SML Winter 2011 – Preview & Pre-Season Awards

By RoY

Hello there my followers and welcome back to another exciting season of the SML in what truly could be the best collection of 4vs4 talent CAC has ever seen. I know I said this last season but teams just seem to be improving and we’re adding even more talent. Sure we lost stars like Preston, AB and Kid Khalid, but we replaced them with guys like Arcoma, Van Voorhies and O’Cal among many others names. Needless to say I’m giddy at how this league has shaped up and is now considered the premiere destination for CAC’s top talent. After this season it might be time for me to hold out again and renegotiate my contract. I got a family to feed and a mortgage and car payments to make….I need to get paid!!!

But for now, I’ll just live up to the contract I signed and bring to you this seasons preview and pre-season awards (a SML exclusive). Although, if I had one complaint about this league (aside from my contract and working conditions of course) it would be that I want you guys to be more vocal on the boards or to me directly this season. Sure we got guys like Kap & Majic who basically air their teams’ dirty laundry on the boards but I want to see some serious trash talking, if nothing else directed towards me this season. So whether you direct it to me, your own teammates or your opposition, let’s utilize our first amendment right and make some noise people.

On to the preview’s….

#8 FloRiders
Key losses: none
Key additions: Peter Arcoma

Okay, he actually played for them last time they played in the SML but I’m told his attendance is going to be stellar and they’ll need him to compete in this league. Arcoma is a beast and will give people headaches but he’s not all they got. Pepe, a former SML all-star, is back and his aggressive style will be a key factor in their success. Both will get help from Chris and Andy, but the real story of this team is if they can get guys to show. As we saw last time they played, they really struggled with attendance and there are no easy games in this league.

#7 Sunday Morning Legends
Key losses: Adam Biehler
Key addition: D-Mac

Puzzled by why last year’s #1 seed heading in the playoffs is all the way down here? Well if you peel the onion you’ll see that AB is taking a season off and he was the glue to this team. Sure Majic won the MVP (and rightfully so – he had a hell of a season) but AB brought the energy, defense and kept everyone from killing each other. There were several times I thought things would implode and AB kept things together. But all isn’t lost here as they’ve picked up one of CAC’s most prestigious 3pt shooters and my mentor, DMac. I see them running the D’Antoni style offense, going for 100+ a game but probably giving up 120. Oh and let me leave you with this nugget because it’s just too good to pass up. The reigning MVP gave me this quote last week: “I’m going to be in the post most of the season, so I’ll leave the 3’s to DMac and Valdi”….Yes I got a good laugh too….

#6 SBI
Key losses: P-Stone, Kid Khalid
Key additions: Sean Walsh, Jtho

And speaking of attendance problems, last season DRuff’s crew battled an entire season of guys missing games and the cohesiveness definitely suffered. It’s good to see B-Money fully committed back after missing games in the fall to watch his son star in Pop Warner football. DRuff has changed things up a bit and brought in a well known name from the B1E and a blast from the past. JTho (a vocal one on the boards btw) and Sean Walsh are big names and very talented and should make an impact immediately as long they show up. Regardless they’ll need DRuff to return to form and shake of the struggles he dealt with last season to make a run for the title.

#5 Hungover
Key losses: Ryan Jamsey
Key additions: Henry O’Loughlin

Every year I predict big things for this team and every year I come up short. Looking back at my analysis I always end up commenting on two things, the first is their incredibly large roster and the second is their inability to get people to show in the playoffs. Well the first one has been tweaked by them. With some guys taking a season off (Jamsey, Jay & Mike), the roster has been trimmed to 5 and word around their camp is Mo’s brother FINALLY makes his comeback. Ok, I think I’ve advanced the confirmation just a bit, but how can you not get excited and I’ve put them here with the assumption that he’ll be showing. Now if they can only get people to show for playoff games and I can finally be right about this team.

#4 Cold Blooded
Key losses: none
Key additions: Mark Yocum

The first two seasons CB won the championship and all was good. Season 3 I joined this fine group and we lost in the finals, last season we went down in the semis and now we’re ranked fourth? This might be my last shot staying hitched to this wagon before Nim realizes my ability to bring organizations down but hear me out as to this preseason ranking. First off, I’m excited that Mark Yocum is officially joining us for the long haul. In the limited amount of games he played last season, he caused some serious headaches for big men in the SML. However CB, despite having 8 men on the roster, may be dealing with attendance issues again this season. Both Nim and Josh are still trying to recover from injuries and may miss sometime early on and Chiverton is leaving us later in the year to get married. Why aren’t people scheduling their weddings around the season???? Anyways, assuming we have guys show and people are healthy, we can make a run for the title, otherwise this could be tough season and lead to my demise.

#3 Pippen Ain’t Easy
Key losses: Jay Furgeson
Key additions: Phil Van Voorhies, Dan McCoy

Nothing like a name change and some new additions to make these former Cats an immediate title contender. I’ve been dogging Jimmy D for so long but now that he’s a teammate of mine on another night, I might have to change my ways a little. So in my kinder and gentler state, I have to admit, this team is pretty legit on paper. PVV is a stud and adding him to Jimmy D, Foley and Hodges makes this team stacked. Add Danny McCoy and some solid role players and this team is just sick. This was a late addition to the league and it may be that they’re the ones holding the title come the end of the season. Nicely done Jimmy, enjoy this kinder gentler me while it lasts.

#2 The Situation
Key losses: none
Key additions: Litch

Last season’s runner up is back and has actually improved. How you ask? They didn’t add any big names or anything however they did add a former 5th man of the year and one of their key role players. Why is this addition important? Well you look at when Situations struggled last season and you would see that at times, they just watched Kilpatrick try and score and the ball didn’t move like Situation ball is use to. Well Litch will keep the ball moving and that’s when Situation is at their best. One other thing I expect from this team, they play some serious D and as long as that continues they’ll make another long run come the playoffs.

#1 Trapped in the Closet
Key losses: Jon Press
Key additions: O’Cal, CPW

How does last season’s champs go out and get better? Well that’s easy, you bring in CAC’s best point guard and one of the toughest big men CAC has ever had. Sure, they lost Press, who was arguably their MVP last season, but the core of this group has won something like 6 championships together and is out to raise their individual championship totals to double digits. Add proven role players like Hrkach & Voz and this is the team to beat coming into the season. What’s the best part O’Cal being added to this team? Well I now have the entire season to continue expressing my professed love for this guy.

Last season I introduced CAC’s first and only pre-season awards and my efforts came with much praise and admiration so what better way to feed my ego than do it again. As always, remind me how wrong or irrelevant these awards are because I love and crave the attention, yes I’m that needy.

Pre Season MVP – Sean O’Callahan (Trapped in the Closet)
I told you I had a man crush on this guy so naturally I was going to put him here. And I didn’t even account for the fact that he’s going to lead his team to a perfect season & title and most importantly keep Mazzone happy with plenty of shots.

Pre-Season DPOY – Sean Walsh (SBI)
It’s easy to put Jimmy D here (again) but he’s actually going to have some serious competition for this award this season, especially if Walsh shows up for games. He’s could set a record for average shots per game, especially if I’m scoring the books. Hey Jimmy, I guess that kinder gentler me didn’t last.

Pre-Season OPOY – Ian Kilpatrick (The Situation)
Does anyone have a better mid range jumper that Ian and yours truly? Well since I can’t nominate myself for this award (wait, why can’t I????) I figured I’d give it to the next best option. Ian always seems to get his shot off, and could very well lead the league in scoring and assists if he’s on his game.

Pre-Season ROY – Phil Van Voorhies (Pippen Ain’t Easy)
For those of you who don’t know PVV you’re in for a treat. This dude has been ballin in CAC’s 5vs5 leagues for quite some time now and we should all be so lucky to have him in our league. He’s going to be a tough matchup for many out there and thankfully my team already knows I play no D so I won’t have to worry about covering him.

Pre-Season 5th Man of the Year – Jeff Hrkack (Trapped in the Closet)
A team full of stars needs solid bench/role players and I’m not sure there is a better one that Jeff. He’s the ultimate team guy, who never stops hustling or making the extra pass yet isn’t afraid to take a key shot. I’ve had him on my team before and he always backed me up defensively when I “occasionally” let a guy go past me or grabbed the offensive rebound on the rare 3ball miss so this Jeff is for you.

Pre-Season GM of the year – Morgan O’Laughlin (Hungover)
I don’t know if it was done by design or not but the Hungover roster has finally been trimmed and if indeed the rumors are true and Henry is back, it was one hell of an offseason for Mo. These changes could finally put Hungover over the top, but if Mo really wants to lock this award up, he gets his guys to actually show up for playoff games.

Pre-Season Tommy Award – Matt Kaplan (Sunday Morning Legends)
He’s the defending champ of this award and it’s going to take some stiff competition from the league to rip this award away from him. I mean seriously, outside of me, is there anyone more self centered, egotistical and narcissistic who only cares about his stats than him? All you have to know is that when he was asked how the team did in the semi’s last season by a teammate who missed the game, his response was…”I scored 32 points….oh and we lost too”.

Pre-Season First Team:
Sean O’Callahan – Trapped in a Closet
Phil Van Voorhies – Pippen Ain’t Easy
Ian Kilpatrick – The Situation
Drew Legare – Hungover

Pre-Season Second Team:
Josh Wachtel– Cold Blooded
Jon Mazzone– Trapped in the Closet
Sean Walsh – SBI
Jim Daigneault – Worcester IceCats

Pre-Season Third Team:
Chris Maciejczak – Sunday Morning Legends
Bobby Colantonio –The Situation
Peter Arcoma – FloRiders
Mark Yocum– Cold Blooded

Pre-Season All-Defensive Team:
Sean Walsh – SBI
Jim Daigneault – Pippen Ain’t Easy
Sean O’Callahan – Trapped in a Closet
Drew Lagare – Hungover

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