Grades 7 and 8 Rec Basketball Playoff Preview

10 teams are set to battle it out for the championship

10 teams are set to battle it out for the championship

Michael Greulich

10 teams are set to battle it out for the championship

1. Syracuse (10-0)- Syracuse has clearly been the best team in the league all season long.  With the explosive power of Andrew Nelson and with John Jingozian pulling down every rebound, Syracuse has made it clear that they are the team to beat, and so far, nobody has been able to do that.  Coming off of a 30 point win versus St. Johns last weekend, they sent a message to all the teams heading into the playoffs to look out.  Syracuse does not have any weaknesses, sending out an unbeatable shift time and time again.  With the playoffs right around the corner, look for Syracuse to go all the way.


2. Villanova (8-2)- Villanova has pulled away from the pack in the past weeks and have shown what a dominant force they are.  Despite not having any stand out players, Villanova has great depth.  The team is filled with really strong players and it is their team work and combined efforts that make the team so good.  With everyone leaving it all on the court, teams have struggled all year to find Villanova’s weakness.  Truth be told, there isn’t one.  With their only losses this season being to number one Syracuse and a heartbreaking one-point defeat to Cincinnati, Villanova looks ready to make a run in the upcoming playoffs.


3. Georgetown (6-3-1)- Georgetown spent the first half of their season struggling to stay in the middle of the pack, but  since starting out to a 2-3 record, Georgetown has yet to lose a game.  Lead by the explosive power of their star player David Moser, the team has finally heated up, and at just the right time.  With crisp passes and clutch three pointers from Vasili Boustris, Georgetown is threatening from all parts of the court.  Paired with their solid defense, Georgetown’s offence is one of the best in the league.


4. Providence (5-4-1)- Providence has been hot and cold all season long.  With amazing ball handling from point guards Justin Walsh and Kel Corbett, Providence has been known to win big. The problem is that they lose big too.  Despite the fact that they are above .500, Providence still has more points against that they do points for.  If Providence does not tighten up their defense, their playoff stint will end very early on.  If Providence does improve their defense, then their offence should be able to carry them deep into the playoffs.


5. St. Johns (4-6)- Although their record may not reflect it, St Johns is a pretty solid team.  With a combination of good passing, first rate ball handling from Christopher Conroy, and Tucker Fontana under the basket to pull down any rebounds, St. Johns is definitely the wild card going into the playoffs.  Many teams have ruled them out due to their losing record, but St. Johns has plenty of talent to pull a big upset next weekend.


6. Cincinnati (5-5)- Despite getting off to a decent start, Cincinnati has lost their last three games, causing concern about how the playoffs will unfold.  Lead by great all-around play from Nolan Hardiman and With David White crashing the boards on both ends of the courts, Cincinnati definitely has the talent need to succeed.  The question remains whether they can pull themselves together in time for the playoffs.  If Cincinnati can get back to the way they were playing at the beginning of the year, they will definitely be contending for the championship.


7. Louisville (4-6)- After getting off to a bad start, Louisville has started to fall into a rhythm.  But the question remains, can they play with the same consistency in the playoffs?  Lead by point guard Belal El-Husayni and powerful forward Matthew Evans, Louisville certainly has the skills it takes to win.  It is clear that if Louisville wants to win, they are going to play as a team, not just relying on one or two guys to get the job done.  If Louisville is playing their best, they have a chance of pulling some upsets.


8. Notre Dame (3-7)- Notre Dame has struggled to put together victories all year.  They were not able to win two games in a row at any point in the season, despite their best efforts.  Even with the explosiveness of Justin Burns while traveling towards the hoop and the one-two combo of Derek and John Lally, the team has not been able to find their footing.  Things do not look good for Notre Dame as they head into the playoffs, despite the obvious improvement throughout the course of the year.  Notre Dame is going to be looking for a miracle if they hope to win this year’s championship, but don’t count them out quite yet.


9. Uconn (4-6)- Despite getting off to one of the best records in the league, Uconn has lost five games in the row, dropping them to the lower half of the standings.  Uconn will be looking for leadership out of players Patrick Gorman, who is deadly near the rim, and Zachary Kagy, who can dribble the ball like no other.  Unless Uconn can get back to the dominant of basketball they were playing at the beginning of the year, things look grim heading into the playoffs.


10. Pittsburgh (0-10)- Pittsburgh has struggled all season long.  Despite the best efforts of everyone on the team, they have not been able to make it happen on either end of the court all season.  Even with the speed and explosiveness of players such as Dara Thynne and Sean Lynch, Pittsburgh has yet to win a game.  Unless they are able to turn it around and make a huge comeback in the playoffs, Pittsburgh’s season is goingto end sooner than hoped.