Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Past Performance Is Not Necessarily Indicative Of Future Results

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.

The 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).

Maybe 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.

13 comments:

  1. After a slow start, things really turned nicely by halftime. Outrebounding SRU 22-10. That includes 12 GU offensive rebounds to 7 SRU defensive rebounds. Not watching the game on video, but following on the phone. Slippery Rock's live stats calculate a player efficiency rating. The highest is Blazek, followed by Livermento(!).

    Hopefully we can keep the momentum in the second half.

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  2. Livermento! He's supplying a consistent inside presence that we need.

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  3. Wow Reilly is out coaching SRU coach.

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    1. The last 5 minutes of the 2nd half were a clinic by Reynolds.

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    2. A clinic that ended in a loss for him.

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    3. Not really a clinic. They went to a weak press that gannon was pretty successful against. GU let SRU back in it with some sloppy turnovers and a bad 5 second call. Nothing special from reynolds. Gu did a great job of hitting the boards and shut down Perry. Reynolds had no answer for the double screen that freed up blazek and talley. Livermento was a beast tonight. We need that type of post play if were gona win games.

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    4. i must respectfully disagree with you re: the press. Gannon was more successful against full court press than they normally are, however, the press still resulted in some costly turnovers. One was the pass to CJ that the kid picked off right in front of CJ and nailed the three just seconds later. Another was when Dogan dribbled almost all the way back to SRU's hoop and the kid hit a jumper, there was the 5 second call (which I agree was bad because all 34 coach/players on the bench were calling it well before 5 and CJ motioned to the ref right before he called the 5), but regardless it was still because of the press. There were also a few times they beat the press and, instead of killing clock like they did for the first 35 minutes of the game... Gannon felt the need to take a 1v1 mid range jumper which all clunked off the iron and resulted in SRU baskets on the transition. I don't know if that can fully be credited to the press, but I'd say that to some extent it can be because I believe that when the GU player got the ball over half and saw the 1v1 opportunity, they decided to take that rather than let SRU get back to setup on D.

      That has been the one consistent "flaw" with Gannon over the past several years... full court press.

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  4. That was waaaaaay more exciting that it needed to be at the end, but a GREAT road win at a tough place to play.

    GU outscored SRU at one point by a 47-18 margin (8-19 defecit to 55-37 lead) and hung on to win.

    Blazek (or Blay-sick as the SRU announcers kept calling him) was out of his mind. To be fair, the SRU announcers weren't half bad by the standards of a college TV station. If he scores 26 points in every game, they can call him whatever they want.

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  5. Nice win. Knights are on their way. Coach told Lecorchik in the post game show "Our system works." You betcha.

    Slippery Rock did not look like a 6-1 team. A check of the SR schedule reveals why. Half of its six wins game against Clarion, Ohio Valley and Cal, who've each won just one game this year. A fourth was over Ohio University Eastern, a member of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, whatever that is. They do have impressive wins against Lake Erie and Shepard. Can you say over-rated?

    Go Knights!

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  6. ADAM....ADAM....ADAM...ADAM. The chant early from SRU fans...which quickly bit them in the butt. I said I think last week that if GU can score in the 60s consistency to watch out. A huge win tonight! Also...near the end of the game...a couple of SRU fans pulled out bubble wrap and starting popping it while Gannon was at the foul line. After the 1st shot, ref walks over..takes and throws away the bubble wrap. Not the same refs that were there in 2009...that is for sure.

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  7. As long as the defensive effort and rebounding continue, this team will most likely be in contention every single game they play. Let's all get used to a group that will play their hearts and lungs out with every possession.

    Yup, agreeing with Jimmy......perhaps biggest win in 3 or 4 years....especially since the team dynamic is so new. I still maintain SRU is a good team. most likely, they will be in the hunt at seasons's end. As for this team, a game at a time. The only constant is that they will give maximum effort each and every night.

    I think this is a team that will, slowly but surely, become more popular with fans as the season progresses. A true fan can't help but appreciate how hard they work.

    Their identity became solidified with this win. "Blue collar" to the core.

    Bring on that other Erie team Saturday night!!!!!

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  8. Just got back. Ev W is right about the SRU fans trying to get to Adam Blazek. Yelling Adam...Adam to try and rattle him obviously it didn't work
    so everytime he scored or made a steal several of us chanted Adam... Adam... That shut down some rock thugs called students. :)

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  9. So to reference my comments on the previous post...

    Watching yesterday's game... I saw some "signs of life". Despite the almost massive collapse in the last 6:04 of the game, Gannon was impressive throughout. Resilient, aggressive, consistent and, as always, intense.

    As I suspected, it just happened a little earlier than I thought it would, there was a lineup change. I don't think Dogan off the bench was a big surprise for anyone. He's had his ups and downs, but needs time to adapt to the D2 level. He is going to be a good player; just needs to get himself established. I'm not sure if Tee is the "answer" for that starting spot (4-13, 0-4, 8p, 5r, 0a, 2to in 24min), but I'm confident within a few games someone (whether it be Tee, Dogan, or possibly Smith) will be the permanent fixture. I do like that Tee isn't afraid to shoot and he does have a nice shot; they're just not falling (same thing for Dogan; great shot, just not falling). The shots that Tee did make were nice because many of them he created the shot. Whether it was a quick cut, catch and shoot or a dribble, fake, shoot; he got himself in the position for the shot. This is something Blazek does constantly. Although Blazek also "creates" shots that he nails with 5 guys in his face :)

    I'm not sure if Livramento is the answer to our inside prayers, but last night he was! I was amazed at how truly athletic this kid is. One play that really stood out was when he stole the ball (well, the SRU player actually passed it right to him) and dribbled the full length of the court, blowing by two defenders and then laying the ball off to Blazek for an easy jumper. Porter may not have put up big #'s, but I thought he was solid in his time. Many altered shots forced by him and also errant passes because of him stepping in to the play.

    The help D was the best I've seen it to date this season. SRU's big guys couldn't establish anything because they had 2-3 guys on them at all times and the GU player helping was able to quickly get back out on his player when an outlet pass was made. Was very, very impressed with the D this game (even if we gave up the second highest points this season).

    I am also pleased with the starting 5 stat line: 26, 8, 6, 6, 5. Obviously would be nice to see that 26 a little lower and the others a little higher (or the 26 stay and just the others higher haha), but I like that the other 4 were balanced attacks. This is when Adam is able to get the good looks at the basket (when the other 4 are at least each contributing something and forcing the defense to have to guard them).

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