Does Joel Katana Have Enough Help to Beat Classic Barbershop?
METROWEST DRAFT: Week 3 Predictions
By Taylor Pettiford | MetroWest League Coordinator
Week 3 of Ultimate Hoops kicks off at MetroWest in just a few short hours with four action-packed matchups. The headliner features arguably UH Boston’s best player versus it most storied franchise. But storylines run throughout each of our Week 3 matchups. Let’s breakdown each matchup, then review our weekly power rankings.
7 p.m. – CLASSIC BARBERSHOP (1-1) vs. HUSTLE (1-1)
It’s tough to argue there’s a better UH franchise in Boston than Classic Barbershop – the three-time MetroWest champions and reigning state champions. But it may be even tougher to argue that there’s a better player in Boston than Joel Katana, who is averaging a gaudy 29 ppg, 16 rpg and 12 apg stat line this season. So, the question is: Does Katana have enough help to beat Classic Barbershop? Yes, he does. Both teams struggled in Week 1, but bounced back in major ways in Week 2. Katana has led the charge for Hustle as Brandon Portillo and Mike James are making their case for his best supporting cast to date. While the team was dealt a devastating blow with the loss of second-rounder Aaron Anniballi last week, they have more than enough to compete for a league championship.
Classic Barbershop, on the other hand, was a more balanced attack in Week 2 as four starters scored in double figures, led by Nick Kineip (20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) and Mychal Parker (19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists). Jay Resto has weapons and this team is dangerous, but Hustle is HOT and they have a chip on their shoulder. Expect Hustle to win a close game as Joel Katana looks to score his third straight triple double.
Prediction: HUSTLE by 5
7 p.m. – BUCKETS GALORE (2-0) vs. STAMPEDE (2-0)
Most any other night, this game would be our headliner. Yemi Ajao and Tommy Hubbard – former championship teammates – lead their undefeated teams against each other. Cutting straight to the chase: Stampede is better. Their balanced attack of shooters and high IQ players is second to none in this league and they haven’t even had Roger Hamel on the court yet. Buckets Galore has potential, but their offense has been clunky thus far and won’t get any better with John Iarussi and potentially Shane Coleman out of the lineup in Week 3. Things could get ugly for Buckets Galore on a shorthanded night.
Prediction: STAMPEDE by 15
8 p.m. – REBELS (0-2) vs. BLACK MAMBAS (0-2)
A battle of two teams riding into Week 3 aboard the struggle bus. The Rebels hung with Stampede for most of the game in Week 2 and then flatlined in the final three minutes. Meanwhile the Black Mambas squandered a precious opportunity to hand Buckets Galore a loss as they fell 71-70. So, which team gets off at the next station? And which will continue its ride on the struggle bus?
On paper, it looks like the Rebels should take this game; they have a much more balanced attack and more consistent players with better chemistry. Led by Chris McLaughlin and Roland Millien along with captain Micah Duarte, the Rebels will move the ball well and have the potential to stretch defenses with their shooting. On the other side, despite matching up well with the Rebels, until Pettiford and Marcin Papla start knocking down the 3-ball, this team’s offense won’t thrive, even with rookie Reggie Brown Jr. putting up huge numbers and captain Jose Roman re-entering the lineup. Week 3 will be a close contest, but expect the Rebels’ veteran leadership to win out.
Prediction: Rebels by 6
8 p.m. – WARRIORS (1-1) vs. FEARLESS (1-1)
Tomas Morales is going to EAT tonight. With no disrespect to Fearless’ frontcourt, they don’t have the caliber defender capable of defending a post presence like Morales. And his play in the paint will win the Warriors the game…if he gets enough touches. Rumblings around the league are that teammates are frustrated with Guy Pistone’s ball-dominant play. Pistone put up 25 shots in Week 2, the same as Mike Perreault and Morales…combined. Additionally, Mike Byron, the promising second-round pick has a mere nine shots on the season. While he’s unselfish, the rookie needs more touches. But with that being said, we trust Pistone will right the ship in Week 3. The Warriors will have their hands full guarding Fearless three-headed backcourt monster of Jason LaPlanche, Pat Luckett and Jude Valmeus, but expect them to force enough turnovers and take advantage of Fearless’ lack of someone to stick Morales.
Prediction: Warriors by 8
2. CLASSIC BARBERSHOP (Last Week: 3)
3. BUCKETS GALORE (Last Week: 2)
4. HUSTLE (Last Week: 7)
5. WARRIORS (Last Week: 4)
6. REBELS (Last Week: 5)
7. FEARLESS (Last Week: 6)
8. BLACK MAMBAS