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.
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.
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
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.