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Despite The Ref Show, Team Barstool Pulls Off A Win With Gritty Blue Collar Basketball

AP News (Manhattan, New York) Going back to basketball basics brings Barstool their second victory of the season, keeping the team undefeated at 2-0. For a group of players that have never had a job that would even require wearing a collar, this team showed they can win with blue collar basketball. While the stars shined with individual performances, this lunch pail team came together and unionized to dismantle their opponent 47-34. 

Coach Chris Klemmer went with his usual, trusted starting 5 in an attempt to set the tone early for the reserves ... 

Coming off the the bench was Gia Mariano (SG), Jack Mac (SG), Matthew Jenks (SF), Rico Bosco (PG), John Rich (SF), and Tommy Smokes (SG). Wayne Jetski (PG) was unavailable for tonight's game due to undisclosed personal reasons.  

While last week the bench players grew frustrated with their lack of playing time, this week the bench players (specifically Tommy Smokes) were upset with coach Chris Klemmer's arrival time. 

When Klemmer made his entrance 15 minutes before tip, Smokes got in the coach's face, and was overheard quoting one of Klemmer's coaching mentors and high school classmates - Vince Lombardy, "If you're on time, you're late. If you're late, don't even bother showing up." 

As the rec league basketball Zin Master, Klemmer has dealt with egos and attitudes before, and appeared unfazed by the rookie shooting guard's venom laced tirade, mere seconds before tip. The quick start proved coach and team were unaffected by any of the outside noise that may have been present after last week's game. 

At no point in this game did team Barstool trail to the Bricklayers. Barstool relied the quiet scoring consistency of Mulcahy and Mush, who are a dependable offensive ensemble to the team's leading scorer, Dana Beers. Beers proved that he is the guy this team can rely on throughout the season. With his least amount of minutes played in a game, Beers racked up a stat line of 19 points 9 rebounds, and did so with efficiency, shooting 70% from the floor.

The only problem for the budding rec league super star - free throws. 

While shooting 5-10 (50%) from the line on the night, and improving his FT% for the season, the bar was set extremely low in the season opener after going 1/7 for a disgusting 14%. Beers is well aware of the problem, and knows it could cost team Barstool a win if he can't get the mental issue sorted out. 

Beers has said he is planning on meeting with a sports psychologist, and if that doesn't work, he is prepared to get hypnotized if it means it will help out the team. 

Beers isn't the only Barstool player struggling with free shots, the team as a whole can't buy a free throw, even though they are 100% free. 

Veteran PG Rico Bosco made up for his free throw struggles, and maximized his minutes off the bench with effort, and high IQ basketball. Every time you looked up, Bosco was diving for a loose ball, or making a hustle play. At one point in the second half, Bosco stripped the opposing point guard for a fast break bucket, which led to an And 1 that brought the barstool bench to their feet, and injected the the team with much needed energy. One of many great effort plays from the back up point guard. Those heads up plays, and his willingness to draw a charge in rec league, were the exact reason the barstool front office signed Bosco in the off season. 

While Barstool benefited from the ref's whistle, or lack there of, that didn't prevent coach Klemmer from giving a piece of his mind to the officials. After no foul was called on a tie up with Billy Football and an opposing player, Klemmer left the bench area, and got into it with referee near mid court. Upon returning to the bench, coach could be seen with a slight smirk on his face. Regardless of frustration towards the coach from his players, this was Klemmer's way of letting the team know he had their backs. AND, his theatrics worked.

The entire team was ready to leave it all on the court, and received important playing time throughout the game, capped off by a never before used rotation of Rich, Hubbs, Mariano, JMac, and Bosco holding the opposing team to a scoreless final 5 minutes of basketball. 

The only player unhappy with minutes was Tommy Smokes, who demanded coach put him in at the end of the game. Coach Klemmer had a Gene Hackman / Hoosiers moment when responding to Smokes with MY 5 ARE ON THE FLOOR! 

Klemmer's displeasure with Smokes didn't stop there. Coach could be heard shouting clearly to his troublesome rookie, YOU TOOK THAT STUPID 3, THAT'S WHY YOU'RE ON THE BENCH! Referring to a previous, early in the shot clock 3 pointer that Smokes took during crunch time of the second half with the team only up 6. 

While Smokes continues to be a headache for Coach Klemmer, the winningest coach in Barstool Rec League history has seemed to gather the reigns on the rest of his team, taking them to a perfect 2-0 on the season.

Rico's Rewards don't always go to the player that stuffed the stat sheet, it's about what he saw on the court. Lock Down D was given to Rico by Coach Klemmer, but I'd argue the award should go to Eric Hubbs who was tasked with defending the other team's best offensive player. When shots weren't falling for Hubbs, he focused on defense, and that's how championships are won.

Read the recap of the team's season opener below, pay attention to the blog for breaking barstool basketball news, and be sure to watch season 1 of the barstool basketball documentary before the second season drops later this spring.