Friday, August 29, 2014

Gannon Releases Schedule, Porreco Cup Run Is Over

Gannon announced its 2014-15 men's basketball schedule today, and what's most noteworthy is what is not on the list of games. For the first time in 40 seasons, GU will not host a tournament near the Christmas holiday. Eliminating the Porreco Cup gives the Knights more flexibility in their schedule and allows them to open their season against non-PSAC foes. As I wrote in this blog post last year, "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." Instead of moving up the cup to open the season, Gannon eliminated the home tournament altogether and simply renamed the home contest vs. Mercyhurst "The Porreco Game."

I won't get into too much detail in this post about the schedule -- because Gannon SID Dan Teliski's analysis in the press release is superb -- but here are 5 parts of the schedule that have me fired up already:

1. Nov. 8 -- Gannon at Siena (exhibition). The game won't count in the standings, but I'm always thrilled when Gannon gets a shot at a Division I foe. Siena won 20 games a year ago but also lost 18, so this will be a good test for the Knights. I hope it will be more like when they played Dayton close in 2009 (losing by 8) and not the 69-44 drubbing Pitt put on them 10 years ago.

2. Nov. 14-15 -- PSAC/MEC Challenge at Glenville State. I'm actually more nervous than excited for the season-opening games against Mountain East opponents Glenville and Charleston, both who qualified for the NCAAs last season. The pessimist in me says Gannon could be eliminated from hosting the regional tournament just 26 hours into the season. The optimist in me says the Knights could establish themselves as an Atlantic Region heavyweight with a strong showing at this event.

3. Nov. 28 vs. Le Moyne (Gary Miller Classic) and Feb. 18 at Le Moyne. A home-and-home with a former Mideast Collegiate Conference rival? That's tremendous! If Gannon hadn't canned the Porreco Cup, the second game vs. the Dolphins and the Dec. 13 home game vs. Shepherd wouldn't have been possible. Can we figure out a way for both GU and LC to honor their 1987-88 teams during halftime of those games? Le Moyne won the MCC tourney at Gannon that year and returned to the Hammermill the following weekend where Gannon captured the NCAA East Regional title.

4. March 25-28 -- NCAA Elite 8 at Evansville, Ind. When Tom Chapman coached Gannon, he made sure the Elite 8 was always listed on the Gannon schedule. I like the expectation it sets for the program. I'm not reserving a hotel room in Evansville yet, but I'm excited to know Gannon has plans to be there.

5. There are no dregs on the schedule. Every game this season will be against a Division II school. No Penn State-Allegheny or Penn State-DuBois (Edinboro opponents next season) or any other non-conference cupcakes. Gannon's independent schedule includes 2014 NCAA entrants Glenville, Charleston, and Le Moyne, plus 20-game winner Shepherd (last year's Porreco Cup champ), and 24-5 Alderson-Broaddus. If GU makes the NCAAs this year, they will have earned it for sure.

5 comments:

  1. I have also been wishfully calling the Porreco Cup, "The Last Porreco Cup." I guess that Tinkerbell was right -- wishes do come true. It's a sad truth -- the new scheduling formats (22 conference games / mandatory Christmas break) made the Porreco Cup impractical. Very innovative to call the GU / Hurst game "The Porreco Game," but why is it on a Saturday afternoon? It would have been great to have it on a Saturday night right before the Super Bowl. The Porreco Cup was never in the afternoon.

    Other observations:

    Glad to see that we have an indy game before we dive right into conference play with Slippery Rock on November 19. And how weird will it be to have the GU at Hurst game BEFORE THANKSGIVING??

    The GM Classic is not a true tournament ... both Friday and Saturday games are predetermined. We could have the same 2009 Classic scenario where all four teams went 1-1, capped by the train wreck that was Gannon's 40-38 win over NKU in Saturday's nightcap.

    The GU women's team ended their 2014 season with two games in dinky Glenville, WV. The men get to begin their 2014 schedule with two games in Glenville.

    Now that the PSAC East games count in the league standings, it will be interesting to see who got the scheduling edge with the eastern games. It doesn't look like we got the better end of the draw, with games against West Chester and East Stroudsburg. It will be interesting to see who did not draw these two teams. That said, it should be two pretty fun back-to-back home games right before Christmas.

    We will need to build up a pretty good record going into the home stretch -- five of our last seven games (and six seven of last ten) are on the road.

    Fun the see the schedule out. I'll enjoy the waning days of summer, but it's nice to see what we'll be doing in the winter.

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  2. When was Gannon's last cupcake-free schedule? Nice to see and should benefit the team come playoff time. In reality, there are always a couple PSAC cupcakes with lots of frosting but that can't be helped. The Golden Ones appear to be loaded this year. They might not even stumble out of the gate this season since they have a great nucleus coming back. Fire up the Jammermill, men. We got some scores to settle. :)

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  3. Gannon did not play a sub-Division II team last year either. Barton wasn't too fantastic, but they were certainly Divison II (and won the NCAA championship within the last decade). Every other D-II non-conference foe on the schedule had a good season.

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  4. The last "cupcake" teams I remember Gannon playing were back with Vince Mosley... I think they played a Penn State team... crushed them. That's the last I remember though.

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  5. Cheyney placed on probation. http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2014-08-21/cheyney-penalized-after-committing-eligibility-certification-violations

    If we do have that GU / Lemoyne reunion, John Beilein can take his national NCAA sportsmanship award. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy: http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2014-08-29/michigans-john-beilein-awarded-bob-frederick-sportsmanship-award

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