Every financial organization uses that phrase in its marketing -- "past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results" -- and holy smokes is that principle true in college athletics, especially tonight. The Knights, who were a possession away from finishing dead last in their own holiday tournament just days ago, handled host Slippery Rock, who entered the contest on a six-game winning streak, 68-61.
game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Gannon led by 16
(59-43) with just over 4 minutes to play and then held on while Erieites
watching the Internet video feed held their breath. Add your own
"Slippery Rock got rocked" cliche here; the Golden Knights made a
red-hot team look worse than ordinary for much of the evening.
I feel bad essentially overlooking Adam Blazek's
26-point, 8-for-12 outing, but the guy who really stood out to me --
and I'm assuming SRU coach Kevin Reynolds -- was Roger Livramento, who
entered the game with this unintimidating stat line: 4 games, 11
minutes, 4 points.
John Reilly is a disciple of the
late Bob Dukiet, and I know firsthand Duke would preach to his players
the importance of readiness. "Sooner or later," he'd say in his raspy
voice, an index finger extended. "Sooner .... or later!"
Tonight was Livramento's sooner/later, as he torched Slippery Rock with
17 points in 17 minutes, cashing in on all 6 of his field goal attempts
and 5-of-6 free throws. During Gannon's extended 47-18 run, I texted to
my brother, "Who are these guys?" The SRU coaching staff had to be
asking the same about Livramento.
Isn't it strange that
three years ago something similar happened -- Gannon has guys emerge
from absolutely nowhere to have giant games in a win at Slippery Rock? On Jan. 20, 2010,
a Gannon team around .500 stunned an SRU team with a near-.800 winning
percentage behind breakout performances from freshman Tanner Furno (27
points in 25 minutes on 12-of-15 shooting) and Larry Swann (24 points on
8-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-4 on three-pointers).
past performance can predict future results. We just don't know when in
the heck it will be, but we're glad it happened tonight.