Monday, October 28, 2013

Counting Down The Days

As I write this, we are just 23 days away from Gannon's 2013-14 season opener vs. California (Pa.). I can still recall driving home March 5 from last season's crushing PSAC quarterfinals overtime loss to Slippery Rock and counting on my fingers 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-plus months until we see the Knights in action again. And now the months have melted to weeks and finally to days.

As we draw closer to tip-off, more information about Gannon Hoops is bubbling to the surface. Some of it comes from this in-depth interview with John Reilly on SportsRadio 1330 The FAN with Jim LeCorchick and Sean Amicucci. I recommend you listen to the entire conversation, but here are some of the points that jumped out at me:
* Coach Reilly confirmed four players will redshirt this season: senior transfer Rich Austin along with freshmen Brandon Domenick, Nolan Woodward, and Marcus Jones.
* I didn't have any word on how Gannon performed, but Reilly mentioned the Knights opened their preseason schedule last Saturday at Findlay, preseason #9 in the NABC Division II poll.
* Pitt-Johnstown head coach Bob Rukavina is still a friend of John Reilly's despite (1) Kyle Goldcamp transferring to Gannon and (2) UPJ winning too many Gary Miller Classics.

Here are some other Knight Knotes that will interest you. If they don't, you're on the wrong website and should maybe switch to this one:
* The team photo is now online and included at the bottom of this post. For a complete roster, click here.
* The annual Maroon/Gold Scrimmage will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Hammermill Center. Details will be announced in the near future on the official Gannon basketball website. I'll share one detail with you now: you'll have to tell me how the scrimmage goes, because I won't be able to attend. I'll be holding my first practice of the season for my daughter's MYAA 2nd-3rd grade basketball team. I'm thinking about this being our first drill. Not ambitious enough?
* UPDATED 10/30/13: According the the PSAC preseason coaches poll, the Gannon men have been picked to finish second in the newly expanded 9-team Western Division. Click here for Gannon's press release which also links to the official PSAC press release. IUP was tabbed first followed by Gannon, Slippery Rock, Cal, UPJ, Mercyhurst, Seton Hill, Edinboro, and Clarion. The biggest shocker in the PSAC East isn't that West Chester is number one but Lock Haven is sixth out of nine teams! This may be the first time in a decade the Bald Eagles haven't been preseason last place. No reports of revelers in the streets and overturned cars on the LHU campus ... yet.

Front row (L-R): #15 Matthew Dogan, #10 Cory Bailey, #1 Jabs Newby, #4 Brandon Emmitt, #5 Adam Blazek, #21 Marcus Jones, and #33 Brandon Domenick. Back row: #25 Girbran Smith, #42 Nolan Woodward, #32 A'Darius Porter, #0 Raphell Thomas-Edwards, #3 C.J. Oldham, #12 Aleksandar Malinic, #24 Roger Livramento, #23 Rich Austin, and #2 Tee Talley.


  1. Looks like some new uniforms from Jordan. They look great.

  2. slightly surprised by Austin redshirting, none of the freshmen were a surprise.

    Honestly, though, to me the biggest surprise of any of this is the return of Rogerio. How many players do you know that start the first 2 games or so (only playing maybe 15-20 in them) and then not even accumulating a full game's worth of playing time the rest of the season combined, but come back? Heck, we saw a guy start his first game and leave before the second! haha Now, this is nothing against Rogerio or the Golden Knights. If anything, I'd like to praise Rogerio. We've seen many players get goin' (away from Gannon) when the goin' got tough. But now you have a player that I'd bet most people figured would depart returning. He seems like a great kid and I'd love to see him have learned from last year, improved and be able to contribute. But if not, I hope he cheers as loud and as emotionally as he did last season for this whole season. Rogerio, thank you for somewhat restoring my faith in the true concept of student-athletes and loyalty.

    I hope future Golden Knights that may get in this situation will follow Rogerio's steps and not the steps of several other Gannon players.

    1. I was one that thought he would move on but glad to see him stick with it. What I saw of his play, IMO his defense was not up to coach's level and then when Tanner returned from injury his time was cut. As coach said in one interview, it is about the team and he could not play everyone. A year under his belt of what is expected of a student-player may help him see more playing time and most importantly graduating. Also, with 7 leaving, gives others the opportunity to step up and earn the playing time with intense defense, and giving 100% in practice, games, class room and in character.

  3. couldn't agree with you more glyph!

  4. Maybe he's a new and improved Livramento. Changed his number from 15 to 24. Remember the difference between the end of the bench freshman George Johnson compared to the superstar sophomore George Johnson? Gotta love the Liv!

    Best uniforms were the 60's uniforms of the Jim Harding teams that had Al Lawson, Willie Alford, Ben Wiey, Cal Graham and more. Check the photo in the media guide.

    Surprised by the Austin redshirt as well. I thnk the last player from Cleveland who redshirted his first year at Gannon was a kid named Darrel Blanton. That worked out OK, I'd say.

  5. Lady Knights lose to UConn 101-35. Anybody shell out the $10 and watch the game? Curious to hear your thoughts.

    I followed the live stats ... Can't really gauge much of anything about the Brunelli's squad when the teams are this mismatched.

  6. Just got back a short while ago.
    The ladies played hard against the giant redwoods. Sure the were nervous trying to shoot over 6'5 Dolson, 6'3 Stokes or 6'4 Stewart. No doubt UConn is fast and athletically talented. We were out scored 55-10 in the 1st half
    but were better in the 2nd half, outscored by only 21. UConn did not let up as a matter of fact they had their D1 Nat'l POY in the game the final min to be sure they at least scored 100 against some puny D2 team.
    Here's another interesting item UConn had 33 FT att GU only 14.
    However we did outshoot them on 3 s, 6 of 23 for 26.1% to UConn's 4 of 17 for 23.5%. We just couldn't penetrate through the forest.
    Another note Att was announced as 7,021 not really maybe 3,800.

    Take away.
    Big time... You bet. Experience for our gals... awesome.
    FR Mikayla & Bre played really well. Mikayla did not back down impressive.
    Lanise worked hard inside. We've got some talented FR.
    I liked what I saw. Met with several gals later and it was as expected an awesome learning experience.
    We'll be fine for the rest of the season and yrs to come.

    1. regardless the score, GU's defense was TREMENDOUS! When the majority of the offensive players are near or well over 6'0 (with a slew over 6'3), there's not much you can do besides foul (but that would quickly eliminate players). But their on ball defense was great and they did battle inside as best they could. I will admit I was thoroughly impressed by GU all-around. The size of UCONN played a huge factor in Gannon's offensive woes, but GU really didn't have too many "unforced" TO's. Any change in possession was because UCONN forced it.

      Great game really! I'm a huge UCONN fan in women's basketball so it was exciting to watch my D1 team vs. my D2 team. Great game Lady Knights and Lady Huskies! Can't wait for both teams to start playing!!

      P.S. - it says that the loss dropped Gannon to a 2-1 exhibition schedule. Who'd they beat?

    2. Robert Morris I know for sure

  7. Hate to differ with a fellow GU fan, gogannongo, but George Johnson was hardly an "end of the bench" guy his freshman year. His stat line from the GU website shows that he started all 34 games, logging 902 minutes, scored 268 pts and grabbed 135 boards. My memory is bad, but I was pretty sure George was anything but a benchwarmer his freshman year.

    Although I haven't seen them, I'm told that the team picture hardly does GU's new uni's justice. They are supposedly like Marquette's with the extensive colored ribbing on the sides. Said to be VERY sharp.

  8. You are right, Observor. Was just trying to make the point, poorly it turns out, that Johnson improved by leaps and bounds over the summer. Averaging 8 points a game as a freshman and then becoming one of the team leaders the following season.

  9. Thoughts anyone?... Who attended the Maroon/Gold games last night.
    Men or Women

  10. California (PA), Gannon's season opening opponent, is 0-2 in its Division I exhibition schedule. The Vulcans fell by just 6, 64-58, at Robert Morris and 92-54 at Virginia Commonwealth. Cal will have 5 games (including the two exhibitions) under its belt when the arrive at the Hammermill Center.

    For Cal's complete schedule, follow this URL:

    This makes me think Gannon needs to move/remove one of its tournaments -- the Gary Miller Classic and the Porreco Cup. Cal will have a decided advantage suiting up for its fourth real game of the season while GU has opening night jitters for a PSAC West game that counts in the standings. I'm thinking maybe we should be treated annually to the Porreco Cup Tipoff Tournament with non-PSAC (and non-region) schools to work out the cobwebs before the super important games begin.

    1. I don't totally disagree with you, Jim, but I don't agree with you as well. Yes, Cal has 5 games scheduled before they start PSAC... Two D-I Exhibition games, a D-II Tourney and a D-III game. However, GU Men normally scrimmage a handful of teams. I know these are not full-fledged games, however, they are learning opportunities as, with the scrimmages I've seen in past years, the coaches do a lot of coaching/teaching "in-game". I know in recent years they've scrimmaged teams such as: PSB, Buffalo, Hurst-NE, Niagara, etc. So I do not believe that Gannon will come into the game having no actual game experience under their belt.

      While I do agree I don't like seeing PSAC opponents as our opening games, it would be a shame to lose either of the long-standing traditional Tourneys. I do like the thought of having a "tip-off" tourney with non-PSAC teams though. I only wish we could draw the "bigger-named schools" to the tourneys like we used to have. Northern Kentucky, Kentucky Wesleyan, Wayne State, I hate to say it but Findlay or GVSU. Remember the OT win over KY Wesleyan about probably 10 or so years ago? Gannon was down all game and made a run at the end. Two Wesleyan FT's made it a 3 point deficit. Iren Rainey got a good look at a 3 and it rimmed out and Shelby Chaney tipped it back out and Rainey, with 2 guys on him, nailed the 3 at the buzzer. Then GU went into OT and never looked back. I can't remember if the other game was against N. KY or KY Wesleyan. But it was when Josh Morgan was playing and he narrowly missed a fade away 3 pointer at the buzzer to take it to OT. Those games were amazing!!!

  11. I completely agree with Jim ...

    I looked at the PSAC composite schedule for men's basketball. Of the 18 teams, 17 will have a real game (non-exhibhtion, non-scrimmage) under their belts before conference play starts on November 20. Only one will not -- Gannon. All but threeof those teams will have played at least TWO games before conference play starts. (Gannon 0, Clarion 1, Kutztown 1).

    And the GU women will have played two real games before November 20 (Walsh, on 11/13, at Glenville 11/16). I didn't take the time to review the PSAC women's composite schedule, but I would guess that the Gannon men will be the only team (of the 36 PSAC hoop teams) left to play a game before conference play begins.

    If playing scrimmages and exhibitions are substitutes for games, then why do 35 of the 36 teams play a read game or two before they really count? I wish it could be different, but we need to get rid of one of the tournaments (or reposition it to be a tip-off tourney). The Porreco Cup makes the most sense.

    We will be at a disadvantage when we play Cal on November 20. Cal will be playing its fourth game of the season; we will play our first.

  12. Scrimmages are nothing at all like actual games. Scores usually kept by periods played, not cumulatively. Coaches will play their starters against each other one period (with subs), then play their backups the next period. There's few, if any, fans in attendance. Foul total are not kept. No friends and relatives in the stands. Certainly, no one cares that much if their team "wins". I could go on. It's not the same.

    I have been saying for at least 2 years that GU needs to combine their 2 tourneys into one, with Miller and Porreco either taking turns as host sponsor in alternate years or co-sponsoring a tipoff tournament held before the league season starts or shortly thereafter. Having a couple tune-up games before starting the league is crucial, and space on the schedule needs to be opened up. Hate to lose the aura of the holiday tournament, but with the date change due to the NCAA regs regarding Xmas break, we already have.

    I see it as a no-brainer. Not having an actual game before league play starts is a huge disadvantage. I remember a game GU played against Cedarville 3 or 4 years ago where the opponent had played 6 or 7 games already and it was GU's opener. Despite an enormous talent differential, GU was lucky to pull away at the end. Even at this level, there's something about playing under the bright lights in your uniforms in front of people in a game that counts where the final score matters and fouls are recorded (Once saw a high school player in a scrimmage commit upwards of 15 fouls in about 30 minutes). GU needs that experience before league play starts, and sacrificing one of the tourneys is a choice that needs to be made.

    1. You make tons of great points. Scrimmages and games are miles apart. Anybody know Lou Porreco ... give him a call to move up the cup? Anybody want to sponsor Move Up The Cup t-shirts?

    2. I'd love to make one of the two for the women's squad. but i'm sure they don't think there's enough money in it. but could you imagine a Gary Miller Classic or Porreco Cup w/ Ashland, Glenville State & Bentley...

    3. The simple solution is to play a couple of exhibition games against a D-1 school, like all the other teams in the conference do. D-1 teams are permitted to play exhibitions, but they can only be against D-2 teams, which make them easy to schedule. But Reilly, for some reason, won't do that. Can somebody explain why he won't, when all the other conference schools, and our women's team, do?

  13. Nice win for Jerry Slocum. YSU scored the last 13 points of regulation to force OT. Plus, Rick Pitino's kid coaches FIU.

    Kamren Belin’s 15-foot jumper with 3.4 seconds left in overtime lifted the Youngstown State men’s basketball team to a 74-72 come-from-behind victory over Florida International on Saturday at the KSU Convocation Center.

    With the win, the Penguins improve to 2-0 for the fourth consecutive season.

  14. Cleve Wright lost his Division I head coaching debut. Here's the story from the Miami website:

    OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University women’s basketball team dropped a 59-55 decision to Eastern Kentucky on Friday afternoon inside Millett Hall. The contest was the first for both teams in 2013-14. Following a pair of free throws by freshman Nicole Anderson to knot the score at 55-55, Eastern Kentucky’s Marie Carpenter put the Colonels up for good with a three-point basket at the top of the key with just 19 seconds remaining. Carpenter finished the game 12-of-22 shooting for 27 points. Hannah Robertson’s game tying three came up a bit short with just under two seconds remaining as the RedHawks dropped to 0-1 on the season and EKU moved to 1-0.

  15. Cal is now 0-2 on the season. Details here:

    SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 10) – Despite a career-high 16 points by sophomore guard Jake Jacubec (Struthers, Ohio/Struthers), the Vulcans suffered a 65-55 loss against Charleston (W.Va.) on Sunday afternoon in the final day of the Clarion Hotel Classic. The California University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team opens the year with a 0-2 mark for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign. Meanwhile, Charleston opens the season with a 2-0 record under first-year head coach Dwaine Osborne, who was previously the head coach at Texas-Permain Basin and Glenville State. Jacubec led the team with 16 points on 6-of-11 attempts from the field while playing a game-high 35 minutes. The reigning Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Freshman of the Year, he scored in double-figures nine times as a rookie with a season-high 14 points in the quarterfinals of the league tournament.

  16. Correction: Richard Pitino is now at Minnesota, not at FIU.

    Update: The University of Charleston, who opened this season with wins over Cal and Slippery Rock, has former GU assistant Chris Kibler on its staff.

    Thanks to the Gannon fan who emailed this info to me.

  17. Just received this email from a Gannon fan:

    SUBJ: lady pioneers Glenville St. basketball

    lot of offense, little defense.
    Beat Va. Union, 117 to 88
    Beat Kutztown, 111 to 78

  18. Then I just got this email will some good info:

    Jim, Not sure if you saw it or not but Miami of Ohio women lost last night to Wright State 90 _ 63. Also I see where Youngstown State ended up winning that tourney at Kennesaw State to move to 3 _0. They should probably pick up a couple wins next week with games against Theil and Westminister. Also I saw on Youngstowns schedule that on December 4th the Youngstown women play Miami of Ohio followed by the Ysu men against Robert Morris. Gannon is on the road at Slippery Rock that night. Thanks Jim, see you at the audi

  19. Anyone attend the women's opener? This is certainly the highest level of anticipation going into a season in the history of GU women's basketball.

    Not a half-bad start ... always tough to get a lot out of the first game. Walsh certainly wasn't bad. Every time GU started to build a lead, Walsh would come back to make it interesting. It was in doubt until the final five minutes. Differences

    Positive: This team does not seem like it will struggle to score like last year's team could. They got off to a little bit of a slow start (understandable in the first game), but the offense seemed to click starting about the 10 minute mark of the first half.

    Not as positive: The defensive intensity seemed to be low. They appeared to be a step slow at times. Walsh appeared to score at will. Also, Papich's minutes were quite high ... I'm a little concerned as she plays so hard when she is out there. I hope she doesn't run out of gas / get hurt.

    All in all, not a bad start. Glenville will be quite the road test this Saturday.

  20. I also thought Walsh was pretty good, as they made some difficult shots and drained a lot of 3's early on.

    Looked like GU is still adjusting to the very different, more random substitution pattterns that Coach Brunelli uses in comparison to the more organized approach Coach Wright used. Not saying it's good or bad, just different. After all, the guy is still getting used to what his players can do in game situations. For example, he used Sundberg and Berchtold at the same time, which I don't recall seeing from Cleve.

    Thought that GU took more chances on both ends of the court, pressuring here and there trying for steals and running more on offense. Sometimes it worked and they got easy baskets, sometimes it didn't and they gave up open looks.

    Also thought the zone Walsh used threw GU off a little, as they didn't do that good a job of quickly reversing the ball to catch the zone moving the wrong direction. Opening night nervousness contributed to some sloppiness with the ball, particularly with a couple players. However, they pulled it together when they had to and got the W. GU may have worn Walsh down a little with their deeper team.

    It was certainly no work of art, but a win is a win.

  21. Impressive win for the Lady Knights -- 90-84 at Glenville State. According to the Gannonsports tweet, Batts made eight three-pointers. Could not find the live stats for the game.

  22. An incredible game. The G ladies put it all on the table.
    Intense absolutely. 51 fouls in this game. One of the top 5 BK
    games the ladies ever played. Glenville with 8SR on the team were on a 27 home game win streak, Well worth the 584 mile r/t

  23. Fanman, at least it was straight down I79! Did GU trap more than against Walsh? Did Glenville still employ their "use 'em all" substitution pattern? Were the Glenville fans any more well-behaved at home than on the road?

  24. To me GU actually trapped less than they did against Walsh..more 1 on 1 defense. Glenville did use the same substitution pattern as they did last year. Nothing has changed there. The Glenville fans were better behaved...other than complaining about every call. Were really quiet until the 2nd half.

  25. 5 of us drove down, the last 20mi were like off roading. We order pizzas and none came out even. I mean the place is so hilly the oven aren't even flat.
    The Gym seems early 40ties high school (they're building new). We had to climb 4 sets of stairs to get to our seats on the 4th floor. The bldg. is on a hill.
    Agree with Ev (see above). I think they finally got tired of hearing us loudmouths cheer on
    our gals and woke up when they realized The G wasn't going to fall over for 27 home game win streak.
    I really think the gals grew up a lot in that game. They never seemed to get rattled and went about their way. They played hard all the way. Ice in her Viens (mine at 100C) Brianna Brennan
    FR hit two FT less then 30sec.left in the game. All ICE baby.
    They had a great crowd of 1134 and they went home in shock.
    They 5hrs home went by at a jet pace.

  26. Game notes -- plus an interview with John Reilly and a very cool team photo by local photographer Tim Rohrbach -- are available at this URL:

    Very interesting to see freshman Matthew Dogan in the starting lineup along with juco transfer A'Darius Porter and returnees Jabs Newby, Adam Blazek, and C.J. Oldham.