WYBA High School Rec League Power Rankings Week 1

WYBA High School Rec League Power Rankings Week 1

Jake Moser

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1. Nets (1-0)-

Under the guidance of coaches Brendan Croak and Nolan Murray, the Nets have gotten off to a strong start, defeating the Spurs 57-38 last Sunday.  Star players, Colin Murray and Jimmy Smith Jr.,  led the way with strong play on both offense and defense.  However, what really made the difference in this game was the exceptional young talent the Nets have found in Nate Porack and Joe Smith—both of whom had tremendous starts to their Rec League careers.  The reason the Nets are atop the league at this point is due to their solid foundation with Colin Murray and Jimmy Smith Jr., and the talented supporting cast surrounding them. However, the one weakness of this team is the lack of team play.  Their offense mostly focuses on driving to the basket, with little passing involved.  Most teams in the league can match up star-for-star with this them, and that is why they are number one.  The Nets take on the Sonics (0-1) and the Rockets (0-1) this weekend.

2. Lakers (1-0)-

After defeating a decent Knicks team 53-42, the Lakers have shown themselves to be a team to be reckoned with this year.  The Lakers are stacked with talent, namely Mike Rando, Steve Phelan, and Chris Nee.  Rando is clearly the centerpiece of the team, with both his offensive and defensive prowess; however, Phelan and Nee are no joke either.  Both can play strong defense and are capable of getting to the basket.  Head coach Coleman Nee has done a terrific job in the draft again this year, and his team is definitely a contender once again because of it.  This weekend , the Lakers face off against the Celtics (0-1) and the 76ers (1-0).

3. Magic (1-0)-

Head coach Dave Fontana has certainly put together a winning squad this year, with a team full of players who can both score and defend well.  After their win against a strong Celtics team, 49-46, the Magic certainly have momentum on their side going into this weekend.  Front man Aidan Lancaster, possibly the best all-around player in the league, showed his dominance last Sunday with strong play on both sides of the court.  Lancaster hit outside shots, drove to the basket, and player tenacious defense.  In addition to Lancaster, the Magic have assembled a great roster of players like Griffin Fontana, Jack Donnelly, and Nick Ferguson.  This team has the talent and drive to go all the way this year, they just have to be able to stay on the court to do so.  Both Lancaster and Fontana fouled out in the final minutes of last Sunday’s game, and against a tougher opponent that could be disastrous. This weekend the Magic go up against the 76ers (1-0) and the Spurs (0-1).

4. 76ers (1-0)-

With the biggest win of the weekend, the 76ers rocked the Mavericks 78-34, and such a dominating win is definitely worth noting.  The 76ers do not necessarily have a star player on their roster, which in their case might be an advantage.  Opposing teams will not know who to focus on while defending the 76ers, thus giving them an slight element of surprise to their game.  Also, big man David Driscoll gives the 76ers an element of toughness on both offense and defense.  The lack of outstanding talent could be a problem in the future, especially this weekend when they go up against the Magic (1-0) and Lakers (1-0), both of whom have the star power to knock the 76ers off of their current success.

5. Wizards (1-0)-

The Wizards have shown some early promise with their big win last weekend over the Rockets, 66-43.  Head coach Kevin Mardis has assembled some talented athletes on his squad this year, namely Drew Stanton and former-varsity player Zack Rogers.  Both players have some height and are among the elite when it comes to inside the paint.  Stanton also has a good outside shot, and Rogers has an uncanny ability to swat the ball on defense.  The problem with this team is the lack of depth after the Wizards’ two stars.  After Rogers and Stanton, the Wizards supporting cast lacks talent and skill.  In order to succeed against tougher opponents, they need to step up their game in a big way.  The Wizards face off against the Knicks (0-1) and the Nuggets (1-0) this weekend, giving them a chance to continue their early success and prove themselves even further.

6. Sonics (0-1)-

Initially, Carl Plaut’s Sonics looked to be off to another rocky start, but recent developments have moved them up the power rankings considerably.  Reports indicate that Plaut’s Sonics have landed Chris Collins, possibly one of the most talented players in the league, as a mid-season pickup.  Prior to the addition of Collins, the Sonics were looking at another poor season—star player Brad Webber was sidelined for the season with a groin injury he suffered during football season, and it looked like the fate of the team would rest on guard Bill Rockwood’s shoulders.  Now that Collins has arrived, the Sonics have seriously improved their chances of success this year.  Rockwood has a strong outside game and can run with anybody on defense, and Collin is undoubtedly the strongest post-presence in the League and is a force in the paint on defense.  All that being said, the Sonics’ bench players need to contribute as well, or the team will not go far.  Collins has to prove himself worthy of all the hype this weekend, when the Sonics go up against the Nets (1-0) and the Mavericks (0-1).

7. Nuggets (1-0)-

After putting up a win in the first weekend of the season over the Sonics 57-38, coach Jim Kelliher’s Nuggets have turned heads around the League.  Before the season, the Nuggets were mostly an afterthought; however, after a dominant win over the Sonics the Nuggets have proven to be at the very least a competitive team this season.  Led by Colton Mitchell and Harrison Berkland, the Nuggets have an offense centered around passing the rock, constantly moving the ball until and open shot appears.  However, they lack a force on both offense and defense.  Someone who can step up in big moments and put the team on his back. Like so many other teams this season, that weakness could be the achilles heel of the Nuggets—only time will tell.  The Nuggets take on the Rockets (0-1) and the Wizards (1-0) this weekend.

8. Celtics (0-1)-

The Celtics started their season off on the wrong foot, losing to the Magic 49-46.  Head coach Peter Drogan has assembled some talent here, namely Steve Kelliher, Robbie Alessandro, and Chris Gouthro.  All three can play on dominant levels at times; however, they have yet to reach that potential so far.  A little more team play, with passing and better communication between teammates, will go a long way with this team.  They just have to put all the pieces together.  Hopefully that will happen this weekend when they take on the Lakers (1-0) and the Knicks (0-1).

9. Knicks (0-1)-

Greg Zanello’s Knicks unfortunately started their 2013 season off with a loss to the Lakers, 53-42, yet there is still hope for this team—especially this early in the season.  Despite all the preseason boasting, Knicks’ front man Tom “The Dark Knight” Demarais did not lead his team to victory in week 1.  What did in the Knicks in their first game is simple: Demarais’ supporting cast did not live up to standards set before them. At all.  In order to succeed this season, the Knicks will certainly need better play out of its starting lineup and bench.  Some players came into the season with high hopes and lofty expectations, and just did not meet those expectations.  Hopefully The Dark Knight and company can save Gotham this weekend when they take on the Wizards (1-0) and the Celtics (0-1).

10. Spurs (0-1)-

Coach Joe Weinacht’s Spurs did not show any signs of competitiveness last weekend, losing 57-38 to the Nets.  The team had some early potential with former varsity starter Mike Cabral on the roster, along with a decent supporting cast.  Those early hopes were crushed when Cabral only managed to score five measly points, and the rest of the team did not fair any better.  This is not a good team, and the situation does not look to be improving any time soon.  The Spurs lack motivation, as well as skill, and they cannot and will not go far this season.  Maybe the Spurs can make a change this weekend when they go up against the Mavericks (0-1) and the Magic (1-0).

 

11. Rockets (0-1)-

It looks like another rough year ahead of coach James Connell and his Rockets.  The Rockets lost to the Wizards 66-43 last weekend, and it was not pretty.  This team has some athletes on their roster, just not ones that have the particular skills for basketball.  Brendan Donovan offers the best scoring option for the Rockets, yet Donovan has no additional help on the wings or off the bench.  This makes it easy for opposing teams to key in on him and shut down the Rockets completely.  The team also lacks some serious height on the roster, making rebounding (and winning for that matter) difficult.  With some luck and a lot of hard work, Donovan and the rest of the Rockets can right the ship when they play the Nuggets (1-0) and the Nets (1-0)this weekend.

12. Mavericks (0-1)-

Lastly, we have the Mavericks.  Coached by Robert Gay, the Mavericks scored the fewest points last weekend, and let up the most—losing to the 76ers 78-34.  This team’s current ranking comes as a surprise as there are worse off teams in the league at this point in the season.  The Mavs have some talent on the roster, specifically Matt Cotter and Chris Bender, but as a team, they lack the mental fortitude to succeed.  This team gave up early, and they stopped playing defense completely at points in time.  With a little more motivation, the Mavericks can win games this year, they just have to want it more.  Hopefully they are more motivated this weekend when they take on the Spurs (0-1) and the Sonics (0-1).