Reilly has already landed 2 widely recruited high school players who would be freshmen next season (the Dogan kid from Middlesex is said to be a real player). Is it likely that both would still come to GU if Reilly were no longer here?

    There is no doubt that there are issues with Reilly, but that doesn't mean that things would automatically be better if he were no longer here. Coming in cold, replacing 6 seniors and the disgruntled players that so many refer to and possibly already-signed recruits that might not come here would not be easily done by a new coach, certainly not in a single season, maybe not in 2 seasons. I can refer to Reilly's second season when he brought in a recruiting class that was freshman-heavy and most typical GU fans were calling for him to be fired because of the resulting 9 win season. The grass isn't always greener, kids.

    1. Reilly will be starting over anyway plus his past history shows it will take him 3 years before he can produce results.. Maybe a new coach would bring a transfer or two from his old program. Reilly did it. Slocum did it. I'm not sure but in the last 30 to 40 years Reilly is the only coach that didn't turn things around in either the first or second year.

      Let's face it. We need a change. We need a new coach with a new attitude, a new approach, a new offense and new assistants.

    2. Yes -- I don't know how many more 22-7 seasons I can take. Do you know who else has a similar record this year?
      #10 Michigan State (22-7), #14 Ohio State (21-7), #15 Marquette (21-7), #17 Syracuse (22-7), #20 Pitt (23-7), #22 Wisconsin (20-9), #23 UCLA (22-7), and #24 Notre Dame (22-7). Apparently they need a change, too. Tom Izzo, Thad Matta, Buzz Peterson, Jim Boeheim, Jamie Dixon, Bo Ryan, Ben Howland, and Mike Brey should all be canned.

    3. Be real. Don't try to compare Reilly to those guys. They are real coaches. They have great seasons every year. Reilly has had 3 great season out of 8. There is a huge difference and you know it. No need to fire Reilly ... just don't offer him a new contract. He supposedly was on a one year deal.

    4. The difference between those 22-7 teams and ours is that those teams will be in the ncaa tournament

    5. Are you for real Jim? Here's something funny about the difference between Gannon and MSU/OSU/MU/SU/UP/UW/UCLA/ND - Not only do they play in a different division with different playoff rules, but:

      1) SOS is vastly different even when comparing within their own divisions - Gannon couldn't score 40 points against Mercyhurst for pete's sake;

      2) In DII, national rankings mean NOTHING. In DII, national rankings have value. Regional rankings, regional and conference wins are the way you make your bread and butter - the men's team since Reilly has taken over is consistently scheduling DIII/NAIA teams who are often transitioning to DII and sometimes getting beat by them (Urbana, Lake Erie, need I go on?), which does NOT help your SOS - MSU/etc SOS have no Lake Erie's on the schedule.

      3) You consistently try to throw out big names, like Lombardi, Izzo, etc., when someone makes a valid point, as though the popularity of these coaches will someone justify your argument. The fact is you're comparing high percentage & consistent coaches to a man who has had just 2 20-win seasons, which somehow has turned into a measuring stick of success (20 wins mean little when you're playing the type of creampuff non-conference schedule that GU did (this year alone: Notre Dame (Oh), Virginia State, Daeman, Roberts Wesleyan, Ohio Valley, Glenville State). The NCAA teams in that lot (excl. Daemen 26-5, but against a ton of creampuff teams, Roberts Wesleyan 8-19, ahem): 39-67. That's 6 wins that look pretty crappy when you're on a selection committee. And some of those wins, were barely wins, mind you.

      4) Of Reilly's 3 great seasons at the helm (22-7, 26-5 and 30-4), only once has he made it to the PSAC Final Four and once into GLIAC Final Four. That's 2x in 8 years. Excellence that is.

      5) Of the 3 great of 8 seasons, he will have made it into the NCAA tournament 2 times. Definition of excellence yet again.

      All those coaches have pretty similar career trajectories to Reilly. For sure.

  39. The way I calculate it, (I'm NOT an accountant, but, I have a calculator!!), this team had a "success ratio" this year of 75%.

    Pretty darn good, IMO. In any line of work....except for Gannon basketball this year.

    Like I stated earlier, 20/20 hindsight is fantastic after a (close) loss.

    As far as leagues go, top-to-bottom, I think the PSAC is narrowing the gap, if not exceeding, the GLIAC. Just my back-of-the-envelope opinion.

    Even Findlay had some lumps this year.


    There appears to be a general mindset here and in the stands of some folks to actually WAIT for a loss or something negative to come forth and justify their opinions. Maybe it's human nature. Maybe we are all wishing for Tom Chapman to come back and pass out doughnuts.

    The only thing that matters to me is that, yes, we are ALL annoyed that the season has probably come to an end, and that, yes, 22-7 is STILL a very solid year by any OBJECTIVE standard.

    I'm thinking, at the risk of being too much of an optimist, that the program is in the midst of a multi-year run of successful campaigns.

    Again, we'll see.

    Another thing about all those teams (and coaches) listed above: If I'm correct, EACH team had a game this year when the play was absolutely pitiful.

    It happens. Let's all look in the mirror and apply the standards we wish on this program to ourselves in our own careers.

    It's not as easy as it looks, is it?

    Go Lady Knights!!

  40. All:

    My personal opinion on all this coaching discussion is this: I don't believe the coaching staff should be replaced based on their record because, despite our disappointment with the end of the season, Gannon had a pretty good year.

    What I do think is the deciding factor is continuous and repeated player turnover. If there is another mass exodus of underclassmen this year as in years past, then I think the coaches have some serious questions to answer. There is no precedent in any other college program that has the repeated turnover that Gannon has. Why are these kids leaving? Personality conflicts? Recruiting errors? Why don't they play more? There is sure is a lot of scholarship money sitting on the bench not producing much. In my opinion, this is the real evaluation that GU's adminstration has to answer before renewing this staff again because the coaches are the ones who brought these kids in and decided not to play them. Time will tell who leaves and who stays.

  41. Two problems with the comparison to those teams:
    1) They are playing in premier leagues filled with good teams. The PSAC has a few haves and plenty of have-nots. Jim, you yourself pointed out in late January that Gannon was “number three! In our conference. Well, one division of our conference ... that only had two teams in the NCAAs last year ... who both got drubbed in the first round.” There’s much better parity in the Big Ten and Big East than the PSAC.

    2) All of those above mentioned teams will be playing in the NCAA Tournament. For the sixth time in eight years, Gannon will not. If Izzo or Matta missed the tournament that many times, I don’t think they’d be staying in their jobs. The expectation is to win in the postseason, not lose the first game of the conference tournament. In the past eight years, Gannon went from one of the premier Division II programs to one just treading water and making the NCAA tournament 25% of the time. If we're talking percentages, that's pretty bad.

    No one ever said coaching was easy. But there clearly are coaches out there who consistently find a way to succeed, despite the challenges.

  42. Reilly would NOT be "starting over anyway". He has 5 kids coming back, perhaps 3 more that could be retained if what appear to be differences can be worked out. He has supposedly already signed 2 widely recruited high school kids (many on here have mentioned that they want freshmen to come in and play here for 4 years-sounds like what you wanted), one of whom is said to be pretty good (a 6'6" kid who can play the point sounds intriguing at least). I will admit that I am not overly impressed with the prospects of the 2 Prep kids that Reilly is supposedly pursuing contributing at a DII level. Both are solid HS players, but I don't see either one of them adding much at GU.

    As for all the coaches Jim mentioned, yes, they will all be in the tournament. However, how many teams are there in DI as opposed to DII and how many tourney spots are there in DI versus DII? I don't know myself, but I DO know that with 68 teams in the DI field, that's probably more than DII (maybe twice as many). So, that also is a bad comparison in Reilly's favor.

    Sure, there are legitimate problems with Reilly. All have been documented ad infinitum above. Something that bugs me that has not been mentioned is that since he chooses to play a smaller, hopefully quicker lineup and emphasizes defense, I think his teams should be better at developing a transition game that can get them easier baskets by turning defense (steals, deflections, etc.) into offense (get layups and easier shots before the opposition defense can set up). GU never does this, although his teams at Brescia used to do so.

    No matter what is said, Reilly was the Coach of the Year and GU did compile a 22-7 record. That makes firing him now a difficult move to justify. What coach will want to succeed him if he were to be fired after accomplishing that? As I said, there are concerns with Reilly. However, I'm not convinced that sacking him now is the right thing to do UNLESS you are willing to patiently (not a trait of most GU fans) wait a couple years for things to get back to the level that GU reached this year.

    1. There's 64 in DII. Not much of a difference at all.

    2. Looking at the overall picture during Coach Reilly's tenure: can anybody name one thing -- just ONE THING -- about the Gannon basketball program that has improved since he took over? I can name you several things that have gone downhill since he took over. In all honesty, the Gannon program isn't a tad of what it used to be.

  43. "Best out"???.....gulp: Us!!......perhaps..

  44. OK, like I said, I don't really know how many teams make it into the NCAA's. Now I'm curious.

    So, 64 of how many DII schools make it?

    68 of how many DI schools make it?

    I also don't think you could say that Gannon was a "premier" DII program under Slocum. Jerry was a good coach, but he never won a single NCAA tournament game. If your team hasn't won a playoff game in over 9 years (slocum's tenure), you are hardly "premier".

  45. Nettie Blake beats the buzzer, GU beats Millersville, 63-62 in the PSAC semis. I think that seals hosting the Atlantic Regional.

    1. Talk about a heart attack game there. At least the Hammermill will have another game to host for a GU team this year.

    2. Not so fast ... I still think that if Edinboro beats Gannon in the PSAC finals, the 'Boro could possibly steal the #1 seed and the host site for the regional.

    3. I think now it is safe to call it :) GU Women are going to host the Atlantic Regionals.

    4. I think you're right ... #4 Shaw is 24-4 and 21-4 in-region. Longshot to host if GU loses.

      But let's beat Bloom and take it out of the committee's hands. Heck, the way these rankings work, maybe Edinboro just locked up the host spot with a loss. :-)

    5. Lol. This is true on the NCAA Committee.

      It would be rather nice for GU to win the PSAC Conference Tourney just to put the cherry on top of it.

      Will be very nice to have the Regional again at Gannon. It was a blast three years ago with the ladies, hopefully this time is as much fun

  46. Answer According the website USBasket.com, there are 325 teams in Division I, 265 teams in Division II, 325 teams in Division III and 259 teams in NAIA.

  47. Slippery Rock is in the PSAC finals after their 66-59 win vs. Stroudsburg.

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Every one talks about turn over so lets look at what it was the past seven years because this year has to play out.
    John inherited seven players from Jerry two juniors and four sophmores/freshmen. All four of the sophs/freshmen left early.
    John's recruiting seven prior years.
    16 freshmen
    2 career ending injuries
    2 currently playing
    12 left early

    8 sophmores
    4 completed their eligibility
    4 left early

    22 juniors
    7 completed eligibility
    6 currently playing
    9 left early

    4 seniors
    4 completed the one year.

    50 recruits
    2 career ending injuries
    8 currently playing
    15 completed their eligibility
    25 left early

    I did not count walk ons and may have missed a few who came and left
    before they ever got to a game like the Cleveland kid six weeks and gone.
    I would like to know who else in the PSAC matches those numbers. I do not want to hear Slippery Rock because I would not want that coach at Gannon.
    I disagree with the Observor Gannon fans would give a new coach 2/3 years if they saw continuity and improvement each year.

    1. 50 recruits and 25 left early? That's 50% who have left early!! Show me any other coach at any other school where that has happened!! How can we justify keeping a coach who has such a high failure rate on his recruits? Not to mention how much of the athletic program's scholarship money he has squandered. (Good work by Bob in compiling these tell-tale numbers.)

    2. Request: "50 recruits and 25 left early? That's 50% who have left early!! Show me any other coach at any other school where that has happened!!"

      Answer: From CBSsports.com prior to last season

      Does Gonzaga have an attrition problem?

      Gonzaga heads into another season as the likely favorite in the West Coast Conference, there seems to be a disturbing trend within the program. Too many players aren't staying four years, and this isn't an NBA-tinged issue. There are defects -- transfers -- who have perhaps undone a bit of the rosiness that so many saw Gonzaga for in the past 12 years.

      Gonzaga's had two patterns trail in its wake of prominence in the past decade: the program hasn't made a Final Four, and there's turnover on the roster that's become worrisome in recent years.

      The Seattle Times' Bud Withers highlighted the latter issue in a story Monday.

      Of 13 scholarship players signed for the three classes that this fall are sophomores, juniors and seniors, seven have left the program for a variety of reasons. The ultimate reckoning, simply on the numbers alone, is that Gonzaga has too often misjudged what it might get from some of those signees. Coach Mark Few maintained earlier this summer that the attrition is common to all programs nowadays, and that a get-it-fast mentality in sports explains much of it. "I think it happens pretty much in every program," he told The Seattle Times. "It's certainly happened in ours. In all the years I've been here, I don't think there have been very many when we didn't have a player or two that wasn't playing as much as they wanted to. Sometimes, it's hard to convince everybody that by the time they're a junior or senior, they've got a real shot to be a contributor. I really don't think this generation does that. If it isn't working, they switch AAU teams. If it isn't working, they might switch high schools."

      Few makes indisputable points when it comes to the fleeting nature of AAU teams and the overall problem with transfers in college basketball.

      So why can't he hold on to guys? Most of the good players stay, sure, but the underbelly of the roster has been turbulent in recent years. Few is also considered by many to be one of, if not the nicest coach in college basketball. Withers researched and found that Gonzaga's transfers rates are higher than in many BCS leagues, where misguided recruits can often find themselves struggling for playing time two years into their careers. The reality sets in, and they want to bolt.

  50. http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2013/3/8/WBB_0308131612.aspx

    Video of the GU / Millersville game ... The decisive sequence at the 3:00 mark. Wow ... pretty much a busted play, but Nettie makes the shot.

    By the way ... Gannon / Millersville postseason game ... GU gets the ball off of a held ball in the closing seconds ... makes shot at buzzer. Sound familiar??

    1. And Nettie's shot pretty much sums up Jim's headline. If Nettie didn't finish, GU would have been finished.

  51. Way to go Lady Knights. Now go get Bloom!

  52. PSAC Finals

    Men's: Slippery Rock @ IUP
    IUP 92, West Chester 76
    Slippery Rock 66, East Stroudsburg 59

    Women's: Gannon @ Bloomsburg
    Bloom 76, Edinboro 73
    Gannon 63, Millersville 62

    1. So does SRU need to win for a bid? Or did they do enough to seal a spot? Will ESU be sweating out the IUP / SRU game?

    2. SRU is going to need to win to get a bid I think. They were unranked as of Wednesday in the region. So I doubt that they move from unranked to 7th.

  53. Anyone: Parameters for an "At-large" bid??? (Per GU website??)
    Way to go, Nettie!!...You probably saved Cleve's job!!!
    Amen to the Slocum analysis above, Observor....when tooling around this blog earlier, I thought the same thing.

    And, that is NOTHING against him as a GU coach, either.

    Ulcer Department: Didn't Findlay, a year or two ago, spend almost the entire year in the top 10, bow out early in conference playoffs, and get snubbed for an NCAA bid???

  54. Basing this on how bad these regional rankings are currently put together, I wouldn't be surprised if gannon somehow got in at an at-large bid for the sake of the regional rankings to continue be awful and pointless. Can someone elaborate for me how the regional rankings are made because it seems like they're worse than the BCS.

    1. Agreed. How does wheeling Jesuit lose and go from not top 10 to #10?

  55. Sad to report the passing of long-time GU fan Ed Eller. Eddie was one of the truly good guys, always with a smile and good word. Condolences to his family, including his son, Gary, a memberof the GU Table Crew. Godspeed, Ed.

  56. Bob wrote-

    "Gannon fans would give a new coach 2/3 years if they saw continuity and improvement each year"

    The problem is that it's nearly impossible for a new coach to show continuous improvement in each of the first 2 years. Usually (unless the new coach brings a Hall of Fame superstar with him like Slocum did, which hardly ever happens), the returning players do not exactly fit in with the new coach's scheme, the mixture of returning and new players don't have a sense of team yet, the ability to get quality players is hurt becauae the new coach has only had a chance to recruit for the new school for a month or so. The new coach may not be familiar with the league and/or the league's officials and how games are called. There are other problems which prevent an easy transition.

    So, it's highly unlikely that GU fans would see the continuity and improvement that they would like to see to give the coach the time necessary, and there is proof. Many "old-time" GU fans were calling for Reilly's job midway through his second season. In Cleve Wright's first couple seasons, many were critcizing him, even laughing at his program, but, at that time, the Women's program didn't have the tradition of success that it has now, so there was a lot less pressure on Cleve, and he was given the time necessary to build his program.

    Think about it. GU was 22-7 this season. Say the new coach came in, brought in a number of freshmen, went 10-16(missing the PSAC playoffs), then maybe 13-13 the second season (missing the playoffs again or barely sneaking in), and GU fans wouldn't be screaming? You're dreaming.

    The long and short of it is that GU fans would NOT give a new coach the time needed because it's almost impossible to build the team that GU fans want to see (primarily 4 year players with an occasional JUCO)will be that successful that quickly. There is precedent. Besides, all of us are a lot older and less patient now.

    Do you really want to go back to a time when every GU road game was nearly an automatic loss? Reilly has faults, but his teams play the kind of defense that is necessary to have a chance to win on the road. I still say a better assistant that can contribute to a better offensive philosophy. IMO, that would be more helpful and more easily accomplished than finding a new coach and him attaining the level of success that GU fans would accept.

    I'm not advocating keeping Reilly or firing him. All I'm saying is think about it first and be careful what you wish for.

  57. Forgot 2 more important things.

    First-RIP, Ed Eller. As Boze said, one of the all-time great guys.

    Second, Gannon Lifer wrote "Looking at the overall picture during Coach Reilly's tenure: can anybody name one thing -- just ONE THING -- about the Gannon basketball program that has improved since he took over?"

    Again, I'm not accomplished or patient enough to do the research, but I'm guessing the Knight's road record is better under Reilly than it was before him.

  58. The Lady Knights get outscored 38-21 in the second half and fall in the PSAC finals at Bloomsburg, 74-57. Sunday night we'll find out of the Hammermill will host the Atlantic Regional.

  59. And IUP captures the men's crown over Slippery Rock, 52-46. I'm happy for IUP grad assistant Steve Piotrowicz.

  60. And the season is officially over.