Nothing is Free but Smoke


PALM VALLEY: Week 2 Power Rankings

By Vinnie Thepsourinthone | Palm Valley Media Associate

With so many returning UH stars back for this season, it’s easy to see who put in the work in the off season to ball out in Week 1. We got some updates and ranking shifts this week...Let’s get to it.

1. Free Smoke (2-0, Last Week: 1)  

2-0 in Week 1 of play with Sean Boston and Tyler Gibbs leading the way. Sean averaged 24.5 points and 18.5 boards for the two games, while Gibbs went on to average 27.5 points, 3 steals and 7.5 assists in the two games. Best record over two tough teams, with two guys fresh from overseas…no reason for me to not have them at the top spot right now.

2. YLie (1-0, Last Week: 5)

Big win for YLie last week to take down Buckets & Stops 89-68. Isaiah Lopez dropped a triple double 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Darryl Brewer returns back to championship form, his first game back since winning it all with Hard Work last year. Darryl finished with 27 points, and 8 rebounds. YLie to myself, these guys are definitely deserving of a top-two spot for Week 2.

3. Hard Work (1-0, Last Week: 6)

I thought I was (kinda) quick…but Shawn Scott is on another level or two or three…. Shawn Scott and Kasey Ruiz exploded last week to lead their team to a victory over Laces & Braces. They kicked it on another gear in the second half last week to outscore their opponent 46-29. They should kick it up another gear this week as it looks like they figured out their stride. 20-plus point win in Week 1 without Xavier Carter, I’m upset at myself at ranking these guys so low. Definitely, a top contender in this league.

4. HitMen (0-1, Last Week: 3)

HitMen looked like they were the men taking a hit last week. KJ Davis led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds in their loss to Free Smoke. Worse shooting as a team (37 percent) led to a 68-71 defeat. It’s always tough leading at half and then getting outscored in the second half to lose a game, I expect Adam’s team to treat this game as a bounce back game and a revenge game. I feel sorry for their Week 2 opponents.

5. Always Reppin (0-1, Last Week: 4)

Still think highly of these guys, they were missing Julio Beswick one of their top picks, and they were edged out by Free Smoke by just a couple buckets. The debut of Scottsdale’s Tristan Patrick and Gilbert’s James Pupillo was a success as they poured in 20 points and 23 points, respectively. Look for this Alan Mitchell team to bounce back in Week 2.

6. Buckets & Stops (0-1, Last Week: 2)

Always tough to play with five guys…to me, UH’s Notorious “Washed Chronicles” man himself, Lavione West came out swinging with a 30 piece performance, shooting a team high 67 percent from the field, still not enough to overcome YLie in their Week 1 game. Maybe the team needs to get in on some of Lavione’s Midnight Runs, because to me, it looks like they are paying off statistically for him.

7. Laces & Braces (0-1, Last Week: 7)

Felt good coming out the gate and leading at half, but these guys fell apart in the second half and finished with a 74-88 loss to Hard Work. Jacque Collins led the team in scoring with 23 points and 11 rebounds. With pretty efficient scoring at 51 percent for the game, their opponents just did better in most offensive statistics across the board. Right now, these laces look untied, and they potentially lead the league in most knee braces. 

 Good luck to all teams tonight!