2011 Men's Pro League Recap-Week 4 (WED)
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2011 MEN'S PRO LEAGUE RECAP - WEEK 4 (WED)
We had a bit of a shocker in our first game as Team Jay downed the undefeated Bro Kings 79-76. Early on Christian Moody put the Bro Kings on his back on the way to 19 first half points. Cortez Groves was a new addition for Team Jay and he made a statement with an ankle breaking move on Jamar Howard and a step back jumper (sorry Jamar, but we got it on tape). Things got really interesting in the 2nd half when Ronnie Tyson and Corey Schulte put on a three point contest. Tyson finished with 6 threes and 20 points and Schulte had all 4 of his threes in the 2nd half to finish with 17. The Team Jay tandem of Brandon Burgette and John Hawkins were up for the challenge though. Hawkins was constantly on the attack in the fast break on the way to 27 points. Burgette was dropping floaters, as well as 3 threes to finish with 28 points. In the end the Bro Kings missed easy bunnies all night long. They did a great job on the offensive glass, but had nothing to show for it. Christian Moody got into foul trouble late which prohibited him from playing defense and the constant pressure from Hawkins and Burgette frustrated the Bro Kings guards. The good news for the Bro Kings is that they secured the #1 seed in the playoffs and it is well deserved. The bad news is they have to sit out 2 weeks until their next game which might ice them up a little. Also, they will be without a strong contributor in Alden Smith who’s size and strength will be missed (he only played in one game, you must play in 2 to qualify). Team Jay continues to turn their roster over with regularity. This time they might have found the right combination. The addition of Cortez Groves adds offense and Julian Vaughn adds size and defense to the picture. If Burgette and Hawkins can continue their fast-break tandem they will be major contenders in the postseason.
The 2nd game of the night had the Gym Rats powering past Da Squad 94-69. This was a beat down from the beginning. In the pre-game I explained the styles of the teams. The Gym Rats were more of a jump shooting team while Da Squad likes to be physical down low and drive to the bucket. Well, the former champions, Da Squad, decided to take their game beyond the arc with little success. Vince Smith and Monty Taylor combined for just 3 threes in the first half and the team only had 6 the entire night. On the other hand, the Gym Rats had 13 threes behind the inside/outside play of Chad Fleming who had 27 points. His brother Scott had his best game this season dropping 5 threes to finish with 21. VI had 19, but it was his unselfish play that really stood out last night. He passed more than he shot the ball and that resonated with the entire team. I’m pretty sure Ben Stutler did not attempt a single shot. We all know he can score, but he wanted to find the Fleming brothers and Aaron Bond who were feeling it last night. The Rats had a tough go at it to start the league but their patience and team play has paid off with 2 straight wins and a big matchup with Dem Boyz next week. Da Squad has to be reeling after this one. Stephen Green has been a force each and every game he has been in but his teammates failed to give him the ball. Monty Taylor couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end as well. Jonathan Bruce has been a consistent presence off the dribble and he will need to show up next week against the defending champs, Team Elite, if his team wants to win.
In our last game, Team Elite withstood an early charge to beat up on Enterprise 87-64. Enterprise came out guns a blazing with all six of their players scoring in the first half. Josh White made a splash with 13 points in the game and Zack Snyder had another solid effort with 16. In the beginning of the 2nd half Team Elite started to show their championship pedigree. TJ Wesley was unconscious the entire night. He filled it up with 13 Threes…that’s right 13 to finish with 34 points. We have not seen that type of performance since the days of Tim Blackwell when he had 15 threes (I looked it up, he had 73 that night). An unbelievable performance by TJ and he decided to sit down for the final minutes so his teammates could get some shots in. 4-time MVP Walter Bethea made his much anticipated return to action late in the 2nd half. He only finished with 7, but I’m guessing he has a little more to show off next week and the playoffs. Enterprise has the unfortunate distinction of being the one team left out of the playoffs. They had a rough season, but there is still one more game to play in for pride and as the spoiler against Team Jay.
There was an unfortunate incident during our final game where referees and other players were threatened. I just want to let everyone know that Reggie and I will have no tolerance for this behavior. Technicals will be handed out and that means you are gone for the game and depending on the circumstances you might be gone from the league. This is the best league in the city and we want to keep it that way. I love the competitive fire in everyone but you have to keep it in check when it comes to threats and severe language.
And now for the playoff picture. It is jumbled to say the least.
1st Place – Bro Kings (5-1) Clinched the 1st seed.
There is a tie for 2nd between Team Jay, Team Elite, and Dem Boyz.
There is a tie for 6th Place between Da Squad and the Gym Rats.
What does this all mean? Well at the end of the day everyone needs to win. The Bro Kings have the week off and they already clinched, but everyone else’s seed is up for grabs. I expect some hard-nosed physical battles on Wednesday to decide where everyone falls in the postseason. If there is a tie for any seed, the computer will figure out the seeding.
Scoring Title update: It looks like Brandon Burgette and Nick Burton will battle it out next week. Burgette has a 15 point lead going into next week, but anything can happen. Remember that you can use your best score in any playoff game in addition to your regular season total.
See you next Week
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