Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CUT 2009 Preview


First major open tourney on the Eastern Seaboard takes place this weekend in Cazenovia, New York. Tournament Director Darren Kupinsky has done a great job once again this year.

Cazenovia is a sleepy little college town that has been attracting big teams for many years. One funny story from a trip there involved walking down the city streets and seeing an older couple on a picturesque front porch. Noting there was a huge american flag on the flagpole for the house (as with every other house on the street), I remarked to teammates that we should "look for the pies cooling." At that moment, we saw said pies on the windowsill and just assumed we were on a hollywood set. 1950's America in a nutshell.

I digress my boring story!

Here is the schedule for CUT , and here is the breakdown:

PowerPool A

This is a doozy of a pool. Ironside has emerged as a UPA force to be reckoned with. Teams that played them last year remarked at the teams overall depth and balance. Different d-lines had different strategy and confused opponents. Their offense executed break throws to space with ease.

PoNY is truly becoming the Pride of New York. Invited to the ECC this year, the team seems to be building on previous years successes.

Forge from Pittsburgh may proved to be the sleeper of this tourney. Long a city with three splintered open squads, it is reported that all the big players are on the same team and looking for big results in 2009.

Ottawa's Phoenix had a great summer in 2008, earning their way into quaterfinals in CUT, Boston, and winning No Borders. Phoenix has added a number of younger players who formerly played with Firebird, who is on hiatus for the summer.

Power Pool B

GOAT carries high expectations into the 2009 season, and they should. A very deep team with UPA experience and excellent UPA Finals results, the team is looking to challenge for their first UPA Finals title this year. (That's me talking, not them) :)

Bodhi was the shocker of 2008. It was a frustrating experience playing against their zone last year at White Mountain Open, and they proved their mettle all summer. Barring a player overhaul, this team should look to be in the semi finals of all the major east tournaments this summer, trying to pick off the top teams when possible.

Mephisto made some tough roster changes in 2008 and inserted a B team into the program. If they are willing to stick with this system for the next couple of years, they may become a team that can legitimately beat Boston and Toronto . 2009 will likely see a stronger squad, lead by Eric St Amant. Amant is at his best leading this team, and he has lots of good teammates to help him.

Sons of Liberty is, as I understand, Ironside's B Team. Last year's team had a decent squad of height, throws, and athleticism. If they have added the right players that can help the team be more efficient with their chances, they might be in store for a pleasant summer tour beating up unsuspecting teams.

Pool C

Pike is out of the power pools because of results last year. It's one of the tough parts about ultimate seeding. Early in the season, you're being judge on last year's results and last years players. Hopefully, they will get the chance to have a cross over for quaters, and we can see how they match up with the power teams this summer.

Wiretap is from DC and should be an excellent matchup for Pike. Philly Love was an great team to play against at Boston last year and hopefully will bring a full squad to CUT. Space Jam describes itself as a young talent team from Longmeadow MA that's going to bring sideline noise and intensity to their games. Their opponents should really try to get the early lead... as this type of team gets tougher the longer you leave them in the game.

Pool D

Medicine Men has long been one of my favorite US teams because of their annual participation at No Borders. (Shameless). Watching them play last year, I saw a lot of good things about the team and how they play.

Colt .45 was a very fun team to play at White Mountain Open and Boston Invite last year. They have one particular player who serves as a very talented deep threat on offence and defence. Like many of the teams just below the elite of the east, efficiency is one major area that they could improve on.

Brooklyn is an off shoot of the Red Hook team that toured last summer. It's probably an improved squad, and will give all three opponents in this pool a tough match-up.

Too Bad is a relic team, loosely formed with different players every tournament. However, there are several constants that make the team work. Greg Lang has a cannon for a huck. Too Bad added some excellent Zebra Muscles/Upstate New York players that really complimented the squad for open play. Not worried about this team scoring. Defending might be a bigger issue.


I'm calling Ironside and Goat in the finals. I'll be a homer and say GOAT in an early season warm up.


Greg King said...

Cazenovia may be a sleepy little college town in certain areas, but on the way to the ice cream shop last year we definitely witnessed a street brawl with guys swinging chains at each other (no pies in sight). A little inner-city pressure in Caz?

As for a pick, I'm going with PONY and Ironside in the final.

lank89 said...

i hope ironside pony isnt the final...13-3 for Ironside against them today...pretty boring final if thats how it goes down

Greg King said...

Yeah I just was looking at results. What a thrashing. I guess I throw my hat into the GOAT-Ironside rematch from last year.

All of the results from Pool A haven't been posted but based on the pre-quarter matchups, does that mean Bird came through with wins/tiebreaks over Forge and PONY to take second seed in the pool? Or did they even beat Ironside to stun everyone and take A1?

Either way, way to go. If they are A2, they get another shot at Mephisto, same macthup in pre-quarters from CAZ 2008, which they dominated. Although this year they are probably a bit more familiar with each other after their joint training camp last weekend.