Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thursday Night 4.5 Preview

Men's 4.5 playoffs kick off on Thursday night with one match being played in each of the two round robin groups.

In group I, Sugar Creek takes on the Hangovers. The Hangovers are the heavy favorites to win their group. With such a large roster of talented players, it will be interesting to see who gets "left out" in city playoffs or whether the Hangover captains will try to work some players into the lineup since there's not a huge dropoff when they put in their second string. On paper, the matchup with Sugar Creek may be the easier of their two scheduled matches, but I certainly don't think they're taking Ken Douds team lightly.

The question, really, is: Can Sugar Creek put out a lineup that is capable of taking three lines? Jason Cooney hasn't played much this season, and may not be in top form, but he is certainly a dangerous opponent and with the third set being decided on a tiebreaker he is more than capable of beating some of the Hangovers players. Likewise, Burmann and Day (if they play together) showed last year (when they took out Green and Armstrong) that they can hang with the best 4.5 teams in the city. The question, as I see it, for coach Douds is: Do I put Burmann with Marco and put Day at #2 singles and hope that I can somehow take two singles and one line of doubles? John Day has a nice tennis history, was a very good junior way back when, but has not performed well in singles this season and hasn't given anyone any reason to believe he's capable of beating any of the Hangovers players. But still it may be Sugar Creek's best chance. I don't see any of Sugar Creek's second tier doubles guys (Douds, Epstein, Ho, Matthews, Bedient, et al ) giving trouble to even the Hangovers fourth or fifth best doubles teams.

The other 4.5 matchup is between the Black Sheep and Jedi Knights. Again, lineup manipulation (stacking) may come into play here as I think the Black Sheep need to find a way to "manufacture" three wins. I think Jendek is the best singles player on the court and should find a way to handle Cooper or Dafel or whoever else the Knights trot out there. Alzate is 4-1 in singles this year, but his best wins are against David Heiland and Erik Bedient. He also lost to Heiland. Those players are all a notch below Dafel and Cooper, so Alzate will be an underdog, but still capable of pulling off the upset.

If the Knights bring anything close to their best doubles lineup, I don't see the Black Sheep being favored in any line no matter how they shift things around. Hansen, Shaw, Toung, Dimitrijevic, Honda and Ristau are just not in the same league as the Coursons, Moss, Park, Crawford, Sebesta and Caine. Traditionally the Knights have been lacking players come playoff time...that may be the Black Sheep's best hope.

65 comments:

  1. I heard Red and Tim are playing the singles for Hangovers. Herb, Phong, Ken and Henry are not good enough to make the lineup.

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  2. Phong hasn't recovered from being overseas and not playing for 2 and 1/2 years. He has shown glimpses of his former self, wining the Coke for example, but still not back to where he was.

    Herb is no where to be found.

    I hear that Ken injured his arm and hasn't played in something like 2 months, so he won’t be in the lineups. Not that that will matter much. He has a great serve, and can pull a few shots off, but he is not as good as he used to be years ago thanks to multiple injuries, trouble with the heat and a messy divorce.

    Henry, that is another story. He is a clutch player and is someone you can count on.

    The Hangover's have more to worry about than these 3 not being in the lineup.

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  3. Hangovers still have the addition of Ben and Teague has an impressive record over all this season and still solid player for them. Real question is with so many players on the roster is there any cohesiveness amongst them?

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  4. With all this hangover bashing, I think we have resolved who is the most likely author of this blog and most of the side publishers.. Kingwood perhaps?? aka Jimmy "give me 5 lines now and I will give you a hamburger later?" Kilshaw

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  5. a little bird...July 10, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    I recently heard a couple of things that would remove the Hangovers as one of the favorites in 4.5. Injuries have hit several of their ringers - Grant Murphy has a torn rotator cuff and Craig Bobo's finger has not healed and he is at 75%. David B. is so out of shape that he has a problem finishing 2 sets. Lost Forest won the 5.0 league so Don Rios will not play in the 4.5 playoffs. Red and Greg are playing in San Antonio and are not available. So that is 6 of their top players that cannot play or is injured.

    That means Kingwood should win easily and the battle will be for 2nd place and the wild card. It will be a toss up between the Ssshhhwings and Jedi Knights.

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  6. Out of curiosity, why so much Hangover bashing? Obviously the team has made it this far, and i doubt that Tim, Red, or any of the other guys are not going to participate in the city playoffs. They are geared to go to Sectionals/Nationals like any other team and probably more so than any of the other teams. A few of the Hangovers are HARD CORE and would play, win or lose, if they had just had their hip replaced.

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  7. Previous comment is dead wrong. The 5.0 winner has not yet been determined. Get your facts before publishing this stuff!

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  8. Red is nowhere near the level to play singles for the Hangover team. Look for David B. or Murphy in the singles lineup.

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  9. Irregardless of the second hand information that is being passed around about the Hangovers, we all know they will come out with a their best team available and looking to win.

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  10. I am going crazy here...does anyone have a suggestion for my line-ups for Thursday and Saturday?

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  11. I think you should default all 5 lines Tim. If not, i think i will appeal and try to DQ everyone on your team. According to the postings here, eveyrone is out of town, injured, or has some other excuse not to play the playoffs. Thanks Mr. Blogger for keeping me awake at work.

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  12. Here is your lineup. David B. one singles. Don Rios 2 singles. One doubles whitsett and murphy. Two doubles Regent and Li. 3 doubles Green and Bobo.

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  13. I'm getting a hangover with all this Hangover stuff. Tim, forget about your line up, let's work on changing your team name. Any suggestions?

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  14. New team name for the Hangover's.

    "The Buggars".

    Your team slogan, "We are a team that sticks together!"

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  15. From Ken Burkhart:

    The team was named for what a HUGE hangover Tim had at Nationals 2 years ago. Now I think the name is reflective of the headaches from all the griping going on this year feels the exact same as if you had a hangover.

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  16. New team name for the Kingwood Crush.

    "The Kingwood Crash Roll and Burn"

    Team slogan, "Yippee-ki-yay"

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  17. Good idea. How about these?

    MIB => MIA
    Steam Rice => Fried Rice
    Ball Buster => Busted Balls

    Yutts => Yutts (enough said)

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  18. The Hangovers are pure hype. Lets not forget they came in second in their division.

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  19. Kingwood and Ssshhhwings will go to Sectionals. Guaranteed.

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  20. Best original team name?

    SSSWWWINGS!

    Also been known to be named;

    SSSHHHTICK! for singles league.

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  21. Who has the biggest kick serve?

    My choices are,

    Justin Benoit, Red, John Day

    Any others?

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  22. Red's serve has not kicker in 8 years...even I know that.

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  23. Dibuas have the best kick serves. David Wanja also has a great kick serve for a 4.5...maybe I can sign him up still?

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  24. Red has the best slice serve

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  25. The previous comment is correct David B. and Don Rios will play the singles. Both of those players are unbeatable. Glen Wright has the best slice serve.

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  26. Who are the Top 3 singles players for Kingwood?? With the Dibuas and Armstrong and even Hurlbert this is going to be Hard for Kilshaw. With Barrera and Phi Huynh maybe sitting the sideline this will make things even more complicated.

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  27. David B and Don Rios are very unbeatable. I believe I would beat them. Ohh...wait...they are on my team...nevermind.

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  28. I was at Westside with about 100+ people to watch World Team Tennis last night, good tennis, no crowd. I saw Lucas Jendek warming up and thought he was a WTT player from St.Louis. I bet he won't drop a set.

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  29. Yeah Jendek's going to be a serious contender this weekend if the Wranglers haven't picked him up yet. Should be interesting to see how this not much talked about guy fares in the heat. He's got a great chance at making a dent.

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  30. Whatever happened to the John Guerrero/Lost Forest/MET protest or was that just a bad rumor because he doesn't seem to be DQed yet nor does Lost Forest look like they won yet. Has somebody won 5.0 yet or has the whole division just kind of roll over and die?

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  31. I heard that Rice won the 5.0's.

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  32. I enjoy having the 4.0 and 4.5/5.0 discussions separate.

    Blogger, try to keep this going.

    It might be neat to have one for each group...3.5/4.0, 4.5/5.0 to get more people posting and sharing their thoughts.

    I know of MANY people who read this blog daily but never post (1. b/c of the negative comments and attacks and 2. most postings are about the same exact topic over and over....believe it or not, most people don't give a shit about the Kingwood or Hangover 4.5 teams or the Hurricane/Rice 4.0 teams).

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  33. dido

    Almost all tennis people are talking about the blog, we need to get them more involved so that we are not sitting around waiting for the same people to continue posting (no wonder the topics remain the same).

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  34. Agree, people should post comments about topics they like and not just complain about the existing discussions.

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  35. Well, I apologize if there's the perception that I have focused too much on the aforementioned (Hurricanes, Rice, Kingwood, Hangovers) teams. I probably should have paid a little more attention to Lakeside 4.0 and perhaps Ssshhhwing and Jedi Knights but I have tried to pay more attention to the teams I felt were most likely to make it to Sectionals. Plus, there have been some issues which have arisen that have caused people to focus on teams like Kingwood 4.5 and Rice 5.0.

    In baseball, the Red Sox and Yankees get most of the ink, even when there are other teams equally worthy of notice. Until the perennial powers are dethroned, they will continue to get most of the attention.

    However, as noted, I just put my thoughts out there and everyone is welcome to comment on the topic I've brought up or is free to go in another direction if they so choose.

    If I do this thing next year I'm toying with the idea of disallowing anonymous commenting. Obviously people could still comment with a google name which would still keep them anonymous but at least it might give us a sense of a poster's commenting history when reading his/her posts.

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  36. Htown Hacker...Why wait for next year. Can it be changed now?

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  37. Sorry Tim trying to censor the blog still won't change the fact that you and Red Benzon are cheaters.

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  38. As I have said before...If you feel you want to call me a cheater, my cell is 832-414-9208. I have not broken a single rule or ever had a player DQd. Stop hiding as anonymous. Oterwise I could care less about the name calling.

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  39. Why is someone so obsessed with the John G. protest? Even if he gets moved the matches will still count so LF has absolutely nothing to gain as they may have thought. You can no longer wait until later in the season to protest players and expect to have matches turn around.

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  40. Hey i called... some lil girl picked up.... oh wait... it was you.... CHEATER

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  41. The little girl is an echo of your voice...

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  42. Yes, if you stop squeezing your balls so much, you would sound more like a little boy.

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  43. I have to agree that the anonymous attacks are pretty lame. H Town Hacker, the blog is great, I may do one for Austin next year. Here's a funny (?) story one of the captains here assured his players that there would be a wildcard out of Austin this year, so a friend of mine cancelled his vacation and paid a hefty price to reschedule. When I read on the blog that there was no wildcard for Austin I suggested he call Sue to confirm. He's not too happy right now. -AT

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  44. I have to say this blog has been extremely entertaining, but do want to add that anybody who is protesting people NOW, is pretty shady. Obviously you are not good enough, or did not "recruit" well enough to win so GET OVER IT!!!! A good bit of the League team captains (that does not mean all of you) have either strayed from the truth on a player rating or in some way tried to recruit someone you knew was not truly the rating you wanted them to be. So stop all your shit talk, back stabbing, teeny bopper girly shit and play tennis.

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  45. I couldn't agree more. I think LF is pretty lame trying to back door into sectionals by protesting John G. at this point. And foo on you to the person that has been so obsessed with him and that silly protest.

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  46. To the person who is so intent on attacking Tim and Red:

    Keep in mind that the tennis leagues are like a board game. There is a set of rules established by USTA. If the rules, as they interpret them are broken, then they enforce them. The problem here is that the written definition of what a 4.5 player is, is clearly outdated. They need to re-write that. (Cheryl, you should suggest this at your next national meeting.) The "computer" clearly has defined that a 4.5 player is better that the written definition. The template they use for self rated players is a great step towards solving previous problems. The system is not perfect but they are trying to make it better. Clearly there is a spread between a low 4.5 and a high 4.5. Sure, some 4.5 rated players should be rated higher. That goes for every level.
    NONE of this is Tim or Red's fault. They are playing within the rules that the USTA enforces. If you have a problem with any of their players then protest them. Calling Tim names is an embarassment for everyone reading this blog. Just go out and practice to get better to compete with these guys or send in a letter to request getting rated lower. If your record supports that, then they will probably grant your wish. I know of many players that are rated 4.5 that really should be 4.0.
    I am really not trying to defend Tim or Red, especially since my team plays against their team on Saturday afternoon. I have played with and against both of them before, and I would rate either one as a high 4.5. Both of them, as well as many others have their moments when their level of play is higher as well as lower. I am hoping for lower on Saturday. Either way the competition will be fun and when it is over, there will still be beer to drink and friendship to be had. I play tennis to challenge myself and to make friends, not enemies. Name calling is elementary school.

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  47. We have talked about the players on these various teams enough, what about the captains? Is there a captain out there that actually has the ability to give his team an edge? Are there captains out there that hurt there teams so that they never seem to live up to their potential?

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  48. The person who doesn't understand what a captain does to give its team an edge has obviously never been a captain.

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  49. I'm asking what "specific" captains out there consistently give their teams an edge and which "specific" captains get in the way of their own teams talent.

    Just because you are a captain has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you give your team an edge. There are some terrible captains out there. However, I don't want to start a negative listing of who is a bad captain. It just seems like we spend so much time bashing or praising players that the captains get left out from the praise and/or scruitny.

    Believe me, I've been a captain a couple of times (never want to again) and I know how much work goes into "trying" to compete...so no need to preach to me.

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  50. I think that is a very "relative" question. Some teams (and their captains) have absolutely no interest in advancing to the playoffs or even winning a given match, they are just out there to have fun. However, there are other captains who take themselves way too seriously, and while they may create an "edge" they drive others away at the same time squeezing whatever fun there may have been completely out of the league tennis experience.

    I would bet some of the best captains out there have never been to the playoffs but their guys have a lot of fun playing tennis on Thursday nights.

    So, while it is an interesting question, be careful not to lump all captains into the same category and end up bashing them for not letting league tennis consume their lives (as some of us obviously have).

    Captains I respect:
    Daniel Goodwin (always puts his teams in position to win and admits when he was wrong, he also communicates well);
    Bill Sanders (Waco - consistently gets the max from his players and does his own leg work recruiting guys, opponents, etc...)

    Captains I have no respect for - No comment, but there are a couple :)

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  51. The day has come. Judgement day. Let the matches begin. Good luck to all and may the best team win.

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  52. I thought you had a good overview of the 4.5 groups playing tonight. What do you think about the other group of 4.5 teams that will be playing on Saturday and Sunday?

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  53. What do you guys think about the scoring being "No Ad" for the Citywide Championships?

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  54. Is the scoring no ad? In past years it has been regular scoring. If that's true it gives the underdog teams a slightly better chance I guess.

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  55. that is a myth proven wrong by the switch in professional doubles. the bryan bros are still number 1.

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  56. its been no-ad... just like last year. nothing has changed in scoring

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  57. The reason for No-Ad scoring is the HTA pays the court fees.

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  58. HTA needs to pay for something with all the dues money we give them

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  59. Tired Jedi says;
    Westside Blacksheep just beat my team 3-2 and heads up from what I can tell. The 2 lines we won were 10-7 and 10-8 3rd set tie-breakers. A little bit of news, I did see Jendek wishing his team good luck on Sunday, I heard him say he was going out of town with family. Hhmmmm!
    Westside has flown under the radar all season and this blog was way off. They came to win!

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  60. Blogger Quote***I don't see the Black Sheep being favored in any line no matter how they shift things around. Hansen, Shaw, Toung, Dimitrijevic, Honda and Ristau are just not in the same league as the Coursons, Moss, Park, Crawford, Sebesta and Caine
    **************
    Let's look at this statement
    Cain lost
    Courson lost
    Park lost
    Sebesta & Moss won by 3 points in a 3rd set tie-breaker
    Dafel won by 3 in the 3rd
    When you say the BlackSheep are not in the same league as the Jedi, you were right.
    NICE WIN BlackSheep

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  61. Jedi's best Doubles player Dan courson was not in the lineup, that made a big difference...

    GO BS

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  62. Hangovers squeaked by Sugar Creek 3-2. Not a very good showing for a team with National expectations.

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  63. I would take 3-2 wins for the rest of the team matches from this point out. In fact, doing that WOULD win you nationals.

    Plus the SugarCreek team won it's divison, has some great players and thier captain gave them the best chance they had to win with shifting the lineups.

    It was some good tennis and it was decided on the court... nice combo!

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  64. Who said anything about the Hangovers going to Nationals. I'm on the team and I know that we have a good team but it isn't like the team in 2005 by no means.

    Hangovers have a goos shot to make it to Sectionals that's about it.

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  65. I thought Red had really put on a good show against Surgar Creek taking John and john two of the best teams in the league to the 3rd set, one of the best tennis i have ever seen...go red keep it up

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