By Sam Boyer
Welcome to the B Draft West Winter 2013 Season! This morning, we held the draft at the CAC HQ, and whenever there is a draft, terrible preseason power rankings are released. This season will be no different, with or without Matty Bells. Let’s get the party started:
The ‘I’m Faking A Smile After How Badly The Draft Went’ Tier
#10 Fine Stein’s
Captain – Joe Randall
G Joe Randall
G Mike Weinstein
F Robert Vigneau
F Adam Nestler
G Paul Reeves
G Chao Quan
Thoughts: Many in the draft felt Brian Barrett would have been the better pick at 8, and I agree with the consensus. I loved playing with Nestler last season, but Randall was in the same position as most captains, needing size AND scoring with his first overall pick. Barrett would have provided both of them, especially seeing how much success he had with him last season.
Weinstein is a great player too, however he’s best when he moves the ball, like a Rip Hamilton type guy. With this team, I see the ball in his hands down the stretch, almost like his team last season – the same team that went 3-6.
The X-Factor here will be Paul Reeves. Can he run point, finding Weinstein, Vig, and Nestler for easy buckets, while shooting an efficient percentage? He will be the difference between the Fine Stein’s going 2-7, and 6-3.
#9 Deep Six
Captain – Noah Spaulding
G Matt Kaplan
G Mike Manning
F Noah Spaulding
F Aziz Zeinomar
G Tim Lens
F Ian Cundall
Thoughts: It was a joy to watch Noah’s not-so-bad-of-an-idea-at-the-time plan turn out like crap during Draft Day. He decided to turn picks 10/11/30/31/50 into 18/19/22/23/31, which was awesome a month ago. Then STAT dropped. Then Kevin Tang dropped. Then Mike Kuzdeva dropped. Then Chris McCauley dropped. Then, not that long after, Noah’s hopes dropped, too. For those who have been around long enough, Noah and Aziz have been on the rocks with their relationship since the whole Strange/Aziz/Noah debacle, Kap has a minor back issue now, and I’m not sure what to expect from Manning and Lens as both are rookies in the league.
Can they win the title? Sure, anyone can win the title. As long as you make the playoffs, you have a chance. However, considering this team once could have looked like Kuz, Tyler Smith, Marcel Quetant, Jesse Corwin, and Sarro instead of what it is now, Noah has to feel like his draft was a disappointment.
#8 Donkey Punchin’ Penguins
Captain – Nick Barry
G Nate Mendes
G/F Marcel Quetant
F Chris Cousins
F Eric Welin
G Nick Barry
G Chris Counts
Thoughts: The only thing I knew going into the draft was that Nick Barry was going to take Cousins with the #3 pick in the draft. Cousins is a rookie to the league, but has one the 5 v. 5 Draft title the last few seasons. What Nick did with the 3rd pick was never going to hurt him – it was what he was going to do with picks 18/23/38/43. Does he make a trade? Does he stand put?
I LOVED him drafting Marcel, to pair him with Cousins, but, he could have nabbed him at 18. Instead, he swapped 18/23 to Noah for 15/26, and got Marcel at 15. Had he drafted Marcel at 18, and held on to 23, he could have gotten a guy like Lens to help provide more offense, but instead, he now needs to rely on Nate Mendes. ‘Extreme Speed’ has been proven to be hit or miss, and all it takes is one bad shooting performance in the playoffs to cost a Mendes-run team a season. Then again…what happens if he, Marcel, AND Cousins are knocking down their shots?
The ‘I’m Genuinely Happy With How The Draft Turned Out, I Just Know I Have A Flaw That Could Cost Me A Title’ Tier
#7 Two in the Paint
Captain – Tristan Ratchford
G Taha Jennings
G Khamal Edison
F Eric Nordstrom
F Mike Joachin
G Carlos Rivadineinera
F Tristan Ratchford
The Flaw: The backcourt of Two in the Paint
Thoughts: Tristan hit a homerun in my opinion nabbing both Joachin and Nordy with his first two picks, but his blessing may have also been his curse. His next pick came at 35, where he took Taha, and gave him the keys to their offense. While it is true that you don’t really need a true point guard, it would be nice to at least have a guard you feel comfortable giving the rock too. I just don’t see it with this team.
Also, here is something to think about. You know the saying in this league, playoff games are won with free throws? Who shoots them late in the game with this team? Joachin? Nordy? Taha?
I can’t put them in the bottom tier strictly because I have no idea how to stop Joachin and Nordy, nevermind both of them. I would hate to play this team in the playoffs if I had a top seed.
#6 Blazing Saddles
Captain – Kevin Bliss
G Nolan Ostrander
G/F Tyler Smith
F Josh Barrett
F Kevin Bliss
G Harry Lebov
G Chris Ott
The Flaw: Not enough diversity between the players, and not enough size.
Thoughts: Bliss surprised me when he took both Josh Barrett, and Tyler Smith. For some reason, Tyler Smith’s stock has skyrocketed the past few weeks, and has been called a ‘poor man’s Josh Barrett’. My question is, why take a poor man’s Josh Barrett after you’ve already selected…Josh Barrett!
On the other hand, if there is one thing we learned this past season, Josh Barrett can still single handedly 1) Carry a team to the playoffs and 2) Win a playoff game by himself. That alone has forced me to put the Blazing Saddles at #6 in the preseason rankings. How well Nolan plays perimeter D and how well Tyler shoots will dictate how far this team goes.
# Destiny’s Children
Captain – Sam Boyer
G Brian McCauley
G Sam Boyer
F Jake Goldenshtein
F Jason Burridge
F Max Maroney
G Jon Chang
The Flaw: Can Destiny’s Children score enough points to become contenders?
Thoughts: After initially having picks 6/15/26/35/46, I decided to trade 15/26/35 to Noah for 10/30/50. The only knock at the time on the trade was that you could get a comparable player to 10 with the 15th pick. With all the player drops before the draft, that couldn’t be said anymore. Now it was just a question of hitting a home run with picks 6/10, and hoping to nab a solid player at 30.
In my mind, I made the two best picks I could have made at 6/10. Burridge and MC3 will make each other better on both ends of the court, and Jake will be there to rebound, hustle, defend, and can finish down low.
While I have no doubts the defense will be fine, we will need to produce 60-65 points a game to win, and until I see it happen, I will have that question mark for my team.
(…We are the darkhorse title contenders, by the way)
#4 Dessert First
Captain – Rudy Hersch
G Greg Waldman
G Rudy Hersch
F Ian Rubiano
F Brian Barrett
G/F Yanni Koroneos
G/F Luis Chunga Celis
The Flaw: Relying on two rookies to make a major impact to be able to win a title.
Thoughts: Rudy made the two best picks he could have made as well, going big/big with Barrett and Rubiano. Both provide size and scoring, Barrett is a threat in the halfcourt offense, and Ian is tough to defend in the half court. On paper, it looks really nice, but the rookies are the question mark.
Chances are, Waldman will be running point, and chances are Yanni will be getting a lot of PT whenever Barrett and/or Ian need a sub. In the combine they both looked solid, but a few games of pick up is not nearly a large enough sample size.
Of the four teams in this tier, I think this team will be the toughest to defend with Ian/Barrett, and they will play phenomenal defense. Plus, I think of all the flaws pointed out in this tier, they have the least amount of fear of theirs.
The ‘I Have Already Started To Work On My Pose For The Team Photo After We Win The Title’ Tier
#3 Straight Ca$h
Captain – Kevin Smith
G Kevin Smith
G/F Craig Belhumeur
F Joe Meldahl
F Jason Tibbetts
F Matt Dunbar
F Robert Genduso
Thoughts: Have you guys noticed the size of this roster? Did anyone expect Kevin Smith to draft Craig to play shooting guard? How do you match up with them?
Those are the questions I have been asking myself since the draft. I don’t know how this is going to work…but I just feel like it will. I like to compare Kevin Smith to Derek Fisher – a guy who will run an offense, play solid D, and knock down an open jump shot. Plus, he seems like the guy that will keep the personalities in check on this team. (HI TIBBS!)
This will now be the third season Tibbs and Craig are paired, but this is obviously the most unique roster of the three. Since these two when paired have made it to the 2nd Round or better each season, I have to rank them third.
By the way, how does Genduso keep falling this far? This is now the third straight season he’s gone in the last round.
Also, what happens if Kevin misses a week? Who runs point?
#2 Mustard Gas
Captain – Mike Fraher
G Marc LeBlanc
G Justin Sarro
F Mike Fraher
F Bobby Haas
G/F Stephen Downey
G/F Jake Salley
Thoughts: Fraher going with LeBlanc at 7 was a great idea, the more I think about it. ‘Ghost’ is a captain that benefits from being a big man, so he doesn’t need to make drafting a big a priority like a player like me has to. With that said, he got the best scorer in the league, while also landing a rebounding machine in Bobby Haas.
One issue I have with this team is that LeBlanc will probably have to run point. He’s best used when he doesn’t need to create for himself at all times – or when he has Brian Barrett on his team. I don’t know if they have anyone good enough to run a 2-Man offense like he did last season, but with Sarro and Fraher knocking down open shots, and Haas cleaning up the offensive glass, this team will be fine.
Remember what I just mentioned about Genduso? Same thing can be said for Downey. This is now his 3rd season falling into the 30s, and he was a steal yet again for Fraher.
Captain – Sean Flynn
G Sean Flynn
G/F Jesse Corwin
G/F Mike Strange
F Royal Healy
G Jon Glumac
G/F Carlos Rivadienieenara
Thoughts: First off, I’m really excited for Jesse to be back on a winning team. Do you guys remember the last time Jesse was relevant in B Draft? It’s been awhile. Let’s breakdown how the best team will look (can’t wait ‘til they go 4-5 and lose in the first round):
How do you defend this team? Not only do you have to be concerned with the size and the scoring ability of Strange, but now you have to worry about Royal and Jesse. After watching Royal play Thursday at the combine, I think Jesse and he will 1) anchor a great defense, 2) set a record for most screens set in a game, and 3) probably get a combined 8 technical fouls.
Plus, Flynn and/or Carlos Rivadeniera will be on the court to be the guy that stands there and knock down open shots. (I love being that guy!) I’m just assuming Carlos shoots like his brother, though.
Long story short, I just think they are the most complete team. They have a guy that can take over late, a great defense, shooters, and most importantly, size. With that being said, I feel comfortable picking a team I labeled ‘most complete’ to win the title.
Either way, I’m happy for the season to finally be here. I firmly believe this season will be just as competitive as the last few seasons, with every team having a chance at the title. Pre-season starts this Thursday, I’m sure Tibbs has emailed you all with the schedule…has he?
Preseason Schedule, same deal as the last few seasons. 30 minutes, running time, call your own foul.
Final note before I go…predictions!
MVP – Mike Strange
OPOY: Marc LeBlanc
DPOY: Jason Burridge
Steal of the Draft: Yanni Koroneos (Pick 32)
GM of the Year: Sam Boyer