During last week's Rumble in the Bronx Tournament, there were twenty-one teams in the 17U division. Twenty-one teams from New York out of the 42 that participated.
With the deck stacked 2 to 1, one would expect that at least one 17U New York team would come out on top but that was not the case. The best that the Mecca of Basketball could do is the Westchester Hawks coming in second place in the Silver division. While a few Empire state teams emerged from their pools unscathed, many ended up devouring each other in the playoff rounds only to get devoured themselves.
The only hint of New York, other than the Westchester Hawks, was in the 17U gold championship where Bronx, NY point guard Shane Rector played for the NJ Playaz Club. The Playaz ended up losing to Sport U, the eventual champs. Also, kudos to Team SCAN, from the Bronx, who took the 16U chip.
NYCHoops.net wrote an article last year, addressing the growing concern regarding the erosion or perceived erosion of New York talent throughout the years. The lackluster performance by an overabundance NY squads at the Rumble reveals an alternative cause for the perception of NY talent depreciation. Too many teams and not enough players.
If we assume that each of the twenty-one teams has twelve players, then 252 New Yorkers were present during the event. Out-of-State teams had far less teams representing them per State. With a smaller number of teams per state, there is a higher concentration of high end talent per team whereas the New York teams had its top tier talent diluted amongst twenty-one different squads.
In essence, the out-of-state teams are coming to the event with their All-Star teams while the NY squads are coming with just regular teams. The conclusion is that New York has far too many teams to support its top tier talent pool.
There is no doubt that if the top 36 New York players from those twenty-one New York teams were all on three teams, one of those teams would have won the Rumble in the Bronx 17U, a tournament in our own back yard. Unfortunately, it appears that New York opted to bring a knife to a gun fight and were relegated to watching two New Jersey teams vie for the championship from the sidelines.
I'm not here to say which teams should stay and which should go but the over-abundance of New York teams together with the under abundance of top tier talent is clearly having a negative effect on the overall production of the endless selection of NY AAU/travel teams as a whole. As a byproduct, the performance and perception of performance of top tier NY players also takes a hit.
New York should have won the Rumble in the Bronx. Point blank period.
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