Sunday, October 18, 2015

First Glimpse At Knights An Obstructed View

I understand that tonight's "KnightTime Madness" festival at the Hammermill Center wasn't designed for a basketball diehard like me. An event that includes more dance routines and selfies than defensive slides makes me wish the regular season was here now instead of being exactly one month away. (Bring on Clarion already!)

But it was great to be back in the Hammermill Center and hear basketballs bouncing on the hardwood and swishing through the nets. I do have a few observations from the evening to share with the Gannon Hoops faithful:

* I don't have any player insights to report. You can't tell much from a three-point contest with just two players (soph. walk-on Will Gadson was bested by freshman Joe Fustine) and a ragged dunk contest. I was surprised that sr. Jon Dogbo, fr. C.J. Byrd, and fr. Ian Gardener could even get up near the rim after sitting on the sidelines for over an hour.

* The most insightful part of the evening was John Reilly's 5-minute talk with the 200 or so fans in attendance. "We still have to figure out our personality," he said. "We have a lot to prove. I have a lot to prove. We've always been able to rebound and defend, and that's what we want to do again. Right now we're not a very good rebounding team."

* Reilly fielded a few questions from fans, which included the new 30-second shot clock and redshirts as topics. Reilly seemed enthused for the shorter shot clock (last year NCAA men played with a 35-second clock). "The shot clock's going to be big," he said. "I hope it can make our defense even more disruptive. The offense will need to pay a little faster." As far as which players on Gannon's 18-man roster will sit out this season, Reilly said, "We have an idea of who will redshirt but we're not ready to say who for sure right now. We will definitely have a couple redshirts."

* It was great to see several players who keyed last year's NCAA squad as seniors stop by to support their former teammates. Big men A'Daruis Porter, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, Rich Austin and guard Girbran Smith hung out with the Knights in the tunnel prior to the event. Smith, who when we last saw him at the Audi earned the PSAC championship over Indiana (Pa.) with a deep three-pointer, won tonight's fan half-court shooting contest.

* As I was driving home tonight, I saw Porter, Edwards, and Smith walking south on shadowy Sassafras between West 7th and 8th Streets and thought to myself, "Nobody is dumb enough to jump those dudes." I know I'd bounce off them and injure myself if I tried to mix it up with them.


  1. I guess I'll start this one. I was actually a little disappointed in not being able to see any action. Dribbling and hoop shots can be seen on the streets. I prefer a little back and forth action. I was anxious to see some of the new players both M & W in game situations. Maybe 6-8 min for both teams would have been nice. A good atmosphere with both bands and the freebies.

  2. I didn't mind the setup... just wish there would've been more. I'm okay with not seeing the kids play (since most of the time it was just them running 5v5 practice drills and that gets old quick).

    I think it'd be great if they did something similar to NBA All-Star weekend.The "shooting stars" competition (layup/short jumper, foul shot, 3 point and then all 3 attempt a half court shot until one makes it). Have one Men's player, one Women's player and a former Mens or Women's player on a team. Have 3-4 teams. Time them. Winning team gets a free pizza or something.

    3 point contest - have 4 guys and 4 girls compete. Have a final for mens and womens and then have the top male and female against each other for the heck of it.

    Dribbling competition - I'm sure they could find some things to set up to make an obstacle course for a dribbling competition.

    It could be a fun, exciting 2 hour or so show. Of course have "meet and greet" with Q&A session for both teams.

    Just my thoughts, but I think something like that would be interesting and may even draw some more people to it (esp. depending on who the former players are)

  3. Replies
    1. yes, he came as a senior last year and redshirted

  4. "Gannon Men's Basketball Team Among Others Receiving Votes in Preseason Top 25 Poll"
    WOW...they must know something we don't !!

  5. Agree 100%. This is more validation that national polls -- especially in the pre-season -- should be used for entertainment value only. Here's the link if you want to be entertained:

  6. More news today from the Gannon Sports Info Department:

    Gannon's Blazek Signs Professional Contract with NBL Canada's Niagara River Lions

    He joins former Knight Clinton Springer-Williams who played one year at GU:

  7. on last years roster jon dogbo was listed as a junior if he redshirted he should still be a junior

    1. This is true, now that I see it on last year's roster. They do have him listed as a senior this year. But there's conflicting stories because in his bio for last year it just says "did not play"... rather than "redshirted" like it does for others. However, in the article that announces this years recruits it lists him as "redshirt junior".

      So I guess the question is if he redshirted last year or, for some random reason, was a member of the team just to lose a year of eligibility.

  8. Just announced today ...

    Gannon Men's Basketball Team Picked Fourth in PSAC Preseason Coaches Poll


    1. Mercyhurst
    2. IUP
    3. Edinboro
    4. Gannon
    5. Slippery Rock
    6. California
    7. Clarion
    8. Pitt-Johnstown
    9. Seton Hill


    AJ Leahy (Pitt-Johnstown)
    Jaymon Mason (Edinboro)
    Brandon Norfleet (IUP)
    Richard Smith (California)
    Kameron Taylor (Seton Hill)
    Henri Wade-Chatman (Edinboro)

    1. MERCYHURST???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  9. Why is McDonald not playing this year for Mercyhurst?

    1. how do you know he's not? He's listed on roster

    2. Manchel said in paper he's not playing this year.

    3. does he have to redshirt for some reason?

  10. Any radio for the weekend games?

    1. i see nothing for audio for Pitt, but here's stat link --

      There's a link for stats for the GWU game already... no audio or video listed on their site though either.

  11. It looks like there is a live stream og the GW game on Saturday. Here is the link