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October 26, 2010

If there’s one thing that you can expect from Streetgang, it’s hucks. Hucks on offense, hucks on defense, hucks to space, and hucks to match-ups. Each of the people who emailed me with a wrap on Streetgang said that first and foremost, Streetgang is about the long ball.

This expectation alone makes them an exciting part of Pool D. Against Chain, they’ll face a more polished version of themselves, as Atlanta won it all last year on the strength of a potent aerial attack that made life underneath much easier. Against Truck Stop, Streetgang will look to avenge at 10-15 loss at Labor Day, and against Furious George, they’ll attempt to go 3-0 on the season, having beat them in close games at Emerald City and Labor Day by respective scores of 15-12 and 15-14.

On offense, Streetgang runs a split stack that isolates a cutter who streaks across the field and then looks to quickly turn and jack it. Everyone that I spoke with about Streetgang said the same thing: watch out for Steve Prodan, a lefty who, while he looks unassuming, has a lightning-quick first step and some of the biggest and most accurate hucks in the game. One person described him as one of the best throwers on the West Coast, saying that he doesn’t need to see more than a step of separation before putting a huck right on top of a cutter. Another said that he’ll be one of the best pure throwers at Nationals. Personally, I feel like I can get on board with this, as I remember watching him launch full-field flick hucks into the wind while on the sidelines at College Easterns, where he was coaching San Diego State back in March.

Also, San Diego relies a lot on cross-field IO flicks, with Prodan throwing them from the backhand side and Matthew Heffernan from the flick side. As far as receivers go, Adam Bunn made a name for himself back at 2008’s Potlatch All-Star game and again in 2009 while playing against Team USA at College Nationals, and the word is that many of Streetgang’s receivers are of his mold: short, but very explosive.

Look for Streetgang’s offense to be high risk/high reward. If their long game gets going, they’ll put a lot of points on the board in a hurry. Last year, they upset Ironside 15-12 in pool play by doing just that. If they aren’t connecting though, teams at Nationals will likely capitalize and gain breaks just as quickly.

Defensively, Streetgang has added athleticism since last year. Kevin Smith initiates the defensive offense, throwing hucks from both the fast break and from stopped discs to a group of strong receivers.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Streetgang is made up of a pretty even split of UC-San Diego and San Diego State roots. The team is in its second year back on the scene, as 2006’s PBR Streetgang underachieved and led to a split San Diego scene in 2007 and 2008. 2009’s strong showing  was an obvious step in the right direction for Streetgang, as it gave the squad something to build on as well as recruiting power that brought some talent up from Los Angeles.

While I think it’d be cool to see Streetgang in Pool A or B because of their ability to pull off a big upset (I say this because those pools are noticeably weaker than C and D), watching to see whether or not they can repeat some of 2009’s magic will be exciting nonetheless.

Edit: Check the comments for more info.

Thanks a lot to those who emailed me about Streetgang. I was really hesitant to write an entry about a team that I haven’t seen play at all, but the detail and consistency that came my way made me feel OK about it. I really appreciate your help.

One Comment leave one →
  1. neeley permalink*
    October 27, 2010 8:11 am

    For more on Streetgang, one of the people who sent me a report said it was cool to throw their comments up:

    “The players to watch on O:

    #7 Steve ‘Daze’ Prodan
    Lefty handler with nice break hucks. Travels a lot, but not when he throws, only while he’s pivoting. Deceptively athletic given his frame so he catches unsuspecting teams off guard.

    #36 Matthew ‘Thoopa’ Hefferman (red hair)
    Righty handler with nice flicks. Great for the SD Offense because they rely on outside-in cross-field flicks, and they’re able to do so no matter the force having both Thoopa and Steve on the field.

    # Ross ‘Rookie’ Lenta
    Short fast receiver, catches a good amount of deep goals.

    #71 David Billings
    Tall guy who uses his height well to get open.

    #56 Adam ‘Wormser’ Bunn
    Short fast receiver with good hops, people know him from his performance in the potlatch allstar game. Plays both sides of the disc. Solid thrower who wont turn it over, but usually wont take risks.

    Players to watch on D:

    #80 Kevin ‘Dollar’ Smith
    Solid defender, but that’s not why he plays D. Dollar starts the disc for them on a turn often by hucking on the fast break, otherwise by hucking off a stop disc. You may remember him from Mischief 2007 & ’08 when he was throwing to his older brothers Mark and Kyle.

    The guys getting the D’s and catching Dollar’s hucks.

    #68 Allan Lai
    #99 Timothy Gilligan
    #9 Keenan Herbon
    #3 Evan Valdes
    #17 Will Griffin (if he has gotten healthy)
    #84 Matt Welsh

    Scouting report:
    Their O is very hit and miss, when they are on they can score with surprising efficiency (see last year vs. Boston, and Labor Day vs. Doublewide) but when they struggle they can fall out of games quickly. Also, their O is great when taking on teams that don’t know them well because of the unique style. The previously united San Diego team PBR Streetgang circa 2006 always underachieved because they relied to heavily on the UCSD players, even if they had better options (like Ross Lenta, David Billings, and Steve Prodan). That led to San Diego fielding separate club teams in 2007 and 2008 and finally coming back together in 2009 with a more unified approach (ironic because one of the split club teams was SD United). After a solid performance last year they attracted some LA area talent in Welsh, Valdes, and Lai bolstering their D line athleticism and adding to their depth. On D they have a mix of zones they throw, but they no longer have to rely on them because of the added athleticism. San Diego’s best D is now man (as it should be for any top club team) for the first time that I can remember.”

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