Khalid El-Amin orchestrated Omar's Tires Championship run last season and he aims to do the same this season with a whole new set of teammates.
The season is finally upon us and it feels great. Some guys took the offseason serious and hit the gym as much as they could to stay in shape. They probably played in summer leagues and kept busy in gyms all across the Twin Cities. Other guys, like myself, ate burgers and watched ESPN all offseason; screaming at the TV and saying you could do the moves Steph Curry did in the NBA Finals. That’s fine, too. Doesn’t matter. The season is back, baby!
In this column I break down the preview of each matchup in the league and include my prediction and the score. This year I will calculate my record and include a twist. OK, here it goes. If my TD predictions end up less than .500 I’ll buy the entire winning team ice cream! Yay! So, hold me accountable and I’ll keep it real as possible.
Enough of that. Here’s your 2017-2018 preview. Disclaimer, I don’t include why I chose each winner, because I just don’t know. Nobody has played and there’s a ton of new guys so it’s not fair to state a reason this time around. Let’s just say this go around is intuition. Enjoy!
The defending champs open the season looking to become the first franchise to win back-to-back titles. However, this year’s roster looks more like the 2015 championship Heat team with the return of Paris Kyles and Brensley Haywood. That team was the last group to tear down the nets at the Target Center. Three of the starters from last year’s championship team have moved on to different franchises. Captain Omar Omar and star point guard Khalid El-Amin are the only returners from last year’s team. Kyles and El-Amin will form one of the best backcourts in Triple Double history.
The Rock Pile is a brand new franchise with a lot of familiar faces. Brian Hoffman, Rico Gunn and Mark Torell are the core veterans on this team. They will bring leadership, and a winning attitude. This team is also bringing in a few rookies as their franchise guys. Knowing the history of Torell and Hoffman, I’d bet that these new guys have serious game. We will see how this team gels together.
Omar Tires by 6
On paper, Self-Made has the worse constructed roster in the league. I say this because their team is very small, and there isn’t much star power. Dierre Martin played in TD a couple years ago and lit up the league for about 23 ppg, but there’s not much help on the inside. Captain Tyrone Colston’s reputation as the team’s pure ball handler could have steered the stars away. I see this team struggling early and often.
Hybrid Nation is a new franchise with just three guys with TD experience: Deonte Compton, A.J. Wilson, and D’starr Turner. These three guys have had some TD success and all had made an all-star game before. In fact, Wilson dominated in the 2014 Championship Game and should be a premier big in the league. So the vets and experience is there for the core. We will have to see what their newcomers bring to the table.
Hybrid Nation by 8
Crowd Pleasers are a new franchise with almost all new players. How exciting! It’s always good to see a new crop of TD talent. With that being said there’s not much to say. I know Mahlon Thomas will be one of the best big men in the league with a couple years of TD experience under his belt. I also know Jason Clopton is a solid jump shooter and playmaker in his own right. Mejoy Lawson is a rookie that will bring athleticism and three-point shooting ability as well. I’m eager to see whom can I include as a baller next week from this team.
The Scrubs bring back their star one-two punch in Jamel Staten and DeAndre Townsend. They also will add star Kevin Henderson from last year’s Omar Tires team that won the Championship. That’s a great big three that’s capable of beating anybody. The part that scares me is their depth. We all know what captain Marcus Smith brings - whatever that’s worth. There’s a lot of unknowns for this squad outside the core, but questions will be answered this week.
Scrubs by 10
All4One has been a consistent franchise since they entered the league a few years back. They’ve made the playoffs and have always been in contention. This year they bring back their core and picked up a very skilled player in Raheem Tyner. Kevin Thompson and Tyner will be a formidable duo in the frontcourt. This team should be at the top of the rankings offensively. Defensively the team will have to come out and make their mark from the start.
The list of expansion franchises continues with Birdies Revenge, in a sense. The whole team played in TD last year so there’s that. New name, but a whole lot of experience to go with it. This may be the best lineup in the entire league from top to bottom. The whole team can play and be productive. The core of Dom Dawson, Roc Rogers, Lee Moore and Aaron Delaney is demoralizing. They have guys that will straight bang you. I’m willing to go on a limb and put this squad as a top three finisher.
Birdies Revenge by 5
The Falcons are the longest active franchise in Triple Double this season. It’s a shame the Rams ended their run. The Falcons have a rich respectable history with team captain Carlos Ortiz. This year they bring back their bread and butter in Dan Andersen and Derek Scully. The problem is I don’t see Carl Hipp on the roster. Say what??? Yes, Jacob Peterson is comparable and respectable replacement, but Hipp was the heart and soul of the franchise last season. I see this team as a middle-of-the-pack squad this year. But I’ve been proved wrong before.
Captain Meech Williams added a couple new Franchise players in Will Leftridge and Shane Bosek and is bringing back his backcourt partner Darnell Adams. Not too many teams have an all-star caliber point guard that’s arguably the league’s best defensive guard, but the Savages do. The scary part is they are also bringing in two high flying big men in Leftridge and Bosek and they added TD legend Johnny Ball. Ball to my knowledge is Triple Double’s longest active player dating back a decade and a half. He’s set countless records, made numerous All-Star teams and is respected as the league’s version of Tim Duncan. His addition makes this team an early choice for a top-five finish.
Savages by 6
DeAnthony Taylor and Akeem Cubie finally get their chance to play together. Good for them. They’ll make up a wonderful duo in the backcourt. I’m sure they both will avg 20+ ppg. Outside of those two guys I see some good size and some questionable guys. Right now, I don’t feel safe putting this team at the bottom or top of the standings early. I’ll just let this week’s play make things more sensible.
The Green Wave is the biggest question mark in the league. Who is even on this team? Sounds like a real expansion franchise with a bunch of unknown hoopers that’s ready to get rolled on. Captain Origin Spencer has his hands full constructing this team to TD respect.
D.O.A. by 8