Blame Mike James

Mike James.jpg

WESTWOOD: Week 3 Power Rankings

By David Jordan | Westwood Media Associate

Don’t look now, but Mike James may have found the perfect formula for him, as the Spartans recorded their second win in as many weeks. What been most impressive about the first two games is that the chemistry has come easy, and Mike has been able to focus on defense and rebounding, as Carlos and Tyree have been the go to scorers on the team. Only time will tell if this will last, but Mike James may have assembled a team that can compete with anyone, and that has to feel good. At one point, “#BlameMikeJames” was associated with the conversation of Mike possibly having a negative impact on teams in some of his past seasons. However, this team is changing the narrative right in front of our eyes. Look out Westwood, the Spartans are coming.

1. EA$Y MONEY (2-0)

It wasn’t Ea$y by any means, but Ea$y Money was able to outlast Ballaz Club in Week 2 to improve to 2-0 on the season. It was a narrow win for the money team, as one basket was all that separated the two teams. Nick Kineip (23 points, 6 assist) led the way in scoring, but Jimmie Melton (22 points, 12 rebounds) was right behind him. E$ was on fire from 3-point range, shooting 58 percent on 14-24 attempts. As predicted, the chemistry is there. Scoring is there. Defense is there. They have what it takes to win the league. But they still have to execute.

2. SPARTANS (2-0)

Another week, another win, and the spartans are on a win streak. Mike James has proven to be fruitful for the second week in a row as the Spartans took down Legacy in week two. Carlos Bermudez-Glean and Tyree Gross dropped 16 points eac and led the team in scoring. The backcourt tandem is proving to be an effective one in which teams will struggle to cover. David Leder also chipped in with 10 points and 7 rebounds, not to mention that he blocked the possible game tying shot in the closing moments of the game. At this point, Mike is coasting as he’s seemingly found a team that matches his skill set. I guess we really can #BlameMikeJames!

3. BALLAZ CLUB (1-1)

Ballaz Club came into Week 2 looking to build off of their Week 1 win over Beast Mode. Unfortunately, they took the L courtesy of Ea$y Money, but it was well fought and nothing to hang their heads over. Chris Flores (24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) in his UH debut, led the way for BC as he nearly triple-doubled. Ballaz Club continued to show how talented they are, as they nearly had six players score in double figures. They took the L, but this one should be easy to bounce back from.

4. ALLSTYLE  (1-1)  

AllStyle showed up in full force last Thursday and we finally got to see what this team is made of. AllStyle finished with three starters scoring at least 20 points, including captain Rennie Cato (20 points). Isaiah Duke (20 points 8 rebounds) made his season debut and “Rude Jude” Valmeus (23 points, 7 rebounds) came back with a vengeance after a tough Week 1 outing. The team shot 57 percent from the field. We have to take everything with a grain of salt, but as of right now, AllStyle has a team that can run with the best of them, as long as everyone shows up.

5. BEAST MODE (1-1)

Beast Mode was able to rebound from their Week 1 loss, narrowly escaping the Ruff Ryders to earn their first W of the season. It wasn’t the prettiest game for them, but a win is a win. They team stats were fairly even across the board as everyone found a way to contribute. Stephen Prescod (15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) was the high scorer.  Looking forward, Beast Mode has to find a way to utilize the big man tandem of Tim West (7 points, 7 rebounds) and Yemi Ajao (14 points, 6 rebounds) more consistently or they will just be the next #BigDisappointment.

6. LEGACY (1-1)

Legacy on paper is one of the best around. However, teams around the league said they wouldn’t be as good as most seemed. Well, last week’s loss didn’t help their case. Legacy lost to the Spartans by three, thanks to a slow start and a bad first half. Ty McCray (19 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) led the way for Legacy, with Shaquan Jones (17 points, 5 rebounds) trailing right behind him. Legacy is going to need more people to contribute, but with trade rumors circling around Chris Milton wanting out, we are not sure that there is an opportunity for positive changes. It was a tough loss for Legacy, but this could just be the first of many to come.

7. RUFF RYDERS (0-2)

The Ruff Ryders let a great opportunity slip through their hands and have fallen to 0-2. “The Commish” Jason LaPlanche (5 assists, 8 rebounds) had a rough shooting night and that may have been the difference in not getting the win over Beast Mode. Adam Quinlan (19 points) was the teams high scorer, but it was the tireless effort of RR Captain Rodney Lemite (16 points, 8 rebounds) that kept them in the game. To make matters worse, word has it that Quinlan may have suffered a season ending injury, which is the worst news they could receive. Ruff Ryders may take some time to get it all clicking, but they will eventually get there. Hopefully, it’s not too late.     

8. BRED HONCHOS (0-2)

Bred Honchos got some much needed help as Max Ukegbu (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Ace Gouch (14 points) made their season debut. The Honchos were able to keep it somewhat close in the first half, but as stated in the season preview, Bred Honchos is facing an uphill battle. The scoring was very even this time around, as they had three players all score 14 points, and four players who finished scoring in double digits. However, this team needs someone who can be the go to scorer and take over/get a bucket when it’s needed. Until they figure that out, these summaries will remain the same.

Predictions

7 p.m. - Beast Mode vs Easy Money | Ea$y Money by 5

7 p.m. - Ruff Ryders vs All Style | All Style by 10

8 p.m. - Ballaz Club vs Legacy | Legacy by 7

8 p.m. - Spartans vs Bred Honchos | Spartans by 8


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