Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bleak Week

There was a time in Gannon basketball history when a road contest vs. a 5-10 club and a home game against a 6-9 team meant a perfect 2-0 week was all but assured. That time was last year. And the year before. Heck, pretty much every season in program history the Knights would mop the floor with those opponents. But this year has been unlike any other as Gannon lost Wednesday at Cal, 56-54, on a three at the buzzer and then fell Saturday vs. Seton Hill, 69-62.

I honest to goodness don't even know what to say at the point when the highly respected program I've worshiped for 30+ years is one loss away from matching the Cleveland Browns mark of a 3-13 season. And Gannon's next game is at 12-4 Mercyhurst who last time out won at Seton Hill by 19. And the game before that at Pitt-Johnstown (who beat Gannon by 4 on Dec. 19) the Lakers blitzed the Mountain Cats by more than 50 points, 89-37. In less than one year, we've gone from expecting to win every game against our local rivals to hoping we keep the game within 40.

Due to work and coaching commitments, I was able to only watch the second half of the game at Cal this week, so I can't offer any more analysis beyond that. Let's hope the players' energy level is higher than mine is right now.

33 comments:

  1. Should be an interesting game tonight ... All PSAC West from here on out (save Lemoyne).

    This is the week (at Cal tonight and Seton Hill) to take advantage as two 3-7 teams are on the slate. I had at Cal as a toss-up at SHU as a lock win. Let's see what happens. Maybe we could actually have a three-game winning streak!!

    Huge women's game tonight ... GU travels to the defending national champion (and recently scuffling) Cal.

    At this point, it should be news when a GU player does NOT get Freshman of the week. The most recent honor went to Jacobo Diaz of IUP.

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  3. Wasn't able to listen to game and haven't read the write up yet, but from just opening the box score, things that jumped out at me:
    - Byrd, 19 pts
    - Eisendorf, 10 pts 10 rebs
    - Jones (36 min, 5a-8to) started over Matey (4 mins, 1a-0to)
    - no one really in foul trouble (starting to adjust to new rules?)
    - Cyril Clarke (7th man/starter) didn't play

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  5. Why does Gannon not apply a full-court press or a trapping defense late in games? The other team almost always seems to get in position for a good shot at the last second and drives to the three point line nearly uncontested. Why not stop the opponent much farther from the hoop?

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    1. last time I remember seeing GU apply a full-court press for an extended period of time, they gave up 9 points in about 30 seconds possession time. So I'd assume that with this team not being the defense GU has been accustomed to... it'd be even worse!

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    2. The strategy for years has been to lay off the press/traps, so I don't think its unique to this team's capabilities.

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    3. I'm not disagreeing with that! I'm just saying the last time I remember them pressing, it was awful (and that was with a good defensive team).

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    4. Seems like a good press or trapping defense is a lost art somewhat. I can recall Troy Nesmith playing the pivot man on traps, sliding from sideline to sideline with his hands straight up and teaming up with another Knight to corner an opposing player along the sideline. Kwame Manu was also effective with those long arms and lanky frame.
      While Nesmith's athleticism is hard to replicate, I'd sure think a little more ball pressure on the far end of the floor would help keep an opponent from getting a decent shot.

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    6. I would like to see it too - I just don't think it's in Coach Reilly's repertoire of defensive schematics haha who knows!

      That takes me back, man! Manu... those were the good years!

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  6. I watched it on line. Several uncontested turnovers in the last 3 minutes cost them the game.

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  7. As being a live witness to that final shot, Gannon had two players on him and running with that player with the ball as he ran up to above the point and took the final second three. He looked off balance as he took it and it went in. Story of the season sadly.

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  8. Decently defended, definitely off-balance shot that goes in. I can think of 6 or 7 like this in the last several years.

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    Anyone hear the radio crew count about 46 people in the stands during 2nd half of game? Amazing.

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    1. Attendance was AWFUL at both games, more at the women's game than the men's. That count is about right.

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  9. Is there any possible way to get a video clip of that last play posted on here?

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    1. i searched the internet for nearly an hour and nothing turned up.. I thought Cal had their on TV station for games? You'd think, if so, they'd have something. Nope! I even googled Jabbie's name with terms like "Jabbie game winner vs Gannon" "Jabbie Cal U beats Gannon" "California PA Gannon 2016" etc. Nada! Can't believe someone didn't have a cell phone vid uploaded even...

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    2. Um, I don't understand that at all, b/c it couldn't be easier. You can watch the whole game and any other home game at Cal that's been played here. http://calvulcans.com/watch/?Live=20

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  10. That was a tough loss. We haven't been able to catch a break in a close game recently. Good teams that can't catch a break turn great records to so-so records. Teams that aren't very good that don't get a break turn poor W-L records into awful records. Good teams dispatch squads like Cal by 20. It's too bad that the game had to come down to a buzzer-beater.

    My pick of 8-18 is a little more tenuous than before, but I'll stick with it for now. The best-case is now down to 10 wins. Worst case of 6-20 is still in play.

    Let's go get Seton Hill on Saturday. It's a matchup of two schools who have employed Fr. Rubin as president. The 'Bino Bowl!!



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  11. So there's no 23 on the bench and no one in warm ups or streets... Clarke gone?

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  13. Despite the loss I was happy to be able to finally attend another game. Win or lose I've always loved being able to go watch Gannon play.

    Today I was truly disgusted and totally embarrassed by and for a handful of "Gannon fans". I know everyone has been preaching about how Gannon bball is held to a higher standard - so are the fans (for the most part). This group made me sick. Its one thing to rant about losing, to let your frustration with a storied program that is free falling out, to point fingers as to what or why or whom is the issue, to call out the coaches... it is another thing to start using profane and some racially biased slurs to express your disgust. I wouldn't even think of attempting to list what all was shouted by this group on here as Jim would rightfully ban me from this blog... but to sit and watch a player busting his butt narrowly miss a good 3 point shot and hear "just another useless *bleep* wasting a scholarship" was downright pathetic. As they left with about 2 mins left one turned to someone sitting behind and said "I cant watch anymore of this *bleep* *bleep* of a coach anymore". Seriously? Go ahead and call him out for the poor performances- that's your right as a fan. But to associate profane names... just because a college basketball team is having a poor season? Really?!

    Shame on you! If you're reading this and say "hey hes talking about me or someone I know" please let me know if you're a season ticket holder as I'd be more than happy to assume your tickets and start paying for them since you clearly have no reason to be at any game.

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  14. This is the sixth home doubleheader loss of the PSAC era (2008-09 to present), by my count. Three occurred in 2011 (Cal, Mercy, Boro) when neither men or women made the playoffs. Two more sweeps happened against Edinboro (2012, 2014). I don't think that I ever left the Hammermill as stunned as I did after tonight's double-debacle. Both the men & women were defeated by two mediocre-at-best Seton Hill squads.

    The women gave up a mind-boggling 28-2 run over an 12 minute stretch of the second half to turn a 13-point lead into a 13-point deficit. The only time-out came during the quarter break and then when SHU took an 11-point lead (after the run was already 26-2). That's a killer defeat for a Gannon team that looked like a good bet to host the PSAC tournament holding an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter on Wednesday at Cal.

    I really thought that the men's team would play much better given that the team was at full strength for the third straight game. SHU made easy basket after easy basket, particularly in the second half. SHU shot 56% in the second half and 54% for the game. GU's offense was clicking in the first half (38 points on 46% shooting) to sputtering (24 points on 33% shooting). We looked like a different team after the break -- we had no answer for Spencer Casson, who got into foul trouble in the frist half and finished with 11 points (5/6 shooting -- now shooting over 70% for the season), seven rebounds and three blocks.

    I had tonight's game as a sure win. Revised projection: 7-19. Worst-case 5-21. Best case 9-17. I think that Jim summed it up the best: "I honest to goodness don't even know what to say ..."

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  15. Count me in as figuring tonight's game as a win. But, Seton Hill brought a better-than expected young, athletic team and took care of business with a mini-run to begin the 2nd half.

    To the fans mentioned above: Maybe consider staying at home. This team is in the midst of a very difficult season where what can go wrong, has gone wrong. If folks cant come and root for our team, please don't bother showing up.

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    I thought Edinboro was as talented, or, perhaps, the MOST talented team I've seen this year. I thought I heard a partial first half score that they were getting drilled at home by UPJ in the first half, 40-18.

    That is a score I simply cannot fathom. I did not see a final score....I tuned into the bizarre finish to the Packers/Cards NFL game.

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    1. Edinboro is talented, but they have literally no defense from their coach and haven't since he took over the program. A nice guy, I'm sure, but it's essentially street ball that they play. Not a lot of scheming, so teams that run any sort of an effective defense are successful.

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  16. I see Clarke in the new photo (#23) but his name is not on the roster.

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    1. I swear when I looked yesterday Clarke was still listed on the roster.

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  17. He was on roster during game. I checked at halftime

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  18. Its Cheick Thiero that is gone. No longer on the bench, roster, or photo. That's a shame- the team sure could have used his size

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    1. From what it has sounded, he left a while ago for medical reasons. He was experiencing "concussion-like symptoms" (they never stated if he actually had a concussion or just had the symptoms), but it didn't sound like he was "progressing" with the symptoms. Sounded somewhat similar to Brandon Domenick that left the team before last season for same reasons.

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