End of Season B League Write up & MVP Leaderboard
By Dylan Jaklitsch
Stats are presented as points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game.
Leading into the final Sunday of the regular season, the standings are hardly set in stone. Every team is on the schedule at SUNY Oneonta’s Chase Gymnasium, with several teams running “The Gauntlet”, playing three games in one single day. The gauntlet run could heavily influence a team, providing an opportunity for three wins, or leaving a team vulnerable to three losses. Teams will be jockeying for playoff position, and additionally, may be looking to bring a player in for the weekend. Three games is the magic number for playoff eligibility, and several teams have players who are currently short games, but may offer a significant playoff impact if they’re able to obtain eligibility. I will provide my power rankings at this time based on where I feel teams are at this time.
Team Blendos (Tye Dye) 6-0
Jazz Burks 32.2/11.5/4.2
Ray Williams 27.7/7.7/4.7
Cam Hayes 26.5/11.8/8.5
Aaron Zurn 11.5/4.5/4.5/3.5 spg
E Santiago 7.2/6.4/6.6
Team Blendos remains hotter than a fox in a forest fire, as they’re the only undefeated team in the league, and one of the highest scoring teams, with a league-leading four 100-point games. MVP candidate Cam Hayes is nearly averaging a triple double, and Jazz Burks and Ray Williams are among the highest scorers in the league. But what really gets it done for Tye Dye is their defense. All five starters for Team Blendos are averaging at least 1.5 steals per game, with four of them — Aaron Zurn (league leader), Jazz Burks, Ray Williams and E Santiago in the top ten in the league in steals per game. Jazz Burks is also second in the league in blocks per game, making him a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, as is Aaron Zurn. Tye Dye looks to finish out the regular season undefeated, but they will have to run the gauntlet on Sunday in order to do so, with consecutive games against Pink, Gold and Green to kick things off on Sunday. Could we have an undefeated team? Could we have a player average a triple double this season? Will Shea Barber make his highly anticipated B League season debut and sneak his way into playoff eligibility on the final day? Pull up to SUNY Oneonta’s Chase Gymnasium to find out.
2. Catskill Region Surveying Services (Forest Green) 6-2
Josh Gregory 22.7/15.7/6.7
Josh Anderson 15.2/6.8/1.7
Arie Brunson 12.8/9.5/1.7
Jordan Weir 12.1/4.9/0.1
Matt Anderson 10.1/3.9/1.6
Colby Fancher 9.0/4.6/5.8
Tyler Bruce 5.5/3.7/5.2
The deepest team in the league, Catskill Region Surveying comes in at the number two spot, a team that really plays nine guys! Normally egos may clash and chemistry might suffer, but this team doesn’t miss a beat regardless of who steps to the scorer’s table. They’re led by two dynamic guards, Colby Fancher and Tyler Bruce. You won’t always see their teams at the top of scoring lists, but these two guys make plays on both ends, and meet the tall task of keeping everyone happy head-on. Both guys are top ten in assists right now. This team has several big men who rotate in and out and possess complementary skill sets to one another, and this season Forest Green has added some shooting. Some of this has come in the form of their existing roster improving their skills, but the return of Matt Anderson and addition of MVP candidate Josh Gregory have established a dimension to Forest Green’s offense that wasn’t always seen in the past. They’ll wrap up their season at Chase Gymnasium, in what I feel is the matchup of the week against TMTC (Carolina Blue).
3. Twin Mountain Top Construction (Carolina Blue) 6-2
Dan Njoku 28.0/7.4/6.6
Graham Wooden 27.0/13.4/5.0
Luke VanSlyke 25.6/12.2/2.0
Dylan Jaklitsch 14.7/5.0/6.4
When we talk about TMTC, we’re talking about a team with a high octane offense. Carolina Blue has scored 85 points in all but two games this season, where they played with 4 players (scoring 82 and 70 in those games), eclipsing the 100-point mark three times this summer. They average a league-leading 96.6 points per game. With three players averaging at least 25 points per game, they have truly been a “pick your poison” kind of team when at full strength. Sprinkle in several key veteran role players and you have a team that has won their last four games by a margin of 28 ppg. While Graham Wooden and Luke Van Slyke are extremely active on the boards and in transition, this team is led by MVP candidate Dan Njoku, a slick-dribbling guard with an array of dribble moves and seemingly endless range off the bounce. Njoku leads the league in points scored, made 3’s, made free throws, and assists as of my writing this blog. Carolina Blue has three players averaging five or more assists as well; their ball movement is a trademark of their style of play. They face off in my above-stated matchup of the week against Catskill Regional Surveying at Chase Gym on Sunday.
4. Magro’s Pizzeria (Navy) 6-1
Jacob Beach 20.4/9.1/3.1
Jared Beach 16.7/6.3/3.3
Colin Adam 16.4/4.0/1.7
Dylan Jacob 13.7/6.6/7.4
The Magro’s Pizzeria boys from Walton are always a group to watch for, as their chemistry and confidence in one another makes them a tough team to beat, regardless of the matchup. Their core group of guys always seem to be on the same page out there, and they love to push the pace in transition and take chances on the defensive end, with all four guys getting at least one steal per game. The addition of shooter Riley Spencer took the league by storm this past Sunday, as he exploded for 48 points (on 12/23 from 3!) in his debut, and followed it up with 34 points in the second game, an overtime thriller. This team slips to #4 in my rankings after a scare vs a winless Benson Agency, though I fully expect them to put out a better showing in their doubleheader this weekend, up at Chase Gym. It is of note that the eldest of the “Beach Bums” Jared Beach has not been present at the last several games, and it will be intriguing to see if makes his return this weekend leading up to the playoffs.
5. Zimmer (Iron Grey) 4-3
Damian Zimmer 26.9/9.7/2.9
Mike D’Abbraccio 15.0/7.4/3.0
Steve D’Angelo 12.2/6.0/2.8
Matt Vogel 11.3/3.7/3.3
After a tough gauntlet run in the league’s first round at a Chase Gymnasium, Iron Grey bounced back nicely by beating Catskill Regional (Forest Green), one of the top teams in the league. Not only did they stay above .500 in doing so, but they also put the league on notice by acquiring JO Annan, a past League and Finals MVP. MVP candidate Damian Zimmer is no stranger to the Summer League championship, with several of his own already to his name, and he is preparing for a playoff run with more support than he may have ever had on a Summer B League team. Iron Grey has a doubleheader on Sunday up at Chase Gymnasium, where Annan will need to play in both games in order to be playoff eligible.
6. Country Club Motors (Pink) 3-5
Brock Weidman 20.5/3.2/2.2
Mariano Hernandez 17.1/7.9/4.0
Stevie Melendez 17.4/7.1/5.4
Conrad Miller 9.7/6.6/1.7
At 3-5, I feel like this is a team that some might sleep on. A cohesive group who fell victim to one of the toughest schedules of any team this summer, this team is led by an athletic trio who can all respectively put their stamp on a game any given Sunday. They will take their shot at the commissioner-led one seed to finish off their season. As Omar from The Wire so eloquently said, “if you come at the king, you best not miss.”
7. Yak’s Youth Center (Jade) 4-3
Miles Mohrien 27.0/6.3/5.3
Brayden Murphy 24.0/6.0/1.3
Layton Gillette 21.5/4.0/2.7
Bruce Dunckle 14.3/11.5/2.3
Bo Beers 12.5/5.0/1.0
I will admit, Yak’s Youth Center is a bit hard for me to rank. They’ve played with 4 on multiple occasions, had a forfeit win, and they’ve had 11 different guys suit up, with only Bruce Dunckle making every game. However, if they can get their best five out there, I expect a high octane offense, as they have 3 guys contributing 21 a game or better, including Most Improved Player candidate Layton Gillette. They’ve got 2 early games up at SUNY Oneonta’s Chase Gymnasium this weekend, and that could play a factor for Jade Green. It is important to note that Miles Mohrien went for 36 points, sparked by 10 made 3’s, the last time Blendos was up at Chase Gym.
8. Sal’s New Classic Pizzeria (Gold) 2-4
Sayquan Chambers 30.3/9.7/3.5
Ty Chambers 11.5/4.3/2.7
Quan Robinson 11.0/5.7/1.0
Derek Wright 6.7/4.8/1.5
After a 3-game skid, Sal’s Pizzeria was able to bounce back this weekend, splitting the decisions in a doubleheader. MVP candidate Sayquan Chambers has been on a torrid streak, averaging 35 pts, 11 reb and 4 ast in his last 3, and Ty Chambers had two very strong performances Sunday, but Sal’s will need all the help they can get this coming week, with a doubleheader to close out the season.
9. Five Star Subaru (Black) 1-5
Khi Atchinson 19.6/6.0/2.4
Zyeir Lawrence 19.3/10.3/2.2
Kevin Kurkowski 15.2/9.5/4.5
Sani Atkinson 10.6/4.2/4.2
This has been a puzzling season for this young and promising group. This group has made a deep playoff run in the past, reaching the Summer B championship once before, but they’re in danger of missing the playoffs this season. Khi Atchinson has had a breakout season for Five Star, but it hasn’t translated to the wins they’re looking for. Rumors of A League player Tommy Flanagan have swirled throughout the season, but he has yet to make an appearance on a Sunday. Tommy is averaging 25 ppg in the Summer A League on Monday nights, and would undoubtedly improve this teams chances. They will run the gauntlet on Sunday up at Chase Gym, with 3 more games to try and put it together. They have a rematch with Iron Grey, a top five team - but the only team the Black squad has defeated this season. Will Five Star Subaru rev the engine this last week of the regular season, or will they get left in the parking lot during the playoffs?
10. Certified Auto (Green) 2-4
Devon Hartwell 20.5/5.2/4.0
Gavin Bonczkowski 10.5/6.5/2.5 (2 gms)
Dylan McVey 10.0/9.2/2.7
Mike Stevens 7.7/7.0/2.5
The jury is still out on what Certified Auto is bringing week to week. Three of their first four were very close games (lost by 1, won by 7 and 9), but they followed it up by forfeiting a doubleheader this past Sunday. Sitting at 2-4, they will run the gauntlet Sunday like several other teams. Will they be able to put forth a competitive showing like the first portion of the season, or will they struggle to get their players in the gym for a critical final week of the regular season?
11. Red Jug Pub (Red) 1-5
Jordan Manikas 15.2/6.5/2.3
Ethan Jubar 14.2/10.3/2.0
Travis Moyer 13.0/5.2/4.2
Christian Bravo 11.0/4.0/3.4
This Red Jug Pub team has been *right there* on numerous occasions this season. With four losses of 7 points or less, there have been several games where the Red squad is knocking at the door but couldn’t quite get in. All these close calls hopefully motivate RJP, as it shows them how close they are each week to victory. Red Jug Pub has multiple players who can line They will run the gauntlet Sunday, with 3 games to play and possibly an opportunity to sneak into the playoffs as well.
12. Benson Agency (Orange) 0-7
Derek Burns 23.3/7.1/3.3
Stanley Andersen 12.7/15.7/2.0
Brett Post 10.8/9.4/1.0
Quinlan Davis 9.0/6.7/2.0
While this team has yet to pick up a win this season, they have shown improvement throughout the season. In their most recent showing, a doubleheader, they played TMTC at full strength to a 16-point game which was much closer than the final score would indicate. They followed it up by taking Magro’s Pizzeria to overtime, led by a 37-point performance from Derek Burns. That type of performance against two top five teams shows the growth Benson Agency has made this season - and the potential they have to upset a higher ranked team. They will have two more cracks at it Sunday against Sal’s Pizzeria and Red Jug Pub.
Dylan’s Leaderboard - MVP
Cam Hayes (Tye Dye) 26.5/11.8/8.5
Dan Njoku (Carolina Blue) 28.0/7.4/6.6
Damian Zimmer (Iron Grey) 26.9/9.7/2.9
Sayquan Chambers (Gold) 30.3/9.7/3.5
Jazz Burks (Tye Dye) 32.2/11.5/4.2
Graham Wooden (Carolina Blue) 27.0/13.4/5.0
Luke VanSlyke (Carolina Blue) 25.6/12.2/2.0
Ray Williams (Tye Dye) 27.7/7.7/4.7
Josh Gregory (Forest Green) 22.7/15.7/6.7
Derek Burns (Orange) 23.3/7.1/3.3
Only 5 days left to register for the 2nd annual Blend-A-Rama 3 v 3 basketball tournament on Main Street in Oneonta NY July 29th & 30th