2016-17 Chicago Hoops – Week 2 (Oct. 23)

Updated: October 25, 2016

The Cubbies took care of business for us in Game 6 and allowed us to get our slate of Week 2 Games in! We entered Week 2 with ten Teams looking to get to 2-0.. Six of those managed to do so and some are not who people would have expected in the pre-season!  We’ll certainly have some shake-ups in the Rankings this week as a result!


Here’s the Link to the Weekly Highlight Video! Powered by Dr. Jacob D.D.S.

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Power Rankings

1. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) – 2-0

No surprise that Team Maione stays at #1 following their decisive W over Team James on Sunday evening. Chris Wroblewski tied for the League lead in points in Week 2 with 35 on just 17 shots. Incredible. While it’s no secret that Team Maione’s core is as good as any in the League. They have been the #1 seed for two consecutive seasons after all.. Where they have had trouble (in those rare occasions) is with some depth.. They are really the only group in the League who routinely wins with just 5 guys at the Games.. When they have 6 or 7 they are virtually unbeatable.. They added some depth in the off-season and newcomer Chris Ray really shined in his debut for his club, going for 18 points. They had 3 other scorers with 13+ as well. Having a sub for them, keeps their shooters fresh and evenly more deadly. Good Luck to the rest of the Teams. IF we have Week 3 (again, only if the World Series ends in a sweep) they will take on #4 Team McNichols in the Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Game of the Week!


2. Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) – 2-0

If the vets of the Chicago Hoops League were polled on the Teams that would get out to 2-0 starts.. #1 Maione and #2 Lalez would have likely led the poll.. So having them up this high, is not shocking the world.. The other 4 Teams that are at 2-0, would likely not have been top candidates though.. More on that below.. Team Lalez got a big come from behind W over Team Sternberg in what was one of the best played Games of the Night from Week 2. Scott Campbell made his debut this season and shined with 34 points for his club. Brandon Lathon contributed 18 points as well as he continues to show why he was one of the biggest off-season adds in the League. They just do all the things necessary to close out Games including knocking down free throws and taking care of the basketball.. IF we have a Week 3 next Sunday, they will take on Team Schwartz who is hungry for their first W.


3. Team UC Booth (Biaggi’s Red) – 2-0

For the second consecutive Week, Team UC Booth has turned in one of the most dynamic performances of the day.. Captain Doug and Victor Ojeleye both went for 21 points in Week 2. This group has more than enough size and athleticism to really give everyone in the League fits. We hope the Cubs can earn a Sweep for more than one reason.. Chief among them is a chance to see Team UC Booth go toe to toe with Team Kozin, a group that has made it to Championship Sunday in each of the past two seasons. It would be a true measuring stick Game.. If there is a Game 5, we’ll just have to wait for that match-up later on..


4. Team McNichols (Al’s Beef on WESTERN) – 2-0

All the way up to #4 this week is first-timers to the Hoops League, Team McNichols. Not many groups have looked so good in their first two weeks in this League. The Summer definitely prepped them for the competition but they really have turned heads thus far. They have a lot of scoring options and really spread the ball around. Everyone on the Team is capable and keeps Defenses on their heels for 44 minutes. They had an 8-man rotation which allowed them to stay fresh and warrant the Team Apuli comeback in the second half. This group is really good and if there’s a sweep in the World Series they will clash with #1 Team Maione in the Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Game of the Week!


5. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial) – 1-1

Back on the right track after an uncharacteristic Week 1 is Team Zimmerman and they round out the Top-5 as a result. Esto Vega poured in 35 points and Nate Bateman tallied 28 points in his All Sports Series debut. He is going to provide them with an athletic 6’3″ frame that can really shoot. It’s a piece they have not really ever had before and him paired with fellow newcomer Matt Toth really reshapes their line-up in an attempt to make up for the departure of MVP Kyle Nelson. Dave Altman scored 20 on the night and Max Boton had 19 in a huge scoring outburst for them. They did see another member of the roster go down, as Eugene Connor left with a bad ankle.. He hopefully will return shortly. They get the feisty Team Jones in Week 3, should there be a Sweep in the World Series.


6. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 2-0

Another 2-0 squad is Team Purimetla who jumps up to #6 from #9 a week ago. They defeated the strong Team Wong squad on Sunday. This group is flying under the radar a touch, just from a familiarity stand-point. They got their start in All Sports Series just this past Summer and they have been really strong since inception.  Josh Blackwell had 15 points to lead them in scoring while Lucas Kisielewski and Tyler Schmitt had 14 a piece.  Kisielewski really provides them with the type of big that not many Teams in the League have.. There’s also word going around that they have an even BIGGER addition coming shortly. Their front-line may end up being the scariest in the League.. That to go along with their terrific perimeter shooting, makes them nearly impossible to guard!


7. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) – 1-1

Back in the Winner’s circle and for the first time in the young 2016-17 season is Team Kozin. They had most of their roster there on Sunday Night and what a difference some depth can provide.  They got the 3pt W over Team Harris on Sunday. Thanks in large part to Randall Hampton’s 18 points in his season debut. Josh Davis went for 17 as well in Week 2. They form one of the more impressive 1-2 punches in the League and when you factor in newcomer Michael Halusek and Vet Mitch Bouie, there’s no question why they have been to two consecutive Championship Nights. They are still waiting on Rashad Singleton to make his first appearance of the season as well. Week 3 would bring a huge clash with #3 Team UC Booth, IF we have a Week 3 this coming Sunday.. Again, we and the rest of the world, wait on the Cubbies!


8. Team Kaplan (Camp Ojibwa) – 2-0

2-0 for a squad that is just getting to know one another? As good of a start as they could have asked for.. If we have a Week 3 on Sunday, they look to make it 3-0 against Team Harris.


9. Team Wong (Biaggi’s Purple) – 1-1

Took a step back in Week 2 as they were short-handed without a couple of their leading scorers. They just didn’t have enough to compete with the strong Team Purimleta squad (on this day, normally they will). Brock Massie went for 20 in this one though and definitely will roll that confidence over to their next Game. Week 3 would bring forth the 0-2 Defending Champs Team Gutman, again only if there is a Sweep in the World Series.. That would be one of many interesting Games on the Week 3 docket..


10. Team Malvin (StudentCity) – 1-1

Grabbing their first W since this Summer’s run to the Summer Hoops League Championship Game.. They defeated Team Silver. By a wide margin and looked to be having fun out there. Many Teams forget that ingredient.. These guys take it seriously, but not so much so that they forget the initial reason for playing.. They welcomed Nate Johnson back to the fray. His winning % is among the best in the League dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season. When he is in uniform for Team Malvin, they Win. It’s usually as simple as that. He had 21 in his debut. Shaun Albert contributed 17 and Rookie Peter Szostak had 16 to help pace the Offense. Week 3 lines them up against Undefeated #6 Team Purimetla in what would be one of the highlights of the day.. We may be forced to wait for that one though as the World Series may have other plans.. We can definitely hope for a Cubs sweep though!


11. Team Jones (Chicago Trolley) – 1-1

Picked up their first W in Franchise history on Sunday. Always a nice feeling and now they can move on to bigger and better.. Captain Gilles Jones led the way for his crew with 26 points on the night. For those that haven’t caught a glimpse of one of the true Rookie squads in the League.. Gilles is quickly becoming one of the more fun players to watch on a weekly basis. Tre Williams also went for 20 in Week 2 to help propel them to the W over Team Schwartz. In the event we are able to have Week 3 on Sunday evening, they will once again be faced with a very difficult match-up in the form of last year’s Runners-Up and current #5 Team Zimmerman.


12. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 1-1

A week after jumping out to 1-0 with a big OT W over Team Malvin, Team Cohen took a step backward this past Sunday when facing the extremely impressive #3 UC Booth crew.  Jake Shlofrock had 16 to lead them in scoring and Oren Schwartz had 15.  They just couldn’t get an extended run going as points were hard to come by against the long and athletic UC Booth guys. They still have yet to play with last year’s leading scorers Justin Bowen or Kyle Daniels. This would have been a different Game with the two of them there and they both will debut soon. IF we play, Week 3, would bring Team Silver.


13. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) – 1-1

They gave the 2x Champs Team Lalez all they could handle on Sunday.. They stormed out to a lead and kept it through halftime. They saw first-hand why it is so hard to defeat Team Lalez though.. They just don’t make mistakes late and force the other Team to be uncomfortable.. More than the result from Week 2, it’s clear Team Sternberg is improved from a year ago.. The one knock on them last season was their lack of a true big.. That has changed this year with the addition of Jonathon Gac. He made his presence felt and allows what was already a good defensive Team to really be able to guard against their natural positions. He also will help stabilize the boards for them. Tyler Max went for 21 on the night and Max Shulruff had 19 as well. This is a group that is going to surprise many this season.. While they are Ranked at #13 right now.. They are a sleeper to take the whole thing.


14. Team Deutsch (Meli Cafe) – 1-1

Rounding out the Top-14 this week is Team Deutsch. They took a step backward this week against last year’s Runners-Up Team Zimmerman (as most do).. They were also short-handed on this night and with their full roster it might have been a different story. Jeff Shukis, who played with Team James a year ago, made his debut this season for Team Deutsch. He had 27 points and 18 boards in Week 2. His motor is always running and he’s going to make them a better Team week in and week out.  If there is a sweep in the World Series, and only if, then, Jeff Shukis and his new crew will get a chance to take on his old teammates in Team James next week.


Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Apuli (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – 0-2

Dropped their second straight to start the season, but this group will be much happier with their play in Week 2. They gave #4 Team McNichols all they could ask for and with just a few minutes left it seemed as if they may overtake them for the Win. They made a furious second half comeback and showed that they are never going to quit.  They are still awaiting a few debuts and this group is going to be just fine. Brian Behnke made his All Sports Series debut going for 19 points and helped sure up the middle for them. He’s a long and athletic player that really gives them a new outlet.  He’s one to watch in coming weeks.


Team Gutman (Live Clean Chicago) – 0-2

The Defending Champs had a similar slow start last season.. Don’t count them out yet.


Team Harris (Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap) – 0-2

A year ago, this Team went 16-3.  They are off to an 0-2 start and not many would have seen that coming.. They are just not whole yet.. They did give Team Kozin, who finished in 3rd a season ago, a tough fight down to the wire. Mike Goldstein had 17 and Alex Nadelman had 16.  This group has still yet to see Dylan Richter or Zack Novak take the court for them this season.. They are also dealing with an injury to Brad Tivin.. That is a huge chunk of the Team’s firepower that is still awaiting their debuts.. They are going to be just fine and as we’ve seen in past seasons, not how you start, but how you finish.


Team James (Chipotle) – 0-2

Running into Team Maione is never easy. They just possessed to many weapons on Sunday Night for Team James to get enough stops to Win.. They are a very talented crew though and just because they’ve dropped their first couple doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of going on a serious run. They are still gelling with one another and hopefully Captain Christian doesn’t have a prolonged absence from an ankle injury in this one. Jalal Hamad went for 33 and was on fire for much of the Game. Scott Sangster had 21 as well. These guys are going to be just fine. They get Team Deutsch in Week 3, as long as there’s no Game 5 in the World Series. Otherwise we’ll make Games up later in the season.


Team Schwartz (SLA Insurance) – 0-2

They took on a tough Team James squad on Sunday and played well.. Just didn’t get the W.  Big-Man Greg Gonzalez made his debut for Team Schwartz and went for 24. He gives them another guy who can really get a shot over anyone in the League and help on the boards as well. Austin Brown led the Team in scoring with 26 on the night.  At full strength this group can compete with the League’s best. Don’t let that 0-2 start fool you. They are a better club than a year ago. IF we have Week 3 on Sunday, they will try to get their first W over 2x Champs and #2 Team Lalez.


Team Silver (Benjamin & Shapiro Law) – 0-2

Team Silver took on a tough Team Malvin squad that is fresh off a trip to the Summer Hoops League Championship. They also had lost their Week 1 contest and was hungry to right the ship. On this Night, Team Malvin just was too much for Team Silver.  Gage Coleman poured in 26 points for Team Silver though and is quickly becoming a go-to guy. It may take some time for them as they are getting to know one another on the court in the early stages of the season.. That’s beauty of this League though.. They have a TON of time to figure everything out.


That’s it for Week 2. Go Cubs!