Bigsmash Shines in Debut Victory Over the Bulls
FRIDLEY REC+: Week 2 Power Rankings
By Jake Gave | Fridley League Coordinator
1. The Originals
Last week: #1, beat Jumpshot Hustlers 97-73
Player of the Week: Chris Maher (27 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 9-13 fg, 3-7 3pt, 37.0 PPR)
The Originals got off to a hot start in Week 1 by taking down the Jumpshot Hustlers. They continued their crazy efficient shooting from last season by posting team totals of 61 percent from the field and 55 percent from deep. They even converted on 93 percent of their free throw attempts, a rarity in this league. The Originals dished out 18 assists and only committed 6 turnovers. If they can continue to put up these type of numbers, the defending champs are going to be tough to stop.
Leading the way in the victory was none other than Chris Maher. Chris had a huge night, only missing 4 field goal attempts on his way to 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Josh Hoyle was lighting it up as well and finished with a team high 31 points on 12-16 shooting. Brensley Haywood put in a solid performance in his debut for the squad posting 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.
2. FOB Five
Last week: #2, beat Wolves 92-84
Player of the Week: Adam Hoven (28 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 12-19 fg, 3-8 3pt, 34.8 PPR)
FOB Five turned some heads with their big week one victory over a tough Wolves squad. They got off to a hot start and led by 10 at the break. The second half was a high-scoring affair but FOB was able to match the Wolves pace. FOB finished the night at a 53 percent clip from the field and 37 percent from long distance. They only shot 27 three’s in this one, but I expect that number to keep rising in the coming weeks. This early season win shows FOB is a legit contender yet again.
Dominating this game for FOB Five was stat stuffer Adam Hoven. Hov finished with a big 28 point, 14 rebound double-double and hit on 63 percent of his shots. Without much size on this squad, I expect Hov to put up some impressive rebounding totals this season. Brian Sames and Sean Smith also made their presence felt in their first game with the team with both of them posting identical stat lines of 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Bryant Marmol rounded out the scoring with a 12 point, 5 rebound, and 5 assist performance.
Last week: #6, beat Bulls 77-62
Player of the Week: Joe Suek (30 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 10-18 fg, 4-9 3pt, 40.8 PPR)
Bigsmash didn’t take long to make noise in the league by knocking off the Bulls in their first game. They only had a two-point lead at halftime but exploded in the second half to secure the win. Their offensive numbers don’t exactly jump off the screen, shooting 46 percent overall, but their defense was on another level. They forced a very good Bulls team to shoot 35 percent from the field and an awful 23 percent from deep. I have a feeling this will be Bigsmash’s identity this season as the roster is loaded with defensive stoppers.
Leading the way in the win was Joe Suek who was a one man wrecking crew all night long. He finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists on 56 percent shooting. Brock Zins was also ultra efficient, posting 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists while only missing one shot from the field. Joe’s brother William Suek had a decent debut for the squad, finishing with 8 points and 10 rebounds. It was a forgettable night for Greg Wells in his first UH game since 2016, as he failed to convert on any of his seven field goal attempts.
4. Bakke’s Bombers
Last week: #5, beat Triple Double 70-69
Player of the Week: Zach Debeltz (10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5-11 fg, 9.0 PPR)
Bakke’s Bombers got off to a 1-0 start by taking down Triple Double and they did so in sort of a bizarre fashion. They were up by 8 points with 8 minutes remaining in the game when Jon Goodridge of Triple Double fouled out. He was unaware that he could continue to play because they only had five guys and he picked up a double technical on his way to the sideline which ended his night. Triple Double was forced to play 4v5 yet they nearly came back to beat the Bombers. Bakke’s Bombers shot an abysmal 14-29 from the free throw line but got 2 clutch ones from Dashawn Nichols to fall with less than 2 seconds remaining to secure the win.
Even though the Bombers didn’t play the greatest when it was 5v4, I’m sure they were glad to come out with the win. Zach Debeltz played a big part in the W as he finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Valentino Jackson was also a force in the paint, posting 10 points and 8 rebounds. Dashawn Nichols put up 11 points off of the bench and the 2 biggest points of the game at the end. The Bombers will need to find some three point shooting if they want to continue to have success as they only hit 4 from deep.
5. Uncle D.A. and the Killers
Last week: #9, beat Team FOE 83-70
Player of the Week: Tyler Weaver (19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 6-7 fg, 4-4 3pt, 25.7 PPR)
Uncle D.A. and the Killers (UDAK) got off to a solid start by taking care of Team FOE in week one. They started off slow in this game but outscored Team FOE by 11 points in the second half to come away with the win. Their only knock as a team was committing 14 turnovers but besides that they had a very efficient night. They assisted on 18 of their 32 made field goals and shot 59% overall including 67 percent from deep. UDAK is full of talented, athletic guys and will present a scary matchup for each team in the league.
Big man Tyler Weaver lead the way for the squad in the win. He connected on all 4 of his shots from deep and only missed one field goal on his way to 19 points and 11 rebounds. Newcomer to the league, Kali Terry, also posted 19 points in a solid debut game. Kendall Patton returned with a solid performance in his first game back, finishing with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Eric Spanier had 14 points and 7 assists but he will need to work on limiting those 8 turnovers he had going forward.
Last week: #3, lost to Bigsmash 62-77
Player of the Week: Steven Ellis (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4-8 fg, 4-6 3pt, 15.2 PPR)
The Bulls started the season off on the wrong foot by falling to Bigsmash in their first game. It was a very uncharacteristic night for this Bulls squad who went 7-1 last season securing the #1 seed in the playoffs. They couldn’t get anything going offensively, finishing at a 35 percent clip on the night. Some of that can certainly be credited to the tough defense played by Bigsmash, but something was off with this squad. The Bulls have some new pieces this season so it is possible they just need some time to work out the kinks. I have no doubt they will turn it around quickly.
In the loss to Bigsmash, point guard Steven Ellis did his part for the team by posting 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. He also accounted for 4 of his team’s 6 makes from beyond the arc, a number that will need to increase from the Bulls squad. Emmanuel Harrison hit on the other 2 three pointers and finished the game with 12 points. The big story-line in this game was the subpar play of the team’s top two players. Da’Jon McKnight struggled and finished 6-16 from the floor and Derek Hamner was even worse at 6-22. These guys are the leaders and will need to turn things around for the Bulls to be successful. Look for them to bounce back this week.
Last week: #4, lost to FOB Five 84-92
Player of the Week: Hans Albrecht (17 points, 11 rebounds, 6-10 fg, 2-5 3pt, 14.6 PPR)
The Wolves had a tough draw in week one facing off against a solid FOB Five squad and came up just short in the end. They had a pretty efficient night on the offensive end shooting 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep. They pretty much matched FOB Five across the board but the turnover margin is what ended up costing them the game. They committed 12 turnovers compared to FOB’s 6, and those six extra possessions for FOB helped them squeak out the victory. This Wolves team may have started out 0-1, but I expect them to keep on climbing these rankings as the season goes on.
Coming off the bench and leading the charge for the Wolves in this game was Hans Albrecht. He ended up with a 17 point, 11 rebound double-double which is no easy feat for a team’s point guard. Ryan Boegeman shot 50 percent from the field and led the team in scoring with 19 points. Bryan Munsell finished the game with 15 points and 7 rebounds but struggled a bit from the field, only shooting 4-11. Chris Palmer had a solid debut night scoring 13 points and grabbing 6 boards.
8. Jumpshot Hustlers
Last week: #7, lost to The Originals 73-97
Player of the Week: Jake Ruhland (25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 11-19 fg, 20.0 PPR)
The Jumpshot Hustlers took an L in their season opener against the top ranked Originals squad. They got down early and couldn’t overcome a 15 point deficit at the half. One positive for the Hustlers was how they dominated the glass. They finished with 21 offensive rebounds, 16 more than The Originals but it still wasn’t enough to get the victory. They allowed The Originals to shoot at ridiculously efficient levels and still lost by 24 despite attempting 9 more field goals.
Jake Ruhland was a bright spot for the Hustlers in his Rec+ debut as he finished with a team high 25 points and 6 rebounds on 11-19 from the field. Jake’s brother Jack, which is likely to confuse me all season, added 9 points and 7 rebounds. Newcomer Jared Hughes ended the night with 14 points and 6 rebounds in his first Ultimate Hoops contest. Chris Peterson had a near double-double with 9 points and 12 rebounds, but will likely want to forget about his 3-12 shooting night.
9. Triple Double
Last week: #8, lost to Bakke’s Bombers 69-70
Player of the Week: Mejoy Lawson (22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 8 steals, 2 blocks, 10-21 fg, 26.0 PPR)
Triple Double nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback in week one but fell just short to Bakke’s Bombers. Due to a double technical by Jon Goodridge, they had to play the last 8 minutes 4v5. They came back from down 8 to actually lead by 1 point with under ten seconds remaining. However, they fouled Dashawn Nichols with under 2 seconds remaining and he hit both free throws to secure the win. Triple Double had a great first game defensively, recording 10 steals and 6 blocks as a team. They definitely showed their potential and I would be surprised if they stay this low in the rankings in the weeks to come.
In the loss to the Bombers, Mejoy Lawson led the way and put up some incredible numbers, especially defensively. He finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists but what really stood out was his 8 steals and 2 fast-break chase down blocks. Sonny Young-Graves was also impressive hitting on 6-10 from deep and finishing with a team high 25 points. Justin Fenster also had a solid night, scoring 15 points and knocking down some ridiculously tough three pointers.
10. Team FOE
Last week: #10, lost to Uncle D.A. and the Killers 70-83
Player of the Week: Andre Thomas (30 points, 5 rebounds, 10-18 fg, 6-9 3pt, 22.0 PPR)
Team FOE started the season with a tough L to Uncle D.A. and the Killers. They had a great game offensively, shooting 56 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. However, they struggled to get stops on the defensive end and allowed the killers to shoot at even higher clips. They also sent UDAK to the line for 10 more free throws than they attempted, although they were fortunate they only hit at a 9-17 rate. Their lack of size may be an issue going forward, but there is still plenty of time for them to find their groove and start getting some W’s.
Leading the way for Team FOE in this game was the stellar play of Andre Thomas who finished with 30 points to lead all scorers. He ended the game 10-18 overall and was lighting it up from long distance, making 6-9. Big man Jack Lynch was also very effective for the squad, finishing with 13 points and 9 rebounds on 6-8 shooting. Parker Del Medico was a play making beast in this one, posting a 10 point, 11 assist double-double. Watch out for these guys who have a lot of sneaky talent and should be adding some guys in the coming weeks.