A Banner Season for Rookies
With the playoffs around the corner, it’s time to evaluate the best of the best in my Thursday night leagues. As usual, leave all constructive criticism (aka complaints) in my ‘suggestions’ basket. It’s the round one in the corner, with the plastic bag to keep them all in order. Or you could just join in on the discussions over on the message boards, that will probably be more effective.
MVP – Terry Henderson, BeefCake! – Lest you think I’m swayed simply by big shiny numbers and a man that goes out of his way to buy me a six-pack, well you’re right. But the JumpMan, in just his first season at C.A.C., earned this MVP award. Donít forget, BeefCake! His squad started out 0-3 on the season, searching for answers, and the chemistry that a free agent team usually lacks early in the going. Then they went on a 6-1 tear to end it, including being the only team to knock off Full Tilt, along the way. His teammates supported his nomination, often times chanting ëMVPí as they won yet another game. Now letís see how he handles the pressure of the award.
Runners Up: MJ Dinh, Josh Bruno, BFrat
Rookie of the Year -.Jimmie Gunthier, Full Tilt – Not nearly as flashy as his brother, JGun did a little bit of everything to make sure his team won. Mostly, he made sure that the ball was evenly distributed among a number of very, very good scorers, himself included. Plus his kicks were always on point, which goes a long way in my book.
Runners Up: THend, The Pint, TGun,
Defensive PoY – Danny Gunthier, Full Tilt – Now this is just getting ridiculous, are there no other teams on my ballots?? Actually there are, but TGun was a lock down defender all season long and made it difficult for anyone to get a shot off. Paired with his brother, this back court was extremely difficult to score on, and a huge reason for their success.
Runners Up: BFrat, Spyder Singh, Weapon X
5th Man – Chris Wafula, Full Tilt – I have a feeling that Chris surely could have played a whole lot more and had a much bigger impact, but he seemed to coast and/or not care whether or not he played for stretches of the season. Thereís nothing a team loves than a selfless 5th man who will get a run in only when others are tired. Somehow, he still put up a double doublt (16/10) and was a huge part of a winning program.
MIP – Ricky Ng, Steamboats – The Secret Asian Man has a thankless job, making sure everyoneís ego is stroked, all while trying to find a little PT for himself. When heís in the game, heís on point, dropping bombs as the Mighty MJD finds him spotted up in the corner. Now if only Tow Tow B Ware would keep the camera trained on him so he wouldnít just show up in the blooper reel, and Iím sure heíd be much happier.
Runners Up: DZ
GM of the Year – Ian Guiness, Full Tilt – The Pint wanted to get his squad into A2, but they were too late, so took on the best that B1 had to offer and finished on top of the league. You can only play the competition that youíre scheduled to, and these guys took care of business almost every week of the season. Weíll see if that translates into a championship, but these guys have the look of a winner.
Runners Up: Todd Cogdell, Greenberg
All Defensive Team
TGun – In terms of pure athleticism, no one uses their skills better.
BFrat – Heís 2 for 2 in the 4v4 leagues on the defensive squad, not about those free throwsÖ
Spyder Singh – Swipes leader benefited from some solid D behind him
Weapon X – When healthy, still one of the toughest, meanest defenders to grace the Morse Walls. Itís not easy protecting the basket when itís so wide open.
JumpMan ñ MVP! MVP!
MJ Dinh ñ No one unwillingly carries his team more effectively week in and week out
BFrat ñ Ouch, missing the playoffs was definitely not expected for his club
Josh Bruno ñ Still flashes the range and gets riled up about it
Jimmie Gunthier ñ The glue that held Full Tilt together
Weapon X ñ Holds it down for his boys who love the Morse
Spyder Singh ñ A veteran in the truest sense of the word, makes the most of his experiences
TGun ñ You didnít really think Iíd give one bragging rights over the other, did you?
Eric Hinton ñ The GunSlinger cut back on the turnovers this season in his comeback and helped lead Nasty Cobra
Manny Allen ñ The Firm smartened up and went to the post early and often this season, Mannyís prowess is the reason why
The Pint ñ Another guy whoís injury almost held him down, but he toughed it out
Thuy Nguyen ñ A man of many nicknames this season, Employee #8 took on more of the burden, and more of the criticism
MVP – Royce Henry, CellExchange – Like there was ever any doubt? Since the first week that Royce stepped onto the court at Morse, heís been an active participant in all things C.A.C. Throwing caution to the wind, heís chatted up his boys on the message boards, taken on all comers, and led his team to the #3 seed behind the highest player rater in the West. Weíll see how dominant he can be at Wall Ball Arena when the going gets real tough in the playoffs, but itís been a banner year for rookies in the B1
Runners Up: AC, Mark Lamberti
RoY – Mark Lamberti, NEPC – 18 and 15 is no small feat. Leading a new team to the best overall record in the league only adds to his case. Just a monster season all around. This is another league where a rookie won MVP, so wasnít going to win RoY. Thatís just how it works at C.A.C.
Runners Up: Royce Henry, Kit Chung
Defensive PoY – Royce Henry, CellExchange – Look, I know itís not about the individual accolades for the Rolls Royce, and I really tried to give this award to someone else, but the man prides himself on his D, I think heíd rather this one than the MVP. Actually, Iím 100% certain, and his play, week in and week out, backed that up.
Runners Up: Richie Perry, NEPC
Most Improved Player – Rick Johnson, Fafafini – Maybe he finally just needed some PT to show the CAC Contingent what he could really do. Maybe Tommy K was stifling his game. Maybe he just needed to show up for a full season. Whatever it was, RJ had a great season, finshing 12th in our convoluting Player Rater system, and definitely deserves this award.
GM of the Year – Scott Perry, NEPC – I assume Scottís their GM says he was the one that I dealt with on a regular basis, so weíre giving it to him. Being new to the league, they had enough fire power to only drop one game, and definitely head into the playoffs as one of the favorites to take home the grand prize!
Fans of the Year – RadioHighFlyers – Iím talking all divisions at C.A.C., and in a shocking upset, the horde that the Flyers brought to every game easily outpaces everyone elseís contributions. That isnít to say I donít love the other fans that show their support (Iím looking at you Steamboatettes), but the HighFlyers take the cake. They were rowdy all season long, usually came from, and went to the bar, and always supported their team, no matter the score. Nice work, and I expect big things (signs) next season!
All Defensive Team
Rolls Royce ñ 36 points per game against?? Even at Morse thatís unheard of
Craig Archambeault ñ Big fella was impossible to score on and grabbed every rebound in sight.
Richie Perry ñ Master Theif!
AC ñ Again with the thievery!
Rolls Royce – Heís just piling up the hardware
AC – Led the shocking Etown revival
Ricky Pszenny – That J makes everyone else in the league jealous
Mark Lamberti – RoY more than deserving of getting on this elite list
Kit Chung – Led the 4 fearless Jailblazers to the top 10 in PR
Chris Ryan – WTF finally found some consistency this season, Ryanís a big reason why
Fitz – Always looks sleepy, but always produces
Rick Johnson – A breakout
Jeff Iudice – Tough season for the OGs, but Jeffís inspired play helped ease the pain
Harvey Chan – I should just list all the Jailblazers together as one entry
Kevin Tangg – Really, I should
Adam S – Big fella played hard all season long for my personal favorites, the RadioFlyers
Tom Waters – Huge contributor for NEPCís run to first
Craig Archambeault – WTF just pulling in the honors