Get Kenwood Hoops Gear

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.