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Post  EBlessNHSP on Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:05 pm

Looking at Div I, thought it'd be interesting to see where to we stand after all the ham, mashed potatoes, cookies and fruitcake have been demolished with just crumbs and scraps leftover. Well, actually, the same place we stood 10 months ago. Looking at the current NHIAA standings really doesn't tell you a whole lot other than most teams have played 2 games, and the "ratings" actually mean something depending on where you play this year. Look at the top 2....

Rank Team Record Points Rating
1. Pinkerton 1-0 5.0 5.0
2. BG 2-0 9.0 4.5

Apparently the NHIAA is taking more stock in "Rating" than they are in "Points". I'll let the statisticians decide that one...

So defending champs are indeed sitting at the top, and defending runners up right behind them despite one more win. Ok, that means virtually nothing at this point in the season, but with that - we head into meat of the NHIAA schedules. Teams play 2 games a week from here on out, coaches settle into routines, players either get serious about playing basketball, or they don't.

The Undefeateds

Pinkerton, BG, Merrimack, Salem, Spaulding, Trinity and Memorial. Yep sounds about right.

Spaulding has had the luxury of playing at Keene and home vs Concord, both decisive 20+ point wins. While not the toughest of foes for the Red Raiders, 20 point wins are 20 point wins, and with scoring being down as we've seen (see T&F's lengthy stat saturated post) scoring over 65 points in an NHIAA game is no easy feat, no matter who the opponent is.

Guertin probably has the most impressive early season resume, with come from behind wins over both Central and Londonerry. If this team can decide to come out and play in the first half of a game this season, they'll be tough to beat. These kids are experienced, and know how to close games, it's only a matter of time before their opening them them same way.

Salem is a mild surprise coming out of the box at 2-0, but they've built a tradition of winning down there, and their fully capable of winning some close games, especially at home. They squeaked by a solid Londonderry club and edged out a depleted Nashua South team. They've got a string of Memorial, Spaulding, Pinkerton, Dover and North lined up over the next 3 weeks...lets check back and see how they fared.

Merrimack is an improving club, flourishing around their rising sophomore Floras. They held Alvirne to 1-21 shooting in the 3rd quarter in the season opener, and easily beat West by 22 at home. A big matchup looms tonight when Trinity comes to town. Only 1 of these teams will go to bed undefeated.

Which leads me to the Pioneers. They battled their way to a win over Dover (who looked great) and took care of North on the road by 21. They've got their sharpshooter back, improving big men in the middle, sophomores with another year under their belt and a pretty solid freshman class. Not to mention a coach in Dave Keefe that just breeds winners out of his program. To me they are the Duke Blue Devils of the NHIAA. I don't know if its the gym and the poles virtually on the court, or raucous fans that stand behind their bench, or maybe, just maybe it's the fact that they win year in and year out under Keefe. Not enough talk this year about this team in the humblest of humble opinions of which I call my own.

Memorial. Early season grumblings were that the team wasn't getting on the same page. New players, new star, "2nd year" coach (and I say that with quotes b/c we all know Fitzy is not a 2nd year coach) and new expectations. This team is an unknown right now I think but obviously has the potential to win it all. They easily beat Keene for their only win, and have a string of Salem, Concord, Londonderry and South before they really get tested at Spaulding 3 weeks from now. There is a lot yet to be written about this team but this early season schedule will give Madol, Morgan and Coach Fitzy the ability to tinker, win games, and prepare for the heavy hitters that come at the end of the month.

The Best of the Rest

Records (especially after 2 games) very rarely tell the whole story this early in the season. After all the talk of the 6 undefeated teams, we've yet to mention 2 teams which I think have just a good of a shot as anybody to be a final 4 contender. Dover and Central.

It's clear John Wickey is going to dominate a lot of basketball games this year. Wheeler's got a good one at center, and good ones at center don't come around too often in the NHIAA scene. You're more apt to see them playing for St. Marks, or New Hampton, or Tilton Academy if/when we breed them in the Granite State. You very well may see Mr. Wickey at one of those institutions next year (pure speculation but a year of post prep would do his DII-III game good). The Litttle Green go to Wickey early and often, and per the usual with Central, surrounded by a couple of shooters and a tough nosed defensive team, they'll be around down the stretch.

I love this Dover team. Alex Burt was a great player, but that team last year was centered around him. Sometimes he was the PG, sometimes the SG, it was hard to tell the roles on that team, other than the fact that if Burt was open and had the ball, the ball should be hoisted towards the rim. This year its different they look and feel more like a team and it's evident as they took Trinity to the limit on the road and scored 70 against Timberlane at home. Very tough matchup for any of the top 10 teams and I expect them to be in the top 5 or 6 come end of the year, maybe higher.

Big slate of hoops tonight, enjoy!

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Post Holiday hangov... Empty Re: Post Holiday hangov...

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:38 am

"Not enough talk this year about this team (Trinity) in the humblest of humble opinions of which I call my own."

Gee, Asst, I humbly had Trinity 2nd in my humble pre season poll Very Happy

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