Panther Hoops Season Preview 2022

OBK+poses+with+the+Wonderful+Hoopers+after+an+easily+won+scrimmage

OBK poses with the Wonderful Hoopers after an easily won scrimmage

Dahlia Ritter, Staff Writer

Indiana’s chilly winters can put a damper on life, but there is one thing that provides a beacon of hope for many students in this time of sorrow and darkness: Panther Hoops! This year’s season is upon us and it’s time for the Optimist’s annual pre-season run down. The ‘22 season brings competitive new players and that means competitive teams. With help from senior players who know the inside scoop (Jack Bryan, Greyson Crawford, David Nussbaum, Jaylen Arthur), this season’s PHoops teams have been ranked based on their predicted potential.

#1 → MAKE A SWISH FOUNDATION

Coming in at number one for most competitive, we have North’s team (though the South PHoopers are disappointed that BHSN has somehow forced their way into the league again): the dreaded Make A Swish Foundation. Even South’s senior players with years of experience fear this team will be almost impossible to beat. The biggest asset MASF brings is that it has consolidated the best players at North, whereas all of South’s elite players are spread out between different teams. Will North’s undefeatable army prove to be the ultimate downfall of the other teams, or will South figure out a way to rise to the top and overthrow them?

Strengths: all experienced players grouped together to form mega-team

Weaknesses: unaware of South’s battle plan, playing on enemy territory

☆ MVP: Marcus Wynalda

#2 → JPW

Up next we have JPW, a team composed of juniors who have a lot to bring to the court. Rumor has it that they have come out on top for nearly every scrimmage so far, and have even beaten several of the senior teams. They are known among the PHoops teams to be a more competitive team with experienced players, so much that they are predicted to be South’s top team this year. But their weakness? An anonymous player from Motown Gym Rats says that his good buddy Nico Walters could potentially be the team’s downfall due to his inexperience. Could this just be a playful banter between friends or could it actually be a serious issue for the team? And not only that, but JPW has also made team merchandise which takes up precious time (and money) that could have been spent practicing.

Strengths: experienced players, overall athletic team

Weaknesses: can’t decide if they’re a basketball team or a small clothing business

☆ MVP: Mason Schneider

#3 → Daddies B.C.

Although they are one of the newer teams this year, Daddies B.C. is made up of some of the most athletic senior players and may have a lot to show this season. “Matthew Summit is a really great player in general; he’s 6’4 and good at literally everything, so he may be our team’s secret weapon,” says senior Greyson Crawford, the team’s power forward. Nearly all of Daddies’ players have played a sport during high school at one time or another, and this diversity has strengthened the team to its full potential. “I don’t think we have a whole lot of competition other than JPW and MASF ‒ they are definitely going to be hard to beat. But other than them, we are the best team in every way,” Crawford said. 

Strengths: diversified sports history, relentlessness

Weaknesses: new team

☆ MVP: Matthew Summit

#4 → MOTOWN GYM RATS (MGR)

Coming in neck and neck with Daddies B.C., Motown Gym Rats claims fourth place because of their tall players and former PHoops experience. “Our. Team. Has. Everything. We got size. We got speed. We can shoot. We can defend. Anything you name we can do. Also, Jack Bryan can dribble the ball between his legs, which is pretty amazing,” said MGR’s power forward David “Lorax Bear” Nussbaum. According to Nussbaum, MGR has a lot planned for the other teams this year. “Everybody’s saying ‘JPW this,’ and ‘OBK that,’ and all I gotta say is: we do not care. As a veteran team, we know the ins and outs of P-Hoops, and know that there’s not much that can stop us. I just want to warn everybody that a reign of terror is coming to Bloomington High School South, and the Mo-Town Gym Rats will instill fear into everyone’s hearts.”

Strengths: Jack Bryan, reign of terror

Weaknesses: big ego, beaten by Daddies (new team) in past scrimmages

☆ MVP: Jack Bryan

#5 → OBLOCK KILLAZ

Next up we have OBK, a team made up primarily of seniors with some real athletic talent. What places OBK in the fifth ranking is the fact that everyone on the team has been a baseball player at some point in their high school career, and given this athletic history, this PHoops team may be a hard one to beat. We haven’t really heard a lot about OBK other than that, but by the looks of the team’s muscular players, they’re going to be dominating the court this year and making some crazy shots.

Strengths: athletic ability

Weaknesses: more experienced in baseball than basketball

☆ MVP: Gus Conrad

#6 → MELANIN MENACES

The Menaces claim sixth place because of their overall height advantage and their athletic players. The team is made up of some pretty talented football players, including D1 athlete Daeh McCullough, which will definitely prove to be a benefit to them this season. The team also brings with them senior Sam Young, a valuable player on the football field and hopefully on the court as well. The team’s third most valuable player is said to be Murry Ross-Harman, who brings experience from being on the basketball team in previous years and from his varsity track career through all four years of high school. Clearly, the Menaces seem to have a lot to their name, and this season will be the ultimate decider in seeing if they’re as real a deal as they sound to be.

Strengths: Daeh McCullough, athletic history

Weaknesses: more experience with football than basketball

☆ MVP: Murry Ross-Harman

#7 → YMCA SELECT

Up next is the YMCA Select team, made up of juniors with some pretty decent athletic history. Some of their players have been varsity runners in the past for cross country and track (Nicky Walker, Truman Daleke, Jack Gildea), and they even have some members from South’s soccer team (Mateo Fuentes, Jakob Orth). Not a lot of information is known about them except for their collective athleticism, but they seem pretty legit overall and we’ll see whether or not they can up their game and move higher in the PHoops league this season… or do the opposite.

Strengths: athletically fit, youthful team

Weaknesses: lack of creative talent (see team name)

☆ MVP: Jack Gildea

#8 → FACULTY

PHoops’ faculty team is notorious for being one of the more competitive teams in the league because it includes athletic teachers, but this year is a little different from previous years. For instance, we have some more experienced teams playing this year that will be harder to beat, even for the faculty team. The faculty team also has some newer teachers this year (Megan Pedersen, Dylan Abell), so we don’t know much about how serious their baller skills are compared to the OG faculty players. But then again, there hasn’t been much talk about the other faculty members, so we’ll just have to wait and see how good or bad they really are. 

Strengths: tall adult players, intimidating

Weaknesses: more likely to sprain something on the court, old

☆ MVP: Dustin Carver

#9 → WGB

There’s not a whole lot to say about WGB as of right now, since all we know is that they’re underclassmen (sophomores, to be specific). What we DO know, however, is that they are considered one of the more competitive teams among the underclassmen teams. In fact, they were ranked seventh place by an anonymous sophomore PHoops player, making them the highest-ranked among the sophomore teams. Will they live up to the hype, or will they be lost in the crowd of the other underclass teams? We shall see.

Strengths: competitive and determined

Weaknesses: underclassmen (haven’t reached their full potential)

☆ MVP: Drew Ogden

#10 → TWO B. DETERMINED (TBD)

Senior team TBD claims tenth place, making them the lowest and last senior team to be ranked. “Some of them don’t seem like they know what they’re doing,” Motown’s MVP Jack Bryan said. But the team’s shooting guard, Jaylen Arthur, feels that the team finds strength in just having fun on the court. “We are not selfish players; we are always looking out for each other and making sure everyone is having fun,” Arthur explained. “However, we are just as competitive as the other teams.” This team’s optimistic attitude and strong team bond will hopefully help them move up in the ranks.

Strengths: strong team bond, optimistic and positive attitude

Weaknesses: not as experienced compared to other teams

☆ MVP: “The team is well-founded and structured and we are all great players with good attitudes, so I would say there isn’t anyone specific with the MVP title.” – Jaylen Arthur

#11 → UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS (UFA)

Sophomore team UFA claims 11th place, making them the second-highest ranked sophomore team out of the other five underclass teams. For the most part, they remain an unknown team and have a neutral reputation, which could turn out to be a good thing for them since what they have to offer remains a mystery. “They seem to be a pretty athletic group from what I’ve seen, but then again they’re sophomores, which says that they don’t have as much experience as the rest of us do,” Motown’s MVP Jack Bryan said. “They just haven’t reached their full potential yet.”

Strengths: unknown as of now

Weaknesses: haven’t reached their full potential

MVP: Jacob Reinhart

#12 → QIM (WII BALLERS)

Although QIM may be a North team, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good team. There’s not a lot that needs to be said here, because word on the court says that they won’t be too much to worry about; it’s just the fact they’re from North that worries the South PHoopers.

Strengths: scare tactics (being from North), coached by jack-of-all-trades North senior Leo Visser

Weaknesses: from North, playing on enemy territory

☆ MVP: random North player

#13 → GTR

Being a sophomore team (all except for senior Jack Hallett who has previously been on the basketball team and has played in PHoops before), GTR claims the 13th ranking, being the third to last underclass team. Not a lot is known about them, but we shall see in the near future what they have to bring to the court.

Strengths: Jack Hallett

Weaknesses: lack of reputation makes us think they aren’t as serious about PHoops as some of the other teams are

☆ MVP: Jack Hallett

#14 → BOUNCY BALLS (BOUNCERS)

Mostly a freshman and sophomore team, the Bouncers are new to the league this year and remain, for the most part, an unknown team. They bring with them senior Christian Smith, who happens to be the goalie for South’s boy’s soccer team and is a pretty athletic and tall dude overall. Although they are rumored to be an inexperienced team, will they move up in the ranks with the help of Smith’s athleticism, or fall behind in the midst of the other sophomore and freshman teams?

Strengths: decent number of tall players, Christian Smith

Weaknesses: inexperienced compared to other teams

☆ MVP: Christian Smith

#15 → FLIGHT

All that is known about Flight is that they are a new freshman team, but other than that they remain unknown and are assumed to be inexperienced due to their lack of reputation. However, they may be hiding their talent by laying low, so we’ll have to keep a watchful eye on them.

Strengths: mysterious

Weaknesses: ???

☆ MVP: Teddy Kroeger

#16 → Panther Hoops #1

PH1 and PH2 are both teams for students who don’t have an assigned team, but who are enthusiastic about playing this year nonetheless. On the first team, we have returning seniors Jeremiah Ison and Jacob Mason, both of who have played for the unassigned team since their freshman year. The rest of the team is made up of a handful of different players from each grade but remains unknown.

Strengths: team spirit

Weaknesses: assumed to be inexperienced aside from Ison and Mason

☆ MVP: Jeremiah Ison

#17 → Panther Hoops #2

The second unassigned team doesn’t have any senior players, so they remain as unknown underclassmen. We may not know a lot about them, but what can be inferred about this team is that they may be easier to beat due to their inexperience and lack of OG PHoops players. Nonetheless, they are excited about this year’s season and can’t wait for some good competition.

Strengths: team spirit

Weaknesses: not many reputable players, not as experienced as other teams in the league

☆ MVP: Elijah Brown

#18 → Wonderful Hoopers

Our last (but not least, hopefully) team is Wonderful Hoopers, an exclusively senior girls team aside from junior Grady Bruce. The Hoopers are known for their lack of skills but solid determination. Their Instagram page, which they created earlier this month, features a video of seniors Brooklyn Waldon and Kate Lewis, along with a few other players, attempting to shoot a basket, but it did not look very promising. Motown’s MVP Jack Bryan says that the Hoopers are “an inexperienced team that has never played basketball up until a few weeks ago.” But one thing’s for sure: they are not quitters, so we’ll see if they can dominate at least the unassigned PHoops teams ranked above them. Props to them for being the only girl’s team in the league!

Strengths: female power, persistence, and determination

Weaknesses: said to be inexperienced

☆ MVP: Grady Bruce

Well, one thing’s for sure — you can be sure to expect some excitement and some heavy competition this year from all eighteen teams! This season is going to be a real doozy, so make sure to come to the purple and white gyms on game days and support your favorite team!