Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Up And Down

Despite Gannon's 68-41 obliteration of Cheyney tonight, I'm feeling down. There are a few reasons behind that:
* My wife and daughter are sick ...
* ... so I didn't attend the game.
* When I broadcast two games on the radio earlier this year, Gannon lost both. The first game in Erie County that I don't attend this season, the Knights win going away. That's kind of giving me a complex.
* Finally, many of the comments posted on this site over the past few days have depressed me. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. I love Gannon basketball, and I started this blog to celebrate Gannon hoops and as a personal stress relief. Many comments created outcomes the opposite of my original website goals.

OK -- let's see if I can find maybe two items to cheer myself up.

1. This team crushes it on the boards every game. The Knights entered the game +12 in rebounding margin, and added to it with a ridiculous +25 margin against Cheyney (52-27). A trio of Knights -- A'Darius Porter (13), C.J. Oldham (8), and Adam Blazek (7) -- collected more rebounds than the entire Cheyney team. I don't know how John Reilly does it. His teams have been consistently excellent on the boards both at Gannon and Brescia. I remember 12 or so years ago seeing his Brescia team face a much taller, more athletic team and proceed to shove their opponent all over the paint when a shot went up. I can't figure out why his teams are so much better on the boards every year.

2. Misery loves company. As I said earlier, many of the comments posted on this site recently have greatly upset me because of their ascerbic tone. Instead of being a fun read, the comments became "exhausting" as Golden 89 wrote. Finding this Sports Illustrated article today about over-the-top-negative Florida State football fans posting on their message boards during Monday's National Championship game let me know I'm not alone. Some of the comments posted when FSU was trailing included gems like "Will we get blowed out?", "Jimbo (Fisher) contract = BIG mistake", "Jimbo calling plays like he's a wimp!, and "Outcoached and not focused or prepared." I'm glad the players are more resilient than their fans, and I'm glad the coaches are calling the shots, not the fanatics.


  1. Hopefully we can get off the subject of "Rag'n on coaches and or players".
    I expect an easy win ay the Junker Center. Speaking of...
    Anyone with details on the Mill? What have they done.
    New sound system & new scoreboard (w/player fouls) Ha ha ha ha
    Either way I'll be there to cheer our gals and guys on to victory.
    After all no GU fans go to see them loose.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Corey: While I appreciate your support, I deleted your post because of the name-calling of fellow posters. I hope to see you back here soon. Thanks.

  3. Solid performance tonight. The Knights put the Wolves away early and the game was never in doubt. Nobody's going to confuse Cheyney with IUP or East Stroudsburg, but it was nice to see us take care of business against an inferior team.

    Rebounding was insanely good. Turnovers were still a concern (17).

    And why did Cheyney call time out with two minute to go? Or worse, foul Dogan with three seconds left when Gannon was clearly running out the clock?? There are times where it's just best to tip over your king and get the thing over with.

    Aside: Dogan missed the final FT and Cheyney got the rebound. Had he made the FT (or better, Cheyney not fouled), GU would have DOUBLED the rebound total of Cheyney ... don't see that happen very often.

    Kind of a surreal environment the whole night ... felt strange to be at a "home" game at PS-Behrend with NCAA Division III and AMCC banners hanging. But thanks to Behrend for providing their facility so that we were able to stage the game.

  4. The turnovers or gonna keep coming if you pass the ball around the arc for 35 seconds. We're only two games back but I don't know if I have that much faith in this team. I had a lot I hope after the SRU victory but we haven't had a good win since. And I'm pretty sure we all want Gannon to win

  5. Stay classy Corey- nothing like name calling to make yourself look mature. Obviously everyone on here has a great interest in Gannon basketball. We are depressed as well to see a once proud program in the state that it is in- just a general malaise. I think everyone here has given pretty fair critiques. As far as being anti-Reilly, I'm pretty sure no one here has a personal problem with the guy- we're tired of the direction the program has been going.
    To Jim R- I was hoping to at least get your take on the winning percentage statistics that I posted on the previous conversation. Statistical analysis seems to be in line with the goals of creating this sort of discussion on the blog.

    1. Those stats were interesting, though many stats can be misleading. For example, a coach can have an overall poor winning percentage but wins more close games, which doesn't make him a smarter/better coach in general. Also, a coach might not have his team give up when they're down 9 with a few seconds left, and the last-second three makes it a 6-point loss.

      I think you have to judge a coach for the entire package which includes recruiting athletes who are also quality students, treating them with respect, building them as people, and not acting like a jerk on the sidelines. None of those show up in the stat box. That said, looking at the close-game stats of Slocum, Dukiet, and Chapman would be interesting to see where they landed.

  6. First, a big thanks to Behrend AD Brian Streeter and his staff for not only offering his place but for running a top-notch event.

    Second, congratulations to both the women's and men's teams for posting victories.

    Finally, a little bit of soapboxing:

    I'm not going to question coaching decisions or player actions; I don't know nearly as much basketball to do so. But I will comment on a couple of recurring themes:
    1. The university isn't doing enough to enhance the men's basketball program- such as? Lowering the entrance standards? Bringing in a new staff? It has been repeated here and elsewhere, but it remains true...a winning program will cure all ills (decreased attendance, more student involvement, etc.).

    2. Look at what the women's team is doing/I leave after the women's game- do you think winning has something to do with that? How many women's games did you attend in the "glory days"? How many do you attend now, start to finish? "It's tough with 5:30 starts,etc." Yes, it is! Jobs change, work requirements change, family responsibilities change, and so on. It will NEVER be like it used to be.

    3. Lack of student involvement- not limited to GU hoops. When was the last time the Audi was remotely filled for a high school doubleheader? Not just students; see #2.

    This list could go on forever. But one fact remains: to make the Audi quake again, there must be an exciting, winning product on the floor. How to get there, I'll let you all discuss it.

    1. Agree with the first-class management by Streeter and his team. I wouldn't be surprised if Brittany Batts puts in a proposal to play the remainder of the home contests at PS-Behrend. What a shooting performance -- the different shooting background didn't bother her much.

      One thing that I did miss about the Audi was the popcorn. Audi popcorn >>> Junker Center popcorn. :-)

  7. Jim- glad for your feedback. But I disagree that the numbers are misleading- every single coach that has an overall high winning percentage had a high close game winning percentage. And as I stated, no coach of teams that have regular NCAA success have nearly as low a winning percentage as Coach Reilly. There is a direct correlation between the two.

    All of those sideline qualities are good and important but those are very feel good and fluffy qualities. As someone else said there are many good people out there- a coach also has to find ways to win games, starting with the close games.

  8. Observations on the Cheney game:

    1. We won. That's good news. However, it is a good thing that we played Cheyney; not a very good team. Still way too many turnovers.

    2. Did anyone hear Reilly admit to playing a zone last week against West Chester? OMG ... I couldn't believe my ears. Maybe he's been reading this blog and we've finally gotten through to him.

    3. I think he needs to settle on a starting lineup. These guys seem to lack consistency; a lack of chemistry. If we see the same starting 5 for the rest of the season maybe they can develop some chemistry and we'll see a reduction in turnovers.

    4. Last night there seemed to be fewer instances of holding onto the ball and not shooting until we have 5 seconds or less on the shot clock.

    5. Jim Roddy: as far as the coach "not acting like a jerk on the sidelines" did anyone notice Reilly kick a water bottle into the stands last night? I'm sure he didn't intend for it to hit the lady in the first row but it did. I was sitting near the top of the section behind the Gannon bench and saw the whole thing. I did hear Reilly apologize to the lady for hitting her but his action was totally WRONG; and he was ahead by almost 20 points at the time. Maybe some of the fans didn't see it but the entire Gannon bench did and the look on some of their faces was priceless. I haven't see anything like that since Jim Harding picked up a chair and attempted to toss it at Dutch Hoffman in the mid-60's. Is the pressure getting to Reilly? I guess if you can't stand the heat it is time to get out of the kitchen!

    1. In response to #2 -- Let's not get too full of ourselves. This is just an online community for those who like to talk about Gannon basketball. Nothing more. We're not doing the program some great service in regard to making suggestions that can possibly be adopted.

      #3 -- I am in your camp that a consistent starting lineup pays long-term dividends. Obviously injuries, etc. can be barriers to this goal. Not sure why Talley did not play and a guy who played 24 minutes coming into the game started, but Gibran played very well and was certainly a spark.

      I also saw #5 -- Not sure what the score and situation have anything to do with it (it is okay to kick something when you're down by 20 as opposed to up by 20?) I am not a Reilly apologist and it was not a good moment for him, but I think that (1) he did not mean to get a hold of it as well as he did, (2) the stands at PS-B are much closer than Hammermill, (3) he immedately apologized and appeared to be very embarassed about it, (4) no chance for an injury -- it was an empty water bottle floating in the air (5) first time I've ever seen it happen in his 9-year coaching tenure and (6) I was not born yet in the mid 1960's, but it feels a little unfair to compare the accidental consequences of kicking an empty water bottle to deliberately throwing a chair at somoene.

    2. Golden 89 - I guess that by pointing out GU was ahead by 20 points I'm asking what could have happened that made Reilly so mad that he would kick a water bottle; not that being down by 20 would make it okay. And after thinking about it after my post, I'm now sure that it occurred while Cheney had the ball at their end of the court meaning that Gannon was on defense.

      (1) How do you know he didn't mean to get a hold of it as he did? He intended to kick it and he did.
      (2) are the stands at PS-B really that much closer than the first row of plush seats at the Audi? What about the row of chair seats directly behind the Gannon bench? Maybe a difference 2 or 3 feet either way. And if the seats at PS-B were 10 feet closer how does that excuse what he did?
      (3) Thank God he did apologize and was embarrassed. What else could he have done. The look on Jabs face and Talley's face showed that they were embarrassed for sure.
      (4) No chance for injury? I was told it was a full water bottle and even if it was empty what would have happened if it hit her in the eye? Maybe you didn't see the same thing as I did but that bottle didn't "float through the air", it was more of a line drive than a floater. It bounced off her arm and she had virtually no time to react thus indicating a line drive not a floater.
      (5) You're right I'm pretty sure it never happened before.
      (6) Is it really unfair to compare 2 classless acts?

      Remember, I do like Reilly as a person. I don't agree with much of his coaching and I think we need a change but my previous post today was not negative in any way. I pointed out a negative situation that actually happened and only Reilly was involved and no individual member of the team was criticized. Don't think I criticized Reilly either.

      Wonder what Reilly or the school would have done if Talley or Jabs etc. would have kicked the bottle? Whatever the punishment I would respect Reilly a whole if he would impose the punishment on himself.

    3. Reilly did apologize on the spot right after it happened. I couldn't tell if it was a full or empty bottle to be quite honest and I was sitting about 10 feet away. Mind you when you up by about can be mad, but just kicking the bottle in the stands may not have been the smartest move.

      At least it was a fairly stress free win. Need some more of those. IUP is going to be a tough game on Wednesday.


  9. Now, it's back to the "Wild, Wild West". A great opportunity to play 'em a game at at time and let the chips fall where they may. We can opine all we want about this team, but, I think we can all agree that they will be in a position to (hopefully) win each of them.

    Gibran Smith showed some nice quickness last night. It will be needed as we face some very tough competition in the critical weeks ahead.

  10. Looks like Tee Tally is in the dog house...wonder where he will be playing next year??

  11. So now the meat of the schedule is upon us -- The final 12 games all count in the standings. Instead of bickering, let's talk numbers. Answer the following? What do you see our record as in the final 12 games? Where do you see us finishing in the PSAC? And how will we do in the postseason? NOTE: Your predicted record is not indicative of what kind of fan you are. That is, if you say that GU will go 3-9, it's not like you're cheering for us to lose compared to someone who picks a 10-2 slate in the final 12 games.

    My prediction: Gannon goes 7-5 in the final 12 games for a 14-12 overall record and 9-7 in the PSAC west, good enough for fourth place. Gannon wins the 4/5 game at home, then ends its season by losing a closer-than-expected game at #1 IUP to finish 15-13.

    Sure wins: CLAR, @CLAR, UPJ, @CAL. Sure losses: IUP, @IUP.
    Toss-ups: SRU, SHILL, BORO, @BORO, @UPJ, @MER. We'll win 2/3 at home and 1/3 on the road.

    Best case: win 9 of remaining 12 to finish 11-5 in PSAC and 16-10 overall. An 11-5 record would be good enough for 2nd or 3rd in the West and would give us a chance to avoid a trip to IUP in the quarters and have a shot to advance to the PSAC semis.
    Worst case: win 5 of 12 to finish 7-9 in PSAC and a ghastly 12-14 overall.

  12. Although you know what you are getting with a Reilly-coached team, which is good in some ways and bad in others, I think the issues of not having Robert Wilson and now missing Newby for 6 games now are being too easily discounted in the big picture. When a coach puts together his team before a season starts and evaluates strengths and weaknesses. I'm guessing he was expecting R Wilson to be a team leader, a strong defender, a versatile scorer and a leader on the floor. I'm sure he didn't anticipate not having Jabs to handle the ball under pressure, and not having him in there certainly figured in close losses to Bloomsburg and West Chester.

    Reilly's faults are readily described by enough people on this blog and many of those are legit points, but I'd be willing to bet that things would be different had Wilson stayed and Newby wasn't hurt. Not having 40% of the starting lineup you anticpated when you were recruiting, both of them seniors, one of them your captain, the other the crucial point guard position'will greatly handicap any coach. Doesn't excuse everything, but IS a contributing factor.

  13. I'm not sure there are any "sure" wins or losses with this team. The kids play very hard, thats for sure!! BUT I still say they are a .500 team. Hopefully I'm wrong.
    Sorry, I don't want to upset anyone, but It's time for a change.

  14. A longtime Gannon fan sent me this link about the newest men's basketball assistant coach. You might have heard of him -- Gannon's Mitchell Smith.

    Smitty is one of my all-time favorites. I still recall him at the north end of the Audi in the left corner faking a one-handed three, driving along the baseline to the basket, and dunking two-handed on an unsuspecting defender who was looking for a rebound.

  15. James Franklin, currently at Vanderbilt, is rumored to be the next football coach at Penn State. That didn't raise my eyebrows until I read the last paragraph of this article and saw his PSAC connection.

    "His outgoing personality could work wonders at Penn State, a program steeped in tradition and success. Franklin is also a native of Langhorne, Pa., and he played quarterback at East Stroudsburg from 1991 through ’94."

  16. Scary results for the East Regional from Shepherd last night. Shepherd hosted undefeated #1 West Liberty. Shepherd, who many of us thought is a pretty decent club when they won the Cup here, got overrun by WLU 120-89. At home. Wow. WLU had 6 (six) Players in double figures. May not turn out to be an issue for GU, but the rest of the Region cannot be encuraged by those results.

  17. Observor: Be careful about mentioning Robert Wilson's departure on this board!!!

    One thing about IUP: Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem like they explode and blow anyone out. I think that bodes well for our team. If we can play like we did down at The Rock, I think things will take care of themselves. One at a time, though, with Clarion on deck. We could be one of those teams we see each year that peaks right around now, and finishes strong.

    .....which would be nice!!!!

  18. Per Jim Roddys declaration that the coaches have not done anything to embarrass the University: the only thing preventing the water bottle kick from being an embarrassment is the fact that it wasn't caught on tape. Can you imagine the buzz if a video if that were to hit the Internet? "Watch Gannon coach hit fan with water bottle." Coach Reilly is really lucky that there were no cameras rolling.

  19. I noticed that there has been no comment at all from #453 or from Roddy re: the water bottle incident.

  20. Because I don't waste my time obsessing over Coach Reilly, especially minor things like him showing emotion on the bench. Get over it already. And get over yourself while you're at it. I haven't responded to Golden's comment about the Junker Center popcorn either and he's not calling me out publicly.

    1. Might I remind you that you were the one who wrote "I think you have to judge a coach for the entire package which includes recruiting athletes who are also quality students, treating them with respect, building them as people, and not acting like a jerk on the sidelines." Well guess what, he did act like a jerk on the sidelines. It lacked class and it was an embarrassment to his team, the school and his fans.

      I'm not obsessed with this issue. I only pointed it out so that you could make a fair assessment seeing that you were unable to attend.

    2. Methinks thou dost protest too much.

  21. "Minor thing like showing emotion." If a player did this, he'd be disciplined. Do a google search- LeBron James was fined $25,000 in 2010 for doing the exact same thing.
    Jim- do you accept this behavior from your employees? If a manager at your company starts kicking things around the office, wouldn't you tell him to chill out? If the coach of another team came into the Audi and did the same thing, I have a feeling that you'd have a comment or two to say about it on your here blog. Just saying.

  22. To clarify: I thought it was a split-second emotional reaction to a bang-bang play by a head coach who takes passion during every moment of a game.

    We are back to our discussion of perhaps a year or so ago: parents and grade-school basketball-type reactions. So there you have it, Jim. My opinion.

    Some folks here are actually LOOKING for a negative to justify their opinions. Game in and game out. Again, the beauty of a blog like this.

    Let's get a win at Clarion!!

  23. Good grief … this is waaaaaay out of hand.

    I saw the incident as well. It’s okay to be emotional, but you can’t kick anything that can become airborne. Coach Reilly should have been smarter and he immediately apologized as he should have.

    I personally think that it’s going too far, but the very worst thing that you can call it is a “classless move.”

    But even so, one classless move doesn’t make a classless individual. Considering the entirety of his nine years as GU coach, Coach Reilly conducts himself with considerable class, on and off the court and has been a credit to the university.

    This was an aberration and in my mind, it’s over.

    Let’s get back to talking about basketball. And only five days until I can have my Hammermill Center popcorn.

  24. Not to beat a dead horse but the bottle kick, I really don't have a problem with it.
    It may have been a ploy (certainly not hitting anyone), but show of emotion for the team.
    Sometimes its needed to get a rise out of the team and psych them up when they may be loosing their edge.
    I don't know. Just another thought about the bottle incident.

  25. Does Clarion have a player who popped for 43 points in a game earlier this season? No matter: We just have to take care of our own business!

    1. I'll answer my own question: YES (but, it was 42 points versus Penn St Beaver): A new recruit named DeMarius Miller, who it appears, led all Junior Colleges in scoring last year with a 27.2 ppg average. 6'2'' swing-type.

      Repeating: Let's just take care of our own business.

  26. Clarion is 2-9. They have zero wins against NCAA Division II teams.

    I remember when John Bowen kicked a ball into the bleachers during a game in the 1980s. It was a beauty.

    1. I was there. Edinboro in December 1987. Best punt by a Gannon athlete until they revived football two years later.