Two months ago when I was making plans to return to the GSBC Bleacher Report Network, I envisioned the glitz and glamour of the MOST attended intramural sport in the GSBC Intramural Sports Program. What I am talking about is the fast-paced, heart-stopping, storm-building action of the Golden State Basketball League. I thought to myself, “Last year had such a great ending with Team Mayfield and Team Slattery slugging it out for GSBC’s greatest basketball prize. Why couldn’t this season have the same storybook ending?? Better yet, why couldn’t the ENTIRE season be like that?!?” Now don’t get me wrong, this has been the BEST start to any basketball season that I have been here. Five of the ten games have been decided by 5 points or less. Two of the five games have been decided by 10 points or less. This means that through ten games, the GSBL has only generated 3 “blow outs.” That is not bad considering how bad some other seasons have been in the past! However, the league lacks quality basketball. The league lacks consistency. The league lacks the “wow factor” that I believe it deserves!
Where are the days where the GSBC Gymnasium would be packed out with students desperate to watch GSBC basketball?? Where are the days where the Dining Hall could open up the concession stands and make money on the events?? Where have they gone??? I’ll tell you where they have gone. NOWHERE! They never existed. You have to go all the way back to the days when the college had a team that traveled and competed in a league! The GSBL has never experienced this phenomenon except for the Championship Game when it is a required attendance for the students. Is it even possible to have a revival in the Golden State Basketball League?? Could the players put on offensive and or defensive performances that would be worthy enough to receive large amounts of GSBC student’s attention?? While I realize that VERY FEW people will read this postgame report, it is only fair for me as a GSBL fan to address my concerns for the future of this league. What happens when the Brad Keeton’s and Mac Mayfield’s and Tyler Mackay’s are gone? Who will take the mantel?
Week 5 only proved everything that I just typed. The crowd was dead. The players were lethargic and some didn’t even act like they wanted to be there. The turnover numbers were atrocious. Some players argued just about every call that the refs made. Others kept throwing up bricks all night long with NO intention to “right the wrongs” of their poor shooting! There were maybe two players that I could honestly go back, watch the tape and say, “They played with everything.” I get it. I get it. It’s Week 5. It’s “Time Change Sunday.” For the first time this season, I didn’t want to be in the broadcast booth. It was part way through the 2nd half in the Monteiro/Tanqueco game. (Hats off to Team Tanqueco by the way…proved everybody wrong with their win!) There was no push back. No extra effort. No player from Team Monteiro made an effort to “take over the game” to generate a possible comeback. Where is the public outcry?? Again, NOWHERE. There were 7 live streamers and one of them was ME to make sure the feed was working properly!! 6 Facebook accounts tuned in for the 2nd half of our “Prime Time Game.” Really?? It’s not the fans fault. It’s not the family and friends fault. It just was NOT entertaining enough to waste time to watch.
How to recap Week 5?? Here we go…
- Team Mayfield vs Team Burcham (Team Burcham wins 40-35 for their 1st win of the season!)
- Let me start with Team Burcham. For 5 weeks, Team Burcham had to watch from the sideline with no gameplay, no competition. They had lost their first two games by a combined 15 points. So, they all understood that going into Game #3, they would need an incredible team effort to get a win. The start to their game plan was simple: fast shooting. Surprisingly, this game plan worked fairly well. In fact, the only blemish to Team Burcham’s relatively perfect 1st half (considering their first two games) was the fact that Team Captain Sam Burcham turned the ball over 7 times. Let’s step back for a moment. The guy was playing with a taped up wrist. In Week 2, his wrist popped out of place. So, to blame 7 turnovers ALL on Burcham is probably VERY unfair. The GSBL refs give out VERY FEW technical fouls in a season, but Team Captain Sam Burcham received one of them Sunday night for consistently arguing against calls that were going against him and his team. As for Timmy Deharo, he put together a decent stat line considering the fact he attempted 16 shots! The highlight for Team Burcham was the incredible effort put forth by Nate Patton in the 2nd half! The guy left everything on the court to help his team get the win and without Patton, Team Burcham would most likely be 0-3. Also, timely buckets from Miguel Gomez and Jon Reimers only will bode well for Team Burcham moving forward in the season. Now that Sam has a taste of what being a captain is like, he can look forward to March 25th when his boys will faceoff against the #1 seed Team Keeton in what promises to be a VERY high scoring game!
- I don’t even know where to begin. 0-4. 192 points against. Not much hope. This is a team that ANY honest GSBL fan could easily have predicted to be in the Championship Game come April 30th! Mac Mayfield. Norman Cook. Duke Andrade. Aarion Johnson. Four really good players on the surface. However, this team has yet to put together a complete game performance. The astonishing fact is that in four games, Team Mayfield leads the entire league in assists with 46. That is good for 10 more than the next team!! They have three players in the Top 10 in point scoring! How then could this team STILL be unable to get a victory?? There is only ONE area that I can logically point to: not enough heart. There just isn’t enough will to win. Not enough grit. Not enough determination. Too much dilly-dallying and not enough “taking it to the lane and putting the ball in the hoop!” Team Captain Mac Mayfield made one field goal good for 4 points. Duke Andrade made one field goal good for 3 points. Mark Alejo made ZERO free throws, but managed to get 3 points from the free throw line. The only reason why this game was closer than it SHOULD have been was because Norman Cook and Aarion Johnson poured in 21 points to keep the ship afloat. What happens between now and March 25th when Team Mayfield plays their 2nd to last game against Team Mackay, will show if this team truly means business. On the plus side, both David Koehler and Trent Hauser scored yet again to give the bench a total of 4 points!
- Team Monteiro vs Team Tanqueco (Team Tanqueco wins 46-26)
- This is the game that really got under my skin! How does the BEST team in our league go out and lay a goose egg like this?!?! How does the all-star, monster lineup of Team Monteiro score 26 points against the “under-appreciated, under-recognized, underrated” Team Tanqueco??? Clearly, they didn’t want to be there. 8/51 from the field! Just under 16%. How? To only attempt 51 shots as the #1 team is also astonishing. It is no wonder NOW as to why the ratings were so poor on Sunday night. The “best” product we could put forth, was no where even near playing their potential. Team Captain Tim Monteiro scored a measly 3 points on 1/7 shooting. Trent Bailey didn’t even score while Ricky Friedly only managed to put in 4 points. No excuses at all. Maybe they were tired, maybe it was time change, maybe it was the two days off school—but to lose like that?? To Team Tanqueco?? Are you serious??? It was a blow out midway through the 1st half. No one tried to stop Nate Webb when he caught fire. It wasn’t until he had already dropped his 16 points that Ricky started hounding him! No one tried to get in front Patrick Seamster from grabbing another 14 rebounds. Team Tanqueco was skating around Team Monteiro like Team Monteiro was wearing weights around their ankles. At one point in the 2nd half, I was bored our of my mind. Now, if anyone knows anything about the GSBC Bleacher Report, it’s that I can advertise and build up anything WAAYYY bigger than it really is. For instance, at half time I tried to sell the fact that a comeback was VERY possible. Well, it probably wasn’t and as we witnessed it DEFINITELY wasn’t possible. But, the viewer doesn’t need to know that. The viewer needs to know that their time will be spent wisely in watching two teams put on a show for the ages! For Team Monteiro, they get an extended break with the final league BYE and then their own personal BYE on March 25th. Their next game will be against the #1 seeded Team Keeton on April 1st in the 9:30PM prime time game! If there is a game that you do not want to miss, it is THAT one!
- The only bad part about Team Tanqueco’s win is that they have to wait until April 1st to keep the momentum rolling. What a performance from several players, but specifically Nate Webb. If there was anyone who was stunned that Team Captain Dexter Tanqueco selected Nate Webb 4th overall, it was ME. In fact, “stunned” is not the right word—“astonished” is probably better. There is only so much that an analyst can go on when it comes to street ball and or “pick up ball.” Nate Webb is really good at “pick up ball!” Until Sunday night, I was not sold on Webber at all! Especially since he was 2nd in turnovers coming into the game! However, Nate caught fire early and often putting 16 points in the hoop to give his team a commanding 27-6 lead at the half! Patrick Seamster shot an impressive 40% from the field good for 8 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Matt Colasanti had an amazing night shooting 5/8 which was good for 11 points. Jonson (Kumi) Yoshimura nailed a lovely step back Jimmy that had the crowd in an uproar. This team is really nice to watch. They play for each other, they play for the fans; but most importantly, they play for fun. You can see how much fun they have by watching their bench on every made bucket. If there is a team award for the “Shamrock Shake Award,” Team Tanqueco is front running by a mile! When they come back from the league BYE and team BYE, they will face off against the up and coming (1-2) Team Burcham!
My closing thoughts on Week 5 in the 2018 Golden State Basketball League is that you cannot underestimate a team based solely upon WHO they have on their team. On the flip side to that coin, you cannot overestimate a team based solely upon WHO they have on that team. Between Team Mayfield and Team Tanqueco on the surface, any wise GSBL fan would take Team Mayfield 10/10. But if you look deeper and study chemistry with heart and soul, I would take Team Tanqueco ANY day of the week. Thankfully, we still have a “knight in shining armor team” in Team Keeton. Undefeated and still looking very unbeatable. When will the all-around performance levels rise to the expected levels that they SHOULD be in the GSBL?? Only time will tell…
-Voice of the GSBC Bleacher Report Network