Now that some of the hot shot veterans have reviewed their teams, it’s time for a couple of new bloggers to show them what’s up. Both RegionalAS and I prepped months for this draft, and that hard effort showed…for one of us. Anyway, I’ll let you, the readers, decide whose team is better. As a reminder, click here to see the full results from the draft and click here to see the projected lineups from each team we used when picking out squads.
Team Name: The Rosen Ones
Head Coach: Paul Settles, CMS
Asst. Coach: Bob Haugen, Wash U
Projected Singles Lineup
- Ben Rosen, Bates
- Jonathan Jemison, Emory
- Erik Kerrigan, Chicago
- Alex Taylor, Williams
- Jason Haugen, Wash U
- Luke Tsai, Chicago
Projected Doubles Lineup
- Jonathan Jemison/Wilson Lambeth
- Ben Rosen/Jason Haugen
- Erik Kerrigan/Alex Taylor
- Anton Zykov, Amherst
- Wilson Lambeth, Trinity (TX)
- Jake Zalenski, Kenyon
- Victor Cheng, MIT
- Petar Jivkov, Whitman
- Nathan Niemiec, Tufts
Team Name: Sean Ko Trusts the Process
Head Coach: Bob Hansen, Middlebury
Ast. Coach: Chris “Old Man” Wootton, Williams
Projected Singles Lineup
- Nick Chua, Chicago
- Graham Maassen, Pomona
- Sean Ko, MIT
- Max Macey, CMS
- Josh Goodman, Emory
- Shaun Berman, Wash U
Projected Doubles Lineup
- Sebastian Castillo-Sanchez, RPI
- Jeremy Dubin, Johns Hopkins
- Kyle Henry, Stevens
- Kenny Zheng, Carnegie
- Derek Levchenko, UCSC
- Kevin Dong, Case
D3Midwest Team Analysis: The Rosen Ones are taking D3 by storm. Everything from the team name, to doubles, to singles, to the coaching staff is simply top-notch. First, the players. I made a point of making sure my first five picks of the draft were two-way players, and looking at my doubles lineup, it appears to have paid off. Literally all six of my doubles starters are projected to play #1 for their respective teams this year, so having a 2-1 lead in all of my matches is realistic. Jonathan Jemison’s groundstroke game alongside Lambeth’s stature and big serve should make for an amazing #1 team. Keep in mind that these two guys met in the D3 ITA Oracle Cup doubles final in the fall, so they’ve already proven themselves as some of the best in the country. Meanwhile, Ben Rosen/Jason Haugen are veteran #1 players that should be able to coast at #2, and Erik Kerrigan/Alex Taylor had remarkable fall seasons as freshmen. Although the freshmen are probably better than where they are slated in my doubles lineup, as a #3 team, they will be able to make rookie mistakes and still garner wins.
Looking at singles, I more or less have guaranteed wins at #2 with Jemison and #6 with Tsai. Both of these guys were the best in their respective positions last year, and I’m optimistic about Jemison’s chances of playing #1 for Emory and Tsai holding #4 or #5 for Chicago, which would only raise their stock. The middle of my lineup (#3 and #4) is the most unpredictable. I worry that Kerrigan might end up playing #6 this year for Chicago (or even drop out of the lineup given Chicago’s depth) since that is where he started in the Maroons’ opening match of the season. That said, my backup #3, Jake Zalenski, looks like he will hold the 2 spot for Kenyon, so I have a good plan B. Although it’s hard to talk about freshmen, if Taylor’s spring season is anything like his fall, there’s no doubt he will end up as one of the top 4s in D3. My #5 options are also quite good, with Petar Jivkov opening the season at #2 for Whitman and Haugen looking to building on his successful 2016 campaign at #5. And we can’t forget my team’s namesake, Ben Rosen, at #1. Given the amount of good 1s in D3, you can never say that anybody is a lock for wins, but Rosen will do more than hold his own at the top again. Ultimately, I don’t see why the Rosen Ones can’t secure 3 singles and 2 doubles points each and every match.
As far as coaching staff, there’s no doubt in my mind that Paul Settles is the best head coach in D3. His calm, stoic demeanor is invaluable during matches, and his ability to make players that are already good great is second to none. Plus, with experience playing tennis at an Ivy and working for the ATP, he provides a balanced perspective that will also bring success to the Rosen Ones beyond the court. We can’t forget my assistant coach Bob Haugen, the father of Jason Haugen, either. What I like most about Coach Haugen is that he brings a wide array of knowledge, having coached all levels of tennis.
You may be thinking that my team name is the Rosen Ones because my #1 player is Ben Rosen and Rosen rhymes with chosen. Sure, that’s part of it, but I’m not that lame. The D3 connection to my team name is deeper than that. For all you college football fans out there, who is known as “the Rosen one?” That’s right, UCLA’s quarterback and former 5-star tennis recruit Josh Rosen. And who is Josh Rosen’s sister? None other than 2016 Emory grad and former All-American tennis player Beatrice Rosen. Boom. As you can tell by the pictures throughout this post, Josh Rosen is literally the coolest person on earth…my hero. I mean the guy put a hot tub in his dorm room! Plus, with five freshmen in my lineup, I put a lot of “faith” in my selections. Anyway, best of luck to the Rosen Ones this season.
D3RegionalAS’ Take: This team reminds me of the Golden State Warriors last year with Jemison being Curry, Tsai being Thompson and Rosen being Green. These three players are all incredibly tough at their respective positions and will almost guarantee 2 out of 3 wins at these spots. This team is oozing with talent and could go on a tear throughout the regular season, even all the way up until the finals. However I do think that there are a miniscule weak spots though that could get the best of them. I think the middle of the lineup (3-5) is certainly weaker than the rest of the lineup. Another concern for me is third doubles, while against decent teams they most certainly could get away with rookie mistakes, I feel that a great team with a veteran third doubles team could prove to be a mismatch. All of that being said, between the middle of the lineup and third doubles, that’s only 4 losses. This means that it would probably take a fluke for this team to lose, but it is D3 tennis and stranger things have happened. They might be “The Rosen Ones” all season long, but I’m unsure if they’d be able to bring home the hardware at the end of the day. Your team is very good Midwest, but don’t get too cavalier on us.
D3RegionalAS Team Analysis: It doesn’t matter who you ask, Coach Todd, Joel Embiid, maybe even the Cleveland Browns (in 20 years), it’s all about trusting the process. The process first begins with the selection of a head coach that knows the sport and can develop players, which is why I selected the one, the only, Bob Hansen. The thing I like most about Coach Hansen is just his knack for winning. Middlebury is an NCAA contender every single year and I have no doubt that he will make team “Sean Ko Trusts the Process” a fantasy contender. The next step is hiring a good assistant coach. Chris Wootton is an enigma in the D3Tennis world because of the fact that he was playing into his 80’s, however, I think this gives him even more credibility as a coach. He is old enough to have commanding respect of his players, yet he is also fresh out of college and can relate to the players and their experience 100%. I trust my coaching staff with the process, do you?
I believe that my team could potentially have one of the higher ceilings in D3 tennis. I know Chua didn’t start off the season playing his best tennis, but we all know what he is capable of and I firmly believe that he is going to have a top notch season this year. Maassen appeared to be injured or ill in SB Walla Walla, but after some R&R time to get healthy, I think the senior will be one of the best 2s in the country. Sean Ko, Sean Ko… While I won’t specifically mention which blogger, there is one who is a non believer in Mr. Ko and we had a nice little debate on this. Sean Ko trusts the system, I trust the system and the sophomore will be a winner this year. Mark my words. Rounding out my top 6 are the veterans Macey, Goodman and Berman. These 3 will be solid in their respective positions and will be the favorite in a majority of the matches they will play. Experience in the bottom of the lineup almost always yields results.
Doubles is probably the area of my team that I am the most worried about. I believe my top team of Dubin and Maassen (both NCAA individual qualifiers) would be a very good and consistent team against respectable other top doubles teams. However I don’t know if they have the firepower to take out the great teams. My second doubles team might actually be the most talented 2 doubles in the country, however that doesn’t always lead to results. Chua and SCS could probably beat any team on any given day, however due to streakiness and inexperience, I would expect them to lose a couple matches that they theoretically shouldn’t. Finally is my team of Macey and Ko. Macey has been around the block a few times and is a very respectable doubles player. Pair him with someone who has as much talent as Ko, I can foresee a very dangerous 3 doubles team. I would rarely expect to see a sweep with this team, but a 2-1 lead seems pretty realistic.
Overall I am happy with how this team turned out from the coaches to the starters and even the benchwarmers. I feel like there is a lot of latent talent in my younger players and plenty of experience with some of my seasoned players, which will always make for a good season. I look forward to seeing how each of these young men compete over the course of the season and will be supporting them every step of the way! #trusttheprocess
D3Midwest’s Take: Remember in 2012 when the Miami Heat inexplicably went down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics, and after the game, a young Heat fan in the stands could be heard over tv saying “Good job; good effort,” to the Miami players? I kind of feel like that kid reviewing RegionalAS’s team. No doubt, a lot of these players have great potential and will work their butts off, but as a whole, “Sean Ko Trusts the Process” is fighting an uphill battle. The only way I see RegAS’s team winning is by sweeping doubles and taking two singles matches. I have a tough time imagining “Sean Ko Trusts the Process” taking three singles matches on a consistent basis. The biggest locks on this team are at #2 singles with Graham Maassen and #3 singles with Sean Ko. Chua could have a very good year, but he started off the season at #2 for Chicago, which does not bode well for fantasy purposes. Shaun Berman might not start for Wash U (I think he’s on the 6/7 cusp), so overall, it’s evident that singles might be a struggle for RegionalAS. Although I said these guys need to sweep doubles, I’m not overly optimistic. Yes, #1 doubles is rock solid but the 2 and 3 teams aren’t the top 2s and 3s when looking at fantasy lineups. Maybe just like the Heat in 2012, they’ll come up big and win the championship.
Well, that’s all we’ve got. One question has been bugging me for quite some time, and I’m hoping one of you has the answer. Did Josh Rosen and Sean Ko compete against each other in juniors? They’re in the same class and from California, so it’s quite possible. Anyway, I digress. Let us know your thoughts about our teams in the comments.