A1 Preseason Preview – Winter 09

It’s About Time!

I like all the chatter on the boards about A1, so have at it some more before the season tips off on Sunday!!

Ah, another A1 season is nearly underway, and the Draft League is still one of my favorite to be a part of. No Dynasties, different teams every season, and most importantly, everyone thinks their team has a shot to win it all, even if they don’t. And that’s what I’m here for, to rank these teams heading into the season, so prepare your egos for a few crushing blows. Note that there was no snaking in the draft this season, so the pick the captains had in the first round, was their pick in every round. So yea, it was an amusing day on the spreadsheet and I wish I saved some of the gems from that chat, but alas, you’ll have to do with my mundane commentary.

And if you think you’re ranked too low, it’s not because “I hate you” it’s just because I have no respect for your game or your captain’s drafting ability…

10. Red Rum – Serge Gotschalk *C (#1 pick), Preston Raymond (R), Kurt Knepsheild, Joshua Nelson (R), Mike Haven (R), Sean Carrigan (R)
Serge was so, so, so clooooooooose to putting a team that I would be forced to NOT rank last. But then his pick came up, at the top of the third round, and he blew it! Well that’s how I see it. There wasWrobz, sitting pretty, giving this team an outside shooter and ball handler, just itching to be taken on a team with quality bigs so he’d NEVER have to cross the three-point line. Hell Serge he calls me up and asks what I think he should do! Well, my Mock Draft correctly guessed the first two picks he’d take, so why wouldn’t he just follow it one more time and takeWrobZ? Nah, that’d be too easy, he had to make his MARK on the draft, so he took an unknown rookie. Once again, Serge’s team will be one player away! Now don’t get me wrong, Josh Nelson could end up being the next Todd Billet, and I’d STILL lambaste him for this pick. But at least it allows me to, once again, rank his team dead last in the preseason poll. (Preston, I love your game, please don’t hurt me on Sunday)

9. Huge in China – Kevin Ostrander *C (#9 pick), Jim Rahill, Michael Davis, Todd Marsh (R), Ryan Cutright (R), Collin Crotty (R)
Only two teams are going to miss the playoffs, and once again, I’m picking on poor KO. But maybe I shouldn’t be. Todd Marsh and RyanCutright are two buddies of his that he picked up in the later rounds. Suspiciously, neither had player profiles that stood out and made you want to snatch them up in earlier rounds. I smell the classical sandbagging training of one Mike D in this. So sure, this team may be a whole lot better than I’m ever willing to give it credit for, but I only know 3 of the names on this roster, and therefore going to take advantage of getting underKO’s skin one last time. Before he, like Preston, neuters me at center court of Wall Ball Arena. Good times…

8. The Love Guns – Tim Spinney *C (#5 pick), Terry Henderson, Ian Tosti, Bryan Urroz (R), Truls Porter (R), Devin Boyle (R)
The only thing that is as close to as fun as ranking Serge’s team last every season is hating on the Jumpman, and I get to do both in the same preview! Whooooo me! It’s been a rough week with everyone b!tching at me about their schedules, rosters, requests, etc, but this has really made it all worth it. With this, I’m thinking these guys barely squeak into the playoffs. I just don’t see enough basketballs to go around forJumpman and T’N’Tosti, let alone the other guys, who I know nothing about. Excuse me, I know TSpin is worthless, so there is that. But didn’t he learn anything from Mixtape last season? You can’t round out a team with a bunch of rookies! If this squad has attendance problems I guess it’s just more shots for the Jumpman and Tosti. Rumor has it that they ‘enjoy’ playing with one another in pickup, but of course they do, no one is keeping stats and there is no ref! Once Terry knows every little thing he does is going on the website, you can just forget about any ‘chemistry’ they built while playing pickup. I hate to do this to the three new guys (welcome to C.A.C! Pay your fee and don’t you dare shoot the ball!) but until I see some proof of this camaraderie between Henderson andTosti, I’m more than a little skeptical.

7. Cold Revenge – Adam Kneeland *C (#4 pick), Billy Durbrow, James Allen, Mike Fraher (R), Chris Parkinson (R), James Bushell
I like this team on paper, I really do, but something is bothering me about it, and I have to rank it here, just outside the realm of respectability. Maybe it’s because they need Chris Parkinson to actually a 6’5″ athlete like he says on paper so he can fit in as the fourth starter. AK will NOT want to go into the season with himself of the Janitor in that role. EZ Breezy, easily my biggest mancrush since I first saw Mj flying through the air, is going to need to touch the ball on every possession. Shooting it every time wouldn’t hurt either, but he doesn’t have that mentality. Thankfully AK took James Allen, who made a splash in his A1 debut with Mixtape’s squad. The question is if he’ll show up every week. I’m betting that with an actual team around him, that shows up, he will too. But to be successful this season, I think every team is going to need a third scoring option, and I just don’t know if Fraher and Parkinson (two rookies I’ve never seen) are the answer. I hope for AK’s sake (and the sanity of Bushell) that they are and they compete. But I won’t know for sure until we all step on the hardwood in a couple days.

6. Weapon X – Brandon Dorey *C (#10 pick), Tim Deihl, Sam Quinn, Josh Fincke, William Mancortes (R), Blake Day (R)
Did the Ragin’ Bull think Tommy Gun was taking too many of his shots and therefor banish him from his A2 team AND not try to repeat with him in A1? Or was it that flying down the court on the fast break with the Reihl Deihl was just too tempting to pass up? I’m going to say that both factors played a part in his decisions. Stop pulling up for 3 on the break Tommy! Anywho, Dorey didn’t get his favorite enforcer (Superboy), but he did get SQuinn, who is another menace on the defensive end. The problem I have with this team is the same one I had with AK’s, who is going to step up and be the consistant third option on this squad that they’ll need to be effective? I know Fincke has it him, and CUBA (Will Mancortes) is certainly talking a big game on the message boards, but again, the key word was consistant. After winning a Brick in his first season as a captain, this season should be a nice little reality check for the Ragin’ Bull. We don’t want him thinking he can just step in here and win a title anytime he wants. Who does he think he is, O’Cal?

5. Chuck Wagon – Christopher Harvey *C (#3 pick), Chris Kerr, Tom Kahana, Edward O’Reilly (R), Chris Adams, JA Estrella (R)
Do people not pay attention? Chris Adams, also known as C.A.C. Drunk Driving Advocate, had an absolutely dominating performance in the Finals last season, and somehow still fell to the fourth round. What is wrong with you people?? Man, I step out of the picture as a captain for one season, and all hell breaks loose. Wait, maybe that means I should have them ranked even higher, especially after Kerr’s phenomenal rookie season and being paired with another former RoY, Tom Kahana. You thought I was gonna say Harvey there, weren’t you? Nah, but Cakes&Sprinkles does have himself a nice team. One where he(and RoY) can stay outside and shoot 3s, not worry about having to grab rebounds or guard anyone. Sounds suspiciously like Majic if you ask me. Kahana only needs 2 trophies to completely round out his collect, an MVP and a DPoY. I think you all know the odds of me actually giving him an MVP (is the B2 league still taking free agents?) but he’s been on the all defensive team a couple of times. You know what that means, he’ll be gambling for steals more than ever to boost his numbers and case for the award!! If the new guys can bring a little something extra to the table, I would hate to have to be a team that faces them in the second half of the season with a little chemistry (which I’m not, coincidentally).

4. Marc Gasol’s Envy – Tom Duncan *C (#8 pick), Jason Tibbetts, Michael Sweeney, Phil Lord (R), Mario Casal, Anderson Moore (R)
You didn’t really think I’d jinx my squad by putting it top 3 did you? Come on, I know better than that. And sure I’m slightly biased here, but isn’t that the entire point? This is the preseason poll for the regular season, doesn’t mean I’ll get it done in the playoffs, but I really like this squad! Duncan, seeing how easily theRagin ‘ Bull won a Brick in his first season at the helm of a team, stepped into the fold this season, and we’re never going to let him out. While taking a HUGE reach in the first round, he got a number of great value picks in the second, third, and fourth round. They were all guys that should have went earlier, but somehow didn’t. Lord of the Manor is stepping up for the B1, Super-Mario is once again playing a second night along with B1, and the rook will all compete for the last spot in the starting lineup. Once that is figured out, we’ll just have to see if the Hefty Lefty can stand to play with a guy that has frustrated his teams when they’re opponents. Who knows, all I know is that I’ll be taking a lot fewer 3s this season (that will be on Thursday night) and that’s a good thing for everyone.

3. Boner Pants – Chris Machado *C (#2 pick), Chris Maciejczak, Ed Finn, Brad Mulholland, Kaif Thompson, Paul Giardina
Machooooooooooo once again stuck to guys he knew, has himself a top squad and a hell of a team name. I’m a little jealous. Majic, just like he did with Cake&Sprinkles last season, signed off on the rest of Macho’s picks. He’s played with Fizzle, Brad, and Kaif in the past. They should all be one big happy family, at least for a little while. I love the fact that while O’Cal and TSpin were argueing over who had the rights to draft Officer Pauly, Macho swooped in and nabbed him before either one had a chance too. That’s the kind of great draft manovering that gets noticed and respect. Those guys won’t be messing with Macho again! Ok, maybe they will, but you have to admit, Boner Pants is one hell of a team name, thanks BFrat!

2. Gran Turinos – Mike Turin *C (#6 pick), Jared Perrine, Cheese, John Smith, Tim Began, Tom Covert
And do we see a pattern here? I’m clearly placing a premium on teams that have more known quantites, than teams that have a boat load of rookies. It’s the exact opposite as how I drafted a team, which is why I finally stepped aside. Sizzle, after a rough go of it last season, turned his draft around and stuck with guys that have been in the league for what seems like decades now. The Hitman is back and in the best shape I’ve ever seen him, probably playing with a chip on his shoulder for falling out of the top 5. That’s just what we need, a lefty with a mean streak. Speaking of lefties, Cheese should be the only one handling the ball, unless deferring to Beagan, you hear that Turin?? Get it to a guard!! The only concern on this roster was a lack of size in the middle. Face it, Sizzle may be the best active rebounder in CAC history, but he’s on the short side. So he went out and grabbed the Alias and Covert, both having taken a few seasons off from C.A.C. should have fresh legs to run Wall Ball Arena. Get the Ball to the Hitman, and get the Hell out of the way!!

1. Baby Face Ride – Sean O’Callaghan *C (#7 pick), Zack Toth, Danny Salazar, Matt Wrobel, Tim Hinkel, Jono Edwards (R)
What more can I say about O’Cal’s teams that I haven’t said in the past? Once again, everyone was a little iffy on his first round pick of Superboy. Not because he didn’t deserve to be drafted there, but because, as other captains put it, ‘Who’s going to score for them?’. Well by now we should all know that the Stallion always takes Salazar in the second round, and wouldn’t you know it, there was Wrobz, still sitting there near the bottom of the third round. I’d say those two (one, the record holder for points in an A1 game, the other, never afraid to let it fly from 3) give this team a ton of offensive fire power. And O’cal always makes everyone better, he’s going to get Superboy TONS of open layups down low. With the Webmaster off the bench this team is solid through and through without even knowing who Jono is. And uh, who really needs offense when you’ve got a defensive team like this. Salazar is one of the most annoying defenders in the league to play against, Superboy is a brute, and O’Cal is usually making you laugh with his unibrow and innuendos. As usual, I hate to admit it, but O’Cal has got the top team heading into the season, the 6th time in the past 7 seasons where I’ve had his squad ranked in the top 2. Yea, I went back and checked. The only time I didn’t? That’d be last season, when I tried to get cute and rank him in the bottom half of the league and they went on to make the Finals. I’ve learned my lesson, we should all be prostating ourselves in the Temple of Tical…