Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Knights Stick Together, Rally Past Rock

Through 74 minutes of basketball this week, Gannon was mired in a dreadful stretch. After their offense hit a snow drift in a 48-37 loss Wednesday night at Mercyhurst, the Knights trailed a mediocre Slippery Rock team at home by 8, 58-50, with six minutes to play Saturday afternoon. But at that point Jean Yves Toupane came to life, scoring 18 points in a game-ending 21-8 spurt to secure a 71-66 victory over SRU.

Two thoughts popped into my brain as the final horn sounded. First, it's nice to see a win after Gannon had dropped 10 of its previous 11 games. Second, why couldn't this have happened 10 months ago when Slippery Rock upset #2 seed Gannon in the NCAA first round?!? I should probably see a doctor because even when Gannon wins this season I somehow end up with an excruciating headache.

To me, the word of the day for the Pink Zone and Hall of Fame game was "together." John Reilly rarely subbed in players during the second half and had Tony Boykins and Isiah Eisendorf not been plagued with foul trouble, we might have just watched 5 guys play 20 straight minutes to close out a game. Despite tired legs and a deficit, that crew stuck together, kicked their turnover habit, and executed down the stretch.

The bench was together as well. With a now 4-13 record and essentially nothing to play for -- or not play for in their case -- the guys who sat most of the second period were as enthusiastic as last year's PSAC champs. I especially noted the actions of Kevin Kuteyi, who started the game, hit a three, picked up two fouls, and played just the first three minutes of the game before rotting on the bench the rest of the way. A smiling Kuteyi was exhorting his teammates on the floor with his arms around the players next to him on the bench, worried more about a win than his playing time.

Togetherness was also on my mind because instead of finding my own seat behind the opponent's bench like I do most games, I sat in the Section D bleachers with my former Gannon teammates Gregg Blair, James Henderson, and their families. Big Daddy -- I can't call him Jim like his family does -- was at the Hammermill to root on his daughter Morgan, a freshman on the Slippery Rock women's team. While watching a teammate's college-aged daughter play made me feel really, really old, that was overshadowed by the stories and comments we shared with each other during both games.

It reminded me that the games we won or didn't win back in the day really didn't matter that much. Supporting each other during our college careers and 25 years beyond matters way more than where we finished in the conference.

On that note, I'd like to ask the commenters on this blog to stick together and treat each other with respect. There's no reason to fight because we all agree on so many things:
  • Motherhood
  • Apple pie
  • America is the best country in the world
  • We all love Gannon hoops
  • Tom Chapman is the best donut delivery man ever
  • Mother Teresa is our second favorite mother
  • Donald Trump is a rude, ego-maniacal, blowhard who could learn a thing or two hundred from Mother Teresa
  • No one will ever break Glen Summors' rebounding record
  • Snow makes Erieites tougher than the rest of the country
So please stop exchanging insults even if Gannon loses every game from here on out. Let's show folks that no matter what the team's record, we Gannon fans stick together.


  1. This has to be far the most heavily that Mercyhurst has been favored over Gannon. They say that in these kinds of games, "you can throw out the records." Hopefully this is the case.

    I expect another GU / Mercy slogfest ... maybe we can keep both teams in the 40's and pull it out in the end (like Blazek's three in the closing seconds last year).

  2. I'm hoping, after three years, that the burned out lights on the scoreboard have been replaced.

  3. Been a season ticket holder over 40 year. Gone to every Edinboro and Mercyhurst game and many others. If i did not go i listened to the games. This year, especially now, I cannot get the energy to care or go. One coach plays uninspired, boring, losing basketball (even with good talent) and the other thinks he is king of the world, but doesn't know how to maintain a lead. No thanks.

  4. 37 points must be a new just seems to get worse.

    1. You have to all the way back to 2013, when Gannon lost at Mercyhurst, 44-36.

    2. Ahh yes, the game he played Adam 40 minutes and had 6 turnovers, but Newby rode bench for all but 2 minutes in place of Oldham running the point.

    3. Ah yes the good ol days- lol. More of the headscratching decision making

  5. Geez. That was awful. 11 points in the 2nd half. It's like watching 6th grade girls play.

    This team is getting worse by the minute.

    The returning injured players have not seemed to help.

    And now players are leaving. I think 5-6 since the beginning of the year?

    Folks on the board are calling this a "mulligan" year for GU. Not sure how much better this team will be next year unless some ready to play stars are brought in.

    1. Adersteg, Asplund, Therio, Clarke are no longer on team. 2 of them, from what ive heard, were dismissed from the school however (one academically and one behavior). Other 2 no idea (well it sounded like one left for medical issues but that's not been backed up by anything).

    2. Only player who was dismissed was Thiero. Clarke left due to medical issues after going through a season of Gannon practices. Asplund and Adersteg left on their own initiative.

  6. As always the other team makes an adjustment at halftime, goes on a big run to start the half and Gannon can't adjust. The Knights end up looking tired, lost, taking very poor shots and blowing the modest lead. Gannon's coaching staff just doesn't show the ability to make the needed adjustments.

    1. Gannon has been outscored by 38 points in the first half (2.4 points per game) and by 93 points (5.8 points per game) in the second half.

    2. We must've seen different games - this was defensively their best game of the season. Looked like players are starting to understand the importance of what their asked to do.

      Offensively, I saw no different than any other game. One of the better shooters on the bench because he cant play defense, a "big guy" who is trying to do everything by himself (that's nothing against him... he just seems like he's putting it on himself to "do more" than hes able to do) and a bunch of young inexperienced kids learning the college game or upper classmen that just aren't offensive attacks.

      Everyone played great defense though and it was nice to see.

    3. I wish we saw different games- I think you're giving Gannon a little too much credit and forget that Mercyhurst looked mediocre too.

    4. Edinboro looked mediocre. Mercyhurst looked like a "winning team". As much as that pains me to say... Mercyhurst was the second best opponent Gannon has played this season (behind Ashland), IMO

  7. Wow. Once again, we build a modest lead in the first half, only to (as GU said) fall victim to a big run that decides the game. The sad part is that Mercy scored just two points over the final 8:26. With even a little offense, Gannon could have made a game of it down the stretch. Instead, we managed just three measly free throws. We closed last year's game at the MAC with a 21-3 run to win by two (on a Blazek three with 7 seconds left that followed two Gibran threes). This year's version of the annual slog on the hill featured a 3-2 Gannon run over the final 8:26.

    How bad was the final 8:26? The teams combined for 1/18 shooting (a breakaway dunk) and six turnovers. At least 4-5 shots didn't find the rim.

    Gannon shot 3/21 from the field with 9 turnovers in the second half. Trying to find some historical context for the 11-point second half. Gannon scored 13 points in the second half at the MAC in 2013 (with a mind-blowing 17 turnovers) and 14 points at the MAC in the first half of last year's win. GU also scored 13 points in the first half of the Northern Kentucky win in 2009-10. (NKU also scored 13).

    So the two Erie County rival games to date end in scores of 105-102 and 48-37. Sounds about right.

    1. Mercyhurst #1 defense in PSAC (60papg), Gannon #4 (71papg), Edinboro #15 (78papg). So those scores do make sense. Edinboro doesn't play any defense - as we saw in the game against Gannon. Mercyhurst is playing a Gannon-like defense - only better.

  8. I just wanted to comment real quick on the state of the team. I understand people being upset that the team is 3-13 which is totally unacceptable and the abysmal performance put forth against their rivals. I say performance and not effort because Riles will put the 5 guys on the court who he thinks will give the most effort. Does this always lead to the best players being on the court? of course not, but that's his mentality for better or worse and I totally support it.

    With regards to guys leaving, it takes a special type of person to play for Riles and Scoots. I for one, am a better person for playing for them. Some people don't have the balls (excuse my language) to play for them. Which is fine, I don't want them to wear the name Gannon on their jersey then.

    Our coaches know the history of our program more than anyone. They know they need to right the ship and they will. Sometimes recruits come in and they think they can hack it and they can't. Look to the 06-07 and 09-10 seasons.

    Gannon isn't Alabama, we aren't going to be a contender every year. Its too hard to win at this level. Riles and Scoots are the right guys for the job and they will get it done, they always do.

  9. Mark, can you shed some light on what the acceptable level of effort is for this coaching staff? I am just curious as to what is expected.

  10. It's kind of odd that other coaches have been able to contend every year, but not this group. As far as the comment "they will get it done, they always do". What could be further from the truth? They get it done when the stars align and they happen to have the studs that any coach could have a good team with.

    I'm not a bandwagon jumper when it comes to this. I've been saying since Riley has been here that they needed someone else. To me he's never shown the ability to coach a well rounded team. It's all defense, and hope for the best on offense. Even on defense he only seems to know how to do 1 thing, which everyone has figured out. He doesn't seem to have any ability whatsoever to adapt to the players he has. You can't always just force the same thing on players when everyone has different talents.

    There have been some good seasons, but the bad have outweighed the good, and this year is abysmal. Get new coaches that know what their doing at this level, give them a couple of years and watch the difference. Nothing is going to change until it changes at the top.

    1. The only thing out of gannon grad's comment that I will stubbornly go against is "You can't always just force the same thing on players when everyone has different talents." -- The coaches are giving these players, the good majority of them, money to come play at the school. I'd be willing to bet that when these kids are recruited the highly-defensive scheme of the coaching staff is not left out or hidden or lied about (I mean with the internet, recruits can just type "gannon pa basketball" and see highlights/game video/box score/coach interviews and see instantly that defense is, at the least, a highly stressed factor). They know, primarily, what they are getting into. They may not know the intensity that it is coached at, but they know what they are getting into. They are, in an indirect fashion, being paid to play for Gannon. If they believe, for even a second, they are going to come into the program and the coaches are going to "change" for them... they find out very quickly they are gravely mistaken. A coach, in this capacity, does not adapt to his/her players. When you are coaching rec leagues, HS, etc. - those coaches must adapt more than any as they are "going with what they got" whereas collegiate coaches are coaching "their players" (exception of a transition period, first 1-2 years).

      Now, at this point, I'm sure many people reading this are saying "yeah, exactly. These are 'his' players" etc. You can't predict what a player is going to do in a game situation until you get to just that... a game. You can bring a player in with the expectations of an All-American and in their first game find out they aren't even All-Erie. I know you are right now thinking of at least one player from the past five (5) seasons that fits into this description.

      A player can be considered the best of his/her kind when playing at the HS/lower levels. As soon as they lace up their shoes for college pre-season they are now in a whole different world. Some players can hang, some players can adjust in time and some players can hold their own or more. Adam Blazek is a prime example - he hit the court running, literally! He didn't do it by himself, though. With other players around him that were at least able to "hang" at that level, he and the team thrived.

      It takes a lot to recruit just one (1) player that perfectly fits a system, so to recruit the upwards of ten (10) players in one year in which all ten (10) at least can "hang" - impossible. Look at Kentucky - Calipari, in an interview the other day, was asked about recruiting and fitting players in and he said never in his coaching career has he ever had a recruiting class in which every player lived up to expectations and he wasn't expecting that to start any time soon. The guy produces NBA talent in bulk every year - he's won...? 1 championship?? It doesn't always work out.

      (And no I'm not comparing Gannon to Kentucky or Coach Reilly to Calipari. It was just to given an example of players not always meeting expectations)

    2. Just by listening to a coach show or post-game interview, you can tell how much is expected form these kids. Eisendorf has shown to be our best inside guy - he's not starting because the coaches want more. Coach Reilly never really elaborated on what the "more" is (as I feel he wasn't going to put a player on blast on the radio and list each thing they want from him additionally), but his exact words were "we want so much more from him and he knows he can give it". Eisendorf has reminded me of Husted in the sense that Husted is one of the last big guys I remember seeing dive freely on the floor for a loose ball without even thinking before doing it. And it's made me ask "what more could they want?" From watching Eisendorf over the course of the season, he's becoming more of a leader (now is one of the first ones to call for a huddle or to congratulate another player), more vocal (calling for the ball, calling out a play, calling for help etc) and is working extremely hard on defense.

      These players know what is expected from them and getting it is a matter of the player giving just that much more.


  11. Yes, a very tough loss against a bitter rival. We want to win these games. Period.
    Interesting when Mercyhurst's best player is quoted in yesterdays paper "The first thing that comes to mind about Gannon is they have a great coach" (Senior guard Damon Jones).

    I don't think Mark Demski, or, anyone else for that matter, has to answer anymore questions about the coaching staff. He clearly stated, from a player's standpoint, what his feelings are.

    The last I knew, practices are open to the public. Maybe some folks here can go to a practice and see for themselves how hard the coaches and players are working to improve this season.

  12. He offered up his opinions and insights so I'm just asking if he can expand on that some more. No one has ever questioned the teams effort. Most fans are just wondering when effort will turn into consistent results

    1. next season when a few different players are mixed into the rotation. This group has improved tremendously from where they were against Clarion on November 18th. They may be able to keep a few games close that we don't expect or even pull out a few nice victories, but expecting anything more than a few wins from hereon out wouldn't be fair to this group.

  13. I can definitely offer up some examples... If you twist an ankle in practice, i hope you retape your ankle and get back on the floor. If you are playing 3 on 3 and have to stop the opposing team from scoring for 30 seconds and you cant do it so the clock resets, don't bitch at your teammates and own responsibility and get a stop. It's not hard guys, c'mon. You wouldnt believe the attitude of some kids playing D2 ball.

    His teams improve over the course of the year every year. My 2010 is one of the worst experiences i have ever had in my life. I had a broken back and the people who were brought it had awful attitudes. we lost a ton that year and were in it at the end to win the psac tourny and make the NCAA's if i recall.

    Everyone killed Slocum for not always getting to the NCAAs but never winning. Riley got there and won. so you would rather the team be barely making the tournment every year then watch my team in which we went to the elite eight? Arguably the best Gannon team of all time.

    Who competes regularly by the way? GVSU? their facilities are better than mid major D-1 programs. IUP? He use to coach at Pitt and has a ton of connections.I'm a little unsure of what you guys want. We run a clean program and they play their asses off.

  14. Thanks for the response Mark- did these bad attitudes improve over time and if so what did it take to get them to improve?

  15. Is this supposed to intimidate people from commenting on their feelings? I glad we are building better men, so I deduct that the ones that leave the program are losers? Pretty rash judgement.
    If you think season ticket holders and other Gannon faithful are going to keep quiet then i think you are wrong If anyone used the foul language that Mark used Roddy would have deleted their post. More intimidation? The 3 - 13 record speaks for itself. If mediocre is what Gannon is striving for then they have achieved it. Then don't advertise Gannon as a elite program! Make entrance fees free and go DIII. If you think 3 - 13 is bad wait until the season end 5 - 21 might be optimistic.

  16. Section B, you are putting words into my mouth, I never said anyone that left the program is a loser. Those are your words not mine.

    I'm not the enemy. Again, I played on arguably the best team in Gannon history. I LITERALLY broke by back the year we went to the elite eight and kept playing. I guess I am not the best to speak on playing for Riles because I had Jimmy Kaiser and Mark Demski on my butt (didn't want to say the A word to ruffle your feathers) when I was young. Then I had Trigs, Andy and Bump so I thrived in Riles way of doing things. I wasn't one to leave a school my senior year of high school if a coach grabbed my jersey.

    I will be the first to say 3-13 in unacceptable. you saying the statement to go D3 is disrespectful to everyone that put on that jersey in the past.

    This will be my last post, I just wanted to defend the coaches who helped me through my college years.

    I would appreciate a little respect as well Section B. Putting words into my mouth is completely uncalled for. I did not say or even imply who left the program is a loser. Some people leave ND football, it doesn't mean they are losers, the situation wasn't right for them. Its hard to play for Riles and you don't always see the same guy on the recruiting trip as you do when they go to school and workout every day.

  17. Mark’s points are well-taken. I certainly have never questioned the effort of the players, past or present. I agree that nobody plays as hard as Reilly’s teams; they never take a play off.

    I’ve said it before … Coach Reilly is a great person … He and the team represent the university with class, no matter the result. After last night’s game, they instinctively walked off the court at the final buzzer, but returned when reminded of the post-game Porreco Pride of Erie trophy presentation. (Unlike another team blowing off a trophy presentation, but I digress …)

    It’s certainly easy to overlook these facts in the midst of what could turn out to be the worst season in school history.

    When Reilly can find the right mix of players that fits his system, the results are tremendous (two league championships, one regional championship, two other years with NCAA tourney wins). But when he doesn’t, the results are very poor (three losing seasons, soon to be four this year). No other GU coach has had these peaks and valleys in his tenure.

  18. When Gannon entered the PSAC, I remember Greg Walkovich stating that having Mercyhurst and Gannon compete against state schools is unfair because of the amount of scholarships available (paraphrasing but that was his point)

    In an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review from several years back, the East Stroudsburg coach talks about only having 6 scholarships available and not being able to afford to make recruiting mistakes that some other schools regularly make.

    Talking to a Slippery Rock fan, he stated "SR gives away about 6 scholarships per year".

    This is why my expectations for Gannon are high. Based on the information that I have heard, Gannon gives more scholarships than anybody but IUP.

    If this is true, than I expect Gannon to compete for a title every year, not have seasons like this (and other losing years) and to NEVER be below .500

    If I am wrong about this information, would someone please correct me and I will adjust my expectations accordingly?

    Thanks to Mark Demski for weighing is interesting to hear his comments...

    I particularly focused in on this:

    "I say performance and not effort because Riles will put the 5 guys on the court who he thinks will give the most effort. Does this always lead to the best players being on the court? of course not, but that's his mentality for better or worse and I totally support it."

    This confuses me...he is not the Head Effort Coach, he is the Head Basketball Coach and he should be putting players on the court that perform the best and help the team win, not just work the hardest.

    Reilly recruits the players. It's not like a GM is bringing in players that may not fit his system. Why does he recruit kids that may not fit his system? I hire and recruit people as part of my job. It is not an acceptable excuse for me to say "I thought they were one way...but they didn't turn out to fit our place of employment"...It is my job to understand the conditions of the employment and bring in people who will succeed.

    My last "complaint". Why recruit seniors and then NOT PLAY THEM???? Unless they are walk-ons, this seems to me to just be throwing away scholarship money.

    Quite honestly I started following Gannon when I moved to Erie in 1991 because they were good...they had a history, had a long tradition of winning and they never were "bad". They always were competitive. That's not true today. They have way more peaks and valleys.

    Now they are indistinguishable from Mercyhurst or Edinboro...

    1. Mercyhurst and Edinboro would kill for the results Gannon has accomplished in the last 5 to 7 years.

    2. So you just jumped on a Gannon bandwagon is what you're saying. Thats not a "fan".

  19. Check of Gannon's national rankings ... A total of 303 teams are ranked:

    Scoring offense (61.9) -- 302 (thankfully one school, Notre Dame de Namur Argonauts average below us)
    Scoring defense -- 54th; Scoring margin 279 (-8.9). Rebound margin 69, Assists 208, Blocked shots 300, Steals 269. Turnover margin 287. Field goal percentage 276. FG percentage defense 204. Threes per game 293. Three FG percentage 216. FT percentage 126.

    Here's what I glean from the numbers. Second lowest scoring team in the country. We turn the ball over a lot and don't hit many threes.

    The points given up feel a little misleading -- we play a slower pace. We're in the bottom third of opponent's field goal percentage and we don't force many turnovers (bottom 20 in turnover margin and bottom 10% in steals). Steals lead to easy baskets. Rebounding is still solid -- lots of effort by our guys on the floor.

    Slippery Rock is 31st in scoring defense and 8th in rebound margin.
    They are very low in steals, turnover margin, and threes per game. Expect another low scoring, grind-it-out affair.

  20. Finally Gannons effort resulted in a positive outcome. Nice to see hard work pay off.

    Any other team, however, would've won this game by 20+. This was the worst Slippery Rock team I remember seeing Gannon play.

  21. Right Corey, I jumped on the GU bandwagon when I moved to Erie.

    25 years ago.

    And I've attended every game since.

    Been a season ticket holder since 96.

    When I lived in Atlanta I went to Georgia Tech games.

    El Paso UTEP games.

    I'm sorry i never heard the rule about not being able to go to games unless you lived in Erie your whole life.

    Frankly, you're kind of rude.

    1. You said you started following Gannon because they were good. Had a history of winning and were never bad. So if Mercyhurst would've had those credentials you'd be a Lakers fan. I was just going by what you said.

      Nothing to do with being born in Erie.

    2. Corey...I do not follow your logic at all.

      Please stop talking to me. I have no wish to associate with you.

    3. I think that Fauve's point is that he moved to Erie in 1991 and decided to choose a basketball team to get season tickets.

      Now that you mention it, I started going to GU games as a high-schooler in the early 1980's (before I chose to attend Gannon for college) for the same reason. I could have attended Mercyhurst or Edinboro games, too, but did not. Heck, I lived closer to Mercyhurst than Gannon. I guess that I'm as much of a bandwagon-hopper as Fauves. :-)

      Actually, I give him credit as 1991 was a highly subpar 15-12 campaign followed by the dreary independent years of 1992-95. It was tough to stay interested at times without a league.

    4. If you guys are bandwagon jumpers, so am I. JE SUIS GANNON!! I became a Gannon fan because my Dad took me to the games. It was 1963. Al Lawson was a junior, smooth, quick and he could jump out of gym. But one of the biggest reasons I liked the Gannon College Golden Knights was the uniforms. Check them out on the 1964-65 team photo in the archives. Wish they'd bring them back.

    5. I am not saying he's a bandwagoner. I said per his statement he sounds like a bandwagoner rather than a fan. Maybe he just misworded his statement but when you say (paraphrase) [I picked them because they were good, had a tradition of winning and were never bad. Now they are indistinguishable from Mercyhurst and Edinboro]. Am I the only one that feels, just based on that statement, it's translating to "Mercyhurst and Edinboro's programs were weak so I decided to cheer for the one that wins". Everyone has a right to pick - not taking that away by any means. (Ok - well I didn't really get a chance to pick as I was born into a Gannon-fan family and was taken to games at 18 months old... I continued on my own will because I love basketball and my grandfather had season tix so I didn't have to pay to get in... but there was a small part that made me stick due to the fear of being banished from my family - if not fearing for my life haha). I was just purely going by that statement.

      I went to Gannon for school and at orientation when they asked me why I picked Gannon I flat out said "my grandfather has season tickets and my grandmother wasn't going for a while so I was going for free to the games. She's going again and I don't want to pay to get in". I got mixed reactions lol :) But hey I was 17 years old working PT going to school full-time and paying my way through school... I didn't want to spend what extra money I had to get in to a bball game. I was a teen - I wanted everything my way ha

  22. Jim, I also had a chance to talk with Big Daddy before the game. Told me his daughter LOVES going to school at SRU and LOVES her classes. Still getting used to the college game and being at .500 after tremendous success at Seton LaSalle. The HOF committee really got it right with this year's class, especially with the new Courage Award to Eric Witherite. (Mostly) a good day.

  23. Thick or thin, Gannon teams under Coach Reilly and his staff show class. Always.

    Maybe someone from Gannon should send Slippery Rock an invoice for damage done adjacent to their locker room after today's game.

    Real Classy, Slippery Rock.


    Great win. Clarion on deck.

    I think the second half of "PSAC WEST" schedule sets the table for a nice run to finish the season, and, much better success next year.

    Note: "Byrd" being a bit more aggressive going to the basket. Both him and Gardener have potential to be very very good four year players.


    Joke of the week award: Cavs firing Coach Blatt.

  24. I've lost a lot of respect for you for your bashing of Mr. Trump. After 7 plus years of incompetence and lies, we need a change.

    1. Sorry to hear that Dennis. I lost all respect for Trump when he said POW John McCain was not a war hero and "I like people that weren't captured." All American POWs are heroes for what they and their families sacrificed for us. Sorry to get political here, but I won't stay silent when folks are unfairly attacked, especially POWs.

    2. Please inform me about the lies from Hillary... JUST TO BE FAIR

    3. Trump will renovate the Hammermill old wooden bleachers, and make Mercyhurst pay for it...

    4. OK -- that's the funniest comment ever on this blog. I should shut it down right now while we're ahead.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Just think... the presidential election could come down to Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders. You can't go wrong! You can't go right either, but you definitely can't go wrong! Both options are scary.

  25. Gannon finally didn't fold in the second half like usual. Slippery rock was not the team they usually are and made some odd decisions down the stretch.

  26. Toupane willed this victory. How many long contested jumpers did he make?

    Go Knights. Maybe they can turn this into a couple of victories in a row.

    Sitting behind the SR bench, it is always satisfying to see Kevin Reynolds lose.

  27. 453 -- I agree with you that the second half schedule is more favorable. Curious what your definition of a nice run is. I'm still thinking that a 7-19 record (3-6 the rest of the way) is most realistic, with a possible uptick to 8-18 (4-5). Likely wins are Clarion & Cal at home and I expect that we'll score one road win either at Lemoyne or at Seton Hill. The eighth win could be stealing one at home vs. Mercy or Boro (or at SRU). What are your thoughts?

    It was a nice win ... Toupane really won it for us and the defense was good enough. The lack of turnovers in the second half helped. The adjustment that Reilly made to play a zone midway through the first half stopped Cornelius Brown and prevented him from taking over the game. It was also helpful to get to the line ... 25/29 for GU vs. 20/26 for SRU (including a crucial Brown miss in with :19 left).

    1. I'm liking your possible uptick scenario. The thing is, this team is so young (we've already defined what I mean by that a few weeks ago) that, a win like yesterday can possibly propel this group to play every game hard the rest of the way, and, have a very good "2nd half" showing.

      Toupane (brutal year mentally and physically) might just play out the season as he did yesterday. Byrd, as we now see, might turn into a consistent double-digit scorer onward. Eisendorf is progressing very nicely, (note increased variety of inside moves) The bench is very tight. This is a "together" group. Yesterday's win was a gigantic confidence builder.

      I'll take the "over" on your scenario for the 2nd half!

  28. New KPI's are out ... We're up to 36th out of 43 in the Atlantic Region. Mercy is 7 and Boro is 13 ... both NCAA bubble teams. Incidentally, they play each other at McComb on Saturday afternoon.

    And GU has the distinction of losing at home to both the top team (Wheeling Jesuit) and the bottom team (Millersville)!