2016-17 Chicago Hoops – Week 4 (Nov. 13)

Updated: November 15, 2016

As we exit Week 4, we are now done with just over 20% of the Regular Season.. We have already seen several top Teams from a year ago go down, and some of them more than once.. Teams Maione and Team McNichols, make it another week as the sole un-beatens remaining, now at 4-0.  The Top-3 in this week’s Power Rankings will remain steady but there was some significant change among the rest of the League.. Scroll down to find out!

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Power Rankings

1. Team Maione (Southview Athletics) – 4-0

Another big W for the #1 Team in the League and they did so this week without leading scorer Chris Wroblewski. How did they manage to overcome missing his 30 points a night? Well, Chris Ray went for 29 and Andy Timson put up 24 to help bolster the Offense against Team Apuli on Sunday Night. Captain Anthony missed a triple-double by just two rebounds in an all around Team Win. They are going to be pushed in what will be the co-Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Game of the Week against #7 Team Sternberg in Week 5.


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

This may be the quietest 4-0 start in League history. Team McNichols won by double digits again on Sunday Night and, yet, it seems as if no one is really buzzing about them yet.  There’s a lot of chatter that goes on in the gym on Sunday Nights, checking up on Teams/scores/stats etc. Team McNichols is not yet on everyone’s radar.. That’s okay, they’ll just keep stockpiling the Wins.. They are second in the League through 4 weeks in points allowed, as they are giving up an average of just 60 points per Game. Joe Kozak led the way with 28 points in Week 4 for the #2 squad.  The above little rant about them not being on the radar will end this Sunday.. They are going to headline Week 5 against 2x Champs and current #3 Team Lalez.  Can’t wait for that one.


3. Team Lalez (Hakimian Imports) – 3-1

As mentioned just above, Team Lalez is going to get a chance to knock off current 4-0 Team McNichols in Sunday Night’s Game of the Week. That one has potential to be Game of the Month.  Let’s get back to last Sunday.. They defeated a very solid Team Jones crew by 20 points and did so without leading scorer Dave Gershenzon who is still out with bad-rib (get better soon!). A week after falling to Team Maione, they came out firing.. They got 22 points from both Scott Campbell and Dennis McKinney, while Brennan Keller put in 19 as well. Next week they look to get back in the top-2.


4. Team Malvin (StudentCity) – 3-1

Let’s recap their last stretch.. In August, they made it all the way to the Championship Game of an extremely deep Summer Hoops League.. They dropped Week 1, in Overtime, to a very good Team Cohen squad.. Since then, they have won 3 in a row and most recently this past Sunday Night against Team Kozin, who has finished in the Top-3 in each of the past two seasons of this League.  Team Malvin is the real deal, and they like Team McNichols, are not yet getting the pub they deserve.  Matt Merrigan went for 24 points and Nate Johnson added 18 for his club.  They can get baskets from multiple guys at multiple positions on the floor and are becoming very difficult to contain but their true improvement is on the Defense end where they are allowing just 61.2 points against (3rd best in the League).  They look to make it four Wins in a row next Sunday against the Defending Champs – Team Gutman.


5. Team UC Booth (Biaggi’s Red) – 3-1

We have already mentioned two of the top three Defensive Teams in the League (based on points against).. #2 Team McNichols and #4 Team Malvin.. It’s no surprise that top Defensive Teams are in the Top-5 of the Rankings.. Well, Team UC Booth is THE top Defensive Team in the League through 4 weeks.. They are the only Team in the League allowing under 60 points per contest (they are allowing just 56.7 points per Game).. Their intensity and length on the Defensive end is leading to easier transition opportunities on the other end and when you have athletes like Victor Ojeleye to finish on the break, it’s going to be tough to stop them.. They put their Loss to Team Malvin in Week 3 in the rear view mirror quickly, and came out to defeat Team Silver (by a lot) on Sunday Night. Captain Douglas Sexauer led the Team with 24 points while Michael Moorstein had 15 and 9 boards. They get the tough Team Harris in Week 5 in what should be a great one.


6. Team Wong (Biaggi’s Purple) – 3-1

They are Winners of 3 of 4 and have beaten some heavy hitters thus far.. They’ve defeated Team Kozin (3rd place last season), Team Harris (2 seed last season) and most recently the now 2-2 Team Kaplan. This group is deep and they got a win without the man in the middle Tim Szatko, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the League. Lane Barlow showed why he was one of the best surprises of the Summer, as he went for 27 points and brought forth his full arsenal of moves. These guys too are near the top in terms of Defense as they are tied for 5th in the points against category, allowing just 64 points per Game. They take on the 0-4 Team Silver in Week 5.


7. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) – 3-1

Team Sternberg just had their best Win of the season thus far, and it may hold up for at least the Regular Season, as their finest.  They defeated Team Zimmerman in Week 4. Last year’s Runners-up and one of the premier franchises in the League.. It wasn’t jus that they hung with them and won the Game at the end.. It was a route, from start to finish, as they held a 20+ point lead throughout the Game. Team Sternberg is MUCH improve from a year ago and other than a close Loss to #3 Team Lalez they have looked pretty dominant. We mentioned Jamie Nikitas’ debut a week ago, well he followed up with 26 points this past week.. Tyler Max added 25 and Max Shulruff and Jonathan Gac tallied 15 a piece. Gac is proving them rim protection and a low post option that they just haven’t had before.. We said it last week, “they are title contenders” — they be showing that they are among the favorites, if they keep playing this way. They get a chance to top the Week 4 Win in Week 5, when they face-off with Undefeated #1 Team Maione.


8. Team Kozin (Peak Properties) – 2-2

Lost by 3 points to #4 Team Malvin.. No big deal there. They could have won, but it didn’t go their way.. They find themselves in many close Games and win more of them than they lose.. They’ll shake this one off shortly. We’d love to see a Playoff rematch between those two as the different styles being played is very intriguing. Josh Davis, Randall Hampton and newcomer Bryant Orange went for 15 each in defeat. They look to rebound against Team Cohen in Week 5, who also sit at 2-2 and coming off a close L.


9. Team Zimmerman (MB Financial) – 2-2

This is a weird one.  We usually are not recapping Team Zimmerman Losses and especially not versions where they lose by 20+.  They caught Team Sternberg on the wrong day.. Certainly saw their best. Esto Vega scored 29 to grab a share of the League lead in points during Week 4. Team Zimmerman is not firing on all cylinders right now, and most of that is on the Defensive end where they just haven’t quite figured out how to help each other and integrate their new pieces. Right now, of the 14 Teams at .500 or better, they are last among those, in points allowed per Game. They will fix it on that end. They have guys who work hard, so it’s just a timing thing and it will be fixed.  Wouldn’t want to be Team Schwartz this coming Sunday who are in the way of an angry giant right now..


10. Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 2-2

Well, that one is going to sting a bit. They had a double digit lead in the second half that withered a way in the final stretch and with the Game tied with 10 seconds to go they were defending Team Harris from a Game-Winner.. The ball was knocked around and wound up under the basket in the hands of Team Harris’ Eric Handrich who put the ball in for the Win. Now, the shot really may have been late, it was close and in real-time a tough call.. Team Cohen certainly had a gripe.. They also fouled the shooter, so at worst Team Harris would have had a shot to win it.. You can look at this two ways.. 1) It’s disappointing or 2) they had a bad 5 minute stretch and otherwise were really impressive once again and had last year’s #2 seed on the ropes (w/ a debuting Zack Novak in attendance and without their own Justin Bowen).. They should take this is a net positive even without the Win. Kyle Daniels had 20 on Sunday and David Zale added 19. They have a big time Game with #8 Team Kozin next week.


11. Team Gutman (Live Clean CHI) – 2-2

The Defending Champs have now made it two in a row and this one on Sunday Night will feel better than their last. They defeated a very solid Team Purimetla squad en route to getting back to .500. They had a full squad for the first time all season and with that came their trademark suffocating Defense that strangled the opposition in last Spring’s magical Playoff run.. They are so long and disruptive that it wears down the other Team on each possession. They held Team Purimetla to 20 points below their average. Chris Kozloff had a nice day on Offense with 17 points to lead them in scoring. Next up is #4 Team Malvin in what will be another great Game in a very appetizing Week 5 slate.


12. Team Purimetla (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 2-2

They had just 5 guys in the rotation on Sunday and with Defending Champs Team Gutman’s tough D, it was just a really difficult time for them to get it in the basket. They were in the Game the entire time and even held the lead late, they just lost their legs in the closing moments of the Game. This should be another warning shot to the League though.. They are another first time Team to this League that is the real deal. They are going to win many more Games than they lose in the final 80% of the Season.. Kevin Matos led them in scoring with 19 points on the night. They will take on Team Kaplan who also sits at 2-2 in Week 5.


13. Team Schwartz (SLA Insurance) – 2-2

What a difference a couple of weeks makes. They have rebounded from their slow start and are now sitting at 2-2 after two straight Wins. Their latest was of the 40+ variety.  Greg Gonzalez had 22 (and 11 boards) and Austin Brown had 17 in the Win. They have always been strong defensively but they are now really integrating all of their off-season acquisitions and it is doing wonders for them on the Offensive side of the ball.  They look to make it 3 in a row in Week 5 against #9 Team Zimmerman, who is coming off their worst Loss in a long time.


14. Team Kaplan (Camp Ojibwa) – 2-2

They got out to a 2-0 start and have lost the last two.. Now, if you asked all of these guys, most of whom didn’t know each other before Week 1 if they’d take being .500 after 4 Weeks.. Most, if not all, would have said “yes.” So even if they are slightly disappointed from the past couple of Games, they need to be encouraged overall. They fell to a very, very good Team Wong squad during Week 4.  They are going to have lulls, they are still learning each other’s Games and as people come and go into the line-up, each week is almost like starting over until they have a legit chemistry. They are also still awaiting the debut of Jordan Liss who will provide some more firepower on Offense.  Axel Playner led the way in scoring with 15 last week. They are going to try and get back over the .500 on Sunday against #12 Team Purimetla.


Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Apuli (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – 0-4

Had a tough task with #1 Team Maione in Week 4. They’ve had a brutal start to the schedule.. They’ve played both Undefeated Teams (Maione and McNichols) plus a match-up with last year’s Runners-Up Team Zimmerman in 3 of their first 4 points.   So while they haven’t gotten a Win, it is going to get easier, much easier.. Jono Matasar led the way with 16 points for them. They will take on another group searching for their first Win of the season — Team James — this could be the Week they stop the skid.


Team Deutsch (Meli Cafe) – 1-3

Weren’t their best on Sunday evening against Team Schwartz. All Sports Series vet Ross Chuckerman made his debut for his club on Sunday and scored 13 points to go along with 9 boards on the evening.  He will help bolster their front line. This Team is one shooter away from changing everything for them. They have a ton of motor-guys on this Team. They are scrappy, they play hard on Defense. Just need one knock down shooter. They get Team Jones in Week 5 who are at 1-3 as well.


Team Harris (Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap) – 1-3

They snatched their first W and from the jaws of defeat on Sunday Night against Team Cohen.  They were the #2 Seed a year ago and needed to overhaul the Roster a bit in the off-season.. They have all the pieces that are necessary for a Championship run and on Sunday they got the season debut of Zack Novak, not a surprise it coincided with their first Win.  He instantly gives them a gigantic presence on the Offensive end (led them in scoring with 20 on the night) and when he and Dylan Richter finally get to take the court together, it will be special.. Back to Sunday.. They trailed by double digits late to Team Cohen but stormed back at the Game’s conclusion and got a Game Winner on a loose-ball found it’s way to Eric Handrich at the buzzer.  They now have some momentum and will look to keep it alive against 3-1 Team UC Booth in Week 5.


Team James (Chipotle) – 0-4

They left Week 4 searching for their first Win still.. They took Undefeated Team McNichols to the wire though (the score makes it seem different, this Game was tight).. Captain Christian had a Team-high 20 points on the night.. They were giving up 90+ points a Game entering Week 4, and held a very good Team to 76, so that is encouraging.. Their focus needs to remain on that end of the floor and everything else will take care of it self.. They take on another winless group, Team Apuli in Week 5. This should be the streak snapper.


Team Jones (Chicago Trolley) – 1-3

Of the 4 Teams they’ve played to this point in the League, opposing Teams’ record so far this season  are a combined 12-4.  They’ve played #1 Team Maione, #7 Team Sternberg, #13 Team Schwartz and most recently 2x Champs and current #3 Team Lalez.  That is such a difficult stretch to begin their All Sports Series Rookie campaign.  That being said, they have been thrown to the fire and have come out 1-3. They have shown they are talented and will learn how to win together in time. Captain Gilles Jones continues to impress, as he went for 20 on the night. They look to get their second W of the season in Week 5 against Team Deutsch.


Team Silver (Benjamin & Shapiro Law) – 0-4

Last but not least (remember, it’s alphabetical in this section) is Team Silver. They had a very tough opponent in #5 UC Booth on Sunday Night. Gage Coleman had another 20+ contest, making it his 4th in as many All Sports Series Games.  They have another tough Game coming with #6 Team Wong but really can win. They are a solid Team, that is going to get better as time moves on, especially from a chemistry stand point. Hang in there.


That’s it for Week 4. See everyone on Sunday!