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Monday, 30 September 2019 15:48 Written by Matthew Reid
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2025 Rising Stars Game Preview

Rising Stars rookie Randolph Wright and sophomore Horacio Vega engage in A) intense game action, or B) Doing it for the Gram after morning shoot-around?  You make the call!


An Ode to the OBWL Rising Stars

By: An anonymous old crusty OBWL vet

I have a few things in my mind which I have often longed to say for the instruction of the young; for it is in one's tender early years of OBWL greatness that such things will best take root and be most enduring and most valuable.

First, then. I will say to you my young friends in the Rising Stars game -- and I say it beseechingly, urgently -- Always obey your coaches, when they are present. This is the best policy in the long run, because if you don't, they will make you suffer. Most coaches think they know better than you do (whether they actually do is debatable), and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.

Be respectful to your superiors and league veterans, stars and grinders alike. If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply wait for your chance and hit him with a last second game winning dagger to the heart. That will be sufficient.

If you do get into an altercation and find that the other party did not intend any offense, come out frankly and confess yourself in the wrong; acknowledge it like a man and say you didn't mean to. Yes, always avoid violence; for in this age, the time has gone by for such things. Leave dynamite to the low, unrefined and those who dabble in trade dealings with a Storm GM.

Go to bed early, get up early -- this is wise. Some authorities say get up with the sun; some say get up with one thing, others with another. But a lark is really the best thing to get up with. It gives you a splendid reputation with everybody to know that you get up with the lark; and if you get the right kind of lark, and work at him right, you can easily train him to get up at half past nine, every time -- it's no trick at all.

Now as to the matter of contract negotiations. You want to be very careful about contract negotiations and not demand too much too early or too often; otherwise you are nearly sure to get labeled. Once labeled, you can never again be to the good and the pure league GMs, what you were before. See: Last Name Spoo, First Name: Greedy Bitch

Many a young person has injured himself permanently through a single clumsy and ill finished contract negotiation, the result of carelessness born of incomplete training. Some authorities hold that the young ought not to have contract negotiations at all but instead take their rookie scale contracts shoved down their throats and declare "Thank you sir, may I have another!" That of course, is putting it rather stronger than necessary; still while I cannot go quite so far as that, I do maintain, and I believe I am right, that the young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance, and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable. Aka, vets need to get paid, wait your turn bitches.

To be a great in the OBWL, patience, diligence, painstaking attention to detail -- these are requirements; these in time, will make the student perfect; upon these only, may he rely as the sure foundation for future eminence.

Think what tedious years of study, thought, practice, Practice, PRACTICE, PRACTICE?!?!??! WE Talking 'Bout PRACTICE?!?!?! experience, went to the equipment of that peerless old master on your team who was able to impose his will on games day in day out and the whole world the lofty and sounding maxim that "Greatness is mighty and will prevail" – is the most majestic compound fracture (Not talking about legs).

For the history of our league the great and unparalleled OBWL, and each individual's experience, fans, players, coaches, GMs and all are sewn thick with evidences that greatness is fleeting, but that even a one-time championship no matter your contribution (aka nothing) will forever place you into immortality within your own mind. See: SunKings GM – 1 Champion Shipjump

There is in Boston a monument of the man who discovered anesthesia (can we provide some to the Evolution GM cause??... or that was anesthesia, not amnesia??); many people are aware, in these latter days, that that man didn't discover it at all, but stole the discovery from another man. This is a great lesson for our youngsters in the OBWL. This is a cutthroat league, and someone will always be coming for your roster spot, for your $$$, for your pub, for your cred... so Hide Yo Wives (cause we know yall got hoes in every area code), Hide Yo Kids (especially kids with different baby mommas, cause hoooy boy dem baby mommas don't get along when they be finding out about other baby mommas), Hide Yo Husbands cause they takin from everyone up in this huuuur league..

Speaking of infidelity and infinite children out of wedlock, take it from us vets, my hearers.. and back to referencing the monument in Boston it is made of hardy material, but the lie it tells will outlast it a million years. An awkward, feeble, leaky lie is a thing which you ought to make it your unceasing study to avoid; such a lie as that has no more real permanence than an average truth. Why, you might as well tell the truth at once and be done with it. A feeble, stupid, preposterous lie will not live two years -- except it be a slander upon somebody. It is indestructible, then of course, but that is no merit of yours.

A final word, be thankful that you have already begun your practice of this gracious and beautiful art early – and for those listening still striving... keep working to your goal. If I had begun earlier, I could have learned how to have been included in such type of league events.

Also, since we're based in the US, I would be remiss if I didn't mention some facts about firearms and youth and OBWL basketball. Never handle firearms carelessly. Lest poor old men Ed Jaxon and the revered GOOT can attest. And never let your crew who you rolled with in high school carry in your presence out of loyalty now that you're on this stage.

The sorrow and suffering that have been caused through the innocent but heedless handling of firearms by the young, and old alike, brings only bad memories and hollow feeling! Only four days ago, right in the next farm house to the one where I am spending the winter angry and unsigned by the league, a grandmother, old and gray and sweet, one of the loveliest spirits in the land, was sitting at her work, when her young grandson crept in and got down an old, battered, rusty gun which had not been touched for many years and was supposed not to be loaded, and pointed it at her, laughing and threatening to shoot. In her fright she ran screaming and pleading toward the door on the other side of the room; but as she passed him he placed the gun almost against her very breast and pulled the trigger! He had supposed it was not loaded. And he was right -- it wasn't. So there wasn't any harm done. It is the only case of that kind I ever heard of. Therefore, just the same, don't you meddle with old unloaded firearms; they are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don't have to take any pains at all with them; you don't have to have a rest, you don't have to have any sights on the gun, you don't have to take aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can't hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time, at a hundred.

Think what Waterloo would have been if one of the armies had been young OBWL boys armed with old muskets supposed not to be loaded, and the other army had been composed of their relatives and family members. The very thought of it make one shudder.

And now that you are here in the OBWL and on the greatest stage. Don't forget to continue an endless pursuit of knowledge. READ Son! There are many sorts of books; but good ones are the sort for the young to read, remember that. They are a great, an inestimable, and unspeakable means of improvement. Therefore be careful in your selection, my young friends; be very careful; confine yourselves exclusively to Robertson's Sermons, Baxter's Saints' Rest, The Innocents Abroad, and works of that kind.

But I have said enough. I hope you will treasure up the instructions which I have given you, and make them a guide to your feet and a light to your understanding. Build your character thoughtfully and painstakingly upon these precepts, and by and by, when you have got it built, you will be surprised and gratified to see how nicely and sharply it resembles everybody else's. Otherwise you may yet end up an anonymous old crusty vet, unsigned, living in a farmhouse through the winter, forgotten by the OBWL.

And without further ado, after that anonymous entry we get to the Rising Stars game rosters where a combination of opportunity and pedigree sign through. Some have been calling this the Archers intra-squad game as they have 6 representatives, but with 8 wins on the season that may cause some folks to tune out. Instead, lets bill this as an opportunity for fans around the league to see and get exposure to some of the household names picked in the last two seasons such as the Ackermans and Erasmo's of the world, but also a change to see some others who have flown under the radar such as undrafted Sophomore starting C Damron, to second round pick Sophomore reserve Carver. Most deserve to be here, some are here simple by checking the 'warm body, plays needed position box.' But nonetheless, here we go...

Rookies Starters

C George Audley (Archers, picked #21 overall) – 44 starts, 26.3mpg, 11.8ppg, 2.1EWA
PF Darwin Weisman (Marauders, picked 19 overall) – 44 games, 8.7mpg, 3.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 0.8EWA
SF Randolph Wright (Archers, picked #3 overall) – 44 starts, 30.5mpg, 13.5ppg, 3.5asg .532TS%, 4.2EWA
SG Erasmo Dryden (Blaze, picked #1 overall) – 26 starts, 32.5mpg, 17.9ppg, 1.17PPS, 1.7EWA
PG Francis Ellender (Marauders, picked #5 overall) – 44 starts, 38.6mpg, 14.0ppg, 7.0apg, 1.2EWA

#3 overall pick Randolph Wright of the Archers looks firmly planted as the ROTY at the all-star break and it's not particularly close. Playing large minutes on the rebuilding Anaheim team, he has been given a blank canvas and has really excelled showing off an overall game. Erasmo from the Blaze of course missed all of December due to an injury another wise this would be a two horse race. While it doesn't seem like Erasmo will catch Wright by the end of the season due to the injury, it's no doubt that Erasmo has been as advertised. The Marauders in a fight for the division lead send two players in Weisman and their starting PG Ellender who has been a pleasant surprise in his 2nd year being able to contribute consistently on a playoff squad. While Audley rounds out the starters as perhaps a surprise being able to put up the numbers he has this season as a late first round pick, but actually being tied for 2nd out of all rookies with EWA contribution.

Rookies Bench

C David Sage (Lumberjacks, picked #8 overall) – 43 games, 19.2mpg, 6.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 0.5EWA
PF Garrett Atkins (SunKings, picked #18 overall) – 43 games, 12.9mpg, 3.9ppg, 2.4rpg, -0.9EWA
SF John Womble (Swing, picked #20 overall) – 30 games (27 starts), 31.6mpg. 13.9ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.8asp, 1.8 EWA
SG Don McDaniel (Archers, picked #7 overall) – 44 starts, 22.4mpg, 12.6ppg, 2.1EWA
PG Thomas Crawley (Archers, picked #12 overall) – 42 games, 20 starts, 23.6mpg, 8.5ppg, 4.9asp, -0.1 EWA
SF Jose Gaynor (Evolution, picked #4 overall) – 42 games (33 starts), 26.3mpg, 11.0ppg, 3.7rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1 EWA
SG Kirby Cohen (Coyotes, picked #10 overall) – 46games (22starts), 26.8mpg, 11.9ppg, 0.3EWA

The rookie bench is not too spectacular. While some of these guys are seeing consistent OBWL minutes, there is still a learning curve here. Standpoints include #20 overall pick in the Swing's John Womble who was quickly promoted early I the season after tearing up the OBDL. Womble plays all aspects when on the floor and the team has been trying to stretch his minutes as he continually shows hes up for the challenge. Meanwhile #7 overall pick Don McDaniel form the Archers has been solid and will look to drive offense off the bench.

Sophomores Starters

C Huey Damron (Archers, undrafted) – 42 games, 2 starts, 4.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.2bpg, -1.1 EWA
PF Kendall Melanson (Lumberjacks, picked #4 overall) – 43 starts, 28.6mpg, 17.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 4.5EWA
SF Horacio Vega (Coyotes, picked #6 overall) – 38 starts, 32.2mpg, 17.4ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.0apg, 4.9EWA
SG Kenny Gott (Blackjacks, picked #10 overall) – 45 games (15 starts), 28.9mpg, 8.5ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2 EWA
PG Charles Ackerman (SeaDogs, picked #1 overall) – 44starts, 33.8mpg, 15.5ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.7apg, 4.4EWA

The Sophomore starters are definitely more talented overall, but that's because Ackerman, Vega and Melanson are picking up a ton of slack in that department. Ackerman has been everything and more for the SeaDogs in his second reason while Melanson has been a revelation for the Lumberjacks, who if we redrafted probably goes higher than #4. Vega also has been a sparkplug for the Coyotes and it able to drive the offense through scoring or passing from the SF slot. But yikes, there's a big talent drop when we move to SG where Kenny Gott from the Blackjacks slots in. He plays a lot of minutes but doesn't seen to do too much with those minutes. And then we have the Center slot on the Sophomores which apparently is a black hole for talent. Undrafted Damron from the Archers gets the nod with his negative -1.1 EWA

Sophomores Bench

C Earl Carver (Dragoons, drafted #38 overall) – 16 games, 14.2mpg, 5.6ppg, 2.3rpg, 0.2EWA
PF Thomas Wilhoit (Invaders, picked #20 overall) – 45 starts, 28.1mpg, 11.2ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.6spg, 1.8bpg, 3.5EWA
SF Garrett Bennett (Invaders, picked #2 overall) – 45 starts, 13.5ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.1apg, 3.4EWA
SG Ariel Stewart (Archers, undrafted) – 44 games, 31.5mpg, 9.3ppg, 4.3rpg, 3.0apg, -1.0 EWA
PG Kelvin Corr (Inferno, picked #9 overall) – 45 starts, 31.4mpg, 10.5ppg, 6.6ast, 2.98ato, 2.3EWA
PF Ethan Budd (Dragoons, picked #8 overall) – 44 starts, 35.5mpg, 15.3ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5EWA
PG Herschel Pettway (Blaze, picked #5 overall) – 43 starts, 30.6mpg, 7.3ppg, 5.2apg, 2.22a/to, .45TS%, -1.2 EWA

Similarly to the starters, the bench for the Sophomores includes center Carver (who??) from the Dragoons and SG Stewart (another Archers undrafted Sophomore) both of whom you probably want to limit their time on the floor in this game. While the other areas are well stocked at PG, PF and SF with Pettway from the Blaze who is still so young and raw but are so much potential, Corr the Inferno starting PG for a playoff team , PF Ethan Budd of the Dragoons who can score and board and the Invaders Duo of PF Wilhoit, another score and board type, and Bennett who look solid after getting opportunity in their 2nd year..

Since EWA is everyone's new favorite metric, we will predict this game based on EWA contributions (and we will also prorate Erasmo's for missing a month). Therefore by an EWA of 25 vs 16.3, the Sophomores will win this game handily.

Prediction: Sophomores 119, Rookies 84



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