X Over Impress in Week 1, but not Enough to Shift the Rankings
TEMPE OPEN: Week 2 Predictions
By Chris Walker | Arizona Regional Coordinator
It's Week 2 in the Tempe Open League, and with friendly neighborhood villain (the "UH Charles Oakley") Steve Bertrand back writing predictions, it feels like the stars are aligning for a killer season. Let's see if yours truly can ruffle enough feathers to make these power rankings/potshots worth your time.
1. Fine Wine
With the way X-Over played for 32 minutes or so, I'm really, really tempted to put them number-one anyway, but the Fine Wine (aka Ball So Hard) vets showed us there's no game truly out of hand for them, overcoming a near 20-point deficit en route to their zillionth team victory together.
2. Show Me Dem Bibbys
Completely biased (I work in the front office), but also completely reasonable, given the starting lineup basically covers all Gilbert Draft MVP winners/firtst-teamers. Christian Bower and Juice Hedrick will be a problem for all opposing back courts, and former NFL receiver Ellis Krout rejoins UH after a long hiatus.
As noted, these guys looked the part of champions for (most of) Week 1, and I'm literally only docking them for defeat. We already know Tevin Kelly is a nightmare matchup, but Dewayne Pettus looks reborn and the front court double-dip of Lavione West and Travis Gabbidon looks downright nasty. Their only worry will be finding enough minutes for all the talent.
4. Peanut Butter & Jelly
Donte Medder can talk all he likes, and PB&J looked good Week 1, but it's a show and prove league, and his (and his team's) real litmus test comes tonight vs Fine Wine. Don't get 30-pieced and we'll renew the champion/best player in AZ buzz my man.
5. Shut Up & Play
Co-GM's Donald Didlake and Lionel Pehoua have rounded up an intriguing cast here, with local semi-pro (no free ads) phenoms Steven Wess and Rob Armenta, joined by impressive athletes Sidney Ocansey and Zach Green. Chemistry could be tricky, but talent certainly isn't the question mark this time. The quest for #12 begins tonight.