February 21, 2017

The Great Lakes Avengers!

[Another] tough loss last night.

I really think what we're seeing right now is a regression to the norm.  Our talent level is not particularly high.  We don't have a Batman, we only have Robins.  Hell, we don't even have Robins, we have something more obscure, an island of misfit toys type of ensemble.  What we have is...

...dramatic pause...

...excuse me for wanting to steer this thing toward a bit of levity...

...with the reminder that if you want doom and gloom, you can get it literally anywhere else...

...sticking with the Batman/Robin/superhero theme, what we have is:

The Great Lakes Avengers!

Never heard of 'em?  You're not alone, I'm sure.  Read up on the Great Lakes Avengers HERE.  Or maybe HERE.  Or HERE, instead.  HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE.

Anyway, maybe a slightly masturbatory exercise right now, but fuck you, I need something that'll cheer me up.

Here is 2016-17 Virginia Basketball, Great Lakes Avengers style!

London Perrantes = Squirrel Girl

Squirrel Girl is the GLA's star in so much as the GLA has a star.  She's not an alpha... or even a beta... but she's a fan favorite and she's kinda crafty, and maybe sorta kinda heroic.  Kinda.  Sometimes.  Not really.  But a fan favorite, for sure.

Devon Hall = Mr. Immortal

No superpowers other than... he... just... won't... die...  So, he's on the team for what feels like forever, but doesn't do a whole lot to help them win any fights.  To his credit, he keeps getting back up to absorb more punishment, and there's something to be said for that, I guess.

Jack Salt = Big Bertha

She's big, strong, and clumsy.  Easy enough.

Isaiah Wilkins = Flatman

Two-dimensional (instead of three-dimensional!), but fantastically stretchy.  He's the quintessential "glue guy."  *Snikt!*

Darius Thompson = Doorman

He teleports things... to the next room.  So, like, OH MY GOD, THAT'S FUCKING AWESOME, HE CAN TELEPORT!!!  But then you discover that it's only from the kitchen to the living room, and you're pretty fucking disappointed.

Mamadi Diakite = Dinah Soar

She flies.  Superhuman strength and toughness, that kind of shit.  By far the most dynamic and impressive member of the GLA.  But, look, she's a weird pink alien dinosaur who is just mostly unconventional and unpredictable.

Kyle Guy = Deadpool

He's technically a member of the team, but only sporadically and mostly in comic misadventures.  If he was a regular, recurring member of the GLA, he'd no doubt be its wisecracking, quick-witted star, but alas...  The GLA insists on trying to build its squad around the clunky talents of misfits like Mr. Immortal and Flatman.  *sigh*

Jarred Reuter = Leather Boy

Leather Boy was a founding member of the team, but got left out of their adventures once they discovered that he did not in fact possess any super powers.  Feeling ostracized, he quit the GLA and joined some other team, and became one of the GLA's primary villains.

Marial Shayok = Grasshopper

He jumps around, is gangly, kinda herky-jerky, and has some amount of compelling unconventional talent, but he can't stop getting his ass kicked and coming out on the losing end.

Ty Jerome = Good Boy

A frail teenage girl who can occasionally - very occasionally - turn into a fucking giant killer werewolf.  Yeah!

2018 Recruiting...

And there you have it.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh, right?

Here's hoping London gets some rest and gets his legs back under him, and the team pulls it together enough to win a couple down the stretch and secure a halfway-favorable NCAA Tournament seed.


  1. Replies
    1. And also, it's "you're," as in, "you are."

      You're welcome.

  2. Can't decide if this is genius or madness.

  3. Funny stuff, was laughing until the 2018 recruiting section... uh oh.

    Looked at some recent history, the 2012 class had 3 top 100 guys (Justin, Nolte, Tobey) and throw in Brogdon due to redshirt and tha's 4. These guys were mainly in the 70-100 range.

    Then 2 years later, the 2014 class was made up of the glue guys (GLA guys haha) that make up the core of the team today. No top 100 guys, including Thompson, Hall and London. Stith transferred out quickly with no playing time due mainly to the 2012 class still being there.

    In 2016, we had a great class with 4 top 100 guys, 5 if you count Mamadi, mostly in the 30-60 range.

    Now in 2018 we are seeing some eerily quiet activity. Point guard Quinerly is our best hope for a stud recruit, but other than that I think we're looking at unheralded guys.

    Based on this one cycle alone, I think that what we're seeing is our good classes still bring in kids who will mostly stay for 4-5 years. This is a reflection of our system and program. This is also why I think the 2014 class was a little underwhelming, as kids saw experienced depth in front of them for at least 2 more years after they got there (we missed out on Devonte Graham and Seth Allen). But in 2016 there was a ton of playing time to offer with the 2012 class graduating, and we signed a great class off of an Elite 8 run.

    Now, I think the problem in 2018 is that these kids see the same thing as the 2014 class: not a lot of playing time. The then-junior class will be dominating minutes and it would take someone who is willing to wait a little bit to get heavy minutes. This year has proved it, as none of Jerome, Diakite and Guy have consistently high minutes, despite objectively showing more raw basketball ability than our upperclassmen. (ex. How on earth did it take Mamadi this long to get Reuter and half of Salt's minutes?)

    I think what we are seeing is at UVa, mastery and experience in the system will be more important than raw ability when it comes to playing time. I think recruits see this too. We just redshirted 2 top 100 kids, which is incredible. On one hand, they will probably be very good for us in 3 years. On the other, the 2018 kids see this and realize how patient and experienced in the system you have to be to get playing time. It takes a special kind of kid to want to wait 3 years to get high minutes when he could get big minutes earlier on at comparable programs.

    I tried to keep this independent from the whole discussion on packline D and pace of play, which are other obvious reasons that may make it difficult to get top kids here. I think Tony Bennett will learn to make adjustments (especially on offense) that suit the talent this team has (no post scoring for the foreseeable future) and that will help things.

    TLDR, the 2018 class might underwhelm due to our 2016 class, wait for 2019/2020 to get a top class again.

  4. This was great although I always preferred Alpha Flight. Maybe we need a few more Canadians to make that work.