Friday, December 13, 2013

Run Gannon Run, Win Gannon Win

A few themes emerged this weekend during the Porreco Cup as the Knights were schooled in the opener by Shepherd (WV), 85-75, before rebounding against discombobulated Barton (NC), 81-58:

1. When the Knights decide to be aggressive with the ball -- pushing it down the court in transition and attacking off the dribble -- they can indeed put up some points. Entering the tournament, GU was averaging a measly 58 ppg but during the Porreco Cup they averaged 78 ppg, a whopping 20 ppg improvement. Now part of the credit/blame goes to the Rams and Bulldogs who shot quickly and didn't defend well, especially in the paint. Either way, the Knights proved in back-to-back games they can put the ball in the basket and we are not required to endure a 7-minute dry spell each game.

Tee Talley proved he can be a handful, riddling Barton for 20 points (on 8-of-15 shooting) and 11 rebounds. I heard Bulldog coach Ron Lievense challenge one of his players who was guarding Talley: "That tall kid is killing us! Are you telling me that a 6-foot-7 kid is quicker than you? Hang on him and do not let him get the ball!" The player didn't answer Lievense's question, but Talley scored a layup on the ensuing inbounds play, proving once again that actions speak louder than words. (More on the Barton coaching staff's loud words later.)

2. We need to Move Up The Cup. I don't see who it's serving keeping the Porreco Cup in December. With home tournaments in late November and December, the Knights force themselves to play league games right off the bat, so it doesn't benefit the players or coaches. And I have photo evidence to prove the Porreco Cup in mid-December isn't a fan favorite.
I snapped this picture of the east seats right after tip-off of the Barton game. Moments before that I counted the fans in attendance and came up with a number somewhere around 140. There were fewer than 10 souls in the west bleachers when the game started. I know a consolation game would draw fewer fans than the championship had Gannon won Friday night, but that first round game drew an announced crowd of 745. I don't know who to directly make the request to (or ask the question why this shouldn't be considered) but for the love of Tom Chapman, Move Up The Cup! Keep the Gary Miller Classic on Thanksgiving weekend and start the Porreco Cup Tip-Off Tournament next year if possible.

3. I know Gannon is a Catholic university, but the Knights need to be a little sneakier if they want to win consistently. I sat one row behind the opponents' benches for both Porreco Cup games, and both clubs (especially Shepherd) knew exactly what they were getting. Every possession I've seen this year live and via streaming video, Gannon has played man defense. I'm not suggesting Gannon sag in a 2-3 zone -- that's not John Reilly's style to sit back on defense -- but you have to get inside the other team's head occasionally. Even Bob Dukiet, who was a man-first, ask-questions-later defensive genius, would go 1-2-2 on occasion, sometimes even trapping on the baseline or wing. Every play the opposing coaches drew up in their huddle this weekend was designed for a man defense; and every time they were able to run that play because Gannon was playing man. 

One of my favorite memories as a Gannon player was when we switched defenses with a one-point lead in the final seconds at the University of Buffalo in 1990. With the shot clock off, UB called its final timeout. Coach Reilly, then an assistant, suggested Dukiet switch to a box-and-one on the Bulls leading scorer, which is what we did. Confused and with his teammates and coaching staff panicking, a Buffalo player picked up his dribble at the top of the key and called a timeout, resulting in a technical foul. We won that game not just with our heart and feet but with our heads. I'm not asking Gannon to change its defensive philosophy. Just don't telegraph what you're going to do every possession.

On offense, the Knights were well-scouted by Shepherd. With their defense in front of their bench in the first half, the Rams coaches were like NBA 2K14 gamers, instructing their players exactly what Gannon was going to do next. Picture this: the Knights would cross midcourt and set up their offense. Coach Reilly would yell, "Hey!" and the Shepherd staff would look right at him. Reilly would yell something like "Box!" and an SU assistant would shout to his players something to the effect of, "Kevin, watch out for two cross screens ... Marcus they're going to backscreen you" or "Box! Box! They want to go high-low on this. Help out in the post." Again, I'm not saying Gannon needs to shred its current playbook, but I'm thinking it would be helpful if they created some codes or read options on offense to give them a better chance at scoring.

I know all analogies break down at some point, but I think a good one for this is baseball pitching. The pitcher is at an advantage if they can keep the batter off balance, wondering if he's going to see a fastball, change-up, or breaking ball. On the other hand, if the catcher yells, "Curveball up and on the outer half of the plate," the pitcher will be less effective.

On the other hand, what do I know? I coach my daughter's 7-8 year old MYAA basketball team, and Saturday afternoon we gave up 50 points during a 32-minute game with a running clock. I'm sure the "coaches" in the stands have several suggestions for me, too.

I'll add an update to this post later with some more anecdotes from behind the opponents' bench that I think you'll find interesting. In a span of 24 hours, I saw I think one of the best coaches and one of the most abusive coaches in the history of the Audi.

50 comments:

  1. Good or bad omen?: My truck was serviced today at Bianchi Honda, owned by Lou Porreco, on the eve of the Porreco Cup, and it was no cheap date.

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  2. For Saturday -- Good omen or bad omen? I am getting a haircut on the day of a game.

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  3. A few observations:
    1. The follically-challenged assistant for Barton might be the worst I've seen. He did nothing but loudly chastise his players at every turn. Even when the team made a six point run late in the game, he offered nary a complimentary utterance. A teaching moment gone waaaaaaay bad;
    2. Brandon Emmitt's long-sleeve shirt makes him look like an extra in the movie "Kick-Ass". Tough to look at;
    3. Alumni players at the game: Mark Chase, David Morris and John Bowen. Alumni sportswriters at the game: Joe Mattis. Alumni broadcasters at the game: Red Hughes, Jim Roddy and me. At least the other six have aged well;
    4. Just wondering: when Tee Talley makes a three-pointer...Tee for Threeeee!?! And of course, when he makes one inside the arc....Tee for Two!?!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.

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    1. I'd like to combine it with your infamous Moyer call "Moyer for three..?!?? COUNT IT!" And make it "Tee for threeeee...?!?!?? TALLY IT!!"

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  4. Question if anyone can find out..

    1) when is the last time that Gannon finished 2nd or worse in both tournaments in the same year?
    2) when is the last time Gannon lost the opening game of both tournaments in the same year?

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  5. The answer to #2 is never before 2013.

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  6. Same old, same old.
    GU build a 7 point lead with 11:30 to go into the second half, only to see Shepherd go on a 26-10 run to take a nine-point lead. Don't have the play-by-play in front of me. How big of a lead do we have to build in the second half to feel comfortable? We even had to sweat out the SRU game despite building an 18-point lead. Up by 25?

    The one thing that I did see on the stat sheet was points off turnovers: Shepherd 20, Gannon 8. And we lost by 10.

    Third home loss, and it's only December 13. Gannon FULL SEASON home loss total has been fewer than THREE in 17 of the last 29 campaigns. (1984-85 to 2012-13).

    A 5:30 consolation game on a busy Christmas shopping day. And we might get lots of snow. Big crowd expected tomorrow.

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  7. I think this seasons' opening schedule is as difficult as I can ever remember. I feel tonite, we lost to an NCAA-caliber opponent. (Their one guard: a bit of Justin Shouse in him ,no??)

    Inside scoring was best all year. Game at a time.......I sense a turn beginning very soon for this (still) new squad. "T" making some nice strides, CJ aggressive to the basket. We all have to love the hustle by Porter.

    The good thing: less than 24 hours to next game!!

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  8. Here's a little info that I happened across last night after Gannon's horrific loss. Through the first six games this season Gannon is ranked 2nd in Division 2 defense allowing only 57.5 points per game. While they play great defense they are ranked 288 of 291 in team offense averaging 58.3 points per game. Congratulations to John Reilly and his staff of dud coaches on turning Gannon men's basketball into an insignificant program. Even Milt Simon's teams back in the 50's and 60's weren't this bad! Thank God for the women's team. And here's a big thanks to Cleve Wright for building a solid foundation that will be with us for years to come.

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  9. Jim: I sense your frustration. But, (try) to look at it this way: Most likely, last year's 22 win team was a shot made from making the NCAA tournament. Hardly an insignificant program. As difficult as this start of the year is, let's attempt to be as positive as possible. Nobody can argue that this team is very close to 5-2 or, even 6-1.

    Let's give them some time.

    -----------------------------------

    Indeed, Coach Wright has created the makings of a ladies D-2 powerhouse. He deserves all the credit in the world for his successful efforts while coaching here.

    But, something (small) has been nagging me: The girls team traveled across the planet to play in Hawaii. If I remember correctly, in game #1 over there, the attendance was 82 people.

    Game #2: 52 people.

    WAY off-topic to this board, but, I'm wondering in this age of EVERYONE (households included) cutting back on expenses, why go across the world to play in front of the number of fans that would attend a typical MYAA or CYO game??

    This takes NOTHING away from our #2 nationally ranked Lady Knights, but, just wondering.

    Could something have been done to perhaps save some money somewhere to play in perhaps something a little more significant closer to home???

    Just saying........

    Go Knights!!!!! (Ladies and Men!!!)


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  10. They fundraise every year to go on their trip. Let's see, Hawaii or the thiel college women's basketball classic...
    If they want to fundraise to go to Timbuktu, more power to them.

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  11. Absolutely correct. At their BK shoot-out somehow I missed every shot (hee hee) and made a $40 donation.
    And today the gals are playing out of their mind

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  12. All of us have made donations to the Ladies team. It's just that in this day and age (See financial problems brewing at Clarion...) I'm staring to wonder about the justification of such an expenditure that's all.

    Off topic...sorry 'bout that!!!

    (Watching nationally televised game involving #7 Oklahoma St. men: Several dozen empty seats at half court. Sign of the times??????)

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  13. Hey #453. Have you looked at the women's roster lately? There are players from 8 different states. How do you suppose they ended up at Gannon? Maybe the women's program has it right. What a selling point! Traveling to tournaments in California, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii attracts players. The girls are told from the beginning that they will have to participate in fund raisers to finance the travel expenses. Have you heard any of the girls complaining? They spread the name of Gannon athletics all over the country. I'm sure that this helped us land the upcoming Elite 8 tournament.

    By the way, the UCONN women's team has players from 9 states while Notre Dame has players from 9 states and 1 from Canada. The fact that Gannon has been able to recruit players from 8 different states in Division 2 is incredible. It is almost unheard of in D-2 mens or womens basketball.

    Who cares how many people show up to see the games in Hawaii? The girls work hard to be able to travel to the tournaments and they always represent well. In the end that's all we and Gannon can hope for. And by the way they win many more of these games than they lose.

    Maybe Reilly and the men's team can use the women's program as a model for rebuilding their program back into national prominence. I fear however that as long as Reilly is the head coach here that it won't happen. He needs to be more open-minded to other ways of doing things. Did I hear someone shout ZONE? Need I say more?

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    1. It's regularly shouted by the opposing coach on the way to a win... ;)

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  14. Jim: I agree with what you are saying. Yet, in this day and age, I'm starting,( EMPHASIS STARTING) to wonder about the expense, that's all.

    Any way you cut it, to play in front of that few fans, that far across the world, speaks volumes.

    I'm as proud as anyone about the state of our Women's program!! It is a bona-fide powerhouse!! Nothing I stated was intended to diminish their accomplishments.
    -------------------------------


    YUP: Are you referring to Coach Kevin Reynolds at the Rock??

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  15. Did I say every coach? No. I said regularly. Two different meanings.

    As for your non-complaint - I have every confidence that the women are more than fine w/ playing against a small crowd if it means travel and playing different types of competition. It becomes invaluable to a program to see multiple "looks" from different conferences. Plus, it means that they can play more than the mandated 26 max games when you travel to the schools who have fewer competitive opportunities, like Puerto Rico, Hawai'i & Alaska. Kudos to Cleve for having the forethought to get multiple advantages:

    1) The girls fund raise, which builds team engagement & vision in a unified manner;
    2) More competition & additional games, which give you more time early in the season to adapt (especially when you consider that Gannon would only have 4 non-conference games aside from league play. Instead, the women's team gets 5 non-conf games, 3 in region this season (6 were non-conf last year, 3 in region & 29 regular season games). The limitation of 26 games really affects team's chances to grow with one another pre-conference play. The PSAC's schedule only makes it that much more difficult for the women & men at Gannon, etc.
    3) Travel to non-traditional sites (e.g. Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawai'i) is compelling to girls who are from all over

    The benefit far outweighs the costs

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  16. #453 if the players have fundraisers to pay their way how much can the school be spending?

    Too bad Reilly isn't as innovative as Cleve was with this idea. The way they turn over the roster every year they could use the extra games to get more comfortable with the various combination of players. Too bad there are so many jucos who are here for only 2 years. Reilly needs to spend more time bringing freshman and keeping them here for the 4 years. Look how well it has worked with Blazek.

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  17. Attendance at the Barton game was announced as 426. From where I was sitting it looked half that. There were nine people sitting in the bleachers on the west side of the Hammermill. 9. Barton couldn't even shoot free throws. They played defense sporadically and the tall kid was launching missed three pointers from NBA range. Maybe they were tired and frustrated.

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    1. I'm pretty sure their asst coach, Zimmerman, is a direct descendant of the men's asst.

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  18. Jim.....we don't know some of those answers.

    All I know is that's a long trip (over 9000 miles, round trip) to play in front of 82 and 52 fans, respectively, that's all.

    We DO know, thanks to Coach Wright, that we have a first class program!!

    ----------------------

    I sense a turn for the better with today's win against Barton. We'll see. Game at a time.
    In viewing Barton, lets all keep in mind this program won a national championship a few short years ago. (I think with the same coach.) It just goes to show how tough the business of college basketball really is.

    Go Knights!!! (426 for attendance indeed seemed high!!)

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    1. I am told from a reliable source that attendance is taken around halftime. There were far fewer than 426 people at the start, but people wandered in as the game went on. I think that 426 was legit.

      Barton won the national championship seven seasons ago. The 2013-2014 version of Barton, sans Anthony Atkinson, is a very poor team. It was nice to see the Knights take care of business against a poor team, but we're still 4-4 and we have lost almost all of our margin for error in regard to making the NCAA tournament. The next two home games are must wins in which we should be favored. Can't go 5-5 with three tough road games to follow.

      By the way, I am fundraising (a.k.a saving up my own money) for a trip to South Carolina this year. And I hope to raise enough funds to go to California for vacation next year. Both are pretty long trips -- I am interested in #453's opinion regarding whether or not this is a good use of my money seeing that this person is quite experienced at giving opinions of what people and organizations should do with the dollars that they raise on their own time.

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    2. RE Low Att at Hawaii. The Hawaii teams did not play in their home gyms. Tjet were being used for men's tournament games. I also believe either at the same time or just a few days before a men's D1 tourney was ongoing. That's tuff to compete with. Ref: http://www.mauiinvitational.com/ with the like of Ark, Baylor, Syracuse etc.
      Iask you where would you spend your ent dollars?

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  19. And a few comments on the championship game ... I was one of the few who stayed for the entire 45 minutes.

    What an entertaining game between two teams that play up-tempo offense and pressure defense (and play it well). Every time it looked like one team was going to throw a knockout blow, the other would get up the mat and throw a haymaker of their own.

    Ross and Bazemore were brilliant (combined 24/31 from the field) for WSSU, but Shepherd kept having different players step up all throughout the second half and overtime -- five players with 15 or more points.

    WSSU shot over 60% in each half (including 69% in the second half), but was only 1/7 in OT, which lead to the loss.

    One of the most entertaining games I've seen in quite some time. A worthy tournament championship contest. It may go down as the best game in the history of the Hammermill in the category of games in which fewer than 100 spectators were left at the end. :-)

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  20. Jim - just a correction..
    Score was 81-58 (not 65)

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    1. Thanks. I gave my proofreader the weekend off.

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  21. Golden!! Have fun and be safe on your trips!! (I noticed neither trip is to Hawaii, though!!!!!!)

    Go Knights!!!

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  22. On the subject of the Mens Program bringing in primarily freshmen and building the program in that manner, as the Women's program has done, I agree completely. However, GU fans need to be prepared if that method were to be adopted. It's extremely likely that there would be a transition year or two where the Knight's record would languish below .500 (perhaps well below) while the youngsters learned the ropes. Judging from the comments here regarding the performance of this year's team to date, I highly doubt that the majority of GU fans are capable of displaying that kind of patience. They certainly didn't back in 2007.

    Have to agree with Golden regarding the PC final. Quite a game, with almost all the back and forth action of a ping pong game, Players making soaring dunks and NBA 3's look easy, even with the game in the balance. My guess is that the attendance at the end was in the vicinity of 50, not counting players and staff.

    One other thing.. It's a small issue, but did anyone else think Coach Reilly could've cleared the bench Saturday a couple minutes earlier (say with 2 or 4 minutes left) instead of waiting for the last 30 seconds? Those backups may be needed at some point. Not too bad an idea to get them some game time. I know it was a game that GU HAD to win, but it was a 23 point lead and Barton was playing subs. Just sayin'

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    1. Reilly has always had a problem of leaving the starters for too long in blowouts. Its been a while since GU has had a blowout win like yesterday, but there is no reason for the starters to be in the game when we are up 20+ with under three minutes left. Give the other guys some experience and at least a few possessions.

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    2. I know coach Reilly does it because he wants to get players to gel and such, but I agree blowout subs could be in sooner. But look back to years with Lindsey Howard Mosley gold camp etc. Up 30+ and a few starters and top reserves are playing with under 2 left. It's always been that way in the past 9 years.

      Speaking of possibly needing them, kudos to bailey on his significant PT in the first round of the cup. Was solid on defense and passed up a good look at a 3 to assist on either a three by Blazek or Talley. Was nice to see.

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    3. I hope that we get many more opportunities to criticize the coaching staff for the timing of emptying the bench in blowout games. :-)

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    4. I think you guys are getting hypercritical at this point. I don't have college coaching experience, but I can tell you that one time early in my coaching career I substituted when the game seemed won and the move nearly backfired on me. A few quick turnovers and baskets later, I had to pull the subs and reinsert the starters. We almost lost the game and I shattered the confidence of the young reserves. I've vowed to never let that happen again and have typically waited until the losing team raises the white flag and substitutes first.

      Also, coaches see videos or hear about games like this and think, "I don't want that to happen to me!" http://youtu.be/6ZQ0gvaI0ko

      And don't forget that same Barton coaching staff orchestrated this comeback in the DII championship game: http://youtu.be/jVhtqNPmIIc

      Furthermore, John Reilly is from Maryland, so you know he remembers when this happened: http://youtu.be/GiBVtzJOWCU

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    5. Jim - While I do agree with you that sometimes putting reserves in can be fatal, I believe you have to "judge the game" as well (and I'm not saying you didn't judge your game well).

      At approx. the 5 min remaining mark in 2nd half, Gannon led by 25 and Barton had only scored 21 points in the second half. So after scoring only 21 points in 15 mins and allowing 35, I'd say the odds of Barton scoring 26 and holding Gannon to 0 in the final 5 were EXTREMELY low. There are only 3 real players that don't get PT in crucial points (Smith, Malinic and Bailey with exception of Friday's game). I think at the 5 minute mark having a lineup of Bailey, Smith, Dogan, Livramento/Raph and Malinic wouldn't have been a game breaker. Even if Gannon just ran out the 35 seconds and turned the ball over each possession and Barton hit a 3 no more than 5 seconds into their possession, Gannon would win by 1. And even in that scenario, you'd have to figure Gannon would stop running the 35 and Barton would start fouling. So then it changes again.

      Now, Mercyhurst... if we were up by 12 with a minute left, HECK NO I'm not putting subs in. Slippery Rock if we were up by 18 with 1:30 left, I'd put the blowout subs in. Maybe 2 left, but 90 seconds is more likely.

      It's just a judgment based on how the game is going or has went. And the Barton game, there's very few ways that the subs could've blown it in 4-5 mins PT.

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  23. I agree with Observor. Reilly had a 23 point lead with 2:30 to go. By that point Barton couldn't have scored 23 points in a layup line. Was not a classy move to let those kids sit on the bench.

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  24. I think it a moot point regarding playing time at the end. Every team member roots for anyone out on the court at any given time.

    We have a very close-knit team. Note entire bench applause when Baily dove for a loose ball with seconds left on the clock.

    I sense a major turn for the better this weekend.

    A big week awaits!!!

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  25. Oops award!! "Bailey"!!!

    ...sorry 'bout that!!

    ---------------------------------

    Off topic (again): I couldn't help but notice the LARGE amount of empty seats around the NFL today, and, for that matter, in recent weeks.

    If the mothership of spectator sports is having attendance problems.................................

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    1. Try the Obama economy. Think about that!

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  26. As I mentioned early, the trend of how much Adam scores highly influences if GU wins or not stays true for the tournament:

    Shepard - 8 points, lost.
    Barton - 24, win.

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  27. You might be on to something #453. There were A LOT of empty seats on the bus this morning too.

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  28. glyph lookin more into it, the # of pts he scores does coincide with wins/losses, for the most part. After closer examination, however, his shooting percentage is an even better correlation.

    Cal W, 20pts 6-13 46.2%
    SH L, 7pts 2-13 15.4%
    LeMoyne L, 17pts 33.3%
    A-B W, 10pts 4-7 57.1%
    Rock W, 26pts 8-12 66.7%
    MHU L, 6pts 2-12 16.7%
    SC L, 8pts 2-10 20%
    BC W, 24pts 7-16 43.8%

    It appears that 40% is the target. He shoots above 40% in victories and less than 40% in losses.

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  29. "GO": See PGH game last night as an example......Smallest home crowd ever for what amounted to a playoff game.

    Good point above "873"......Also, we all have to be excited about the emergence of Tee Tally. It seems so far that he can glide through zone coverage and create some shots. Since this team out-rebounds almost every team they play, more shots naturally creates more opportunities. I think our team scoring trend will be higher for the rest of the season.

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  30. #453 see PGH game as an example of what? An example of empty seats at sporting events? 45,000 people went to the Steelers game. 71,000 went to the Browns game. 60,000 watched the Bills. What does that have to do with attendance at the Porreco Cup?

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    1. The NFL is struggling with the fact that many people prefer to watch game on TV in HD rather than shiver in 20-degree weather like in Pittsburgh. I also assume that the Steeler game was a sellout. But people either didn't want to either sit in the cold, brave the difficult travel conditions, or both. Back when they cared about people who attend games in person, the NFL used to schedule night football game in northern cities in the fall and southern cities (or domes) in the winter. Now it's what is best for the TV networks.

      Having said that, the only thing that it has to do with the Porreco Cup is ... well, not much. Unless 1,500 people watched the America One broadcast on the Internet (don't think it was on HD). The fans are getting pretty lukewarm, so I assume that the weather scared away a few spectators, but given the GM Classic consolation attendance, I would say that the weather scared away fewer than 100 folks.

      Basically, the Gannon attendance has sharply declined starting in the 2005-06 season. We had a bump in the Kyle Goldcamp years, but it has tumbled to five-decade lows this season.

      Unless the games are offered in HD and some are conducted in sub-freezing conditions, then the NFL isn't a really fair comparison, particularly since NFL TV ratings increase every year. Wish it was different.

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  31. Blazek's shooting percentage has a lot to do with the W/L but I look at the fact those nights when shooting percentage is low, usually a double team on him and more teamwork is needed. Shutting down one person is much easier to defend than several people. I would like to see more even scoring, double digits for a couple players like last year. At what point do you stop shooting if you are 2/12? Its not your day, allow someone else to step up. The good teams are going to double him and it's going to be a long season.

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    1. while I agree, The Shepherd game totally goes against that. Blazek had 8 pts on 2-10 shooting while Porter had 15, Rog 14, Raph 12, Talley 11 and CJ 10.

      That tells me our inside game and dribble/drive game was the most efficient, so there's really no reason to go 4-15 from 3 pt range. A few of those attempts should've been drives or short to mid range jumpers. However, that also means that Blazek, Talley, Emmitt etc. had some good looks from 3 (which they did) and still bricked most of them.

      Everyone could really apply a different logic to a different category in re: to W/L, but really in the end it comes down to "when you're on you're on and when you're not, you're not".

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  32. Wow, I said I thought the subbing at the end situation was a small issue. Didn't think it would generate this kind of response, but I still believe it was an accurate observation.

    Jim, you said that you wouldn't sub again in certain situations and would've "waited until the losing team raises the white flag and substitutes first." In this case, although they were still applying a medium amount of pressure, Barton HAD subsituted completely. They put a starter back in with about a minute left (I think one of the subs fouled out). The lead was safe with 2:00 left and I felt that would've been about the time to sub.

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  33. I think we are in the beginning of a secular decline in attendance of sporting events in general. Saturation, new social trends, etc,etc,etc.......

    In the "old days" unthinkable to have such poor attendance at an important Steelers game, as well as, in our neck of the woods, at a Porreco Cup.

    Lets' get a win tonight!!

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    1. In addition I think winning and weather add to it nowadays as it seems most people are "fair weather fans". If the Steelers were 10-1 with their only loss to a 8-3 Bengals team... I think you would've had a sellout in the cold weather. But when your team has lost to the Titans (5-9), Bears (8-6), @ Raiders (4-10), embarrassed at New England by 22 points, @ Baltimore (8-6), and to the Dolphins (8-6); I can see why fans would not go to a game in such frigid weather.

      When Gannon wins a slew of games, fans are there consistently and attendance may not be as high as we'd like, but it is consistently higher. When Gannon has a losing record or is run of the mill, fans go "when it's best for them".

      Also, have to now throw in professional basketball team Bayhawks, amateur hockey team Otters, big concerts events at EIA and Warner as well as parents and grandparents going to their children's and grandchildren's events.

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  34. Back in the "glory years," the options were, stay home and watch one of three television stations or go to the Audi to watch hoops. It has very little to do with the team and much more to do with the availability of leisure time diversions by way of 400 stations.

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