Welcome to The Izzy Awards: Your 2019 National Tourney Awards Ceremony
Welcome to the 1st Annual Izzy Awards, your official 2019 Las Vegas National Tournament Awards Ceremony.
Some of theses are good, some are bad but at the end of the day, an award is an award. You accept your award with pride and you display it on your mantle at home. We will start with some team awards, then move onto the individual awards.
Welcome, and let the show begin!
If Our Jerseys Could Hoop, We Woulda Won the Tournament Award
WINNER: San Antonio Nation
Easily the best jersey game of the tournament. Ball So Hard brought some smooth replicas, Y-Lie looked fresh with the all whites, X Over had some flashy original designs, but San Antonio’s replica throwbacks were untouchable. They rocked the old school Denver Nuggets white replica with a San Antonio skyline, and the Alamo silhouette first. Then followed that up with the 1993 San Antonio All-Star game retros. SAN’s jersey game will likely never be beat.
The only beef I had was the shoe game didn’t match the jersey game. You can’t rock all whites with the rainbow lines and throw on a pair of all black shoes. Luckily for them, it’s not an execution award, it’s a jersey award.
Not Short on Shorts, But Short on Bigs Award
WINNER: The entire Private Lessons team
3s Degrees’ Brandon Newman killed the shorts game last year, and he did it yet again. This award was all his, but the Private Lessons cats wouldn’t go down without a fight. Philip Johnson, Christian Bower, Jordan Vigil, and DeAndre Betty weren’t playing games this year. Their shorts swag matched their hoop swag.
The most exciting team to watch in the tournament brought the flash in more ways than one. Hopefully next year they trade a pair of shorts for an athletic big so I can celebrate a National Tournament with my favorite squad.
Marshawn Lynch’s We’re Just Here So We Don’t Get Fined Award
WINNER: Meme Team
Who forced Meme Team to play in the tournament? Because I know they weren’t there by choice. For the whole weekend they looked uninterested in trying to win games. 73.8% of their shot attempts were from 30+ feet away from the hoop.
At one point, I looked at the floor to see if there were any NBA Jam style bonus spots on the court – there weren’t any. That team had far too much talent to lay that big of an egg.
Honey, Have You Seen My Bipolar Meds Award
WINNER: TC Wolves
The most embarrassing loss in UH history was followed up by a great win over Rudedogs to advance to Sunday. Then they gave Ball So Hard a run for their money on Sunday.
TC Wolves refused to go away despite being undersized and understaffed only having six players, and BSH needed all their weapons to finally put them away. They destroyed Minnesota’s rep, but then they rebuilt it all within 48 hours. It was a true bipolar effort, from a bipolar roster.
Lance Stephenson Does it Great, But We Do It Better Award
Every shot celebration was unique with three fingers held up proudly. There were bows and arrows being shot, there were pistols being fired, there was skipping (borderline prancing), there were arm windmills. Hell, at one point they were practically breakdancing.
You name it, an appearance was made. Their celebration game was matched by their hoop game as they went on to give BSH’s first tournament loss in 28 games on their way to X Overs first ever National Tournament.
What Do I Gotta Do to Get Some Love Award
WINNER: Shane Coleman
Despite being in arguably the toughest pool, Boston Ballers’ Coleman balled out… and nobody noticed. Coleman put up 26/12/3 with 2.7 steals per game. He also shot 40% from deep. Two of the three games were against Ball So Hard and San Antonio Nation.
I love players that put up the same numbers at the tourney as they do at home, and Coleman did that and more. His career average of 27/10/3 with 2.4 steals per game and 39% from deep were nearly identical to his weekends performance. It’s unfortunate he got such little love during the tournament, but this is my making up for it.
My apologies, Mr. Coleman.
I Know I Look Like a Beer League Softball Player, But I Can Really Hoop Ya’ll Award
WINNER: Phillip Johnson
One of my favorite players in the tournament, Johnson doesn’t look the part, but the man can hoop. He’s an underrated defender, but he cashes his checks on the offensive end. One of the smoothest jumpers in the tournament, he rarely missed any open looks. He has a certified wet ball, and if there was a 3pt Contest over the weekend, Philip Johnson would be one of the favorites in the Sports Book.
I’m sure on Tuesday nights Johnson slams Coors Lights and pounds homers in Beer League Softball. A multi-sport athlete and the modern-day Deion Sanders.
Hey Carl, Get this Man a Beer Award
WINNER: Fred Dudley
Honestly, it was the most jealous I’ve been all tournament. Fred Dudley doesn’t just know how to hoop, he knows how to watch hoops too. At one point over the weekend, I look over to the baseline and I see Fred sitting shirtless in a lawn chair. It looked like he was ready for a BBQ on the 4th of July at Carl and Linda’s house (I’m sure somewhere there’s a Carl and Linda out there that host a good BBQ).
The future Hall-of-Famer was just missing a beer, and I promise I won’t let him watch another tournament game without one. Cheers to a future HoFer and a National Tournament champion.
Anyone Else Need One? Award
WINNER: Marco Clark
There were 12 players that played in six games in the tournament. Six from Crossover. Five from Never Off Work… and Marco Clark, whose team didn’t even advance to Sunday.
Clark decided that since he won Mr. Colorado back in 2001, that he could just play on any Colorado team in the tournament. IMPACT barely lost on point differential to advance to Sunday, and thankfully they did because they would have had to forfeit their wins anyway.
Despite Clark playing nearly 200 mins in 36 hours, he somehow didn’t cramp - which might be the most impressive thing all tournament. He will go down as the only player in National Tournament history to play six total games without advancing to Sunday.
That’s one way to get in the record books.
If Aging is a Process, Then I Don’t Trust the Process Award
WINNER: Warren Rosegren
I don’t know what the man eats. I don’t know how much the man sleeps. I don’t know how much the man works out. All I know is whatever the hell Warren Rosegreen does, he’s doing it right.
The man has to be pushing damn near 50-years-old and he’s still dropping 20 and 10 while peppering in a ferocious dunk or two. Like fine wine, Rosegreen seems to be getting better with age. At 50, most of us will have a BMI of 35, will be full-on diabetics, and will have recovered from multiple heart attacks and a stroke.
Hats off to you, Mr. Warren Rose G.
I Make the Terminator Look Soft Award
WINNER: Rob Sandoval
This dude is no joke. He’s a machine, I’m convinced. He strikes me as the guy that before games would slam his head into the locker just to get hyped. He’s also the type that if he was tied up and getting tortured, he’d yell “is that all you got?!”.
The man had a crater in the side of his face after running into Tourney MVP Tevin Kelly, and he carried on like nothing happened. I don’t know what Rob has been through in his life, but whatever it is has created one tough S.O.B. On top of that, nobody worked as hard as Rob Sandoval did, and it’s not close.
I’d take that man on my team any day of the week.
Most Likely to Have Killed a Grizzly Bear with His Bare Hands Award
WINNER: Russell Permenter
The man looks like he only consumes cliff bars, beef jerky, and wild turkey piss. He would win Survivor while blindfolded, and he’d hike into grizzly bear country unarmed. If I was dropped onto a deserted island and I could only pick one guy I’ve met in my life to take with me, it’s Russell, and I haven’t even formally met him yet.
All I know is I’d be irrationally confident we’d get out alive even though there’s a 50/50 shot he’d kill and eat me if things got desperate. I’ll take my chances.
Finally, my last three awards. These are reserved for my Grittiest Player of the Tournament, Defensive Player of the Tournament, and my Favorite Player of the Tournament.
Grittiest Player of the Tournament Award
WINNER: Delonn Stevenson
Grit is one of the first things I look for in a hooper. It’s hustle, hard-work, tenacity, determination, and toughness. Think NBA’s Patrick Beverly when you think of grit. Gritty players are always an asset on the floor even though they don’t always show up in the boxscore.
You can have a bad shooting night, but being gritty is a mentality, it’s consistent. There were a bunch of grit at the tournament this year, but I’m giving the 2019 award to Stevenson. He did very little offensively, but what he did on the defensive end more than made up for it.
The guy was relentless when he was on the floor. Anything that required hustle, Stevenson had it in spades. You go to war with guys like Stevenson. X Over did, and they won the war.
NOTE: This honestly could have gone to Sandoval, but he already pretty much got the Terminator Award so it’s all good.
Defensive Player of the Tournament Award
WINNER: Micah “Juice” Hedrick
My favorite team fittingly gets one of the big three awards. Versatility is the perfect word to describe Hedrick on defense. He can guard 1-4, and was active and alert off ball. His length is elite, and his instincts are off the charts. Plus, he never took a play off.
Hedrick didn’t rack up a ton of steals or blocks, but just like Stevenson’s grit, Hedrick’s versatility on defense doesn’t show up in the boxscore. Despite his lack of high-end polish on offense, Hedrick is still a guy that had a net positive effect on the game when on the floor.
My Favorite Player of the Tournament Award
WINNER: Matt Kallead
I frickin’ love watching this guy play. I want to trade him to Private Lessons or Rec City so he can be utilized properly. Three things I love are grit, IQ, and shooting. That’s Matt Kallead.
Works his ass off when he’s on the floor, he knows where to be and how to play on both ends, and he has the prettiest shot in the tournament. It wasn’t just pretty; it went in often (60% from deep). Every time it left his hand it looked good.
I have no clue why Kallead didn’t play more. It was infuriating and I said so several times during the live streams. I also still don’t understand why he wasn’t starting over Demitrius Davis against bigger lineups, or Malik Harris against smaller lineups.
Simply put, Kallead was underutilized all weekend, and somebody needs to be fired for it.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Lopez – Never Off Work, Philip Johnson – Private Lessons, Rob Sandoval – Flight Vegas, Tevin Kelly – Crossover, Russell Permenter – Lifetime Elite
Thank you for coming to the Izzy’s and please exit through the double-doors in the back.