Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Oh My Word! Gannon Is 6-17

Both you and I probably heard this old saying quite a bit growing up: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't talk about Mercyhurst basketball." The version of that aphorism my daughter is learning in school nowadays ends with "... then don't say anything at all." I'm going to follow that advice after another winless week by the Knights -- 59-57 at Seton Hill Wednesday and 68-54 at Le Moyne Saturday -- and write a post with as few words as possible.

I mean when you're 6-17 overall and a dreadful 1-10 on the road, what can you say except for "ugh!"? The main reason a fan from Lock Haven never started a team blog is that for two decades every post would have been some version of this and eventually the author would end up looking like this. Because I'm at a loss for words, let's do this post in picture format.

I found this photo of former Golden Knight Daniel Kaigler while researching the Gannon/Le Moyne game (yes, I still do that even when the team is hanging around the PSAC cellar). Kaigler could have been doing this for us this season. Sigh.

 
The low point of watching the video stream of the Gannon/Seton Hill game was the Griffins' game-winning three pointer with less than a second to play. Coming in a close second was this image that was shown during a second half advertisement (thanks to my brother Rob for the screen grab and texting the image to me). Seton Hill is a Catholic school and they encourage their students to do this? Sigh.


I don't have to cite statistics to inform any Gannon fan with functioning eyes and ears that attendance has dropped dramatically from the Hammermill Center's heyday. But I wasn't aware that all of Division II is suffering so badly. Check out a comparison of the small college basketball attendance leaders from 1993 (top) and 2014 (bottom). The top four teams in '93 averaged over 4,000 a game. The #4 team in 2014 averaged just 2,644. Cable TV, video games, and smart phones among other factors are hurting DII hoops. Sigh.


How about two weeks ago Mercyhurst was in contention to win the PSAC West, but they've gone into a February swoon, losing their last three games including today's clunker at home to a mediocre-at-best Pitt-Johnstown team. Talk about stinking up the joint at the least opportune time! Wait -- I forgot. "If you don't have anything nice to say ..."

25 comments:

  1. That might be one of the fastest halfs in the history of basketball. It's only 7:55 p.m. Gannon was whistled for three fouls; Seton Hill did not commit a foul. Only one free-throw. The final media timeout was taken with 37 seconds to go in the half.

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  2. Unbelievable !! How many times can this happen ???????

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    1. About a dozen final second buzzer-beaters going back to the Goldcamp/Stosh/Knight/Demski team. That guesstimate might be a tad on the conservative side.

      If such a (truthfully, meaningless )statistic were kept somewhere, I'm sure Gannon would be close to leading the country in this happening to a team.

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  3. We've been on the good side of last second shots as well ... Blazek's off-balance three in the closing seconds to cap the comeback at Mercy last season. Gibran's last-second three to win the PSAC title? Going back to the '09 season, an Alderson-Broaddus three-pointer that would have ended our season in the NCAA second round rimmed out. I'm sure there are more; these are the first three that I can think of off the top of my head.

    May as well get some of these out of our system this season. A few will fall our way next year. Truthfully, what's the difference between 8-14 and 6-16? Last year's shots meant everything -- Blazek's three ultimately earned us the right to host the PSAC; Gibran's three won it.

    That said, Seton Hill looked lost on their final possession, passing the ball from side to side against Gannon's zone, only taking a three when time was running down.

    This is what happens when you let mediocre teams hang around and give them a chance to win on the final possession.

    Gannon has been mathematically eliminated from the PSAC tournament. Four more games to go in 2015-16. It'll be over in two weeks. Projection is still 8-18.

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    1. It appeared Seton Hill's mediocrity was going to catch up with them as they were clueless in the closing seconds. Then Taylor did what would seem like everyone in the building should have known he was going to do. Taylor took the last shot. In a make or miss situation he drained it. Give the guy credit. Gannon used to do the same thing with Blazek.

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    2. Yes buzzer-beaters indeed go both ways. I remember that A-B shot that almost went in.....it was real close...man, 7 years ago, already...

      Lost in the shuffle: C.J's ankle injury late. Hope it's not serious.

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  4. Big games in the PSAC ... East Stroudsburg won at home against West Chester 88-83.


    IUP scored a rare win at Clarion, 69-68, when the Golden Eagles could only convert one of two free throws with two seconds left.

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  5. Should you recruit players and try to get them to fit your system, or recruit players and design a system around their strengths? Any one hear any good recruiting rumors yet

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    1. Try Ibrahim Kamara 6'4" Freshman shooting guard has been offered
      http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3592377/ibrahim-kamara

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  6. Dean Smith wrote in his book that you design a system to fit the players you have. He stated that just one new player can completely change how you coach that year. Seemed to work for him.

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    1. Can you send a copy of that book to Reilly?

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  7. How do you lose by 14 to a team that came in with a 7-15 record, lost 10 of their last 12 games and played without their leading scorer? And you only manage 54 points?

    70 years of Gannon basketball. The worst team ever was the 1946-47 team, the third year of the program's existence, posting a 2-16 record, a .111 winning percentage. Reilly's team this year comes next on the all-time worst list with a .261 percentage and counting. Heck of a job, Riles.

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    1. Considering every team they play has a better record, any loss is not really a head scratcher.

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    2. Corey says
      "Considering every team they play has a better record, any loss is not really a head scratcher"
      The 1st part of that statement says a lot.
      But here's hoping we can close out this season as a winner.
      Let's go Lady Knights

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    3. yes'sir! no "bad" losses at this point. Any win is an "upset". Only can hope to win a few and build going into next year with the youngins we got.

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  8. Indeed, the tail end of a very tough year is upon us. The spark that C.J Ascunsion-Byrd added was obviously missed Saturday.

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  9. From the Gannon Athletics Web site: I'm sure that those in attendance five decades ago remember this game like it was yesterday.

    Gannon to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Gannon-Youngstown State Six-Overtime Game Wednesday Night
    ERIE, Pa. - The game happened nearly 50 years ago, but Gannon faithful can still remember every detail of the famous Gannon-Youngstown State six-overtime men's basketball game at the former Gannon Auditorium. To help celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary, Gannon has scheduled a special halftime ceremony during the men's basketball game on Wednesday, February 17 against California (Pa.) at the Hammermill Center.

    Mel Witherspoon, who set an NCAA record at the time by playing all 70 minutes during the game, will be the guest speaker. Gannon historian Chuck Pora has provided inserts for the gameday programs detailing the legendary contest with excerpts from his book "Why We Never Had Dates." A longer version with pictures, coaches' quotes and the game box score will be available at the Booster table in the front lobby.

    A sold-out crowd witnessed an incredibly intense game that seemed like it would never end with countless twists, turns and dramatics on February 28, 1966. NCAA Small College powers Gannon and Youngstown State needed six overtimes to decide the outcome, before the Golden Knights pulled out a 71-69 victory.

    With four seconds left in the sixth overtime, Ben Wiley faked a shot before passing the ball to Madison Purvey cutting toward the basket on the right side. Purvey's shot at the horn gave Gannon a two-point win as hundreds of delirious students stormed the Audi floor to celebrate.

    The Gannon-California (Pa.) basketball doubleheader begins with the women's teams at 5:30 p.m. First place in the PSAC Western Division will be on the line during the opener. The men's contest follows at 7:30 p.m.

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  10. I seem to remember watching the game on TV....Can anyone confirm that the game was televised locally that evening?

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  11. Gannon has as many wins this season as there were overtimes in that game

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  12. Yes it was reran on TV that night and went into the wee hours of the morning and if I am not mistaken WSEE had it. A lot of the people at it ( all 10,000 if you hear people talk) went home and watched again.

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  13. Yessiree Bob!....that's how I recall the game as well.

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  14. I was there. Really. Age 12. Second row of chair seats with my dad. I can still see Madison Purvey hitting that shot. Number 43. I was hoarse from yelling. The crowd went nuts.

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