2015-16 Chicago Hoops – Week 4 (Nov. 8)

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Updated: November 10, 2015

Close to a month into the Chicago Hoops League season and we have tons of storylines to follow as we head into 2016.. All three 3-0 Teams from a week ago left Week 4 at 4-0 and two of them will play in Week 5!  There are also a handful of Teams at 3-1, one of which is Team Free Agent who might be the biggest surprise through 4 Weeks.  Several Rookies have jumped to the top of the Scoring Title race as well.. Just a few things to keep an eye on.. 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) – 4-0, Currently tied for 1st

Same old story for the 2x Defending Champs. Got up early. Dictated tempo throughout. Big games from Scott Campbell and Dave Gershenzon. In fact, Campbell had 31 and 14 (which is really becoming run of the mill for him).  The Lalez/Hakimian Franchise is humming.. So much for the Leafue taking advantage early on while they get their new Players worked into the flow. It bares repeating. They are the Spurs gentlemen. No telling how long this run will last… Team Shamberg is up next.

 

2. Team Maione (popchips) – 4-0, Currently tied for 1st

Also getting to 4-0 this week is the only Team not named Team Lalez to be apart of Championship Sunday in each of the first two seasons of the Chicago Hoops League.. Team Maione. Unfortunately for everyone else the guys are al too familiar with getting out to fast starts.. A year ago they rattled double digit Wins to start the Season.. They’ve added some needed size and really are looking great. It’s going to take quite the effort to stop them.. Or maybe quite the opponent… As luck would have it they will be apart of the Game of the Week on Sunday Night with another 4-0 Team who comes in at #3 this Week…

 

3. Team Harris (DoorDash) 4-0, Currently tied for 1st

Of the last three Undefeated Teams, Team Harris was pushed closer to brink than #1 and #2 this week, but when all was said and done they finished Sunday Night at 4-0 after a tough battle with Team Tucci.  Team Harris got by without their two primary ball-handlers and still came away with the 1 possession Game thanks in large part to Jeff Howard’s 28 and 13.  Dylan Richter also had a Double Double with 24 and 12.. They are one of the scariest 1-2 punches in the League.  They of course will also be apart of the Game of the Week powered by Orunje along with #2 Team Maione when we have a clash of 4-0 Teams.

 

4. Team Zimmerman (Biaggi’s Navy) – 3-1, Currently tied for 4th

Esto Vega led the way for them this week with 23 points in a Game that Team Zimmerman did control for the majority of the contest.  We hope that both Teams meet up again in the Playoffs as Team Bulwa was without a few key cogs and the battle between Kyle Nelson and Nick Winbush may be the best one on one pairing in the League.  They have Rivals Team Cohen in Week 5.. They can pull into a tie for at least 3rd in the Standings if they get the W on Sunday Night.

 

5. Team Goldin (StudentCity) – 3-1, Currently tied for 4th

Hate to break it to everyone but Team Goldin is already better than they were a year ago (when they finished 5th) and head and shoulders better than the Team that finished 3rd two seasons ago.. They are not yet even at full strength. This is one of the best Rosters in the League and while they may not get the fanfare that the other elite squads get, they should.. Their only Loss on the year comes to Team Lalez and they are sitting at 3-1 after facing Teams with a combined Record of 11-5.  They are the real deal. They get Team Gainski in Week 5.

 

6. Team UC Booth (Kelly Parker HC Maroon) – 3-1, Currently tied for 4th

Just for the sake of trying to get everyone’s attention on the UC Booth squad.. A year ago it took well into the 2nd half of the Season before they notched their 3rd W… In 2015-16, it has taken them just 4 Weeks and the truth is they are among the upper echelon of Teams. They may have made the biggest leap from last year to this year by any one Team. Much of that improvement can be pointed in the direction of Victor Ojeleye who went for 33 and 8 on Sunday Night. Those 33 also included SEVERAL dunks (a few of which are featured prominently in the Highlight Video).  They are a legit Team and are only going to get better with more time to play together. They get the 2-2 Team James-Hagari on Sunday Night.

 

7. Team Free Agent (VIP Express Limo) – 3-1, Currently tied for 4th

This is the highest a Free Agent squad has been in quite some time.  More impressive than the 3-1 record, which is plenty impressive, is the chemistry this Team is already showcasing.. They were routinely finding each other open looks and moving extremely well without the ball. That’s something many Teams take months/years to find and they already have seemingly found it 4 weeks in.. It was a well-balanced attack on this night as LaVar Merrell, Tred Dean and Jordan Kent were all in double figures. They get the 1-3 Team Silver next week.

 

8. Team Kozin (Camp Ojibwa) – 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

Team Kozin has found themselves in 1-possession Games week in and week out to start the Season. This past Sunday Night was no different, and unfortunately for them, they came out on the wrong side of it this time.. They are clearly one of the best Teams around and last year’s second place finish is all anyone needs for proof.. They do have a tendency to let Teams stick around with them and their resume causes Teams to really come to play against them every week.. They need to find away to hit that “on” switch earlier in Games and just put Teams.. Josh Davis was great once again 27 and 10. Randall Hampton and Josh Beck also had nice nights.. They’ll be fine.. Tough match-up with the hungry Team Tucci next week!

 

9. Team Bulwa (Le Brocq Lawyer) – 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

They happened to be missing a few Starters this past weekend and as a result they weren’t able to get past Team Zimmerman. That being said they did keep things close with them and it’s a great sign for them going forward. No, there are not “moral victories” but there are instances where a Team can look back on and think “we were able to do xyz” and really benefit from that. Zack Meuser had 26 points and really showed off his range while Nick Winbush poured in 27.. As mentioned above, him and Kyle Nelson going at one on another is as fun as it gets.. They also welcomed back Sam Harmelech who made his 2015-16 debut on Sunday Night. They look to rebound vs. Team Apuli in Week 5.

 

10. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

One of the best surprises so far in 2015-16 is the rejuvenation of Team Cohen.  They really have revitalized their roster and have managed to get through the a tough 4 weeks with a .500 record.. It’s not going to get any easier over the next few weeks but even if they can get through the first 7 Games at 3-4 they will be in great shape entering the final 2/3 of the calendar.. Justin Bowen is a name that all should get used to.. He had a Triple Double against Rivals Team Apuli with 21, 10A, 12R on the night..  It was a sweet victory for Captain Andy and Kyle Daniels as they went up against their former running mates on Team Apuli.. Another Rivalry Game looms and this one with #4 Team Zimmerman.

 

11. Team Gutman (Teplitz & Bell) – 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

No Team wants to make a big deal of a W in November.. It’s a long season after all.. So let’s make it a big deal for them… Team Gutman just had the biggest Win in their Franchise’s history to date.  Easy.  They went toe to toe with last season’s Runners-Up and came out on top with a 1pt W.  Marin Kukoc was unreal on the night with 38 points but he fouled out with just a minute to go and it was Adam Rhum who gave his squad the key go-ahead basket with just seconds left.  This is a W they will be able to look back on in the Spring and know they can beat anyone in the League.  Huge W.

 

12. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

There are many great Teams in this League so you can’t let one loss, especially to the 2x Defending Champs, discourage your.. And they wont. These guys have been through the rigors of All Sports Series before and know all too well that this is a marathon and not a sprint.. In many ways this will be a great Game to look back on to gauge improvement in future weeks. This is one of the youngest groups inthe League and hthe eye are going to continue improving. Team Schwartz is next.

 

13. Team James-Hagari (Biaggi’s Red) – 2-2, Currently tied for 8th

They started the year off 2-0 and since have dropped two straight.. Here’s the deal however.. They should still be thrilled at 2-2 even if it doesn’t feel that way.. Many of these guys just met each other for the first time during Week 1.. It takes time to gel and even though their talent was enough to get Ws in the first couple of weeks, they need that chemistry that other Teams have from playing together for years.. Co-Captain Christian James had 28 points and played well but they couldn’t get enough stops on the Defensive end to get the W over #5 Team Goldin.  They get #6 Team UC Booth on Sunday Night.

 

14. Team Schwartz (Jam ‘n Honey) – 1-3, Currently tied for 14th

If nothing else they always keep it interesting. This is a Team that wants to win as bad (and maybe more so) than any other unit in the League and that passion is what drives their success… Sometimes it spills over but that’s the risk you run.. They were able to grab their first W of the Season and avoid the crushing start that they had a year ago.. Now the weight is off their shoulders and they can just play ball once again.. Anthony Bernardi and Austin Brown both had 19 on the night and Jon Sider had 18 to add to it.  When the 3-ball is going down for them they are tough Team to beat.. They’ll try to make it two in a row with Team Sternberg in Week 5.

 

Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order) 

Team Apuli (Chicago Trolley) – 0-4, Currently tied for 18th

Dropped one that they would have liked to have had against former Teammates and current Rivals Team Cohen.. That being said, all the Games count equally, and they’ve had a tough Schedule thus far.. They haven’t played a Team that is currently under .500 yet.. All that means is they will have an easier stretch coming soon.. Eddie Tellez had 27 on Sunday Night in a great performance.. They will need to just wash away this one in their minds and get to Week 5 where Team Bulwa awaits.

 

Team Gainski (SLA) – 0-4, Currently tied for 18th

At the risk of sounding repetitive.. It’s a long season and they are going to find their stride.. We’ve seen Teams in this Hoops League start the season off slower than they’d like only to rebound as the weather got bad and still win Playoff Games.  There are Teams currently in the League that can attest to this. No reason to get down. There are 15 Regular Season Games to go.. They’ll be just fine.

 

Team Malvin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – 0-4, Currently tied for 18th

Zimmerman. Bulwa. Harris. Maione. Feel free to raise your hands if you’ve had a harder schedule than Tesm Malvin to start.. All four Teams currently ranked in the top 9 with a combined record of 13-3. Everyone’s hands should be down by the way. While it may not be easy to see because of the opponent they are improving. They were within striking distance against Team Maione and they are going to have a chance to put one in the Win column this coming Sunday against Team Gutman.

 

Team Shamberg (Schweitzer Title Agency) – 1-3, Currently tied for 14th

Didn’t come out with urgency this week and before they knew it, they trailed 17-2.. They did manage to battle back and it was a close game but they were dead by the end of the Game and dropped one to Team Free Agent. Looking at the positives though, they did bolster the roster this week and Tyler Geocaris did have 17 in his debut this Season.  They’ll get back into the Rankings shortly.

 

Team Silver (Kelly Park HC Gold) – 1-3, Currently tied for 14th

Dropped this one to Team Schwartz but were playing short-handed with a shallow-bench.. It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating.. With the length of these Games and overall talent-level, it’s very difficult to Win with just 5 or 6 guys.. The Win% increases significantly when 7+ people are there for a given Team.. The short bench did allow for David Holmes to get a few more looks and he definitely took advantage.. He put up 30 in the Loss. They’ll get a confident and 3-1 Team Free Agent in Week 5.

 

Team Tucci (Esser Hayes Insurance) – 1-3, Currently tied for 14th

Adam Turay had a huge 31 and 11 night and Brandon Smith added 21 points as well but they came up just short against the 4-0 Team Harris. Their schedule has been brutal early and will certainly ease up in the coming weeks.  Big Congrats goes out to Big Man, Drew Zahora, who got married this past weekend! They look to snap their skid against Team Kozin in Week 5.

 

That’s it for this edition of the Power Rankings. Enjoy the rest of the Week and see you Sunday!

-Holden