By Michael Barry
The Weekly Rebound Podcast (CT): Connor Sauer and Greg Horne break down Week 8 of the Connecticut Winter 18 season, pick each Week 9 game and run through the potential playoff scenarios for each team. Then the guys bring on special guest and former intern and analyst Daquan Stuckey.
**CLICK HERE TO SEE OFFICIAL STANDINGS WITH TIEBREAKERS AND EVERY TEAM’S RPI**
MONDAY 8:30PM: RIM BREAKERS (5-3) VS BLUE DEVILS (7-1)
The Blue Devils haven’t lost since Week 1 against No Limit and are looking for that first round bye to start the playoffs. They could help their cause with a win this week against the Rim Breakers. Rim Breakers have gotten back on track in the past two weeks with wins and look to make some noise with a regular season win against a true contender. Look for this one to be tight as both teams are battling for playoff positioning.
Players to Watch: Richard Bronson (Rim Breakers), Davon Pratt (Blue Devils)
- Bronson: He is a great defender on a team that needs the defensive stops when they’re in tight games. He had five blocks last week with 14 points and eight rebounds. Look for him to be key in stopping the Blue Devils biggest scoring threat in the regular season finale.
- Pratt: Last week was his biggest game yet for this rookie with 37 points and 15 rebounds. If he can keep shooting like he has and being a compliment to the potential MVP Mike Davis, the Blue Devils will be a dangerous team to play in the one and done tournament.
Potential Breakout Players: Tevin Jones (Rim Breakers), Destin Simmons (Blue Devils)
- Jones: He is seeing more playing time because of his defense and they’re going to need his defense against the Blue Devils. Jones could also score the basketball off the bench averaging around eight points per game in his rookie season.
- Simmons: Blue Devils scored 128 points this past week, Simmons had 20 of them and looks like he’s ready to breakout at the right time. He’s been player of the week before and could make a case again this week.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: Blue Devils
Mike: Blue Devils
Kendall: Blue Devils
Taylor: Blue Devils
Stuckey: Blue Devils
MONDAY 8:30PM: FLINT TROPICS (5-3) VS TEMPTATIONS (5-3)
The Flint Tropics have been streaky at times and are looking to be more consistent as they finish up the regular season. They shoot well from beyond the arc and usually out rebound teams, but have a tough time closing out close games. Temptations have the same dilemma as Flint, as they’re inconsistent at closing out games, but both have enough talent and firepower to make a run towards the championship. The final score of this game will be close and whoever wins will have a morale boosting win headed into the postseason.
Players to Watch: Matt Cyr (Flint Tropics), Jaylon Eggleston (Temptations)
- Cyr: One of the two Tropics to start all eight games this season, the other being Mike Bozutto, he rebounds the ball with ease at 7.9 per game. Getting those second chance points and more offensive possessions than the other team will more than likely help you win games and Cyr does just that.
- Eggleston: Going into playoff time, Eggleston could step up and become the third option on a Temptations team that is looking for offense. If he could increase his field goal percentage and dish the ball to Santorelli and Horton, the Temptations will be a scary offensive threat.
Potential Breakout Players: Ryan Caggiano (Flint Tropics), Nick Santorelli (Temptations)
- Caggiano: He doesn’t score the basketball, but grabs rebounds for a Tropics team that has other players that could score in bunches. If he continues to crash the glass, Flint will surprise some teams in the postseason.
- Santorelli: The “forgotten” Santorelli plays aggressively for a Temptations squad that started hot but have cooled as of late. He averages 12 points per game this season and takes good shots, shooting 46.8 percent from the field.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: Flint Tropics
Mike: Flint Tropics
Taylor: Flint Tropics
MONDAY 9:30PM: SHOOTERS SHOOT (1-7) VS GOON SQUAD (3-5)
Fresh off their first win of the season against Semi Pro, Shooters Shoot look to keep the good times rolling against a somewhat disappointing Goon Squad team. Goon Squad aren’t the same as they once were in previous Legacy Leagues seasons. They don’t play a flashy style of basketball, but instead take high percentage shots. This game will feature little to no defense, but offense that features teams that could really shoot the basketball.
Players to Watch: Brandon Guittard (Shooters Shoot), Matt Marconi (Goon Squad)
- Guittard: Playing aggressive and forcing Semi Pro to foul, he got to the free throw line 15 times and hit nine of them last week. He ended up with 25 points and nine rebounds having his best game yet. He is averaging around 12 points a game and about five rebounds to be Shooters Shoot number one option on offense and looks to close out the season on a high note.
- Marconi: He is having a stellar season averaging about 22 points and eight rebounds per game. The offense runs through him and will continue to do so once the postseason starts. Marconi looks poised to be an all star again this season.
Potential Breakout Players: Dan Keckler (Shooters Shoot), DJ Ellis (Goon Squad)
- Keckler: In their first win this past week, he played catalyst for his team having nine points and nine rebounds. If he can continue to play like he did, Shooters Shoot could pick up a second win this week and gain Keckler and his team some respect going into next season.
- Ellis: Last week was his best game yet with 11 points and five rebounds. He averages about 12 points per game and grabs five rebounds per game. He has only played in two games this season, but could pick up his team during the playoffs.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: Goon Squad
Mike: Goon Squad
Kendall: Goon Squad
Taylor: Goon Squad
Stuckey: Goon Squad
MONDAY 9:30PM: BLOOD, SWEAT AND BEERS (2-6) VS TEAM MOOSE (5-3)
Getting hot at the right time, Team Moose looks to get six wins on the season against an opponent that they should beat. They take good shots and play aggressive defense, as getting to the free throw line and playing hard near the rim is their game. Blood, Sweat and Beers are always vocal on the court and on the bench to motivate their teammates. It hasn’t worked so well this season with only two wins, but they are playing for pride in the upcoming playoffs to earn respect going into next season. Look for this game to be all Team Moose.
Players to Watch: Robo Peryer (Blood, Sweat and Beers), Kevin Blake (Team Moose)
- Peryer: He had a huge game last week with 27 points and eight rebounds. He is one of the lone bright spots in a lost season for his team. Being a rookie and stuffing the stat sheet like he does, will earn some consideration for rookie of the year. Look for him to make a case against a great defensive team this week.
- Blake: The vocal leader on and off the court, he’s patient with the ball and forces fouls getting to the line, converting on all ten of his attempts last week. His defense and guarding the best offensive player on the other team will be key going forward and will determine how far Team Moose can advance.
Potential Breakout Players: Chuck Dannenberg (Blood, Sweat and Beers), Brad Seaman (Team Moose)
- Dannenberg: He is a solid role player for a team that is looking to make a little noise at the end of the season. He has only not started one game this season and pulls down about five rebounds this season and averages about four for his career.
- Seaman: He is also vocal on the court and averages about nine points per game this season and seven rebounds a game. If he can continue to stuff the stat sheet, they could go far in the tournament with their defense.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: Team Moose
Mike: Team Moose
Kendall: Team Moose
Taylor: Team Moose
Stuckey: Team Moose
TUESDAY 9PM: MONSTARS (4-4) VS THE CHASERS (7-1)
The defending champs have been a surprise sitting at 4-4 going into the final week of the regular season. I wouldn’t rule them out to have a serious push come playoff time, however. The Monstars have been there before and knows what it takes to win. The Chasers are one of the quickest teams in the league and are also looking at a first round bye. If both of these teams are hot in this one, expect a high scoring contest that will come down to who could make the last play to put their team over the edge.
Players to Watch: CJ Wall (Monstars), Diontay Washington (The Chasers)
- Wall: He scored 13 points last week and if he could get it going for a Monstars team that is looking for help on offense, they will score in bunches rolling into the postseason. This will be a good test for where Wall and the Monstars are finishing the regular season against a formidable opponent.
- Washington: He is one half of the dynamic Washington brothers who are leading their team into the playoffs with a real chance and taking it all. He had an off game last week, but his career numbers, 24.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game will be more apparent in this game.
Potential Breakout Players: Mike Cody (Monstars), Jerome Baskin (The Chasers)
- Cody: He has served as a nice addition to the Monstars in the past couple of weeks. He may not fill the stat sheet just yet, but the Winter 17 Finals MVP will turn it on when he needs to. Expect him to breakout this week with one week left in the regular season.
- Baskin: Seems like everyone is scoring on The Chasers now, but Baskin has been consistent and is getting hot at the right time. He had 12 points last week with three rebounds. The Chasers will have a nice compliment to the Washington brothers with Baskin’s presence.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: The Chasers
Mike: The Chasers
Kendall: The Chasers
TUESDAY 9PM: NO LIMIT (8-0) VS THE THRONE (2-6)
The favorites and lone undefeated team still standing will look to cap off a perfect regular season, which I believe they will. With their most talented roster to date, No Limit seems like it is their championship to lose. The Throne space the floor and play good defense, but No Limit will pull away in the second half if they play how they have been playing all season. I expect the final score to not be close and No Limit to be undefeated with the number one seed.
Players to Watch: Shaquan Jackson (No Limit), JR Wright (The Throne)
- Jackson: Maybe the best defensive player in the league, Jackson provides a spark as he comes off the bench for this undefeated team. He does it all on defense and forces turnovers with five steals last week. Look for Jackson to continue coming off the bench giving No Limit a solid option when they need defensive stops.
- Wright: He had his best game so far for notching a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in a loss. The Throne have a ton of scoring threats and Wright broke out this week which bodes well for them right at the end of the season.
Potential Breakout Players: Howie Miller (No Limit), Dashawn Moffatt (The Throne)
- Miller: He could really shoot the ball beyond the arc but Miller had an off week with only 11 points in Week 8. When Miller is hitting his shots No Limit is close to unbeatable. If he could get back to form like he was shooting in the beginning of the season it will be near impossible to stop them.
- Moffatt: Stepping up this week earns him a spot in potentially breaking out going into this game. He’s averaging nine points per game and about three rebounds. In the Summer 17 season he was averaging 12 points and four rebounds, so if he could get back to those numbers, The Throne have a great role player on their bench
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: No Limit
Mike: No Limit
Kendall: No Limit
Taylor: No Limit
Stuckey: No Limit
TUESDAY 10PM: STRANGER DANGER (2-6) VS SEMI PRO (0-8)
In a last effort to pick up a win in the regular season, Semi Pro gets a matchup with a Stranger Danger team that has been struggling as of late. This will be a game in which whoever gets to 50 points first will win. Expect little to no defense and both teams trying to outshoot the other. In the end, I believe Stranger Danger will come out on top by a wide margin. This will feature both squads playing for pride on Tuesday night.
Players to Watch: Joey Zocco (Stranger Danger), Jacob Caselli (Semi Pro)
- Zocco: In what is looking more and more like a season of missed chances for his team, Zocco has been consistent in putting up solid numbers. Against a team such as Semi Pro, expect him to raise those 17 points per game this season and for him to end the regular season on a high note.
- Caselli: In order for Semi Pro to get their first win, he needs to shoot the ball like he did last week making four out of eight three point attempts and shooting 45 percent from the field. Not starting in any game and putting up numbers as he has, his team could be looking at a win.
Potential Breakout Players: Stephen Castagna (Stranger Danger), Rob Koripsky (Semi Pro)
- Castagna: Playing with only five men on their roster, Stranger Danger needs all the help they could get. He had 14 points and six rebounds last week against a good Blue Devils team. Castagna needs to continue playing like he did if Stranger Danger wants to steal one in the playoffs.
- Koripsky: He has won player of the week before and even on an winless team, he comes out to play every week. Semi Pro is looking at a good chance for their first win if he could grab rebounds like he did last week with nine of them.
Legacy Leagues Picks:
Joe: Stranger Danger
Mike: Stranger Danger
Kendall: Stranger Danger
Taylor: Stranger Danger
Stuckey: Stranger Danger