Wildcats Poised to Repeat
METROWEST REC: Preseason Power Rankings
Our second ever rec league session is set to tipoff tonight at 7 p.m. Last season, the Wildcats became the first ever rec league champions and captain Stephen Dion is poised to repeat. But a number of contenders are ready to try their hand at preventing Dion’s double dip. Let’s break down our field in advance of tonight’s matchups.
While Stephen Dion’s championship success last season was built upon his backcourt, he went frontcourt happy in this session’s draft selecting Tommy Rogers and John Finnerty respectively. With three of the top ten rebounders in the league on one team, there’s no way the Wildcats don’t dominate the glass. And while there was no replacing Nowland and Waters from a season ago, Felipe Billa and Paul Rossini are smart, athletic, complimentary backcourt running mates for Dion. Rounding out the roster are rookie Brenden Dion and veteran sharpshooter Bobby Jones.
2. TAPPED OUT
While no prediction is certain, we’re confident in this one: Scott Lubarsky’s winter Tapped Out team will be MUCH better than his fall one…as long as everyone shows up. Tapped Out got played post-draft as the No. 1-overall pick and all-league performer Warren Lane bailed on the winter session followed by the loss of their fourth-round pick as well, leaving the team with three players. But the waiver wire has been kind to Lubarsky as they picked up three (current and former) draft league players – George “Chicky” Reyes, Tyler Winder and Keith Rovinelli. Reyes is a true point guard, Winder, a scoring guard, and Rovinelli, a jack-of-all-trades contributor. With those three added to Lubarsky, hustle man Roy Melnick and underrated Jim Lambert, expect Tapped Out to be one of the most exciting teams to watch. They’re short on size, but should be a nightmare to guard.
Jeff Raymond’s team was the biggest disappointment of the winter session. While losing Brendan Andersen was unforeseeable, the team still had loads of talent that just never gelled. But he’s ready to try his hand at round II in the rec league. Raymond is surrounded by some serious backcourt speed in Roberto Bonilla and rookie Atit Patel. Another rookie, John Hang, will play the three and Lou Hinckley will man the paint. And while slept on, Otto Medrano is one of the peskiest defenders in the league. This team can run and battle on the boards. The biggest question mark is merely whether they can stretch the floor enough, shooting-wise, to open things up for a fluid offense.
4. OLD GAME CHANGERS
Brendan Connolly had a fantastic captain’s debut, leading OGC to the No. 1-overall seed heading into the fall rec league playoffs. But they ran into a very good UDAS team and lost in the semifinals. Connolly’s back though with Andrew Christopherson and Doug Barcelos returning. With Christopherson and newcomer Grant Hornung on the wings, OGC can really spread the floor. And Josh Adjei and Connolly in a backcourt together will have OGC leading the league in steals. The biggest question for OGC is scoring in the paint. Barcelos isn’t much of a scorer and their lone bench player is 5’4 rookie Allen Margullis.
5. BALL DON’T LIE
BDL is one of the more interesting teams in the rec league. In captain Justin Holohan and Draft Leaguers, AJ Narayanan, Brian Fay and Nabil Sakhat, they have one of the more formidable cores in the league. But they’re lacking a key piece – a primary ball-handler. Holohan and Fay will bang on the boards, Sakhat is a shooter and Narayanan is a score-first guard. So who will spearhead facilitation? Holohan is a capable passer, but can he direct the offense? They have wily veteran Steven Safran and unknown rookie Kevin Stone off the bench. Until they answer the ball movement questions, they’re one of the biggest mysteries in the league.
6. UNCLE DREW ALL STARS
Ben Lee had a rollercoaster ride of a season in the fall that culminated with his team advancing to the championship before falling to the buzzsaw that was the Wildcats. While we like his winter team, we don’t see them making it back to the promised land. Lee has brought heady point guard Tedi George back to the fold and welcomes champion Jonathan Waters as well. They’ll fare decently on the boards with Andrei Tsarou and Jason Webb. And Stephen Wang provides great hustle off the bench. But where does their scoring come from after Waters? Lee is a pass-first type player despite his imposing frame. George is cut from the same cloth though; he can score at all three levels. Perhaps their ball movement will eliminate the need for a secondary scorer. But until we see that be the case, we’re skeptical as to this team’s outlook.
7:00 – Tapped Out vs. Old Game Changers | TAPPED OUT by 4
7:00 – Hustle vs. Ball Don’t LIE | HUSTLE by 8
8:00 – Wildcats vs. Uncle Drew All Stars | WILDCATS by 15