2013 Champaign – Week 1 Hoops (Sept. 18)

Updated: September 22, 2013

Welcome to the Weekly Champaign League Wrap-up!  Many of you our first time Players in All Sports Series and, thus, first time readers.. This is how the Wrap-Up works — each week we will have a Power Rankings that chronicles the week that was and also provides a bit of a sneak peak into the following week’s games.  One thing to note, I write about all of the games using a statistical review; I do not see nearly enough of the games to have a decent opinion as to what is going on (or if a team is really the 6th or 7th bet team exiting a given week)..   There will also be a link to the Weekly Video Highlights (just click) in the Wrap-Up each week.   I think that’s enough in terms of set-up, let’s get to the Power Rankings!

Power Rankings

1. Team Harris (No. 7 Salon & Spa) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings w/ 15 points.

Returning Players know that the top spots are usually reserved for the Defending Champs or Runners-Up.  However, as this is the first ever Champaign League — there are no Defending Champs so we are starting with a clean slate!  Team Harris led by, All Sports Series vet Brian “be careful if you ever see him bar tending and there is fire involved” Harris, was simply dominant on Wednesday Night.  They won by over 50 and really seemed honed in on taking the Crown.  While it’s still far too early to really know what teams can seriously make a run at the Championship, it’s not too early to know which teams are thinking about it. Team Harris certainly has their eyes on the prize.  Sam “not shy” Shiner put up 32 points for Team Harris to lead not just Team Harris in scoring but the entire League!  These guys will walk into the gym on Wednesday Night with a certain air of confidence but with the Dodgeball Tourney up next — anything can really happen…

2. Team Gross – ATO SR (Hollywood Liquors) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings w/ 15 points.

Team Gross definitely has a legit beef with me after not pulling down the #1 Spot in the Power Rankings after week 1 (hey you have something to strive for now in the next couple weeks!)  The reason being.. Captain Joe “you remind me of someone but I can’t put my finger on it” Gross’ squad won the best game of the night. These guys went back and forth with Team Lemke – SAE and after 40 intense minutes came out with the big W.  Captain Joe led the scoring barrage with 20 points and he got some help filling it up from Costa “I think my favorite name in the League as of now” Diamond who had 16 as well.  I have a feeling this will be the team with the bullseye on their backs as the Regular Season moves along… Time will tell.

3. Team Rafferty – Sig Ep (Cookie Jar) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings w/ 15 points.

These guys are good. They are really good.  They seemingly can get help from many different players and based on their athleticism I doubt any sport is going to give them much trouble..  Again, they have a legit claim to the #1 Spot after winning by a clean 40 points on Wednesday Night — but only one team can be #1… So like Team Gross, they have now have a short term goal to shoot for.  The guys from Sig Ep were led by Wesley “Snipes” Brooks who had 18 points on this night.   If you are familiar with the tier system, (some use it in Fantasy Football) this is where I’d close Tier 1 after Week 1.  I think the top 3 teams separated themselves as the ones to beat — again, it’s so early and things will change 10 times between now and the Playoffs.

4. Team Fisher – AEPi (popchips) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings w/ 15 points.

This is another group of All Sports Series veterans — as they are fresh off their run in the 2013 Summer League — in fact, by numbers I believe they have more guys than any other team making their return to All Sports Series this Season.  I’m not sure whether it was their familiarity of the League or what but this was the best I have ever seen this group.  In the Summer League this group seemed like they were just a player or two away from really making that big splash and I think they have made those necessary additions!  Veteran Captain Garrett “welcome back!” Fisher was joined by Rookie (but a Senior) Michael Malvin who had 16 and 15 respectively to lead the AEPi crew to a comfortable 20 point victory in Week 1.  I think this squad has what it takes to win the Dodgeball Tourney next week as well!  Actually, I take that back.. I have no clue what to think about next week! But these guys will be there!

5. Team Young – AKL (Starr Limo) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings w/ 15 points.

The guys from AKL are actually one of the younger bunches in the Champaign League this Fall.  While, they have some elder statesmen many of their starting 5 on Wednesday Night were Sophomores and Freshman.. Know what that tells me?  Even, if these guys don’t end with the Crown this November, they are going to be building toward one in coming years..  Nonetheless, they looked great in their first game on Wednesday Night edging out one of the ZBT Teams by 12 points. Dawei “speedster” Chen had 27 to lead this group in scoring (he was 2nd on the night for the entire League.. Great stuff man!)..  I think this could be a team that many will sleep on during the Regular Season and can possibly surprise a team or two during the Playoffs.. We’ll see if I’m right in a couple of months.

6. Team Deutsch – Sammys (Farm Lake Barn) – Currently tied for 1st in the Standings with w/ 15 points.

Full disclosure — I graduated from U of I in 2010 as a member of Sammys (I was even the President for about a year and a half during my 4 years [the span of 2 Unofficials, stinks I know..]).. So now that that’s outta the way.. These guys got a W and that’s all that matters.  It was a defensive battle Team Sandoval – Psi Upsilon and Sammys made a nice comeback in the 2nd Half to take this one.  The particular squad that was in the gym on Wednesday Night are guys I’m not too familiar with personally but I do know Captain Justin “my favorite” Deutsch as well as Jason “JT” Teitelbaum who is helping lead the way for this bunch.. These guys have run very successful All Sports Series Summer League teams in the past and I’d expect nothing less..  Just for those scoring at home, these guys were ranked last among Week 1 Winners. See – no favorites!

7. Team Lemke – SAE (IHotel) – Currently tied for 7th in the Standings w/ 0 points.

Ok so let’s get the negative out of the way right off the bat — they took a L in Week 1.  That’s it.  Everything else was extremely positive for the SAE group.  Captain Dennis’ squad established not just one BUT two go-to-guys in this Hoops contest and I promise you — NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THEM IN THE PLAYOFF HOOPS GAMES. Not even Team Gross who pulled out the Week 1 win against them.  Both Alex “had to copy/paste the last name” Nesnidal (had 21 points) and Michael “open when we gets out of the car” Mulroe (had 26 points) were simply awesome.  These guys were lights out from 3 and if not for a few timely mishaps these guys would likely be sitting pretty near the top of the Power Rankings.  These guys are going to be just fine..  In every All Sports Series there is always one matchup in Week 1 where you can see the energy/talent is just a bit different than the rest.. The loser of that game often makes a serious run because they are hungrier for it.  Needless to say I like the looks of Team Lemke – SAE.

8. Team Witt – ZBT SR (Houlihan’s) Currently tied for 7th in the Standings w/ 0 points.

I’ll be honest, I wavered back and forth with this selection quite a bit.. Team Sandoval – Psi Upsilon had a much closer loss in Week 1 but after factoring in opponent and the eye test I had to go with these guys in gold for the final spot in the Week 1 Power Rankings.  There is a lot of a talent out there for this group.  They lose a hard fought game, but Championships are not won in Week 1. It’s a marathon not a sprint, etc. etc… While these guys have the “Senior” tag next to their name they are comprised of many underclassmen.. In fact it was a pair of Freshman (who will remain nameless because they are freshman for crying out loud! Just kidding.. next time you can get mentioned) who kept these ZBTers in the game.  They actually fought back to tie it up at 40 with just ten minutes to go but they ran out of gas in the final stretch and AKL pulled away once again.  I think these guys are going to be heard from by the time the Season comes to an end and that is why they earned the final spot..

Rest of the Pack – Currently tied for 7th in the Standings w/ 0 points – in alphabetical order

Team Gordon – ATO FR (Sparkt) – Easily the youngest group in the Champaign League — it might take them a couple weeks to get the feel for everything but I definitely saw potential here.  These guys led by Michael “Mikey” Gordon are going to be tough come Playoff time.

Team Lehrman – ZBT (Stanley Steemer) – Didn’t get the off to the hot start they wanted but again, just one week.. These guys seemingly have all the tools to compete with each and every team.  I think Hoops might not be there bread and butter — so expect better outcomes in future weeks.

Team Samawi – ATO (GameFly.com) –  Everything I just said for Team Lehrman could be copy/pasted here for Team Samawi. I do think they have some nice size and in terms of athleticism they will match anyone.. I think they will climb into the Power Rankings in no time.

Team Sandoval – Psi Upsilon (Meijer) – Tough Loss to swallow after leading for much of the game.  However, these guys looked like they were having as much (or more) fun than any team out there.. Which is the point ya know..  They’ll bounce back as their Captain Jesse is an All Sports Series vet as well.

That’s it for the Week 1 Wrap-Up. Have a great (and safe) weekend. See ya next Wednesday at Brookens for the Dodgeball Tourney.

– Holden