Les Berry to Return as Head Coach

The Metro is reporting that Les Berry will be back as the head coach of the Rainmen next year.  Great move.  I’m happy.  If he has the freedom to build this team from the ground up on his own, go through a proper training camp, play some exhibition games and make all the personnel decisions then I see no reason why the Rainmen can’t be a contender next year.  He did great coming into an absolutely terrible situation this year and if he is allowed to do his job unhindered then I think we’re in for a great season.

On the PR front, it is great to have the coach return and even better that it’s a local guy who people are already familiar with.

I can’t find many details, but I don’t imagine there will be many more released.  I sort of feel like this was a bad time to announce it – the NBA finals are happening, we have a new government and tomorow’s sports coverage dominated by the Stanley Cup finals which are happening tonight.

Rochester vs. Battle Creek: Live Blog of the PBL Finals

Some formatting made me lose the whole post, so I am live blogging starting at 8:19

8:19:  Sammy Monroe of the Razor Sharks breaks the backboard on a breakaway dunk.  Same thing happend last year and it took 40 minutes to clean up.  What is up with the rims in Rochester?  The announcers have been total homers all night, calling the Rochester players by their nicknames (“Oh no, watch out!  Here comes Slamming Sammy!”)

8:26  They cut to a commercial after the break… but now they’re just running a graphic with no sound for the last six minutes.  Fantastic webcast!

8:30 Still on an empty graphic with no audio.  People are coming online trying to watch the game and are very confused since the graphic has no explanation.

8:31 The folks on the live chat are now tossing around conspiracy theories.  I don’t think I buy it, but Monroe looked DESPERATE to get to the rim with a dunk.  He got fouled on one attempt earlier and got blocked right afterwards.  It seems fishy but I am not crazy enough to suggest that this was a set up.

8:35 GOLF?!  They JUST cut to golf!   No explanation.  Great production values, PBL.  Professional!

8:38  It appears to be amateur golf players who had their buddy tape them on a hand held digital recorder… they’re terrible.

8:40 Still golf.  So bad.  At least at this rate I won’t have to choose between the PBL finals and Gossip Girl.

8:41  The show is called “Real Guys, Real Golf” which would explain why one of the dudes attempted a 60 foot put from the rough and the loudest guy is fatter than Xavier Morton.

8:44  According to someone on the live chat they’re gluing the new back board in place… by which I assume they’re collecting the shards of the shattered backboard and reassembaling it piece by piece.  That would explain the delay.

8:57 The rim broke 38 minutes ago and the webcast still has no explanation for what’s going on.  I am currently watching 6 middle aged men eat lunch after a round of golf.  They’re not kidding when they call this “real guys, real golf.”  It’s just too real for me.

8:59  40 minues… no word on the webcast.  But the PBL sure got a picture on its website in a hurry!

9:03  I think some awful MMA action is now on… but so is Gossip Girl!  Line of the night: After it’s suggested to Blair that she attend NYU: “Just because I lost out on Yale does not mean that I am settling for some non-Ivy reading Beloved six times and experimenting with lesbianism.”  It’s no “Princeton is a trade school, there is only Yale” but it’s pretty awesome. Fuck the PBL, the real action is on the A-Channel right now.

9:07 I take it back, this is actually a decent fight.  Both guys have pretty good BJJ.

9:16  Chuck Liddell is corning one of the guys in this heavy weight fight… so strange!

9:26 I checked Sherdog.com and this fight is from March, 2008… that is some impressive programming that At-sports TV has some real A-list programming.

10:09 Questionable charge call (guy was clearly still sliding to the side) on Battle Creek.  The reffing has been just terrible. 63-49 for Rochester.

9:27 ONE HOUR AND TEN MINUTES!

9:28 AND WE’RE BACK!!!!! Showing highlights from last year!

9:29 AND WE’RE BACK FOR REAL!

9:31 Since Gossip Girl is still on I am only watching the game on with the sound on when the commercials are on.

9:33 17-9 for Rochester.  Battle Creek can’t get their defense going.

9:35 BC’s getting the turnover machines going.  Big steal by Johnson.

9:38 Whatever happend to Ron Rollerson?  He just disapeared from the Rochester roster with a few weeks left in the regular season but no mention was ever made on the transactions page…. hmmm….

9:41 a Rochester player is getting blood wiped off him… and it’s taking three minutes.  The rules are that he needs to be subbed out.  The officials would never be biased in Rochester would they?

9:46  Battle Creek narrowed the gap to six but Rochester are scoring inside whenever they want.

9:48 It’s the end of the first quarter and the Battle Creek Knights trail the Rochester Screw Jobs 35-26.

9:52 Morton and Reeves continue to dominate inside, lots of offensive rebounds.  Monroe threw down another dunk.  Unlike most guys he actually dunks in traffic and takes it hard to the rim.  It’s impressive.53-27 for the Screw Jobs.

9:58 Alan White got a techinical for no appearant reason… this is getting embarassing.  This is ABAish. 53-36.

10:03  Keith Friel mugs a Battle Creek player in the lane – he gets both arms on a shot attempt.  No call.  He’s the MVP.

10:15 This has been a chippy game, but you have to wonder if the fouls and injuries are going to add up in a hurry for the Knights.  The more fouls and the more physical the game is the better it is for the screw jobs.

10:19 It’s half time and it’s 71-55 for the Screw Jobs.

10:31 Interview with the owner of the PBL/Rochester… he claims that the PBL offered to buy the D-league… huh…

10:38  Rochester keep throwing a zone at the Knights, which is somehow giving them fits.  You’d think an undersized team would be better from the outside, but the Knights seem to rely on generating turnovers and just running on teams.

10:40 Another blown call.  Westby gets his fourth foul on what should have been a charge call.  It was hard to see at full speed so I won’t get too worked up about this one.

10:42  Keith Langhorne needs to heat up if Battle Creek are going to win this.

10:43  The announcers both have huge man crushes on Keith Friel. They’re drooling all over their microphones.

10:49 97-66… this is either going to be the greatest comeback ever, or a really terrible showcase for the PBL.

10:50  Battle Creek are now just out of gas.  Unless something crazy happens the Rochester Screw Jobs are just going to keep extending this lead.

10:58 How is this even fun for Rochester fans?  Your team gets a blow out win because of the screw job that the league laid on the other team.  Doesn’t that feel empty? How can you really enjoy watching this?

11:09 113-87 and Battle Creek are trying as hard as they can to get back in this.  They’re creating turnovers and playing hard.  I just don’t know if they have enough time or enough horses to make this come back.

11:13 Xavier Morton looks much better for Rochester than he ever did for Montreal.  I really think Halifax should have pursued him when Montreal went under.

11:17.  The refs are making sure that Rochester do not blow this win.  Rochester player steals the ball and slides seven feet across the floor on his back.  At the end of his long slide he calls a time out.  That should have been a travel.

11:27   God god, this game is not going to end before midnight.

11:34  30 seconds left, Rochester make a douchebag showboat dunk.  Game’s done.  What a disaster for the league.  This is just bad.

Season Wrap Up Part I: On Court Report Card

It’s report card time.  I will also be making an off-court report card as well as a post trying to analyze exactly where things went wrong with the team.  But for now let’s take a look at how the individual parts of this team performed over the last few months.  Some notes before you look at my rankings after the jump:

  • I am only counting games played for Halifax so guys like Anderson and Millien only get credit for work done for the Rainmen.  Sorry Slim.
  • Players who were not on the team at the end of the season do not count for the final over all mark.
  • This looks at individual players, not how things actually fit together as a whole.
  • It’s a mark based on how well players fulfilled the role that was asked of them.  If you’re getting 15 minutes off the bench then I don’t expect the same from you as I do if you were a starter.
  • Everyone’s mark is added up the same and then averaged at the end.  So Tyrone McNeal’s mark affects the team just as much Tony Bennett’s.

Continue reading

Week Five PBL Power Rankings

As always, these rankings are subjective and probably biased.  My guidelines are:

  • These rankings are based on who is playing the best basketball in the PBL right now. How you played last season, in the pre-season, or how you might play in two months doesn’t mean that much to me.  If your team looks good on paper but are winless then you’re still going to find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
  • Strength of schedule matters (and that includes homecourt advantage)
  • Win-Loss is most important, but margin of victory also matters.
  • Recent results matter more than older results but both count.  A team’s last five regular season games are weighted heavier than older results.
  • Two other things worth noting: Champlain Cup games and exhibition games are not taken into account.  The sample size is very small since it is only week four so expect these rankings to be very different in a week when the sample size gets bigger and teams start separating from the pack on the top and bottom.  A number of teams have played a pretty limited number of opponents so that also limits the ability to properly compare teams.

There is one new wrinkle to account for now – Montreal have folded and the players have been dispersed among teams that wanted them. While Detroit and Quebec, both teams who are realistically out of the playoff hunt, picked up some good players this is really about the rich getting richer: Rochester and Manchester both added solid big men to their rosters.  Anyway, the rankings are after the jump with each team’s previous ranking in parentheses.

Continue reading

Week 4 Power PBL Rankings

Here they are for week 4.  They’re late but it’s been a crazy week in the world of the Rainmen and in my actual life, but here they be.  You can see last week’s here, it includes my basic guidelines as well.  My rankings are after the jump with last week’s ranking in parentheses.

Continue reading

Sasquatch Extinct?

After much rumour mongering and speculation over at the OSC message board it looks like Montreal really are done in the PBL.

Their arena lists their home dates as canceled. It’ll be interesting to see how the PBL try to spin this and what their solution is to maintain the schedule.  After a week of good news this is a pretty big let down.

Amy Goldenberg who runs the Sasquatch facebook group says that she heard that the team has folded and the players have all been released.  It is pretty safe to say at this point that the Sasquatch are done.  No official word yet from the league.

edit: The league has confirmed that the team has been removed from the PBL:

PBL Makes Decision to Remove Montreal

Chicago, Ill… The Premier Basketball League announced to today it has made the decision to terminate the membership rights of the Montreal Sasquatch ownership group.
“While it is not a decision we like to make, it is in the best interest of the PBL and all of the other PBL teams. As the owners are aware we have a zero tolerance policy for any team that does not comply with PBL rules and regulations. We have made great strides to establish a top quality league and we will not have the value of our league and members affected by any organization that fails to meet minimum requirements.” stated Thomas Doyle CEO of the PBL.
“We have a very focused business objective and as we have informed all of our team owners we expect that teams are candid with us concerning the operation of their teams. We will not tolerate players not being paid and if such a situation arises the PBL will act swiftly against any organization that violates this minimum requirement” added Doyle.
“The PBL has been fortunate to establish a strong position in the basketball world in a very short period of time. Our television, Internet and mobile broadcast deal with @SPORTSTV, soon to be announced broadcast initiatives with China and several other countries has not only elevated the profile of the PBL but increased the value of our PBL teams.” indicated Dr. Sev Hrywnak Chairman of the Board for the PBL.
“We still believe that Montreal can be a great city for PBL basketball and will consider the applications from interested ownership groups that we have received. The great success of our teams in Quebec City and Halifax have shown how popular PBL basketball is in Canada.” added Hrywnak.
“There will be no effect on the other PBL teams with the removal of the Sasquatch. All teams will play the 20 game schedule. We will announce our agenda for all matters relating to this situation very soon.” stated Doyle. “The PBL, though under no obligation to do so, has already begun the process of determining what monies are owed to players and will handle that situation directly” indicated Doyle.
For more information please visit http://www.pblproball.com or contact the PBL league office at 773-844-PBL1

Week 3 Power Rankings

So after the jump are this week’s power rankings.  As you’ll see, due to the small number of games played and the size of the league it is relatively easy for teams to move up or down pretty quickly.  As always here are my guidelines:

  • These rankings are based on who is playing the best basketball in the PBL right now. How you played last season, in the pre-season, or how you might play in two months doesn’t mean that much to me.  If your team looks good on paper but are winless then you’re still going to find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
  • Strength of schedule matters (and that includes homecourt advantage)
  • Win-Loss is most important, but margin of victory also matters.
  • Recent results matter more than older results but both count.  A team’s last five regular season games are weighted heavier than older results.
  • Two other things worth noting: Champlain Cup games and exhibition games are not taken into account.  The sample size is very small since it is only week four so expect these rankings to be very different in a week when the sample size gets bigger and teams start separating from the pack on the top and bottom.  A number of teams have played a pretty limited number of opponents so that also limits the ability to properly compare teams.

You can see last week’s rankings here, and I have included each team’s ranking from last week in parentheses.  As always these are 100% unofficial and are here to spark conversation about the league as a whole as well as to give some idea of how things are going down to people who may only follow the home team.

Continue reading

Play Off Format Announced

Say what you will about the Halifax Metro, their coverage of the Rainmen and the Mooseheads is pretty fantastic.  Here they have an explanation of the PBL play-off format:

Only four teams qualify for the PBL post-season, with three conference winners gaining automatic entry.

The top two remaining finishers in the overall standings will have a one-game showdown to decide a fourth wildcard team.

The four teams will play off in best-of-three semifinals, with two games hosted by the higher seed.

The championship series will also be a best-of-three, but the league has not yet determined whether it will be hosted by the participating teams or a neutral site.

At 3-3 Halifax are hardly out of the play off picture; almost all the teams in the league are clustered between 2-3 and 3-2, but Halifax do need to step it up.  Aside from the general “win games”  strategy there are a few other things they need to do:

  1. End with an overall winning record against Manchester and Vermont.  If you can’t win the majority of of your games against those two teams you won’t even have a shot at the wildcard.
  2. Win at least six, preferably seven of the remaining eight home games.  They are not a great road team so they absolutely need to hold homecourt advantage.
  3. Beat Detroit and Buffalo in all four games.  The out of division games are essentially free points to be won.  Halifax need to scoop those wins up if they hope make the play offs.

More than anything else Halifax need to win both games this weekend.  Even a split just means they’re treading water at .500.  Two losses will almost invariably lead to the team falling apart and being incapable of turning it around.

Section23’s Very Unofficial PBL Power Rankings

Whenever I think of PBL teams and games I automatically rank teams in my head and I’ve decided to fomalize this process and put out weekly (or less often if I feel like it) power rankings.  I am not John Hollinger so there is no complicated mathematical formula going on – these are subjective, non-scientific and 100% up for debate.  I am not good with advanced basketball statistics and don’t have a lot of faith in them, so this is based on opinion not math.  If you think I’m wrong say so in the comment section.  If you want a strictly mathematical ranking system them head over to the Massey Ratings.  They haven’t been updated for the new season, but once Kenneth Massey gets enough data for his computer program they produce Hollinger-esque results.  With all of that said here are the basics:

  • These rankings are based on who is playing the best basketball in the PBL right now. How you played last season, in the pre-season, or how you might play in two months doesn’t mean that much to me.  If your team looks good on paper but are winless then you’re still going to find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
  • Strength of schedule matters (and that includes homecourt advantage)
  • Win-Loss is most important, but margin of victory also matters.
  • Recent results matter more than older results but both count.  A team’s last five regular season games are weighted heavier than older results.
  • Two other things worth noting: Champlain Cup games and exhibition games are not taken into account.  The sample size is very small since it is only week three so expect these rankings to be very different in two weeks when the sample size gets bigger and teams start separating from the pack on the top and bottom.  A number of teams have played a pretty limited number of opponents so that also limits the ability to properly compare teams.

With all of that out of the way, see the week three rankings after the jump. Continue reading

What If Scenario: What if the PBL had Trades?

So I had someone e-mail me and ask me a question, which is a first, but I thought it’s an interesting “What if” Scenario:  What if the PBL had trades?  How would that change the Crookshank situation?

Hi Chris

I read your blog and I really enjoy it.  I was amazed with how many people started commenting after the Crookshanks (sic) suspension.  One person said that he should be traded but I do not think that the PBL has trades.  Does it?  But wouldn’t it be interesting if they did?  I am an NBA fan who only follows minor league basketball because we do not have a NBA team in Halifax and in the NBA a situation like this would almost certainly be dealt with in a trade.  I am curious: If the PBL suddenly had trade rules what do you think would be the best deal Halifax could get for Crookshanks?

I hope to hear from you soon,

**********

I actually think that this is a really neat question and the nerd in me loves it so I asked them if I could post their e-mail on here so other people can offer some input.  A few notes before diving in to this parallel universe:

  • I am assuming that trades would only happen inside the PBL (i.e. no Crookshank, Hammack, and Dandridge for Ronnie Fields type trades)
  • Picks are not tradeable since they’re worthless.  No cash can be traded.
  • There are no salary cap match ups needed.
  • The Crookshank suspension is common knowledge in this scenario.  This is important since other teams would know that Halifax want him gone and he’d have a depreciated trade value.
  • Trades in the PBL would be made even more strange by the fact that everyone is on one year contracts.  There’s no trading for prospects when you’ve only got the guy for two months.  Players can also be cut mid-season which means teams aren’t trying to dump bad decisions off on other teams during trades.
  • I am assuming that if there were trades in the PBL that Halifax would not have brought Strickland in.

So I guess the first two questions are

  1. Who would be willing to trade for Crookshank?
  2. What would Halifax want to get back for Crookshank?

The answers are:

  1. Teams who are underachieving, teams who have a player who is a disapointment, teams that need a tweak, teams that need more instant offense, teams lacking a starting powerforward, and teams who need another piece to push them over the top.
  2. Halifax need a servicable centre and lock down perimeter defender.

Unfortunately for Halifax, very few teams have centres, and even fewer are willing to part with them, and the teams that really need a player like Eric have no pieces worth even looking at (hey there Mid-Michigan).  Anyway, here are my top five hypothetical deals:

5)  Vermont send Herndon and Regis Koundja, Halifax Send Crookshank and McNeal.  Vermont pursued Crookshank in the off season and the team clearly needs some sort of tweak.  Eric is popular in Vermont and gives them a consistent low post scorer, McNeal is a sort of replacementfor Herndon.  Vermont are possibly the only team in the league in dire need of an upgrade at powerfoward and Eric gives it to them.  Halifax get two guys who haven’t shown a whole lot yet, but provide some options.  Herndon is an upgrade over McNeal and has some solid experience.  Koundja is a quick but tall small forward who gives Halifax an option at the three in case Silverhorn has to sit out any more games.

4)  Wilmington send Cedric McGinnis, Halifax send Eric Crookshank and SirValiant Brown.  Halifax give up a lot to get McGinnis, but Wilmington need guard help (I think… I haven’t seen them play but I am going off of stats) and need to switch something up.  McGinnis can play centre if need be and he gives Halifax a solution on the defensive boards.  Unfortunately, he clogs up that front court rotation pretty bad and needs a lot of touches.  One of those deals I am not convinced would even happen.

3)  Quebec send Jonas Pierre and Charles Fortier, Halifax send Eric Crookshank, Kevin Hammack and Tyronne McNeal.   It’s a huge trade but Halifax need a centre and another real shooting guard, and Quebec desperately need a starting point guard.  Crookshank gives them another scorer and rebounder, McNeal gives them another big man to sit on the bench with Njoya.  I am not convinced that Quebec would make this move, though.

2) Montreal send: Auriental and Morton, Halifax send Crookshank.  Morton is a big body who can give you 20 minutes and matchup with opposing centres.  Auriental is a phenomonal perimeter defender and solid ball handler.  It fills two needs for Halifax and gives Montreal the perfect guy to play centre in their demented system.  Imagine Crookshank grabbing boards, throwing outlet passes and putting back all those early jump shots while running with Ruffus and Gill.  The swagger of that team is also the perfect fit for Eric.

1)  Manchester send Ife Anosike, Halifax send Eric Crookshank.  Anosike is the perfect centre for this team and provides yet more grit (some would say rage).  Manchester have had problems scoring but are a very good defensive team, and that’s what Eric does.  Bringing Eric in also helps the team at the gate/in the community.  Eric is a better player than Anosike, but Manchester aren’t going to give up a centre easily and Eric’s value is not what it was prior to suspension.

I haven’t put a ton of thought into this but I figured it was an interesting premise for a post.  Thoughts?  What trades would you concoct?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.