Monday, January 18, 2010

Section II fantasy basketball...not what you think

In Monday night's live chat, a reader suggested we compile 'fantasy' teams for Section II. We won't be keeping track of points and statistics, but the idea is, if you could start your dream high school basketball team from scratch, who would be the principles? Why?

The explanation here is the key. We're not looking to put anyone down, just try to explain why a particular player or coach is the best at what they do.

I'll accept your teams via email (troyrecordsports AT gmail DOT com), through the comment box on the right hand side of the page, or in the comment section below.

I'll take both boys and girls teams, but you're certainly free just to submit one team. If I get enough submissions, we'll tally up the votes and declare the reader's fantasy team.

Here are the rules:
You must pick from the current pool of coaches, players, uniforms and gyms. We could go on forever about the good old days, but let's keep this to the people currently competing on the hardcourt.

1) Who would you want to coach your team? Why?

2) Which player would you pick to build the team around? Why?

3) What uniforms would you use and in what gym would your imaginary team play? (You can cross over here, for example, using the CCHS uniforms and the Troy High gym)

Here is my dream team.

1) Dan Calhoun - Hoosic Valley
Perhaps I've watched Hoosiers too many times, but the things I most like about basketball are a tough man-to-man defense and an offense that uses up the shot clock making pass after pass looking for an open shot. It's a simple game and a fool-proof strategy and it's something Calhoun sticks with no matter what type of personnel he inherits or what the situation of the game dictates.
Plus, he's as animated on the sidelines as anyone, but is never mean-spirited toward officials. He's just another player on the bench, willing shots to go in and inspiring the players about to enter the game.
To me, and obviously, I've never coached, I think coaching comes down to two things. One, you have to keep things fairly simple. The players understand exactly what they have to do and there aren't any miscommunication issues on the court in crunch time.
Two, you have to be fun or make the most mundane things (practice) fun for the players. It seems like his passion is contagious with the players, at least from my seat in the bleachers.

2) Javion Ogunyemmi - Troy High
If we're going to really stretch this idea and go with players that still have a way to go to reach their ceilings, I'll pick Troy's freshman center.
A 6-foot-9, Ogunyemmi is already a force in the paint and he still likely has a few inches yet to grow. He started the year on the junior varsity and made his way up to the varsity, earning an MVP trophy in the Girmindl/Sand Tournament in his first few weeks with the team.
Right now, he's been the first forward off the bench for Troy as head coach Jeff Sitterly tries to slowly allow him to adjust to Big 10 competition.
Obviously, his height is a big factor in all of this, but from the few times I've seen him play, he also has a flair for the dramatic, making key rebounds and free throws (including a pair of three-point plays) in the championship game of the Girmindl/Sand Tournament at Shaker. He isn't afraid of the spotlight and he has plenty of upside and when you factor in his size advantage, I'd take my chances building around him.

3) Uniforms - Shaker High; Gym - Heatly School
I'll take the Shaker High uniforms. I like the little rings around the neck and the arms with the tick-marks. They're distinctive but not too busy.

I like the Heatly gym for a few reasons. It's big enough that teams can get on it and run - unlike a lot of the little cages elsewhere around the CHVL - but the stands are close enough to the court that you can get a little homecourt advantage late in a close game.
Plus, you also walk right into the gym from the front door of the school and there are big windows over the east end, offering a neat view of downtown Troy.

So who are you picking? Leave me your first name and hometown and we'll post the results here in the coming weeks.

I've added a bit of social networking sites to augment what you can read here on the blog, so be sure to check out these other sites.

If you're on Twitter, follow Off The Record by clicking here:
Every time there is a new post on the blog, Twitter sends out a tweet with a brief description and a link to the post.

I've also started a Facebook page:, and I'm experimenting with what can go on over there that we can't do on the blog. A discussion has been started, asking your opinion on which teams will win Section II titles in 2010. Have at it.

I'm also planning on running live chats here on Monday and Thursday nights through the postseason, so feel free to drop by any time from about 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to sound off on your thoughts about the big upcoming games.

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