B1 East Winter 09 Awards

They’ve been on the Message Boards, Now they’re here!

MVP – John Kelley, CAC N Ballers – Dude’s the best player in the league, hands down, and we all know what happened down the stretch, and here still, are the Ballers, challenged many teams, but beaten none. Can they run the gauntlet through the playoffs as well? That has yet to be seen, but when you put up a 71 player rater throughout the course of the season, not only are you the league’s best player, but you’re the most valuable as well. You can’t stop Big Country, you can only hope to contain him! With a B2 and B1 MVP award under his belt, let’s see if championship number 2 is also in the cards, as well as a rumored move up to one of the A divisions. No matter how you look at it, Big Country was the best all-around player in the league this season!
Runners Up: Mario Marotta, Mike Sweeney, Matt Kaplan

Rookie of the Year – Mario Marotta, Fuego Fuego – No one has come into the league and made such an immediate impact with his play, his motor, and his mouth, since, well, the guy this award is named after, Tommy Kahana. That’s right I went there! Anyway, in Wario’s first game in Wall Ball Arena he was lining up shots from nearly half court, throwing the 2-2 zone back into prominence, and leading the upstart rooks onto the path of league respectability. It only got more intense from there. Mario’s more than a three point bomber though. He attacks the rim with finess, glyding to the hoop with the grace of a ballet dancer and the strength of a bull. All around impressive season for the new kid on the block.
Runners Up: Andy Robinson, Chris Snow, Kevin Mihelc

GM of the Season – Scott Perry, Scalopini – Despite a season off, SPerry knew what it took to put a contender back into the B1 League, and as usual, brought the right mix of scorers, veterans, defenders and role players to have a successful and competitive team. I was going to give this to Chet, as the unbeaten, 10-0 squad seems underrepresented in these awards, but how much of a genius does it take to call up the B2 Championship roster fully intact? We’ll see what adjustments he makes for next season, and judge him on those! Anyway, Scalopini’s veteran toughness and never say die attitude prompted a number of stiring comebacks and a surprising (not to me! I was one of their 3 votes back on 3/3/09 that they’d get the #3 seed! http://www.crfcbasketball.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2054) push for the third seed in the East. Don’t underestimate them in the playoffs!
Runners Up: Mario Marotta, Ken Vandervoordt

Defensive Player of the Season – Chris Snow, Fuego Fuego – Easily the toughest award to decide on this season. Heck I haven’t even made my pick yet, but I’m typing this out. In the end, the big fella won out, as without him the 2-2, or DIAMOND, zone, doesn’t stand a chance in this league. It’s not even about the 4.2 blocks per game, it’s about the fact that he’s a game changer down there on the low block. It doesn’t matter what matchup problems your team might create against F2, because they throw the zone at you, and then good luck going to the block and scoring. Having him there to gather in boards, prevent extra possessions and hit the outlet on the fly didn’t hurt either.
Runners Up: Hizzle, Mullen, RPerry

Offensive Player of the Season – Mike Sweeney, Half Tapped – I had a bunch of different directions I could have went with this one, but in the end, The Hefty Lefty, coming off a career high 26 ppg as well as 3+ apg was my final selection. Carrying the Half Tapped offense at times wasn’t easy, but no one was better equiped to do it. Despite face a number of zone defenses throughout the season, Sweens was still able to get to the hoop and finish (with the fouls!) over every big in the L. I could have went with Kap, but he had much more help, so just deal with it little guy! I know it will give you a complex…
Runners Up: Mario Marotta, Matt Kaplan, Tom Waters, Derek Zundl

5th Man of the Season – Dane Dudman, 3 Of Us – One of my easiest picks in this entire little blog we got going. The Great Dane was instant offense off the bench for 3 of Us, stepped right in and fired away. Cold schmold, you can only get hot if you let it fly! He came in and average 16 ppg off the bench people! Yea, that made my decision pretty easy, and it didn’t hurt that he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on the other end of the floor as well. No one else was even close in matching his productivity or impact off the bench. So much so, in fact, that there’s no runner up, it’s him, and everybody else choking on his dust.

Most Improved – Chris Sweeney, Half Tapped – The Worm averaged a career high with 13 ppg, still pulled down double digit boards a game and found a way to improve his assist to turnover ratio in the process. In a season where there was no clear cut winner, CSweens helped his case by spilling his guts on the Balcony and being an all around entertaining guy. Seriously, go drinking with him before a Cs game, I know way more than I ever wanted to. Plus, as a future B1 East teammate in the Summer, I’ve got to start kissing his ass to make sure he passes me the ball, not just his brother.
Runner Up: Tom Waters, Steve Mullen

All Defensive Team
Chris Snow – Yea, I’m still rewarding the zone after mocking it much of the season
Tom Heffernan – Hizzle was versitile enough to play the man and zone d that 3 of Us asked him too, and fared well pushing around some of the bigs in the L
Steve Mullen – Used all his energy on the defensive end rather than on O like the rest of his teammates
Richie Perry – You think you can go by him or post him up, but you can’t. Owed the leagues bigger guards

C.A.C. All-Star Teams – These are the guys that are representing the B1 East in the All Star Game! I’ll be sending out an email to all of these players to determine whether or not they can make the game (April 22nd) and then we will fill in with ‘injury replacement’ players should the need arise. The day of the game, I’ll split up the teams and of course, give you the line and preview on it!

1st Team
John Kelley, CAC N Ballers – MVP! MVP!
Matt Kaplan, 3 of Us – Game on the line, entire league to choose from, he’s the guy you want taking the shot
Mario Marotta, Fuego Fuego – RoY, 1st Team, the feathers are adding up in the headband
Vinny DiMento, Team Blue Chips – Everyone’s favorite ManCrush still a headline stealer

2nd Team
Michael Sweeny, Half Tapped – Career high 26 ppg, OPotS, 1st team snub??
Chris Snow, Fuego Fuego – No one wears the headband off his ear like the SnowFlake
Andy Robinson, Infinite Hoops – Made immediate impact on Infinite Hoops
Tom Waters, Scalopini – Finally! After a lot of runner ups this season, Scal’s leader on and off the court gets his due

3rd Team
Adam Rataj, Team Blue Chips – GingerSnap wins out over his much more vocal teammate
Derek Zundl, Uh-Oh – The Offensive engine for Uh-Oh
Tom Heffernan, 3 of Us – Hizzle!
Chris Sweeney, Half Tapped – The Worm left his mark on the league, still the best rebounding guard in the L