Wolves Seeking First Marquee Win Against the Bulls
FRIDLEY REC+: Week 5 Predictions
By Jake Gave | Fridley League Coordinator
7 p.m. - No. 7 Jumpshot Hustlers (1-3) vs. No. 8 Uncle D.A. and the Killers (1-3)
In our first matchup of the night, two 1-3 teams will face off to see who can pick up their second win. The Jumpshot Hustlers are coming off a big victory over Team FOE last week and look to keep their momentum rolling. Uncle D.A. and the Killers have lost three in a row after blowing a late lead to FOB last week. No doubt they will come into this one looking for redemption. Both of these teams are in the top four in terms of points allowed, so expect to see a low scoring defensive battle.
This game will be won or lost in the paint, as these two teams are loaded with bigs. David Stommes and Chris Peterson anchor the Jumpshot Hustlers and are a big reason they lead the league in rebounding as a team. The Killers will have to make sure to know where they are at and get a body on them. The Killers have the size to matchup with them and their guard play has been strong as of late. New addition Aaron Delaney (19 points, 54 percent FG) impressed in his debut and Dwayne Toatley is still perfect on the season (13-13). This one will be a tightly contested game, but I think the Hustlers will make it two in a row.
PREDICTION: Jumpshot Hustlers -3.5
7 p.m. - No. 9 Team FOE (1-3) vs. No. 4 Bigsmash (3-1)
In our other matchup on the far court, Team FOE will look to pull off an upset by knocking off No. 4-ranked Bigsmash. It won’t be easy for Team FOE as Bigsmash has really impressed so far this season. They won another big game last week by taking down Bakke’s Bombers. Team FOE on the other hand has had some ups and downs, winning their first game in Week 3 but they suffered a 19-point loss to the Jumpshot Hustlers last week. They will need to come out with more intensity defensively if they want to make this one a game. Right now they sit in last place defensively and Bigsmash will take advantage if FOE doesn’t come ready to play.
One key guy that Team FOE needs to get going on the offensive end is Wiley Jiles. Wiley leads the team in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and is second on the team in scoring (13.7 ppg). However, his offensive efficiency leaves plenty to be desired as he only shoots 34 percent. FOE needs him to get going to help Andre Thomas with the scoring load. For Bigsmash, they are probably licking their chops seeing a team who has struggled defensively all season. Zhao Lee, who is shooting 70 percent from deep so far this season, should be able to get shots at will and the bigs on the team should be able to control the paint. Bigsmash just has too many weapons for FOE to contend with, so I expect them to win comfortably.
PREDICTION: Bigsmash -15.5
8 p.m. - No. 2 Bulls (3-1) vs. No. 5 Wolves (2-2)
In our first matchup at 8 p.m., the second-ranked Bulls team will look to hand the fifth ranked Wolves their second straight loss. The Wolves have looked dangerous this season but lost a couple games to some of the top teams, the latest coming in a four-point loss to The Originals. The Bulls on the other hand have won three in a row and are looking like they will be able to contend for the title come December. This game is the one to watch this week and we will really find out what these two teams are made of.
While the Wolves may have lost last week, it was encouraging to see them finally find their offensive rhythm. They put up 104 points and shot 55 percent overall. Bryan Munsell, who was struggling with a slow start to the season, finally had a breakout game scoring 27 points and dishing 6 assists. The Wolves will need him to keep that momentum going if they want to pull off the upset. The Wolves are going to have a tough time contending with Mahlon Thomas in the paint who could be sitting on a big game. He is averaging 26.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and has been a huge part of their early success. I think this game will be tightly contested throughout but the Bulls will prevail.
PREDICTION: Bulls -6.5
8 p.m. - No. 6 Bakke’s Bombers (2-2) vs. No. 1 FOB Five (4-0)
On the far court at 8 p.m., Bakke’s Bombers will get their shot at the top-ranked FOB Five squad. The Bombers have won every other game so far this season, so after their loss to Bigsmash last week, it must mean they’re taking this one. FOB Five remains unbeaten after a crazy comeback win over Uncle D.A. and the Killers. FOB was missing their leading scorer in that game which made it even more impressive. The Bombers are going to have to pull out all the stops to slow this team down, but if anyone can they’re the squad. The Bombers lead the league in points allowed and will look to keep that rolling.
This game is going to be an interesting clash of playing styles. FOB loves to run and gun and bomb three pointers, averaging 33.8 attempts per game. Bakke’s Bombers on the other hand are last in the league for shooting percentage (43 percent) and do most of their damage in the paint and on the defensive end. The Bombers will have to watch out for Sean Smith and Brian Sames, two of the league’s top seven scorers. If they can somehow neutralize these two, they will have a chance. They will also need to key in on Adam Hoven, a guy who does it all for his team. I think the Bomber’s will give FOB Five a tough challenge and make them earn every bucket, but I expect FOB to come away with the win in the end.
PREDICTION: FOB Five -8.5
9 p.m. - No. 10 Triple Double (0-4) vs. No. 2 The Originals (3-1)
For our final game of the night, the winless Triple Double squad will look to pull off a huge upset by taking down the second ranked Originals team. Triple Double showed some good fight last week against the Bulls but ultimately ended up losing by 17. The Originals on the other hand took down the Wolves by four in a bounce back victory after their first loss in Week 3. Triple Double has been missing their best defender in Mejoy Lawson and his return this week should help their chances at pulling off this upset. They will need every last bit of defensive effort to try and slow down the Originals’ league best offense (109.0 ppg).
One thing that I know for sure about this matchup is that we are going to see an endless amount of three pointers being attempted. These two teams are tied for the league lead in three pointers attempted at 36.0 per game. Triple Double has converted on a solid 40 percent of those attempts, but The Originals are on another level at 58 percent. The Originals have six guys who are averaging above 50 percent from deep which is just insane. Leading the crew is Josh Hoyle who has hit on 79 percent of his 7.3 attempts per game. For Triple Double, it has been the Justin Fenster show, who is hitting on 47 percent of his league leading 17.0 attempts per game. Both of these teams are definitely going to score 100 in this one and it should be an exciting shootout. However, I think The Originals have too much firepower to contend with and will pull off the win.
PREDICTION: The Originals -14.5