SML Spring 2011 Awards!

Before we get to the good stuff I want to address a few housekeeping items first.

A couple of days before the season began we weren’t sure we were even going to have a league this season. We got all of the captains together via email (Ruff, JimmyD, Bobby and myself) and discussed whether or not we wanted to have a 4-team league or no league at all. I can confidently say I am pleased we all decided to go ahead and have the 4-team league. It has been a fun ride with plenty of ups and downs but I think overall the league was a success and a lot of fun. Not only did we keep the league alive with the hopes of a more improved league next season, we got the chance to get to know each other a little bit better and I am pleased to have been a part of it. Sure, we had plenty of forfeits, mishaps and communication issues but we made it this far and everyone should give himself a pat on the back for contributing to the overall success of this league.

Covering this league was certainly frustrating at times, but overall it was a fun experience. I am however taking my elite scorekeeping and league covering talents to A Draft next season on Monday nights. This has nothing to do with anything that went on the SML this season I can assure you but A Draft is a league I have wanted to run for a long time and the opportunity presented itself recently. I urge all of you to try it out. It’s a very fun league with a lot of great guys (minus Tommy) and most importantly it is excellent basketball. Join me in my migration!

Now onto unfinished business. The SML playoff schedule is all set. The 4 seed in Pippen Ain’t Easy will take on the 1 seed in Sunday Morning Legends while the 3 seed in Mama There Goes Those Men battles Team Bring It in what should be a great day of competitive basketball. Good luck to all 4 teams as I am looking forward to the next 2 weeks of action. Also, don’t forget. If you were selected to the first, second or honorable mention all star team come and play in the all star game after the title game! I will assign captains and we will pick teams when we get there a la grade school.

Drumroll please…the moment you have all been waiting for…the Spring 2011 Sunday Morning League Awards! I chose these awards based on a number of variables: stats, overall team success, number of games played, the eye test and whether I like you or not. I did my best to be as fair and unbiased as possible, but let’s face it, even I am human Do not hesitate to let me know where I screwed up or missed something. Enjoy and let me hear it!

MVP: Jon Press (Sunday Morning Legends)
Runners Up: Kevin Martinez (Mama There Goes Those Men), Bobby Colantonio (Team Bring It)

This one was kind of a no brainer and I think few would argue this selection. Press was an absolute stud this season as he led the Sunday Morning Legends to an 8-1 clip. Press was the leading scorer in the league at 35.43 ppg., 2nd in threes made per game at 4.14, 2nd in rebounding at 12.14 rpg and t-5th in blocks at .86 blkspg. Press was a consistent performer for the SMLs all season and got them out of numerous jams when the going got tough. I am pleased to award Press this season’s MVP award as it was hard earned and well deserved. Now I just need to come up with a nickname for this guy and my job is done!

Offensive Player of the Year: Will Diieso (Sunday Morning Legends)
Runners Up: Jon Press (SMLs), Kevin Martinez (Mama)

Will Diieso came into the Sunday Morning League as an unknown and he took this league by storm right away. Diieso hit some ridiculous shots all season, abusing his opponents with an un-guardable mid range fade away to the fine tune of 30.43 ppg. Plenty of times this season I would watch Diieso drive the lane only to drain some acrobatic shot that I could only hit in my sleep. When I think offense I think of this kid, as he is a true scorer who can ball with the best of them. Great season Will and congrats on the OPoY award.

The “Scott Mulholland” Defensive Player of the Year Award: Kevin Martinez (Mama There Goes Those Men)
Runners Up: Matt Maloney (Team Bring It), Rob Berian (Pippen Ain’t Easy)

This may seem like an unlikely selection but the bottom line is Martinez was a stud defensively all season. Martinez used his speed, athleticism and quickness to make defensive play after defensive play often in eye-popping fashion. I remember one game against my boys when it seemed Biehler had an easy layup only to find Martinez fly out of nowhere for a highlight reel block. Martinez averaged a league leading 3.33 stlspg and a tied for the lead league 1.83 blkspg and that is impressive for a guard in my book. I saw all of his games this season and this award is certainly justified. Good season, Kevin.

Rookie of the Year: Riko Bol (Mama There Goes Those Men)
Runners Up: Will Diieso (SMLs), Kevin Martinez (Mama)

Riko only played in 4 games this season but his talent alone won this award. Riko was the best post player in this league (maybe tied with Mazz hehe) and it’s unfortunate he couldn’t make it to more games. Talk about being a menace in the paint. Riko abused opponents with a plethora of post moves, from spinning layups to acrobatic finishes around the rim. He even has a decent shot too for a guy his size. I would have liked to see him play more games though as he was a joy to watch but I guess I will take what I can get. In the games he did play, Riko made his presence felt and will certainly be a tough cover come playoff time. It was fun having you this season in the SML Riko.

5th Man of the Year: Matt Maloney (Team Bring It)

I am not sure Maloney was a true 5th man as most teams struggled to even get 5 to the game most weeks but I had to find a way to give Maloney a big award. The guy is just a gamer who does all the little things teams need to succeed. Maloney rebounds and play defense with the best of them and without him Bring It would not be in contention to win the title. I truly believe that. Maloney is a scrapper who has a nose for the ball and he is more than an asset for Bring It. I expect him to make some big plays in the end of games in the playoffs as he makes a living in crunch time. Good season buddy and don’t worry I already forgot about you bailing on me in the finals last season.

GM of the Year: Kap! (Sunday Morning Legends)

I am breaking my number one rule here: don’t give myself awards. There is no way around this one though. I put together one of the best teams I have ever assembled…and I am proud of it damnit! We were able to finish with an 8-1 record and I think this award is well deserved. That’s enough self-promotion for now though so I will end by saying it was a pleasure playing with the NEW SMLs this season.

Most Improved Player: Bernard Johnson (Mama There Goes Those Men)
Runners Up: Mike Cadman (Team Bring It), Mike Boucher (Team Bring It)

I think I called out Bernard after a couple weeks this season and I noticed a change in his game for the better. The guy really made an effort to play team ball and not only did it make Mama better, it made his game better. Bernard was the best facilitator for Mama in the 2nd half of the season and I really think this made him a more complete player. When he combined his deadly shot making ability with some nice dimes he proved to be a much tougher cover for opponents. Bernard’s improvement should definitely be noted when you think about Mama’s success this season and I look for this to continue in the post season. Bernard and Mama are sleepers this season watch out!

The Kap Award: Jim Daigneault (Pippen Ain’t Easy)
Runners Up: Sean O’Callaghan (SMLs), Mike Cadman (Team Bring It)

Good old JimmyD. How can I not give him the highly coveted Kap Award? The guy came to play week in and week out battling is face off despite losing almost every game. JimmyD is a complete player and in order to win this award you have to be and I enjoyed watching him. JimmyD combines a great mid range shot with some excellent defensive instincts making him a threat on both ends of the floor in any game. JimmyD is actually a pretty cool guy too. Who knew! Seriously JimmyD had a great season despite struggling in the win column and I credit him for bringing it (like that play on words?) each week.

All Defensive Team:

Kevin Martinez (Mama)
Rob Berian (Pippen)
Matt Maloney (Bring It)
Drew Legare (Bring It)

All Offensive Team:

Jon Press (SMLs)
Will Diieso (SMLs)
JimmyD (Pippen)
Kevin Martinez (Mama)

All “Chuckers” Team: most 3PA

Will Diieso (SMLs)
Damian Ruff (Mama)
Jon Press (SMLs)
Mike Cadman (Bring It)

All Guard Team:

Kevin Martinez (Mama)
Matt Foley (Pippen)
Sean O’Callaghan (SMLs)
BobbyC (Mama)

All Big Man Team:

Rob Berian (Pippen)
Riko Bol (Mama)
Jon Mazzone (SMLs)
Jim Bayley (Bring It)

SML All-Stars: To be played after the finals 8/11

1st Team:

Jon Press (SMLs)
Kevin Martinez (Mama)
JimmyD (Pippen)
BobbyC (Bring It)

2nd Team:

Will Diieso (SMLs)
Drew Legare (Bring It)
Jon Mazzone (SMLs)
Jim Bayley (Bring It)

Honorable Mention:

Damian Ruff (Mama)
Kap (SMLs)
Sean O’Callaghan (SMLs)
Mike Boucher (Bring It)

Once again thanks for a great season guys. The playoffs should be fun so let’s go out with a bang. All stars expect an email from me asking if you plan to play. All I ask is that if you say you are going to play show up. See everyone Sunday!

Kap

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