Tuesday, December 22, 2015

11/12 House Basketball Power Rankings 3.0

By Britton Barthold

() Indicates previous ranking; [] Indicates record

1. (2) [2-1] Knicks
The Knicks handled the Warriors in dominant fashion on Sunday in what was supposed to be a hotly anticipated #1 vs. #2 team battle. Yet, this isn't the first time #1 forgot to show up and play... Hey Southington. The Knicks finally had a breakout game from first round pick Charlie Miller, while Mark Schmidt played a more pivotal role on defense instead of offense this week. Schmidt wasn't short on words though, saying after the game, "We won. We are a better team then them. We play harder we play faster we win. I’m predicting Mark Schmidt doesn’t lose another game in his House career. Our team is too powerful and has way too good of a chemistry of a team. Plus, Stovall chirps so well so it helps a lot. Sam’s defense was really good. Honestly I don’t give a (expletive) what people think about me. I can probably hold Hudson to under 10 points." Kid didn't come here to play school.

2. (5) [2-1] Nuggets
The Nuggets finally got its star in Hudson Hamill back from football, and Hamill quite possibly had the greatest entrance ever. After walking onto the court at the beginning of the game, Hamill reportedly said, "I might be a little rusty guys." He then went off for like, 50 points against the previously undefeated Raptors. Along with this, Nuggets swingman Kody Schutzman took an elbow to the face, but persevered and finished the game. The Nuggets, now at full strength, will most definitely stay around the top five for the rest of the year. The one negative? They have allowed the most points in the league this year.

3. (1) [2-1] Warriors
The Warriors fell to the Knicks on Sunday, gaining their first loss of the season. The heir apparent to Mark Evanchick, Christian Fiorenza, struggled from the field, but looks to turn that around. I hear he had the flu, that is what was keeping him down. The Warriors still remain an incredibly powerful team if the Burkes can continue to play solid basketball. The emergence of defensive star Cary O'Brien will be huge for this team, and even after the loss to the Knicks, O'Brien was still confident in his performance, saying "I was shutting the ish down out of Mark Schmidt because I am a savage on defense. Mark literally couldn’t do anything, I am a beast."

4. (7) [2-1] Cavaliers
The Cavs bounced back after a tough loss to the Spurs by taking down the Suns. The Cavs scored a total of 57 points, which puts them in the lead for the highest scoring team in the league. Most of that can be credited to Jamie Schofield, the teams first round pick, but help from Danny O'Boyle and draft steal Peter Ridder has also been huge for this team. If the team continues to put up big numbers on offense, they can stay high in these rankings for a while.

5. (8) [2-1] Celtics
Like the Cavs, the Celtics bounced back from a tough defeat by putting the Nets to sleep on Sunday. Like seriously, 53-29 in the Celtics favor. Ew. That is gross. Quinn Fay continues to prove he is an underrated star in a league full of senior studs, and has found a great compliment in Brian Keating, who proves to be too much in the paint for some teams. Initially ranked low in the preseason, the Celtics are slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

6. (3) [2-1] Raptors
The Raptors remained as one of the two undefeated teams heading into Sunday, but the debut of Hudson Hamill on the Nuggets proved too much for the Raptors. The team is still surprising everyone, having a solid point differential and scoring a plentiful amount of points a game. If the team can continue to garner the power they had from its early season wins, they can still hang around in the top five.

7. (4) [1-2] Suns
The Suns continue to drop slowly but surely, as the team lost to the Cavs on Sunday. The team still scored a good amount of points, but defensively, they struggled once again, and have become the second leading team in points allowed. Once this team can figure out its defensive problems, they should be an incredibly powerful group, as Tim Graham can honestly carry the offense on his own. Shutdown defense from Jack McCann and the Voigt's will eventually prove to be too much for other teams, but they just need to figure out how to do that soon.

8. (9) [1-2] Hawks
The Hawks defeated the Spurs on Sunday to move them up one spot to #8. The game wasn't even close, as it appears as if the Hawks finally got it going with their scoring options. With the arrival of Andrew Mathew (pretty sure he is on this team) dropping 19 points, according to a report that was his own. Hope he was correct. With the emergence of Mathew on this team, they can totally make a jump very quickly, as Mathew is projected to put maybe 12 kids on posters this year.

9. (6) [1-2] Spurs
The Spurs have a graceful fall from #6 to #9 after losing to the Hawks really badly. The Spurs, who I assume were still without Sean Edgar, struggled to get the ball in the basket while also struggling to play defense. They struggled, if you haven't gotten the point yet. Do not expect the Spurs to stay at the bottom for long though. Their team is too deep to continue to drop games like this, so expect a quick turnaround after break.

10. (10) [0-3] Nets
The Nets are the undisputed worst team in the league right now. You cannot argue against that. Let us drop some numbers. The Nets have scored 98 points, which is a league low. The team with the second lowest points scored? The Spurs, with 114. They have also let up a gross 141 points this year. That differential, is like, nasty. The absence of Tyler Grant is becoming such a burden on this team, and I have to think they are hoping that Grant makes his debut after break and brings some new light to these team. All this team wants for Christmas is a win.

I'm going to do predictions after break, since I gotta break down some film due to the amount of massive matchups going down the Wednesday after break.

11. (unranked) [0-nah] Andrew Stueber
Kid doesn't even play House, since he is too busy trying to win in what people call "Varsity", but he had a few words to say, telling the press, "Britton’s adams apple can’t block ish."

Monday, December 21, 2015

9/10 House Ball Rankings 2.0

 Week 2 of House Ball was probably the most confusing and befuddling week yet. Because every team played on Wednesday night, there were some huge jumps up and down throughout this weeks rankings. What left me most surprised, though, is that only two undefeated teams remain, a credit to how fairly they were drafted. Considering we have only played three games, I'm not sure how only two undefeated teams is mathematically possible, but this is house ball, anything can happen... 

1.   Duke (4) [3-0]: The Blue Devils have been red hot to start this season, the duo of Justin Vann de Grafff (again, my apologies) and Sean Collins have been doing work for this team. On Wednesday night they took on previous number one ranked Michigan. The Blue Devils took down Nick Green and the Wolverines with ease, shutting down their opposition with a tight zone. On Sunday morning, Duke took care of Providence with a strong offensive performance from Sean Collins. The Friars were with out Brian Minicus, which Duke took advantage of, beating the Friars by double digits. On the boards, Mike Neary has been playing a huge role for the Blue Devils. This team looks like a well oiled machine in the early going. (Ryan Griffin was at both games, I think) 

2.   Kentucky (6) [3-0]: The only other 3-0 team, Kentucky may not be the flashiest team offensively, but on defense, the Wildcats have been a force to be reckoned with. While the only consistent threats on offense are pretty much just Fin Batson and Alex Murray,  it seems everybody has stepped in to add value for them on defense. Freshmen Tommy Reilley and Brian Wright have been blocking shots and taking names since day one, while the shifty Sam "Baño" Scribano has been forcing steals constantly. The Wildcats showed us this in both of their games this week, on Wednesday holding MSU to 28 points, and Stanford to just 20 over the weekend. One big surprise on offense was Sophomore Ryan Baird, who hit a couple of threes in their game on Wed. night.

3.   Washington (3) [2-1]: The Huskies continue to look strong this season, running their high powered offense led by  Sophomore Kevin Grune. In their night game, they took down the Friars of Providence in an exciting matchup. Their opponent struggled to get anything going thanks to strong defensive performances from Henry Adilleta and Max Gasvoda. On Sunday, though, the Huskies were not able to bring home the W, losing to UConn in a heartbreaker that needed OT to be decided. This performance was impressive, though, as they were with out first round pick Kevin Grune. This team proved that they are very strong all around, and were able to play a strong game without their top player. Hank Rech and Sherlock Aristizabal (still the best name in House) were strong offensive threats for Washington on Sunday. 

4.   Georgetown (9) [2-1]: The Hoyas biggest star statistically so far this season has been Will "Big Mouth" Rooney. Rooney has been big in more ways this one, dominating in the paint and grabbing any boards in sight. The Hoyas won both of their games this week, dominating UNC in their first, and upsetting Michigan in their next. Their first win was no surprise, but beating Michigan was huge for this teams confidence. The matchup to watch against the Wolverines was between Craig Triano and Nick Green. Craig did not do much offensively, but was able to lockdown sophomore star Green. Will "Cully" Culliton's barbaric style of play in the paint has also been key for the Hoyas success so far. 

5.   Maryland (7) [2-1]: I'm going to start off by making it clear that this record may not be accurate. As they technically lost to Syracuse on Sunday, but according to my prior knowledge, because Syracuse only had four players, they forfeit and the win goes to the Terps. Anyway, I'm going to look at Maryland's big win on Wed. night, beating Jack Joyce and the Huskies of UConn. Teddy Brannigan has been playing well so far, finding a way to put up points for his team. Brannigan's partner in crime, Willie Keating, has had no problem grabbing boards, but needs to work on finishing contested shots if he wants to contribute more for this offense. 

6.   UConn (2) [2-1]: UConn has had an okay start to this season, but still has a lot of room for improvement. They went 1-1 this week, losing to Maryland but picking up a win over Washington. Not surprisingly, Jack Joyce has been at the helm of this team's offense, doing everything for his squad. On defense, the Huskies possess the most pulverizing player in house ball, Connor "Dumpling/Ling" Percarpio. "Ling" has willingly taken on any team's offensive threats and has shut them down with ease. On Sunday the Huskies snuck by Washington in OT. Since Washington was without Kevin Grune, this was a little bit of a disappointment for UConn. 

7.   Syracuse (10) [1-2]: Once again this record may not be right, but because I'm confident in my house ball knowledge we're going to go with it. On Wed. the Orangemen won big against Stanford, dropping 59 points. Syracuse has been led by the duo of Harry "Hairy" Rayhill and Alex Phillips. The two have been looking strong so far, not only with their play, but of course, their luscious locks of hair. As I have mentioned before, the two no question have the best hair in house. (Phillips was willing to put his on the line if the Giants won the Super Bowl this year... sniff sniff). Other than these two big men this squad has looked to Sam Smith and Cason Stone offensively. Both freshman, the two guards have been playing fairly strong this season.  

8.   Michigan (1) [1-2]: Previously, number one, the Wolverines evidently had a very tough Week 2. Other than Nick Green, there hasn't really been any offensive production for this squad. They lost in both of their games this week to Duke and Georgetown by at least 10 points. Though there was a good amount of hype around rookie Blake Sommi, he has struggled this season besides his strong play in the Wolverines first game. If Michigan wants to find a way out of this two game slip, they may need to look to other offensive threats besides Nick Green. This is just an assumption, but it seems the off court issues between Alex Dehmel and Justin Canelli are finally starting to catch up with this team. 

9.   Stanford (8) [1-2]: Without mono plagued Max Grant, this team will continue to struggle this season. House ball unknown Harry Constantine has been okay for this team but not enough to carry them. Support has come from Nate "Poutine" Hadlow and Cole Stevenson who have been solid players on offense and defense. The Cardinal lost both of their games this week to Syracuse and Kentucky, struggling offensively in both games. During Sunday's game, the battle between Stanford's Connor "Sully" Sullivan and Kentucky's Sam "Baño" Scribano was reminiscent of the battle going on in the NFL between Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman. The two were constantly bodying each other up and were not afraid to throw down at any point throughout game. In the end, though, Sully and Stanford fell to Baño and Kentucky. 

10.  UNC (12) [1-2]: The Tar Heels won their first game on Sunday, beating Michigan State in "the battle of the irrelevant's". This team looked good in their win with a fast paced offense led by Tommy Murphy. Murphy looked less sweaty than normal in this game, but was still sweaty enough to win another "sweaty" award for week 2. Henry Nolte added height for this team, as he was a force in the paint all day. Thomas Foresta was strong offensively for the Tar Heels, getting open on plenty of fast breaks. Freshman Jack Gordon also had a strong day for this team. Although he may not put up big numbers, this kids ball handling skills have been superb all season, as he has been a strong option at point guard for UNC. 

11. Providence (5) [0-3]: The Friars have no question been the biggest disappointment this season. It seems that the pre-season hype was too much for them as they have not met any expectations, remaining winless three games into the season. The Friars star player Brian Minicus has missed two games so far, and in my mind needs to start taking this league more seriously. This isn't FCIAC football, this is house ball, come on now kid. Without Minicus, Connor Tienken has needed to step up in to a much larger offensive role. Tienken has been known as a defensive player throughout his career, but has done better than many expected him to do so far. Hopefully these Friars can pull a winning season together before they run out of time. 

12. MSU (11) [0-3]: The Spartans need Patrick Burke, immediately. Charlie Olson has been solid so far, but he needs Burke back to help him on offense. Freshman Quinn Galante has been playing surprisingly well this season alongside Olson, unfortunately though, the Spartans have not been able to put together a win so far. I still have hope for this team, once Burke returns the duo of him and Charlie Olson could do big things in this league. As of now though, this team remains at the 12 spot. 

Week 2 Awards: 
MVP: Justin Van de Graffz (silent z?) 
Big Man of the Week: Will Rooney 
Freshman of the Week: Jack Gordon
"Get this kid a towel and some gatorade" award: Tommy Murphy 



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

11/12 House Basketball Power Rankings 2.0

By Britton Barthold

After another hectic week of House Basketball, the rankings have shuffled, again. Surprised? Yes, you should be. The Raptors are 2-0 after being projected by myself to be the worst in the league. Along with that, the Warriors are the only other undefeated team. In the middle stands six 1-1 teams and two teams who are 0-2. So, without further unnecessary introduction, ya'll ready for this?

() Indicates previous ranking; [] indicates record

1. (3) [2-0] Warriors
The Warriors continue to impress early in the season, as the Burke brothers are dominating all competition thrown towards them. The team put the Celtics to sleep on Sunday, putting up 46 points in the process. The team utilized two underused stars in Christian Fiorenza and Cary O'Brien, who both played shutdown defense against the Celtics potent scoring attack. The Warriors are the closing in as the undisputed best team in the right now, but face a massive challenge against the Knicks next Sunday.

2. (4) [1-1] Knicks
The Knicks upset the previously #1 ranked Suns on Sunday, winning by a score of 45-44. The team debuted seniors Mark Schmidt, who was missing in action on Wednesday night. The team looked complete in there game, as Schmidt was able to provide a solid scoring option outside of Lee Gardella and Charlie Miller. The team looks well rounded now that they have their full roster, and this team can be extremely dangerous come playoff time. The team takes on the Warriors next Sunday, in a massive #1 vs. #2 battle, with the Knicks hoping The Stove can make an appearance.

3. (6) [2-0] Raptors
Had the Knicks not upset the Suns, then the Raptors would have easily taken the #2 spot. The Raptors continue to show incredible poise, jumping all the way from #10 to #3 in a little over a week. Although this weeks win was not as pretty as their previous one, they still got the job done against a solid Nets team. Jack Beatty continues to play his game, while extra motivation from one of the few seniors on the team, Connor Gonzalez-Falla, has kept this team going. The team gets the Nuggets on Sunday, and a win will send this team into the Top 2 come the next release of the Power Rankings.

4. (1) [1-1] Suns
The Suns finally got Timmy Graham to debut on Sunday, but that was not enough as the team fell to the Knicks in a phenomenal game that ended 45-44 in the Knicks favor. A one point lose to a solid team is what keeps the Suns in the top five, because let's be honest, this team is still pretty good. The Suns lead the league in points, but it is the defensive side of the ball that is holding them back. This team will no doubt still be a force in the league, especially once Timmy Graham gets back into basketball form. Along with this, the quad of the Voigts, Jack McCann and Jack Henrich will continue to support him, while dark horse of the year candidate Charlie Dean will look to play a big role.

5. (2) [1-1] Nuggets
The Nuggets will stay at home this week at the #5 spot after avoiding a near upset against the Hawks on Sunday. I think Hudson Hamill debuted, which would explain the win, but the team got quality production out of both Burke Blatney and Michael Parsley. Parsley hit a huge three point at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime, and once the game got to OT, it was all Nuggets. With the return of Hamill here, the Nuggets should stay relevant all year long, and maybe make a run for the #1 spot later in the season.

6. (8) [1-1] Spurs
The Spurs got back on the right track on Sunday by defeating the Cavs, mostly in part by the debut of Colin Minicus. The team was without Sean Edgar, but that did not stop them from having a solid showing. James Crawford and Jack Wells were a dynamic duo in the paint all game, grabbing rebounds left and right whenever they could get them. The Klingman's provided solid shooting outside of Minicus, and with the return of Edgar coming soon, this team should be a legitimate threat soon.

7.  (2) [1-1] Cavaliers
The Cavs fell to the Spurs on Sunday after only having six players to work with. The team did have Jamie Schofield and Danny O'Boyle, but struggled to find another scoring option outside of that. Kyle Canelli got work done in the paint for the team, while Grant Duncan nailed a few outside jumpers to keep the team in it. The Cavs were also without Christian Trifone, who will look to make is electrifying debut come next Sunday against the Suns. Once the team can field its full team, they will be able to show off their true potential with their solid scoring attack.

8. (7) [1-1] Celtics
After pulling off a miraculous upset last week, the Celtics fell to the best team in the league on Sunday afternoon. The game was close all the way to the end, but the Warriors were able to pull away in the final minute. Quinn Fay and Brian Keating made their debuts, and both played well in their first game back from football. Peter Marren provided some support on the outside, but the Celtics struggled to defend against the Warriors offensive attack. With some time, the Celtics will grow into a good team, especially once Fay and Keating get back into basketball form.

9. (9) [0-2] Hawks
The Hawks stay at the #9 spot after losing to the Nuggets in overtime. The Hawks played with the Nuggets the entirety of the game, but were not able to finish in the end. Do not expect the Hawks though to stay at the bottom of these rankings for long. The team has one of the highest scoring offenses in the league, and once Mulliken gets going, it will be hard to stop him. Support from the Drake twins will also give this team a solid push, but we cannot move this team up until they get that hugely anticipated W.

10. (10) [0-2] Nets
The Nets are not doing too hot right now. Hey, I also said they'd lose if Aidan Coyle wasn't there. Guess who wasn't there? I'm really good at this. The Nets were also without defensive star Tyler Grant, who is out for a little bit longer due to an injury sustained in football. The offense is a concern on this team, as they have only scored a league low total of 68 points so far. This team needs its offense to get going, and get going fast.

Game Predictions:

Game Pick Record (3-2)

So I got two games wrong, but I am pretty impressed with my three picks right. Let's see if I can keep this going.

Suns vs. Cavs
The Cavs will hang with the Suns for quite awhile, and both Jamie Schofield and Timmy Graham will have a solid battle. I am biased towards my own team, I'll admit it, but if I wasn't, I'd pick the Suns.

Celtics vs. Nets
The Nets need big man Aidan Coyle to have a big game (get it?), but if that doesn't happen, the Celtics will grab a huge win.

Spurs vs. Hawks
The Hawks need a win, but I do not see them getting it against the Spurs.

Nuggets vs. Raptors
Will the Raptors continue their surprising run to open the season. If Hudson Hamill is there, I don't think it will happen. If he isn't... Go Raptors.

Warriors vs. Knicks
The game of the week. The Warriors offense has been amazing, and I see it being too much for the Knicks. Warriors stay undefeated.

Monday, December 14, 2015

9/10 House Basketball Power Rankings 1.0

By Will Pegler

The first week of house ball was an eventful one.. For starters, Justin Canelli and Alex Dehmel are now teammates on the Michigan Wolverines… (uh-oh). I’ve heard rumors that Canelli is willing to quit this season as a whole if he has to play alongside Dehmel, but no such moves have yet been made(Dehmel was traded for freshman Glen Fay). The Wolverines lost another player this week in 2nd rounder Andrew Donovan, who decided to waste his time and play for the freshman team. To fill in Donovan’s role Michigan added Freshman Alex Von Jena, I think Von Jena hit a couple of home runs over the course of his Little League career, so he should be athletic enough to deliver for the Wolverines throughout the rest of the season. Anyway, here are the results and power rankings for week one of House Ball.

() means previous ranking, [] current record

1.  Michigan (1) [1-0]
The Wolverines were nothing less than dominant in their win on Sunday morning. My estimated point average of 30 for Nick Green remains accurate, as I heard claims of how much he scored ranging from 28 to 38. Green was unstoppable throughout the game on both sides of the ball, knocking down shots and forcing turnovers constantly, the Providence defense seemed to have no answer for him throughout the game. Other than Green, there was not a whole lot of offensive production besides house ball rookie Blake Sommi, who put up a surprising 20 points. The tension between Alex Dehmel and Justin Canelli was evident and could be cut with a knife, but the Wolverines tried to not get affected by it. If they continue to worry about their play and not their off court issues, they will continue to dominate this season.

2.  UConn (4) [1-0]
I think we all know who I’m going to write about for the Huskies. Jack Joyce went off offensively from the beginning, leading the Huskies in a big win over Syracuse. Offensively for the Huskies, Joyce is pretty much the only big storyline. But defensively, UConn was led by Sophomore Connor "Dumpling" Percarpio. Dumpling, had a tough task in behemoth Alex Phillips, but he held his own throughout the matchup, limiting Phillips to six points. Another key player was Sophomore Timmy Egan, for years Egan has been a well known consistent jump shooter, and he was nothing short of that on Sunday. Overall, the Huskies looked strong and proved that they will be a powerful offensive force this season.

3. Washington (10) [1-0]
The other Huskies were no question the biggest surprise in week 1, as they took care of business against a preseason favorite in Maryland. It was an all around effort that led to several points from almost every player on the team. Kevin Grune led this squad as it seemed like he could do everything on the offensive side of the ball. Max Gasvoda and Henry Adiletta helped Grune out at the top of the key knocking down timely shots, while Hank Rech battled the Terps big men. A sleeper for the Huskies was Freshman Sherlock Aristizabal (I know, quite a name), the kid hit some shots that were simply amazing, and was doing work against a tough Terps team.

4. Duke (5) [1-0]
The Blue Devils defeated Georgetown for their first win of the season. Things were not looking to good for the boys in blue after the first half, putting up an abysmal 7 points. But luckily for them, the offense came alive in the second half. The duo of Justin Van De Graff (sorry if I spelled it wrong, I don’t feel like checking the website) and Sean Collins did not disappoint. The two were constantly getting hacked in the paint, but had no trouble knocking down their free throws.  Mike Neary and Jackson McNear were also key as they grabbed some timely rebounds for Duke. (Ryan Griffin asked me to mention him, so here it is…) Ryan Griffin was present at the game.

5. Providence (3) [0-1]
Some may disagree with this one as the Friars got destroyed by Michigan in their opener, but let’s keep in mind that both Brian Minicus and Connor Tienken were not at the game. Defensively the Friars missed Tienken quite a bit, allowing an astonishing 74 points to Michigan. On offense, Glen Fay and Charlie Baylis were left to fill the void of Brian Minicus. Fay and Baylis did okay, hitting some threes and getting to the line. Once Minicus and Tienken are back on the court, though, this team will be playing at a much higher level than they did on Sunday.

6. Kentucky (9) [1-0]
The Wildcats had a strong offensive showing against North Carolina. Fin Batson was no question leading the team, scoring their first 10 points. Once the rest of the squad hit their stride, the Wildcats were tough to stop. Alex Murray played well, driving into the paint and hitting some contested shots. Freshman Brian Wright (who is 6 feet 3 inches) and Tommy Reilly were beasts in the paint, pulling in any rebound that came their way and putting them back up for points. Tyler Russo and Sam Scribano came up big on defense, forcing turnovers and causing fast breaks for the Wildcats. I also appreciated the Wildcats fun and innovative celebrations after knocking down threes.

7. Maryland (2) [0-1]
The Terps lost a tough one to Washington on Sunday. After all of the preseason hype, the loss was disappointing to say the least. Against a strong Washington offense, the Terps hardly ever got a stop on defense. Will Rehm tried to get things going on the offensive side of the ball, but the zone that Washington was running seemed to be too much to handle. On the boards, Teddy Brannigan and Willie Keating were dominating but struggled to finish as they were swarmed by defenders. One pleasant surprise was  Freshman Bruce Ferguson, who had some solid ball handling skills and was able to knock down some shots. Hopefully the Terps will find a way to play at a higher level on Wednesday night.

8. Stanford (12) [1-0]
Another big surprise from this weekend’s set of games. The Cardinal defeated Michigan State by 11 in a shocking victory. Stanford’s first round pick Max Grant wasn’t even at the game due to mono (come on Max, man up, this is House Ball), so unknown rookie Harry Constantine had to step up. Constantine played well on offense, leading Stanford in points, and apparently was not afraid to chirp his opponent, Charlie Olson. Connor “Sully” Sullivan helped Constantine out on offense, finding his teammates with crisp passes that led to scores. In conclusion, Stanford shocked the House Ball world with their big win over the Spartans.

9. Georgetown (7) [0-1]
The Hoyas fell to Duke on Sunday morning in a hard-fought, defensive battle. Sophomore Craig Triano played okay on offense, but seemed a little rusty, missing some open shots that he usually knocks down with ease. The high powered Duke offense was too much for the Hoyas to handle, as Will “Big Mouth" Rooney, decided that that the best course of action to stop Duke was to relentlessly slap his opponents. In fact, the Sophomore big man fouled out with about five minutes remaining in the contest. Overall, the Hoyas looked overpowered by a strong Duke offense.

10. Syracuse (8) [0-1]
The Orangemen were defensively outmatched by a fierce UConn offensive unit. Big men Harry Rayhill and Alex Phillips were physically and emotionally beat after the contest, letting up 61 points. On offense, the two struggled to finish in the paint and around the perimeter, besides a couple of threes by Rayhill. Freshman mystery man Sam Smith impressed in his debut, with flashy moves and a good shot, he was a bright spot in Syracuse’s offense, but was not enough to deliver a win for his squad. Along with Smith, freshman Jack Bogden played very well in his debut, knocking down tough shots and showing off his ball handling abilities.

11. Michigan State (6) [0-1]
The Spartans lost an upset to Stanford, and have dropped far down in the rankings because of it. Offensively the Spartans never got anything going, looking for production from Sophomores Patrick Burke and Charlie Olson. My assumption is that the Spartans may have overlooked a surprisingly solid Stanford team, and did not come to the court with the right mindset. One positive for the Spartans was Freshman Quinn Galante, who grabbed plenty of boards, and was able to post up anyone that Stanford put on him. Sophomore Christian Marchesi also had a solid game for Michigan State.

12. North Carolina (11) [0-1]
The Tar Heels round out this week’s power rankings, as they were dominated by Kentucky in their game over the weekend. North Carolina didn’t really get anything going on either side of the ball. Offensively, the Tar Heels struggled mightily. Putting up a league low 20 points. First round pick David Volz didn’t do much in his house ball debut, as he was shut down by a stingy Kentucky defense. Tommy Murphy had a solid game, euro stepping his way through the paint and finding a way to get shots up. The guard was tough to hang with as he had sweated through his shirt 30 seconds into the game. Long time house baller and UNC guard Thomas Foresta summed the loss up perfectly, telling me just one word; “Rusty”.

Week 1 Awards:
MVP: Nick Green
Sleeper of the Week: Sherlock Aristizabal
Mr. Sweaty: Tommy Murphy
Freshman of the Week: Bruce Ferguson
Defensive Player of the Week: Tommy Reilly

Thursday, December 10, 2015

11/12 House Basketball Power Rankings 1.0

By Britton Barthold

So after all the kerfuffle (fun words!) that followed after the release of the Preseason Rankings, we finally have some sense of how certain teams are, even though there were plenty of inactive players due to those pesky football commitments.

A few news updates before I begin. First off, I think I set a new record for least amount of people who verbally assaulted me after the release of the rankings. I appreciate that. Secondly, I was not even there on Wednesday, so I am just winging about who played well. So if I said you played well and you weren't even there... That is awesome. Also, for some reason, the Nets became the Hawks and the Bulls became the Nets... like what? House basketball everyone.

() Indicates previous ranking; [] indicates record

1. (4) [1-0] Suns
The Suns took on the Nets on Wednesday, who used to be the Bulls (still confused about that), and took care of them with ease. The Suns were lead by the trio of Jack McCann, David Voigt and Scott Voigt. Charlie Dean, who continues to make the difficult transition from varsity to House, got work done, and will continue to play the role of the dark horse on this team. The Suns are an offensive juggernaut, as they scored the second most points in the league on Wednesday. The team was also without superstar Tim Graham, who is too busy right now leading the Football team to a state ship. Once he returns on Sunday, this team will be scary. 

2. (6) [1-0] Cavaliers 
The Cavs make a big jump from #6 to #2 after Jamie Schofield and Co. took care of the short handed Nuggets on Wednesday night. Schofield took on the Nuggets with ease, and showed that he is one of the best in the league. With help from Danny O'Boyle, the Cavs were able to put up the most points in the league last night. The team was also without Christian Trifone, who will be one of the top defensive players on the team. If the team finds one more scoring option outside of O'Boyle and Schofield, they will be dangerous. 

3. (5) [1-0] Warriors
The Warriors came out strong on Wednesday night, defeating the Spurs by a score of 43-31, even though the team was plagued by inactive players like Charlie Burke and big man Colin Corcoran. The team was also without Christian "Sleeping Beauty" Fiorenza, who was "so excited for the game that (he) took a nap and didn't wake up until after it was over". If the Warriors are able to be so dominate without the bulk of their roster, it makes one wonder how they will play with a full roster. With all around athletes such as Cary O'Brien, who is making is highly anticipated return to House, this team will no doubt reach the #1 spot this year.

4. (1) [0-1] Knicks
Even though the Knicks got absolutely slaughtered on Wednesday night by the Raptors, you must realize the team was without athletic freak Mark Schmidt and that Cornell bound prospect in Spencer Stovall. Student. Athlete. Had both these players been in attendance, this would have been a much closer game. Schmidt noted troubles in the paint while watching from the sideline, which could easily be solved once Nick Murphy gets back into House form and once again, the return of The Stove. If Gardella and Charlie Miller can knock some shots down too, this team will be back on track and will return to higher rankings.

5. (2) [0-1] Nuggets
The trend continues. The short handed Nuggets (football is a great sport) struggled without Hudson Hamill, and an apparent injury to Burke Blatney slowed them down even more. The team, however, just gained a massive free agent in Pablo Martinez, who is an athletic freak. Honestly, I have never seen him play basketball, but after watching him dominate the game of soccer, I can see him taking on Lebron and winning. Hopefully, the debut of Hamill will come on Sunday against the Hawks, which is a game that the Nuggets should win.

6. (10) [1-0] Raptors
The Raptors dethroned the short handed (this week honestly was awful) Knicks from their #1 spot, which allows for the team to leap from #10 to #6. Although young, the team was able to overcome their youth and give the people an outstanding performance by dropping over 50 points and only allowing 31. Jack Beatty proved the doubters wrong, leading the teams offensive attack. The late addition of Connor Gonzalez-Falla was huge for this team, as he adds some senior leadership mentally and some quickness on the floor physically. Ben Bidell continues to amaze, and other juniors such as Brett Durbin and James Solberg will add to this impressive young squad.

7. (9) [1-0] Celtics
The Celtics were the surprise of the night on Wednesday, as the team defeated the Hawks by two points even though they were without post player Brian Keating and star defensive end Quinn Fay. How the Celtics won? I actually have no clue. But they pulled it off, which gives them this ranking. Once Fay and Keating return on Sunday, this team could be dangerous, but will need to perform better on the defensive side of the ball to be contenders.

8. (3) [0-1] Spurs
The Spurs struggled mightily without Colin Minicus, who as you probably guessed, wasn't there because of football. The team was not able to get the ball in the basket consistently, and had trouble defending the attack of Dylan Griffin and Teddy Burke, who I think was there, I am just guessing at this point. The team should be solid this year with a trio of players like the Klingmen's and Sean Edgar, and with the return of Minicus coming on Sunday, this team should be in solid shape heading into the rest of the season.

9. (8) [0-1] Hawks
Do not get me wrong, the Nets, I mean the Hawks, are a very good basketball team. The fact that they lost to the Celtics who were without their two best players is kind of embarrassing. The team only did lose by two, and was able to put up 48 points in the process. One of the Drakes, I have no clue which one, put up solid numbers on the offensive side of the ball, which complimented the game of Connor Mulliken nicely. It is the defense that scares me, since allowing a team to drop 50 on you who doesn't have its best scorer is not something to be proud of. The Hawks did get a late addition in House freak Andrew Mathew, who will be looking to posterizing some innocent paint players this coming year.

10. (7) [0-1] Nets
The Nets lost to the Suns on Wednesday night, and both teams were, yep, you guessed it. Short. Handed. The Nets biggest casualty was Cord Fox, who is the best scoring option the team has outside of Aidan Coyle. The return of both Fox and DPotY hopeful Tyler Grant should help this team out, even though they lack a secondary rebounding option next to Coyle. Junior Jack Farren can also be a solid contributor, as his shooting ability could help the Nets out in the long run.

Game Predictions:

Nets vs. Raptors
Cord Fox will have a solid debut, but this result lies on the shoulders of Aidan Coyle. If Coyle plays, the Nets win. If he doesn't, it is all Raptors.

Hawks vs. Nuggets
Hudson Hamill and Connor Mulliken will battle it out, but the other players on the teams will decide this one. Hawks pull off the upset.

Celtics vs. Warriors
Christian Fiorenza makes his hotly anticipated debut, which will allow for the Warriors to grab their second straight win.

Cavaliers vs. Spurs
Jamie Schofield will continue to make defenses look silly, and MVP hopeful Colin Minicus will make his debut. I am kind of on this team, so you know picking against us is kind of a jerk move. But, if I wasn't on this team, I'd go Spurs. That hurt to say.

Knicks vs. Suns
Mark Schmidt and Spencer Stovall arrive on the scene, but Timmy Graham makes a grander entrance and goes off against the Knicks. Suns win.

9/10 House Basketball Preseason Power Rankings

By Will Pegler

It’s that time of year again at Darien High School, House Basketball Season is upon us. Here is all the latest information you will need for this 2015-1016 season.

1. Michigan
With reigning Freshman MVP Nick Green leading the team, the Wolverines will be a force to be reckoned with throughout this season. Green is a natural athlete who will likely be running the point for this squad, and by my estimates will average at least 30 points per game. Two other sophomores that will play a huge role in the Wolverines success this season are Justin Canelli and Blake Sommi. Canelli has been a solid big man throughout his house basketball career, while Sommi will add another dimension of speed and athleticism to Michigan’s frontcourt. Sommi, who believes he is underrated for this upcoming season offered “to buy his haters ankle braces before the game”. Another player that intrigues me is Freshman Glen Fay. Fay is a contender for Frosh MVP, and well, that’s pretty much all I know about him, other than the fact that he’s from a pretty athletic family. The Wolverines certainly have a great chance to go all the way this season, and are no question confident in their abilities. In fact, Nick Green told me; “If my team doesn’t win it all, it will go down as the most talented team to not win a championship.”

2. Maryland
The Terps don’t have one superstar that will carry the team on their back this season, but they look like one of the most complete teams coming in. First of all, the Terps will cause a defensive nightmare  for the opposition in big men Willie Keating and Teddy Brannigan. Keating is by far and away the biggest frosh this season and can rack up rebounds in his sleep. Brannigan, on the other hand, has Keating’s size but can also run the point if needed. Frankly, Teddy Brannigan barreling his way into the paint is probably the most frightening sight in House Basketball. At the top of the key, the Terps will have Matt Gould and Will Rehm running the show. I’m pretty sure Gould played fourth grade achievers, while Rehm played on the Freshman team last year. So both players have skill when it comes to basketball. The only question is, how well will all of these talents work as a unit? Teddy Brannigan knows that the Terps start as a top team this season, but only has one goal in mind; “Our team has mad potential this year, we’re coming for the ‘ship. #beastingandfeasting”.

3. Providence
Another solid all around team, the Friars have no shortage of short and speedy players. Brian Minicus will be the frontman for this squad, as he is arguably the best shooter coming into this season. Minicus has a passing ability only comparable to a young, caucasian, slightly less talented, Magic Johnson . The Friars also had a great pickup in the underrated Charlie Baylis. It seems that teams have always overlooked Baylis’ talent throughout his career, but he has never disappointed, Charlie Baylis defines the term “Unsung Hero”. Defensively, the Friars look to Connor Tienken as their leader. Tienken is the preseason defensive player of the year, and deservingly so. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him lose his man, he will certainly get the job done for the Friars. Another talent is Sophomore Alex Dehmel, Dehmel is short and quick and has the ability to shake off his defender and create shots for himself. The Friars look like a team that could make a run in the playoffs coming into this season.

4. UConn
Jack Joyce will no doubt be the catalyst for the team, last year Joyce played for the Freshman team (whatever that is…) and helped lead them to a 19-1 season. With a great shot and good ball handling abilities, Joyce may finish as the MVP this season. One player that you may not know is freshman Nolan Crosby. Crosby is a fantastic three point shooter and is tough to stop when he gets hot. Crosby will be key in the Huskies offensive success this season. Defensively, the Huskies will rely on Sophomore Connor Percarpio to get the job done. Percarpio is nothing less than a pest on the defensive side of the ball and is likely to cause multiple turnovers throughout each game. If these players can get the job done for the Huskies, I don’t see why they couldn’t be a championship contender this season.

5.  Duke
The Blue Devils look to be a quality team with some strong Sophomore talent. Justin Van DeGraaf will need to get the job done, though, if the Blue Devils want to make a run this season. An ex-freshman basketball team player, Van De Graaf will likely be the Blue Devils number one guy this season. Supporting Van De Graaf will be Sophomore Sean Collins. Collins will be at the top of the key with Van De Graaf, which will make for a very tough defensive matchup when the two are on the court together. Another Sophomore contributor will be Mike Neary.  Neary is a bit of an enigma, a self proclaimed shooter who also can get boards, he will need to get a lot of minutes as one of the Blue Devils only big men. Duke will need these three players to put out big numbers in order to be successful this season.

6. Michigan State
The Spartans round out the top six teams in the league. I think the Spartans look solid this season, but Sophomore Charlie Olson will need to come through if the Spartans want to succeed. The Spartans also will look for contributions from Patrick Burke. Burke is a solid shooter and a good athlete, that is of course if he can stay healthy. As he’s coming off a football related ACL tear. Speaking of Burke, apparently he’s ambidextrous, so he will probably be a solid ball handler for the Spartans this season. An ex-factor in the paint will be Sophomore Christian Marchesi. Freshman Quentin Ehlers will also provide strong outside shooting for MSU.

7. Georgetown
The Hoyas star this season will be Sophomore Craig Triano. Triano was the biggest surprise of this draft as he somehow escaped the Brian Rayhill franchise tag. We all know Craig has the skills to succeed, but will he be able to get it done under a new coaching staff? The most intimidating character on the Hoyas this season will be Will Culliton. Culliton has never been afraid to foul and is always scrappy in the paint. Some have even told me that “Cully” has arrived in the final minutes of some games, but still found a way to foul out. Helping Culliton out in the paint will be Sophomore Will Rooney. Rooney has good size to accompany his large mouth, and will be a presence in the paint. Scoring production will also come from sharp shooter Dillon O’Shea.

8. Syracuse
The Orangemen had a surprising first round pick in Freshman Sam Smith, who I don’t know much about to be honest, but had solid pick ups in later rounds. A dynamic duo for the Orange this season will be Sophomores Harry “Hairy” Rayhill and Alex Phillips. Although Phillips is weighed in at 267 pounds and is 6ft 7 in height, both have the ability to rack up huge numbers and are tenacious rebounders in the paint, but even more impressive is their unique hairstyles. Rayhill comes into this season with the old school blonde afro, while Phillips goes with the brown mop. My point is, Rayhill and Phillips will be very tough to stop this season. Freshman Jack Bogdan will also help out in the Orangemen’s frontcourt.

9. Kentucky
Coming in hot at the number 9 spot are the Kentucky Wildcats. Led by ex-freshman team player Fin Batson, the Wildcats lack size but have plenty of skill players at the guard position. Fin Batson and Alex Murray will likely be the Wildcats top two players this season. Batson has a great outside shot and is tall enough to grab some rebounds. Murray has good ball handling skills and will be a solid point guard when Batson is out. The Wildcats will also incorporate Ryan Baird, Tyler Russo, and Sam “Baño” Scribano in their offensive game plan. Also, I don’t know a lot about this Will Pegler kid but he sounds cool.

10. Washington
It’s tough to predict how the Huskies of Washington will do this season. They have plenty of skill in players like Max Gasvoda and Kevin Grune. Grune played on the B-Team in 7th grade under the tutelage of the great Ira Cobb. While Gasvoda is a long time house baller who looks to be the Huskies number one at the point guard position. Hank Rech will need to step up this season as he is virtually the only “big guy” on the squad. Though compared to other premier big men in the league Hank isn’t very tall, what he lacks in height he makes up with a nitty gritty style of play and elite trash talking skills (reminiscent of the trash talk great, Reggie Miller). Henry Adiletta will contribute to the Huskies outside shooting and will try to live up to his older brother TJ in the swag department.

11. North Carolina
David Volz will be relied on to get the job done for the Tar Heels. I have confidence that he will do fine, but I only worry because this is his first year of house, and wonder how he will handle the off court pressures of being under the microscope throughout this season. A great 4th round pickup was Sophomore Tommy Murphy. Murphy is a “slippery” guard. Not only because of his speed, but because of the gallons of sweat that he produces throughout the game. Henry Nolte and Thomas Foresta will also produce offense for the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels also possess quite possibly my favorite Freshman, Jack Gordon. I know nothing about Gordon’s basketball skills, but I’m assuming he will succeed for the Tar Heels. Lastly, the Tar Heels got a steal in Cole Armstrong late in the draft. Armstrong will bring a movie knowledge and sarcastic flare that will be dynamic in the Tar Heels team chemistry.

12. Stanford
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of positives for this squad. Sophomore Max Grant will have to carry the team on his back this season. If he can translate some of his skills on the football field to the court then maybe the Cardinal have a chance this season. Other sophomores contributing will be Cole Stevenson and Nate Hadlow. Stevenson is often forgotten in this league but make no mistake, this guy is a threat on both sides of the court. Canada hasn't produced too many legendary basketball players since Steve Nash, but Nathan “Poutine” Hadlow will show that maple fever can win games.

Preseason Awards:
MVP: Jack Joyce
Unsung Hero of the Year: Charlie Baylis
Defensive Player of the Year: Connor Tienken
Freshman of the Year: Glen Fay
Player who is suffering from diaphoresis (sweats a lot):  Tommy Murphy
Big Man of the Year: Teddy Brannigan

Sunday, December 6, 2015

11/12 House Basketball Preseason Power Rankings

I’m back. House ball is back. The Power Rankings are back. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, the 11/12 preseason Power Rankings. By the way, without any games played, this sucked to assemble.

1. Knicks
The Knicks do not have anyone who is a massive superstar, but they have a  well rounded roster, giving them the top spot. Charlie Miller, who returns to House after wasting some time playing varsity, is a scoring machine who will definitely help lead this offense. Lee Gardella is a private school stud, and Spencer Stovall is quite possibly the most polarizing figure in House. Along with Nick Murphy, who is extremely underrated, and rebounding machine Sam Giorgio, this team has it all. Talking about his team, Spencer Stovall said, “We’re going to put all the teams in the league in the ground, and then we’re going to step on their throats and keep them there. Everyone is going to feel the wrath.”

Preseason Team MVP: Mark Schmidt
Schmidt has to be one of the most athletic people at Darien High School, and his overall presence defensively along with his ability to drive into the paint makes him this teams most valuable player. #SchmidtHappens

2. Nuggets
Once again, there are teams with superstars on them, but it’s those teams depth that scares me. With that, the Nuggets four man tandem of Hamill, Blatney, Parsley and Percarpio is going to be dangerous. All four of those players have the ability to score on their own, which gives the coaching staff the chance to rotate this lineup to deal with the lack of depth outside of this Big Four. If the team can figure out a smart rotation to compliment the scoring threats that they have, this team can easily become a dangerous threat.

Preseason Team MVP: Hudson Hamill
Hamill, who is in his second year playing House, is the most dynamic player on this team. His ability to drive is unmatched, but also has the ability to make shots on the outside.

3. Spurs
The Spurs are in a similar situation as the Nuggets, but are just a little less more powerful on the offensive side of the ball. Colin Minicus will make a case for end of the year MVP, and the Klingman twins have always been reliable on the court. Sean Edgar is a defensive freak who will look to prove he is worthy of his Defensive Player of the Year title from two years ago. From a depth standpoint, Jack Wells is extremely underrated, and is a force in the paint. An overall solid team, all the Spurs lack is a reliable big man outside of Wells.

Preseason Team MVP: Colin Minicus
Minicus is downright the leader of this team, as his speed and scoring ability will be hard to defend for every team.

4. Suns
The Suns are one of the most interesting teams ever assembled in House history. The Voigts and Jack McCann reunite for the third straight year, and will look to rekindle the magic from two years ago and win another House title. Tim Graham, who is arguably one of the best players in House, is also on the same mission, hunting for his first title after collecting a few rings on the football field. Charlie Dean is a massive dark horse, and will help lead this team on both sides of the ball. Jack Henrich and Jack Reed also join the squad, and both will look to help provide depth on an already deep team. The talent is all there, but will the team be able to show up each and every week?

Preseason Team MVP: Tim Graham
Graham is one of the best players in House. The 9/10 House MVP is already the frontrunner for the 11/12 House MVP, so if the Suns want to win, just let Graham go to work.

5. Warriors
The Burke brothers are the only thing I need to write about here. These two are extremely powerful together, and can score on anyone. There defensive abilities are also incredible, giving this team a lot to be happy about. Now I actually don’t know who this Berrigan kid is, but he went first round so he must be good. Sorry about that. This team can easily make a leap to the top three if they can prove themselves early in the season.

Preseason Team MVP: Charlie Burke
The private school star has always been a threat in House, and is undeniably the leader of this team.

6. Cavaliers
Jamie Schofield will team up with Danny O’Boyle to form one of the most dangerous scoring duo’s this league will see. Outside of that however, you do not see much. Peter Ridder can play a big role if he can find his shot, and some help with Christian or Bobby (I have no clue which one is playing) Trifone will make this team a bigger threat. If Schofield can continue to be the beast that he is, the Cavs can make a run as an underdog come playoff time.

Preseason Team MVP: Jamie Schofield
Schofield is the one man looking to disrupt Tim Graham’s quest for MVP. Schofield is as majestic as a gazelle (all I could think of) out there, and is going to be fun to watch this year.

7. Nets
The Nets have a scoring machine in Aidan Coyle, who is easily the most powerful big man in House this year. It will be incredibly hard for teams to defend him, which gives the Bulls a huge advantage. Cord Fox also compliments Coyle as a solid shooter, and Tyler Grant looks to help lead the Bulls defense. Lack of depth though concerns me about this team, but Coyle and Fox can easily carry this team if they need to.Talking about his team, Cord Fox had to say, "I'm looking forward to it." Thanks Cord.

Preseason Team MVP: Aidan Coyle
Coyle once again is the alpha male of big men in this year's league, and will help lead the Bulls offense and defense throughout the year.

8. Hawks
The Hawks have one of House Ball’s biggest stars in Connor Mulliken, who is an incredible shooter and defensive player. Outside of this though, the Nets will have trouble finding the basket. Brendan Seiler is a solid player, kind of, and John Foley is useful in the paint as a great rebounder. The Nets can become a threat, but will need to find options outside of Mulliken to get the ball in the basket.

Preseason Team MVP: Connor Mulliken

9. Celtics
The Celtics are an extremely young team with only one senior, but have an incredibly good player in Quinn Fay. Fay will be able to hang with the big stars of the league, but will have the task of carrying his team throughout the year. Peter Marren is a solid shooter, and Brian Keating is an absolute beast in the paint. Outside of these three however, the Celtics do not seem to be much of a threat going into the season.

Preseason Team MVP: Quinn Fay

10. Raptors
So then there is the Raptors. The Raptors only major scoring option is Jack Beatty, and that is it. Ben Bidell can help with that problem, but when Beatty and Bidell are out, the Raptors are in some trouble. Along with this, the team has two seniors, making them the second youngest team in the league. If Beatty can carry this team, which will be incredibly hard, they can maybe pull off an upset come playoff time.

Preseason Team MVP: Jack Beatty

Once again, with no games being played, this sucked to make. Hopefully after a few games, we can get a much better look at what is what in this league.

Preseason Awards:
Overall MVP: Tim Graham
12th Grade MVP: Colin Minicus
11th Grade MVP: Quinn Fay
Big Man of the Year: Aidan Coyle

Sixth Man of the Year: Jack Wells