I do not believe that the average fan of the GSBL thought we would witness such an incredible start to the season last night. I find it very hard to believe that last night’s games did in fact come down to the wire insomuch that a half court prayer from two different players would have sent both games to overtime!! I underestimated Team Mackay’s depth. Everyone thought Jared as captain was TOO EARLY in his GSBL career. Could Brad Keeton perform at the highest level again? And what about all the new players and freshman?
For starters, I have been put in my place once again. As a sports fan, I can appreciate the brilliance put forth by players who just flat out love the game. I WILL applaud those athletes who go above and beyond to win a game for their team. And I must announce my first thoughts and final thoughts from what I believe is one of the greatest Week 1’s in the history of the GSBL!!! Let’s begin:
- Team Keeton vs Team Mackay (42-39 Team Keeton won)
- Unfortunately, Stephen Roueche will NOT have to do as much work this season in order for his team to win. At least, not as much as we thought he would. Fortunately, Team Keeton SHOULD win every game this season. Let me explain. I was not the only person who watched Team K miss a boatload of inside shots that SHOULD have been finished. Regardless of the fact that they ACTUALLY WON, they very easily could have won by 10+, maybe even 15+. Team Captain Brad Keeton played a VERY impressive game. More impressive than I was expecting. 20 points and 5 rebounds in a spirited contest which saw Brad dive on the court several times going for loose balls. This is a guy who is coming off season ending ACL surgery!! Someone give him a coffee or something! Ari Hernandez proved that not only can you get drafted to a good team when you don’t “sign up to play,” but you can also succeed at the highest level! For a 9th rounder, he played an impressive game for Team K by putting up 6 points and 1 rebound in a starting position. For Captain K, he’s gotta be feeling good about HIS game; but what about his 2nd round draft pick, Nathan Shook? He couldn’t hit a parking spot in a shopping mall plaza and seemed quite lost at times on the court. On the flip side, Adam Roepke and Ren Veras put in some good minutes off the bench. All in all, Brad is the best game and player manager that I’ve ever seen in the GSBL. Shook will eventually make his shots and Stephen will end up carrying the load for a couple games. Kevin Baker will hit double digits sooner than later and the bench will produce great dividends. THIS is WHY I believe Team Keeton will go undefeated.
- If you are Team Mackay, you have GOT to be kicking yourself! Honestly, they played a nearly perfect last 5 minutes of the game. But, in my opinion, an extremely rushed play out of bounds with under 30 seconds to go, cost them when it mattered most! However, I don’t think a missed half court shot is what this team should be judged upon. The inability to STOP shooting threes when they could not make ANY OF THEM is what this team should be judged upon. 4/24?!?!? Are you kidding me?? I know it is the wave of the future. I understand that instead of “wanting to hit that cool fade-away with your legs twisting in mid-air as you float backwards like MJ and Kobe,” most players want to shoot the three and feel that rush of adrenaline. I also know that ALL the NBA teams are doing it and ALL the NCAA teams are doing it. It is ALL about the THREE!! YEAH!!! no. When will players finally realize that once you miss two or three, DON’T throw up any more!! Work the ball inside. Use the pump fake. Draw a foul and get to the charity stripe. Pass the ball. Team Captain Tyler Mackay has his work cut out for him, but he’s gotta love his bench players! Specifically, Ben Otovo! Big Ben dropped 6 points and played an important role in opening the court with his ability to start the fast break. Tyler Pettis played his first GSBL game and put 8 points on the board, but did an even better job in keeping his fellow Jacksonville Brother, Stephen Roueche, help to just 8 points! Carl Baltazar found himself at the charity stripe 6 times and made 5 of them! On the other hand, Jon Donley has quite a bit of rust to work off as he shot 0/6 from the field! If Team Mackay is going to be competitive in this league, they will need to figure out a way to get Jeremiah Lendt MORE involved. Lendt only attempted 4 shots and made 1 of them! He needs to get the ball in order for this team to be successful going forward!
- Team Monteiro vs Team Kobernat (49-46 Team Monteiro wonj)
- This game stole the show. Believe me when I write this—BEST Week 1 game that I have ever watched in the GSBL! Like two prize fighters trading blows, Monteiro and Kobernat’s squads went at it in a heated contest of offensive prowess! For Tim, his team was down by 7 at the half and did NOT have an answer to the potent three point shooting of Team Kobe. However, Team Captain Tim Monteiro started the half on a personal 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 1! And honestly, it was the combination of Monteiro and Trent Bailey (The Wildomar Boys) that brought Team Monteiro back into the game! Trent grabbed a week-high 13 rebounds with 8 points as well! The story for Monteiro’s squad was Ricky Friedly. As clutch as it gets, Ricky nailed a three pointer in the corner to take the lead in the final minutes. Then, he made the front end of a 1 and 1 with the entire GSBC Gymnasium going bonkers! Though he missed the 2nd free throw, the 1st make made it a 3 point game which forced Team Kobernat to attempt a long three pointer to try and extend the contest. Team Monteiro shot a week high 37% from the field, which is pretty bad, but for the GSBL it was VERY GOOD! Going forward, Captain Tim can only expect better from Pablo Cuevas and Anthony Moreno as well as more grinding minutes from DJ Chitty!
- For a while, I didn’t think Team Kobernat would miss. They hit 6 three pointers in the first half and everything seemed to be rolling! Even Miguel Gomez dropped a delicious looking floater over Trent Bailey that sent the pro-Kobernat crowd into a frenzy! With a 28-21 lead at the half, Team Kobernat ALMOST looked invincible. However, midway through the 2nd half, Team Kobe was back down by 7 and it looked very bleak. I don’t know if it was Team Monteiro that stepped up their game or if it was Team Kobernat that stepped down their game; but it got ugly real quick. Sam Burcham put 4 points on the board and Nate Patton put another 2 on the stat sheet, but other than that, Kobe scored the rest of the 2nd half points (16)! Not enough scoring from the other 4 players who scored in the 1st half, WAS the downfall of Team Kobernat. Now, if I can just step back for a minute and appreciate the brilliance that we watched from Jared Kobernat. You have to love the purpose in his game. The ability to create plays for his teammates and for himself. While his clutch factor still needs some improving, his shooting ability is 2nd to NONE. His ability to get his bench involved in the 1st half was very well. I honestly believe that EVERYONE, including myself, miscounted Jared as a captain. I believe that he will be an excellent captain and deserves the respect as one. Maybe next season he will get another chance in Week 1 to tie the game at the buzzer for his team…maybe next season he will make the shot! I don’t know. But I do KNOW for sure that Jared is going to be JUST FINE!
As far as closing words, we watch 4 evenly matched teams put on a show for the ages. According to our Facebook LIVE stats, the video feed was viewed by over 1,600 different people making it the 3rd MOST watched video in GSBC Bleacher Report history! With 2 more games coming next Sunday night, we look to the future and what twists and turns await us in the 2018 GSBL!!
-Voice of the GSBC Bleacher Report Network