Capping off the Summer 2022 season will be the Summer 2022 Legacy Leagues All-Star Night featuring a dunk contest, three-point contest and an All-Star Game. 16 players were voted All-Stars, and the teams were selected by members of the Low Post Podcast and fellow Duje’s Boys Dan Ruggiero and P.J. Thomas.
The lineup for Team Thomas is led by no. 1 overall pick and 43.0 points per game scorer Gian Avedisian. Rounding out that starting lineup is the Werewolves’ Brian Heston, Sin City’s Tahj Eddington, and the Halfway Crooks’ Jeff Winchell.
Team Thomas prioritized good defensive players in the starting lineup to set the tone for the rest of the game. Jeff Winchell and Brian Heston were the two finalists for Defensive Player of the Year and will be leading that front court. They also found themselves a pure playmaker in Tahj Eddington who ranked third this year in assists with 5.1 per game.
Team Ruggiero, who was selecting second, opted to go with the hometown hero John Coutu with his first selection, notably a former All-Star Game MVP. Jose Mercado, Colin Burns, and Devon Pina round out a monster front court for this team.
Coutu will be orchestrating passes with this starting unit just like he did with the Duje’s Boys all season long. We saw how the performances of Jose Mercado and Colin Burns can carry a team with their relentless attacks to the rim in their Summer 22 Finals victory over the Werewolves. The top rebounder in the Legacy Leagues with 16.9 per game, Devon Pina, will be facing off against his teammate, Tahj Eddington. He also will be tasked with keeping Winchell and Heston off the glass.
There will be less defense in this game compared to a normal Legacy Leagues game. The key to this game is the three-point shooting of each team. Teams will be seeing more open shots than usual, so knocking down the open looks could be the difference in who wins. Team Thomas stacked up in this department with sharpshooters Jared Hanson, Cody Crawford, and Charles Correa coming off the bench.
Transition play will also be a key where getting back on defense may be an afterthought. This is where Team Ruggiero could thrive. They loaded up on springy athletic players off the bench that can out run their opposition. Jaron Thomas, Sam Clifford, and Spence Freeman are all players you do not want to see in an open court fast break scenario.
Team Thomas – David DePina (Bogy Kicks) – Although DePina was selected in the last round in this draft, he has the potential to make a major impact in this game. DePina’s averages of 21.3 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game show he probably should have been selected earlier. As one of the most athletic players in the league, not many players are able to jump with David DePina at the rim.
Most players make a business decision and opt to watch him soar for a highlight dunk. We did not see DePina utilized much as a lob threat due to the lack of playmaking talent on his team in the regular season. This is a potential part of his game that we have not seen much and with all-stars around him he may be feeling more freedom to do his thing on the court.
Team Ruggiero – Jaron Thomas (Only the Fam) – Dan Ruggiero thought highly of Thomas, making him his first pick off the bench, and he is banking on getting the version of Thomas that took the Legacy Leagues by storm early in the season. Thomas still finished the year with an average of 28.6 points per game. He could be that type of scorer that Team Ruggiero needs off of their bench.
Thomas’s three-point game will be on watch as he was one of few players this year to record six three-point makes in a game during the regular season. He is also the type of athlete to soar in to the paint and finish over taller players. Thomas also will be playing with more talented teammates so he could reap the benefits of not being keyed on by opposing defenses.