GSB S3 Pre-Season Predictions

by Daniel Jarris

With the draft behind us and preseason matchups happening this week, it’s time to dig into some season predictions, including divisional standings, playoff seeding, and potential award winners.

Season Standings

Atlantic Division 

  1. Baltimore Constellation (9-5)
  2. New York Skyliners (7-7)
  3. Atlantic City Sea Dogs (5-9)
  4. Boston Militia (5-9)

Going into S2, many expected New York to comfortably walk the division as they were joined by 3 expansion teams. New York did win the division, however they only ended up with a 7-7 record and made the playoffs only because they won their division. This year, we see a new look Atlantic Division where New York is no longer the clear top dog. Baltimore has seen a major personnel switch highlighted by 2x All-Star Tim Riggins joining the Constellation. This should be a more competitive division with Atlantic City replacing Virginia, who move to the Midwest.

Gulf Coast Division

  1. Vice City Kings (10-4)
  2. New Orleans Riders (9-5)
  3. Dallas Flying Stallions (8-6)
  4. San Antonio Stampede (4-10)

Vice City followed up their championship in S1 with a 10-4 regular season showing that made them the division winner once again. I expect that Vice City will win their 3rd straight division and punch their ticket to the playoffs. The rest of this division features 2 strong teams with the Riders and Flying Stallions both liking their odds to making the playoffs after some off season roster changes. San Antonio has a bright future with ROTY Dior Island and other good pieces but likely won’t have the firepower necessary to be able to keep up with the other 3 divisional rivals.

Midwest Division

  1. Ohio Shaman (9-5)
  2. Michigan Killer Beez (8-6)
  3. Kentucky Reserve (5-9)
  4. Virginia Merfolk (2-12)

Is there going to be a changing of the guard for the Midwest division? Killer Beez have made the playoffs both seasons while Shaman hasn't made it in yet, but is this the year of the Shaman? They have a strong squad full of S1 players and could make the most of 2 weaker divisional rivals in the Reserve and Merfolk. I predict both teams will make the playoffs.

Pacific Division

  1. Seattle Orcas (10-4)
  2. Oakland Otters (10-4)
  3. Portland Pioneers (8-6)
  4. Albuquerque Martians (3-11)

Arguably the most competitive division in GSB, all 3 of the Orcas, Pioneers, and reigning champions Otters are able to make a convincing argument why they will be in the playoffs this year. Oakland is mostly unchanged after their championship win, same with the Orcas, while the Pioneers are a different look squad to the ones that made a deep playoff run in both seasons so far. The Martians will see these 3 teams twice each, will they be able to play the spoilers and stop one of their rivals from getting to the playoffs? 

Playoff Seeding

  1. Vice City Kings
  2. Seattle Orcas
  3. Baltimore Constellation
  4. Ohio Shaman
  5. Oakland Otters
  6. New Orleans Riders
  7. Portland Pioneers
  8. Michigan Killer Beez

Awards Candidates

Most Valuable Player

  • Zima Blue (Vice City Kings)

  • Scout Mitchell (Ohio Shaman)

  • Anthony Stank (Oakland Otters)

  • Brendan Goshay (New Orleans Riders)

  • Tim Riggins (Baltimore Constellation)

There’s always a whole host of candidates for MVP with one or two players usually making a late push to separate themselves to be the favorites. Zima Blue has been in the MVP consideration for the first 2 seasons but has ultimately fallen short. With one of the most impressive resumes in GSB, can he lead Vice City to the playoffs once again and earn a MVP in the process? 

The Ohio Shaman haven’t been able to secure a spot in the playoffs yet, falling just short in S2. But going into this new season, Scout Mitchell has a chance to help them make their first playoffs. The #1 offensive piece for this Shaman roster, if Scout puts the team on his back and leads them this season, he could grab himself a MVP trophy. 

Similarly to Mitchell, NOLA guard Brendan Goshay will be looking to be the main man for a Riders team eager to return to the playoffs after missing out in S2. A competent scorer for the Riders, Goshay missed out on winning Rookie of the Year but will be eager to lead the Riders to the playoffs.

You can never count out the reigning champ in these predictions. Anthony Stank did it all last season, winning the championship, winning MVP and Most Improved Player for what will end up being a historic season for Stank. Will Stank be able to repeat as MVP or will this award go elsewhere? 

Just like Zima Blue, Baltimore guard/forward Tim Riggins has been in and around the MVP talks for the past 2 seasons but has fallen short. No longer sharing the court with S1 MVP Truck Turner, Tim Riggins is expected to be the focal point for a Constellation team that’s in a great position within the Atlantic Division. Will Riggins lead the Constellation to a playoff spot in only their 2nd season?

Rookie of the Year

  • Joker DeJesus (Boston Militia)

  • Grave Digga (Michigan Killer Beez)

  • Tyrese White (Virginia Merfolk)

  • Matthew Holford (New Orleans Riders)

  • Cash Wallace (Atlantic City Sea Dogs)

Last year saw several highly drafted prospects fail to deliver on expectations, with #1 overall Milton-Francis Heinkel having a solid but underwhelming season, while #3 pick Vincent Graham similarly failed to live up to expectations. With a short class of rookies, will the top drafted players be dominant this year or will another late pick win Rookie of the Year, in the same vein as 2nd rounder Dior Island?

Joker DeJesus understandably was overshadowed by the #1 and #2 overall picks in Grave Digga and Angelo Roman, respectively. In an otherwise shallow draft class for the center position, DeJesus stands out as the ‘best of the rest’ in a group of eager but raw centers. Under the tutelage of highly decorated GSB center King DeMoura, can DeJesus win ROTY over 2 highly anticipated big men rookies?

Speaking of, Grave Digga has found himself in a great place to be. Behind player/owner Bear Johnson, Digga finds himself eager to live up to the expectations as he was easily the #1 player in GSPL this past season, dominating his competition all season. Will the #1 overall pick live up to the hype or fails to impress?

An unfortunate situation in Virginia found them with lots of gaps to fill in the draft, selecting center Tyrese White with the last pick of the 1st round. Tyrese wasn’t as impressive in GSPL as Digga or Roman, or even as Mills or DeJesus, but he’s very raw with a lot of potential to grow. Virginia has shown the ability to grow centers with Ricky Spyder being one of the biggest surprises of S2. With no real expectations for this season, the Merfolk can give White plenty of opportunity to develop.

Matthew Holford was one of the most impressive players in the GSPL this past year, being a great 2 way option and a perfect fit for the NOLA Riders where he looks to join up with S2 standout Brendan Goshay. More complete than most prospects are at this point, will the combo of Goshay and Holford lead the Riders to a playoff spot in a tough division?

A bit of a wild card pick for ROTY is Cash Wallace, the sharpshooter who was picked with the 9th overall pick. Atlantic City features several veteran players but simultaneously has more rookies than any other team, with Cash Wallace being one of 4 rookies rostered by the Sea Dogs. Wallace should see a good amount of playing time and might be an interesting dark horse for the Rookie of the Year award.

Most Improved Player

  • Pauly Truth (Albuquerque Martians)

  • Love Lockdown (Vice City Kings)

  • Dookie Blunts (Ohio Shaman)

  • Tavian Tyree (Dallas Flying Stallions)

  • Biff Marcum (San Antonio Stampede)

Setting a high standard in the year before, Anthony Stank nearly ran away with all accolades in S2 including being the league’s first Most Improved Player. Will one of these names take a similar jump in S3 and cement themselves not only as MIP but also themselves in the running for MVP too?

Prospect league champion Pauly Truth didn’t exactly have a good time after being drafted to the Virginia Merfolk. His fortunes changed, however, with a trade to the Martians where he began to show signs of life. Will Pauly be able to continue that positive momentum to help the Martians stay away from the bottom of the league?

Saying Love Lockdown was poor in S2 was an understatement. Statistically speaking, he was the worst player in GSB in S2. But what that means is that Love literally can’t get any worse. Love has reportedly been hitting the gym hard in the offseason and will return for S3 with a completely new physique and a completely new atmosphere, as he’s now going to be playing for the Sea Dogs in the newly rebranded Atlantic City franchise.

GSB original Muddy “Dookie” Blunts probably hasn’t played up to his own expectations in the first 2 seasons. With the Shaman looking to make their way into the playoffs for the first time, the Shaman will be depending on Blunts to make a big impact. With rumors of this being the year of the guards, can Blunts improve enough to help the Shaman to the playoffs and to win Most Improved Player?

Tavian Tyree managed to win All-GSB Rookie 1st Team and Defense 2nd team in S2 but will still be looking to improve going into S3. With not as much competition for minutes in the Dallas frontcourt, Tyree should get lots of playing time to showcase his talents for a team eager to return to the playoffs for a 3rd season.

Similarly, Biff Marcum should get a lot of time to prove himself with San Antonio this year. One of the more underrated big men in the game, if he’s able to form a good duo with S2 ROTY Dior Island, the Stampede might be able to surprise some people despite being in a very competitive division. 

Defensive Player of the Year

  • Angelo Marciano (New York Skyliners)

  • Mario Medici (Seattle Orcas)

  • Jamal Davis (Baltimore Constellation)

  • Billy Bob Buckley (Vice City Kings)

  • Truck Turner (Michigan Killer Beez)

Sixth Man of the Year

  • Brice Lee (New York Skyliners)

  • Bismack (Atlantic City Sea Dogs)

  • Ethan Lederman (San Antonio Stampede)

  • Dane Jones (Oakland Otters)

  • Shane Nox (Seattle Orcas)