Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Untouchables Get Touched Up by OU

Reading, MA – Last week, Origins Unknown took on the Untouchables in a thoroughly forgetful, meaningless and boring game. How forgetful, meaningless and boring was it? So much so that I forgot to write my Pulitzer-nominated blog column!

The details of the game are fuzzy. I know the final score was a 72-48 (thanks YMCA), but other than that – there isn’t much that comes to mind.

I remember the Untouchables coming out in a 2-2 zone, which OU quickly dismantled and destroyed. I remember guarding the one guy on their team that could score, and running into 146 picks during the game. I remember a guy on their team who had Basketball A.D.D., and ran around the court like a lunatic for 39 minutes. I think I recall us playing ok basketball for most of the game... who knows.

Other than that? Not much sticks out... I think the game looked something like this though… (Game Highlights Click Here).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Hustlers, - how my a$$ taste?!"

Reading, MA – Ok, the column title is a little aggresive, but Shaq created the line, and it makes me laugh for some reason. Origins Unknown put on another dizzying display of teamwork (in a good way) Thursday night at the Reading YMCA, beating an energetic Hustlers team by 20+ points. Impressive? Yes indeedy.

More impressive? It was done with four OU guys against a team of six 20-somethings from the Hustlers. No subs? No problem. OU had a faithful crew of supporters at the game (Max and Deanna) - and with stellar play and the fans, it ended up being all they needed.

OU and the Hustlers both started out a little slow. OU missed their first several shots, including some lay ups, but managed to get into the scoring column after a long Cap’n Mike three. That seemed to get the wheels rolling, and OU played the Hustlers even as the first half continued. OU had better control over the offense, as they distributed the ball evenly, and rarely forced any shots. OU showed a nice offensive patience lacking in recent games, as they continually focused on post up match ups, and watching Big Country Johnson dismantle his athletic defender. When Johnson wasn’t working the post, James “Stretch” Hogan IV, Shu-ter Patel and Cap’n Mike were hitting their strides. Hogan used a wallet full of moves to get to the hoop, and when all else failed, the kick out to Patel and Cap’n Mike always seemed to work as well. The Hustlers, meanwhile, kept the game somewhat close for the first 10 minutes by launching threes, and keeping fresh legs in the game.

After the first ten minutes, however, OU started to click. The low post game was working… The long ball was working… and the defense and rebounding was certainly working. The lead swelled to double digits before the half, and OU felt great headed into the break.

The second half really started to get out of hand when Cap’n Mike nailed a 25 foot bomb, and was then fouled on the subsequent play while launching another long-distance shot. The air was slowly coming out of the Hustler bunch as they realized that the lead wasn’t going to be cut easily. Big Country and Hogan continued to pound the paint offensively, and the defense never let down (even with no subs).

The highlight of the game was a breakaway opportunity for Big Country when he went up strong and back rimmed a two-handed dunk attempt. The effort was applauded throughout the gym, even as OU let the Hustlers big man throw down his own one-handed baseline dunk before the game was called.

OU moves to 7-1 on the session, and takes on the Untouchables this week. With only two games remaining, it looks like OU is headed for the 1st or 2nd seed.

After the game, OU broke out the chips and salsa to further diagram their unstoppable out of bounds play. Big Country = Phil Jackson?

Friday, July 11, 2008

We're Back...In Throwbacks!

Reading, MA - We're back - reporting live from the war room here in Newburyport!!

It was 'Throwback Jersey Night' last night at the Reading YMCA, and OU trotted out on the court with an interesting assembly of outfits and looks. There was Cap'n Mike and James "Stretch" Hogan IV's inagural light blue (slightly ripped and stained) shirts from the 2003-2005 seasons; Danger Dan's muscle-enhancing dark blue sleeveless shirt (which wasn't ever an OU uniform); Chris "Big Country" Johnson's Vandalee Industries (specializing in Latex manufacturing and sale) tee-shirt; And Shu-ter Patel's solid ensemble, which included Umbro soccer shorts from his mid-90's UMass days, a headband, and the OU jersey circa-2006.

All this nostalgia and fun loosened up the OU crew, and helped them get by a depleted China Cuisine 65-50. Overall, the game was competitive, but OU never felt like the outcome was in any doubt. China Cuisine was strapped with only four players, including two guards with good range, a decent mid-range player, and the league's version of "the round mound of rebound". The match-ups were clearly in OU's favor, and the extra sub helped them keep the tempo of the game up and eventually wear out their opponents.

The first half saw both teams getting back into the basketball groove after a bye last week. OU jumped out to a quick lead, only to see China Cuisine players get quickly back into the game with three pointers. OU appeared patient to start the game, moving the ball quickly and finding open shots. Not all the shots were falling, but it was still a good sign for the veteran bunch.

The game started to change with the entrance of Shu-ter "The Microwave" Patel. Patel entered the game and found himself consistently open at the top of the key, where he sank several long range three pointers. This, along with well-spread offense from Danger Dan and Hogan was enough to build the lead to double digits. Also proving to be effective was the low post play of Big Country. When OU was able to get him the ball in the right position, he was easily able to spin and shoot over his thick, yet smaller, defender.

After another Patel three pointer with seconds to play, OU led by ten heading into the half. The second half was evenly played as OU let off the gas just a bit, and China Cuisine tried to keep things interesting. The lead ballooned up to 18 as Fisher became a floor general; driving through crowds and picking out open OU cutters for lay-ups. Several of the passes were highlight reel material. "I bet you had 15 assists tonight," said Big Country to Fisher after the game.

The lead was cut to 10 with about four minutes remaining, but Cap'n Mike finally got his shot together with less than three minutes to play, and sank two dagger long-range jumpers to solidify the win.

With the victory, OU moves to 6-1 on the season. Next up is the Hustlers, who have had an up and down season, but are only two sessions removed from a league championship.