A1 Spring 2010 Preview

After a hell of a weekend it’s back to reality. The next leagues start up next week and despite my three day hangover, it’s back to the grind stone. Thankfully the A1 captains pumped the draft out in a record time of one hour and 40 minutes yesterday. Makes my life easier. We had a number of twists and turns, surprising picks and stunning drops. There were so many people in the draft room watching the proceedings, mostly anonymously, that it made it way too hard for everyone to talk trash, but aside from that it went off without a hitch. The schedule and rosters will be posted online later this week so that Serge and Majic can gloat a little bit more about their championship run. Onto the picks!

# 9 – Pau Gasol’s Beard – Pick #9 – Adam Kurtzer *C, Brandon Dorey, Pete Wilson, Zack Toth, Kevin Boggan, Ken Vandervoordt
This looks an awful lot like last season’s Weapon X team that was in the playoff hunt until the last week of the season. The questions of upgrade come with adding some solid offense from Pete Wilson (capable of going for 30 but never being asked to do it regularly) and the quagmire that is Superboy. I always think Toth is a steal in the draft no matter where he goes, and especially this season at the tail end of the third round. If Dorey (teammate from B1 5v5) can head up to the third floor and grab Toth from his cube, this team is going to be a handful. Kurtzer’s play gets better every season, the sound of those knee braces scaring the bejebus out of everyone, and anyone has yet to prove they can regularly shut down the Ragin’ Bull. In summary, Pistol Pete needs a big offensive season and Superboy needs to show up if this team wants to make the playoffs. Check that, he also needs to not foul out in 10 minutes every week.

# 8 – Crazy 88s – Pick #8 – Raj Singh *C, Sean Osgood, Vladi Nechev, Dan Watson (R), Cheese, Tim Hinkel
After being the steal of the draft in the second round last season, winning RoY and getting to the finals all in his first CAC career, Sean Osgood was handed the keys to his own team this season when CAC vet Spyder Singh took a flier on him in the first round. What the team lacks in size it will make up for in offensive prowess. Vladi, aka Mr. I(nvisible), will have to be an offensive machine in the regular season to help ensure this squad going to the playoffs. I think Mr. I can do it though, he’s got the ability to hoist threes with the best of them, if not roll dice. As a side tangent, sometimes I wish I could carry a purse. Hear me out on this. This weekend, Dice officially spread through the CAC ranks as the party game of choice. All you need are 5 die and a bunch of drunk idiots willing to drop dollars at the drop of a hat. That includes most of us. Now, with Clickity Clack running through my head every time I see Vladi, sorry, Mr. I, the urge to break out a game of Dice is exceedingly strong. The problem is, why would I be carrying dice around? I can barely remember to put my phone in my pocket if it’s not already in my jeans from the night before. If I had a gd purse (Gripp’s has a sh!t ton of cool stuff in it) I’d have everything, and most importantly, a set of die for every time I needed to take a little spending cash from Mr. I.
Back to this team. Watson’s rookie season is highly anticipated with debates already raging whether or not he’ll sink or swim. Like the actual Mamba, the White Mamba induces the wide range of emotions from all who discuss his merits, should be a treat to watch his season unfold, no matter which way you lean on the debate about him. If he has a great season, this team will shoot up the rankings.

#7 – Up In Smoke Tour – Pick #5 – Paul Giardiana *C, Chris Kerr, Billy Fratelli, Tim Spinney, Dan MacGregor, Chris Belletti
I liked this team the first time around, but the more I think of the offensive distribution load sitting on the skinny shoulders of BFrat the less I like it. That man was BEGGING to be a third round pick (much like RoY) and was devestated, wondering what Pauly G was smoking when he took him off the draft board. Kerr might be the best 3 point shooter on this team, maybe. I’ll give Pauly G credit, he built around the same guys (Kerr, TSpin) but upgraded the rest of his roster really well. In such a stacked league, though I don’t know if that adds up to anything more than the same #7 seed they were able to earn last session. Of course, with a guy like Kerr who has ‘never lost in the first round @ CAC’ seeding doesn’t necessarily matter, just find a way to make the playoffs.

#6 – Wolfpack of 6 – Pick #7 – Chanel Wright *C, Jeff Hall, Alex Lanfear, Kurt Knepshield, Mario Casal, Thom Giordano (R)
Another new captain this season, Chanel came in with a plan and executed it perfectly. He knew size was key, and got 3 great rebounders off the board early before re-aligning himself with Super Mario (steady cac vet, better playoff success than I will EVER give him credit for!). This team has threats at every position, but the key is getting Lanfear to show each week. There were some miscommunications last season, some missed opportunities, but when this guy shows, he goes all out for every minute he’s on the floor. Lots of mismatches here for teams to try and adjust to, but it could take time for it to all come together, especially with 3 of their first 4 games being exceedingly tough.

#5 – The Scrotacoats – Pick #6 – Brian Sundell *C, Scott Mulholland, Tom Kahana, Lee Eudy, Mike Kuzdeba (R), Dart Danier
This is the only team I even came close to predicting in one of my 12 mock drafts and I don’t know if that’s a good thing for first time captain Brian Sundell. Most of you may not know Sunny D, but he’s the guy with the epic beard that filled in for BFab’s team once their third rounder was declared MIA last session. He leaned heavily on the knowledge of his top two picks to build his team into a defensive monster. Good luck to teams looking to score in the paint versus the reigning DPoY SMul and Lee Eudy. They’ll be a force downlow. The return of the hyper-athletic Dart Danier to Wall Ball Arena only solidifies this team’s commitment to defense. Kuzdeba, a PG on a perennial B2 Contender, will bring smart decision making, good defense and ball distribution to a team that, well, will defer to Tommy Kahana on offense. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we’re finally going to be able to see all that RoY can do when given the keys to the car. For most guys coming off a 25+ point, 6+ assist season to expect a significant jump seems like it’d be crazy. But I’m expecting regular lines like 8-20 from 3, 33 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists. Mark that down ladies and gentlemen, anything more than that and this team will shoot up the rankings, considering I’m expecting their points per game against to hover in the mid 50s.

#4 – Step Daddies – Pick #3 – Tom Covert *C, Terry Henderson, Matt Filosa, Roger Lau, Jono Edwards, Collin Crotty
Henderson is already whining and moaning about not being given ‘creative control’ of his team once the draft started. That didn’t take long, did it? Mr Facilitator, if he decides to play that way again this season, could make this one of the best teams in the league. But if he’s ‘WOOOOOH!!”-ing for the ball all game long from Lau and the Wolverine, this squad is in trouble. As much as I would have loved to play alongside the Jumpman for the first time at Wall Ball Arena, I think Covert made the correct pick taking Filosa. He’s going to need someone to go after all the boards that will be flying with Lau and Henderson chucking them up there. My rebounding effort/skill has diminished exponentially in the last two years, while like a fine red wine, Filosa is aging (and he is) with grace, getting better each time he unretires. He’s always in the right position and will make a killing collecting all of Lau’s errant attempts after blowing by his man on the way to the hole.
Jono, despite averaging 15+ ppg in his A1 career is always a steal because he’s acquired in the fourth round, great pick by Covert here, and Crotty is capable of sniping from 3 off the bench. This team is dangerous, but only if Henderson can wrap his head around the idea of it being true.

# 3 – Fish Business – Pick #4 – Mike Gerrity *C, Sean O’Callagahan, Jason Tibbetts, Ramon Penrose, Mike Fraher, Kevin Scott
The second round was loaded with talent this season, and yet Gerrity settled for yours truly. Mistake, or guaranteed trip to the A1 finals?! When we get that far I hope everyone else is ready to step it up and tie me to the bench to ensure my 1-8 record in the culminating game of the season doesn’t get any worse. But to get there, we’ve got to win games first, and that’s what O’Cal is for, he just wins, baby. With a deep appreciation for those that came before him, and helped make history before he became the living embodyment of it, Gerrity chose Ramon “Da Bronco” Penrose in the third round. Now, no one has seen ‘Mone in a year+ on the court, but this is a guy that’s dropped 54 in the playoffs and regularly turns the ‘hate, hate, hate’ that people love to feed him into motivation for his performances on the court. To say I’m giddy to step onto the court with TWO living CAC legends is an understatement. The Ghost and Black Ice round out one hell of a complete squad on both ends of the floor. Ok I’ll stop gushing…

No – NO I WONT!!

# 2 – Evil Majic Rod – Pick #1 – Brian Fabry *C, Chris Majic, Jared Perrine, John McGlynn (R), Matt Kaplan, Frank Malsbenden
I figured I’d add to JRod’s miffed disrespect with one more jab by ranking this team #2 overall. That’s right, JRod, CAC staple since nearly the beginning of time, fell through the cracks to the second round of the A1 draft for the first time ever. Maybe you all thought he was getting old, that running was now his priority, or maybe most of you are new enough that you weren’t here for the two seasons he won back to back MVPs. He’s still a first round guy, and none of those excuses are good enough, do your research people! Still, for a guy that’s won less A1 titles than I have since 06 (1-0 Tibbs!! To be fair, JRod does have one, back in ’02), this could be just what the doctor ordered in order to break his 8 year slump.
It remains to be seen whether there will be a power struggle as two alpha dogs are paired up on the same squad. Maybe Majic, winning his second A1 Brick in the Winter, isn’t as hungry anymore and just wants to go for all kinds of point/attempt records. That’s what matter in these games, right, records and stats??
Maybe McGlynn never gets comfortable finding enough Js to get in a rhythm. Oh, what’s that, you don’t know about the rookie? John is another guy capable of putting up 20+ ppg in any league at Wall Ball and the troll, sorry Kappa Don, can too. There are way, way too many guys who will be out for ‘theirs’ for this team to be the scary juggernaut that everyone is assuming they will become. I don’t care that BFab is the ‘coach’ or that Mals is evolving into a perfect glue guy, there are way too many issues and egos on this squad for me to have ranked them #1. (pst, do I sound bitter that Majic whooped my @$$ in the finals?! I think I hid it well….)

# 1 – Doin’ Work – Pick #2 – Serge Gottschalk *C, Billy Durbrow, Adam Biehler, Tim Davenport, Damian Ruff, Yavor Nechev
CACers, what is the world coming to? You now know that BFab and Serge have captained the last two A1 champions, and now, because of the absurd twists and turns this draft took, I am forced, FORCED to rank their teams in the top 2 of the Spring 2010 preview. Unacceptable people! If one of these teams win the title, you know what that means, it’s time to switch up the draft! I know a bunch of you would like that. But now we have to deal with the consequences!
Ruff could not believe his eyes when he saw the roster and I still can’t. Not only did he go in the 4th (again) but Davenport fell to the third and AB’s CAC Dream of being drafted in the second round finally came true. Serge could NOT have had a better draft, it’s impossible. Getting Yavor in the last round was just the cherry on this juggernaut of a sundae. Unbelievable, the day after the draft I still can’t get over it. I HATE giving him any credit, especially after the curb stomping his Purple Haze team put on my in the Finals. Serge, as the GM of the defending champs AND the preseason #1 the falling season?? What’s the world coming to, I ask again!?