- Scoring: Gannon is averaging just 51.5 ppg
- Turnovers: The low scoring is partly due to 36 turnovers in two games -- that's nearly a TO every two minutes
- Deep Deficits: The Knights fell behind Friday by 24 then Saturday by 15
- Slow Starts: Gannon is being outscored in the first half 72-40
- Chronic Catch-up: Over the two contests, Gannon led for only 24 seconds of game action
Defensively, the Knights frequently overcommitted to the ballhandler. When a player drives the lane, their defender is supposed to stay in front. If that doesn't happen, a teammate needs to slide over to help. I saw several times that a defensive helper would race 15-20 feet away from their man to help on the ball too early, creating an easy assist opportunity and open shot for the opponent.
The bright side is all the errors mentioned above are fixable, so there's no reason to panic. It's not like Gannon is low on talent or the players aren't giving an effort. On Saturday, the iron man five -- Blazek, Smith, Thomas-Edwards, Porter, and Toupane -- played all but three minutes of the second half, and they fought their tails off to the end. They erased big second-half deficits both games, and had their been just one more second on the clock vs. Charleston, Porter's last-gasp tip-in would have sent the game into overtime.
The last time Gannon started its season 0-2 was 2009-10 when home losses to Urbana and Lake Erie set the Knights on course for a miserable 13-15 campaign. That was a difficult season for sure, but things could be much worse. Clarion lost last night, 69-68, to Georgian Court (NJ) -- who? -- at home. It's only the third win in GCU history and first ever on the road after last year's inaugural 2-24 season. Cal took a bad hit as well, falling to Urbana, 86-85, at Indiana (Pa.) That snapped UU's 33-game losing streak, the longest in the nation entering this season after an 0-27 debacle in 2013-14. Urbana had lost to IUP by 37 the night before, so it's not like Cal ran into a suddenly competitive team. Finally there's Penn State-New Kensington who started its season getting thrashed 118-40 at Pitt-Johnstown. Gannon hasn't given up 118 points across two games and their scoring margin is only -4.0 ppg, not -78.
All in all, Gannon did not play anywhere near its potential and lost close games to two of the region's best teams. They'll have a chance to get back on track vs. another quality club Wednesday. Slippery Rock won its games this weekend vs. Charleston and Glenville and will enter the Hammermill 2-0.