2019-20 THE Chicago Hoops Week 1 – (Oct. 06)

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Updated: October 11, 2019

Welcome everyone to the 7th edition of THE CHI Hoops League presented by the Chicago Sport and Social Club!

As the 2019-2020 THE CHI Hoops season finally tipped off on Sunday afternoon, 11 franchises were preparing themselves for what will ultimately be a very long season. Successful teams will extend their play into the triple-elimination playoffs, and less successful teams will by the middle of March look to pivot into the off-season, while still having to suffer through the final month-and-a-half.

As is the case with every team that enters THE CHI Hoops League (including the defending Champs Team Wolverines), unknown factors hover above them going into the season, presenting great anticipation for themselves and their fanbases.

We’ll enter the 2019-20 season with Team Wolverines once again the favorites to win THE CHI Hoops title in April. They are coming off Back-To-Back THE CHI Hoops Championships and will be looking to become the first team in League history to pull off a 3-peat. But it won’t be easy. The likes of Team Maione, Team Swish House and Lakeshore show have all made some roster changes this offseason to try to improve on their successful 2018-19 campaigns, and they all have one other thing in common…they all want to write their own chapters in THE CHI Hoops history book!

Before we get to the first Power Rankings report of the 2019-20 season, we would like to welcome a few new squads and faces to 2019-20 edition of THE CHI Hoops League. Good luck to you all and we hope you enjoy your season!

The format for Schedule in the Regular Season, Divisions and Playoff Seeds are below for you to read through as well.

Quickly, for those Playing in their first All Sports Series League.. Here’s what to expect from the weekly Power Rankings.. Each week we’ll take a statistical look at the Teams and Rank them 1-11 with the UnRanked Teams listed alphabetically.. Also, if you have ever want to find any info on the League.. Go to Chicago Leagues > THE CHI Hoops League.. Everything you’d need from Stats to Schedules to Standings etc. will be found there..

Weekly Highlight Video presented by Chicago Sport and Social Club

We have some fantastic offers from our amazing Sponsors for you this Fall. The Bucket List takes people on curated trips abroad. You can go with friends or family and they are giving All Sports Series Players $50 off with code “AllSports.” We also have the perfect post-Game routine for you this Summer.. Chipotle is one of our Sponsors and we’ll be getting some Burritos in your hands this Fall!

If you ever want info from any of our Sponsors just contact Marko@allsportsseries.com

Regular Season and Playoff Formats:

1. Each Team will play 18 Games in the Regular Season.
2. Each Team will play a double-header at some point during the regular season schedule.
2. Teams will compete in a Triple-Elimination Tournament for the League Playoffs.
3. All Teams make the Playoffs.
4. Teams will be seeded 1-11 for the Playoffs based on overall record. In the event two or more teams are tied in the standings, a series of tiebreakers are applied to determine which team receives the higher seeding.

 

Power Rankings

1. Wolverines – 1-0

At least for the time being, I don’t have an argument against Team Wolverines being the top-ranked THE CHI Hoops team heading into the 2019-20 regular season. They are coming off back-to-back Championships. They have two of the 10 best players in THE CHI Hoops League, have the depth to win a championship (as evident over the last two seasons) and a great leader in Captain Randall Hampton. Team Wolverines checks all the boxes, too. This team will ultimately go as far as Captain Randall and Bryant Orange can take them. If Week 1 is any indication of what’s to come, we could be in store for something very special this season. By the final score of 98-78, Team Wolverines started right where they left off last season and recorded a dominate victory over Team Schwartz to begin their 2019-20 season campaign. Five different players ended up with double-digit scoring efforts, led by Bryant Orange who was all over the court and just missed out on a triple double as he posted 23 points (11-19 FG), 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Captain Randall Hampton did an amazing job controlling the game from the point guard position as usual as he chipped in 20 points (8-11 FG), 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Team Wolverines remains the undisputed team to beat. They get THE CHI Hoops newcomers Team Hoop Dreams (0-1) in Week 2.

 

2. Team Maione – 1-0

While it might be difficult to simply place Team Maione as the second-ranked team in THE CHI Hoops League heading into the 2019-20 season, I had a hard time placing many teams above Team Maione who boast a resume that includes Back-To-Back trips to THE CHI Hoops League Finals. They also boast one of the deepest squads in the entire league, lead by Captain and floor general Bradley Deutsch. When you add in Dylan Richter, Matthew Vogrich, Tellef Lundevall, Blake McLimans and Nicholas Livas, this squad is simply put, stacked! Team Maione came within a game of taking home the league crown last Spring but fell just shy to Team Wolverines for the second straight season. They showed no ill effects however from last season’s Championship Game loss as they wasted no time blowing out THE CHI Hoops newcomers The Dribbling Seamen 101-56 on Opening Night. Five different players recorded at least 11 points, led by Matthew Vogrich’s 34 points (13-17 FG). Tellef Lundevall did his part on Sunday afternoon, finishing with 20 points (9-15 FG), 15 rebounds (Week 1 high total) and 6 assists. They’ll look to take their record to a perfect 2-0 coming up on Sunday afternoon when they take the court against familiar foes Team Swish House (1-0) in our Week 2 Game of the Week!

 

3. Team Swish House – 1-0

Team Swish House has been a long-standing powerhouse in THE CHI Hoops League scene. Four Seasons ago they finished as the Runners-Up and last year they finished in 3rd behind Team Maione and the defending Back-To-Back Champs Team Wolverines…for the second consecutive year. Do you get the theme here? Simply put, Team Swish House entered the offseason with the understanding that they only have one mission for the 2019-20 season; do everything in their power to finally raise that illusive banner. With all that said, Team Swish House are still considered one of the contenders in THE CHI Hoops League this season. In fact, in some eyes, they might be the favorites. Is this the year that they finally get over the hump? Are you betting against former League MVP Sterling Williams and co.? Based on Williams and the rest of Team Swish House’s performance in Week 1, I certainly would not. By the final score of 87-56, Team Swish House rolled past Team Reisner to get their 2019-20 campaign off to a blazing start. Captain Michael Halusek led the way for Team Swish House in this contest, finishing with a game-high 20 points (8-13) to go along with 8 rebounds and a couple of assists. This was an all-around team effort as Cory Starkey, Jonathon Dues, Chad Murphy and Sterling Williams combined for 61 points on 59% shooting from the field. These guys were efficient and effective on Sunday afternoon. They’ll look to build on this Opening Day victory when they take the court on Sunday evening against very familiar foes, #2 Team Maione (1-0) in our Week 2 Game of the Week!

 

4. Lakeshore show – 1-0

In the end, I couldn’t put Team Lakeshore show any lower than 4. I tried to sell Team Bucket SZN and Team Hoop Dreams in this spot but wouldn’t be able to justify my motives with honesty. And, quite frankly, I still believe Team Lakeshore Show are going to be one of the best teams this season, certainly in the Playoffs. This squad entered last year as THE CHI Hoops newcomers and left just a couple of games shy of making it to Championship Sunday. Eric Porter was the League MVP last season and is still in the prime of his career and could be in for another huge season. Brad Kruse is still an elite defender and do-it-all offensive player and Xavier Edwards will have a huge impact on this season as he did during last years. It might be trendy to say that Team Lakeshore Show are going to take a step back this season, but I’d be shocked if this team wasn’t a contender by the end of the season. With a 94-62 convincing victory in Week 1 over Team New Birth, Team Lakeshore show did not show any signs of regression. Eric Porter led the way for Team Lakeshore show in this contest, pouring in 30 points (12-24) while dishing out 10 assists and hauling down 3 boards. Brad Kruse finished with 21 points (9-20 FG) and 10 rebounds and Xavier Edwards put the final nail in the coffin by pitching in 12 points (5-14 FG) of his own. Team Lakeshore Show will look to build on this convincing victory in Week 2 when they take the floor against Team Reisner (0-1).

 

5. Bucket SZN – 1-0

Team Bucket SZN, Captained by All Sports Series veteran Rodney Clark, are, no question, one of the most interesting teams heading into the 2019-20 season. Not because they are considered one of the true contenders in THE CHI Hoops League, well, they might, depending on what you think of Marcus Agee, Geoffrey Goodwin and Jeremy Ireland, but because they made quite the bold move over the summer in bringing in some solid backcourt depth. While it may look like a great move on paper, I’m not so sure it will be all that seamless when they take the floor together. Their individual games don’t necessarily complement one another. Nevertheless, this is clearly a hill that Team Bucket SZN are comfortably dying on. How good will Team Bucket SZN be, and will they be considered legit contenders heading into the Playoffs? Based on their Week 1 performance, they should be. By the final score of 80-78, Team Bucket SZN squeezed out a victory in a very tough battle against Team Hoop Dreams on Sunday evening. Marcus Agee led the charge with 27 points (12-28 FG), 5 rebounds and 3 assists and teammates Geoffrey Godwin and Jeremy Ireland pitched in with 18 points apiece. Team Bucket SZN will look to get their Captain and leader back in Week 2 when they take on Team New Birth (0-1) on Sunday evening.

 

6. Hoop Dreams – 0-1

One of the newer squads to THE CHI Hoops League but not necessarily new to the Chicago Hoops scene and coming in at the #6 spot in the Week 1 Power Rankings, is Team Hoop Dreams. Team Hoop Dreams has been a staple in Chicago Sport and Social Club Competitive Basketball Leagues over the years, and this year they take their talents to THE CHI Hoops League on Sunday afternoons. Captain Walt Lyon brings in a talented group of individuals who’ll be looking to make some names for themselves this season. They got their season off to a disappointing start to their standards as they dropped a heartbreaker to Team Bucket SZN by a final score of 80-78. Team Hoop Dreams played very well on opening night and with this new squad getting their feet wet in Week 1 with a performance like this, they will be a tough challenge week in and week out for opposing teams. Max Bielfeldt, formally of Team Maione, was scorching hot from the field and led the entire league in scoring in Week 1, dropping 45 points (19-25 FG) while hauling down 9 boards. This performance was exactly the start Bielfeldt was looking for individually coming into this match-up, but in the long-run it’s all about the W’s. Team Hoop Dreams will look to build on this performance and look for their first THE CHI Hoops victory coming up in Week 2 with a match-up against #1 Team Wolverines (1-0).

 

7. Team Schwartz – 0-1

The Schwartz surprised the masses last season by making a solid run in THE CHI Hoops League Playoffs on the back of explosive performances from Jermaine Johnson. The hard part for Team Schwartz is how they will take a step forward this season without really making a splash move this summer to really get them over the top. Well, the hope is the team will (eventually) get David Carson back at some point this season, but they proactively added John Blakely to add some insurance in the frontcourt. As you would expect, it was a pretty polarizing move. Unfortunately for Team Schwartz, they had the daunting task of taking down the defending Back-To-Back Champs Team Wolverines on Opening Night and things certainly did not go according to plan. By the final score of 98-78, Team Schwartz struggled shooting the ball on the offensive end of the court and had trouble making stops on the defensive end. Jermaine Johnson did what he always does, make plays all over the court. Johnson finished just shy of a triple double by posting a game-high 27 points (10-25) to go along with 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Austin Brown also pitched in with 20 points (7-19 FG) of his own, unfortunately for Team Schwartz, it just wasn’t enough to get past the defending B2B Champs. Team Schwartz will look to shake this loss off coming up in Week 2 when they take the court against #10 Team The Dribbling Seamen (0-1).

 

8. Team Reisner – 0-1

Team Reisner are what I like to call one of the biggest question marks team heading into the 2019-20 THE CHI Hoops season. They’re extremely talented on paper, but we still don’t know what to expect from this team. Tyler Max, Marin Kukoc and newly appointed Captain Adam Rhum are the cornerstones of this franchise and will go as far as they can take them. However, there’s no question that this team has the talent to make a deep run and contend for the 2019-20 title. Team Reisner might not be a clear cut THE CHI Hoops contender yet and will probably be competing for a Top-6 Playoff seed, but this is not a team that should be overlooked. This team is always disciplined and as solid as they come. With one of the best leaders in THE CHI Hoops League, I have little doubt that Team Reisner will figure it out one way or another. However, I simply don’t know how high this team’s ceiling is. Week 1 reiterated that sentiment. By the final score of 87-56, Team Reisner took one on the chin on Sunday night against #3 Team Swish House. Tyler Max and Marin Kukoc combined for 30 of the squads 56 total points on Sunday night and Captain Rhum pitched in with 11 points of his own. Unfortunately for Team Reisner, they could not find any other offensive production to keep up with a high-flying Team Swish House crew. Team Reisner will want to quickly put this game behind them as they have another tough match-up coming up on Sunday afternoon when they welcome #4 Team Lakeshow (1-0) show to the DePaul Ray Meyer Center.

 

9. New Birth – 0-1

Making their inaugural appearance in THE CHI Hoops league is the extremely talented New Birth squad. While the overall squad may be new to THE CHI Hoops League, many on their roster are not. Captained by the All Sports Series veteran Cannan Blair, Team New Birth will be looking to make a splash and turn some heads during the 2019-20 campaign. Starting at #9 this Season, this squad unfortunately did not have the best opening night on Sunday afternoon. They were matched up with #4 Team Lakeshore show, a squad that almost made it to Championship Sunday last season and fell way short. By the final score of 94-62, Team New Birth unfortunately could not get their shots to fall on Sunday afternoon and had issues all game long stopping one of the best offenses in the League. For Team New Birth, Charles Kesenberg and Tyrek Warren did the best they could to carry their team with a very solid combined 38-point performance, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a hungry Team Lakeshore show side. It will take this crew a few games to gel and get the chemistry right with their new offseason additions, but once they figure it out, they will be a top contender. They look to pick up their first victory of the year coming up on Sunday evening when they take the court against Team Bucket SZN (1-0).

 

10. The Dribbling Seamen – 1-0

Another squad making their inaugural appearance in THE CHI Hoops league is none other than The Dribbling Seamen. This squad is comprised of some very talented individuals that are no strangers to the Chicago Hoops scene. They’ll be taking their talents to THE CHI Hoops league for the very first time and will look to immediately make a name for themselves. Unfortunately, they did not get their desired result on opening night, as they lost a lopsided game to the Runners-Up from the last two seasons. Captain and sharpshooter Robert Mischler did everything in his power to try to keep his guys alive in this game, unfortunately his team-leading 28 point (10-24 FG) and 4 rebound performance was not enough to keep up with the high-scoring and flying Team Maione crew. James Holman also finished with a nice line, producing 10 points (4-12 FG) while dishing out 5 assists. With nice performances like this from these guys, it shouldn’t shock anyone to see this crew go deep into the postseason. They’ll just need a few more games to get their bearings straight and once they do, everyone should watch out. They’ll look to get their record to .500 on Sunday afternoon when they take on #7 Team Schwartz.

 

Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order)

Team Onions – 0-0

 

That’s it for Week 1! Good Luck in Week 2! We are finally back!

-Marko