Bigger and Better Than Ever
WESTWOOD: Preseason Power Rankings
By David Jordan | Westwood Media Associate
UH Boston, Westwood’s Fall 2018 season is underway, in what could prove to be our biggest and best yet. Fall 2018 starting on the heels of Westwood losing the regional championship to Metrowest this summer, Metrowest bragging about a cluster of new talent joining them as well as Taylor and crew knocking the competition out of the water with what many say is the best draft night presentation that UH Nation has ever seen, this season promises to be a bit different than the rest. Not only are the players coming to the court with a chip on their shoulders but it seems that all of Westwood is coming to make a BiG statement off the court too. And after a summer off, we also anticipate seeing the return of some of Boston’s biggest heavy hitters to back to the game, Steph Eusebe, Octavio “5 Ring King” Cruz, Rodney “Draymond Green” Lemite, Jimmy “Fresh Prince” Melton, Royce Veal and Jorge Diaz (just to name a few). Join us on FACEBOOK LIVE at 6:50 p.m. tonight for opening night at Westwood. Now, before everyone gets up in arms about the rankings, just know that this was a tough one to do, much consideration went into it and whether you agree or not, at the end of the day, many of these teams are tough and make a good case for why they should be considered the top of Boston’s best. Let’s get to it.
1. Ballaz Club
Last season Ballaz Club made an unexpected early exit from the playoffs that shocked all of UH Nation after an almost perfect season and championship run. After the loss, the thought was that it would be the end of Chris featuring #TNT (Tim West and Tambo Barrow). Well, we thought wrong. The trio is back again for a third-straight season, but with a different and probably their strongest supporting cast to date. This may be the best Ballaz Club we’ve seen yet. With post season chatter and a hurl of insults from “The Other Side” Chris being mocked as #Agent00 for some less than luster play, we are anticipating the return of #ScoreLord this season, coupled with the addition of the defensive presence of Max Ukegbu, and Brown University alumni Joe Sharkey, these guys are going to be better than good. We may even get a surprise out of UH rookie Daniel Ajjouri, and if he can shoot anything like his brother #SilentAssassin Wissam Ajjouri, look out Boston!
Being ranked in a top spot early has proven to be bad for Ty McCray in the past, but he had a heck of a draft night and it would be basketball blasphemy to rank Legacy any lower than this. Interestingly enough, each season one of the premier matchups that we look forward to is the Ty vs Ace matchup, but this time around we aren’t going to see it folks. Ty decided to take a different approach and make Ace his top pic. This could actually be the best team Ty has ever assembled, rounding out the roster with a bunch of shooters David Leder, Wissam Ajjouri and rookie limitless range shooter Shaqan Jones. Not to mention that Nick Azar seems be the #UltimateXFactor on championship-caliber teams. Although they are a bit undersized in the front court, they make up with backcourt size. Legacy should be a force this season.
3. All Style
Even in his absence at the draft table, Rennie seemed to make all of the right calls, literally and figuratively speaking. This may be the most lethal group of individuals that he’s ever drafted, however, individuals don’t win championships, teams do. The scary part of this is that All Style is made up of scorers who can get hot at any moment. Joining him in the backcourt Royce Veal and attained in a three-way post draft trade shooter Derek Falcetta. This is where the game changes, teaming up again with his favorite Big Man, Isaiah Duke and the new addition and return of Jorge Diaz, getting buckets will not be an issue.
4. Ea$y Money
No shade, but haven’t we seen this before? Although Eusebe and LaPlanche are arguably one of the best duos in UH, it hasn’t always seemed to equal a championship at the end. Together this duo has had three championship appearances, only coming away with one win, and five final four appearances. So the question really is what else can they do that they haven’t done? Here’s what makes them different this season: Their arsenal is still well-rounded, but Jason will have some serious help in the backcourt with Stephen #BestKeptSecret Prescod (making his debut after winning the Summer championship in Burlington with LaPlanche), Mario Payne coming back from a season ending injury two seasons ago, the #DefensiveZinMaster Curtis Williams and a huge acquisition post draft that landed them #TheGoodDoctor Mike Lowney. Although they lack depth in size, what’s special about Ea$y Money is that team chemistry is an afterthought and if these guys can lock in early, they are potentially a team that all of Boston should be on the lookout for.
5. Ruff Ryders
Team Captain Jason Murray isn’t afraid to take a few chances in the draft room, and his latest draft could end up paying major dividends for him. Ruff Ryders will be heavy with guard play, and also have the X-Factor otherwise known as Octavio Cruz. We don’t expect to see the Octavio that we all know, but with a strong will to compete and get back into basketball shape, his impact will be felt as the season progresses and he gets his legs underneath him. Partnering him with veteran guard Khris Padilla and the young #LittleMan Carlos Bermudez, Westwood might have a problem on their hands. These guys like to play tenacious defense and run.
Posterized is another case of a team that is very familiar with each other. With another one of UH’s best duo’s, David “MAK” Thompson and Jimmy Melton, along with James Naddaff and Kevin Kershaw, team up yet again with hopes to repeat their championship run from just a few seasons ago. After the summer off, Jimmie is returning hungrier than ever after carefully surveying all of the online rhetoric between leagues. His return to UH is a good look for the team, but with the addition of Rodney to the roster, this is yet another team that could have championship aspirations at season's end. These guys are a bit of an unorthodox team but have proven to be effective.
7. Beast Mode
Beast Mode has a roster that looks good on paper and it may turn out really well, but I can’t trust them just yet. The trio of Pat Dragon, Mike James and Jean Romulus looks good but will need to be consistent to compete. The issue will be consistency and chemistry for the fact that you never know when Mike James is on the planet or not. With a trio of UH rookies by their sides, how far this team goes will rest heavily on the veteran presence. Pat is coming off of a league championship in the Summer and riding high, but lets see if his experience will prove to help him lead this team.
Taking the eighth and final spot are the Spartans. They will be anchored by the twin towers of Adam Quinlin and Sean Wise. But the rest of the team, starting with Captain Fred Giles, will have to carry the responsibilities of scoring throughout the season. Acquiring Marquis Ensley in a post draft trade will give them another solid option offensively, but with Westwood being as tough as it is, I can’t see the Spartans getting very far. But as we saw from the Summer session, anything is possible. The biggest challenge for the Spartans will be leadership and chemistry; Fred has a big task on his hands.