Gannon was trounced tonight in its season opener, 67-46, by perennial PSAC West second-tier club Clarion, but I'm trying to find the silver lining to what happened. Ummmm ... give me a minute.
it wasn't the worst season opener in Golden Knight history. Remember
the lid lifter six years ago that produced the headline, Gannon loses to Urbana. At home. By 30.?
I do. It was the ugliest start to a campaign I ever witnessed. Wait --
so there's another positive. Because this game was played on the road
and streaming video has yet to reach Clarion County in 2015, I didn't
have to witness 26 turnovers, 40 missed field goals, and the previously
0-2 Golden Eagles shooting 64% in the second half.
not shocked the Knights lost this game. Gannon's heart and soul -- and
pretty much the entire production on both ends of the floor -- graduated
earlier this year, and new players typically need time to adjust to
John Reilly's defensive scheme. Combine that with Clarion being much
improved under second-year coach Marcess Williams and having played two
close regular season games this past weekend, and the formula was brewing for
A year ago when I was adding the 2014-15 Gannon
schedule to my calendar, I penciled in the dates all the way to the
Division II championship, and I was figuring how I could make travel
plans to the Atlantic Region finals that would conflict with an industry
conference I was scheduled to attend in mid-March. But this year I
hesitated before even adding the NCAAs.
I'm not saying this year's team is destined to be to the West what hapless Cheyney is to the PSAC East
but our expectation can't be that a cast of mostly new players will
repeat as conference champs. Let's hope home games this weekend vs.
Millersville (64-53 winners at Mansfield tonight) and Shippensburg (2-1 after falling 85-61 at East Stroudsburg) get this season on track.