Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Gannon’s Bailey Finishes With A Flourish – And A Future

From most every angle, Gannon’s season ended poorly. The team suffered a school-record 19 losses, stumbling at home (6-8) and faring even worse (1-11) on the road. I could cite a spreadsheet full of statistics – the 2015-16 team ranked 298th out of 300 Division II teams in both offense (62.8 ppg) and three-pointers made per game (4.5 avg) – that would add credence to the opinion that this was the worst season in Gannon hoops history. And to put a cherry bomb on top of this season, the Knights were shellacked at home by archrival Mercyhurst on Wednesday, 76-47, a game fans have described to me privately as “painful” and “an embarrassment.”

So don’t fall off your chair when you read my next sentence. I loved how Gannon’s season ended.

Forget the losses. And the turnovers and the missed shots, and being on the wrong end of a buzzer beater. Make that two buzzer beaters. Gannon’s play of the year came on the season’s final possession when with just 15 seconds on the clock, fourth-year senior walk-on Cory Bailey drilled a three from the left wing off one dribble, the almost identical spot where Girbran Smith won last year’s PSAC tournament championship.

Regular readers of this column know I hold all walk-ons in high regard (takes one to know one), but Bailey is a cut above the rest. First, he’s a local kid, the pride of North East, PA. Second, he’s known as a great teammate. He’s a scary hard worker and it’s obvious he sets the pace on the bench for the team’s enthusiasm. He was high energy last year when things were going great, and he didn’t change his attitude this year even as the losses piled up. Finally, Bailey did all that for four grueling years despite receiving an anemic amount of playing time over that stretch. The past two seasons he’s played only 15 minutes, and half of those came Wednesday vs. the Hurst. In 23 career games, he totaled 43 minutes on the floor, which is about as much time as  former Knight Adam Blazek would log in one afternoon. Bailey had just 4 points – one field goal and two free throws – prior to his bucket against the Lakers.

People think pressure is what LeBron James feels when he has the ball with the clock winding down and the Cavs trailing by a point. But if he misses, there’s the next game or, even if it’s game 7 of the NBA Finals, there’s the next season. But true pressure is what Bailey was under. The kid had the ball on the final offensive possession of his competitive basketball life – he’ll never play in front of paying customers again – with one last opportunity to make a field goal. And he drained it. Sorry, LeBron, but that’s clutch.

I predict this won’t be the last we hear about Cory Bailey. No, he won’t have his number retired, and he won’t get inducted into Gannon’s Athletic Hall Of Fame for what he did between the lines. But based on what we saw him consistently display since 2012, the physical therapy major is going to be a success because I bet he’ll approach life the same way he tackled basketball.

I expect this will be the last Gannon Hoops post I write for a while – maybe even until next season tips off in November – and it ties in with what I just wrote about Bailey. I’ve begun writing a book with the working title “The Walk-On Method to Career and Business Success” that will feature leadership lessons from underdogs who became extraordinary. I’ve conducted nearly a dozen interviews so far, and I plan to devote some time the rest of this year to that project.

Among the folks I’ve talked with are a rower at Dartmouth who’s now a world-class triathlete and business consultant, a quarterback at the University of Washington who never saw one second of playing time but is now a successful attorney, a track walk-on at Western Michigan who was recently named a college athletic director, and an LSU basketball walk-on who started a chain of successful southern restaurants (called Walk-On’s, of course).

Because my minimum requirement to be featured in the book is five years of professional experience, Cory Bailey won’t be included. But if I write a volume two, I have a feeling he will earn himself a chapter.

140 comments:

  1. The Last Game of the Season.

    Two types of teams end their season with a win: The national champion and a team that's eliminated from playoff contention despite the result of their final regular season game.

    Fun fact: No team has reached 60 points in the last 7 games of the Gannon / Mercy series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just do not understand. Jim Brunelli starts his five seniors on senior night in a game that has an impact on the PSAC playoffs. John Reilly tonight staid true to form and did not honor his seniors by starting them in a meaningless game. I have watched this for eleven years and this is the only coach I have ever seen at Gannon do this. I would think you could start a player like Cory Bailey ( who was a four year walk on and practice for four years) as a thank you. I have always felt bad for the seniors, who had their parents there, only to get in the last minute of the game. Is there anyone out there who can explain this to me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed!!!! I am very grateful for Corys sake that he got sent to the scorers table with more than 48 seconds left (actually surprised it was 7+ minutes when he got there).

      I've never been a fan of not starting a senior (the ones who have earned it at least; no issue with Dogbo not starting) on senior night.

      Also disappointed Gadson and Fustine didnt get in.

      Was great wgen Cory hit the 3 though!!

      Delete
  3. Well because obviously the seniors could never have put up 17 whole points in the first half.

    The worst half of basketball that I have ever seen a GU team play.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Make Gannon Basketball Great Again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At least Cory Bailey's three allowed fans who remained for the entire game to leave with a smile. And Dogbo also got into the scoring column.

    Other that that, not much to smile about on the most miserable senior night ever to end the most miserable men's season in history. I expected GU to lose tonight, but I also expected a better fight. Mercy certainly played well, but we certainly have a way of making the opposition look like a great team.

    The first half was unlike anything I've every seen at the Hammermill Center. Onana outscored GU by himself, and the rest of his team also outscored Gannon. The first half scores: Mercy (non-Onana division) 29, Onana 18, Gannon 17. We came in third.

    Oh well. The season has mercifully come to an end. 19 losses. Unbelievable.

    Thanks to the team for playing hard every night. Thanks and best of luck to the seniors (JYT, Boykins, Dogbo, Bailey).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now that the season is over (and in such a horrible manner yet), I think it's a good time to make a quick evaluation of this year.

    I know there are a great number of Coach Reilly-haters out there, many of whom have been just waiting for this kind of season so they can pounce on the opportunity to howl for his scalp. I realize that many of these GU fans have never been happy with the Knights' style of play under Reilly anyway, and having this awful a season makes it super-easy to be critical. And obviously, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    However, here are some points that should be considered.

    First, be careful what you wish for: There's no guarantee that if Reilly were fired, that the new coach would be any better. In fact, one only need look at Cleve Wright's record so far at Miami to see how difficult it can be to establish your program when a new coach takes over.

    Second, whether you like Reilly's style or not, his team won the PSAC title last year and contended the year before, making the NCAA's both years. He won the PSAC Coach of the Year award at least once, if not twice. Is it logical to want a coach with that record fired? Not telling you what I think is right, just suggesting you think about it.

    Third, although Reilly-haters don't want to hear it, there were a lot of unfortunate occurrences that befell the team this year. It started when Daniel Kaigler, a promising forward that Reilly gave a lot of PT last year, decided near the end of last Spring semester to transfer to his hometown team. 2 players who were being counted on to contribute mightily, surprised the coaching staff by revealing in the first week of the Fall semester not to attend Gannon, although I cannot absolve the coach for a small amount of responsibility for that happening. Matt Dogan had an injury (his foot, I think) that required surgery in late September and he probably rushed back before he was 100%. Jean-Yves Toupane's father died, and the player ended up in the hospital (I have no idea why) for awhile. Promising frosh CJ Byrd was injured early in the season and missed a great majority of the games. There's no question that a lot of players who GU was depending on to start, contribute significantly, and/or play a lot weren't available. GU lost what, 3 games to last second jumpers. This season was rife with occurrences at least partly out of the coach's control.

    Additionally, I think the time has passed when you can compare Reilly's performance to Coaches Slocum, Dukiet, or Chapman. The game of basketball has changed. Division II basketball has changed. The situation at Gannon has changed, both in the requirements for student admission and the attitude of the school administration toward its basketball program. Bud Elwell ain't making the decisions anymore, kids.

    In the past, I have been critical of Coach Reilly's tendency to practice his teams too hard and too long. I have long felt that he has needed an assistant coach that was well-versed in the offensive side of the game to at least slightly offset his tendency to be overdependent on defense. This is particularly true as the NCAA changes the rules to promote offense.

    However, I stated here earlier that Reilly deserves a mulligan on this season (not on any number of games) because of his past successes and all the unfortunate circumstances that have occurred. If you have ever coached a competitive basketball team at any level, you know how losing even one player that you were depending on can wreck your season. It can be argued that Reilly lost 4-6 players that he was counting on for all or large parts of this season.

    If next year's results are near the same as this year's, the discussion at that time should include re-evaluating Coach Reilly's position as head coach. But not now. Not after all that has happened this season. In my opinion, of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No guarantee a new coach would do better but when losing 18 games is an improvement there's a pretty good chance the new coach will do better. At any rate, your points are well taken. I'm just tired of the roller coaster ride of seasons, the excruciatingly boring style of play (even when they win) and the endless stream of excuses for Reilly's failures -- "all teams lose a lot of players every year," "attendance is down at all colleges," and, wait for it because it's coming: "a lot of teams lose 19 games now days." Gannon needs a new start. In my opinion.

      Delete
  7. Overhead some guys sitting next to us say "I can't believe they decided to bring him back for 3 more years" (referring to Coach Reilly). Was he offered an extension?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very good points by the Observor. Really, not much to add from comments posted here.

    Yup, we missed the added inside presence of what Kaigler brought to the table. Family is what I heard led to his decision to leave. Note what happens to us when Eisendorf gets hit with two quick fouls: The entire defensive sequence gets blown out of whack. It happened at Slippery Rock Saturday night, and, we all saw it last evening.

    Gigantic offensive spurts take place, only to have a second half in which we play even, or, outscore teams.......after the damage has been done.

    The pulse that the team gained when Byrd became healthy was quickly lost when he went back down again, after flashes of brilliance. All discussed in above post. Three "knowns" for next year are Gardener (Possible PSAC Freshman of the Year) Matthew Dogan, and, Eisendorf.

    After a similar down year, Vince Moseley was brought in to regain the toughness and swagger some years back. I look for the same next year at several positions.

    Essentially, next season kinda begins today.........


    ReplyDelete
  9. To expect that one or two players would make a substantial difference on the outcome of this past season is over simplifying the issue that they were completely outsized and outmanned. Most of those players could be fine as complimentary role players but counting on them to lead a team proved too much.

    ReplyDelete
  10. GU: Fine line. One more big man could have made a huge difference. Simply look at all the close games.

    This is being addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. Yes, I count 6 blow outs.

      I also count three games against 20 win teams by early December.(Edinboro's talent was enough to win 20 games as well, IMO). I don't think historians on this site can find a season with such a difficult early schedule. Many, many seasons past produced mid December records of 6,7,or 8 early wins against very weak teams.

      No excuses, in all those early games this year, the superior team prevailed.

      I honestly hope they play a schedule with the same difficulty next year.

      Delete
  12. What is your point? Is it that . . . if Gannon didn't have to play three 20 win teams by early December and if they didn't have the most difficult early schedule in the history of the program, and if they didn't have to play Edinboro (twice), then what? They would have been in the PSAC playoffs? No? Would they have won 8 games in stead of 7?

    And lost somewhere in the 19 losses is another record that was set this year, for most players to quit in a season. I might have lost count but I think there were three who quit DURING the season and two who quit before practice even started. That's pretty amazing, even by Reilly's standards. It won't be long before the number of players who quit the team in the last 11 years will outnumber the bleacher creatures in Section B.

    Sharpen up your excuses for next year. Gannon plays at least 22 games against the exact same teams in 2016-17.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two didn't quit before practice started; they never went to Gannon. There were two players that committed to Gannon and then changed their commitment just before the semester started. They didn't do anything with Gannon athletically or academically.

      And this is not the most players that have left during the season - four left in one of Coach Reilly's early years and five left in another.

      I think everyone needs to face the realization: Coach Reilly isn't going anywhere in the foreseeable future - untwist your panties and deal with it OR stop going to Gannon games... the "true" fans won't miss you!

      Delete
    2. I clearly stated no excuses.

      Come up with something better than the number of players who leave the program: It happens everywhere. Every single year.



      Delete
    3. #453 -- apparently maybe I haven't been paying attention. Every team in D-II had five or more players quit this year. Oops, you did say "everywhere." So I guess that includes D-I and D-III too. NAIA? You want something better? Record losses, empty stands, boring basketball would be my something betters. I've also read valid criticism about Reilly's coaching strategies and in-game decisions, his excessively physically tough practice sessions, his substitution patterns, his inability to adjust to changing game conditions, his inflexibility, his recruiting failures, his playing players for 40 minutes a game and on and on. One former player told us how he played with a broken back, like that was a GOOD thing.

      Yes, Corey, I realize that if being a true fan means never questioning anything about your sacred team then you and #453 are the only true fans on this blog. Hope you're happy together. Should we all be like you? Or should you be like us? I guess it wouldn't be fun if we all agreed. But for a moment, Yay Reilly, he is so great, let's lose another one, come on fellas let's get 47 points tonight!! I know Reilly is going to have a great team next year and he will be undefeated. I'm telling you. There will be no more losing. Reilly is going to win so much you're going to get bored with the winning. And Reilly is going to close that door at the Hammermill and no players are going to leave ever again. I'm telling you Reilly is a tremendous coach, he does tremendous things, and next year he is going to be so good at coaching it will make your head spin. I know this for a fact. Reilly is going to make Gannon great again. Gannon is going to be so great again that other teams are going to be begging us "please Gannon stop beating us, we surrender." I will tell you this. Reilly is tremendous and he is right now doing all those things that will make this team great again.

      Delete
    4. Please, don't question Mark Demski.

      Also, "GO", I didn't say "5", I simply stated that players leaving happens with every team. (See Mercyhurst several seasons ago with the alleged "crime" ring).

      If you don't like present coaching staff, fine, I get it. Stay home. Comical to watch fans hope to see negative results to justify their opinions, rather than acknowledge, like in this instance, what has taken place last three years.

      This year was a rough one. I believe program will bounce back next season.

      Delete
    5. By true fans I mean rather than continuously criticizing and complaining about something that clearly isn't going to change (especially by bloggers talking smack on a non-university affiliated blog), talk about something else (or not at all preferably). How about credit to mercyhurst? (I about vomited typing that... ugh!) Although Gannon was awful for over 3/4 of the first half, Mercyhurst (all game) was hitting shots with hands in their face. Or that even down by a million, Gannon players (most of them) continued to play hard and yes before the scrubs came in. How about Bailey's 3 and how the crowd as minimal as it was made it sound like it wad a standing room only packed place for a four year walk on who deserved that basket? How about the kid from mercyhurst averaging 6ppg (30% overall 40% 3FG) was 9/10 and 4 of 5 (and the only shot he missed was a 3 that was practically down the net before it bounced out)?

      Many talking points. You cant find something else to talk about? You cant change the coaching staff or their style, only thing you can control is the money coming out of your pocket to watch the games.

      If you feel so strongly why not talk to the AD or Coach Reilly, et al? Clearly whining on this blog hasn't changed anything in 11 years so try another outlet.

      Lets face it though. They could can Coach Reilly right now and if next season is similar youll be whining about why the new coach needs to go.

      Im not defending the coaching staff or the school - this season sucked. But im not going to whine to you all about things I can't control, so I find other things for talking points.

      Delete
  13. Not sure what the whole thing about the December schedule means. Now that there are 22 PSAC contests, league games are played in November and December. So we would have played very good IUP and mediocre Edinboro twice regardless of the timing.

    We had four independent games this year. Two were indeed against excellent teams that will contend for league and region championships: Ashland and Wheeling Jesuit. Two games were against a below average Lemoyne team (finished 10-16). So our independent schedule was better than average. In the past, we would play one or two non-Division II teams at home. And maybe one or two more home games (before 1996). But you also have to take into account that the GLIAC never had any Mansfields or Millersvilles (or the Lock Havens before this year). Before last year, we played winless Lock Haven twice. I'd say that our schedule may cost us one, maybe two more wins compared to yesteryear.

    But don't take my word for it ... The Key Performance Indicators (KPI), to which I supplied a link last week take into account strength of schedule (and opponents' strength of schedule. They also take game locations ... road wins are better than home wins. Home losses are worse than road losses. Going into the Mercyhurst debacle, Gannon was 36th our of 43 teams in the Atlantic region after running all the numbers.

    In last year's KPI rankings before the PSAC tourney, Gannon was third in the region (and likely passed IUP after Gibran's shot)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Golden"...good stats.

      Early on, with the teams we played this season, one or two wins instead of losses might have made a difference, confidence-wise, for this specific team during some of the close games as the season progressed.

      Down at Clarion for the initial game, I thought (and possibly posted) that they had 20 win potential. I don't know what happened, but, they sort of had a flat tire (couple key injuries, I hear).

      Edinboro? What can I say? I friend I know who has close connections to Youngstown St (his cousin is an assistant coach), and, has seen multiple games this season, has stated that Mason would bea very good player in the Horizon League. How Edinboro struggled at times this season confuses me. But, that is their problem.

      Wish list: We'll need size and shooting ability next season. Addressed.


      Delete
  14. Get rid of Reilly or face the fact that Gannon doesn't care about the basketball program anymore. Keeping him means more tired, worn out game plans and mediocre basketball. We need a fresh approach to re-vitalize the program. I think that almost every team he's had has underperformed, and that's on the coach not the players.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean like the last three years, including NCAA appearances, and, PSAC championship?

      Delete
  15. Jim - best of luck with the new book. If its even half the book your first was - it'll be tremendous.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jim.....Count me in: I'll buy 5 copies for myself, friends, and, clients!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You can say what you want about this season, but what to me is much worse than the team's miserable record is the fact that the once-proud Gannon men's basketball program has sunken to an all-time low. Whereas stands were once overflowing, plush seats had long waiting lists, fans were getting turned away at the door, the place was so loud that it was difficult talking to the person next to you, and the team was "the only game in town," the program isn't a tad of what it once was. Not a tad. Long-time fans have abandoned the program, young fans have not been created to replace them, season ticket sales have declined drastically, there is virtually no student support, the local media no longer regularly covers the games, and the Hammermill Center is a ghost town compared to what it once was. The game against Mercyhurst on Wednesday told it all, where our cross-town rival, whom we regularly used to beat, crushed us, and while we might have had 10 students at best, hundreds of their students were present, and screamed so loudly that it seemed that Mercyhurst was the home team, not Gannon. It breaks my heart to see this, but sadly, I don't see things getting better anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ditto.
      There was a 3yr waiting list before I got my ticket. Now there seems to be so many open seats. I see different people every game sitting around me. I'm giving up my seat next season. I go to see GU win or at least play exciting games not boring defense. Defense wins in football but is not exciting in BB.

      Delete
    2. If you want exciting go watch the bayhawks. They are there for entertainment. College basketball doesn't have to be exciting. And defense does win games... Gannon defense was horrendous this year thus the losses.

      So were you all not excited and bored out of your minds when Gannons defense led them to the sweet 16? They played the same way they do now as they did back then. This season the players just didn't end up panning out.

      Delete
    3. The rules have changed to make the game more offensive minded.
      And yes, I do go for the excitement of the win. Not bored out of my mind. I haven't lost that yet. I actually went to the Bayhawks game today. It was veterans appreciation day.
      Make a bet with you if GU looses 27 games each of 2 yrs running, you may be there with some of the parents...maybe.
      You and about 27 others.

      Delete
    4. I dont care who else is there. I dont care if im the only one there. Obviously the school should but I myself could careless.

      If gannon made a NCAA run and enjoy route was winning games an average of 35-30, I would have no problem with that at all. If they did it winning am average of 120-110, although it'd be a horrendous defensive showing by them and all their opponents, id have no problem with that. Intense defense is what has been their bread and butter when they've made their runs and until it completely is dead, which it is not yet, im fine with it. This years team struggled mightily on defense - that was the killer.

      Delete
    5. We had about 16 fans at the NCAA tournament when we played #3 ranked East Stroudsburg two (short) years ago after winning the first game. Two of those fans were Adam Blazek's parents.

      Gannon gave the 3rd best team in the country, on their home court, as fierce as a game as they played in all season. (According to their coach at press conference).

      Pretty darn good showing from a team that has been circling the drain "the last few years".

      Delete
    6. I was at the ladies NCAA tournament that weekend

      Delete
    7. well then i hope you are not one of the one's complaining about attendance..

      Delete
  18. Reilly's style is as exciting as watching C-SPAN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I knew when sports became about excitement. I go to see a basketball game. Two teams playing, regardless how good one might be or how bad one might be. I didnt expect Gannon to win heck at Hurst they didnt break 40 so I wasn't expecting much second time around. It was still a basketball game and fun to watch. Gannon wasn't necessarily but it was fun to watch Hurst come out on fire first half. And the game was set at its peak when Bailey drained the three.

      Gannon could be number one in the country and 19-0 next season and the seats still won't be filled. I believe almost every game this season was available free online. Gannon provided free home games and I watched most road games (minus hurst and boro) online. IUP, Rock, Seton, UPJ, cal I watched all online for free. I know there were some others. Many people are just watching at home. Students have too many other options namely partying) besides sports. Even when I was at Gannon students were in the decline. 1) no one knew their ID got them in free (was never announced or advertised. Should be told at orientation) 2) there are many more night classes now and they're all tuesday wednesday or Thursday nights. 3) partying. Most kids were too hungover to make it to a 3pm game or too drunk to go to a 730p game.

      Can we get some new scapegoats now?

      Diff note - congrats to the lady knights on their big win. Was a great team victory. Also, completely diff note, im not very anxious about mens eventually going to quarters. Ugh.

      Delete
    2. Bye Bye Boro! #6 Clarion goes on the road and pounds the third-seed Fighting Scots. Now travel to Erie to play #2 Lakers.

      Also, in reading the championships preview "IUP and Kutztown are the top seeds remaining... Kutztown finished #1 JUST THREE YEARS after finishing last in the East". I certainly hope their coach was criticized for finishing last and his head was demanded on a plate for having 2 poor seasons in a row! Oh, nope, he's in his 16th seasons there. Hmmm... their fans must not care like Gannon fans do!

      Delete
    3. Bernie Driscoll's last place finish came off 10 consecutive winning seasons and 10 straight PSAC tourney appearances. This season is Gannon's fourth losing season in the last 11 years.

      I am not a Reilly detractor, but I definitely see the points that they are making.

      Delete
    4. One more thing ... where did you see anything about the men going to quarters?

      Two good things about quarters -- One fewer media time out per half and fewer free-throws after non-shooting fouls.

      Delete
    5. I get that but how many elite 8s did they go to? How many NCAA appearances?

      Gannon did all that in the Slocum era but never won a NCAA game. If Gannon is a NCAA contender in their good seasons, I'll take these bad seasons in between. Good still outweighs the bad.

      Delete
  19. NCAA rule changes updates says that women are experimenting 2015-2016 (updated says its permanent) and that upon success will be adopted by NCAA mens 2017-18 or 18-19.

    It still doesn't cut down the prolonging of the game with free throws at the end (as seen in gannon vs Hurst women).

    I personally just dont like the stoppage of quarters. I like the flow of a full half minus media timeouts.although quarters would probably allow Coach Reilly to play all 5 starters 38+ mins with the extra rest time.

    ReplyDelete
  20. On the NCAA website one of the stated reasons for going to quarters In the women's game was to add "excitement to offensive possessions." Funny how they used that word excitement, since the anti-Reilly fans were scolded a few posts ago for expecting excitement at Gannon basketball games. Yes, how dare we hope for a little excitement. Turns out the NCAA agrees with us.

    Regarding Corey Bailey, we all love this guy and we're all thrilled that he finally got to play and that he hit that trey on the last shot of his career. What a great story! Call ESPN! I just hope it wasn't too exciting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. There has been many comments about bad breaks. You have to remember there are two sides to getting breaks. Before I go into that I do want to point out that any team who is counting on players they do not have a signed letter of intent from by mid July is shooting in the dark. Any player who does not sign by then is still looking and using you as a last resort.
    Now into the other side of breaks. Let's start with 2007,2008 & 2008,2009. Take out Tyler Stoczynski, Cory Knight and Kyle Goldcamp and see what those years would have looked like. Tyler and Cory left town so it would be safe to say that either GU was not on their radar screen or GU was not interested in them. Things did not work out for them and the came back and landed at Gannon. Kyle Goldcamp does not end up at GU if we went into the PSAC one year sooner. Kyle wanted to go to IUP but the Pitt-Johnstown but the PJ coach would sign for him to go to any school in the Atlantic region. It also happened at that time there was an assistant at GU named John Bowan who worked with Kyle and his play improved over what it was over what it was at PJ. Looking at the run from 2012 to 2015 there was a common thread named Adam Blazek a walk on. Adam was over looked by a lot of Div ll schools and was getting looks from local area div lll schools so he elected to walk on at a Div ll school GU. Andy Sisinni tried to get his alma mater Duquesne to give Adam a chance because he saw Adam's potential. What would those three years look like if Duquesne did and he went there? Not only was Adam an exceptional player but he also was one of those players who could inspire other , by his example, to give a 100% effort. This is not to say that there were not other players who contributed to the success of these years but the above mention were very key and we were lucky to get them when we did.
    So as you see there were some very good breaks that came along. Look at the six years where nothing dropped into GU's lap a combined record of 70/89.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very good points and analysis, Bob. I concur - breaks go both ways. And a very lucky break came in Goldcamp as well as Blazek (he could've been low D1 easy!)

      Only question (and not just for you; in general because I've been wondering about it since they had the article about him playing in Canada in ETN) - was Blazek truly a walk on? I've heard some say he was a true walk on, some say he had enough academic scholarships/grants that he didn't need an athletic scholarship immediately (so to help Gannon) and others say that Coach Reilly recruited him from the get go and he was full ride all four years. I'm just wondering if anyone has confirmation of the true story.

      Delete
    2. Very good points about recruiting. The irony (cruel irony to UPJ supporters) is that Kyle Goldcamp eliminated UPJ from the 2009 tournament.

      Ladies' season ends tonight. Tough break on the Thies injury, but this team underachieved throughout the season, IMHO. The season would have looked a lot different without the home loss to Seton Hill and getting swept by Slippery Rock. Brunelli's going to have to get some players to replace Thies, Neighbors, and Berchtold.

      Delete
    3. The team tremendously underachieved this season. Despite record, I felt it was a fairly disappointing season given the senior experience they had.

      Delete
  22. I do not know about academic or grant help. The walk on information came right from the news paper when they did the nice write up on Adam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah that was where I saw it too, but thought it might be a typo as he was never listed as a walk on in the program.

      Delete
  23. Multiple player suspensions for Minnesota Men's Basketball announced earlier today. I'm guessing all of them have played their last game there.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Virginia, ranked #4 nationally, travels to play at Clemson last evening. Clemson's home court has seating capacity of 15,900.

    9,661 fans viewed last nights game. Sign of the times. Saturated sports viewership options. Downward trend continues.

    I'm guessing NCAA Tournament viewership will decline accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
  25. All-PSAC West men's teams just announced.

    No Gannon players made the first or second team. Seven of the nine teams landed a player on the teams. Gannon and Cal excluded.

    Mason and Wade-Chapman of Boro made first team and Ajenifuja from Mercy made the second team.

    Mercy moves onto the semifinals with a resounding win over Clarion last night.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And what a break for Mercyhurst ... #1 seed Kutztown blew their chance to host the final four when they were beaten on a late bucket by Shippensburg. So Mercy will play Ship on a neutral court, where they will likely be favored to advance to the finals. IUP will face host West Chester.

    In case anyone is interested: Attendance figures for the four semifinals: @ Kutztown: 2,187, @ IUP: 2,281, @ West Chester: 1,650, @ Mercy 738

    ReplyDelete
  27. IUP: a bit more than half full, no?
    --------
    Edonboro : Proof positive perhaps most talented PSAC team...........thud.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Edinboro had two great guards and a supporting cast of run of the mill players. Mason couldn't throw the ball in the ocean against Clarion. Clarion's guards couldn't miss against the Boro in an exciting offensive showdown. Ironically, the Clarion guards went cold against the Hurst and it was the Hurst that shot at an unconscious level to bounce the Golden Eagles. Hardly matters, however, as nobody is going to keep IUP, with Athlete of the Year Brandon Norfleet and Freshman of the Year Dante Lombardi, from taking the PSAC championship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My bet would be on West Chester or Hurst.

      Listened to James R. Interview Coach Manchel today. They were supposed to have a kid from Duquesne transfer. Not sure what happened but fell through however hes supposed to be there next year. Was a contributor for Duquesne too. Would be huge for Hurst.

      Delete
    2. You mean a team like Duquesne can have players transfer?

      Delete
  29. If Mercyhurst keep shooting as well as they have been, they can beat almost anybody.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hurst has to win PSAC to make NCAA tourney. They fell from 10th to 11th in region yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Congrats to Jennie Thies (first-team) and Morgan Neighbors (second team) on being named all-PSAC West performers for 2015-16!

    Regional rankings surely are interesting ... IUP is eighth in both men's and women's. More MEC and CIAA (esp. women's) teams in rankings than before. PSAC is a tad weaker this year than other seasons.

    ReplyDelete
  32. PSAC definitely a little bit weaker this season esp. with the sporadic losses (i.e. Rock, IUP, Boro, Hurst, etc. losing games they definitely should've won and crushing good teams). I say three (3) PSAC teams make tourney. Kutz and Chester are essentially locks. IUP in 8th, obviously, is in good standing... however, if Ship or Hurst were to win the PSAC they get the automatic. So I'm saying three (3) Psac teams make tourney.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hurst knocks off Ship and Chester prevails in an OT slugfest over IUP.

    First time Hurst has been to the PSAC Final.

    I'd like to think Hurst has done enough to move up to at least the 8th spot in region, however, I don't know who 9 and 10 are (or what they've done) and Hurst was 11. Don't know if I see IUP dropping significantly (if at all) since they lost to a good team on their home court.

    Should be a good game tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h--NDGEinss&feature=youtu.be

    What a finish of the West Chester / IUP game.

    Not so sure that Mercyhurst has done enough ... hard to jump three spots in one week, especially since their two wins were against mediocre Clarion and Shippensburg. I think that they need a win tomorrow.

    I think that this the first time that Mercy has ever been to a conference final anywhere (MCC, GLIAC, PSAC).

    ReplyDelete
  35. Regional craziness so far ...

    Definitely in: Wheeling Jesuit, West Liberty, Fairmont St., Va State (CIAA champ), Kutztown, West Chester.

    Fighting for the last two spots: IUP, Concord, Notre Dame, Mercyhurst, and East Stroudsburg (who was 7th in region before losing to West Chester on Tuesday). Concord just upset West Liberty in double OT at the buzzer. And Notre Dame leads West Liberty at halftime. If either ND or Concord wins tomorrow, then there's spot number 7. Don't think that the Lakers can afford to lose tomorrow. Way too crowded of a field vying for the regional.

    ReplyDelete
  36. MEC Chaos. Notre Dame defeated Wheeling Jesuit. ND or Concord will make the field. Lakers had better win or IUP or East Stroudsburg will get the bid.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Folks, we now live in a world in which Mercyhurst won the PSAC championship and Gannon finished 7-19.

    Can we please have the old world back?

    I took a screen shot of the PSAC men's basketball home page. It always features a photo of team that won the most recent championship ... they haven't updated Gannon's 2014-15 championship photo yet. Savor it for a while longer.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Concord is your MEC champ. Likely teams (in my predicted order of seeding are):

    Wheeling Jesuit (host), West Liberty, Fairmont State, Virginia State, Kutztown, West Chester, Concord, Mercyhurst.

    That's a pretty tough region. WJU / Mercyhurst could be one of the more interesting 1/8 games in recent memory. Mercy is playing much better now that Beins is back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish the D2 committee would use same practice as D1 when it comes to teams from same conference playing each other right off the bat. Kutztown vs. West Chester first round and Concord vs. West Liberty. Never been a fan of this esp. When Gannon had to play Rock for the 4th time in the opening round.

      Delete
  39. Pending a complete breakdown, Hurst is gonna take this to the wire and, regardless of outcome, WJ is going to be wondering why they were the 8th seed.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lakers win. Still an upset, but not one of the more shocking 8/1 upsets.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great win for Mercyhurst. GU fan first Erie fan second. You should have heard the WJ announcers crying about the last call. WJ sure did not have a lot of fans at the game a lot of empty seats. Mercyhurst fans were louder then WJ's fans.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Three 1-seeds have gone down today to 8 seeds. Along with MU/WJU, Southern New Hampshire knocked off Holy Family and Lubbock Christian ousted Midwestern State in overtime.

    Don't ever remember a year in which 1-seeds were 5-3 in the first round. Upset Saturday.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Congrats to Mercyhurst (that's tough to spit out...). I've noted that with great defense, and good shooting, they can beat almost anyone. The team they defeated yesterday, WJ, as we well know, was very very good. Go PSAC!!!

    Speaking of empty seats, many of the recently completed NCAA D-1 conference games were played in front of half empty venues.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lakers out. Nice season by them. Great run and it's neat to see Erie teams do well, but a Gannon diehard, I don't know if I could handle a week of Mercyhurst Elite 8 previews.

    West Liberty is in Sweet 16 for both Men and Women. WLU vs. VUU in the women and WLU vs. Kutztown in the men.

    Bernie Driscoll will get his Elite 8 appearance. Hope that they are healthy. It was too bad that their best player in 2009 (Davis?) was unable to play in the regional final.

    ReplyDelete
  45. By the way, this is the West Liberty men's SEVENTH straight appearance in the Atlantic Regional final. Crutchfield success.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I feared a "hangover" by the Lakers after beating numero uno, but that was definitely not the case. They gave Kutz all they could handle. As was said earlier - GU fan first and Erie fan second so was nice to see Hurst make some noise in WV. (Exception to Erie fan - no Boro or Prep. Those are 2 that I dont care what it is or how far... cant root for them).

    Also saw from perusing the brackets a lot of 7 seeds are advancing to sweet 16. Seems many 1s and 2s may have been overrated or 7s and 8s underrated.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Take a look at the Great Lakes regional history has been made. Two GLIAC teams in the final Saginaw Valley and Ferris State. I cannot recall that ever happing before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be shocked if it has happened before. Aside from Findlay, GLIAC teams never seemed to really do anything in the tourney. Isn't Ferris a 7 or something also?

      Delete
  48. I perused game on live stream. MU gave it all their best, simply couldn't get over the 3-5 point deficit the entire game.

    What stood out to me was the silent gym. I think paper listed attendance at 242 souls. Sign of the times (Part 46). I'm not the accounting expert, but, I have to believe big money was lost in this regional with host team bowing out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there probably wasn't many more than that when Hurst beat WJ. I don't foresee Kutztown beating West Lib... wouldn't be surprised if it was a 15+ win for West Lib. Kutztown is definitely good, but from what I saw their defense is on the weaker side and West Liberty could go nuts. (Hurst had a ton of open shots, just couldn't finish them all).

      Delete
  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am shocked West Liberty has had this sustained run of success. I did not think this was possible from a D2 program anymore. Especially one that doesn't play defense. Must be because they are in a giant metropolitan area....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You apparently didn't get the memo. Pay no attention to that program at West Liberty. Look over here. Repeat after me. No D2 school can be a consistent winner anymore. Diving for loose balls is everything. Defense is a close second. Rebounding matters. Scoring points doesn't. Every D2 team has lots of players who quit during the season. And the off season. The stands are nearly empty at every D2 game in the country. 19 loses is a sign that things are going to turn around soon. Eight wins is the new twenty wins.

      Delete
    2. very good points for once!

      Delete

    3. "GO" must have been gone the three years prior to this one.

      Delete
    4. Mercyhurst 76 Gannon 47
      At the Hammermill
      How much more Embarrassing does it have to get?
      Dr. Taylor? Where are you?

      Delete
    5. it could always be worse!

      Delete
    6. You're right. Let's hope it's not Gannon's slogan for next year. Although it would be funny as all get out to see IT COULD BE WORSE written on the team poster. Haha!

      Delete
    7. I, personally, think "WE TRIED..." would be funnier.

      Delete
    8. haha or "HERE GOES NOTHING" lmao

      Delete
    9. I'm wondering if the folks on the Michigan State basketball blogs are calling for Tom Izzo's scalp after today's debacle.

      .....or, wondering where the University President is.

      Delete
    10. I'm wondering what it feels like to win a national championship.

      76-47. To Mercyhurst. At home. 76-47. A meaningless game to close the season is a good test of a program's character. Didn't I read that here someplace? 76-47.

      Delete
    11. It wasn't a meaningless game, as I see it. Crosstown, eventually NCAA-bound rival who had their best shooting game of the year, and beat us at home.

      When teams shoot threes like that, ask Michigan St, Texas, what can happen. Heck, we got blitzed in similar fashion when Central Missouri St. got hot in 2nd half in 2009 at the NCAA's.



      Delete
    12. If it wasn't meaningless, all the more reason to make an effort. 76-47.

      Delete
    13. oh, please, don't remind me of the Spartans' Suicide.... ugh! Knowing I'm a Mich St fan, my boss allowed me to watch it on my computer at work from 4-5pm. I wish she'd have not allowed it haha It went from a red hot opponent (making 3's with 5 guys on them) to Mich St just handing the game to them!! 4 unforced TOs in 98 secs after you just cut it down to a 2-pt deficit. AHHHHHHHHHHH. I'd rather watch the Gannon-Mercyhurst finale a thousand times over than have to watch that game again...

      Speaking of the Gannon-Hurst finale.. it was a meaningless game in the sense that Hurst had the #2 seed locked up and Gannon was playing for nothing but pride. In that sense, it was a meaningful game as it would have been a spark to build on next season had they won it as well as Hurst didn't want to lose to lowly Gannon during their historic season. So, depending on which aspect you want to focus on, it was both meaningless and not meaningless.

      Delete
  51. I know what I've learned is that after a couple of good seasons, GU has to slowly rebuild because that is the way D2 is today.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'd like to know what happened to Findlay. Them and KY Wesleyan were the West Libs of the 90s/2000s. KY Wesleyan fell upon some sanctions and thay was when they started to decline (and by decline I dont mean they became "bad", but they were no longer a NCAA Top 15 or a shoe in as they had been for years.) However, unless I missed some big scandal, Findlay just kind of slowly drifted down to the "middle of the pack".

    ReplyDelete
  53. Findlay won 22 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons (2002-14), including the 2009 national championship. Ron Niekamp left after the 2011 season, his 26th at the helm of the Oilers. In the last two seasons, coach Charlie Ernst has gone 16-11 and 20-8. Their middle of the pack drift has only been recent.

    I'm sure that the Oiler supporters aren't exactly thrilled.

    http://thecourier.com/local-news/2014/10/07/sexual-assaultreported-uf-expels-athletes/

    This also happened in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh wow! It really seemed like it's been 5-6 years now that they were invisible in the rankings - my bad! haha Must just be thinking I haven't seen them recently (past few years).

      I totally forgot they won 2009. I was thinking they got there and lost, but I believe that was West Liberty a few years ago.

      Delete
  54. West Liberty crushes Kutztown, 85-64 to win the Atlantic Region. Congrats to Crutchfield & Company.

    Any way that we can get the Hilltoppers to the Hammermill?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you see them saying yes if we did ask?? They might as well be treated as a D1 team - if anything we'd be going there (and probably paying them for it haha)

      Delete
  55. Score not surprising - West Lib's defense nothing spectacular, but solid enough to hold their own. Kutztown's defense, however, nowhere near solid enough to contain WLU's shooters. Like I said before, if Hurst had hit 2-3 of the wide open shots that didn't fall, they could've ran away with that game.

    Would LOVE to see West Liberty - just come to Erie! Gannon, Mercyhurst, Edinboro... Behrend! Prep! haha just play in Erie :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Interesting: While several posters have a field day commenting about student-athletes coming and going from Gannon as if it only happens here.....lo and behold, #1 NIT seed South Carolina suspends 5 (FIVE) players for various offenses....betting most will not come back next season.

    Speaking of that, they are at home tonight on ESPN. The gym is about half full....(Team record is 25-8).

    ReplyDelete
  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  58. NIT games typically get poor crowds, especially for Power 5 conference teams who were on the NCAA bubble. Both of SC's home NIT games had about 2,500 people in attendance.

    However, USC averaged 12,000 fans per game his year (despite the two small NIT crowds bringing down the average). Last year, they averaged 11,500 per contest. This season saw an increase in attendance.

    ReplyDelete
  59. NIT always has low attendance; the tourney is comparable to the opening game of the Gary Miller Classic. Some people will show, but most are going to the "showcase game".

    For the record, Monmouth got screwed! May be one of the biggest snubs I can remember from the NCAA tourney. Half the teams they beat made it - they deserved to be in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note who beat Monmouth yesterday: Our 2nd scrimmage opponent of the season, George Washington, a worthy team of an NCAA bid as well.

      If they play like they did last evening, they will win the NIT. (Note Monmouth's capacity crowd last night...)

      Delete
  60. has D2 mens always "re-seeded" teams heading into the Elite 8?

    I was looking at bracket and rather than following a traditional "winner of A plays winner of B, winner of C plays winner of D, etc". They re-seeded the 8 teams... West Liberty ended up as a 4 seed.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Yes, the NCAA reseeded the teams after the regionals for the Elite 8. It was announced on the Sunday night D-II selection show.

    The intent is to match up the two best teams in the finals. The criteria for reseeds was not given. There's pretty extensive discussion about this in the Atlantic Region message board (link at the top right of this page) if you want to see more.

    West Liberty held off a spirited Stonehill comeback to win 75-74. Onto the quarterfinals for the Hilltoppers.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm not a big fan of this method... I like the traditional you advance and play the next person in the bracket

    ReplyDelete
  63. "Nova" looking strong tonite.....

    As the camera keeps panning to Coach Rollie Massimino, I can't help but remember that he was on campus, pretty much in secret, for about 18 hours, a quick overnight dinner/interview with several administrators and key boosters....time flies by, but I'm pretty sure this may have been after Coach Dukiet's final season.

    10pm pasta at Hectors, as I recall.....

    ReplyDelete
  64. Holy Massimino, Batman, it's Nova in the Final Four.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Nova, UNC, Oklahoma and 'Cuse. Who had that as their Final 4??? haha

    ReplyDelete
  66. Pitt AD says new coach Kevin Stallings plays a "fun up-tempo style that players love and fans enjoy." Fun. Enjoy. Hmmm.

    Meanwhile, Augustana beat Lincoln Memorial in the D2 championship game 91-80. Let that sink in. 91-80.

    Back in Erie we got Mr. 47 points a game for a coach. 76-47. Never forget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you watch the D2 final? The teams would've been better off stepping off the court when on "defense"... would've been better defense. Not saying I don't want to see some points, but I want to see an actual game played - including defense. That game was just a shootout.

      Delete
    2. His style better be a winning style as many alum and most fans are not happy with the hiring. Most expected a "seasoned" young coach or an up and coming small school coach or big school asst coach. The hiring of a 50 something "old school" coach is not sitting well in Pitt.

      Delete
  67. Was fun game to watch. Both teams came in averaging over 90 points a game. Maybe their offenses are so potent that it just seems like there isn't much defense being played. The box score says there were 13 steals and 8 blocked shots. Was nice to see D2 teams that can move the ball and light it up.

    ReplyDelete
  68. A score of 90-81 doesn't necessarily indicate bad defense. Both teams shot 46% from the field ... it wasn't a lay-up line. By my count, Augustana had 80 possessions in the game. Assuming that LM had the same, there was one possession about every 15 or so seconds., a sign of up-tempo basketball. 90 points in 80 possessions is 1.25 points per possession.

    If these teams were crappy on defense, they wouldn't be in the national championship. The Augies (can't come up with a more creative nickname ... Thank God we're not the Gannies) give up 73 points per game and score 90.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very correct that a score of that nature doesn't indicate bad defense...but watching the game can. It was definitely upbeat offense... because the opposing defenses allowed it to be. Half the time it seemed the teams were guarding 40 feet out to prevent a 3 attempt but then often ignored the simple backdoor cut for an easy score. Double team someone and no help came leaving a shooter wide open. A pick is set and the off player follows his man as well as the on ball played... screener then wide open. The basic fundamentals of basketball were highly lacking. It was comparable to watching the Warriors play the Cavs. (Only the Warriors are a little more fundamentally sound on both ends)

      If either of those teams played Hurst or GU... they'd definitely win but neither of those teams would break 70.

      Delete
    2. Golden: Solid points above.

      I think, for THAT particular game, the lopsided final loss to Mercyhurst perhaps illustrates your exact point.

      A player off the bench gets hot, and, hits 6 or 7 three pointers. The rout is on.

      "GO" need to remind us again of the score of that game.

      Delete
    3. Both teams shot under 50% for the game ... there must not have been THAT many easy scores. And if they play bad defense and are lacking in fundamentals, how on earth did they make it to the national championship game?

      453 -- If you are so willing to write off the Mercyhurst loss as an anomaly, then shouldn't our win over lowly Mansfield be written off as well? Gannon shot 11/17 from three in the first half to build a 20-point cushion and scuffled in the second half (as Jim's game piece said). Mercyhurst shot 7/13 from three in the first half as they build up a 46-17 lead. A little "hot," but not that crazy-hot. If they shot a pedestrian 4/13 on three's in the first half, they'd have been up "only" 37-17 at the break.

      And shooting well from behind the arc is way more out of character for us (last in the PSAC in threes) compared Mercyhurst (second in the PSAC in three-point percentage).

      Hot streaks go both ways. The argument could be made that our hot shooting against Mansfield was more out of character compared to Mercyhurst's hot shooting.

      Delete
    4. The national championship team and the runner up are lacking the basic fundamentals of basketball? Are you kidding?

      The Reilly apologist machine is still humming.

      Let's review some scores. 67-46, 75-59, 89-60, 80-49, 48-37 (yes, 37), 76-47. All Gannon losses. 19 losses on the year. School record. Four losing seasons under the Riles. Another school record. Humiliated on our home court by our cross town rival in what was Gannon's big game of the year. 76-47. Swept by Edinboro and Mercyhurst. 8th place in the PSAC West. 76-47. Never forget.

      Delete
    5. I'm not writing off that game as an anomaly. We got our butts kicked. I thought, though, it was similar to your point in the above post. Hurst made gigantic, decently guarded three-pointers, one after another.

      Delete
  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2-3 girls are reportedly leaving the GU team. If this holds true... should Coach Brunelli be under intense scrutiny?

      Speaking of players leaving- I am so thrilled we dont have to deal with the likes of Calipari. Every single player is declaring for the draft... even the walkons. Calipari encouraged this because"you never know". What a joke.

      Delete
    2. I don't know about intense scrutiny ... the women's program in general doesn't have the following the men's program (there's no women's basketball blog, for example) has over the years. Anything good or bad about the program won't get the same level of reaction. The program's visibility has certainly increased over the last 10 or so years, and scrutiny has increased as well.

      That said, I do think that the women's program underachieved this season. They didn't go 7-19, but they did have some extremely puzzling losses (home to Seton Hill and getting swept by Slippery Rock, of all teams) that really derailed their NCAA hopes. Should Coach Brunelli be accountable for the results of the team? Sure. Any coach should, positive or negative.

      I've talked to some folks who are frustrated with the direction of the program. He's losing several very good players to graduation. If additional players transfer, he'll have his work cut out for him to maintain the same level of success that has come to be expected. The next year or two will be pivotal.

      Delete
    3. Reportedly? What does that mean? Who's reporting that? Or are making stuff up?

      Yeah, so glad we don't have Calipari and a D1 program that year after year is one of the best teams in the country and has won several national championships. Those poor Kentucky fans. And on top of that they have to watch games that are fun and enjoyable, exciting even. Oh woe is them. When's the last time Kentucky lost at home to arch-rival Louisville 76-47?

      Delete
    4. Kentucky has won only one championship under Calipari. I know.. only one. Yes its one more than many. But when you bring in 6-7 all Americans each year and have the top recruiting class each year... only one?

      They lose 2-3 games a season, but the last is usually before the national championship game.

      So yeah if you want to go watch a team blowout their conference opponents, lose each year in the tourney and then watch those players in the nba next season... go UK.

      Delete
    5. Heard the rumors and James R reported it as well saying likely early May we'll hear the names and 1 is guaranteed gone but other 2 are more than likely.

      Golden I agree about underachieving. Yes the men sucked but they had nobody. The women had a roster stocked with experienced seniors. Loss of Thies hurt but their demise started way before that.

      Delete
  70. I've heard similar transfer rumors. Nothing substantiated.

    The formula for national success in Division I is so totally different. The one-and-done thing has hurt my level of engagement in D-I basketball compared to 2-3 decades ago. But you can't really compare the Kentucky formula for success to Division II programs. Apples and oranges.

    ReplyDelete
  71. "GO"....from certain standpoints, Kentucky is not even a college basketball program, but an NBA "sub D-league" melting pot.

    Give it a few more years: it will blow up for one reason or another.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, pretty much all the major D1 programs are NBA farm teams. Kentucky is better at playing in the margins of the rule book than most of the otheres. I agree, sooner or later we'll be reading about all the dirty stuff Calipari pulled at Kentucky. By then, he'll be coaching somewhere else.

      Delete
    2. In the past 10 years 10 schools have produced 10+ NBA lottery picks. Kentucky leads with 22. Next is Kansas with 17, UNC 16 and UCLA 15. 20 of Kentucky's 22 have been within the past 5 years.

      Delete
  72. Seems like every day this week, players are transferring from teams. Let's see what appears in the "transactions" area tomorrow.

    Players leave programs all the time. It's a "normal" course of "business".

    --------

    Interesting NIT game tonight: Valpo versus George Washington. I didn't go to GU/GW game earlier this year, but, those who did came away very impressed with GW.

    I'm taking GW: 77-76 in a great game. To the four or five posters left on this site, this will be my only game prediction....until next season!

    Interesting that a Youngstown St Assistant Coach whose mother lives in my neighborhood stopped by last Saturday night and also offered his opinion of Valpo from the standpoint of coaching against them (Alongside Coach Jerry Slocum) twice this season: "Scary Good. They nearly beat Oregon earlier this year."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would be nice if some of those D1 transfers landed at Gannon.

      Delete
  73. College dunk contest tonight. Deuce Bello of East Tennessee St gets ready to dunk. Big time leaper. Apparently not much at study hall, though. Commentators say Bello played at three different schools. And add, "he would have played at 7 but that's not allowed." And then they laughed. Haha. Yeah, the joke is that these D1 players are student-athletes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, gogannongo! On Dan Patrick show earlier this week they got into a huge tizzy over Kentucky... the overall majority consensus was that Kentucky basketball players are athletes... not students.

      Delete