With the second-to-last week of the 2019 Drew League season in the books, here’s how things stand:
Carl Munns Division
Despite a glitch in the standings page on the site, All In currently holds the top seed, followed by Public Enemy and Young Citi. MHP rounds out the top four with their head-to-head tiebreaker over Baxter’s Legacy. The remaining four slots are going to be a battle to determine, but this past week saw Hometown Favorites dig deep to overtake Black Pearl Elite for the 8th seed in a thrilling duel with L.O.S., while Public Enemy put Tuff Crowd in a … ehem … tough position as one of two teams with a .500 record (the other is Panthers, who lost to Black Pearl Elite, which could come back to bite them should both teams end up with the same record after their 11th games).
The game between Tuff Crowd and Public Enemy turned into a show as Frank Session—fresh from a 60-point performance Friday night against a cocksure Optimus team that trash talked him at just the wrong moment—put up 41 points and pulled down 7 rebounds to lead the shorthanded Public Enemy to a statement victory over the star-studded Tuff Crowd.
Brandon Jennings’ 23 points and Stanley Johnson’s 21 might have offset Frank’s stellar performance, but unfortunately for the two pros, their teammates came up short just as Frank’s undersized bigs Jarion Henry and Nick Stover flipped their playoff switch, turning in 13 and 12, respectively, but also out-rebounding Tuff Crowd overall, 36-32.
Louis Merritt Division
While No Shnacks and Redemption both hold the same record, 8-2, Redemption holds the tiebreaker after narrowly defeating No Shnacks in Week 6. That means Redemption is currently the number one seed, while No Shnacks is number two. It’s very likely they’ll be meeting up again in the semi-finals, which means that the 2018 champs will have to defeat No Shnacks once more if they want a repeat—a feat easier said than done, as No Shnacks have improved so much over last year.
The CitiTeam Blazers hold the 3rd seed after a rough start to the season and a timely roster revamp, but the next four slots all have the same record, 6-4. CABC, Reapers, Problems, and Nationwide Blue Devils’ next games will all have a tremendous impact on their seeding. Meanwhile, I-Can All-Stars have clinched their first playoff berth in a decade—a fact that had coach Roc’s usual boasting sounding extra vociferous Sunday afternoon.
Those 6-4 teams’ records belie a dangerous bunch though. Look no further than Problems’ overtime upset of No Shnacks for proof. Despite being down by 13 late in the fourth quarter, Problems’ squad of vets put together a virtuosic shooting performance to force the additional period, with Garrett Nevels and Jaylen Bland going nuclear from the three-point arch after an uncharacteristically cold shooting game from both.
Nevels ended with 22 points to Bland’s 21, but somehow, both were matched by their teammates DeShawn Stephens (21 points) and Bruce Massey (22 points), who helped lift problems over the offensive juggernaut of No Shnacks’ backcourt duo, LaMelo Ball (26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) and Elijah Scott (26 points, 7 rebounds). Eli, notably, filled up at least another two spots on the “Best Dunks of 2019” mixtape, appearing as much the superstar as his much-lauded backcourt mate.
Game 1: No Shnacks 77 vs. Pandas 59
Player of the Game: Eli Scott (22 PTS, 10 RBS)
Game 2: Redemption 77 vs. I-Can All-Stars 73
Player of the Game: Chuck Garcia (19 PTS, 9 RBS)
Game 3: Public Enemy 96 vs. Optimus 53
Player of the Game: Franklin Session (60 PTS, 12 RBS)
Game 1: Hometown Favorites 85 vs. L.O.S. 80
Player of the Game: Bobby Portis (28 PTS, 15 RBS)
Game 2: All In 88 vs. Young Citi 75
Player of the Game: Vince Camper (21 PTS, 10 RBS, 5 AST)
Game 3: Tuff Crowd 92 vs. Baxter’s Legacy 72
Player of the Game: Stanley Johnson (43 PTS, 8 RBS)
Game 4: Nationwide Blue Devils 88 vs. Redemption 74
Player of the Game: Chris Allen (20 PTS, 9 RBS, 4 AST)
Game 5: Jaguars 94 vs. Problems 91
Player of the Game: Stephon Carter (25 PTS, 15 RBS)
Game 6: BB4L 88 vs. MHP 74
Player of the Game:Eugene Phelps (26 PTS, 12 RBS)
Game 1: Prodigy 89 vs. Team Watson 85
Player of the Game: Khalil Ahmad (33 PTS, 7 RBS)
Game 2: Black Pearl Elite 79 vs. Panthers 74
Player of the Game: Christian Wood (27 PTS, 7 RBS, 6 BLK)
Game 3: Problems 111 vs. No Shnacks 105
Player of the Game: DeShawn Stephens (21 PTS, 8 RBS)
Game 4: Public Enemy 82 vs. Tuff Crowd 77
Player of the Game: Franklin Session (41 PTS, 7 RBS, 4 AST)
Game 5: CitiTeam Blazers 89 vs. Reapers Black Ops 64
Player of the Game: Malcolm Thomas (23 PTS, 9 RBS)
Game 6: CABC So. Cal 91 vs. I-Can All-Stars 78
Player of the Game: Max Agbonkpolo (16 PTS, 7 RBS)