Saturday, December 20, 2014

Perfect Knights Pummel Poor Cheyney

Dear Santa Claus:

You have been super generous to my family in the past, but I do not need any gifts this year. I've already been blessed by a perfect 6-0 December by my favorite basketball team, including an 82-51 avalanche today at Cheyney. It's not just the win I'm happy about; it's the way the game unfolded and what the result means:

* Adam Blazek scored only 3 points Wednesday vs. West Chester but got back on his sleigh in a big way today with 30 points. I've never seen anyone without a shiny nose lead a team so well!
* The Knights were outrebounded Wednesday but bounced back in a big way today with an unthinkable 46-16 advantage on the boards. Wouldn't you imagine your elves could keep the rebounding margin under 30?
* Gannon committed a season-low 11 turnovers against Cheyney. I'm glad they're leaving their "season of giving" ways to a professional!
* Put it all together, and our Knights are 7-0 in conference play after stumbling out of the stall with 4 losses in their first 6 games. Back in November, I thought this season might be like that foggy Christmas Eve I'm sure you remember. You had all those successful veterans back in your lineup -- Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen -- but for some reason you couldn't get it done. Well, I'm glad we're both back to our winning ways!

So skip me this Christmas and please deliver some presents to the following:
* Cheyney University: Earlier this week a Gannon fan sent me this article detailing the Philly-area school's financial woes. It gave me a sick feeling in my stomach to see what was once a respected school "on the verge of a financial meltdown." Their team shot only 24% from the field in the first half today, but that's still 15% higher than the school's four-year graduation rate!
* The Hiram women's basketball team: They're the school who gave up a home game and moved up its season opener to allow an opponent with a terminal brain tumor to fulfill her dream of playing in a college basketball game. What a gift they gave that girl and her family, and what an example they set for all of us who take games too seriously.
* Gannon walk-on William Gadson: Can we get him at least one possession of playing time this season? Being a former walk-on, I have a soft spot for non-scholarship players who show up at practice every day but still need to pay for their books, meals, credits, and made-up expenses like a "globalization fee." Gadson has dressed for every game but is the only Golden Knight who hasn't seen floor time -- except when he's among the first off the bench to congratulate his teammates every time out. I love the enthusiasm. Let's get a giant lead and see what he can do when the clock's running.

Santa, thanks again for everything and good luck with all your deliveries this year. If you drop a gift, I wouldn't worry about it. Raphell Thomas-Edwards or A'Darius Porter will probably catch it before it hits the ground!


  1. Mercyhurst just lost at Millersville, 87-81. The Lakers gave up 50 points in the first half. The 'Ville shot 57% from the field including 9-of-14 on threes.

    IUP and Slippery both posted narrow road victories. IUP survived a last-second shot in regulation and won at Bloomsburg, 80-70. The Rock held off Kutztown, 73-69.

  2. Blazek 30p, 6r, 7a, 1to

    May not be career highs in any category but I'd say it'd have to be close to his best career game overall! Think I have a hint who player of the week might be next week. We know Manchel is eager to see!

  3. Here's a post-finals extra credit question: Since doubleheaders began with joining the (dreaded, Michigan-heavy)GLIAC, have the collective Golden Knights had a more lop-sided sweep than today versus the Wolves? I cannot remember one. Oh, and if you think travel in the GLIAC was bad, try the roadie after the new year. At least there are legitimate hotels in the UP. I guess if you have to bus it to Cheney just before Christmas, at least the ride home should be pleasant.

    Speaking of Christmas, here's wishing a blessed and merry Christmas to everyone who follows GU Hoops.

    1. Great question Boze. This was a classic we came, we saw, we ruined your Christmas. I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that double drubbing.

  4. Gannon's Blazek Named PSAC Western Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week

    Blazek may be the first player of the week ever with a 3-point game in that same week. It shows how dominant he was in the other two contests!

  5. Merry Christmas to all Gannon hoops players, coaches, and fans! Let's do something different this year and make it through the holiday season without any five-alarm fires in the Hammermill Center (one year ago today).

    My Christmas / New Year's wish for Gannon hoops is to see the Knights play West Liberty in the NCAA tournament, preferably the Atlantic Regional Final. Before one of them leaves their post, can we just once see the ultimate matchup -- a Jim Crutchfield offense squaring off a John Reilly defense? The classic irresistible force against the immovable object. It would be a shame if these two coaches never faced each other. Let's hope it happens in 2015!

  6. We're #6 ... unofficially.

    Gannon Men's Basketball Team Jumps Three Spots in Latest D2SIDA Atlantic Region Media Poll

    Rank School (First-Place Votes) W-L Pts. Prev.
    1. West Liberty (W.Va.) 9-0 20 1
    2. Glenville State (W.Va.) 8-2 18 2
    3. Indiana (Pa.) 10-2 16 T-4
    4. Slippery Rock 9-2 14 6
    5. Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 7-2 12 3
    6. Gannon 8-4 10 T-9
    7. East Stroudsburg 7-3 8 T-4
    8. Charleston 7-3 4 NR
    T9. Livingstone (N.C.) 6-3 2 7
    T9. Bowie State (Md.) 8-4 2 NR

  7. How many of these teams can say they played 4 of the top 10 teams already, let alone beating 3 of them??

  8. This won't help their strength of schedule at all ...

    On New Year's Eve, Slippery Rock annihilated Ohio University Eastern 101-64. The magic number for the game was 43. That's how badly the Rock outrebounded OUE (75-32) and how many people were listed as the official attendance for the game.

  9. Finally, back to Gannon hoops tomorrow. Since Gannon's last home game, I've been to a Cavs game, an Otters game, a Bayhawks game, and even a Mercyhurst hockey game. Also watched a ton of bowl games. Hope everyone's had as enjoyable a Christmas / New Year's season as I have, but enough is enough. GU basketball is back tomorrow! Let's have a better 2015 than the SEC West has endured.