Bounce Back Week
GARDEN CITY: Week 2 Power Rankings
By Anthony Leo | Garden City Co-League Coordinator
1. Winter Is Here (1-0)
After one week of games it’s hard to pick out the top team, but Winter Is Here looks like the best team right now. Winter Is Here got a win over Shake N Bake and put up a league’s best 81 points on opening night. They shot the lights out, shooting 48 percent from 3 as a team with team captain Will Hennep leading the way shooting a ridiculous 8-11 from beyond the arc. It was clear that Winter Is Here is going to be one of the most athletic teams in the league that is going to dominate games if they get in transition. Brandon Wilson was great in his return to the league, scoring 23 points. He and this team will only get better from here.
2. Gale Force (1-0)
Gale Force made their season debut in winning fashion last week when they took down defending champions Shore Shack 78-71 behind Richie Byrd’s 36 points and 10 rebounds. Gale Force has one of the biggest front courts in the league and they picked apart the Shore Shack zone defense. The addition of Kevin Milella to the team gives Gale Force a high IQ big man who can play the middle against any zone defense. They moved the ball as a team and found the open guy whenever they wanted. Gale Force will go as far as Richie Byrd takes them and they are off to a strong start.
3. Ref Elites (1-0)
Ref Elites is off to a much better start than last season’s team that didn’t get their first win until late in the regular season. With a Week 1 win, they already have better chemistry with this season’s team than lasts, and they have a much more talented team. Top to bottom they have one of the strongest teams with a really tough starting five. Desmond Frazier and Matt Mehler are going to be a really strong duo all season long and stopping them will be a handful.
4. Big Ballers (1-0)
Big Ballers is the sleeper team of the league. Right now, not many people are giving them a lot of credit, but they deserve more credit for getting a Week 1 win despite being down one of the team captains. With Will Cheatham being out in Week 1 we got to see the rise of others and one of those players was Marc Jean. Jean came out firing in Week 1. Despite his small stature he put up 22 points and showed to be ultra-fast and full of energy. With Jean added to the mix with strong value being picked later in the draft it makes this team that more dangerous.
5. Jeurys Familia (0-1)
Jeurys Familia is the outlier in this season’s draft. They are full of talented big men led by Mike Mastro. When you look at this roster there is no top-level point guard or two guard who dominates the ball. Jeurys Familia built this roster in the draft around Mastro and Steven Medard, and they are hoping that this dominate big men duo will work. Their Week 1 loss was a disappointing one, but I expect Jeurys Familia to bounce back quickly. Once Mastro and Medard figure out how to play off one another they will be winning plenty of games this season.
6. Shore Shack (0-1)
Shore Shack are the defending champions with Chris Frey and Chris Pisciotta leading the way. In Week 1, they were without Frey and they didn’t have enough fire power to slow down Gale Force. Last season Shore Shack lost their first game of the season and then went on to win every single game after that on their way to a championship. They still remain undefeated when Frey and Pisciotta are on the court together and with the additions of Dylan Harlem and Matt Gelsomino, Shore Shack should be even better than last season’s championship team. With Frey back in the fold this week, Shore Shack should take off and start racking up some wins.
7. Shake N Bake (0-1)
The draft league this season is so competitive, but someone has to be ranked near the bottom that probably shouldn’t be. For now, Donte Howell and Shake N Bake are my seventh-ranked team heading into this week. They played a really tough Winter Is Here team in Week 1 and showed they could compete with them. Ranking them this low is more because of the questions I still have about how the team will work together. Shake N Bake has a lot of new players, including their first-round pick Kareem Daniel. It’s a small sample size, but after one game you can see just how talented Daniel is. If Daniel and the team can get on the same page, Shake N Bake will sky rocket up the rankings.
8. 1-877-Lessons 4 Kids (0-1)
Lessons 4 Kids, led by the Rosenbloom brothers, went 0-2 in their opening week of games in both the Garden City and Syosset Draft League. They are looking to turn things around this week. Last week they struggled, but they were missing a key piece to the offense. Haron Hargraves was out last week, but with Hargraves back it will bring much needed scoring and outside shooting. Quaron Blount was excellent in his season debut, scoring 29 points, but he didn’t get much help as the team scored only 61 points for the game. It’s only one week, and a lot can change, so let’s give it another week before we make a full judgment on this Lessons 4 Kids team.
8:30 p.m. - Big Ballers vs. Shake N Bake | Shake N Bake
8:30 p.m. - Jeurys Familia vs. Winter Is Here | Jeurys Familia
9:30 p.m. - Gale Force vs. Ref Elites | Ref Elites
9:30 p.m. - Shore Shack vs. 1-877-Lessons 4 Kids | Shore Shack