Sarasota (Word) Vomit

by | October 31, 2011, 2:56pm 0

Here are some quick reactions before I sign off Inside Breaks for an indefinite period of time.

  • The Ironside/Chain Lightning semifinal was the best game I’m ever seen live, though I must admit that DGP was pretty anticlimactic.  Peter Dempsey’s bid on George Stubbs’ under grab around midfield seemed slightly gratuitous (though who can blame him for trying to do anything to get in Stubbs’ head with all the marbles on the line), and Ironside just seemed to jam the disc up the flick sideline uncontested.  To see a simple throw to the force side cone after all of the monster grabs and ridiculous throws was a bit of a letdown.
    • Jolian Dahl, Robert Runner, Nick Lance, Greg Swanson, Dylan Tunnell, and Grant Lindsley all had monster throws, and Wooten, Tunnell, Dahl, Sammy C-K, and Asa Wilson had the grabs to match them.
    • Wooten’s layout catch past a bidding Stubbs might have been the best goal of the weekend.
    • Dempsey’s D on Noah Saul in the Ring quarterfinal was the most impressive D of the weekend.
      • I didn’t give Ring much respect heading into the weekend, but they were a very solid team that mostly took care of business in the mess that was Pool C.   Pope’s D-line wasn’t as close on the under cuts as Roy Matthews’ was, but their big play ability on the turn was exciting.  KP and T-Ward didn’t disappoint, either (at least from what I saw in the quarterfinals).  If you were to tell me after Ring’s NexGen game that they would win their Nationals pool and earn a quarterfinals berth, I would have called you crazy.  Hats off to Josh Mullen and the rest of the captaining crew for developing that team into the MA’s best finisher.
  • All drops and other execution errors aside, I think Ironside’s downfall (in blowing the lead against Chain and losing to Revolver) was due in part to their downfield cutters’ inability to get the disc off the line quickly or effectively.  Whenever you find yourself in a trap situation, it seems instinctive to try to throw through the trap mark, or at least try to pivot for a foul, and get yourself a new count.  A number of the turnovers in both games resulted from these trap situations and probably could have been avoided with more aggressive, confident pivoting and faking from Prial and others, at the least.  Part of me wonders, though, if the Boston cutters were too scared of a backfield turnover that could give Chain/Revolver a short field and/or fast break opportunity to fully commit to a tough around/offline throw.
    • Jon Levy winning his matchup with Matt Rebholz definitely figured into that, as well.  He displayed a top-notch defensive performance from start to finish.
    • I gave Ironside no love heading into this weekend largely because I had only seen one of their ETP games and I didn’t want to overhype a team I knew very little about.  It’s my fault for not reaching out to sources in the NE to find out more about them.  They are still a tremendous organization with impressive depth on both sides of the disc, and I have the utmost respect for the way Josh McCarthy managed this young roster.  I look like a fool for having picked Furious to knock them out, and the only reason I went that route was because I had seen much more footage of Furious and was impressed with their resilience in multiple high-pressure situations (CUC, NW Regionals).
      • Boston’s standout performances came from George Stubbs all over, Peter Prial when cutting, and Russell Wallack and Seth Reinhardt on defense.  It’s a damn shame that Wallack’s hamstring injury occurred before he got a chance to mark Robbie Cahill.  Colin Mahoney came down with some super high discs, too.  Watching him battle with Dylan (and arguably win) in the semifinal was something special.
  • Doublewide absolutely baffles me.  Or maybe I should say Brodie absolutely baffles me.  The Austin boys put together the performance of their lives in the pool play game against Chain, with everyone taking turns behind the disc, using the full width of the pitch, and distributing the disc under more than I’ve ever seen them do before.  I was legitimately excited while watching Doublewide almost play small ball, and Zack Smith and I thought to ourselves aloud, “Revolver could really be in trouble if Dub can play like this against them.”  DWTX’s simple man pressure was also exceptional, throwing Chain’s handlers out of rhythm on the way to a 15-6 thrashing.
    • When the semifinal rematch against Revolver rolled around, instead of working behind the disc and cutting for swings, Brodie literally stood 30 yards deep and puts his hand up in the air calling for the disc like it was Thursday night pickup.  He also threw some very questionable deep shots that he holstered earlier in the tournament, forcing Kurt to notch as many point blocks as humanly possible to give DW’s offense a fighting chance.  The dude is a better player than many of us can ever dream of being, but if you’re Brodie, why would you stray so far away from what had worked well for you earlier in the tournament?!  And especially when you have teammates and mentors screaming at you from the sidelines to go get the disc under?  He was a scoring machine in DW’s games against Chain and Truck Stop (the only DW games I could fully watch), and against GOAT and Ironside, too, from what I hear.  He was a dynamic player who moved all over the field, and his decision making was remarkable.  When the semifinals rolled around, it seemed like a lot of that went out the window.
      • At the same time, you can’t understate the job Mark Sherwood did marking him.  Sherwood has had Smith’s number for the last two years (if not longer), and he did a tremendous job for Revolver all tournament long.
  • I also gave Southpaw no love heading into this tournament, mostly because I hated their negativity when I played against and watched them at Mid Atlantic Regionals.  I really thought the negativity would hurt them, but I saw very little of it when I watched them at Nationals.  What I did see was a disciplined leader in ex-Marine Coach Jeff Snader, who, in the words of another Skyd analyst, “did the most with the least.”  Southpaw might not have had the Seraglias, Taylors, Hassells, or other big names to woo the casual open follower, but their system, grit, and belief in themselves were incredible.  Speaking to that belief and confidence, on Saturday morning, Coach Snader said unequivocally, “We’re going to shock the world,” meaning that he believed his team was about to knock Revolver out in the quarterfinals.  Trey Katzenbach, David Brandolph, and Nick Hirannet ground things out on the offensive live while a faceless army fought relentlessly on defense, with Jake Herman catching many a break goal (especially against Truck Stop).
    • And apologies if I came off as a bit of a Truck homer in any of the play-by-play or recaps.  I tried to keep things as neutral as I could.  Truck is a fun team to watch, but their offensive decision-making and execution (especially in the red zone) can be frustrating at times, and it ultimately cost them a few games (namely the Chain Lightning power pool game, which was tied at 13 before Chain broke twice to end the game).
  • I didn’t see Mad Club’s quarters run coming, especially after their third place regionals finish.  It’s pretty clear that Hector knows how to lead his Hodag boys and that Colin Camp is one of the most clutch cutters in the game.
    • Andrew Sheehan + Machine = Inspiring.  I wish I could have watched that prequarter.
  • Revolver is damn good.  End of story.  Well, actually, look for one in the next USAU magazine.

I’m not trying to burn any bridges or blow wind up anybody’s skirt with this post.  I want these thoughts to continue to facilitate discussion and analysis of this awesome tournament.  Most importantly, I’d love to hear any feedback you guys could give.  For instance, I don’t know if/when I’ll get a chance to do streaming commentary again, but I loved doing it (especially the Chain/Ironside semifinal), and I want to know what to improve for the next time opportunity knocks.  I’m open to any thoughts, questions, or suggestions.

On that note, cool season.  Thanks to everyone who interacted with our blog and helped us by commenting or providing information about the club scene.  Keep your eyes here for Neeley’s and Joaq’s college coverage, and get ready for some big things from Bryan Jones over at No Look Scoober, too.

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