Sunday, January 3, 2016

Just My Luck

I am as big a Gannon basketball fan as Donald Trump is an arrogant blowhard. Huuuuuuge! I've watched this Golden Knight team closely -- both home and away (thank you internets) -- this entire season and I've been waiting and waiting to see this sputtering club find a decent rhythm. So isn't it my luck that I can watch every dreadful minute of Sunday's 80-49 shellacking at Kutztown but, because I coached my daughter's basketball practice Wednesday night, I could only take in the ragged second half of Gannon's 80-67 win over hapless Mansfield.

In the first half against the Mounties, Gannon raced out to a 49-29 lead thanks to 11 three pointers. C.J. Byrd (5-for-9) and Kevin Kuteyi (5-for-6) led the way, causing my brother to text me that they are the new Splash Brothers. I hoped to actually see some of that great action in the second half but instead the Knights reverted to what I saw Sunday. Mansfield is like old Lock Haven awful but they outscored GU by 7 over the error-filled final 20 minutes, which caused me to run to the mirror to check if my eyes were bleeding.

If you read this post's comments by Gannon fans -- thanks for sharing your thoughts by the way -- folks are complaining about everything from the coaching to the attendance to the PSAC to the lack of dunks by this Gannon team. I could detail several spots I think this team is lacking talentwise, but I'll focus on just one simple area.

On offense, Gannon rarely dribbles by anyone; on defense, they are frequently beaten off the dribble. This may sound like advice I need to give my third and fourth grade girls team, but the key on offense is to get the easiest shot possible. Gannon is too often all-pass, no-penetrate which leads to turnovers and contested shots. Opponents on the other hand are regularly in the lane scoring layups, kicking out for a three, or getting fouled.

As Golden89 detailed in the comments, Gannon has been outscored this year from the free throw line by a decisive margin -- now up to 59 points after the Mansfield win. There's an even wider gap in attempts: 326 for opponents vs. just 230 for our Knights. Where are those fouls happening? If you guessed "On perimeter jump shots?", you're banned from visiting this website ever again. The team that gets fouled is the one who is not only more aggressive but who has the athletic ability to get around their man.

I was glad to see -- I mean hear about -- Gannon finding its shooting touch against Mansfield. But I hope we have an uptick in layups and victories from here on out.

56 comments:

  1. Geesh!!... Just goes to show you, you can't beat a Gannon defense, especially when you play against yourself!
    Oh well, congrats to the women soul possession of 1st.

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  2. Oh, the humanity! Well, I guess we know now that Byrd's return is not going to turn the season around. Toupane (ill) and Dogan (is he still on the roster?) didn't play but would it have mattered? Kutztown had a 41-5 run (41-5!). That's only supposed to happen in video games.

    So now Gannon is an embarrassing 1-8 against the underwhelming competition of the lowly PSAC, a conference with zero teams ranked in the D-II top 25. Not to mention 2-10 overall. Not to mention nine straight losses. Thousands of people have lived their entire lives without witnessing a nine game losing streak at Gannon. That disturbance in the Force you feel is from Gannon fans turning over in their graves.

    Does anyone think Reilly is struggling with the rule changes that went into effect this year? The changes disallowed much of what Reilly's teams used to do defensively. Meanwhile, Reilly's early-20th Century offense and it's all too often 49 points a game seems ill equipped to compete in the modern arena. And if he is struggling, can he adapt, when adapting, even at half time, never has seemed to be his strong suit?

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  3. This is the third straight game in which GU has gotten off to a great start, and then given up a big run late in the first half. Sensing a trend. This one was off the charts. Not sure that I've seen a 41-5 run before, save a mega-mismatch in a women's game of yesteryear.

    Wednesday's matchup of 3-10 (1-8) Mansfield vs. 2-10 (1-8) Gannon should be a dandy. Get your tickets early. Will anyone be handing out donuts to the throng of fans lined up on Monday morning?

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    1. Haha. Like the Chapman donuts reference. Good one! They should let the fan(s) in for free against Mansfield.

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    2. The attendance would still be as poor as it always is this year.

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    3. Attendance is starting to become poor everywhere. Most of the recent televised bowl games took place in stadiums that were more than half empty.

      Something that still bugs me: When Gannon made the NCAA tournament two years ago, and played at East Stroudsburg in the opening round, Gannon had a total of 16 fans present. (Granted, the Lady Knights had an NCAA game that very day, but, just saying....)

      ----------------

      Wall Street Journal Editoral this morning to start the year: "We're Glad to say No to College Football" by a fellow named John Fry, who is the President of the university.

      Sobering, to say the least............

      -----------

      Very tough season for our team, for sure. Since Wednesday's game is at night, how about pizza instead of donuts?

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    4. I neglected to mention: Mr.John Fry is President of Drexel University.

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    5. 453 - the attendance for the women's game, though, probably wasn't anything tremendous either. I don't know for sure, it could've been great... but doubting it.

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    6. East Stroudsburg is nearly six hours east of Gannon. I imagine that last year's Slippery Rock NCAA game at West Liberty (3 hours away) had a better GU turnout, particularly with no home NCAA games.

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    7. It's still the NCAA's. In fact, if memory serves me correct, it was a SECOND ROUND game. Sixteen fans at a second round game, after an NCAA win, is a sobering number.

      My entire point is that for a multitude of reasons, there is a major downtrend in attendance at games. And, people in decision making positions are starting to take notice.

      Click around the 'net for that item by the Drexel University President. Interesting read.

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    8. It's tough for most people to drop everything and drive six hours for a game on a Sunday night with a day in between for the possible next game. Would have had a bigger crowd if GU made the final on a Tuesday.

      Was the GU crowd better at West Liberty for the Saturday afternoon game against Slippery Rock? I was not there (family commitments), but was prepared to make the drive on Tuesday if GU made the regional final.

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    9. Oy vey.

      In 2014, Gannon had only been in NCAA tourney 2 other times in Reilly's tenure. Not like there was a ton of expectations on that team, especially given the expectations on the women's squad that year. It had been 5 years since Gannon's last NCAA appearance. And the season started out 6-7! Quite a few people weren't sure if their SHOCKING 16-3 run after 1/4/14 was even enough to make it to the regional (19-9 isn’t some shoe-in).
      Average attendance at the Mill in 2013-14 was 963. It was a season in which a lot of people were frustrated that his contract had been renewed for a second year in a row. Were people happy for guys like Blazek who had busted his a$$ for 3 years to make it to the tourney? Absolutely. But my sole rooting interest shifted towards the women’s program after 2012 when his contract was renewed.

      Regarding attendance at Regionals:

      In 2015 at WLU:
      Glenville v. IUP: 607
      Gannon v. SRU: 400
      Fairmont State v. Mercyhurst: 380
      WLU v. Livingstone: 1,160
      IUP v. SRU: 800
      WLU v. Fairmont State: 1,180
      WLU v. IUP: 1,180

      At ESU in 2014:
      Gannon v. Charleston: 207
      East Strouds v. Livingstone: 1733
      Glenville St. v. WLU: 261
      West Chester v. IUP: 327
      IUP v. WLU: 346
      ESU v. GU: 1,485
      ESU v. WLU: 1,813

      In each of those years, Gannon had both WBB/MBB teams in postseason play & numbers were consistent in terms of trends for all the visiting schools: Gannon had the worst attended game in 2014 and the 2nd worst at WLU.

      I was at both men's and women's sites last year. There were probably about 80 people from Gannon at the men's game, including some former players for the men. For the women, I'd wager a few more attended. Total attendance was 167, mainly Gannon fans (large % families). I'd add that the women played further away from Erie & at 12p on a workday. So that they managed to get a decent chunk of boosters was impressive. I went to Glenville in 2014. It was a bit smaller of a crowd, probably closer to 50 from Gannon, again largely families.

      Now why GU had less than impressively attended men's games at regionals?
      1) MAYBE 10 of those people would have had a vested interest to see the men in 2014 were in Glenville.
      2) I know of 3 different people who made travel plans for the regional week in January/February assuming that the run they were on would never be enough to make it in without winning the conference title.
      3) Reilly's NCAA tourney record. Before 2013-14, Gannon had only made the NCAA postseason 2 out of 8 seasons. It's not like this was a tested and experienced postseason team. When you have a history and reputation, with that comes the attendance on the road (see: West Liberty attendance at ESU).
      4) Average age of boosters. Take a look at who's coming to games (if anyone does Wednesday). 20 years ago, yeah, some of those same people were driving to Michigan or Ohio for regional match-ups. Now, there is almost no alumni base under the age of 50 going to games. Those are the people you want bringing their kids to games, or who live outside Pittsburgh or Philly and want to grab a game with friends, like they used to during the good old college days. As a leader of a basketball program, particularly because Gannon has always been a basketball school, you have to know that part of your responsibility is engaging in the local community, with currents students, and the alumni. And you'd think you'd want to make students lifelong fans. You're an important extension of the alumni department's job.

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  4. Comparing football bowl game crowds ( Which are strictly for TV money ) to division ll basketball attendance is comparing apples to oranges. basketball coaches on ESPN were saying they like the changes because it is opening up the game. They all agreed that they are in the entertainment business and if they are going to get people in the stands they need to give them something fun to watch. Watching low scoring defensive games will not put fans in the stands.

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    1. Bob: You might want to keep a close eye on attendance numbers for PSAC basketball games listed in box scores.

      Microscopic. Grade school 7th and 8th grade basketball numbers.

      The recent Gannon/Edinboro game had both teams score over 100 points, and, I would venture to guess that it was by far the lowest attended Gannon/Edinboro game at Edinboro that I have ever witnessed.

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    2. If fans knew in advance that the score was going to be 105-102 in double OT, a few more folks may have shown up. :-)

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    3. Edinboro never had big attendance numbers. The whole freaking PSAC has never had big attendance numbers. And I don't care if three kings and two shepherds are all that show up at other PSAC games or if a couple drunk sailors is all that wanders into an Edinboro game. We're not Edinboro. We're Gannon. We're Gannon. This attendance, this record, this boring style of play is unacceptable. Somebody took our basketball program away. I want it back.

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    4. Some Boro folks that I know were not thrilled with the fact that their home games against Gannon have been scheduled during a student break for the second or third straight year.

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    5. PSAC is known as a football conference. Look at how the conference even handles it's PR for the two sports. Two sites for media day for football (East/West) with commissioners attending each site whereas regional sites for basketball (by regional I mean small groupings of 2-3 schools: Gannon/Hurst/Boro, Clarion/SRU, IUP/UPJ, etc. etc. Funny given that the basketball programs have had much more success in recent years on the national stage than football, but that's been the bread and butter of the conference for decades. So to say that attendance is miniscule for the PSAC, well, I'm not sure they're scared or worried too much. Or that it's in any way irregular. I looked back on the last 10 years, and the PSAC has NEVER been in the top 10 of conferences in D2. CIAA has been in top 5 year in and year out. MECC days, now that was a different time...

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  5. After you loose them you have to make some effort to bring them back. It will take more than one high scoring game and the PSAC never had crowds because they are located in rural areas in general. The only time Edinboro had crowds is when Gannon played there and it was about 75% Gannon fans and they do not exist anymore.

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  6. Another interesting trend ... In the last three games, opponents have been getting to the FT line at an alarming rate. We lost yesterday by 31, but had only six fewer baskets against KU. However, KU made 26 free throws to our 7.

    We had five more hoops against UPJ (they did have 10 threes to our 2), but were outscored from the FT line 18-12. We had TEN more hoops against Edinboro, but were destroyed 36-18 at the line.

    On the season, Gannon has just 21 fewer baskets against opponents (274-295). Opponents have 37 more threes (54-91). Gannon has been outscored from the charity stripe by 57 points (155-212), despite shooting a slightly better percentage.

    Maybe this is a Reilly thing ... even last season, opponents shot 49 more free throws than Gannon did. Of course, GU had over 200 more made field goals than opponents.

    As gogannongo stated earlier, maybe the rule changes are working to our detriment.

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    1. By no means would I say thay this team, with the previous rules, would have a totally different record but I do think we'd have a few more wins than we do. I think with a reduction of foul calls for our tight defense Millersville Boro and UPJ would definitely have been wins.

      Coach Reilly plays a tight, hands on, active defense. NCAA is making rules to eliminate that essentially. Changes...

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    2. I wish stats described turnovers more effectively. I have to think on the high end of shot clock violations around the country. And this isn't a problem limited to this year. Been a long-time problem of our immobile motion offense.

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    3. just wondering - what does the turnovers/shot clock violations have to do with the foul discrepancy?

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  7. ADMENDMENT: THEY EXIST BUT NOT ANYWHERE IN THOSE KIND OF NUMBERS WHEN THEY PACTED EDINBORO AND FOR THAT FACT MERCYHURST.

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  8. Edinboro never had big attendance numbers. The whole freaking PSAC has never had big attendance numbers. And I don't care if three kings and two shepherds are all that show up at other PSAC games or if a couple drunk sailors is all that wanders into an Edinboro game. We're not Edinboro. We're Gannon. We're Gannon. This attendance, this record, this boring style of play is unacceptable. Somebody took our basketball program away. I want it back.

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  9. "GO" Our program made the NCAA tournament the last two years, and possibly should have made it three years ago as well. Tell us here what you mean by someone taking our basketball program away.

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    1. Go to a game. Bring a book. Keep the No-Doze handy. Count the fans. Somebody took our program away.

      The Erie Times barely covers Gannon Basketball anymore. We're 2-10. We're the worst team in the whole conference. Somebody took our program away.

      I'm tired of hearing about all the reasons people don't go to games. Tell the Otters "attendance is down everywhere." Exciting basketball puts people in the stands. Digging in on defense and making the object of the game holding your opponent to under 49 points might be noble but it's no fun to watch. It's not even interesting. Somebody took our program away.

      Yes, Gannon won the PSAC last year. Great. But for every successful year Reilly's had he's had just as many stinkers. His winning percentage is the second worst of the modern era (and before you say he has the most wins in Gannon history remember he has the most losses too). Somebody took our program away.

      Here's another little thing. Dunks. It's fun to watch dunks. A lot of fans besides me love to see dunks. Remember Darrell Blanton? Yeah, I know that's in the past. I only bring up the Jammermill Jammer to make a point. People came to watch him. There are no Blantons on this year's team and that's OK. No criticism there. There's not a lot of Gannon dunks in the games now and that's OK too. I have no problem with that. But did you know dunking is now allowed in warmups? No reason not to dunk in warmups. The opportunity is there and on one to stop you. Every team I've seen this year at the Mill dunks in warmups. Not Gannon. We'll have none of that. No no no. Who's coaching this team? Ebenezer Scrooge? Somebody took our program away.

      #453 I do appreciate your loyalty and your unending optimism. You are a true fan. Probably a better fan than I am because in your eyes this coach can do nothing wrong. If Gannon lost 100-2 you'd cheerily tell us how you feel the team is headed in the right direction and given just a little bit more time we're going to see more wins and a berth in the playoffs. Maybe we need more fans like you and maybe that's how it's supposed to be. But for me it's sickening to see what this program has become. To me being a fan means I want my favorite team to do better and not be delighted with mediocrity. This program is a shell of what it once was. It's been circling the drain for several years now. Just because you don't want to admit what is obvious to nearly everyone else on this board doesn't mean it's not happening. And it's not stopping it from happening. I'm so sorry. Somebody took our program away.

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    2. Thanks for the compliment! I am, or, try to be, an optimist by nature.

      This is a rebuilding season. After three consecutive 20 win seasons, NCAA bids the last two years, an All-American who just graduated, how on earth can you say that the program has been "circling the drain for several years now"??

      I'm sorry, but Glen Summors, Mitch Smith, Darrell Blanton, Kyle Goldcamp, and Fate Harris will not be warming up for the next game.

      I like my pizza thin and crispy, pep and cheese, extra sauce!

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    3. You have to be related to Reilly, is that it?

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    4. i am not related to Coach Reilly, but I feel the same as 453. This is overreacting to one season. They won the PSAC past 2 years with NCAA wins. If they finish 2-22 (I don't know how many total games they play) I'm going to feel exactly the same as I do now. Disappointed, frustrated, but not wanting a coaching change. Now, next year, if Gannon doesn't produce then my feelings will change (tremendously). One year though. Yes, he has the most wins and the most losses... yes he has a slew of winning seasons and losing seasons... deal with this season and move on to next.

      If you want the flashiness and the dunks... go watch the BayHawks... they'll lose as badly as Gannon has most games, but you'll get your dunks and your flash. Or watch the NBA - they are strictly a flashy, dunking game for pure entertainment purposes. 8 steps before a travel is called, always going for the lob, many one on one drives... and even better for most of the bloggers on here... NO DEFENSE WHATSOEVER! It's perfect for ya'll!

      So those of you who don't want to see defense... go watch the BayHawks or the NBA... rest of us will stick to our Gannon program.

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    5. So you're saying if we want to see entertaining, exciting basketball, don't go to a Gannon game. I'd guess lots and lots of people have already figure that out. Thus the empty stands.

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    6. yes, if you want entertainment.. don't go to a D2 or D3 college game anywhere in Erie County.

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  10. Did I just see that Youngstown St just beat Oakland???

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  11. By the way - anyone able to check to make sure Jim didn't hang himself with a Lock Havensweater? Or tied himself to a bunch of weights from UPJ and thrown himself in Lake Erie (prior to freeze)?

    Or worst yet... make sure he's not watching a Hurst game!!!!!

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  12. Per loyal JTR fan 453, we're seeing a "major downtrend" in attendance across the country, right? Wrong.

    Directly from the 2015 report from the NCAA on the state of MBB:

    * Division II attendance was up 37,373 fans from a season ago with a total of 2,785,383,
    the most since 2011-12.
    * NCAA men’s basketball saw a slight bump in overall attendance for the 2014-15 season as
    32,510,647 fans came to watch student-athletes in Divisions I, II and III. Note: The record of 33,396,316 fans in a single season was set in 2007-08.
    * “NCAA college basketball attendance remains remarkably consistent across the country and all three NCAA divisions, as fans and alumni support their favorite teams from the largest arenas to the smallest gyms,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president for men’s basketball championships.
    * 3 of the 4 most popularly attended conferences in D1 have schools in our state (Big 10, ACC, Big East).
    * For the eighth consecutive year, Northern State University led Division II in attendance
    with 3,402 fans per game. Augustana College (South Dakota) was second (2,697), Fort
    Hays State University was third (2,656), the University of Central Missouri fourth (2,647)
    and fifth place went to Dixie State University (2,607).
    * For Division II conferences, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association had the
    highest home attendance average for the sixth consecutive year with an average of
    1,514. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (1,247) and Lone Star Conference
    (1,169) also averaged more than 1,000 fans per game.
    * For the 13th consecutive year, Hope College led Division III in attendance with an
    average of 2,331. The College of Wooster was second (1,620), Augustana College
    (Illinois) (1,460) was third, Calvin College came in fourth (1,455), while the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point rounded out the top five (1,437).
    * Of the top 10 ranked conferences in D2, the PSAC is not even listed. Regionally, CIAA was 4th, with each game averaging 904 people.
    * Of the top 10 D3 conferences, NCAC is the 4th highest. Note that regionally, Allegheny plays in this conference.
    * Average attendance in D2 last year for 297 schools was 686 people. It's been within 150 of that number in the last 11 years. There are about 35 more schools over that window of time.
    * The total attendance for the Division II Tournament was 48,415 for a 1,729 average over
    28 sessions.
    * The only school in PSAC in the Top 30 of D2 schools last season was IUP, ranked 27th (1,330). Regionally, Virginia Union (9-18, CIAA) was ranked #21 (1,441).

    To go further, in 2014:

    * The total attendance for the Division II Tournament was 46,036 for a 1,279 average over 36 sessions. (So, that means attendance was up 2,000+ from 2014 to 2015).
    * From the PSAC, IUP (24-5) was ranked #9 nationally (2,090). Regionally, Winston Salem State (18-10, CIAA) was ranked #23 (1,635) and Virginia Union (6-20, CIAA) was ranked at #28 (1,429).
    * Again, PSAC was not ranked in top 10 of conferences in D2.

    In 2013:
    * The total attendance for the Division II Tournament was 56,590 for a 1,572 average over
    36 sessions and the Division III Tournament was 88,702 for a 1,529 average over 58 sessions.
    * From the PSAC, IUP was ranked #24 (1,587) and again, the only school. Regionally, Winston Salem (CIAA) ranked #23 (1,635) (18-11), Fairmont State (from then WVIAC) was ranked #28 (1,500), and Virginia Union (10-15, CIAA) was ranked #29 (1,494).

    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/Reports/attend/2014.pdf
    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/Reports/attend/2013.pdf
    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/m_basketball_RB/Reports/attend/2015.pdf

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    1. Thanks for the facts and research.

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    2. Very good research.

      I only go by what I see, and, in reference to the televised bowl games, what I witnessed is a lot of empty seats.

      A downtrend in attendance at Gannon games has been calculated below, and, it includes one of the best teams in Gannon Basketball history, the "Goldcamp" NCAA team.

      Click around and skim some news regarding ESPN and Disney (Disney owns ESPN). In the ivory towers of Disney headquarters, executives are very worried about the developing downtrends in sports, and what it my mean for ESPN.

      Interesting, as technology increases, flashy websites get better, fantastic blogs like this get created, mobile "aps" for everything are in the palm of peoples hands, attendance is.........dropping.

      Personally, Gannon with the recent spate of good teams, could have done much better to get students involved with going to games, but, that window has closed.

      We may have, tomorrow evening, potentially the worst record-wise match-up in history for a Gannon game in January.

      My over/under is 645 fans. I hope I'm wrong!!

      Go Knights!!

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  13. GU MBB Attendance Average by yr
    98/99...2063
    99/00...1840
    00/01...1823
    01/02...2143
    02/03...1845
    03/04...1837
    04/05...1574
    05/06...1184
    06/07...1220
    07/08...1574
    08/09...1754
    09/10...1035
    10/11...1091
    11/12...1282
    12/13...1055
    13/14...963

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    1. No doubt, a disturbing trend. One would think that, especially during the last four years with local player Adam Blazek (in my opinion, a top 15 Gannon player of all-time), three 20 win seasons, the numbers would be much higher.

      Sign of the times.

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  14. I always thought success breeds success. When you have three good years in a row that makes your program one that players want to attend and it makes recruiting easier. we seem to have not been able to build on the Goldcamp years either. They were followed up by two mediocre years. Good programs seem to reload not rebuild.

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    1. Bob, some recent, major recruits simply did not like the Gannon campus.

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  15. Gannon plays a brand of basketball that the average fan finds to be uninteresting. Maybe not you and me, but most basketball fans would rather watch an 80-75 game compared to a 50-45 game. It’s one reason that the NCAA implemented some of these rule changes.

    It’s okay to be an uninteresting team, as long as you win. Uninteresting teams that lose attract only the diehard fans. And even the diehard fans find it hard to get excited for an uninteresting team that’s 2-10.

    Nobody here is arguing that Reilly has experienced some tremendously successful seasons. And nobody expected a 2015-16 PSAC championship given the number of key players lost from last season. The biggest gripe that many folks have is that the down years have been incredible valleys, and this year is on its way to being an all-timer. A down year for Gannon used to be 17-10.

    This is coach Reilly’s 11th season. Five have been very good, including two league championships and one regional championship. But the other five have been seasons with losses ranging from 11 to 17, including three losing seasons (and barring a major turnaround, this year will be number four). These facts are impossible to overlook. Coach Reilly’s teams play as hard as any team that I’ve ever seen (I’ll take him over Ron Righter any day). I’ll always respect how he and his players represent Gannon. But I can’t blame the longtime fans for being super-frustrated with the entirety of Reilly’s coaching tenure – Gannon fans aren’t used to these kinds of valleys. Combine that with an uninteresting style of play and it’s hard for many fans to stay engaged.

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  16. Corey...you should read the article The Delicate Balance of an NBA Defense, published on Grantland in 2014.

    NBA teams do play defense. Those who say they don't simply don't watch a lot of NBA games.

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    1. I watch all the Cavs games and a handful of the espn games... some teams attempt defense yes. And there are much better defenders than there used to be... but as a whole the nba is defenseless. Most drives defenders move with the attacker but make very little legit attempt to stop it.

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    2. I watch all the Cavs games and a handful of the espn games... some teams attempt defense yes. And there are much better defenders than there used to be... but as a whole the nba is defenseless. Most drives defenders move with the attacker but make very little legit attempt to stop it.

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  17. Well, after watching this GU team play from Day One, I decided to stay out of the hue and cry about this lost season as much as possible. However, now that we are into the new year, I thought I'd chime in. Based on what GU lost from last year's team and the circumstances that have occurred so far this year, I'm not sure how ANY rational basketball fan could expect anything else. You have literally an entire new roster, excepting part-time returners like Dogan, and a player that was pretty much a member of the supporting cast last year in Toupane. The makeup of the current roster is somewhat short on size, experience, and certainly offensive talent. Unfortunately, they have failed to grasp the typical defensive concepts of Coach Reilly, making their offensive shortcomings even more obvious. No player has stepped up taken a leadership role. Dogan has been hurt all year and had foot surgery in September. Toupane is better suited to be a perimeter, not an inside player. We are told that two players that were to be depended on for offense and size didn't show up. A former GU player whose opinion I respect saw the Pitt exhibition and feels Ascuncion-Boyd would be their best player (he scored 16 vs. Pitt) and of course he has missed most of the season with an injury. After all this, what did you expect to happen?

    Am I saying that none of this is Coach Reilly's fault? That all of this is just bad luck? That it couldn't be helped? No, not at all. Coach recruited this team, and kids not showing up at least partially falls on him. His inability to get this group to play D his way MIGHT be partially due to the rule changes as some have speculated, but it still falls on him. He is responsible for the offensive schemes.

    What I am saying is that given the last few years, with consecutive playoff appearances, PSAC championship, 20 win seasons, and so on, IMO, Reilly gets a mulligan for this season. That's this season. Not if this continues next season. Mulligan. One.

    All this drivel about dwindling attendance? C'mon, people, attendance for everything in Erie is down-even the Otters and Bayhawks, where they serve alcohol, making it more of a social gathering than any GU game, are down. Been to a HS football or basketball game lately? Pretty much friends, relatives, and about 50 hard-core sports fans. Program circling the drain, after consecutive 20 win seasons and a PSAC championship? As Cris Carter says on ESPN, C'mon, man. Nobody took your program away in half a season. It's one disastrously bad season, where everything that could go wrong HAS gone wrong. Cut the melodrama already.

    If GU's Men's Basketball is in the same place next year at this time, I'll agree with all the cynical Reilly bashers and suggest the University consider other options. Right now, in my opinion, Reilly gets another chance to tee it up, no matter what happens from here on out.

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  18. "O" Excellent post.
    What confuses me a bit, is that with present coaching staff, it is always an "if/then" proposition with them. The first signs of things going south, instant clamoring for them to be fired.

    But, completely fair game.

    It's just the mindset seems to be : Stay silent when all is good (ie: the last three seasons), yet the instant things go south, a complete coaching change is in order.

    "O"'s post sums everything up perfectly. Hopefully, things turn out better tonight.

    (indeed: I think a fellow by the name of Conner McDavid has something to do with lower attendance the last several seasons.)


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  19. A little better tonight ... It was at least nice to see this team with the full complement of players available. And it was just nice to see a solid win. It would have been more useful to see better opposition than Mansfield, easily the worst team to play at the Hammermill this season. The Mounties have just one Division II win this year (home against Clarion). They've lost two PSAC games by over 30 points.

    Since we're halfway through the season, I thought that I'd project the remainder of the season. With everyone available, I don't think that this is a terrific team, but it's not a 2-10 team, either. The second-half schedule is easier than the first half, IMO. Here's the way that I see the rest of the schedule.

    Lock losses: @MER, @IUP. Likely losses: Boro, @UPJ, @SRU, MER. Toss-ups: @Cal, SRU, @SH, @LEM. Likely win: Clarion. Lock wins: SH, Cal.

    Projected second half: 5-8, overall 8-18. Best possible record (win all toss-ups and one of the likely losses) 8-5 second half, overall 11-15. Worst possible (lose all toss-ups): 3-10 second half, 6-20 overall.

    So my guess is an 8-18 overall record (7-15 PSAC -- likely out of the playoffs). It looks like 9 (maybe 8) league wins will be needed to make the playoffs, so it's not totally out of the question at this point. We'll see how the season progresses.

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  20. Random thoughts:

    What (or who) is the common thread through the decline of attendance and general loss of interest in the Gannon basketball program over the last almost dozen years?

    I don't know how many times I've heard the coach say over the years that his team has had trouble dealing with the opposing teams defense because they mixed it up a lot. Why can't this team mix up the defenses like everyone else?

    Why can't we ever have good shooters?

    Why can't we hang on to recruits? (3 already gone this year)

    I listen to a lot of national sports talk shows. It doesn't matter what sport they're talking about, or what level, they all say that the great coaches adapt their style to the talent of the players, not try to pigeonhole the players into a particular style of play. Why can't this coach adapt? It's his way or the highway.

    Teams have figured Gannon out, and nothing is going to change until there is a new coach. Get used to what we're seeing this year.

    Why doesn't this coach have a clue when it comes to offense?

    Why can't Gannon teams ever hang on to the basketball. It seems like year after year we're near the top in the league in turnovers. This year we rank second. Only Mansfield is worse, and that's only by 0.1 TO/game.

    It seems to me that only a new coach will solve many of these problems. This coach isn't going to change anything. Anyone can have a good season when he has a bunch of good players. Good coaches can have decent seasons when the talent is down. This coach is lost if he doesn't have exactly what he needs for his ancient scheme.

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  21. A much needed win!

    Note that, again, Ian Gardener received PSAC-West Freshman of the week. I'm wondering if, based upon last evenings performance, Asuncion-Byrd will receive it this week.

    Does Byrd's presence immediately turn the season around? No. But, we all saw a glimpse of what he brings to the team. I honestly think he is about 80%.....there is another gear in him that, once 100% healthy, will provide bursts to the basket for more inside points, and, potential for 3 point plays.

    Last night was hopefully an initial step in the right direction for the entire team.

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  22. Although the season has been disappointing, we can look at a few positives. Several freshman of the week awards, promising underclassmen, and recent playoff appearances. But, I am not overlooking this year's frustrations. Gannon has clearly not adapted to the new rule changes which are supposed to open up the game and increase scoring. Also the turnovers and fouls are troubling. A coaching change is unlikely. However the current administration at Gannon must make a commitment to the men's program. That's where it starts.

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  23. I'm with Observer on this one... this year is a mulligan. If there's no production next year, then I would say coaching staff is on the "hot seat", if they're intact for the full season.

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  24. You are talking about an administration who when confronted by an alumnus complaining on how the athletic program was doing commented with " Why are you getting all excited we are only a division ll program?"

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    1. You saw this first hand? Because I cant picture any professional admin in that office saying that.

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  25. If that is so, its crazy. I go to see GU win. I don't go to see them loose.
    Dja ever notice how long to ride home is from an away game if we loose as oppose to a win.
    If this admin doesn't care about winning I won't care about getting season tkts next yr.
    I'm not saying a "win at any cost" but winning is a lot more fun than loosing. :)

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