Will this be the Week Recspekt’s Reign Ends?
SUMMERLIN REC: Final Four Predictions
By Michael Palmer | Green Valley Media Associate
6:30 p.m. - No. 5 WTF JR? (5-4) vs. No. 1 Ball is Life (9-0)
Our first final four game is a rematch from a week three matchup which saw Ball is Life have their toughest game of the season. The No. 5 seed WTF JR? comes in with a some new found confidence after upsetting the No. 4 seed Easy Go Travelers in the first round last week. Ball is Life cruised in round one taking care of SP 101. This game could either be close or Ball is Life could blow the doors off WTF JR? Let’s take a look at a few things to watch in this one.
WTF JR? made great adjustments a week ago in their win and it will be interesting to see what can have adjustments they make for the high octane Ball is Life squad. The trio of Sean Breen, Max Hooks, and Max Miller-Hooks IV need to be on the same page. If these three are in sync they can cause some real issues for Ball is Life especially the younger Hooks. He needs to be aggressive in this one and look to establish himself early. If he can get going and possibly get some of the Ball is Life players in foul trouble then WTF JR? could be in business. Of course WTF JR? will need Breen and the elder Hooks to be on from the outside if they want to answer what Ball is Life will do on offense. Breen and Hooks are both good defenders as well and they will need to be locked in on Ball is Life’s Mihail Kocevski and Bobby Mears.
Ball is Life is the double digit favorite in this one make no mistake about that and they should win this game. In the first meeting they only had five guys and WTF JR ? Was able to hang around and had the lead late in the second half before Ball is Life pulled away. I will be interested to see if Allen McFarland is in attendance in this one for Ball is Life. There is no doubt Ball is Life is the better team but with McFarland in the lineup this team is unbeatable. McFarland adds length and another dimension to a team that already has Mihail, Bobby, and Chris Ford. McFarland missed the first meeting between these two teams and his presence is critical in this one especially with the depth and height WTF JR? can throw at them. If he is there Ball is Life wins this game by 20 plus.
I don’t see Ball is Life losing this game. This team is on a mission and just to stacked at every position. WTF JR? has to play a perfect game to pull the upset and I just don’t think it will happen. Look for Bobby Mears and Chris Ford to have big games and they will lead Ball is Life into the title game.
Prediction: Ball is Life- 93, WTF JR- 73
7:30 p.m. - No. 2 Chris’s Angels (8-1) vs. No. 3 Recspekt (7-2)
Our second final four is a rematch of probably the ugliest game we have seen in some time in UH Summerlin. The Angels defeated Recspekt back in Week 4 45-36 in a game that saw a combined 29 shots made and the teams shot 30 percent from the field. After the game the Angels celebrated as they just won the title and I just thought to myself that we will probably see this game again and here we are.
In the first meeting Respects was without Charles DeJohnette, Jacob McDonald and Haley Vinson. That is almost 60 percent of the teams 86.2 PPG that was missing in that game. I am guessing Haley, DJ, will be playing in this one. Jake is probably 50/50 due to an injury. Regardless Recspekt is going to show up in this one and they will be ready to go. I can promise you one thing. Charles Vinson will bounce back in this one and he will not go 3-13 from the field. Recspekt will need Edward Vaughns and DJ to do their thing and attack the Angels defense and then establish Vinson down low. If McDonald can go then Recspekt should be able to do some things offensively. Bottom line for Recspekt is they need to show up and play their game. This has been their league for the last three seasons and the are one more win away from getting the chance to defend that title again. I got a hunch Stefan Hanania will have his team fired up and ready to go.
Like Recspekt, the Angels did not play very well in the first meeting but one thing they had going for them in that game that Recspekt didn’t which was they were are 100 percent full strength. I look at that game and wonder if Recspekt has a full squad and what would have been the outcome? I truly believe Recspekt would have won that game by 7-10 points. The Angel’s will need a huge game from MVP candidate Adam Schmitt. In the first meeting Schmitt was held in check scoring only 13 points. He will need to look to attack early and often to open things up for the rest of the Angels. I think Schmitt will have a better game but the two guys to watch will be Henry Nguyen and Chris Ward. Nguyen had a great game against Recspekt in the first meeting scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 boards. Ward needs to be that third option this week like he has been most of the season. A 52 percent 3-point shooter on the season, Ward has to hit at that clip in this one and if he does Recspekt will be in a lot of trouble because not only will they have to worry about Ward but it will open things up for Nguyen and it will make it easier on Schmitt. Also one thing to keep an eye on is Benji Roufs. He has been out since week six with an injury and you just never know if he will be back in this one. If he returns, he adds a ton of energy to a team that already has fantastic chemistry but also is on a roll. Remember the Angels have won eight straight and they have all the confidence in the world right now.
So who is going to win? Well I for sure think this game won’t be as ugly as the first meeting. I do think this game will be closer than the first Final Four game too. I also don’t think Recspekt is dead just yet. Charles Vinson and company live for these games when every one counts them out and I think they want to avenge that Week 4 loss. Look for Recspekt to play some inspired defense and they will knock off the Angels and advance to the title game next week to face Ball is Life and they will get a chance at an unprecedented fourth straight Ultimate Hoops Rec league title.
Prediction: Recspekt- 67, Chris’s Angels- 61