Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Look At All These Rumors

I have a love/hate relationship with off-season Gannon basketball rumors. What I love is the entertainment value the rumors provide and that folks care enough about the Golden Knights to talk about them year round. What I hate is criticism from caustic fans based upon complete speculation/incomplete information. In the past, some folks have griped that the coaching staff doesn't know what it's doing because the fan heard about a player committing who didn't fit their mold of what Gannon needed. As CBS Sports basketball analyst Doug Gottleib said eloquently in this tweet during the recent NBA draft: "Ranting about a kid you have never seen play is comical."

With that background, I'm writing this column not to give credence to any rumor that I've heard -- I follow the team closely but I'm not privy to any inside information -- but to help Gannon fans (and myself) keep organized some of what we're hearing. The previous post on this blog generated over 70 comments (many of them off-season rumors) and I was going to develop carpal tunnel syndrome if I scrolled my mouse any more. So here are some rumors with some facts sprinkled in:

* The one is 100% true: the 2015-16 schedule has been released on the Gannon athletics website. With 22 of the 26 games being PSAC play, the release of the schedule has lost any shock value, but the 4 independent games are interesting. The Knights will again play a home-and-home with Le Moyne Nov. 27 in the Gary Miller Classic opener and Feb. 13 in Syracuse. The new Dolphins coach is Patrick Beilein, the son of former Le Moyne and current Michigan coach John Beilein. Rumor has it that promising young forward Daniel Kaigler has left Gannon after just one season moved back to his hometown and will suit up for the Dolphins.

In the second round of the Gary Miller Classic, Gannon will face either former GLIAC foe Ashland or reigning G-MAC champ Alderson-Broaddus. Last year in the Miller Classic, Gannon lost its opener to Le Moyne, 47-45, and then fell to hot-shooting A-B, 73-66. In 2013, the Knights followed a similar pattern, losing game #1 to Le Moyne, 65-62, but rallying in game #2 past the Battlers, 55-54.

The other indy game on the schedule is a home contest Dec. 12 vs. Wheeling Jesuit, a member of the Mountain East Conference. WJU won 15 of its final 18 games last year to finish with a 21-10 mark a year ago.

The schedule also shows the Elite 8 will be held in Frisco, TX, next year, but that's getting way ahead of ourselves.

* I mentioned the G-MAC -- the Great Midwest Athletic Conference -- and there's a rumor they would like to pluck Gannon and Mercyhurst from the PSAC. The G-MAC just wooed Malone, Findlay, Ohio Dominican, Lake Erie, Walsh, and Hillsdale from the GLIAC which will bring its membership to 14 schools in two years. The current G-MAC consists of Kentucky Wesleyan, Alderson-Broaddus, Davis & Elkins, Cedarville, Ohio Valley, Trevecca Nazerene, Ursuline, and Salem International.

Here's an email I received from a Gannon fan recently: "Got a good one for you, and you can take it as far as you want. I've been e-mailing back & forth an A.D. from a GLIAC school these past few days and he told me that the A.D.'s at 2 schools who are leaving the GLIAC for the GMAC told him they are going to pursue Gannon & the Hurst to join the GMAC. Personally, I don't see it happening. I like where were at."

I agree -- I doubt this will happen. There's no reason for the university to sign up for trips to Owensboro, KY; Pepper Pike, OH; Nashville, TN; and Vienna, WV, when most of the students you recruit are in Pennsylvania. I think Gannon will stay in the PSAC until the league throws them out ... or GU makes the jump to Division I.

* The players I've heard rumored to join Gannon are Ian Gardner, C.J. Byrd, Ibrahim Kamara, Kevin Kuteya, Joseph Fustine (Prep), Marco Haskins, Mike Davis, Montell Goodwin, Stephen McGuinnis, and Marc Fabricius, a 6-foot-7 forward from Denmark who committed to Gannon last year before being injured. Another rumor had Aleksandar Malinic, a 6-foot-8 forward, returning to GU after a season of junior college ball. There's also been talk about a 6-foot-6 juco from Maryland, a transfer from DI New Mexico (who supposedly signed with Bowie State instead), a 6-foot-7 forward from Florida, a 6-foot-9 guy from Georgia, and a 6-foot-10 Swede.

Now if all these guys show up, the Knights will need to purchase a second set of uniforms or a slew of red shirts to save guys for next season. I have data that says three of the players I just referenced will join the Knights, but this isn't for certain ... just for entertainment purposes only.

This article from the New England Recruiting Report talks about Gardner (F, 6-foot-4) and Byrd (G, 6-foot-3) landing at Gannon after a year of prep school at St. Thomas More. VerbalCommits.com lists Kamara (G/F, 6-foot-5) as a verbal commit to the Knights. And just when Verbal Commits giveth, they also taketh away. Malinic is currently listed as a commit to Cameron, a DII school in Oklahoma.

* The players I've heard rumored leaving GU are Kaigler, Tony Boykins, and Adam Holm-Weber. I'm not saying they are leaving and I apologize if I ruffle any feathers repeating a false rumor. UPDATED 7/15/15: I was just told that Boykins is working the Gannon basketball camp, so that would be a sign he's not leaving the team. Or this is an incredibly awkward week for Boykins and the staff.

* I haven't heard rumors about these Knights, so I (dangerously) assume they're returning: Jean Yves Toupane, Marcus Jones, Matthew Dogan, Isaiah Eisendorf, redshirt Gabriel Adersteg, redshirt Jon Dogbo, and walk-ons Cory Bailey and William Gadson.

Look at all these rumors! And it's only mid-July, so I'm sure there will be plenty more to come until the official roster is announced when school begins in about 6 weeks.

UPDATED 8/20/15: Gannon officially released its men's basketball schedule today, including exhibitions against Division I Pitt and George Washington. Click here for a link to the press release or click here for the schedule itself.

30 comments:

  1. Seems like there'll be enough guys on this team to offer a challenge to Coach Brad R and the FB team to a scrimmage on turf

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  2. This news just came out yesterday, and it's really disturbing. Following are excerpts from Trib Live and WPXI web articles. The person who emailed it to me asked a good question: If this happened in January, how did these guys play the rest of the year?

    Former IUP basketball players facing drug charges

    Two former Indiana University of Pennsylvania basketball players are facing drug-related charges after an incident earlier this year. Police told Channel 11’s Melanie Gillespie that they were called to an apartment on South Seventh Street around 9 p.m. on Jan. 23 for the report of a man pointing a gun at another man.

    Officers knocked on a door and said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. Police then obtained a warrant. Inside 22-year-old Devante Chance’s room, police said they found crack cocaine, a scale, marijuana and hundreds of plastic baggies. The criminal complaint said he was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

    In a neighboring room, officers said they found a small amount of marijuana and a grinder. According to police, 21-year-old Cornell Yarde was in possession of drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.

    Chance is the all-time assists leader for IUP and is tied for the school's all-time lead in games played. Yarde played in all 38 games for the Crimson Hawks last season.

    Chance was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and is free on $25,000 unsecured bond. Yarde II and Goree will be arraigned on the charges before District Judge Guy Haberl.

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  3. NCAA has some 'splaining to do. And so too IUP. And Lombardi. Somebody didn't want to spoil their near championship season, I guess. Hoops before books and the law, after all.

    But let's not rush to judgment. Maybe those plastic baggies were for Devante's lunch sandwiches and the scale was to weigh packages to mail and the crack cocaine belonged to somebody he didn't know and the marijuana was left over from the previous tenant. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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  4. I can't blame the NCAA on this one. They don't monitor the police blotters everywhere. This is squarely an IUP issue.

    The whole GMAC thing is hilarious. Annual doubleheaders with Ohio Valley and Salem International will pack the Hammermill to the rafters. And trips to Nashville to play Travecca Nazarene will pack I-79 with vehicles. Plus, the PSAC is the top league in the Atlantic Region, getting 4-5 teams in most eight-team regionals (basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball). The GMAC is in the Midwest region, along with the GLIAC and the GLVC. It is the third-best league in the region and will be lucky to get two to three bids with the many weak squads at the bottom. Makes no sense geographically or competitively.

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  5. I recommend checking out the most recent posts on the IUP thread of the Atlantic Region Message Board (link is on the right nav of this page). Some are defensive, others greatly disappointed.

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  6. surprised about Holm-Weber leaving. Although we do have like 8 point guards coming in, so that could be a reason lol

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  7. Hey (discussed before): All one has to do is observe the entire IUP team behavior after the PSAC final game.

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  8. Congrats to Girbran Smith, Adam Blazek, and A'Darius Porter. They continue to bring honor to the school and the Gannon basketball program.

    Three Gannon Men's Basketball Student-Athletes Named to NABC Honors Court

    http://gannonsports.com/news/2015/7/29/MBB_0729151335.aspx?elinkdata=1094794

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  9. From VERBAL COMMITS web site William Asplund New letter of Intent....6'8" 235lb PF transfer from D2 Clayton State (Georgia) ...expected to red shirt...from Sodertalje, Sweden.
    http://verbalcommits.com/players/william-asplund

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    Replies
    1. doesn't he have to redshirt since he's transferring within the same division?

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    2. No. You can transfer D2 to D2 and play immediately if your school releases you. Shelby Chaney did that playing 3 years at Gannon then his senior year at Mercyhurst.

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    3. ahhhhh yes, good point! forgot about him. Possibly intentionally..... :)

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  10. I received two emails yesterday from Gannon fans. The first one links to an article in the Indiana (Pa.) Gazette about IUP's Devante Chance being cleared of charges recently filed against him. I was surprised the reporter admitted that he and others knew about the situation just days after it happened but nothing was reported:

    https://www.indianagazette.com/news/indiana-sports/tony-coccagna-chance-made-a-wrong-decision,22502623/

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  11. Second Gannon fan email -- this one about recruiting rumors:

    Verbal Commits has Gannon Men getting a 6'8 transfer from Clayton State William Asplund from Sweden. Very smart player and strong. Also, I have been told a 6'10 player from Sweden has signed and that they are awaiting the signings of 2 players similiar to Thomas Edwards and Porter and maybe a JC like I told you months ago from Maryland 6'4 - 6'5 range. Time will tell. Told that they are pleased with the 2 players from the prep school and about Dogbo and Dogan at the SG/SF positions. All 4 along with Boykins. Told Weber went back home to go to medical school and that the PG from JC is someone the fans will like. Time will tell.

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    1. is the 6'10 kid the one that signed last year but got hurt? went to same school as Holm-Weber?

      or is this someone different?

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    2. I think this is a different player..... The kid that came with Holm-Weber is 6' 7" Gabriel Adersteg

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    3. isnt gabriel who redshirted last year? ifso, no its not him. this kid tore his ACL or something and stayed where he was at, rather than coming and redshirting.

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  12. Even though its August....starting to get a little antsy to see the final crew for this season.

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  13. don't know the validity behind this, but was told that Tony Boykins is still at Gannon, however, is not playing basketball.

    Again, this could be like saying the sky is green, the grass is blue and Steve Moyer was one of the Gannon greats at driving to the hoop for an easy layup.

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  14. it's official dan kaigler is on Lemoyne's 2015-2016 roster

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  15. Two great rumors in this one email I received this weekend from a Gannon fan:

    Here is some Gannon Men's Basketball news. Gannon will play 2 exhibition games at Pitt and at Georgetown. Also, there is a good possibility of some Div I transfers. They are awaiting paperwork on some of the possible Div I players could be from schools where some schools have gotten Div I transfers and the players were granted a 5th yr playing as graduate students. Time will tell.

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    1. Just received this email from a different GU fan:

      The Gannon exhibitions are supposedly against Pitt and George Washington. Right church, wrong pew.

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  16. Congratulations to Gannon on the opening of its new Ruskin campus. Of course, our first thoughts are ways that itbenefit the basketball program? I've thought of a few:

    Recruiting tool: Tell players who don't like the cold that Gannon is located in Florida.
    If things don't ever work out in the PSAC, we could join the Sunshine State Conference.
    Have Slippery Rock ship team's time-out stools to Gannon University, Ruskin, FL. Or just fly Kevin Reynolds there.
    Only 50 miles from Florida Southern College -- If we can't get Steph Battle and Bubby Johnson to come back to Gannon, we'll just go to them!

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    Replies
    1. All great ideas. I say move the program to Florida and then try to rejoin the GLIAC.

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  17. Gannon officially released the men's basketball schedule today, including exhibitions against Division I Pitt and George Washington. I'll paste the link to the article in this comment and a clickable version in the blog:
    http://gannonsports.com/news/2015/8/20/MBB_0820150741.aspx?elinkdata=1100089

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  18. Ok, I guess by now we should know what "Rumors" have showed up at Gannon this week to start classes.
    Anyone??

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  19. Just looked at Mercyhurst BBall roster for 2015/16 and counted 18 players. Thought I was on the football roster by mistake.

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    1. The Laker on that roster who jumped out to me was Durrell McDonald, a senior transfer from DePaul. Usually DI transfers have anemic stats, but not McDonald. Here are a couple excerpts from his bio on the DePaul basketball website:

      Career Notes: Played in 97 career games with 37 starts... 10th on DePaul's all-time three-point field goal percentage list with a career mark of .365 (58-159)... signed with DePaul on April 12, 2012... also high jumps as a member of the DePaul track and field team... finished third at the 2015 BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championship following a second-place finish in 2014 and a third at the 2013 conference outdoor meet... match his career-best height of 2.08 meters at the 2014 championships.

      2014-15 (Junior): Played in 32 games with 21 starts... second on team with 44 steals and 72 assists... ranked among BIG EAST leaders in steals... six assists at Marquette... nine points, two rebounds at Butler... seven points, five boards, four assists against Seton Hall.. 12 points, two steals against Loyola Marymount... six points, six rebounds, two steals against Colorado... eight points, five rebounds, five assists against Illinois State... 10 points and three rebounds against Milwaukee... nine assists, five points, five steals, four rebounds against Northern Illinois... seven points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals against Stanford... 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists against Drake.

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  20. Well...here you go your new Knights
    http://www.gannonsports.com/news/2015/8/31/MBB_0831151807.aspx

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  21. The newcomers include William Asplund (Sodertalje, Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium), C.J. Asuncion-Byrd (Greenwich, Conn./St. Thomas More), Cyril Clarke (Tema, Ghana/Nandom), Joe Fustine (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep), Ian Gardener (Norwalk, Conn./St. Thomas More), Max Kerr (Erie, Pa./McDowell), Kevin Kuteyi (Lanham, Md./Duval), Emmanuel Matey (Lanham, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) and Cheick Thiero (Freeport, Ill./Arlington Country Day).

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