I see both the East and the West as our most wide open season that we have had in the B2 divisions since inception. Some notable newcomers to the East that will make a difference are reigning West MVP Micah Sherman, Saugus legend Paul Z, and CAC legend Broadway Joe Andrade. And after taking a season off and resting a chronic back injury he got from fouling too much in the previous 5 seasons, “Mr. Fantasy Stat” Fred Bermont and his team “Wolverine Haters” are back in the fold. It should be an interesting summer session to say the least and I am looking forward to it, especially the two weeks I will miss for my trip to Hawaii. I am giddy. That will be the best part of my season for sure. On to the rankings:
1. Serenity Now
I think the Good King has found the magic formula to get back his B2 Title that his arch nemesis the Mullets currently hold. Between a healthy Bigshot Biggins, JG, Kuether and the Good King himself, they are the toughest line-up in the league. Itís their league to lose as far as I am concerned and I know thatís a lot of pressure for summer basketball in a heated box, but hey, as they say, if you canít stand the heat, then play outdoor basketball.
Is this their year? Could it be? Reverse the curse? The parallels to the Red Sox are frightening as every season I get hyped up for this squad and every year they let me down. But given that there is no dominant team in the East, I see them possibly winning it this season and finally getting their name on the banner ñ long overdue!!!!!! With Greenburg only getting better playing A1 and Gibson/Kuzdeva ready for breakout years, it has to be their year. Doesnít it? If not, I am throwing away all of my Cha-Ching gear that I have accumulated over the years and ranking the last in every preview going forward.
[Wolverine Note: I cut and pasted all of this from last seasonís preview].
Is there anything that I can write about Genzyme that hasnít already been written? Perpetual MVP Mike Kmiec, perpetual MIA Bob Muse, perpetual beast Mike Santos, perpetual phantom Thompsen, perpetual fan favorite Georgie, perpetual write-up snub Dunn. I hope to have more material during the season, but I need to tell you, I am running out. Ok, maybe I didnít need to tell you.
4. The Mullets
I know, I know, Mike D has added superstar and Saugus hoop and tennis legend Paul Z to the mix. But the loss of league MVP Boris Paskalev to the salary cap to me is a devastating blow to the defending champs. Boris did everything for these guys and while Z is one of the best shooters around, he doesnít have the same impact as a player like Boris. But, as Rudy Tomjonovich has said in the past, never underestimate the heart of a Saugonian. We as a nation have one more titles at CAC than any other nation combined. Chang, Colanto, Korba, Evil ñ are you listening? Youíll all need to step up your game to fill the void left by Mr. Boris.
5. More Cowbell
More Cowbell comes to the East after a disappointing loss in West Finals after a near perfect regular season. But maybe that loss has taught these guys something about CAC hoops as there will be no cakewalks this season in the East and the playoffs are a totally different animal. West MVP Micah Sherman and backcourt man Romaine Hunt will star in the East, but what about the rest of the guys? A real wild card here and they could conceivably finish in 1st place, or dead last. So, I put them in the middle, just to be safe.
6. Average Joeís
The team formerly known as Liberty Mutual comes in with a slightly new look. All-Star Eric Korpalski is back for them (thank goodness) as is very solid role players Kaboub, Westervelt and Kessell. The key will be their newcomers and if they can play, they could easily move up in these rankings.
With McNabb now an established star and go to guy, how will LeFave handle his new role? If they can somehow combine forces, they are a formidable low post presence and when you throw in Porter in the point guard slot, St. Jean nailing threes, and the all out hustle of Fleming and Peddle, you donít have a bad team at all. #7 might be a little low or high for these guys, but time will tell.
8. Tribe Called Monkey
Another West team moving to the East lead by superstar and big game player Broadway Joe Andrade. A phenomenal playoff run last season as they just missed advancing to the West finals. Sir Brian Gowdy will be tested, but from what I have seen from him in pick-up, he will hold his own. Throw in Akhil and the rest of the supporting cast, and you have a tough win every week against these guys as they proved in last seasonís playoff run.
9. Wolverine Haters
Why are they ranked so low? Well, spite for one thing. Yes, I can return the jacket with the crest (that nobody seems to like) for spite!. I am not sure how this team slipped through the screening committee, but nonetheless Ian ìThe Jetî Whitney and Fred ìMr. Fantasy Statî Bermont have their way. But there is a huge dichotomy on this team as you have Whitney and Bermont on the one hand, who yell constantly and think they deserve Michael Jordan calls (despite Wil Perdue ability) and then you have Isaac Sparks, who never says a word on the court and simply runs around with his khaki short pockets inside out. It should be an interesting season to say the least as I have bought a whole case of earplugs for their games. Hopefully they donít mind playing at the Morse School for most of their games!!!!!
10. Solid Gold
Same old song and dance for these guys as they will ride Martineau and Duvalís back the entire season. Not sure if Duval has any trips planned for the summer, but either way Solid Gold always plays teams better than they are expected. But itís summer, and these guys are laid back, good times guys, so I donít expect a ton of intensity form them, except from Hanson of course, who, I imagine, is always intense whatever he does.
11. Cleary Club
Another transplant from the West as Ken Cleary and his lunch pick-up buddies band together to form a nice squad. Bugbee Creek will provide the offense, Cleary will provide the beef, Kush will provide the rebounds and Damien Martin will run the point. Itís the start of a solid squad, but will they have enough scoring to compete in the East?
The West is wide open this season as our new alignment gets all the team that should be in the East, well, in the East. The three new teams are huge wild cards, so anything can and will happen in this league. Plus, itís the summer, and itís a time for hijynx.
Shaq, Amand and Abrahamsen are clearly the leagueís top players, but Iíll give the ALS squad the slight edge in the pre-season rankings. Not sure of David Williams schedule this season, but Matt Bell is consistent in his attendance and solid play, making the Shaq/Amand, Bell/Hugh match-ups almost a wash. Shaq has added three point specialist Rob OíDonohughe to the roster giving his team a slight edge.
Justin Amand has apparently decided to form his own squad with fellow twin tower Hugh Buchan. Throw in buddy Tuck off the bench and you have a solid squad. As with the other new members of B Squad, I donít know the newcomers, but I would like to know what GHF means.
3. Pat Pigeons
Ken Abrahamsen and brother Chris Von Seggern are back again, this time without the Cooz. I have no idea who the rest of their team is, but I think I might recognize a former Kerdan player in Whoody Zao, not sure if itís the same Woody. But how many Woodyís can there be really? #3 might be a slight to them, but I just found out they were entering a team, so I think itís fair. Ken and Chris will be lethal as a combination and will be tough to stop, but we do have two other sets of towers at ALS and GHF. Should be interesting.
4. Jessels Grille
Who is Jessel and what is so great about his mouth? Ripcord legends Nally, Henrich, Gendron have defected from Ian Whitney (finally!!) and formed their own squad. With these three guys at the core, I like their chances at surprising some people this season.
5. B Squad
Stevie Horton I guess could not come to contract terms with big man Justin Amand as they parted ways this season. But he still has Tim Walling and Ben Pressgrove. No idea about his new guys are our scouting team is currently underfunded, but if I know Stevie, they should be pretty good fits into his system.
6. Beacon Town Beavers
Matt Lattore is a beast on the boards, Justin ìthe Glydeî Dreschler is a high energy guy and Jamison Cush is a solid all around player, but one question – whoís scoring for this team? With the loss of Pierre and Danny Ryan, thatíll be one problem that hustle and rebounding wonít be able to solve.
7. Ladies First
Terra is skipping this season for undisclosed reasons and she will be missed. 1st teamer Erink Johnson is back though along with backcourt mate Laura Weslander, who are probably the best backcourt tandem in the league. Probably? Ok, ok, they definitely are, but they will need some rebounding to make a run at the title this season.
Andy Teng defects from the Bad News Bears and joins CAC steadies Louca, Feller, Nate, and Sawyer. An interesting mix that will lead to an interesting season for the Expos.
9. Secret Sauce
In the Surgeonís world, if itís broke, then donít fix it. After an 0-10 season, the Sergeon is back with the same exact squad from last season. Not sure why Trevor isnít on this team, but I guess that didnít fly with the parity committee. Well, at least he is back working Tuesday nights and I can stop pretending to work out during breaks and go back to Fat Tuesdays.
Parts Unknown, Weights Unknown:
Is this supposed to be Think Magic? Or Magic Thing? Sounds like an OíCal team name. Iíll expect a full explanation during Week 1.
Do CAC referees get a discount on groceries? And why do I have to bag my own when I go there? And regardless of what she wrote in her complaint, I was not stalking newscaster Lisa Hughes a few weeks back when I saw her there. I just wanted to ask her a few questions about her newscasting.
Letís see, how many consonants in a row can we get in our team name? Was this a spelling bee word? Is the root word ìAnnihilate?î Can you use it in a sentence? Of course, I am ignoring the possibility that we got the spelling of your team name wrong, unheard really at CAC.
IS this team name a victim of the censorship committee or are they just being clever? I donít know who the Sex Pistols were, but I think I saw a movie about them once at the Brattle Theatre. I donít remember much about the movie, but I donít think it had any hoops in it.