The Eighth Man

Why the Northeast has Become a Trap in the Quiyk Draft

Four players from the Northeast were selected in the first 18 picks of the Quiyk Fantasy Draft, including three members of the Regional Champion Boston University Terriers and Emerson keeper David Fox. But, for me, that’s simply too much, too quickly. Here are four reasons why:

 

1.) Michael Powell

There is a lot to be said for the argument that drafting quaffle players from the Northeast is an inherently bad idea, and it can all be encompassed in a singular name, Boston University’s star chaser Michael Powell. Powell is often the player seen leading the fast breaks, finishing at the hoops in no bludger situations, and punishing ball carriers on defense. Without him, the trio of Bossotti, Havlin and Stack would not thrive as they have this year. And therein lies the rub. Stack and Fox are not the best quaffle players in the Northeast. That honor goes to Powell, and any general manager who takes him, now a steal in the late third or early fourth round, will be able to torch Alex Wilson and Evan Bell in arguing for the superiority of his or her team because they didn’t just make a weak pick, they made an inherently wrong one by leaving the better player from that same city on the board.

 

All of the issues with the selection of Northeast players so far surround one name: Boston University chaser Michael Powell. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

All of the issues with the selection of Northeast players so far surround one name: Boston University chaser Michael Powell. Credit: Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff

2.) Style

Lots of fuss has been made about Baylor’s beating trio because of the system they come from. The questions mirror those asked about a fresh-out-of-college quarterback who must adjust to the NFL after playing his whole life in a spread offense. Can they thrive in a more traditional setting, or will they never be able to be the same player?

But while the focus of such derision has been on the Baylor beaters, the same questions must be asked about both quaffle players and beaters from the Northeast. After having played with players from every region, it is clear that while the Southwest, West and Midwest play very similar styles, the Northeast maintains a sharp contrast. Beating wise, defensive beating is a less conservative art. A Northeast beater is far more willing to stop the quaffle and lose bludger dominance than in any other region.

On the other hand, chasers in the Northeast thrive far more in half court sets than they do in the wild full-court games of the Southwest. This is not to say that Northeast players can’t play the way any other regions do, it is merely to say that they don’t, and with a debate that is sure to range from skill, to matchups, to style, I find it interesting that this hasn’t been brought up yet.

 

3.) The David Ortiz Conundrum

David Ortiz, with five top five MVP finishes, five Silver Sluggers and nine All-Star games to his credit, will someday find himself in the baseball Hall of Fame. The reason Ortiz will get himself there is because he can hit the ball harder than almost any player to ever play the game. His 431 career home runs and 1429 RBIs are testaments to that.

But David Ortiz, for all his talent, is largely a one-trick pony.

In much the same way, David Fox mirrors his hulking Boston counterpart. Fox driving down a bludgerless lane is a beautiful thing to watch. He simply cannot be stopped. Defenders, no matter how good, bounce off Fox like a drunk man walking into a wall. Peter Lee and Chris Seto expressed showed us some clips of Stack stopping him in the Northeast Regional finals, but, after watching and playing against Fox on multiple occasions, I can assure those were isolated incidents, and that 99.9 percent of the time, that ball goes through the hoops. Because of this lane-driving ability, you can count on Fox to put up 30-50 points a game, every game.

The other thing Fox brings a team, again because of both his frame and strength, is a unique ability to smother a player who is charging at a single hoop. The Emerson defense often funnels an opposing chaser to their giant, where he is easily able to gobble up anyone and anything.

However, driving bludgerless lanes and stopping driving opponents is exactly what you will get from this uniquely talented keeper, nothing more. His passing leaves much to be desired, as do his off-ball skills and his lateral quickness when defending the hoops in a traditional keeper role. His lack of stamina also means that he either must be saved for bigger games in a tournament or used sparingly throughout. Is he one of the great keepers in the game today? Yes, without a doubt. David Ortiz in his prime was always in the conversation for MVP. But it begs the question, if baseball had the same fantasy draft as Quiyk, and Ortiz was in his prime, where would you draft him? 15th? Debatable.

 

4.) A De Facto Number Two

Many regions seem to be in a down year, most notably the West and Midwest, and because of this, the reputation of Northeast quidditch has thrived, perhaps more than is deserved. Many now see the Northeast as the next best region behind the Southwest, and this has been reflected in both The Eighth Man rankings, where the Northeast has more teams in the top 20 than any region besides the southwest, and in the Quiyk draft, where Northeast players make up the only selections that weren’t Lone Star, A&M, Texas, or Lost Boys.

Of course, part of this rebirthing of reputation is deserved; Northeast teams did go 6-1 against the top five Mid-Atlantic teams at Turtle Cup. However it seems that the quidditch community has too easily forgotten the flop that was the Northeast at World Cup VI. If the Northeast performs as poorly at World Cup VII as it did the previous year, it could spell disaster for general managers who have taken Northeast stars this early in the draft.

There’s no doubt that the Northeast could be a time bomb in pretty wrapping as an inflated reputation of region carries some of their elite players into the first few rounds.

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