2015-16 Chicago Hoops – Week 2 (Oct. 25)

Updated: October 26, 2015

Week 2 often says much more about the League in general than Week 1.  Week 1 has all the glitz and glamour of opening day but it also comes with a set of nerves, cobwebs and in many cases, rust.  Week 2 is much more of an indication where Teams actually are and it also gives us another set of Games to compare and contrast talent level.. As we exit Sunday Night, we still had quite a few Teams who are Undefeated.. Five Teams made it to 2-0. While another 10 are tied in the middle of the pack at 1-1 and finally, the remaining 5 Teams are at 0-2 still searching for their first W. More on who those are in a bit..  Here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video powered by Orunje On-Demand Healthcare! OK Let’s Rank ‘Em!

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Orunje) – 2-0, Currently tied for 1st

The Back2Back Champs move to 2-0 after a slugfest with familiar foe and Rival Team Goldin on Sunday Night.  While getting early season Ws are important the true story of Sunday Night from the Champs perspective is that a new star has emerged.. Scott Campbell went for 31 and 15 on Sunday Night and against one of the better Defensive Teams in the League.  The guy is a beast in the paint and has fit in wonderfully for Team Lalez.  They been called the Spurs of All Sports Series before and there’s no finer example, with Campbell serving as the next man up for the departed Eytan Azaria.  Team Gainski is next.


2. Team Maione (popchips) – 2-0, Currently tied for 1st 

Just going to go head and put it out there.. Big Shot Brad is a real thing… Team Maione and Team Zimmerman laced up for the Game of the Week and man did it live up to expectations.. These two fought for 44 minutes and needed an OT session to really settle things.  As OT wore on, Team Zimmerman grabbed hold of the lead.. With just 9 seconds they were up 1 when Bradley Deutsch hit another huge 3 (one of many in his career) to put Team Maione up for good.  He had 18 total on the night. Andy Timson added 19 and 9.. Proving to be a great addition for Team Maione.  At 2-0 they are in a familiar spot of being one of the final Undefeated Teams and it won’t get any easier from here as their difficult schedule continues.. Next up, Team Tucci.


3. Team Harris (DoorDash) – 2-0, Currently tied for 1st

A year ago, Team Harris was the #2 seed in the Playoffs. The story has been mentioned.. Their Roster was depleted and their Playoff journey was cut way short.. They entered the 2015-16 with a little less buzz than some of the other top Teams from a year ago, and last Spring likely had something to do with it.. Well their Roster is not only in tact once again, but much much improved.. In fact, through 2 Weeks Hoops, if you strip the names of the jerseys and just go on the eye test.. They might just be Ranked #1.  This Week, they took down last year’s Runners-Up Team Kozin in one of the co-Main Events and in impressive fashion. To sum it up, they look great.


4. Team Zimmerman (Biaggi’s Navy) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Holding court at #4 this Week is Team Zimmerman.  How does a 1-1 Team surpass a few of the Undefeateds?  Well, losing to Team Maione in OT is nothing to fall in the Power Rankings for and Team Zimmerman has certainly built up enough credibility to withstand that.. They could have won Sunday (obviously, as it went to OT), but unfortunately one Team had to go home with an L.  Kyle Nelson nearly had a 20 and 20 night.  The guy shows week in and week out that he is one of the true difference makers in a League full of talented Players.  They’ll look to climb back over .500 next week against Team Apuli.


5. Team Kozin (Camp Ojibwa) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Similar to Team Zimmerman above, there’s a Top 5 spot reserved for last season’s Runners-Up (for now). They didn’t play their best on Sunday Night and they’d be the first to say that.. This is a similar to start to the one we saw last year where they got out of the gate a bit slower than people expect but they turn it on when it really counts. This year, there are even better Teams and they’ll have to slip that switch earlier to grab hold of a top seed. For now, they are still good to go in the Top 5.. Next week they have a match-up with the much better than advertised Team Cohen.


6. Team UC Booth (Kelly Parker HC Maroon) – 2-0, Currently tied for 1st

Coming in at #6 and the highest ranking in their Franchise’s history.. Also, let’s add, that it’s much deserved. They’ve come in during these first 2 Weeks and have taken care of business.  They are succeeding with any different contributors as well. They had 4 Players in double digits on Sunday Night including Captain Ed White in his debut. The Schedule is going to get tougher and in a hurry as next week they draw an angry Team coming off a Loss, #7…


7. Team Goldin (StudentCity) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Team Goldin and Team Lalez have had many (many, many) chapters in their storied Rivalry.  Those two Teams have tangled close to a dozen times on various All Sports Series courts throughout the years and Sunday provided another great contest between the two.  Team Lalez took the W in Week 2.. A Game that was just a 1pt Game at halftime and close through its entirety.. Team Goldin has not had their full roster in either of the first two weeks but they’ve shown the talent on this squad is at an all time high.. Once they all get a chance to play with each other the sky is truly the limit. They have the 2-0 UC Booth crew in Week 3.


8. Team James-Hagari (Biaggi’s Red) – 2-0, Currently tied for 1st

There’s one more 2-0 Team and that is Team James-Hagari who will enter Week 3 Undefeated.  They like the other 2-0s have done it based on several contributors.. They too had 4 Players in double digits on Sunday Night including leading point man, Co-Captain Christian James.  They’ve beaten Teams who have won Playoff Games in this League the past two years as well.. This is no fluke.. They are the real deal and will have another chance to prove themselves next week against Team Sternberg.


9. Team Bulwa (Le Brocq Lawyer) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Want to come back to the Team Bulwa wrap-up from Week 1.. “Team Bulwa (last season’s Team Bernkopf) is the highest Ranked Team to lose in Week 1.  Now, they certainly didn’t suffer the closest Loss.  In fact, they pretty much got run out of the building by Rival Team Maione.  They’d be the first to admit it.  This #11 Ranking is more of a bet on their future than what occurred Sunday Night.  What you wouldn’t hear from them, because this group doesn’t make excuses, is that they were without half their Roster for Week 1 and many new additions that will be making big impressions on the League very soon.. Just take this for what it’s worth.. They have an Elite Roster.. They are going to be one of the best Teams in the League..”

Now, there will be plenty that doesn’t go according to plan throughout the Power Rankings predictions this season.. So when something goes right.. A pat on the back is in order..  In his All Sports Series debut, Zack Novak went for 28 to go along with Nick Winbush’s 31.  Congrats is in order for Danny Gutman as well who got engaged over the weekend! Well done!  Team Bulwa’s arrow is pointing up, no doubt.


10. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Safe assumption that many were sleeping on Team Cohen coming into the season and truthfully that’s probably fair.. However, this is not your Team Cohen of old.  This is a revamped crew, that has enough talent to beat anyone in the League on a given night.  That’s all you can ask for. A shot.  They are that good.  They defeated Team Tucci on Sunday Night. A Team that was the #5 Seed last season and has the reigning MVP on the squad.. Team Cohen finished with the 2 point win but the score looks closer than the actual Game played.. They were up double digits with just a couple minutes to go before Team Tucci got hot from distance.. Justin Bowen was fantastic in his first appearance going for 27 points.  Kyle Daniels went for 19 and 18 while Jake Shlofrock had 14 in his first Game of the season. This was without Week 1 standout Tom McGee.  Word to the wise.. Team Cohen is crashing the elite party.. Sorry.


11. Team Tucci (Esser Hayes Insurance) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Sunday Night’s Game just got away from these guys.. They shot the ball well in the first half but they couldn’t keep Team Cohen from scoring and all of a sudden when they looked up at the scoreboard at the Half they were down 50-41.. They never really cut into that lead until the closing minutes and they almost pulled an insane upset, but just ran out of time falling 93-91. Now, this Loss, when all is said and done will seem like just a blip in the Spring.. This group is still working in a couple new pieces and got a returning Phil Hayes (good to see him back out there!) in Week 2 as well.  Sunday speaks more about the talent on Team Cohen and less about Team Tucci. No time for them to worry anyways with #2 Team Maione coming up in Week 3!


12. Team Shamberg (Schweitzer Title Agency) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Up a spot this Week after their first W of the Season is Team Shamberg. They welcomed back Dan Turner and Mikey Kaufman who laced them up for the first time in All Sports Series since they helped Team Shamberg take the Summer Hoops League crown.  With so many Teams locked in at 1-1 they weren’t able to crack the Top 10 just yet but they already in better shape than they found themselves a year ago at this time.  Next up is the hungry Team Silver looking to grab their first W.. Important for Team Shamberg to get up and over .500 next Sunday Night.


13. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Notched their first W of their Hoops League careers on Sunday Night.  Again, this Team has TONS of All Sports Series Championship pedigree but they are still getting used to the next-level Hoops League competition.  Jesse Pollans had 17 to lead them in scoring and 3 others got into double digits including Tyler Max who made his first appearance of the season.  This is a group that at first look may not physically intimidate anyone during pre-game warm-ups but they are as smart as they come, have good shooters and can run too.  They are going to catch a lot of Teams off guard in the coming weeks.  They’ll try to knock 2-0 Team James-Hagari from the Undefeated pedestal in Week 3.


14. Team Gutman (Teplitz & Bell) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Final Team into the Rankings is Team Gutman.. Similar to Team Sternberg, this is a Team that comes loaded with All Sports Series Championships however, Sunday Night marked their first Hoops League W as a unit.  Marin Kukoc had 23 and 14.   Jordan Reisner added a Double Double as well.  Through 2 Weeks, something really stands out about Team Gutman.. While they don’t have the a monster 6’8″ guy like some of the other top flight Teams, they have more than a handful of guys that are over 6’3″.. Most of which can handle the rock.. Come Playoff time when rotations tighten a bit and Teams really lock in on D it’s going to be really interesting to watch them trot out a line-up of 6’3+ guys. They are very talented and work hard on D.  Next up, is going to be a true measuring stick Game with Team Bulwa.


Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Apuli (Chicago Trolley) – 0-2, Currently tied for 16th

Mentioned immediately above was Team Gutman’s unique depth of size.. It really gave Team Apuli issues on Sunday Night.  While Team Apuli will usually have the biggest guy on the court in Dan Stone, he can’t be every where and Team Gutman definitely utilized their strength in this one.. Now, Team Apuli was very short-handed in this one and you could tell as we got into the 2nd Half.  Also, it’s tough to come back a Week after going to 2OT with last year’s Runners-Up and play at 100%.  They’ll get their first W shortly..  #4 Team Zimmerman is up next for them.


Team Free Agent (VIP Express Limo) – 1-1, Currently tied for 6th

Good Teams bounce back from a L quickly and don’t let it creep into their mentality in the next Game.. Very intrigued to see how this talented Free Agent squad comes back in Week 3 following their first Loss.  It was mentioned last week but bares repeating this Week.. They are GOOD.  Yes, they fell to UC Booth on Sunday Night but UC Booth is 2-0 for a reason. They are among the strongest Teams right now.. The Free Agents have nothing to be down about.. LaVar Merrell had 23 points in this one.  Next up is the better than their record indicates 0-2 Team Schwartz.


Team Gainski (SLA) – 0-2, Currently tied for 16th

They battled with Team Shamberg in a hard-fought Game until the end on Sunday Night but it wasn’t meant to be.. They were right there however and you can tell they are close to breaking through for their Hoops League W. This coming week they’ll have their toughest test to date though as they’ll go toe to toe with the Undefeated 2x Defending Champs #1 Team Lalez. Crazier things have happened though…


Team Malvin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – 0-2, Currently tied for 16th

Let’s move past these two weeks quickly.  Here’s the deal.. They’ve played two title Contenders in Team Zimmerman and Team Bulwa over the first two weeks.  It was a rough schedule to get going.. Rodney Clark did go for 26 in his All Sports Series debut and Matt Merrigan added 17.  There’s building blocks.  It’s not going to necessarily get better schedule wise any time soon.. #3 Team Harris is up next.. There is a modicum of positivity here when taking note of the rough schedule to start.. This group needed a few weeks to gel anyways.. Better to get those weeks under their belts against tough Teams and then be able to lock up Wins against Teams they should beat later on.. They are going to be in the Rankings down the line. Book it.


Team Schwartz (Jam ‘n Honey) – 0-2, Currently tied for 16th

Need to start out with a BIG CONGRATS to Team Schwartz mainstay Jon Sider as he welcomed his first child last week. Just awesome news.  As for the on the court stuff, they had a lead into the 2nd half with Team James-Hagari but they just couldn’t close it out.   Austin Brown and Jason Vismantas, in his first game this year, both had 18 points for them.  They get the talented Team Free Agent in Week 3.


Team Silver (Kelly Parker HC Gold) – 0-2, Currently tied for 16th

Had a short bench on Sunday Night which brings up a good point of emphasis for everyone early in the season. These games are LONG and it’s very difficult to Win with only 5 or 6 guys.. Just don’t have legs later in the 2nd half when you need a key jumper to go down. The talent is undoubtedly here and it may take them a few more weeks to totally gel but they will get there. Too much shooting here for them to not grab Ws.  #12 Team Shamberg is next on the Schedule in Week 3.


That’s it for this Week. See you next Sunday Night!