NYC National Tournament Team Preview: Who will be willing to sacrifice numbers on Team Classic?
As the New York National Tournament inches closer, it’s time to dive deep into each team and evaluate their roster. This week I’ll be focusing on both teams representing Boston. Let’s start with Team Classic.
Jay Resto (Captain)
This roster, on paper, is the better of the two from Boston that will be playing in the tournament. Every player on this roster averages 14.1 points per game or more in their UH career, and four of them average over 25 per game.
Resto’s team is getting a drastic makeover from last year’s Classic Barbershop, who went 2-2 (one win coming via forfeit) in the tournament and lost in the quarterfinals. Only five players from last year’s team are on this roster, and this roster features more players from the Boston region. Last year, Resto had Juice Hedrick and Philip Johnson from Arizona, Robert Sargeant from Syosset and Samuel Evans from Fort Washington. Evans remains, and Zach Andrews is from Arizona, but everyone else plays in Boston.
Player to Watch
Coleman was third in scoring in the tournament, averaging 26.0 points in three games. I would say, technically, he was the leading scorer because the two players ahead of him played in a 4-on-3 game that drastically altered their stats. He shot 45% from the field and 40% from deep, and two of those games came against Ball So Hard and San Antonio Nation, two teams that advanced to Championship Sunday.
Anyone that can score like that at a national level deserves attention, and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of it this time around. As mentioned above, this team features a lot of scorers, but judging from Coleman’s numbers in Boston, he’ll get his looks. He’s playing in his fifth draft league in Boston this season. Here’s a look at his numbers from all five:
2018 Fall (MetroWest): 33.4 points, shooting percentage splits of 57/43/66
2019 Winter (MetroWest): 25.6 points, shooting percentage splits of 43/30/64
2019 Spring (MetroWest): 24.8 points, shooting percentage splits of 56/44/72
2019 Spring (Westwood): 35.5 points, shooting percentage splits of 57/39/65
2019 Summer (MetroWest): 40.0 points, shooting percentage splits of 50/23/89
This all adds up to Coleman averaging 30.3 points over the course of his 37 career games. If Coleman puts up similar numbers in this tournament as he did in Vegas, Team Classic will be in good shape.
I say this more for the possibility that Andrews won’t be there rather than for his play. He was listed on Classic Barbershop’s roster last year but did not end up playing in the tournament. Clearly Resto has had success recruiting players from different regions to play for his teams at a national level, but as we’ve seen with Andrews last year, and Mamadou Ndiaye in Vegas this year, it’s never sure thing.
Everyone that has seen Andrews knows the impact he can have on a game. He was the National Tournament MVP in 2015, when Ball So Hard won its first of four titles. Injuries have slowed him down over the past few years, but he’s still a big difference-maker when healthy. He’s never going to light up the stat sheet with points (his 14.1 points per game is the lowest career average on this team), but he makes opposing offensive players contemplate if they want to attack the hoop or not. In five games in Vegas this year, Andrews averaged four blocks per game. Even when he doesn’t block shots, smaller players are always going to fear going after the 6’9” Andrews, who’s built like a WWE wrestler.
If Andrews does play for Team Classic, he’ll add some much-needed defense on a team that is focused on scoring.
There’s only one ball
This can be a bit cliché at times, but it can be concerning when you build a team around talent and not team chemistry. We’ve seen supremely talented teams fall flat at national tournaments before, and there’s a chance that happens here with so many players that are used to scoring 20 or more a game.
Most of these players play in draft leagues regularly and cannot play with each other season after season. You don’t get much time to adjust in national tournaments, as you get two games before elimination games start. We’ll see if players on this team will be willing to sacrifice their numbers for the betterment of the team.
I would rank this team either fourth or fifth when looking through rosters on paper. It’s nearly impossible to project this team without seeing them play together, but I think Resto has constructed enough talent that covers every position on the floor. If this team ends up really clicking, they could be title contenders.