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Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 7 Recap

B-Webb Pleases Crowd in Team Connor's Victory

Team Turean Connor 45
Team Kyle Bailey 29

Marques Hudson told me that the first words of today's post should be "B-Webb with the excruciating crossover on Kendall James." While excruciating may not be the best adjective in this instance and while I don't want Marques to be able to dictate what I say, do, or think, I decided that what Webb did was so good that I'd listen to Marques in this instance. Hudson was referring to the move that occurred in the first half of Team Connor's (2-2) victory over Team Bailey (2-2) in which Webb did severe damage to both James ankles and his self-esteem. The silky smooth shift in direction left James on the ground and Webb delivering a no-look pass to Xavier O'neal for a lay-in. The reaction to this by onlookers was reminiscent of the response that Skip to My Lou used to get while playing in the Rucker Park Summer League. This had Commissioner Rodgers and Assistant-Commissioner Maley worried that "The Cross" (What Webb's move is now being called, similar to Jordan's jumper on Bryon Russell being called "The Shot" and Dwight Clark's reception for the 49ers being called "The Catch") might incite a riot. Luckily that was not the case. Webb also delighted the crowd with a no look free throw that he made in response to Kyle Bailey's trash talking later on in the second half. While it was clearly his night, all was not perfect for Webb, as he became the 17th straight player in the KBA to fall short of their pre-game prediction for points (He claimed he'd go for 30 and ended up with 16). While Webb was magnificent in his showmanship, he also received great contributions from his teammates. Xavier O'neal had ten points and 3 mammoth rejections. Christopher Pride made his first appearance of the season and Vanexeled 12 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Last but not least, Daniel Palm made it clear to everyone in the league that he would not be denied for his quest to finish the season as the league leader in unnecessary rim grabs (He had one today).

Team Kyle Bailey was without Jeremy McClendon and Antonio Boyle for reasons that have not been disclosed to the league office. Without the pair of guards, Cebron (For those of you new to the blog, that's Chris Crawford) was forced to run point forward. The resemblance to Lebron was remarkable as Cebron did a little bit of everything for his team. He scored (9 points). He rebounded (10 boards). He defended (2 blocks). He dazzled (13 straight no-look passes and 5 straight possessions where he dribbled between his legs at the top of the key for 10 seconds at a time). Even with his Herculian effort, Cebron's team did not have the firepower to compete with Team Connor. If I were coach Kyle Bailey, I'd do three things to right this sinking ship. First, I'd make sure I did my homework on free-agents that will be available next week. Second, I'd either run Boyle and McClendon or have them suspended or fined. Third, I'd pass Coach Maley the ball in 8th period PE next time he is on my team.

The Unselfish Superstar: After the game, Cebron showed just how unselfish and humble he is when he stated, "I'd rather be a role player and win, than be a superstar and lose." If only all great players were such team oriented guys like Cebron. Hopefully fellow superstar Dwayne Wade will follow Cebron's lead and decide to share the spotlight with Derrick Rose next season for the Bulls. Chances are, he won't, as Cebron is a rare breed today as a player who is able to sacrifice his chances of scoring 30 each and every night in order for his team to come up with a W. Unfortunately, there just aren't too many guys like this left.

In completely unrelated and non-contradictory news, Chris Crawford verbally abused his teammates every time they blew his assists. He also stated before the game that he knew his team had no chance of winning, so he was going to score as many points as possible. Making matters even worse, after the game, he was visibly content that he played well even though his team lost. Man, if only he could be more like that Cebron guy.

The Price is Finally Right for Cash

Team Jeff Jones 51
Team Mr. Rhodes 46

I'd never thought I'd see the day when Cash Jones would pass up a good shot in order for a teammate to get a great shot. It happened early in the first half as he passed up an open 13 footer and fed Keith Harris (8 points) streaking down the lane for an easy layup. It was about as rare as a Babe Ruth rookie card and the discovery a new planet put together. All kidding aside, Cash was pretty impressive today, scoring 26 points while shooting a fairly high percentage. He was able to show off his unique ability to finish with either hand along the baseline and even upped his defensive intensity to a grand total of 25% of the opposing teams possessions. Another positive for Team Jones (1-3) was that they proved to be more concerned with arguing with the referees today and forgot about their favorite pastime, arguing with each other. While this was huge, the deciding factor may have been the arrival of point guard Hassan Hall. His defensive intensity and ability to distribute the ball (12 assists) are both attributes that this team lacked in their three losses. If he can continue to do this, Team Jones may not be the worst team in the league after all. The man whose name will not be mentioned (Due to him pulling a fast one on me and playing even though he was supposed to be suspended) added 16 points and 2 "The Man whose name shall not be mentioned" faces.

Team Rhodes caught a tough break when their captain was knocked out of the game with an absolutely disgusting dislocated finger. At the time, Team Rhodes (2-3) was up four with ten minutes left. Having to play the rest of the game with only four players hurt the team about much as the finger probably hurt Rhodes. Even though Squirt Polk had another stellar performance (15 points, 15 rebounds), it was tough to pull a Blackhawks and score short-handed as the game wore on. Cash Jones dagger with 45 seconds to go ended Team Rhodes chances of pulling off a miracle. Josh Kidd finished with 9 points, while Rhodes added 7 in his limited minutes. Early reports from the hospital indicate that Rhodes may be back before the season's end. You have to wonder though if Commissioner Rodgers will allow Rhodes to rush back before he's ready for fear of putting Rhodes status for next fall's student vs. staff game in jeopardy. We all know that Rhodes has the "For the Love of the Game Clause" in his student vs. staff contract, which like Jordan, allows him to play whenever and wherever he wants. Still, with Rodgers controlling the winner of next year's raffle, I have to think Rhodes' fate remains in the hands of the Faculty Team's owner. This is a developing story that we will be sure to keep our eyes on in the upcoming days.

Which hurts More?: Even though Mr. Rhodes finger was practically falling off his hand and there was potential for amputation, he still sent a text from the emergency room asking if his team won. Upon reading via text that his team lost, the doctor witnessed Rhodes writhing in pain screaming and hollering at the top of his lungs "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

"Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Rhodes, tell us what we can do to ease your discomfort. I know the pain must be unbearable just by looking at it" the Team Doctor said.

"It's not the finger. You mean to tell me that we lost to Team Jones! Team Jones! A team who no one thought would ever win a game! A team that epitomizes dysfunction! A team that argues more than they don't! A team who was destined to go defeated! Honestly Doc, I think I'd rather dislocate each and every one of my fingers, maybe even my toes as well, than be a member of a team who lost to those guys!"

"Ahhhhh yes, you must be referring to the KBA that I have been reading about on the internet. Wow, from what I read about Team Jones, I can't even begin to express my deepest sympathies for your loss and the pain you must be feeling right now."

Another Undefeated Goes Down

Team Denzell Hargrove 52
Team Cartier Brown 47

Because of the amount of complaining done in this game by both Team Hargrove (3-2) and Team Brown (2-1), I refuse to write about what occurred. It is important to note however that it is not a coincidence that the team who whined a little bit less in this one and worried more about their own play, ended up winning the game. That's a lesson to all you youngsters reading at home. The good news about me not writing about the game for Dimitri Baker is that I won't mention how he walked off the court on his team when they went down ten hanging them completely out to dry. I also won't mention how he changed his tune and subbed himself back in when his teammates cut the lead to four without him. And I absolutely will not write about how after he subbed himself back in, Team Hargrove extended the lead back out to ten. Luckily for Dimitri, I will not discuss any of that.

NBA (Both Past and Present) Comparisons: Since I don't have to write about the Hargrove-Brown match-up, this gives me ample time to compare current KBA stars with their NBA equivalent. Note that comparisons can be based on looks, attitude, style of play, skill-level, and marketability. All right, enough introduction, let's start comparing.

Christopher Pride/Nick "The Quick" Van Exel: Both are lefty and like to shoot from long distance. They each have a nice handle and come up with a lot of steals on the defensive end.

Cebron (Chris Crawford)/Dennis Rodman: While I know Cebron wants his NBA equivalent to be Lebron, his game is more like Rodman. Both of these guys are tough, hard-nosed, and physical. Neither one of them is afraid to commit borderline flagrant fouls or curse out a teammate. Most similarly, Rodman and Cebron are able to market themselves to get media attention (Rodman with the hair and overall weirdness, Cebron doing anything and everything that he can to get on the blog)

Pat Glostner/Ron Artest: Both of these guys play an extremely physical brand of basketball. Each has a collection of slow "old man" moves that somehow are able to get it done. Finally, while you hate to play against these two, you love them when they are on your team.

Michael Darty/Chauncey Billups: Both of them will do whatever it takes to help their team win and are not afraid to take the big shot.

Remy Price/Pre-Longoria Tony Parker: They each get up and down the floor quicker than anyone in the league. Both are born winners and leaders of men. Three-point shooting for the pair is suspect at best. Rumor also has it that Price is dating Jessica Alba, leading me to believe that he may have one-upped Parker.

Jeremy McClendon/Spud Webb: Both have the highest verticals in their respective leagues. They both would be considered more of "contest" dunkers than "game" dunkers. The two get serious elevation on their giant-killers.

Chris Mister (Mister Mister)/Michael Redd: Both are lefty three-point specialists with decent mid-range games. Neither one of them likes to defend unless absolutely necessary.

Xavier O'Neal/Patrick O'Bryant: Both of them have the ability to average five block shots a game and both of their names make them sound more like members of the IRA (Irish Republic Army) than basketball players.

Mario Sawyer/Steve Nash: The sole purpose that these guys were put on this planet was to pass the basketball. On top of that, they both can knock down the big shot when need be. Plus, they both have reoccurring back problems that flair up after real bad turnovers.

Squirt Polk/Fat Lever: Both have the most misleading nicknames in their leagues. Just like Polk is neither tiny nor small, Lever is about as skinny and in-shape as a human could possibly be.

Aurelius Leslie/Dejaun Blair: Both of these guys were overlooked in the draft, but have become huge contributors to their team on the offensive glass and in the low-post. Also, their last names sound more like the girls I graduated from grade school with than ball players.

Darius Skyles/Scott Skiles: While these two neither look or play anything alike, change the Y to an I in their last names and S-C-O-T-T to D-A-R-I-U-S in their first names and they are virtually the same person. Also, I'm told that when Skiles was younger he often tried to sneak into all PE classes throughout the day during the basketball unit.

Kenny Williams/Glen Davis: Size, strength, ability to finish around the basket, and how they react when they don't get what they want make these guys eerily similar.

Hassan Hall/Raja Bell: Tenacious defenders who are both able to take superstars in their league (Desean Lee for Hall and Kobe for Bell) completely out of their games.

Courtney Ealy/Nick Young: Both of these guys love to score, hit game-winners, and sport comical mohawks.

Marques Hudson/Ronaldo Balkman: While nothing really stands out with these guys on the surface that would lead you to believe that they could contribute, they both get it done on both sides of the floor. Also, both of these guys struggle from the free throw line due to a disorder from which they suffer called Dreadsblockingvision-itis. I feel like I used the word "both" way to much in that last paragraph.

Cartier Brown/Vince Carter: These guys are high-flyers with unlimited athletic and scoring ability. Every time they step on the floor, there is a possibility of a posterization. Problem is, Brown and Carter have fallen in love with their jump shot and often times don't take advantage of their strengths. If only Vince Carter had access to multiple computers and could vote for himself for league MVP 16 times, these two could be considered twins.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 6 Recap

Hargrovians Fall to Hot Shooting Team Rhodes

Team Mr. Rhodes 46
Team Denzell Hargrove 38

Team Rhodes (2-2), who struggled early on in the KBA season, may finally have figured it out. They triumphed over Team Hargrove (2-2) in a high scoring affair to pull themselves even with the Hargrovians in the league standings. The Rhodes Scholars shot the ball noticeably better in this game, than in previous contests. As an extremely offensive-minded coach of mine used to say, "Sometimes, you just got to make shots." Squirt Polk posted a season-high 13 points, scoring in a variety of different ways. He proved himself to be a match-up nightmare as he took Team Hargrove's big men off the dribble and posted up much smaller guards when they were forced to switch. Nick Norals asserted himself at the offensive and defensive end of the floor, finishing with 12 points, 4 steals, and three impressive "he really traveled but the refs don't feel like calling it" finishes. If Captain Rhodes could be upset in one area, it would be their poor clock management and shot selection towards the end of the game. Up four with thirty-five seconds on the clock, Darnell Blakemore tried to pull an Ali Farokhmanesh, and hit a dagger three (he missed), instead of working time off the clock. Despite this lapse in judgement, they still won the game. Even though it could have come back to haunt them, Captain Rhodes did the right thing in his post-game speech to his team, and emphasized the positives of his victory (Like their shot making and Norals sneaking a couple of travels by the refs), rather than dwelling on their clock management woes. A smart decision, which may yield great results in the future.

I would have liked to see Red Washington (8 points) more involved involved in Team Hargrove's offense today. Whenever he touched it, he made things happen. Problem is, the ball was monopolized for a large portion of the game by Travis McBride and Denzell Hargrove (See season preview post to see my concern about this). While Mcbride and Hargrove finished with 9 and 13 points respectively, it was on a high-volume of shots (See Jones, Cash). For this team to win more games they need to look to distribute more like Nash, then having the mentality of "never seeing a shot they didn't like" like Cash. Even so, Team Hargrove still kept it close for a large portion of the second half, but by the end, they clearly had no legs left. It looked like the were running downhill on offense, and laboring mightily uphill back to the defensive end. When the other team is making shots, that just won't cut it.

An Elephant (or Coach) Never Forgets: Denzell Hargrove was very un-happy from some no-calls that he received from Coach Maley and Coach Rodgers. He voiced his thoughts and concerns on a couple of occasions at his former coach and future coach. While IHSA rules do not allow coaches to have direct contact with players in the off-season, there is no such rule stating that punishment 16s and other conditioning sprints can not be retroactive next season. Something young Hargrove should think about, the next time he wants to be bailed out with a call.

Just like Post-Training Day Washington, This Denzell Under-appreciated No Longer

Team Denzell Smith 53
Team Afure Obeabor 21

Denzell Smith (17 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists) brought his boots and lunch pail to the game today for Team Smith (3-2), as he put in work against Team Afure (0-4). Often thought of as one of the most underrated players in the league, Smith proved himself as one of the top "Do it All" guys in the KBA. He blocked shots, he rebounded, he scored garbage buckets from the interior, he knocked down outside jumpers, he led the break, and even exhibited some flashy dance moves prior to a couple free-throw box-outs. The great thing about his game today was that he didn't force anything (even the dance moves, they were natural). Everything that he got was created within the context of the offense or off of his own hustle. Smith's game, plus huge contributions from Syid Young (16 points) and Marques Hudson (10 points) led to a blowout in which the game was called with four minutes left. Keith Spencer had what is believed to be a KBA record 19 assists (Still awaiting confirmation from the Ellias Sports Bureau and Basketball

When the game starts with absolutely no one jumping center for your team (because people were late and no one stepped up to do it), you probably know you are in for a long day, as was the case for Team Afure. While there were not too many highlights for this team, there was one incredibly shocking moment. Markise Wilson hoisted up a three that amazingly bricked off the top portion of the backboard. The words Picasso-Finger Painting, Jennifer Hudson-Lip Singing, Britney Spears-Role Model, and Ghandi-UFC Fight have much more believability than Markise Wilson-Brick. But I tell you, on this day, April 26, the year 2010, it happened. As my parents have told me about how they remember exactly where they were when Armstrong walked on the moon, I'm sure I'll be telling my kids about where I was when Wilson shot his one and only brick. The KBA....where History happens.

Calming words to Cebron: Beginning with the start of the second half, Chris Crawford (Or as he now wants to be known as on the blog, Cebron), was campaigning for the game to be called. Usually, the calling of games only occurs in the last two minutes, when it is absolutely clear that the team who is down has zero chance of coming back. Seeing that it was 36-11 at halftime, and a thirty-point game with thirteen minutes to go, Crawford was adamant that the game be called. Every thirty seconds that went of the clock, it was either "C'mon, call it coach Maley" or a scoreboard point with an exasperated expression on his face. Anything I said only frustrated him further. After about five minutes of this, I finally said to him "I got to let it go until at least four minutes left, I want guys to get there numbers (individual stats)." Apparently, I had said the magic words. Cebron agreed that that was the right thing to do and sat down without saying another word. The KBA... where pacification happens.

King of the Courtney

Team Laquinn Parks 32
Team Kyle Bailey 29

What Gordon Heyward failed to do for Butler, freshman Courtney Ealy did for Team Parks (3-1). After a missed put-back attempt by Team Bailey (2-1) with the score tied and four seconds to go, Ealy dribbled up the right side-line and hoisted up a shot just as he crossed mid-court. Unlike Heyward, whose shot barely missed, Ealy's swished through the net, giving his team a 32-29 victory, and setting off complete pandemonium in the upstairs gym. Even though he did not "go for 50" (when you think about it, with fifteen-minute running clocks, going for 50 is like scoring 70 in a high school game, 85 in a college game, and 105 in an NBA game) like he said he would before the game, Ealy's heroics proved that sometimes new kids on the block (Team Parks team is composed almost entirely of freshman and sophs) have the ability to teach old dogs (Team Bailey) new tricks. Ealy's back court mate Mario Sawyer, humbly chipped in 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists without so much as a hint of a taunt or chest pound. The scary thing is that this team was without big man Kyle Begusa. With or without him, this team looks to be the best T-E-A-M in the league.

Prior to the game Team Captain Kyle Bailey said, "Coach Maley, you aren't giving us any respect." (Apparently, he was upset that their number one ranking in this week's polls came with a caveat that their time at the top would be over shortly.) "We're going to show you today." They didn't. If their pre-game ritual led by Cebron (pretending like they were posing for a team picture prior to the tip) was any indication of what was in store for them during this game, than it was going to be a long night. Fortunately, their play was much better than their theatrics. After a slow start (down 15-7), they battled their way back. It was clear, that they made a conscious decision to start fouling and playing physical with the younger Team Parks, daring the officials (Both upperclassmen, hmmmm.....) to call a foul. It kind of reminded me how the '92 and '93 Knicks, realizing that the Bulls had more talent than them, used to try bully their way to victory. It almost worked, but Ealy, like Jordan, refused to let their tactics get the best of him and his team. Antonio Boyle finished with 12 points and 1 charge taken (first of the KBA season), while Jeremy McClendon added 9. Side Note: This team set the all-time record at any level for referee and opponent stare-downs with 120 (That's four stare downs a minute). The KBA... where over-compensation happens.

Quote of the Year: Upon seeing Cash Jones in the main office after the game, the following exchange occurred with Cash and Commissioner Rodgers.

Rodgers: Cash, you trying to get your suspension reduced at the league office? (KBA suspension, not school)

Cash: Nah, I'm trying to get in the D-League instead. (Said with a sly smile)

The KBA..... where humor in the face of adversity happens.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rankings After Week 2

Records through Friday, April 23. Last week rankings in parentheses.

1. Team Kyle Bailey 2-0 (3)

Time at the top could be short-lived with tough games ahead for Bailey's crew.

2. Team Cartier Brown 2-0 (2)

Need to prove haters wrong who believe their high ranking is due more to their soft schedule then to their basketball ability.

3. Team Patrick Glostner 3-1 (1)

Upset by Team Hargrove drops them two spots, but look for them to be back on top with a good Week 3.

4. Team Laquinn Parks 2-1 (2)

Loss to Team Glostner is not something to hang their heads about. This group of team-first guys has what it takes to become KBA champs.

5. Team Denzell Hargrove 2-1 (7)

Impressive upset over Team Glostner has Team Hargrove on the way up.

6. Team Denzell Smith 2-2 (8)

Team Smith settles in the middle of the pack after absolutely waxing Team Connor.

7. Team Mr. Rhodes 1-2 (6)

Got their first victory of the season with their drubbing of Team Afure.

8. Team Turean Connor 1-2 (5)

Commitment looks to be a huge issue with these guys.

9. Team Jeff Jones 0-3 (10)

Forthcoming league suspensions to members of Team Jones for conduct detrimental to the school will probably drop them back to #10 by the end of the week.

10. Team Afure Obeabor 0-3 (9)

Some may wonder how Team Jones was able to move out of the basement without winning a game (See Team Afure first half against Team Rhodes for your answer).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 5 Recap (With a PSAE twist)

With the upcoming PSAE on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, I decided that my focus of this post can not solely be about the humor and hoops that occurred in Friday's KBA Action. I have a responsibility as an educator to help prepare you guys for this very important test. While I still aim to report the who, whats, and whys of Friday's games, it would be irresponsible of me to not help get you guys into standardized test mode. If at the same time, we can still have some fun along the way, all the better. After all, most of us learn best when we are having fun.

Team Rhodes 34
Team Afure 15

Team Rhodes (1-2) looked like the New York Yankees playing against my seven-year-old cousin Timmy's little league team in the antithesis (Definition: Exact Opposite) of a hard fought battle against Team Afure (0-3). Nick Norals "derek jetered" his way to 17 points and 4 steals. Squirt Polk "a rodded" his will on the offensive glass, finishing with 11 rebounds to go along with seven points and a couple of fancy assists. Even Kier Smith was able to "mariano rivera" himself out of Coach Rhodes' doghouse and into the penthouse, contributing seven points. Team Rhodes team defense and above-average shooting were able to stake themselves to a 19 to 2 halftime lead, which allowed them to fool around for almost the entire second half (always fun). While they looked impressive, they did have one minor hiccup in the form of a Nick Norals missed dunk. The error put him two behind league leader, Cartier Brown, in dunk opportunities squandered (Synonym: Wasted).

I spent all Friday night and parts of Saturday trying to find the right words to describe the first half put together by Team Afure. While I wanted to give those who were unable to witness the debacle (Synonym: catastrophe) a true sense of what occurred, I also did not want to be too harsh. In what might be considered the "Understatement of all Understatements", I decided that the word I'd use to characterize (Synonym: describe) their performance would be poor. This poor offensive output led to a measly two points at halftime scored by Idont Remember. They were, due to some basketball tom-foolery (Loosely defined as messing around because we are up so much) by Team Rhodes, able to put together 13 second-half points. While this may not seem like much (cause it isn't), compared to what they did in half one, Team Afure looked liked a hybrid of the'06 Suns and '91 UNLV running rebels in the second half. Chaz Thrailikill and Markise Wilson finished with a donut apiece to pace Team Afure.

Vocabulary Building:

1. In what the author dubs as the "The Understatement of All Understatements", he uses the term poor to describe Team Afure's offensive output in the first half in their game against Team Rhodes. If you were the author, which of the following words would you use to provide a better description of Team Afure's performance?

A. Awful
B. Atrocious
C. Terrible
D. Appalling
E. Dreadful
F. Horrible
G. Horrific
H. Horrendous
I. Abysmal
J. All of the Above

The correct answer is J.

Explanation: Although none of these words are truly able to articulate how bad scoring 2 points in a half actually is, they all offer a much better depiction then than the term poor. Using the term poor in this situation is kind of like calling brain surgery routine.

Let's Do the Math:

2. Both Courtney Ealy and Nick Norals are averaging .33 missed dunks per game (MDPG). They are both trailing league leader in MDPG Cartier Brown, who is clanging the iron at a rate of 1 MDPG. Assuming that they have each played 3 games, have six games remaining, and Brown keeps up his current pace, how many missed dunks do Ealy and Norals need to tie Brown for the league lead by the end of the season? (Please round your answer to the nearest missed dunk)

A. 6 missed dunks
B. 7 missed dunks
C. 8 missed dunks
D. C'Mon Coach Maley, just write about the games

The correct answer is C.


After 3 games, at a pace of 1 MDPG, Cartier Brown currently has 3 missed dunks. After 3 games, at a rate of .33 MDPG, Ealy and Norals have 1 missed dunk. With six games remaining, with Brown maintaining his average, he will end up with 9 missed dunks. Therefore, Ealy and Norals would need 8 missed dunks over the course of the next 6 games to tie Brown.

Team Denzell Hargrove 45
Team Patrick Glostner 41

Captain Hargrove knew that he needed to find a way to give his team the confidence that they could upset the number one ranked and undefeated Team Glostner (3-1). Not only did Hargrove read the story of David vs. Goliath to his fellow Hargrovians, but he also conducted a showing of the movie Hoosiers late Thursday Night. The mandatory (Antonym: optional) team function was just the trick that Team Hargrove needed to pull off the upset. While Travis Mcbride got off to an uncharacteristically slow start (0 for the first half), unsung hero Phaelen Lewis (12 points) kept them in the game with his inside/outside skill set. Lewis and red-hot Red Washington (8 points) were able to hold off Team Glostner while McBride searched to find himself. An early second-half three symbolized that he found what he was looking for and triggered an offensive explosion by McBride, in which he coolly drained three after three to net himself 16 second-half points. Phaelen's three with 4:12 remaining gave Team Hargrove the lead for good. Captain Denzell struggled a bit today, leading me to believe that the "You should still be on time to class even when you have a sub" Gods may have been out to haunt him on this day.

It hurt Team Glostner that big man Kevin Swanson "did not even know my team was playing" (his words not mine) until late in the first half. While Patrick Glostner led his team admirably in Swanson's absence, not having a key contributor until 6:48 left in the first half, may have been just what Team Hargrove needed to pull the upset. Glostner showed off his versatility by finishing with a game-high 21 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 expletive (Synonym: swear) laced tirades (one at the referees and one at himself in attempt for self-motivation I presume). Korey Williams was Robin to Glostner's Batman, collecting 7 points and 7 assists.

Reading Comprehension:

3. After reading the last sentence in paragraph one in the Hargrove/Glostner game summary, which of the following hypothetical scenarios could have caused the author to write leading me to believe that the "You should still be on time to class even when you have a sub" Gods may have been out to haunt him on this day.

A. The author is trying to commend Hargrove for always being on time to class
B. The author does not know what he is talking about
C. The author and Hargrove have never met, and he is trying to find a way to get him on the blog
D. The author caught Hargrove in the halls after the tardy bell had rung, leading Hargrove to explain that he had a sub today so it's okay.

The Answer is D.

Explanation: It is obvious and does not need explanation.

A Mathematical Double-Double

4. Patrick Glostner has an "I score a basket" to "Celebration of Some Sort" (Ex. Fist pumps, crowd points, chest pounds, loud screams, and exaggerated gum chomps) ratio of 1:1. Chaz Thrailkill has an "I see Coach Maley" to "Asking for a Blog Shout-out" ratio of 3:1. If Glostner was to score 20 points on 10 for 10 shooting from the field, and Chaz was to see Coach Maley nine times in a day, what is the sum total of Glostner's "Celebrations of Some Sorts" and Thrailkill's "Asking for a Blog Shout-out"?

A. 10
B. 13
C. 20
D. 23

The correct answer is B.


With Glostner having an "I score a basket" to "Celebration of Some Sort" ratio of 1:1, after scoring 10 field goals, he will have celebrated 10 times. If Chaz saw Coach Maley 9 times, his "I see Coach Maley" to "Asking for a Blog Shout-Out" ratio of 3:1 would mean that he would have asked for a total of 3 blog shout-outs. 10 celebrations plus 3 asks for a blog shout-out would give us a grand total of 13.

Note: Be careful of the distracter answer 0f 23. The ACT likes to throw in these distracter answers which would be correct based on common mistakes that test-takers might make en route to their answers. In this case, a person might make the mistake that since Glostner scored 20 points, he had 20 celebrations. No, no, no my friend. The ratio says absolutely nothing about points, only baskets. In making this mistake, a person would arrive at an answer of 23 and think they were right, only to find out that they had been conned by those pranksters at the ACT once again.

Team Denzell Smith 40
Team Turean Conner 16

Team Denzell Smith spread the ball around to all parties and as a result, there were many key contributors to the victory. Elmer's glue guy Marques Hudson led the way with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Syid Young finished with ten points and five assists. Side Story: When Syid asked me after the game how many assists he had, I broke the news that I don't actually keep track of assists (only points) but that I just kind of make it up for blog's sake. He then asked how many I thought he had. Three or four I replied. Syid slyly then whispered so no one else could hear, "Make it Five." Thus, why he finished with ten points and five assists. Anyhow, a Cordarius Taylor 3 at the beginning of the second half, put to rest any Team Connor notion of a comeback. Demario Lofton, Keith Spencer, and Denzell Smith rounded out the scoring attack with 6, 6, and 5 respectively.

Team Connor was without Turean Connor and Brandon Webb due to a conflicting AAU game. Which is unfortunate because they probably could have gotten just as much basket-hanging and all things not defensive related at Kenwood as they probably were going to get where they were headed. Their contributions were missed dearly by their team as Team Connor was only able to muster up a total of 16 points. To make matters worse, Daniel Palm was knocked out of the game for a large portion of the first half with a bloody lip. This was unlucky for both Palm and the team for two reasons. First, without Palm, Team Connor did not have a legitimate scoring threat and offensive rebounder. Secondly, for Daniel, it was disheartening because it may put him out of the running for the "Mr Universe" competition that he planned on entering this May. Tough break Daniel. While Palm was able to come back in the game and contribute two superfluous (Synonym: unnecessary) rim grabs (wanted to show off his improved hops to the crowd), it was clear that something was not right after his no-look assist to Denzell Hargrove with 6:07 remaining. The problem with this was not with the execution of the pass, but more with the recipient. While Hargrove is certainly a threat to score at any time, Naismith made it real clear in the rule book, that those refereeing games can not actually score the ball, even if the pass was flawlessly executed (See section 4, paragraph 4, line 6). Again, another tough break Daniel. Also of note, Xavier O'Neal climbed his way to a tie with Marques Hudson for the league lead in free throws airballed with one.

Getting Analogous

5. Denzell Hargrove: Him calling a carrying violation on Denzell Smith::

A. Daniel Palm: Him telling someone to be quiet
B. Dimitri Baker: Him asking not to be called Imitri
C. Cash Jones: Him being named future commissioner of KBA
D. Xavier O'Neal: Him playing Denzell Smith in biopic of Smith's life

The Correct Answer is A.


To answer analogy questions, you must find the relationship that exists in what you are given. Then, you look for the answer that has the most similar relationship.

In the question above, the relationship is the irony of the situation. Hargrove, who is known to bend the carrying rule to the extreme when he himself plays, called a carrying violation on Denzell Smith when refereeing on Friday. Of all the answer choices, A has the most similar relationship because anyone who is familiar with Palm knows that he loves to talk people's ears off. Therefore, him telling someone to be quiet would be extremely ironic and most similar to the Hargrove/Smith situation out of all the answer choices.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 4 Recap

Team Kyle Bailey 33
Team Afure Obeabor 31

Every time it looked like Team Afure (0-2) was about to close the gap in the second half, Jeremy McClendon (or J-Mac as I like to call him), channeled his inner Allen-Iverson, and always came up with The Answer that Team Bailey (2-0) needed. McClendon was able to hit big shot after big shot that helped squash any thoughts of a Team Afure victory. His 18 points and 5 rebounds were season highs, and much needed, considering Antonio Boyle's abscence for a large portion of the first half. Boyle, who scored a KBA high 29 points last week, did not have the necessary paperwork on file at the league office with Commisioner Rodgers prior to the game. Boyle who was quoted earlier in the day as saying "I'm gonna drop thirty-five today Coach", finished 25 points shy of that, chipping in 10. The unsung hero for Team Bailey was Chris Crawford, who helped shoulder the load during Boyle's first half abscence. Crawford's tough-nose defense, bordering on illegal, was a reminder to all of the importance of having a Rodman-like character to compliment a super-star like McClendon. Crawford also did something that I have never seen before in my 26 years. He started his own "Defense" chant, while guarding Rob Siler, to help motivate himself. Something to consider for anyone who takes pride in getting in a stance and locking their opponent down.

While Team Afure shot the ball much better than they did in their first game (It would be almost impossible not to), you have to wonder why, with their size advantage, that they don't go inside more. Afure Obeabor was about 23 inches taller than any member of Team Kyle Bailey, but after watching him during this game, you would have thought that paint was infested with a bad case of the chicken pox. I think the problem for Afure was that he saw his teammate, Markise Wilson, step into the game and hoist up a jump shot that would have made Larry Bird jealous. When you see something as beautiful and flawless as Markise's J, it is only human to want to duplicate it. Unfortunately for Afure, it is impossible to duplicate perfection, but boy he sure did try. His twelve points paced Team Afure, but he left observers wanting more from the big man.

Random Observations: Chaz "don't call me Charles" Thrailkill did not get the minutes that someone of his immense talent would normally dictate. Wrestling teammate, and highly sought- after free-agent Royale Jones, voiced his displeasure after the game by saying "Chaz needs to start getting more playing time or be traded. If not, don't be suprised if I strap on half-nelson after half-nelson until there is no one else for Afure to sub in but my boy Chaz. "

Team Patrick Glostner 56
Team LaQuinn Parks 46

The much anticipated match-up between league #1 Team Glostner (3-0) and #2 Team Parks (2-1) created an electric atmostphere in the gym prior to tip off. Not since Ali-Frazier, have such titans of excellence clashed. The two teams did not dissapoint as this was the most well-played and highest scoring game of the season. Team Glostner ultimately pulled away towards the end thanks to the contributions of Pat Glostner (15 points), Kevin Swanson (10 points), Remy Price (10 points), and Korey Williams (6 points). Glostner showed off his tremendous versatility on one play with a momenting changing lay-up, a crowd-pleasing chest pound, and a masterful demonstration of the 5-second rule (This occured after the chest-pound when his gum fell out of his mouth and he quickly picked it up and put it back in his mouth). Not to be outdone, Kevin Swanson made a push for Sportcenter's Top Ten by completely posterizing Courtney Ealy to end the first half. The mid-air collision left Ealy on the ground, face-down. Ealy was on the ground for a good three seconds, clearly contemplating whether or not to fake an injury or simply get up and deal with best taunts and finger-pointing that the crowd had to offer. Ealy choose to get up and take his verbal beating like a man, but clearly Swanson's boom was a big blow to his ego.

Team Laquinn Parks again proved to be the best passing team in all of the KBA . On one particular play they passed the ball six or seven times on one possession (A KBA record), leading to a wide open Courtney Ealy three (1 of 4 first half treys). These guys clearly know what it means to play as a team as evidenced by their well-balanced scoring attack. Chris Mister (Or Mister Mister, whichever you prefer), totaled 10 points on a couple giant killers and two threes. Mario Sawyer added 10 points and 8 "He did not really just do that" high-lite assists. The aforementioned posterized Ealy had 12 points in the first half, but the blow that Swanson's jam did to his confidence rendered him scoreless in the second. Freshman Sheldon Blanton saw his first action of the season and contributed with a nice rebound and putback late in the second half. In the end though, Team Glostner was just too good on this day.

The Debate: Prior to the game Patrick Glostner did the "Lebron throw powder into the air and draw attention to myself" move. This delighted the crowd, but led to a heated debate after the game between Glostner and Chris Crawford about who actually came up with the idea in the first place. Glostner claimed that the idea was his and his alone, but Crawford vehemently argued that he came up with the gimmick during division. As an outsider looking in, knowing that Crawford would never, ever, ever lie to a teacher (Not even in a million years), I'd have to side with him. Technically though, it is neither of their ideas, but really Lebron's. Check that, Lebron actually pawned it off Jordan and added his own twist. So really, they both have to go back to the drawing board, and find a creative twist that they can add to Lebron's move. May I suggest doing the powder throw, while doing a backflip. Or how about a powder throw-stanky leg combo?

Team Denzell Smith 45
Team Jeff Jones 32

The lead-in to television coverage of this game pitted it as Ogunleye vs. Ogunleye. Although it did not live up to the spectacle that everyone anticipated, this game was news-worthy as Team Denzell Smith (1-2) collected their first win of the season. Marques Hudson proved his mettle, scoring ten and doing all the dirty work for Team Smith. Syid Young led all scorers with a cool fifteen points and 6 assists. Denzell Smith said after the game of his team's victory, "I knew we had it in us, I just had to push the right buttons at practice and figure out how to motivate certain individuals to play their game and not try to play above themselves. "

Team Jeff Jones fought tremendously hard in this one. There was no quit in this team as they looked like five becoming one out there today. Phillip Strong and Cash Jones exchanged kind words and demonstrated that they have a bond that is irreplaceable. Cash had very few field goal attempts as he acted more as a facillitator for his teammates. While they may have lost, this team took astronomical strides in the right direction. What was amazing was that "Jeff Jones" face made absolutely zero appearances. In my estimation, this team may very well go undefeated the rest of the way.

(Note: If you want to know what really happened with Team Jones, read that paragraph over again. Whatever was said, think the exact polar opposite of that, and you will have the truth.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day Three Recap

Team LaQuinn Parks 42
Team Mr. Rhodes 39

The overtime thriller between Team Parks (2-0) and Team Rhodes (0-2) may be the early favorite to win Game of the Year at this November's ESPY Awards at Radio City Music Hall (I'm contractually obligated to mention ESPN in at least one post a week). This game was neck and neck from beginning to end with Team Parks pulling out a three point victory. It was the Mario Sawyer and Courtney Ealy show for Team Parks. Sawyer finished the game with 18 points, 7 dimes, and 4 steals. Ealy used his athleticism and barber to collect his first triple-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 17 different squiggly lines in his hair. Zarpka Bahn contributed with one unbelievable rip on a Nick Norals killer-crossover attempt, which both embarrassed Norals, and led to LaQuinn Parks throwing a Magic-Johnson like no-look pass for a Courtney Ealy lay-in. Mario Sawyer summed up his team's unselfishness best after the game when he said "I don't even care about stats, I just wanna win." He then proceeded to ask for the score sheet to see how many points he had, but let's just forget he did that and focus our thoughts on what he said.
Team Rhodes was the hard-luck loser in this one, but not for lack of effort. Captain Rhodes, who was in the gym before anyone else getting shots up, was clearly focused on getting his first win of the young season. Rhodes' team was able to take full advantage of the fatal flaw in Team Parks' 2-3 zone by attacking the offensive glass time and again. By getting almost every offensive rebound, they were able to keep the game close (23 to 17 at half-time) in a cold-shooting first half. Rhodes, clearly a disciple of Nolan Richardson and early nineties Pitino Kentucky teams, decided to use the ole' "40 minutes of Hell" full-court pressing strategy to start the second half, which immediately allowed his team to take the lead due to some uncharacteristic Sawyer turnovers. With referee Rodgers and Maley making a conscious decision to swallow the whistle in the closing minutes of the game, it was Team Parks who was able to win the battle of attrition and come out on top. Nick Norals lead Team Rhodes with 14 points and Squirt Polk chipped in with 10.

Something to Ponder: Late in the second half, Courtney Ealy had a wide-open fast break attempt, and I could swear that time stood still as the following exchange occurred. As Courtney was approaching the basket, an angel appeared on his right shoulder and whispered "Courtney, it is a three-point game. Your team needs this basket. Besides, both you and I know that you have about as much chance of dunking as the Cubs have of winning the World Series , so please, do your team a favor, and just lay it in." Then, as Courtney got closer to the basket, a little devil appeared over his left shoulder and said "Don't listen to him. Who cares if you don't make it? Just think how much you will impress the girls in the stands and how much you can stick it to Coach Maley for clowning you on his stupid blog if by some chance, albeit slim, you actually make it." Taking both of their arguments into consideration, Courtney decided to go with the angel today and laid it in, but promised himself that he would try the alternative in the future.

Team Cartier Brown 44
Team Jeff Jones 26

Team Brown (2-0) looked like a well-oiled machine today with Cartier Brown (18 points, 7 Rebounds) and Tarik Martin (9 points, 13 rebounds) leading the way. Dimitri Baker, who earned the D back in his name, was incredibly active on the defensive end with six steals and two blocks (All of which makes me think that I can truly make a difference). Derrick Gaddy made his first appearance of the season for Team Brown and did little of note, but he was talking up my blog today at school, so I figured I'd give him a shout-out anyways. While they did look very impressive in their victory, better competition awaits in the upcoming weeks for this team. It is imperative that Captain Brown is able to to keep everyone humble and hungry to continue to prove themselves as some experts "sleeper" pick to win the KBA title.
Team Jones (0-2), Team Jones, Team Jones. What can I say? Early on, it appeared that whatever went on at a players-only team meeting called by Captain Jeff Jones, was just the remedy that these guys needed. Cash Jones, who was 8 for 68 last game, looked to get his teammates involved early and often. It appeared that the bickering was behind them and that Cash was poised to be the leader of this team once again, but then the game started to get away from them a little bit late in the second half. A couple of ill-advised shots later (By Cash), and this team was back to square one. The squabbling began and the game was over from there. It looked like John Paxson vs. Coach Vinnie part II for almost the entire second half. This team needs to find a solution quickly, otherwise I smell a 2008 Detroit Lions-like record in their future (For those of you who can't remember that far back, the Lions did not go undefeated. Instead, they simply went defeated).

Rumor Mill: According to league sources, Team Jones has officially entered into talks with Team Glostner regarding the availability of Cash Jones. Apparently, Glostner is willing to give up Kevin Swanson, straight-up, for Jones. This could be a risky proposition for Glostner as his team is at the top of the KBA standings. Some might say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I have a feeling though that Glostner believes with his motivational and communication skills, that he can get the most out of Cash. If this deal does not go through however, it might be smart for Team Jones to grant Cash his outright release. This way, Cash could test the free-agent market and sell his services to the highest bidder. I heard Daniel Palm has the most bronco bucks, so don't be surprised if you see Jones sporting a Team Conner jersey at week's end.

Team Denzell Hargrove 48
Team Denzell Smith 45

In what was dubbed as the "Battle of the Denzells", it was Team Hargrove who came out on top in this very hard-fought contest. Travis McBride was absolutely on fire, finishing with 26 points on 6 of 9 shooting from three-point land. His performance clearly cemented his place as the second best shooter in the school (The first being Eric Barnes. If you don't know about him, wander down to 2nd period gym and you'll find out). Teammate Red Washington added ten, to go along with one high-light reel move that had on-looker Nick Norals running around the gym like a maniac as if he had just scored front-row tickets to an upcoming Gucci Mane concert. The only thing that I could be critical of was the dribbling show that Denzell Hargrove started to put on late in the second half. Although it got the crowd screaming and on their feet (they must be huge fans of seeing a ball-handler not improve his chances to have himself or his teammates score in any possible way), it completely hindered the offensive flow that team Hargrove had established and allowed Team Smith to get back in the game. Fortunately, Hargrove was able to redeem himself by knocking down two huge free throws that sealed the game with five seconds remaining.
Team Denzell Smith came out firing with Smith being very aggressive from the onset with six early points. Sharp-shooter Demario Lofton knocked down an early three which looked like it might turn the game in favor of Team Smith, but Travis McBride was able to answer right back with a three of his own. In the middle of the second half, it appeared as if Team Hargrove was about to run away with the game. Enter Cordarius Taylor into the equation, knocking down back-to-back free throws, and Team Smith began an incredible run that had them down only one with 17 seconds remaining. Helping lead them back were guards Keith Spencer (8 points) and Syid Young (17 points), who put on a dazzling display of passing, shot-making, and on the ball defense of Denzell Hargrove, frustrating the young sophomore into some crucial late turnovers. In the end, it was too little too late, as Hargrove's free throws put an end to their comeback hopes.

The Scouting Report: It was clear that Hargrove did his homework before the game (His coaching homework that is. I'm not sure about his actual homework, but he better have if he wants to continue to play in the KBA). Every time Kehinde Ogunleye touched the ball, there was a member of Team Hargrove's hand in his face. They followed Hargrove's scouting report to a tee and gave the sharp-shooting Ogunleye no room to get his wet jumper off. This attention to detail proved to be the difference in the game.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rankings After Week 1

Records through Friday, last week rankings in parentheses.

1. Team Patrick Glostner 2-0 (2)

Glostner, Korey Williams, Kevin Swanson, and Remy Price shine in two victories.

2. Team LaQuinn Parks 1-0 (3)

Courtney Ealy and Mario Sawyer play an exciting brand of basketball.

3. Team Kyle Bailey 1-0 (7)

Bailey's crew was not given enough credit in the pre-season. Just ask them, they'll tell you.

4. Team Cartier Brown 1-0 (10)

May have been the most underrated team in the league and look eager to prove themselves.

5. Team Turean Connor 1-1 (4)

Need to stop taking possessions off in order to reach potential.

6. Team Mr. Rhodes 0-1 (1)

Kier Carmichael-Smith needs to be fined or suspended for his violation of team policy (arriving late to the game)

7. Team Denzell Hargrove 0-1 (5)

Got rolled by a hot-shooting Team Kyle Bailey.

8. Team Denzell Smith 0-1 (6)

Ran into a buzz-saw in the form of Team LaQuinn Parks.

9. Team Afure Obeabor 0-1 (8)

Hopefully they got some shots up this weekend in preparation for next week.

10. Team Jeff Jones 0-1 (9)

Need to "Pause, Breath, and Walk Away" themselves to better team chemistry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day Two Recap

Team Turean Connor 49
Team Mr. Rhodes 46

Usually when a team's performance can be described with 3 Ls (Lazy, Lethargic, and Lackadaisical), they almost always end up with the Big L, a loss. Not the case today, for Connor's squad (1-1), who narrowly escaped this afternoon with a victory over a Nick Norals-less Team Rhodes. Brandon Webb scored a team-high 21 points and Connor added 10. Webb, doing his normal "I'm too cool to try my hardest for fear that I might look bad if I fail" routine sealed the deal in closing minutes with a couple of fast-break lay-ups. Daniel Palm, pre-occupied with jeers he was receiving from the crowd, chipped in a couple of buckets using his vaunted "no defense, basket-hanging" strategy. Xavier O'neal, who was clearly disappointed with his team's lack of a killer instinct in the first half, needs to call a team meeting and find a way for this group to reach their potential before it's too late.
Team Rhodes (0-1) competed mightily with only four players for a large portion of the first half. Rhodes implemented a devastating two-two zone which left Connor's squad befuddled and unable to score. Upon Kier Carmichael-Smith's late first-half arrival, it looked like Rhode's group was well on their way to victory. Clearly, the best defensive team in a league, they played much harder and seemed to end up with every loose ball in this contest. Pair that unmatched effort with Squirt Polk unleashing an array of behind-the-back dribble maneuvers and acrobatic finishes and you had Team Rhodes holding a two point lead with just under five minutes to play. The lack of bench however, proved costly, as they simply did not have the energy to thwart off Team Connor's uninspiring comeback effort.

Coaching Blunder: Seeing that Team Rhodes only had four players, it was inexcusable for Connor to not have his team press and make it an up-tempo style of ballgame. That's like playing baseball against a team without a right-fielder and continuing to have your players pull the ball as opposed to having them be smart and go the opposite way. Coach Connor needs to realize that it is not always about the Johnnies and Joes, but more about the X's and O's.

Coaching Wonder: Team Rhodes' 2-2 zone had all onlookers in the crowd comparing the coaching move to Bob Huggins brilliantly deciding to go with a 1-3-1 against Kentucky in the elite 8 in this year's NCAA tournament. It's a shame that this team ran out of gas in the second half, otherwise this quite possibly could have gone down in basketball lore as one of the greatest coaching strategies of all-time.

Team LaQuinn Parks 52
Team Denzell Smith 40

Team Parks (1-0) proved themselves to be one of the more complete teams in the league. They moved the ball, screened well, played solid on and off the ball defense, and consistently made the extra pass. As I predicted would happen, Mario Sawyer helped make the game easy for his teammates by dishing out 11 assists. The recipients of his unselfishness were Parks, Courtney Ealy, and Kyle Begusa who contributed 11, 14, and 13 points respectively. Ealy, in particular proved why he is one of the Top Ten freshman in the state according to He had a plethora of no-look passes (even threw in a couple of unnecessary spins afterwards) and dazzling finishes at the rim. His performance was marred a tiny bit by one Siler-like missed dunk. The problem with this was not the missed dunk, but rather the fact that Courtney himself knows that he can't dunk, yet still tried knowing this fact. That's the equivalent of getting married to someone that you know, with undeniable certainty, will end up in a divorce or, on a smaller scale, choosing to to drink a milk-shake, knowing that you're lactose intolerant. As a great coach of mine used to say, "If you can't dunk, lay it in Courtney."
Denzell Smith chose to sit himself and two other Team Smith (0-1) top players to start the game as a creative attempt to satisfy the "Everyone must play five minutes" rule established by Commissioner Rodgers. This move definitely demonstrated Smith's ability to think outside the box, but it creatively backfired. Although Smith came in immediately and banged a three to cut the lead to two at the ten minute mark, Team Parks had already established an offensive flow that proved insurmountable. Marques Hudson did provide some comic relief for the crowd by doing something that had never been done in KBA history, he airballed and bricked a free throw in consecutive trips to the charity stripe. Congratulations Marques on that lofty feat!

Coaching Blunder: Kehinde Ogunleye had two points and one near standing ovation in one minute of action. After doing the math, assuming that Ogunleye would have played the entire game, he would have ended up with 60 points on 30 for 30 from the field and 30 near standing ovations. You have to wonder what Smith was thinking in the way he distributed minutes to his players and whether or not he'll get Ogunleye more tick next time.

Coaching Wonder: Coach Parks, started using a Hockey-style substitution method late in the second half, in which he sent Sheldon Blanton into the game as it was in progress. Basketball rules dictate that subs can only enter the games during dead ball situations, but this sneaky move by Parks went unnoticed by first year refs Afure Obaebor and Imitri Baker (Because we all know after his first game that there is no D in Dimitri). Parks, knowingly or not, ended up looking like an innovator and proved himself as a rising star in the coaching ranks.

Team Patrick Glostner 53
Team Jeff Jones 38

Even with Kevin Swanson about as disinterested in this game as a vegetarian at a butcher's convention, Team Glostner (2-0) was clicking on all cylinders in their rout of Team Jones. Remy Price was phenomenal once again. Corey Williams distributed the ball and knocked down some big shots and Patrick Glostner used his RonArtestian-like motor to grab loose ball after loose ball. This core of Glostner, Price, Williams, and Swanson was simply too much for the over matched roster of Team Jones. In fact, this roster my be too much for everyone in the league with the exception of Team Parks. If they could ever get Kevin Swanson off of the B-Webb "I'm too cool to try my hardest for fear that I might look bad if I fail" All-star team, they would be unstoppable. Until then, they leave themselves open to an upset.
Team Jones may have found their way to the bottom of the KBA rankings after this one due to their complete lack of team cohesiveness. Cash Jones certainly got his, finishing with 19 points and six alienated teammates, on 8 for 68 from the field. Aerius Fitch picked up the first technical foul of the season as well due to kind words that he sent referee Denzell Smith's way. The complete lack of team unity left Jeff Jones saying after the game that "I'm ball before family." Does this mean that cousin Cash may be on the trading block for potential KBA suitors? I'm hoping that this is not the case and that instead, Cash learns the valuable lesson that Michael Jordan learned circa 1991 that without John Paxson, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and Bill Cartwright, he would never win an NBA title. With that said, there was one bright spot for Team Jones in this game, and that was the fashionable Taiwo Ogunleye. Taiwo competed with a phenomenal short-sleeved, red and plaid, button-down shirt under his jersey. I have to think that if any representatives from Nike were in attendance, that they would have to consider adding this to their upcoming summer sportswear line.

Coaching Blunder: Jeff Jones really needed to take a time-out to let cooler heads prevail in this one. Having a sit down with Cash and Phillip Strong could have got everyone back on the same page and allowed his team to make a run in the second half. Instead he allowed things to boil over and focused his efforts on keeping the "Jeff Jones" face to minimum this game (only 3 appearances).

Coaching Wonder: Patrick Glostner was absolutely outstanding during pre-game, timeouts, and half-time delivering Vince Lombardi-like speeches to rile up his guys and get them to play hard. He has clearly earned the respect of his players.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day One Recap

Team Cartier 48
Team Afure 23
When you're wrong, you're wrong. Team Cartier Brown, ranked dead last in the KBA pre-season rankings showed that they may be a force to be reckoned with during the 2010 season (Granted, I prefaced their low ranking in saying that many of their players were a mystery to me, but who's making excuses). Both Michael Darty (11 points) and Tarik Martin (9 points) proved capable of leading Brown's squad into the upper-echelon of the league. Darty ran circles around Team Afure's guards (most notably, Chaz Thrailkill), while Tarik Martin's superior athleticism was too much to handle. Team Captain, Cartier Brown chipped in with 11 points and an impressive two missed dunks.
On the other side, Team Afure has a lot of work to do in order to right the ship. Sure, they were missing their team captain and fearless leader, but that is no excuse. Their horrid shooting and poor shot selection would have rendered them winless against just about any team in the league. The good news is that basketball guru and master of the X's and O's, Markise Wilson, is sure to come up with a better gameplan for their next opponent. Rob Siler led the team with 6 points on 0 for 37 shooting from three-point land. Chaz Thrailkill (who did not take my advice by sticking to what he knows best, defense) added 5 points on 0 for 16 shooting from long-distance.

Key to the Game: Dimitri Baker, pulled his best Jim Boeheim impersonation, and instructed his team to come out of a time-out in a trapping 2-3 zone. This brilliant coaching decision was impressive on two fronts. First, it completely stifled Team Afure's offensive continuity and flow. Secondly, it allowed Baker's defensive deficiencies to go unexploited. Great Call Dimitri!

Quote of the Game: "We want Markise! We want Markise! We want Markise!" Clearly, the raucous crowd of fifty wanted to be entertained by the maestro of the hardwood.

Team Kyle Bailey 48
Team Denzell Hargrove 33

During the first five minutes of this contest, neither team looked to be on top of their games. The trio of guards for Team Bailey (Antonio Boyle, Jeremy McClendon, and Kyle Bailey) began to take over the game with their hot shooting at the ten minute mark of the first half. Boyle, stranger to the phrase "Act like you've been there before", was feeling it from long-range throughout the entire game to the tune of a game-high 29 points. McClendon, Bailey's super athletic swing-man dropped in some gravity-defying jumpers to finish the game with 10. You have to wonder though, whether this team's propensity for trash-talking and referee-bashing may come back to haunt them in future games.
Team Hargrove was without their first and second round draft choices (Travis McBride and Red Washington) for the duration of the first half. Even with McBride and Washington available for second-half action, team Hargrove could do little to stop the long-range barrage of Antonio Boyle. Hargrove's team had a balanced attack with Washington, McBride, Darius Skyles, and Hargrove finishing with 6 points apiece. Big-man, and notorious non-dresser in gym, Robert Tyler, led the team in scoring with eight. Brighter days are ahead for this team. It's unfortunate that Hargrove did not have the full roster at his disposal for the entire game. When he does, I expect a much better performance.

Key to the Game: Really, it came down to the hot shooting of Bailey, McClendon, and Boyle. It's no coincidence that these three are under the tutelage of the same teacher with a silky smooth J during their respective gym periods.

Quote of the Game: "Let's go Man!!!!!" - Denzell Hargrove. To get the full effect of this statement, picture Hargrove with a cocked head and an expression on his face as if he had just eaten a sour grape. Usually, this patented Hargrove one-liner will get himself and his teammates headed in the right direction , but it was all for naught on this day.

Team Patrick Glostner 48
Team Turean Conner 40

Pre-season 2nd ranked Team Glostner lived up to the billing today with an impressive victory over a very sluggish team Conner. Let me take this time to pat myself on the back for telling all of you how much of sleeper the talented freshman Remy Price was going to be this season for Glostner (See previous post to witness Nostradamas at work). He was absolutely phenomenal today, pouring in eighteen points and five steals (Even with Glostner sitting him for the last ten minutes of the game in lackluster attempt to freeze the freshman out, reminiscent of the classic Isiah-Jordan 1985 All-Star Game). Glostner had a solid game with 11 points, three of which proved to be a dagger to Team Connor's comeback attempt with 1:05 remaining. Kevin Swanson, who before the game made the statement that "I'm not gonna do nothing cause I don't want to" actually did a lot in the first half with an early ten points. Realizing that this completely contradicted his pre-game proclamation, he subsequently disappeared in the second half.
Team Taurean Connor proved the theory correct that what may look great on paper, may not necessarily translate to the court. This team has a collection of all-stars in Brandon Webb, Xavier O'Neil, and Daniel Palm, but lacks a true point guard to help distribute the ball to these scorers. While O'Neil was the human eraser, coming away with five blocks on the defensive end, Palm and Webb looked like they were allergic to the men they were guarding, staying as far away as possible. Daniel Palm summed up the mentality that is hampering this team's chances for success in his response to the question after the game of "What happened out there Daniel?" "What do you mean Coach? I did good out there today." Clearly, Mr. Palm is thinking about me instead of we. Hopefully, inspirational leader O'Neil can knock some sense into him by the time next week rolls around. Brandon Webb led Team Connor with 17 and Palm finished with 15. Kenny Williams who was as tardy to the game as his usually is to 3rd period, added five to help his team (or should i say collection of individuals?) cut it close in the second half.

Key to the Game: Patrick Glostner inexplicably intentionally missing a free-throw in a misguided attempt to get his own rebound which triggered a run by team Conner that could have cost his team the game. Luckily, Glostner made up for this miscue with his late game dagger.

Quote of the Game: Talking about what was wrong with Team Conner, the great philosopher that is Cash Jones said "If everyone plays their role, they'll win some games." Couldn't have said it better myself Cash. Hopefully that quality insight will translate into you living up to the billing of the number one overall pick. Are you going to be Michael Olowokandi or Lebron James? I can't wait to find out the answer on Friday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

KBA Pre-Season Rankings

The wait is finally over. The KBA season officially began Thursday in the upstairs gym in front of nearly fifty Kenwood students eagerly awaiting their name to be called by Commissioner Rodgers. Some waited longer than anticipated, while others sky-rocketed to the top of their respective captain's draft boards. While some GMs built their teams around size and strength, others seemed to focus their efforts on acquiring the quickest of guards. A few GMs were able to get some late-round steals, while others picked up players early on that seem destined to be talked about for years in the hallowed halls of Kenwood as first-round busts. A couple selections left both commisioner Rodgers and assistant commisioner Maley dumbfounded, questioning whether GMs were really in it to win the KBA championship, or if they merely wanted to become the Kenwood version of the New Jersey nets.

Many questions loom for the 2010 season which could seperate title contenders from title pretenders. Which players will be able to will their team to victory? Is basket hanging actually a good strategy? Will there be enough shots to go around for certain passing-challenged teams? Can certain players whip themselves into shape before it is too late? Will players be able to keep themselves out of Ms. Callaway's office and on the hardwood for the duration of the season? Only time will give us the final verdict to each of the pressing questions, but one thing is for certain, the 2010 KBA season promises to be an exciting and riveting quest for Kenwood immortality. Let the games and trash talking begin.

2010 Pre-season rankings and team preview:

10. Team Cartier Brown - Part of the reason for the low ranking is the fact that I have not seen many of these guys play before. Dimitri Baker can put the ball in the basket every now and then and Cartier Brown is certainly one of the most athletic players in the league, but I just don't think this team has enough top to bottom to truly compete for a championship. Don't sleep on Derrick Gaddy as a player that can lock down another team's top scorer.

The Good: There will definitely be some high-light reel dunks from team captain Cartier Brown and Gaddy can certainly trash talk with the best of them.

The Bad: Dimitri Baker can not guard anyone! (See 3rd period PE class when Baker tries to guard Coach Maley)

9. Team Jeff Jones - Was Cash Jones drafted #1 overall because of his work ethic and talent or because he is Jeff's cousin? We will have to wait and see. Jones does have a quality inside/outside presence in the form of Phillip Strong. The big question will be whether or not Taiwo Ogunleye can prove all the GMs wrong who passed on him in the draft. If he can be the high-scoring guard that this blogger thinks he can be, team Jones has the ability to soar in the rankings.

The Good: Cash Jones has the second best name in the league (behind Xavier O'neal) and Jeff Jones has worked hard to have a much improved jump shot.

The Bad: The Jeff Jones facial expression when you know that his head is simply not in the game. If this face makes an appearance, do not expect great things from Team Jones.

8. Team Obaebor - This team has great size with Afure Obaebor and Rob Siler patrolling the paint. Although this blogger has never seen Mr. Malinkovich play, I'm sure he is a heck of a player with a lot of international experience. Chaz Thrailkill has proven to be a tough and tenacious defender. It will be up to Obaebor to make sure that Chaz continues to focus on his defense and leaves the offense to the professionals.

The Good: This team does have two players with some quality varsity basketball experience in Obeabor and Rob Siler.

The Bad: Markise Wilson a fourth round pick? I repeat, Markise Wilson a fourth round pick? Dubbed by commissioner Rodgers as the worst player in the league last year, it is hard to imagine that his stock could have risen so high in one off-season.

7. Team Kyle Bailey - Antonio Boyle and Jeremy McClendon are certainly a high-scoring back court, but will there be enough shots for both of them. Bernard Bam Brisco can certainly talk a great game, but will he be able to back it up? Clearly, there are a lot of questions for this team which leads me to believe that they have the ability to finish in the top 3, but certainly capable of finishing in the bottom 3 as well.

The Good: McClendon could certainly make the Spud Webb all stars as the smallest, but probably best dunker in the league.

The Bad: There is not a whole lot of size to this team. Look for Team Conner and Obaebor to exploit this early and often.

6. Team Denzel Smith: Syid Young and Keith Spencer have the ability to be a very dynamic backcourt. This, teamed with a quality big man like Smith, could spell championship. They also have a quality glue guy in Marques Hudson. I'm just not so sure you draft glue guys in the second round.

The Good: Keith Spencer has some great vision at the point and Kehinde Ogunleye is a tremendous shot blocker.

The Bad: Every time Syid Young calls the name of a teacher or coach in a little girl voice and puts his head down pretending that it wasn't him, will lead to his team getting no favors from both commissioner Rodgers and assistant commish Maley.

5. Team Denzell Hargrove: Hargrove is one of the most competitive players in the league but will need to keep his temper in check for his team to thrive. The combination of Travis McBride and Hargrove can work or completely backfire. Both PGs love to have the ball in their hands which could be harmful to the team's offensive flow. The good thing is that they have a guy in Red Washington that is sure to be one of the best scorers in the league.

The Good: Darius Skyles is one of the best late-round steals in the draft. Although if he continues to lie to Co-commish Maley about what period he actually has gym, his days in the KBA could be numbered.

The Bad: There will be an actual scoreboard at all games, leaving Hargrove completely incapable of calling the score out, which ironically enough, always has his team winning.

4. Team Turean Conner - I really, really, really like this team. Xavier O'Neal (Best name in the league), Conner, and Brandon Webb all have the ability to score at will. They are also one of the more athletic teams in the league. They have in inside presence in Big Kenny Williams and a potential defensive stopper in Johnny Jenkins (As long as his team is winning). Stuey Salley is one of the better steals in the draft and could give Conner's team a long-range threat. I expect big things from this crew.

The Good: Brandon Webb is the best scorer in the league and Xavier O'Neal can be a quality shot blocker (As long as it is not when he is guarding Coach Maley in PE) and high-flying dunker.

The Bad: After his European vacation and some more time off, Daniel Palm seems like he is a tad bit out of shape. And by a tad bit, I mean a lot bit. If he can work his way back into game shape and shut his mouth long enough to breath, he can be an asset to this team.

3. Team LaQuinn Parks - To me, Mario Sawyer was drafted way too late in the first round. If you are a guy who likes to score easy baskets, Sawyer who has the best vision in the league, is the guy to have on your team. Parks made the right move in selecting him. Kyle Begusa is probably the best shot blocker in the league and Chris Mister is one of its best long-range shooters. If they can get some contribution from the likes of Sheldon Blanton and Zarpka Bahn, this team will contend.

The Good: Courtney Ealy's length and athleticism.

The Bad: Courtney Ealy's haircuts and insistence that he does not need to change the form on his jump shot.

2. Team Patrick Glostner: This is a high risk-high reward team. Will Kevin Swanson show up to play every game (both literally and in terms the quality of his play)? Can Patrick Glostner use his physicality to impact every game? Will Korey Williams be able to distribute the ball like I know he can? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this team can win a championship. Glostner picked up Remy Price in the third round, which could turn out to be the steal of the draft. Team captains will regret that they did not know about this Freshman.

The Good: Jamal Sykes and Kevin Swanson are a quality pair of post men when they want to be.

The Bad: When Glostner settles for jump shots instead of getting to the rim.

1. Team Mr. Rhodes: What do most great teams have in common? They are able to blend crafty veterans like Rhodes, with quality young players like Squirt Polk, Nick Norals, Kier Smith. They also have a quality glue guy in Darnell Blakemore that will do anything to help his team win. Mr. Rhodes showed what he could do in the student-faculty game this fall. If that was any indication of the type of season that he will have this year, look for Rhodes to be named the MVP of the league and member of the KBA champion.

The Good: Nick Norals is one of the better shooters in the league and Polk has a knack for finding the ball off the glass.

The Bad: Will the belief by students that Mr. Rhodes raffle win earlier in year was rigged leave Rhodes with a giant target on his back and all of the KBA thirsty for revenge? Quite Possibly.