Taking A Trip Back Through the Time Machine
SCOTTSDALE VET: Preseason Power Rankings
By Chris Walker | Arizona Regional Coordinator
After much talk and months of hype, it’s finally here: Opening Day for the Scottsdale Vet League. We’ve brought some of Scottsdale’s true OG’s out of the woodwork, including original champions Movers & Shakers and PPR leader for 11 of the club’s first 12 seasons, Chad Clum, a man once referred to by UH founder himself Alan Arlt as the “best player in (all of) Ultimate Hoops”. With many players making their returns after anywhere from 2-10 years on the shelf, these are educated guesses, at best, but let’s take a crack at some preseason power rankings.
1. Balls Deep - Captain: Kevin Parsi
Though lowest in the vet circuit by Team PPV at $36 million, this may actually be the deepest of all squads, with a balanced 1-5, one with sharpshooters (Cheathem, Rutter), clamps (Nate Sanders), great size inside (Ron Liston), and championship pedigree (Kevin Parsi, original championship Co-GM). All this would be plenty to compete, but if superstar-when-healthy David Delnero can stay active, it’s tough to see these guys taking a lot of L’s.
2. OG Movers & Shakers - Captain: Mark Santistevan
In the earliest days of the Scottsdale Open League, Movers & Shakers were a true powerhouse, making either the championship or final four in seven of the league’s first eight seasons. It’s been years, and the roster is very different, but captain Mark Santistevan clearly knew how to win then and has a squad in good position do get right back to it now. Shawn Finecey/David Hoerres is perhaps the strongest 1-2 punch in the league, while Jason Rutkoski/Blake Austin should bruise plenty of ribs and egos inside. They too will be a tough beat.
3. The Penetrators - Captain: Robert Arellano
No. 1 in PPV at $50 million, The Penetrators boast aforementioned Scottsdale Open legend Chad Clum, rivaled only by AZ all-timers Tyrone Jones and Fred Dudley in the club’s all-time record book. Ken Peloke is a sneaky tough player and a good bet for a double-double, while marksmen Rob & AJ Juarez should keep the floor spaced and the paint wide open for Clum to go to work. Throw in fan-favorite Aaron Cohen and you’ve got a recipe for success.
4. Blue Martinis - Captain: Corey Staten
The biggest unknown to this writer, I’ve admittedly seen only three of BM’s seven players in action. It’s hard to put any squad with TJ this low knowing his consistent dominance in Scottsdale, but it’s a deep league and the GOAT will need to rise to the occasion as leader, in addition to reclaiming more volume than we’ve seen from him in quite some time. That said, James Igbinovia may be the highest-energy player in the league, and I’ve been told Luke Speier is one of the top vets in Scottsdale, with college experience and touch around the rim. No matter their results, either Corey or party animal James Meng may have a table waiting for the squad post-game at Blue Martini, earning the name (and potential sponsorship?),
5. Team Swish - Captain: Mark DeChant
Coming in at No. 5, top pick Brandon Newman surely won’t be happy, though that’s kind of the point, to get his feathers ruffled early. Captain Mark (“Markus”) has arguably two of the toughest scorers in the league in Newman and Lance Williams, not to mention tough big Darin Harris and enforcer Russell Rose. Depending on how well Newman and Lance click and the damage newcomer DeChant can do, this ranking could change in a hurry.
12 p.m. - Team Swish vs OG Movers & Shakers | OG Movers & Shakers by 6
1 p.m. - Blue Martinis vs Balls Deep | Balls Deep by 3
2 p.m. - The Penetrators vs Blue Martinis | The Penetrators by 4
Good luck to all this first week, and, if you're in Scottsdale 12-3 this afternoon, stop by to check out the action!