|Photo by Joe Mattis, courtesy Gannon Athletics|
Please share your thoughts in the comments section how you think the Knights (6-2 PSAC, 11-7 overall) will fare over the final 8 regular season games. Feel free to just post an expected record, or you can go game-by-game like I will here:
@ Cal: W -- The Knights weren't in sync for their season opener against the Vulcans, but they still won 59-51. I suspect GU's offense has improved more than Cal (3-5 PSAC, 8-10 overall).
vs. Seton Hill: W -- I expect the Knights to get revenge for a 4-point loss at SHU in their second game of the 2013-14 campaign. As I said, the offense is improved, plus the Griffins (4-4, 11-7) have struggled in recent road games, including a 64-61 loss at woeful Clarion.
vs. Slippery Rock: L -- I think Gannon caught SRU (6-2, 15-5) off guard when they met on Dec. 4, a 68-61 GU win. And the Rock is comfortable in the Hammermill, winning last year's PSAC quarterfinal despite a hostile crowd. Both teams will be highly motivated.
@ Mercyhurst: W -- Gannon blew a giant lead the first time these teams met and made no effective adjustments to Gary Manchel's junk defenses. The Knights will be prepared for that this time, and their superior talent will stymie the Lakers (6-2, 10-8).
vs. Edinboro: W -- Gannon proved they could control big man Bryan Theriot during their recent 71-59 win. I didn't think the Knights played particularly well vs. the Scots (1-7, 8-10) but they still won by double digits. Also, Edinboro may have thrown in the towel by this point in the season.
@ IUP: L -- Indiana (6-2, 16-2) was rattled at the Audi, and they still took Gannon to overtime. How much better would GU have to play on the road to come home with a win?
vs. Clarion: W -- You have a better chance of seeing God than seeing Gannon lose to the Golden Eagles (1-7, 3-13).
@ UPJ: W -- This one really scares me. Pitt-Johnstown (3-5, 10-8) has some firepower plus they're at home in their strange pit-style gymnasium. But I think Gannon's athleticism and will carry them in the regular season finale. At least I hope it will.
If what I predicted happens, Gannon will finish 12-4 in the PSAC West and 17-9 overall, a very respectable record especially after a 2-2, 6-7 start. That would probably land them the #3 seed in the West behind IUP and Slippery Rock. GU would need to win three playoff games plus capture the PSAC tournament crown in East Stroudsburg (7-0, 17-0) to qualify for the NCAAs.
Keep in mind these predictions are for entertainment purposes only. If Adam Blazek or Raphell Thomas-Edwards turns an ankle next week, my opinions on these games will change dramatically. Heck, everyone could stay perfectly healthy and I'll probably be completely wrong.