Best Season Ever
BOSTON METROWEST: Preseason Power Rankings
By Taylor Pettiford | Metrowest League Coordinator
Best. Season. Ever. It’s a lofty and aggressive prediction, but we’d be lying, if we said we didn’t believe it. With the crop of talent set to hit the Ultimate Hoops hardwood at Metrowest this season, our field of teams is scary good. So good, in fact, that legitimate narratives surrounding who’s the best club in Boston have surfaced. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s break down our preseason power rankings which we’re sure will be shattered within a few weeks’ time:
1. BUCKETS GALORE
Past championships have no bearing on current power rankings. So the fact that Buckets Galore reigns supreme over Boston does not affect their top spot in the Fall ’18 preseason rankings. Yet still, BG is the OBVIOUS answer as our preseason favorites. And how can they not be? Yemi Ajao and Roland Millien, two of UH Boston’s best players and heated rivals, will join forces this season. For those unfamiliar, this is like LeBron and KD teaming up. Now what if we told you Russell Westbrook was on the team too? He basically is when we consider the fact that Jude Valmeus slipped to #15 in the draft. Therefore, BG has three perennial Ultimate Player nominees in their starting lineup with Cinco Estrella and Josh Gates rounding out the starting five. It might’ve been more fitting for this team to be named “Monstars”. Good luck UH Boston.
2. CLASSIC BARBERSHOP
Fresh off a fishing trip in sunny Struggleville following a 1-9 season, Jay Resto and Classic Barbershop are back, reloaded and ready to wreak havoc on the league. The summer was NOT their season. But with Pat Luckett back home along with rookie and collegiate standout Keyon Armstrong, Resto has his best backcourt ever. Need slashing? There’s Luckett. Need shooting? Armstrong’s shot is “wetty like [he’s] Sheck”. In the frontcourt, though small, Burlington standout, Raynaldi Voyard and Emerson Portillo are more than capable. Add to that one of the better benches in the league in DJ Corbett, Nabil Sakhat and Tommy Rogers, and Classic is back in banner mode.
3. BLACK MAMBAS
Though Arch Mitchell baffled UH Boston Nation with his selection of rookie Kenny Seitz with the third overall pick, he has once again built a formidable team of complimentary pieces to surround his scoring acumen. Jose Roman mans the point guard position with versatile scorer, Devon Frye in the backcourt with him via trade. In the frontcourt, Seitz and Kenny Dennis form a high activity and versatile rebounding tandem. And with rookie Anthony Orama and his collegiate experience off the bench, the Mambas will be a well-oiled, offensively fluid machine with multiple lockdown defenders. They’re not flashy, but they won’t be an easy out for anyone.
New name. Same game? Jeff Raymond begins his sophomore campaign with Joel Katana as his running mate once again. So who’s supporting the duo? Big man Tomas Morales headlines the frontcourt. And seeing as he’s one of UH Boston’s best centers, Hustle will be a menace on the boards. But it’s their backcourt that raises all the question marks. They traded for Drew Pettiford post-draft which will help spread the floor. But much of their success last season centered around having an unselfish, uptempo point guard in Jose Roman. Rookie Miguel Valle has promise, but he’s a relative unknown. Perhaps the team’s greatest strength, though, will be their bench which features guard Elzey James, center Justin Holohan and rookie, wing Matt Potenza. If the Morales/Raymond frontcourt works out and Valle can run the show, Hustle could outproduce this preseason ranking.
We could realistically see the Rebels finishing anywhere 1-8 on this power rankings. Micah Duarte had four top 20 picks and did a seemingly wonderful job putting together this roster. But without seeing some of their key pieces in action, we can’t put them ahead of proven commodities. On one hand, Duarte reunites with Taylor Pettiford who’s coming off a rough season. But last time the two paired up, they won a championship. Additionally, soft-touch, rebounding-machine Tiler Balboni will man the paint. Rounding out the Starting Five is Duarte’s make or break picks: rookies Aaron Anniballi and Shane Coleman. There’s a ton of hype surrounding the combo guards and we expect them to be among the top 10-15 players in the league. How well they’ll gel with Duarte and Pettiford and together remains to be seen. If they get it clicking, though, watch out. There may not be a better shooting team in the league.
Captain Waldron Callam caught a lot of heat for his trade of picks 7 and 10 for picks 4 and 29. After seeing what he did with those picks, the heat is gone. Wally will boast his best starting five yet in Kevin “Jersey Off” Johnson, Tommy Hubbard, rookie Darlungton Alce and Jasper Landrum (plus himself). This starting lineup has shooting, rebounding and defensive potential. Is it a championship-caliber team? We’re not sold. A bench of Adam Rosario, Chris Pimentel and Steve Safran doesn’t strike fear into many opponents. But will they compete? For sure. Hubbard is a top-3 scorer in Metrowest and Landrum’s fire should give the team an edge they desperately need.
During the regular season, this team will be tough to beat. They pair UH Boston Legend, Octavio Cruz, with rookie of the year frontrunner, Sam Longwell. On top of that, rookie Guy Pistone will free up captain John Iarussi for open looks and rookie Niko Whitehead has a Monta Ellis-like game. But it’s their small bench (all under 6ft) and uncertainty around Longwell and Cruz’ playoff availability that leaves this team near the bottom of our standings.
Guards, guards and more guards! Captain Michael Perreault bought guards in the draft like they were going out of style. Heading into the season, he essentially has the Warriors’ summer roster with him taking John Iarussi’s spot. That Warriors team finished 3-5. Though Brandon Portillo, Nick Kineip and Perreault will undoubtedly catch fire and knock off some unsuspecting teams, Shawn Wise is committed to Westwood should his two teams play against each other or at the same time, and Kevin Neal doesn’t fit their uptempo style. Perhaps they’ll prove us wrong and prove that recycling unsuccessful teams is a good draft strategy. Or maybe they’ll toil in the depths of our Power Rankings all season long. We’ll see.