Who Will Raise the Banner this Season?
FRIDLEY REC+: Preseason Power Rankings
By Jake Gave | Fridley League Coordinator
Welcome to the fifth season of the rec+ division in Fridley. Bigsmash took the crown with an exciting upset win over undefeated FOB Five to cap off a thrilling fall season. They will make their return for the winter season and try to complete the elusive back-to-back title run. However, there are a ton of talented teams who will have a lot to say about that. Let’s take a deeper look at the squads who will be competing to raise the 2019 Winter Season banner..
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS
The defending champs Bigsmash claim the preseason top spot after proving all their doubters wrong last season (including me). After they won the title, they were quick to remind me that I picked against them a few too many times last season. I have been told that the team will look a bit different than last season but the core remains in tact. Joe Suek is a force to be reckoned with and any team that he is on will likely be a championship contender. The quest for a repeat starts tonight.
2. FOB FIVE
FOB Five fell just short of a perfect season in the fall after losing their only game to Bigsmash in the finals. They are bringing back their entire roster, so they will definitely be the team to beat. FOB plays with incredible pace and they have lights-out shooters across the board. They led the league in scoring (94.9 ppg) and shooting percentage (53 percent) last season and I expect similar results this time around.
The Bulls return for another run at the title with one major addition. Paris Kyles will make his rec+ debut and everyone knows how he can elevate his teammates. The Bulls did lose a lot of size with the loss of Mahlon Thomas, but I still think they improved overall. Andre Grey is making his return to the league and he adds a lot of toughness down low. This team is incredibly balanced, full of athleticism, and stacked with elite defenders. They will be a lot of fun to watch.
4. THE ORIGINALS
The Originals are making their return after a rough end of the season where they lost their final three games after starting 5-1. I have no doubt they will come back strong looking to prove that those last games were a fluke. The roster is basically the same this season except they swapped out Brensley Haywood for Travis Johnson. Travy Baby should have a huge impact defensively for this squad, who was seriously lacking in that department. This team has all the pieces to contend for the title.
5. RUN LIKE THE WINDED
Run Like The Winded is a new squad this season but they have a bunch of familiar faces. The squad is pretty much Uncle D.A. and the Killers but they added a few very valuable pieces. Glen Fair will help with their size down low and Brensley and Sonny add a whole bunch of shooting. These guys are loaded with players who offer a bunch of different skill sets, so it will be fun to see how they mesh. As long as they don’t play like their name suggests, I think they have a chance to be near the top of the league.
6. BAKKE’S BOMBERS
Bakke’s Bombers are making their return with a very similar roster to last season. They did lose Valentino Jackson, which will hurt them when it comes to size, but they added a very solid piece in Mejoy Lawson. Mejoy will help improve the Bombers on both ends of the court, but especially on the defensive end where the Bombers were already strong. They flashed their potential last season by beating The Originals in the final week, proving that they can hang with any team in the league. This could be the season that they take the next step.
7. JUMPSHOT HUSTLERS
Matt St. Anthony
The Jumpshot Hustlers are back and ready to make a splash with a roster overhaul. The only familiar faces to the franchise are David Stommes, Jack Ruhland, and Matt St. Anthony. New guys Tony Deboer and Matt Thayer will add a new dimension to the squad by knocking down 3s at a high clip. It is good to see Devin Hemmerich back in the league, a quick guard who can attack the rim and dish to his teammates with the best of them. I don’t know what to make of this squad just yet, but I definitely see the potential.
8. WE DEM BALLERS
Parker Del Medico
We Dem Ballers is another new squad this season and the makeup of their team is still a bit of a mystery. The team consists of a few guys from the former Team FOE squad from last season with a few new additions. Parker Del Medico has shown that he is one of the more talented point guards in the league and he will play a big part in this team’s success. He is also bringing a few new guys to the squad to round out the roster. Only time will tell what this team will be able to do but these guys will come ready to compete each week.