A1 Winter 10 Preview

The offseason goes faster and faster every season

And here we are, yet again, another A1 draft completed, meaning it’s time for a new season.  This time, for the first time ever, we tried the Draft online on a Sunday Morning, and holy shit did that work fast! We were done in 3 and a half hours!! That smashed last season’s record time of 5 hours and 5 minutes.  Damn we’re getting good at this thing.

There were still a ton of surprises, Tibbs getting picked way, way too early, Wilson getting picked way too late, and everything in between.  Shady trades, terrible team names, it’s what you’ve come to expect from the A1 draft league!! We’ve got a great set of 11 teams (how did we NOT get to 12?!), so let’s get right to the preview!!

# 11 – Weapon X – Adam Kurtzer *C, Brandon Dorey, Kurt Knepsheild, Sam Browne (R), Kevin Boggan (R), Tommy Anderson (R)
I like 3 of the starters on this team, as Kurtzer, The Ragin’ Bull and the Big Ticket are a solid 3 to build around, but the rest of the guys are question marks.  To us at least. Kurtzer and Dorey know them all, so either we’ve been blind sided by the biggest sandbag job ever, or, these are just a bunch of friends that want to play together on Monday night.  It never hurts to ride the broad shoulder of the Bull, but this team’s success, more than any other, will come down to how quickly their new guys adjust and play at Wall Ball Arena.

# 10 – 6 For the Wall – Mike Diranian *C, Adam Biehler, Pat Lawson (R), Michael Davis, Andrew Schneider, Chris Belletti
Mike D, without KO or Filosa to lean upon has put together, on paper, the toughest team to figure out.  AB and Carrot Hop are Stat hungry guys whose numbers always look good, but it doesn’t translate to wins (see: 3 Of Us, B1 East).  But Mike Davis is the type of point guard that can bring it all together.  Mike D was hurting for some size, so got the continually improving Andrew Schneider to bang and grab boards.  Lots of good complimentary parts here.  But I keep going back to AB/Lawson combo, and whether or not it can work.  I can’t wait to find out, that’s for sure.

# 9 – The Bangers – Harold Smith *C, Luis Eagan, Mike Krug, Lee Eudy (R), Mike Fraher, Chanel Wright

Harry Smith, in his captain debut, but together a solid squad, of guards.  The only size on this team is, i bet you’re sick of hearing this already, a new guy, which a lot will depend on.  Huge surprise, right?  Eagan, as last season’s MVP and Krug bring a ton of fire power to the table, but will this team be able to stop anybody?  I really like the late round picks of Fraher and Chanel as glue guys, but I keep coming back to the lack of size.  They’re certainly not the smallest team in the league, but they could still be in for a hurtin’ from the numerous bigs in the L.
# 8 – Gonna Get Snooki’D – Mario Casal *C, Jason Tibbetts, Sean Osgood (R), Roger Lau, Ian Resnick (R), Adam Husband (R)
Any time that Tibbs gets drafted in the first round, you deserve to be on the playoff fence in the preseason preview.  What was Super Mario thinking?? I was selling him on the virtues of drafting SMul or Jeff Hall, when out of no where he chimes in with “I’m Taking TIBBS!”  I’ve never heard anyone so excited about saying my name, not even Gripp.  So the success of the season will come down to how everyone else steps up.  Lau has never averaged less than 17 ppg in A1, so he’s capable of doing some serious damage.  My Mini-O’Cal, and he may replace his as #1 in my heart with a good season.  But again, what can the new guys, Osgood, Resnick, Husband, bring to the table besides pink shorts? We’ll find out soon.

# 7 – Death of Auto-Draft – Mike Gerrity(R) *C, Sean O’Callaghan, Michael Sweeney, Damian Ruff, Derek Luangrath (R), Tim Hinkel
Everyone that I’ve talked to about this team doesn’t see it making the playoffs.  But I beg the question, when was the last time O’Cal wasn’t making noise in the post season dance?? Hell he carried Tibbs to a finals appearance!  He can get it done with this crew, there’s a lot to like.  If I recall correctly, Ruff had a Wall Ball career high of 19.7 ppg last season running next to the Stallion, and the Hefty Lefty (Sweens) is geeked up to bulldoze his way through opponents on Monday night again.  Their success, as many teams do this season, all comes down to the new guy.  If he really is a banger and can provide some solid defense and rebounding, this team will be better than expected.  If it all comes down to an un-tested Five Hard Fouls in the middle, and who knows what we’ll get in A1…

# 6 – Can’t Handle the Situation – Paul Giardina *C, Chris Kerr, Alex Lanfear, Tim Spinney, Rolando Vega (R), Collin Crotty
I’ve moved this team around from # 4 to # 10.  I mostly blame TSpin.  Anytime he’s taken in the third round, his team is bound to under perform.  I mean, guys like DRuff, MacGregor, and Wilson went after him, and BFrat was chosen just before.  Talk about a drop off.  Yikes, the Bald one has a bit of pressure.  Even more pressure? Roly Vega.  He’s coming in as a rookie, and looks like he’s going to be expected to run the point. Despite his consistantly good assist numbers, you don’t actually want Baldy to bring the ball up.  No pressure or anything Roly, I promise not to say anything bad about me as long as you continue to bring me chocolate.  That’s right, I CAN be bought off.  It’s the little things really.  Other than that, with Lanfear doing a bit of everything, this team has a solid shot to shock a number of the top teams. That’s why I settled at # 6 for them, right in the middle of my expectations.  And let’s face it, this thing is rarely ever accurate (it was last season!!) I basically just throw shit to the wall and see what sticks.

# 5 – Cabo Wabo Leo – Chris Machado *C, Terry Henderson, Tim Davenport, Vladi Nechev, Michael Byrd (R), Ken Vandevoordt
Man, every season I usually get to complain about combinations of players and guys that I think are going to implode together, that’s my FAVORITE part of doing the previews.  This time around, not so much (AB/Lawson the exception that proves the rule??).  Guys seem like they’re going to work well together, even the perennial “all about me” guy, Henderson. What the hell is going on this season? Davenport and Vladi are going to be the perfect compliments to the Jumpman’s all offense game.  Chet is going to do what Macho used to (score) and the newbie is going to make this team solid.  I don’t know why, I just like this squad.  I can’t really explain it.  Has my man-love for Terry grown? I don’t think so, I know he’s the same d-bag on the court that incessantly calls for the ball on every possession, I just think this team will work.

# 4 – Purple Haze – Serge Gotschalk *C, Chris Maciejczak, Brad Mulholland, Billy Fratelli, Christopher Harvey, Frank Malsbenden
Majic and BMul back together conjure up shades of undefeated (regular season) teams in the past.  Macho would know what that’s like.  Oh but he’s not the captain.  What?! Serge is a captain with a top team?!?  I know, I’m bitter too.    Will Smokey the Bear ruin things for this team? I doubt it, usually he’s toking too early, zero hour nine am, so he’s gonna be, high, as a kite, by game time.  But even he can’t mess this up.  It’s good to see boyhood friends re-united, and Majic/Cakes&Sprinkles are going to enjoy playing together.  With Ferocious Frank off the bench, this is a good looking squad, until Serge plays the last 9 minutes of their first round playoff game, that is…

# 3 – A Spike Lee Joint – Matt Kaplan *C, Jeff Hall (R), Tom Kahana, Zack Toth, Hunter Smith (R), Andrew Floyd
I don’t care what anyone says, Kap’s got a hell of a team here.  Only a few of you know that Jeff Hall is a former B1 MVP and is going to rip sh!t up in A1 this season.  While he’s running point, that frees up RoY to drift, spot up, and bomb away.  Only his favorite past time ever! For this time, their fate rests heavily on the shoulders of a veteran. The consistent presence of Superboy, Zack Toth, is the key for A Spike Lee Joint, and having him not foul out of games.  If that can happen, this will be an impossible line-up to slow down.  How Tommy went late in the second round is one of the biggest mysteries of the draft, he’s going to love all the open spot up shots he gets.  We rag on CAC’s Trolliest Troll, but Kap will make this team work, it might his best of the many Winter teams he has put in…

# 2 – Step Daddy’s – Tom Covert *C, Preston Raymond, Ian Tosti, Zach Rocha (R), Pete Wilson, Cheese
Formerly Covert Ops (Yes, I need to change the name on the website, I know, I know) these guys are ready to run.  Tosti and PStone, those are even MORE shades of undefeated teams past.  Covert’s a smart man, and got a quality rookie in the third round, where they all always go.  Sure Rocha’s a mystery, a man of few words (in his sign-up) but I like the direction this team is going.  Tosti to spread the floor wiiiiide for PStone, Wilson to run the show and fire guys up on offense, and Cheese to compete with him for Most Vocal.  PStone is on a mission to prove that HE should always be in the MVP running and that Write It Off was just a teaser of even better things to come.

# 1 – New Evil Empire – Brian Fabry *C, Billy Durbrow, Scott Mulholland, Kyle Hendricks (R), Dan MacGregor, Jono Edwards
Oh hey look, BFab got the Playboy and SMul at the top of each round again.  YOU FOOLS!! I couldn’t have sold SMul harder to all the late first round captains, and they all ignored me, despite my pleas.  Now look what you did!! How’s this for setting up a title defense?  BFab then swindled his Gang Green captain wanna-be, FHF in a trade to get their third starter, MacGregor, later in the draft, making the title defense even more of a reality.  Un real, maybe we really should be naming our GM of the Season award after him.  According to his buddy Kerr, Hendricks is the steal of the draft at the top of round 3.  As upset as I am at the rest of the captains for letting this happen, I really, really like this team. They’re going to have a giant target on their back from the opening tip of the season, but this is a team tha can run the table.  And no, I’m not just trying to jinx them, really, seriously…