Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Knights Announce Recruits, Returnees

Gannon announced its recruits and returnees for the 2014-15 season, and the good news is there aren't any giant surprises. First let's look at the list of recruits (with links to Gannon Hoops profiles on each player):
* Tony Boykins jr. G 6-3 190
* Jean Yves Toupane jr. F 6-7 195
* Dan Kaigler fr. F 6-6 195
* Adam Holm-Weber fr. PG 6-1 180
* Isaiah Eisendorf fr. F 6-5 215

The only real surprise out of that bunch is that Marc Fabricius, a 6-foot-7 freshman who was Holm-Weber's teammate in Denmark by way of Alexander Basketball Academy (Md.), was not on Gannon's official list. Fabricius was announced by ABA as a Golden Knight recruit before Holm-Weber's commitment was made public. I'll try to find out more of what happened with Fabricius, but right now Google isn't my friend. The first link in the search for "Marc Fabricius basketball" yields a result that says, "Marc Fabricius has accepted a basketball scholarship from Gannon University for the 2014-15 academic year."

I had not profiled Eisendorf, but I had been told a freshman forward from the D.C. area had committed to the Knights. The name I was told was "Eisenberg," and I knew this guy wasn't going to be a Golden Knight. When I build Eisendorf's profile, expect this YouTube highlight video to be part of his Gannon Hoops bio.

Six returning lettermen plus three redshirts will also make up  the Gannon roster this year: seniors Adam Blazek, Girbran Smith, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and A'Darius Porter were all starters for last year's 20-10 club. They'll be joined by redshirt senior Rich Austin (who sat out last year after transferring from Lake Erie College), junior walk-on Cory Bailey, sophomore Matthew Dogan, and redshirt freshmen Brandon Domenick and Marcus Jones.

Only two underclassmen who were on last year's roster at the end of the season will not suit up for Gannon: Aleksandar Malinic and Nolan Woodward. I'm not sure of Malinic's whereabouts, but Malinic is on the roster at Kankakee (Ill.) Community College (thanks Gannon Hoops follower Corey for the tip) while Woodward is rumored to have transferred to American International College (Mass.)

Now the questions to ask are who will redshirt and who will be part of the rotation. I'm not even going to try to predict the redshirts; last year the Knights elected to redshirt a senior transfer (Austin) which I didn't see coming at all.

For the rotation, you'd have to assume Blazek, Smith, Thomas-Edwards, and Porter will log the majority of minutes based on history. I would also guess that the third big to rotate in with RTE and Porter would be Austin. Dogan should see playing time at the small forward -- he started at the three at the beginning of last season and was GU's leading scorer in the season finale vs. East Stroudsburg -- but I would guess one of the newcomers will also get some minutes here. A third guard will be added to the mix, but they should not expect to see lots of playing time. In the playoffs last year, Smith averaged about 30 minutes of action per game while Blazek played whenever the clock was running (e.g. 50 minutes vs. Slippery Rock, 45 minutes vs. West Chester in PSAC OT games).

Gannon fans can't be disappointed with this roster. It's balanced in terms of bigs vs. guards and upperclassmen vs. freshmen/sophomores. Go Knights!

Updated 9/7/14: For the first time in 350 posts and five years, I updated the look of the Gannon Hoops website. I wanted it to look all nice and spiffy when CBS does its research on Gannon for the Elite 8 in March. Let me know what you think.


  1. according to this, Aleksandar signed with Kankakee Community College in Illinois. It says he signed with them 05.28.14.


  2. Is it just me or are we gona be really good?

    1. Yeah, we're gonna be really good. Really good.

  3. hopefully we will be! on paper? yes, it appears this may be one of the most athletic and talented group of players Gannon has had in a while (I mean that by overall team, not just a few player superstars). But, as we've seen in the past, can't say anything until they play. We don't know who may have attitude problems, who may not be a workhorse on defense, who's not buying into the "program", etc. Hopefully they all are.. if so, could be a great season!

    So now the question that was asked a lot last season... Blazek... Point Guard or Shooting Guard? Girbran started at the 2 spot last year and did well above expectations... but could that be a Cory Knight kind of thing? He sufficed last year, but this year others are better? Some of these guards sound to be terrific ballhandlers, passers with great vision... that might move Blazek to the 2 and one of the newbies (no pun to Jabs) to the 1 spot. Personally, if Blazek can keep the TO's down (like he did most of last season) and Girbran can produce like he did, if not more, then I'd keep those 2 where they are at!!! Why wouldn't you want one of your most lethal shooters to have the ball in his hands to make the final decision?

  4. I think Gannon has a chance to be very good but there are lots of factors that need to fall into place -- team chemistry, work ethic of the new players, injuries, etc. The components are there it seems.

    I'd bet big money Blazek is at the 1 and Smith at the 2 when the season opens. Reilly (and I and most Hammermill season ticket holders) like the ball being in Blazek's hands as much as possible, and Smith was something like 14-3 as a starter so I wouldn't go fooling with that formula.

  5. I just received this email from a Gannon fan:

    Fabricius blew out his knee a few weeks ago so he’ll be coming next year apparently.