Plano is Back, and Full of Contenders
PLANO: Preseason Power Rankings
Tyrese Boone | Plano Media Associate
The Ultimate Hoops league season is finally underway this Thursday night. There are many new teams and players who are looking to take home the championship this year. I know you guys are excited as much as I am. Therefore, here are the power rankings of the teams that I believe will have the best chance to win it all this year.
1. Older Tropics
The Older Tropics are the Golden State Warriors of this league. They are the reigning champs, so they deserve the #1 spot. With veterans such as Nino Mansour and Adam Miller, it’s very possible to see this team become back-to-back champions by the end of this season. However, this is a whole new season with new faces and better competition. There are 11 teams this year who are hungry and ready to become the top dog of this league.
Main Question: With more teams and better competition this year, can they pull off a repeat?
2. The Soldiers
The soldiers, led by Ultimate Hoops veteran Paul Starr, took his team all the way to the finals last year but couldn’t take home the win. They will be contenders throughout the year. However, there are some changes to the squad this year. They lost one of their best players, Jesse Wilson, for the season due to injury. This will be a huge spot to fill but I believe that Marcus Goree and Ike Akataobi can be able to fill in the void for the forward position.
Main Questions: Can Paul Starr lead his team back to the championship with this revamped roster?
3. Push The Rock
This team is in its first year in the league might win it all. Every player on this team has basketball experience in college, overseas, G-league, and even the NBA. The triple threat of Sampson Carter, (NBA) Zach Jackson, (Overseas) and Nick Haywood (University of Houston) could be overwhelming against other teams.
Main Question: How well will this new team of pro talent perform against veteran teams who’ve been playing together for years?
In my opinion, I believe BWA might have the chance to be the best team this season. Former NBA player and D-League MVP Justin Dentmon believes his team can go all the way this year. I don’t blame him for thinking that way. BWA has the deepest team with 10 players on its roster. With Ultimate Hoops veteran talent on this team’s roster such as Zach Henningsen and Victor Nguidjol, I would not be surprised to see them in the championship game. The only concern this team has is Dentmon’s health. He is recovering from an Achilles Injury, but from watching him play this weekend he seems healthy and ready to play.
Main Question: With the talent and depth of this team’s roster, how far can they go?
5. Role Models
Remember when I said that BWA has the deepest lineup? Well, it was until I looked at the Role Model’s roster. Now don’t get me wrong, BWA roster is still good, but this team has it all. You want forwards, they got them. Brandon Barkley is a two-time Ultimate Hoops champion that averages 21.3 points per game and 8.7 rebounds on his career. They’re deep at the guard position as well with guys such as Martin Salinas and Colin Curran. This team has the guys to win.
Main Question: Will this team be able to beat the top teams of this league?
6. Sniper Gang
I think it’s safe to say that Sniper Gang has one of the best backcourts in the league. Guard Asthen Bloom, former champion with Billy’s House in 2015, knows what it takes to win and help this team go all the way. In addition to that, when you have two guards that can average 20 points per game and shoot 40 percent from three on your team, you must be considered contenders. If Derrick Aimes and Kobie Douglas can produce and get on a hot streak, this team may be the dark horse to win it all this year.
Main Question: Can this team of elite guards contend with teams with rosters filled with the presence of stretch forwards?
7. Hoops There It Is
This team is a sleeper. The potential is there for this team. Hoops There It Is has a good amount of veteran and rookie talent on their roster to go far into the playoffs. The vets on this team such as Kenneth Clifton and Tony Williams can possibly be a good pick-and-roll duo that would be hard for their opponents to stop. The young bloods Kailan Bray and Howard Stokes who both have college experience can push the pace and tire out their opponents with their offense.
Main question: Will the team’s chemistry hurt their chance of going far in the playoffs?
Kreston Martin is the clear-cut leader of this team. The guy can ball and his stats does the talking for him (30.7 points , 6.3 rebounds, 43 percent from deep). Brad McCallan and Myles Eugene are some players that can produce on both sides of the ball as well. MMG could make a run, but their roster is slim compared to the other teams. If they added extra players on their roster, they will be one of the teams to beat.
Main Question: Can MMG have a successful season with a limited number of players on the roster?
Nike has a pretty solid team. Their guards Turundus Luckett and Robert Garcia both average over 12 points and 1.5 steals so it’s safe to say they can produce on offense and defense. They have a lot of newcomers on their team, so I am intrigued to see how they play in their first game. I think this team can cause some major upsets in the playoffs if they’re not taken seriously.
Main Question: Can the newcomers produce at the same level as the veterans on the team?
10. The Classic Ballers
The Classic Ballers have a decent number of players on their roster which is good for their rotation. However, most of these guys are new so this situation can go either way. The ballers do have some veteran players such as Anthony Jackson and Brock Pierce. Just like Nike, this team will have to build some chemistry and work as a well-oiled machine to beat the top teams in the league.
Main Question: Who will step forward and become the leader of this team?
11. Gym Class Heroes
The Gym Class Heroes have some good players, but their roster is slim. Most of this team’s offense will probably come from Jacob Jablonski. He is a pretty good guard that can drive and shoot. Anthony Bell is a pretty good player as well. There is not much expectation for this team to win it all this year due to the roster size. However, I can see the team progresses as every game goes by.
Main Question: Can they become the “Cinderella” of this league?
12. Ballin On A Budget
Ballin On A Budget is the only team in the league that does not have a veteran player on its roster. As of right now, there are no expectations of them to win it all this year since they are a new team. On the bright side, they do have a decent number of players in their rotation so it’s possible they could make some noise. Players like Juan Curry and Zach Rodriguez could possibly become breakout players in the league.
Main Question: How will this team be looked at by the end of the season?