Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Knight: Girbran Smith G 6-4 175 jr.

Gannon is going international. The PSAC Letters of Intent web page confirms that Girbran Smith, a 6-foot-4 guard from Nassau, The Bahamas, will be a member of the GU program this fall. Among the other non-American newcomers he'll join at Gannon will be Raphell Thomas-Edwards (United Kingdom), Marcus Jones (Brantford, Ont.), and Nolan Woodward (Montreal).

But it's not like John Reilly grabbed a bottle of sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses to recruit Smith. The soon-to-be junior starred last year at Kankakee Community College in Illinois and played scholastically at Seton Academy near Chicago. Here's all the info I could dig up on Smith:

* Named second team all-region at Kankakee after leading the club in scoring (14.2 ppg), three-pointers made (59), and steals (2 spg).
* Was second on the team in rebounding (5.5 ppg) and in blocks (1 bpg) while shooting 46.7% from the field (158-of-338), 41.8% on threes (59-for-141), and 65.7% from the foul line (65-of-99).
* Played in 31 games, starting 30, and posted a decent 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio (78 assists, 50 turnovers).
* So statistically speaking he seems to be an all-around player offensively. He can shoot the three, but fewer than 50% of his field goal attempts were from beyond the arc. And he made it to the free throw line about 3 or 4 times a game.
* Erupted for 29 points in back-to-back games in early December, making 22-of-37 field goals and 12-of-23 three-pointers. Partway down this web page from South Suburban College, Smith's exploits vs. the Bulldogs on Dec. 6 are detailed. I'm amused that all field goals behind the arc are described as "3" point shots. Never seen the number in quote marks before.
* Eclipsed the 20-point mark six times during his sophomore season at KCC.
* In the Region IV championship game, a 91-81 loss to Malcom X College, he led the Cavaliers with 17 points.
* Kankakee finished the season a deceptive 14-18. On the court they won 20 games, but had to forfeit 6 or 7 victories because of an ineligible player.
* And if you still can't get enough of Kankakee Community College basketball, this will link you to their 2012-13 media guide that includes a few photos of Smith. The quote from his coach describes the kind of guy I like seeing in a Golden Knight uniform: "Girbran has a smooth game. He can do everything on the floor and works really hard both on and off the court."
* Gannon will be Smith's third college in three years. After his freshman year at Rock Valley College, Smith and three of his teammates followed coach Julian Springer to Kankakee. (Let's hope that story doesn't motivate any players on the Gannon women's basketball team to follow suit.)
* Was a highly productive frosh, averaging 11.5 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Made 37% of his three-point attempts (28-of-76), 51% of his overall field goals (132-for-260), and 75% of his foul shots (64-for-85). He recorded 42 steals (1.3 pg) and 63 turnovers in 31 games for the Golden Eagles.
* Smith scored 25 points in a win over Harper College (Ill.) according to this web page. To be honest with you, the main reason I'm sharing this link is because I think I'm the only human in Erie who owns a long-sleeved T-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, pennant, and bumper sticker from Harper College. It's a long story as you might imagine.
* I searched every corner of the internet for data on Smith at Seton Academy High School but couldn't find anything. So here's a link to the school. That's the best I could do. Sorry. Let me know if you'd like a full refund.
* As far as photos, here's a head-and-shoulders shot of Smith and a picture of him defending during a Kankakee game at Danville (Ill.).


  1. Any more Canadians on the team and we'll have to sing O Canada along with the national anthem before the games.

  2. A "Pierre Howard" type of player.

  3. Loved Pierre Howard. The pieces are coming togehter now. It's getting closer. Coach Reilly got the best recruiting class ever this year and he is not done! This team is a lock for at least the top 10 in the country in the pre-season polls. Probably an undefeated season.

    1. I think undefeated is setting the bar too low. I think GU will win 1 more game than it actually plays. :)

  4. and just to verify... we've heard nothing about anyone leaving from last year (besides graduates)? Jabs and Rogerio both coming back? (those are the two that I felt if anyone was going to leave it'd be one or both of them).

    Should be a nice, seasoned team coming up in a few months! Even the new freshmen sound like they could be immediate contributors.

  5. So, let's one month Cleve Wright has hired 3 assistant coaches and recruited 4 players. Wow, is GU going miss him! What an unbelievably difficult act to follow.

    1. Any news from Gannon on their search for a Womens Basketball Coach?

  6. Besides Newby and Livramento, I would've thought that Torrance would also be a candidate to leave, given his comparative lack of PT and some disgruntlement on his part over some off-court stuff from last season.

    As for the Womens' coaching position, I was told that interviews started this past week.

  7. Two bits of news for Gannon fans:

    * I've been told that Algeron Torrence will not return to Gannon. He will be the only underclassman not to remain with the program. I'm not sure where he's going to end up.

    * A Gannon fan emailed me that UPJ women's basketball coach Sasha Palmer has resigned to take another job but won't say where right now. Here's the intro to the story from the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat:

    Sasha Palmer will embark on a new chapter as a women’s basketball coach next month. But for now, neither Pitt-Johnstown nor Palmer can reveal where she’ll be for the 2013-14 season. “I have accepted a job. For their purposes, I can’t say anything until June,” said Palmer, whose resignation will take effect on June 30. “Everything is confirmed. It’s going to be my new place. I have to respect their wishes.

    My bet is she'll be at IUP. For the complete story, follow this link:

    1. I am positive that it isn't GU, just due to the fact that from what I heard, GU had interview last week for the positive, and Palmer's news came out on Tuesday, so highly doubtful that it could be Gannon making a hire that quick during the week of scheduled interviews.

      Palmer to IUP would be interesting, not a huge success record at Pitt-Johnstown, decent record but not amazing. I got a feeling some IUP fans may have initial complaining if this is the case on their new coach

      On Torrance, I am not shocked...considering that he never got to play basically the last half of the year...this is not shocking.

    2. torrence never even crossed my mind... I think because he was hurt there for a while so I just credited the lack of PT to that. That's a shame. I really thought he'd be one of the returning players that'd be able to step up and play Blanton's position. Obviously not fill his shoes, but at least ease the burden.

      I have no sources or reasons, but I have a gut feeling that says that Sasha will not be Gannon's next head coach. I am thinking it is going to be a "bigger name" coach (lower D1, higher D2, etc.)

    3. If you knew the full story that I've heard as to what happened at the end of the season, if it's true, you'd more than understand why he's not coming back and you'd be more than disappointed that the coach is. But 2nd hand stories are that. It just is rather consistent with so many other first-hand stories.

  8. For more discussion about Sasha Palmer