Monday, August 29, 2016

New Crew Preview

Today is a version of Christmas for us diehard Gannon basketball fans as the university announced the official list of returnees and recruits for the upcoming 2016-17 season. But today feels better than most hoops-related holidays because we can finally put last season behind us. I had lunch with a longtime Gannon basketball fan today, and neither of us could recall last season's win-loss total. We knew the Knights didn't lose 20 games and we knew they didn't crack double-digit win. Our fuzziness isn't because we've lost interest in the program; it's just that the body and brain have a way of repressing pain so we frail humans can cope when our lives turn south. (In case you still can't recall, Gannon finished last year 7-19.)

I'll try to do more research on the newcomers over the coming weeks, but I wanted to get the list in your hands today. Click on this link for biographies on each player courtesy of the Gannon Sports Information Department.
  • Jimmy Berger G, fr., 6-2, 170 (Medina, Ohio/Saint Ignatius)
  • Hans Burwitz F, fr., 6-7, 240 (Allen, Texas/Allen)
  • Sean Flannery G, fr., 5-9, 150 (Westlake, Ohio/St. Edward)
  • Naseem Hadrab F, jr., 6-9, 205 (Brampton, Ontario/22 Feet Academy/Laramie County WY CC)
  • Michael Haysbert F, soph., 6-7, 200 (Randallstown, Md./Western School of Technology and Environmental Science/Cecil MD CC)
  • Zay Jackson G, jr., 6-0, 165 (Queens, N.Y./Westside/Monroe NY CC)  
  • Damon Miraud F, jr., 6-5, 190 (Irvington, N.J./Elizabeth/Monroe NY CC)
  • Evan Phoenix F, soph., 6-9, 240 (Stevensville, Md./Calvert Hall/Central Connecticut State)
  • Gerrell Williams G, jr., 6-2, 165 (Lorain, Ohio/Clearview/Mercyhurst North East JC)
As far as returnees, the top five scorers are gone -- Jean Yves Toupane (14.9 ppg) and Tony Boykins (7.2) graduated while Kevin Kuteyi (10.4), C.J. Asuncion-Byrd (8.4), and Isaiah Eisendorf (8.1) transferred -- and the next five are back. Senior Matthew Dogan (6.5 ppg), soph. Ian Gardener (6.4), soph. Max Kerr (2.4), sr. Marcus Jones (2.1), and sr. Emmanuel Matey (2.0) will be the most experienced Knights along with soph. Joe Fustine who played in just three games last season.

It's impossible to say how this collection of players will fare against Division II opponents, so I'm withholding any judgment until we see them on the floor. In the meantime, Happy New Year!