By Tyler Krusz
8:30PM: BOOM-SHAKALAKA (4-1) VS SWISH KABOBS (4-1)
Boom-Shakalaka sits atop the power rankings again and have been playing very well, aside from their loss to Green Squad. Led by rookies Nate Stichell and Brandon Sweeney, their offense can score from anywhere in the half court. The two combined for 49 points in their last game, a win over the Werewolves. If the Swish Kabobs can’t control them, it could be a rough night.
As for the Swish Kabobs, they may be starting to feel a little pressure. Their last two games resulted in a comeback victory over the Halfway Crooks, winless at the time, and a loss to Prestige Worldwide. If they play the same way this week against Boom-Shakalaka, they could be looking at their second straight loss. That being said, Swish Kabobs still has a high powered offense and a defense that communicates well. If they bring their A-game this week, they could avenge their last loss and move up the rankings.
Players to Watch: Nate Stichell (Boom Shakalaka), Tezhan Massey (Swish Kabobs)
- Stichell: In his two games this season, Stichell has scored 46 total points and picked up 10 total steals. He’s a force on both sides of the ball, and can get to anywhere he wants on the court with his handles. When combined with Brandon Sweeney, Boom-Shakalaka sports an offense that can be extremely tough to handle.
- Massey: Massey is tall and athletic and plays above the rim. If he can get going and set the tone of the game with points in the paint, it can get the Swish Kabobs a lot of open looks from deep- which is an easy way to swing the game in their favor.
Potential Breakout Players: Matt Camara (Boom-Shakalaka), Marquis Jones (Swish Kabobs)
- Camara: He averages 13.2 points per game, but has been held under his average in two of the last three games. Look for him to heat up again as the games get more meaningful come playoff time. The Swish Kabobs are going to focus on Stichell and Sweeney, and if Camara gets hot from outside he could be a problem.
- Jones: Jones is fifth on his team in scoring with 12.0 points per game. He plays a lot like Massey, a high flyer who can also shoot the three. While Boom-Shakalaka focuses on locking down Massey and Tyler Barbosa, Jones could find himself a lot of good looks.
Legacy League Picks:
Tyler: Swish Kabobs
9:30PM: WILD HOGS (0-5) VS AVERAGE JOES (0-5)
Both teams deserve their first win, but only one will be able to get it this week. The Wild Hogs have a great offensive duo in Joey Coro and Mike Bandieri. Coro can dunk on nearly anyone in the league, and Bandieri can shoot from anywhere in the half court if he heats up. The Wild Hogs have played very good games against good teams, losing to Prestige Worldwide by five and The Werewolves at the buzzer.
On the other side of the winless teams, the Average Joes have been improving. They played a close game against the Halfway Crooks this week and have a few people that can score the ball aside from Matt Scavitti. If the other shooters can get going and they can find an answer for Coro, they can put a number in the win column this week.
Players to Watch: Joey Coro (Wild Hogs), Matt Scavitti (Average Joes)
- Coro: If Coro gets a running start, he can dunk on nearly anyone in the league. He can also shoot, too, which can be a problem because he utilizes the pump fake very well. He’s a long player who can get out on the fast break and open up the score in a hurry.
- Scavitti: Scavitti has been a natural scorer this season, and carries most of the offense of the Average Joes. He averages 21.5 a game, and has taken nearly twice as many shots as anyone else on the roster. If he can get going, he can be almost unstoppable for the Wild Hogs defense.
Potential Breakout Players: Marc Betancourt (Wild Hogs), Keith Murray (Average Joes)
- Betancourt: Betancourt has proven he can score, putting up 14 last week, with six points from behind the arc. If he can find and put up more shots, he could be tough to cool down, especially with the attention Bandieri and Coro receive from the defense.
- Murray: A lot of the game for the Average Joes comes down to stopping and/or slowing down Joey Coro, and Keith Murray is the big man for the Average Joes. If he can get going on the post offensively, he can wear Coro down. He also proves a good matchup for him on defense, as his size could effect Coro at the rim.
Legacy League Picks:
Jared: Wild Hogs
Greg: Wild Hogs
Tyler: Wild Hogs
9:30PM: PRESTIGE WORLDWIDE (4-1) VS WEREWOLVES (3-2)
Prestige Worldwide is coming off of a few impressive victories, beating the Average Joes by 20 and the once undefeated Swish Kabobs by 14 in back-to-back games. Bryan Yarce continues to dominate the game both offensively and defensively. Mix that with some great shooters alongside him and dominant play in the paint from Shaine Patrick and Prestige Worldwide is a tough team to beat.
In order for the Werewolves to pull off the win, they need to start hot from behind the arc. They run their offense through the two-headed monster of Gino Forte and Brian Heston, who combined for 49 points their last time out. If they can both get going from deep, it would be extremely tough to stop for any team in the league to beat them. Heston is also a block machine, and if he can control the paint defensively the game could swing in the Werewolves favor.
Players To Watch: Bryan Yarce (Presitge Worldwide), Brian Heston (Werewolves)
- Yarce: Yarce continues to put up massive scoring numbers week in and week out. He can find his shot anywhere in the half court, even if his shot is putting someone on a poster. He can also shoot the three, and get out on the fast break, which eventually leads to big runs.
- Heston: Heston can both shoot the three and score in traffic, but what’s going to matter most in this one is his outside shooting and his defense. As was mentioned earlier, Heston needs to control the paint defensively if the Werewolves want to pull out a win.
Potential Breakout Players: Roger Yarce (Prestige Worldwide), Brad Allen (Werewolves)
- Yarce: Yarce showed his ability as a ranged shooter in last weeks win. If his brother and Patrick get all the attention defensively, Yarce can put up points in a hurry from long range.
- Allen: Allen is going to need a big game offensively. Prestige Worldwide has the defensive ability to shut down Heston and Forte, and a third player is going to need to step up and get hot. If the Werewolves can draw Shaine Patrick out of the paint, it can give Allen a lot of open looks down low.
Legacy League Picks:
Jared: Prestige Worldwide
Greg: Prestige Worldwide
Tyler: Prestige Worldwide
10:30PM: GREEN SQUAD (4-1) VS HALFWAY CROOKS (1-4)
Green Squad looks to continue their success against The Halfway Crooks this week. They lead the league in overall scoring, and every player in their starting lineup averages double-digit points per game. The two names to watch out for are Victor Kashouh Jr., who can score from anywhere he wants anyway he wants, and Cody Crawford, a deadly shooter who can put up points in bunches if he gets hot. Complimented by Greg Holt and Jordan Ferretti, Green Squad has an offense that not many in the league have an answer for.
The Halfway Crooks picked up their first win last game over the Average Joes. While Jared Hanson usually carries the scoring load, he got some help from Dylan Lincoln, who put up 19 and proved he can be dominant on the inside. If the two can get hot this week, Hanson from deep and Lincoln in the paint, it could be a lot for Green Squad to handle.
Players to Watch: Cody Crawford (Green Squad), Jared Hanson (Halfway Crooks)
- Crawford: If Crawford gets hot from outside, he won’t stop shooting, and he won’t stop hitting. Him and Kashouh Jr. have a great feel for each other on the court, and that helps on the fastbreak, too, as Green Squad likes to play at a high pace.
- Hanson: Hanson can shoot and he’s a crafty finisher around the rim. He’s good at getting to the paint off the dribble, and Green Squad if very aggressive defensively. If Hanson can get some of the key players from Green Squad in foul trouble, it could go a long way for the Halfway Crooks.
Potential Breakout Players: Marc Testa (Green Squad), Joey Zocco (Halfway Crooks)
- Testa: Testa is a big body in the paint, and he’s a huge help on the glass and in the paint defensively. If he can control the offensive glass, it could lead to a lot of points because of the low rim. He could be a huge factor on both sides of the ball, both blocking shots and clearing space in the paint.
- Zocco: The Green Squad plays excellent interior defense, and Zocco is the team leader in three-point shooting. If he can start off hot and continue shooting well, he may become a go-to for the Halfway Crooks on offense.
Legacy League Picks:
Jared: Green Squad
Greg: Green Squad
Tyler: Green Squad