DC/Metro Area 2007-08

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
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DC/Metro Area 2007-08

Post by ieppler » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:37 pm

I probably shouldn't be the one to start this thread, given what I did to the last DC comparisons thread, but absence of a DC thread was noticeable.

Discuss away!
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Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:05 pm

I pretty much said wat i think in that next year thread.

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Post by Djibouti » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:08 pm

Next year, as had been posted a many of times, TJ, Whitman, and RM should be dominant, and I see a clear gap between them and everyone else. I don't see Baltimore as much of a factor next year (sadly), though for all the Baltimore-bashing that occurs, Baltimore teams did post many strong victories and strong losses against Washington powers this year, and while Washington is clearly a stronger region, Perry Hall and Centennial are two of Maryland's three schools represented at PACE NSC 2007. Even so, Baltimore graduatues a lot of Seniors.

Somehow, we need to find a way to get Baltimore County teams to tournaments, as Parkville and Dulaney would have been very successful this year, but Dulaney opted out of all tournaments from January on and Parkville never came. Next year, however, between the three strong Baltimore County teams (which, if we are assessing the Baltimore region, did provide three of the top four teams on It's Academic), 9 of the top 10 players are graduated.

Somehow, Centennial will find a way to be strong, and Hammond always has a young base. As for Perry Hall (of which I am most familiar), we lose this year's Captain/President, James, and Cameron, with Nithin as the only returning "A" Team member. Nithin should be okay now that he has to lead (this year, he seemed to defer a lot to the Seniors, but he has the answers), and there are two strong students who would work very well on the Academic Team that we are recruiting. If all goes well there, Nithin steps up, and our current Freshman study hard over the Summer, we should be fine next year; I would think we would struggle through the early half of the year as the team learns to work together and picks up on each other's strengths, but would be a strong presence thereafter. Perry Hall has only recently made tu/b it's emphasis (before, It's Academic was everything, although over the past two years, under a new Coach and a visionary Captain, we've began attending tournaments with the aim of winning), and, despite the fact we lose three Seniors, we are working to make a habit of getting better, winning, etc.

Despite everything, TJ, RM, and Whitman will all be in the top 5 at Nationals, and, as such, dominate the region.
Last edited by Djibouti on Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DumbJaques » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:14 pm

visionary Captain
Truly you are a man amongst men, Jeff Krummel. I only hope that you continue your good works as you enrich our humble UMD quiz team with your foresight, as you lead us as a holy prophet to our salvation

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Post by Djibouti » Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:32 pm

Thanks. Seriously, during my Sophomore year, our team averaged less than a win per six tournament matches we played (for the unknowing, that's absolutely pathetic and I hated it). This was our first year at tournaments, but we didn't seem to want to win and neither our Coach nor Captain seemed to care. The following year, with a new Coach (Mr. Geibel), I was elected Captain and President, and we set the goal as a team of finally advancing past the second round of the TV show and competing seriously / making the playoffs at tournaments. We ended up making the playoffs of over half our tournaments, and made the Baltimore Finals of the TV show (two rounds further than the school ever advanced). Perhaps it wasn't "visionary" (I was looking for an adjective and optimistic was dumb); maybe it was common sense. Academic Team (known as the "It's Academic Team" until just last year, when we expanded our aim to tournaments) was treated as a social gathering of smart people, and, oh by the way, we happened to compete sometimes. This was just stupid. To me, if it's going to be worthwhile, we should try to win, and that's what I wanted to get across as Captain. Some people quit; change isn't easy to accept. Additionally, we realized we needed to win on pyramidal questions at tournaments, and, as a team, we wanted the challenge of facing the mythical Washington powers. This year, with three Seniors and a taste of winning, we established the goal of winning at tournaments and qualifying for PACE Nationals. Both we did, and the credit goes to our coach and team, though it did take a mindset change. As a Captain, I am always optimistic (common sense to me, if you don't think you can win, why do it?). Anyway, this history of the Perry Hall Academic Team and threadjack brought to you by Jeff Krummel, "visionary."

Next year I will be attending UMCP, though I haven't decided whether to join the MAQT; Civil Engineering will be my main, heavy focus, but I might. I'm definitely not the strongest pyramidal player (speed questions are my forte anyway), but I love the competition and trivia.

So back to the thread, it times for Perry Hall's non-Seniors to keep winning and qualify for Nationals again.

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Post by Stat Boy » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:43 pm

Could somebody tell me who will move up onto RM's A-team next year?
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Post by DumbJaques » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:26 pm

Uhm. . . along with many teams, final rosters are hardly set in stone in June of the preceeding season. I'd imagine that, again like many teams, the roster of RM A will depend on innumerable factors. It might even change over the course of the year.

I will say that RM B has traditionally moved up some very strong players. This year Leonard and Patricia were moved up, last year RM moved up Jeffrey (and Keith, sort of). The one thing you can be sure of is that whoever moves up, they'll add a lot to a team that already returns its top two scorers at NAQT nationals (who had like 40 powers between them, meaning that RM returns the highest amount of powers, an interesting statistic).

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Post by jbarnes112358 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:11 pm

Djibouti wrote: Despite everything, TJ, RM, and Whitman will all be in the top 5 at Nationals, and, as such, dominate the region.
I agree that there is a good chance those three will be in the top five. The other two will quite likely be Dorman and some team from the Midwest. Of course, a lot can change between now and then. (BTW, I am loosely defining the Midwest as any non-Atlantic state east of the Rockies.) I look for MD/DC/VA to be the dominant region once again, though the "Midwest" is making great strides, and I would not at all be surprised to see Dorman win it all.

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Post by segregold » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:40 pm

TJ, Whitman, and RM should be dominant.
I don't know about that. I agree that TJ, RM, and Whitman will all be top teams in the D.C. region, but I don't know if Whitman will be top five at the National level. Yes, they are returning their full lineup, but Whitman traditionally has not been outrageously strong at NAQTs, and their performance at Nationals this year, while respectable, was not spectacular. I think Whitman's strength at the beginning of next year really relies on the comparative weaknesses of TJ and RM as they recuperate from graduating a lot of seniors, and that unless Whitman heavily improves next year, they will not remain a major threat by June 2008. That said, again, can't argue with a full returning lineup.

Someone should also mention WJ, a traditional power player in this region. WJ did not come out especially strong this year (or, hell, even attend Nationals), but the likely WJ captain next year is fairly competitive, and there is a lot of talent at that school that seemed to go untapped this year.

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Post by ieppler » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:56 pm

WJ is attending PACE. They also had a relatively strong end to the year, beating Gonzaga at the Maryland NAQT Championship and coming in 3rd (I believe) at the UMD tournament. (They also won the It's Ac Superbowl, but success there doesn't really translate to success in pyramidal tournaments, i.e. Holton-Arms.) Daichi, who won the scoring title at both of those tournaments, is only a sophomore.

I'm also pretty sure that Whitman will be one of the top 5 nationally next year. This year's team, which finished in 5th place at NAQT, is completely returning, and I don't think that they could really decline. Are they sending any players to ACE camp?
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Post by Stat Boy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:05 pm

Unless someone on the team hasn't told me something, none of our players will be going to ACE Camp.
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Post by First Chairman » Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:10 pm

Any of you guys interested in the PACE Bootcamp in July then?
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Post by bigmac » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:49 pm

Is segregold Keith? Keith, what are you talking about? Whitman tied for fifth at nationals; placing in the top 5 again would merely require a repeat performance. You are right in putting the WJ name out there, though I think their improvement over the course of the past year was pretty obvious to anyone who had to deal with them.

TJ, Whitman, Wilmington, WJ will be at the top of the region next year in more or less that order. Dorman will be the favorite at nationals with MLK a strong threat. I also predict that Gov and SC will work themselves back up to the top ten (or better) by the end of the year (if not earlier).

As for RM, there are many, many gaps that need to be filled between now and then. Whatever players are able to fill them and contribute will move up.

Have a good summer, all.
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Post by vcuEvan » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:08 pm

I think TJ will be stronger next year than they were this year.

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Post by segregold » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:12 pm

Whitman tied for fifth at nationals; placing in the top 5 again would merely require a repeat performance.
Okay, yeah, that's true. I may have a biased vision of Whitman's strength, as we've only played them once on NAQTs this year.

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Post by Magister Ludi » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:21 pm

I think TJ will be the best team in DC area by far and along with Dorman will probably be the front runner at Nationals. Along with them RM and Whitman should be strong. I would have to disagree with Keith and say that I think Whitman will do very well at NAQT, but not fare as well in more ultra-pyramidal formats like PACE. The fact that the only two losses Whitman took during the playoffs at NAQT were to Maggie Walker and TJ by 5 points show that they are a team that is very dangerous.

After those three teams there is a big dropoff. WJ who had a strong finish to the season is losing Tian Hui and while they are returning Daichi (who finished as the top scorer at MD/DC NAQT and finished second at UMD) they have no one else, so I'm not sure how they will fare. In a biased pick I think Gonzaga has a chance to do well if they work hard. Dan Puma is an underrated player who will put up some numbers next year now that he is not playing under my shaodw any more and the fact that he put up the 4th most powers of any sophomore at NAQT speaks to his depth of knowledge.

After that you never know, maybe someone will come out and surprise people.

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Post by Stat Boy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:27 pm

I'll ask my team about it Tuesday.
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Post by aestheteboy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:11 pm

I am not too sure about TJ being significantly better (or, even, at all better) than RM and Whitman. I think not having an official coach and lacking committment from some key players have hurted them and will hurt them.
This year was probably one of the weaker years for RMB. Although Stephen (the B-team captain) is a very good speed player, I'm not sure how good he is at pyramidal play. Of course, Keith and Jeffrey alone make RM one of the best in the nation next year.

My teammates next year are pretty good, better than the numbers indicate. Hopefully, they'll study and we'll be good like Whitman was this year.

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Post by gonzagaeagleahy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:16 pm

Like most prognostications so far for the DC/Metro area, I believe that the main three front-runners in the area will be TJ, Whitman, and RM, but not necessarily in that order. I doubt that one of them will necessarily be the outright front-runner but that's hard to say because there's the whole summer for all teams to improve. I've personally always felt threatened by the power of Whitman and am not going to look forward to playing them next year, although that can also be said about TJ and RM, yet I am especially worried about Whitman just because they're returning their whole team, who played very well basically all year.

On another note, questionable now is how successful WJ is gonna be, even though they have the dynamic Daichi, and Gonzaga in losing Ted. If either team really works at it this summer/year I suspect that both teams will also be up there as threats in the DC/Metro area. I know, being from gonzaga, that Dan is amazing and everyone will be blown away upon playing him. Hopefully I'll improve enough to be a solid second person although Dan will be our outright leader. If Ian keeps on improving GDS can also be successful next year.

Perry Hall, in losing Jeff "Krumms" Krummel and Cameron, is going to be very lacking next year. As far as I know, so will Centennial, because at the Freshman-Sophomore tournament last year the two teams they brought mananged to rack up 2 wins overall combined out of a total combined maybe 12 games.
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Post by ieppler » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:16 pm

Freshman-sophomore tournament? That's the first time I've ever heard of such a thing in the DC area.
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Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:10 pm

There was one, Keegan ran it and supposedly he couldn't get enough teams to hold one this year.

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Post by Howard » Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:06 pm

More to the point, there weren't as many teams as he'd have liked last year, so he dropped it this year.
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Post by NotjustoldWASPs » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:52 pm

aestheteboy wrote:I am not too sure about TJ being significantly better (or, even, at all better) than RM and Whitman. I think not having an official coach and lacking committment from some key players have hurted them and will hurt them...
I will disagree and agree with this statement, but mostly disagree. For starters, if players couldn't get better without a coach, how would college quizbowlers get any better? Coaching helps some, but it's not entirely necessary for success, and TJ quizbowl has functioned well enough for two years now with a less-than-Kreloff-like sponsor, and we should be fine for many more. Frankly, in my sophomore and junior years, I learned more from the upperclassmen than any coach could have helped me (alright, that was TJ '05, but hey...)

With regards to commitment I'll agree that there have been and always will be conflicts with other academic pursuits. Heck, my senior year I was doing Science Bowl and Math Team as well, but I put quizbowl first, and having known most of the rising A-Team for two years, I can tell that they will stick with it, and they will be a force next year.

I can't say much more about the rest of the area, as I've been out of the DC-area quizbowl loop while way out in the midwest, but from what I've read/heard from Evan, the traditional powers should still be strong. Good luck to all, and if any of you want to make the journey out to (scenic) St. Louis, come to WUHSAC X in Feb, 2008 (exact date TBA).

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Post by gonzagaeagleahy » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:03 pm

Does anyone know how many seniors were on the Blake team? Cause they've been pretty solid this year, as well.

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Post by ieppler » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:30 pm

Two, I believe.

I didn't see Blake at many tournaments this year. They were strong at TJ Fall, so it's surprising that they just sort of...disappeared.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:47 pm

if any of you want to make the journey out to (scenic) St. Louis, come to WUHSAC X in Feb, 2008 (exact date TBA).
Yes, please do!!!
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Post by DumbJaques » Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:47 pm

I will disagree and agree with this statement, but mostly disagree. For starters, if players couldn't get better without a coach, how would college quizbowlers get any better?
I'm a huge defender of entrusting students with responsibilities and not making assumption about maturity based on age, but I have always felt there are some problems with TJ's approach. First, to answer your question, getting better isn't even the primary issue, but college quizbowl is enfused with people old enough to be teachers, to the extent that its difficult not to pick stuff up from their experience. Also, most incoming college players have quizbowl experience already. The opposite is true of incoming high school freshmen. And the fact is that, maturity issues aside, college students are better prepared to self-study and whatnot than fourteen year-olds, on the whole. It's true that the system worked fine for the class of 04-05 era at TJ, and that people like you and Evan were able to improve and benefit from that system. But I think we can all agree that's a pretty unique group of people to have on one academic team, and isn't likely to be repeated at TJ or anywhere else for a long time.

The fact is that a well-coached team will always be better than the same team poorly-coached (or non-coached). Good coaches aren't the easiest things to find, but I'm positive someone at TJ could become a good coach within a short amount of time. Until then, there will never be an independent arbitrator who can put everything aside for the purposes of evaluating performance, picking lineups, encouraging players, etc. No player can ever do those things without the (almost always realized) potential of conflict of interest. Also, a coach does not have to balance improving his own performance versus improving that of his players. There are also numerous issues with accountability should player leadership make a bad decision.

Don't get me wrong, I think that if the best situation for TJ or anyone else is to have a hands-off coach, they should go with it. But there are always going to be problems with that approach, even with the most visionary of player leaders (including the fact that they have fairly strict term limits, so to speak).

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Post by Stat Boy » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:15 pm

Does anyone know how many seniors were on the Blake team? Cause they've been pretty solid this year, as well.
I believe that Blake's two seniors were the ones who accounted for a majority of their scoring, so I don't see them as particularly strong next year.
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Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:31 pm

Stat Boy wrote:
Does anyone know how many seniors were on the Blake team? Cause they've been pretty solid this year, as well.
I believe that Blake's two seniors were the ones who accounted for a majority of their scoring, so I don't see them as particularly strong next year.
yea, there seniors did like 99% if their scoring so i dont see them being that good next year.

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Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:09 am

For our team, I think we will be better than people think because Kevin Leahy, who finished i think 7th in scoring at UMD Spring and is going to ACE camp, can become a really strong player now that Ted is graduating( he's a lit player).

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Post by Stat Boy » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:10 am

Agreed. I remember several tournaments where Gonzaga had more than one player in the top ten in scoring (one of them, of course, being Ted). They shouldn't experience as large of a drop-off as some might expect.
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:14 pm

Especially with Dan putting up 45.57 ppg next to Ted's 52.66 ppg at the HSNCT
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Post by segregold » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:03 pm

Couple of things I have to say.
In a biased pick I think Gonzaga has a chance to do well if they work hard.
There is an easy chance that I will wind up surprised, but honestly, I can't even remember the name of anyone else on Gonzaga's team other than Ted. I can't see Gonzaga being able to go toe to toe with the other D.C. region contenders unless they very significantly improve; that said, it would not be the last time that sort of thing would happen. Gonzaga, you now have an incentive to get really good and shove me off my high horse. The first time I play you next year, I should emerge from the room crying. There should be tears of blood.
My teammates [on WJ] next year are pretty good, better than the numbers indicate. Hopefully, they'll study and we'll be good like Whitman was this year.
Yeah, it kind of struck me as odd that WJ wasn't better this year. I think that team's problem is more lack of motivation than anything else. They didn't even send a team to Nationals, where they wouldn't have finished first but would easily have made top ten or fifteen. I think if Daichi plays Iron Marshall he can probably whip them into respectable shape.
Coaching helps some, but it's not entirely necessary for success, and TJ quizbowl has functioned well enough for two years now with a less-than-Kreloff-like sponsor, and we should be fine for many more. Frankly, in my sophomore and junior years, I learned more from the upperclassmen than any coach could have helped me (alright, that was TJ '05, but hey...)
But nay there, amigo! That was TJ '05! I did not myself have the honor and privilege of getting Genghis'ed by the TJ juggernaut, but the whimpering, shellshocked horror stories told to me by some of my older teammates have given me the general picture. Also, "functioning well enough" isn't the same thing as "being good". Well enough doesn't win tournaments. Yes, TJ is always going to be a good team regardless of whether they have a couch or not, but without one it suffers from a clear case of too many scientists and not enough Igors. I point out how TJ B actually scored higher at Nationals than TJ A, because TJ A's lineup was based on the arbitrary whim of the ranking seniors. Fact is, as Chris already said, independent, non-involved observers make by far the best leaders in any sort of situation, because they don't have a personal stake in it. That's why officers don't eat with enlisted men.
After that you never know, maybe someone will come out and surprise people.
That would be pretty nice. Dorman kind of hit my team out of nowhere this year, and I have to say, it's always a pleasure to get randomly ass-whupped by some team you've never heard of instead of always struggling with the same three teams and being able to take down all others without any difficulty. Hopefully that situation will occur in our area too.

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Post by BuzzerZen » Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:26 pm

OK, I don't know who said that the A team at NAQT was determined by Michael's and my "whim", but can it stop please? The team was selected to provide a strong and balanced team, and so was the B team. We have a lot of good players on our team, and the B teams for NAQT and PACE were designed to provide the maximum number of deserving people with the chance to attend. In each case, the A team was the team we determined would work best together and have the best chance of winning. Michael and I made the teams in good faith, and I resent any suggestion that we did otherwise. Our B team happened to beat our A team head-to-head, and happened to finish higher in the prelim standings (a fairly meaningless comparison for NAQT, as far as I'm concerned). Naren had a breakout performance, and I am of course impressed.
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Post by ieppler » Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:46 pm

segregold wrote:honestly, I can't even remember the name of anyone else on Gonzaga's team other than Ted.
Um...Dan? His strong performance at NAQT was referenced in the post above yours. I've played both with and against Dan on many occasions, and he is a very strong player who will be a very capable leader for Gonzaga next year. They might not be as good as they were this year, but they should finish in the top 8 at most tournaments and make the finals at a few. Plus, his last name is Puma, and that should be enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone. :grin:
segregold wrote:Yeah, it kind of struck me as odd that WJ wasn't better this year. I think that team's problem is more lack of motivation than anything else. They didn't even send a team to Nationals, where they wouldn't have finished first but would easily have made top ten or fifteen. I think if Daichi plays Iron Marshall he can probably whip them into respectable shape.
WJ just made the playoffs at PACE. In my opinion, they improved more than any other team over the course of the year, going from a respectable team to one of the stronger teams in the region, as their recent PACE success and their It's Ac Superbowl win demonstrate. They lose Tianhui, which will hurt, but they should be in the top 5 in the region next year.
segregold wrote:it's always a pleasure to get randomly ass-whupped by some team you've never heard of instead of always struggling with the same three teams and being able to take down all others without any difficulty. Hopefully that situation will occur in our area too.
Hopefully, that will be my team, but don't get too worried. :grin:
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Post by aestheteboy » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:58 pm

This is getting ridiculous.
We did go to a nationals; Dan is very good; We didn't improve much, and if it appeared as if we did, it was probably because there were few good pyramidal tournaments early in the season.

Anyway, one thing I realized at NSC is that powering often is far, far less important than having a balanced team. This is the reason that teams like Gonzaga could not reach the very top this year. Even with Ted's uber-knowledge in some humanities areas and with strong support from teammates, they couldn't beat the very best without solid science knowledge. I always thought MLK was a one-man team, but they are definitely not: Raju was one of the better science players I saw this weekend.
My point is, one-man teams suck. Although Dan, Ian, and I are good individual players, neither Zaga, GDS nor we will be very successful unless we get a lot of help from teammates.
Several-men teams still suck if their knowledge isn't balanced. I'm even worried for RM because as far as I know, they won't have a very strong science player after Leonard leaves.
Although, the fact is, very few teams have both deep and wide level of knowledge.

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Post by Stat Boy » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:28 am

Daichi is right. Last year, when Whitman had three seniors plus me on the A-team, we were incredibly balanced in terms of questions each player got. Unfortunately, on the more difficult science questions we often weren't able to answer even if the other team had negged and the question was over.
My teammates next year are pretty good, better than the numbers indicate. Hopefully, they'll study and we'll be good like Whitman was this year.
There is no way we would have done as well as we did this year if two of the players on my team hadn't taken multiple AP science courses (Thank you, Damjan and Shantanu). That's the real reason we got better as the year progressed.
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Post by segregold » Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:29 am

I'm even worried for RM because as far as I know, they won't have a very strong science player after Leonard leaves.
Leonard wasn't that great at science. Science has always been our Achilles heel, if you will. Even the A Team from two years ago (one year, still? I mean the one that won Nationals last year) wasn't good at science. IB has the good effect of attracting a lot of people who are great at lit and history and the bad effect of not attracting anyone who is more than "okay" at science.
WJ just made the playoffs at PACE. In my opinion, they improved more than any other team over the course of the year, going from a respectable team to one of the stronger teams in the region, as their recent PACE success and their It's Ac Superbowl win demonstrate.
Alright, I should just clarify as to my notorious lack of respect for PACE. That said, I do regret not going to PACE this year, so I will tip my hat to WJ for doing well there. However, winning the It's Academic Superbowl is hardly an example of quizbowl prowess. Those questions are ridiculous. They did beat us, though, so congratulations.
Um...Dan? His strong performance at NAQT was referenced in the post above yours.
...I didn't realize that Dan Puma was on Gonzaga. Yeah. Alright. I look like an idiot. Sorry. I have definitely heard of him, I just wasn't connecting the man with the team.

About the one man teams analysis, I don't know. I think it's a prerequisite for a team to have one very strong player and the other players in a support role. RM's A Team was very well balanced this year, but we didn't have a real demonic quizbowl beast to swoop in and get a bunch of tossups when we were 140 points down as was the case last year. I think that balance is good, but you have to have a really good player or you aren't going to get anywhere.

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Post by Stat Boy » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:48 pm

I'd say that, although Will Butler did get more toss-ups than anyone else on Maggie Walker, he wasn't the "demonic quiz bowl beast" that Chris Ray was for you guys. Both teams won national championships. I think that both models work, it's just that balance usually (not always) leads to more breadth of knowledge, which gives a team a greater chance to win.
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Post by aestheteboy » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:10 pm

When I said balance, I meant across categories, not among players. It just happens to be that if a team is outstanding in one area, usually it's because they have one great individual player.
I would agree with Keith that all the best teams have a "quizbowl beast" (maybe not so much demonic). Still, none of them, including RM '06, are one-man teams. I don't even know how much science Chris R knew then, but I don't think RM would have won it all without Chris Higgins.
Maybe it would be more apt to say that the best teams aren't lacking in any category rather than that they are balanced.

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Post by Magister Ludi » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:48 pm

Next year Gonzaga will suffer the biggest drop-off in ACF/PACE style tournaments. In tournaments like UVA Fall, Yale, TJ Winter, PACE, VCU I carried us and got a large majority of the toss-ups.
But in speed and NAQT tournaments where really in-depth knowledge is not as important Dan should be able to make Gonzaga pretty dangerous. Because he is strong in trash and current events which has such an emphasis in NAQT.

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Post by gonzagaeagleahy » Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:28 am

aestheteboy wrote:My point is, one-man teams suck. Although Dan, Ian, and I are good individual players, neither Zaga, GDS nor we will be very successful unless we get a lot of help from teammates.
Okay, everyone recognizes how solid Dan is and how good he will be next year, even though I believe his success next year is still underrated because of all the work he's planning this summer. However, no one really knows, besides our team, anything else about what the rest of our team for next year, which right now is looking fairly solid, with two rising seniors and two rising juniors. We should be stronger in science than before due to growing overall knowledge and advanced classes being taken next year by team members, and each of the other three members of the planned a-team next year, including myself, other than dan has something to contribute to the team and overall the team will be less one significant leader-led than suspected. Time can only see.

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:44 am

Oh, I also think I should make the point that Dorman didn't come out of nowhere. The program has a pretty solid history (2003 2nd at NAQT, 1st at PACE, and stuff from the 90s. And ASCN, for what that counts). And there had been tons of discussion about how good they are all 1st semester long, I'd say.
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Post by The Atom Strikes! » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:41 pm

aestheteboy wrote:When I said balance, I meant across categories, not among players. It just happens to be that if a team is outstanding in one area, usually it's because they have one great individual player.
I would agree with Keith that all the best teams have a "quizbowl beast" (maybe not so much demonic). Still, none of them, including RM '06, are one-man teams. I don't even know how much science Chris R knew then, but I don't think RM would have won it all without Chris Higgins.
Maybe it would be more apt to say that the best teams aren't lacking in any category rather than that they are balanced.
True, most top teams have at least one exceptional player, but this will only take you so far, in most cases. Looking at this year's NAQT nationals results, only one of the top 10 scorers, Will Butler, came from a top eight team, and his team members also contributed quite a bit in terms of scoring. It seems that just having one powerhouse will only take you so far. It seems that the teams of the future tend towards having a bunch of good players who all contribute, as opposed to one powerhouse and their cheering section.
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Post by segregold » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:29 am

Looking at this year's NAQT nationals results, only one of the top 10 scorers, Will Butler, came from a top eight team, and his team members also contributed quite a bit in terms of scoring.
Well... yeah... that's true, but most of the time the reason some of these "top scorers" are getting so high is because the rest of the team isn't very good. Most teams, if you look at their scoring patterns, are going to have one or two players who are getting the majority of the questions. Some of that, of course, is just the nature of most quizbowl questions... a history and literature person is invariably going to score higher than a math and science person, just because there are a lot more of the former style of questions in most formats. I do think, however, that a team with four very good players is not as good as a team with one or two excellent players and two or three very good players. I think you need that "personality" element to make the team distinctive and superb.
Oh, I also think I should make the point that Dorman didn't come out of nowhere. The program has a pretty solid history (2003 2nd at NAQT, 1st at PACE, and stuff from the 90s. And ASCN, for what that counts). And there had been tons of discussion about how good they are all 1st semester long, I'd say.
I wasn't on RM's A Team for most of last year, so I don't know if we played them or not, but the first time I'd ever encountered/even heard of Dorman was at Gonzaga this year. Now, scoring second at NAQT is an impressive achievement, but stuff that happened 4 years ago/in the 90s (hell, dude, I don't even remember the 90s) doesn't really mark your team for current excellence. Not, again, to discredit Dorman at all now or in the past, but they really did appear out of nowhere for me.
Next year Gonzaga will suffer the biggest drop-off in ACF/PACE style tournaments. In tournaments like UVA Fall, Yale, TJ Winter, PACE, VCU I carried us and got a large majority of the toss-ups.
Riding on the assumption that that's true, there a) aren't a lot of PACE-style tournaments and b) Gonzaga will probably be able to quickly recoup knowledge loss in most areas, maybe not so much with literature. Not that I really know, but that seems likely to me.
I don't even know how much science Chris R knew then, but I don't think RM would have won it all without Chris Higgins.


Definitely not. I guess what I'm referring to is that every team needs someone, one person, who can almost always be counted on to get tossups at the end of the question. Chris Ray could almost invariably do that. He could power when it was necessary, but his main use was that when it was the end of the question and no one knew it, he almost always did. Balance among teams is great when you want to power things, but you do need one person with that "basic bank of knowledge" where they can pull stuff out as it becomes necessary.

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Post by gonzagaeagleahy » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:37 am

segregold wrote:maybe not so much with literature. Not that I really know, but that seems likely to me.
Reasonable assumption, I must say, because Ted did know a vast area of literature of all sorts; however, we will actually be very solid in literature next year, not too far behind Ted's capabilities this year, if not even further developed.

To sum up my thoughts, Wasserberg.

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Post by segregold » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:00 am

Ted did know a vast area of literature of all sorts; however, we will actually be very solid in literature next year, not too far behind Ted's capabilities this year, if not even further developed.
Yeah, I was just saying, you probably won't have Ted's encyclopedic depth. That's not really necessary, though, if you can surpass him in breadth.

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Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:13 am

segregold wrote:I wasn't on RM's A Team for most of last year, so I don't know if we played them or not, but the first time I'd ever encountered/even heard of Dorman was at Gonzaga this year. Now, scoring second at NAQT is an impressive achievement, but stuff that happened 4 years ago/in the 90s (hell, dude, I don't even remember the 90s) doesn't really mark your team for current excellence. Not, again, to discredit Dorman at all now or in the past, but they really did appear out of nowhere for me.
In the ten top-tier (NAQT and PACE) nationals held since 2003, Dorman has made the playoffs nine times, including their win at NSC 2003 and second-place finish at NAQT the same year. The one exception was NSC 2006, which they did not attend. They also won various less important nationals like a billion times, for whatever that's worth.

I think if one were to rank programs by year-in, year-out consistency of depth and achievement Dorman would have to be in the top five and would be contending with State College for the top spot. It's kind of an odd standard to discount them because they don't come to as many DC tournaments as teams located in DC do, considering that no other teams from South Carolina ever come to DC tournaments at all.

This upcoming year should be a big test for the "junior-dominated teams that did pretty well last year + one year of continued improvement = profit" theory that has not always worked out as advertised before. Dorman, MLK, and lots of others may seize the opportunity.

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Post by mhanna » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:32 am

Although I can't speak for other programs, Aiken would love to attend events in the DC area. However, we are limited by time and money. I can't take the team out of class to leave early on a Friday. Maryland is a Sunday tournament. It's a 10-11 hour drive to DC.

We have attended Spotswood in the spring, played at the Governor's School, and went to Duke twice. Each of those trips cost $500-$1,000. Aiken has played at Yale and this year went to MIT. We also have attended PACE and NAQT.

Dorman is the only team in SC with the funding to attend mid-Atlantic tournaments on a regular basis.

We used to have 13 tournaments in SC alone, but that number is reduced to two. Without regular play, it is very difficult to play one's best when facing stiffer competition and when you factor in the expense of traveling, well, you get the picture.

As for South Carolina. I predict that both Dorman and James Island will be a challenge for any team that faces them next year.

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Post by No Sollositing On Premise » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:13 pm

I split the tangent discussion into a new topic in Misc HSQB. My apologies for the inconvenience.
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