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PP Goes to Disney World--Pre-Nationals Rankings

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  • PP Goes to Disney World--Pre-Nationals Rankings

    Hey Perjurers!

    It's finally here. The moment we've all been waiting for. Orlando. Or, more importantly, my rankings for Orlando. But before we get to that, I have one quick announcement. After Nationals, I'll be continuing PD's proud tradition of year-end awards. If you have anyone you'd like to nominate for anything (best attorney, opener, closer, crosser, director, best witness, best double-threat, best timer, best-looking, etc.), please PM with your nominations. Feel free to choose anyone, even if their team didn't make it past Regionals. This is an opportunity to recognize the best of the best for their individual performances.

    With that being said, here are my pre-Nationals rankings:

    Jacob Division

    Top Teams

    Top 5
    1. Georgia--I'm going to go out on a limb here. I think that Georgia is the best team in this division. Their witnesses are very good, their attorneys are fantastic, and their content is absolutely top-notch. Edwards and Norton stand out, but the rest of the team is still fantastic. They don't have any particularly weak spots. They beat almost anyone on performance, and those who can outperform them probably don't have material as good as theirs. To top it off, the Bulldogs have a fantastically cohesive bench. Expect to see them on Sunday afternoon.

    2. UCLA--They're practically at the same level as Georgia. Their third witness spot on either side (after Hooyenga and Raucci) is noticeably weaker than the rest of the team, but that's largely because the rest of the team is that strong. DeCamp and Lampert ensure that they'll win most statements, and their middles are fantastic on objections. I consider their loss to New Mexico a fluke; they're capable of beating anyone in this division.

    3. UC Irvine--They were thisclose to winning Downtown, and made it out of a wild ORC without Bernstein. Losing Euceph will hurt them against the best teams. Bousmail will win most--if not all--closings, but their openers just aren't at an elite level. The witnesses are strong, however, and will help keep them in the hunt for the division crown.

    4. NYU--Downtown champs tend to do well at Nationals. This team will be no exception. They have entertaining witnesses. Oliver and Hanson provide oodles of firepower. They're more likely to drop ballots against the top teams, however, because beyond those two and Vignesh, the rest of the team isn't as good. Still, their stars are good enough to take them to a top 5 finish.

    5. Duke--They are extremely professional, and know how to succeed in the South. Wiley stands out on the bench. McCaffrey's performance on the stand makes the entire team more likable. Their witnesses aren't the strongest on cross, though, and that could hurt them against the more aggressive attorneys.

    Six to Ten
    6. Columbia--They're extremely smart, and it shows in their material. Their crosses are tight, and their case theory is uniquely brilliant, and explained clearly by Isaacson. While their performance is somewhat lacking, they play a clean round, which makes them unlikely to lose rounds. Unfortunately, this is also what will keep them from challenging for first place--they're liable to split ballots against the best.

    7. Florida State--I'll be honest, I didn't expect them to do so well in Memphis. Covert leads a solid team. Their results in the South have been very good all year. Even if other teams may be more dynamic than them, they put on a presentation that judges like and can follow.

    8. Northwood--They're carried by their stars. Lawton and Hentschel anchor the bench, and Cobb stands out consistently. The rest of the team is well-coached, and is unlikely to drop points needlessly.

    9. University of Washington--No one in particular stands out, but their bench solid top-to-bottom. The witnesses are great on direct, but can crumble on cross. Their lack of experience at the highest level will hurt them, as there are no easy crosses. Still, the rest of their performance will be enough to take a few ballots.

    10. Maryland--They pulled off good results against some very good teams at Regionals and ORCs. Like I've said before, they're all that great at anything, but they're solid all-around. Gaynor gives them enough star power to hang with the best, and sway one judge their way in tough rounds.

    Honorable Mention
    11. Brown--They've lost the depth that made them so formidable in the past, but Caplan can lead them to some good results.

    12. Rhodes B--They're always well-coached, and have a solid bench in Yeomelakis, Monroe, and Niegos.

    13. Wheaton--With the experience from last year's tournament, expect them to pull some good wins.

    14. Miami B--Any team with Miami's coaching will perform. This will be a chance for Miami's next wave of talent to get some experience under their belts.

    15. Delaware--Wallace leads the team. They may not be the favorites in many rounds, but don't be surprised to see them on the tab summary.

    Attorneys
    1. Iain Lampert (UCLA)--He's the best closer in the country. He thinks on his feet like no other, and lays traps that destroy witnesses, no matter what they say. He can get overly aggressive at times, but it tends to play well. He has the occasional off-round, but expect him to show up when his team needs him.

    2. Laureen Bousmail (UC Irvine)--Witnesses don't want to fight her on cross, because she will beat them, every time. Her directs are good-but-not-great. Her closings may be a bit overly scripted, but she presents it so well that it doesn't matter. As long as she doesn't get carried away with her aggression, she should dominate every round.

    3. Jacob Hanson (NYU)--Everything he does is extremely well thought-out. His crosses and closings, especially, are clear and easy to follow. A lack of energy, however, is his bane, as he can be a bit onerous and boring at times. If he ups his energy, then he'll stand toe-to-toe with anyone.

    4. Jacob Edwards (Georgia)--His openings are extremely professional, and he's quick to jump on any slip-ups witnesses might have on cross. He's not as likable as others, but that isn't his role on the Georgia bench--there's a reason he wins awards everywhere he goes.

    5. Matthew Covert (Florida State)--He's the only remaining attorney who's won a national championship, and he performs like it in every round. As someone who knows how to impress Florida judges, I'll be surprised if Covert doesn't walk away with an All-American.

    6. Ibrahim Lawton (Northwood)--He's charismatic, and explains reasonable doubt better than anyone else in the country. Weak on the rules of evidence, but that's outweighed by the quality of his closings.

    7. Kyle DeCamp (UCLA)--He's a natural performer. His openings can seem a bit argumentative, but his presentation is so impressive that judges can look that over. Not the greatest at cross, but his likability (and disgustingly bright shirts) set him apart from his co-counsel.

    8. Morgan Wiley (Duke)--The ideal image of a professional. Wiley presents a very good closing, and won't let witnesses squirm on cross. She can be a bit too intense at times, but her intensity helps more often than it hurts.

    9. Mindy Johnson (Georgia)--She's immensely likable; she'll destroy witnesses on cross while smiling pleasantly. Her closings leave a bit to be desired, but her directs and crosses are clean and easy to follow.

    10. Peter Gaynor (Maryland)--He's a Southern gentleman from a bygone era. This makes him stand out in every round. He can be a bit overly pompous, but judges love him more often than not.

    Sleepers
    11. Adrienne Isaacson (Columbia)

    12. McNair Nichols (Wheaton)

    13. Ellie Wallace (Delaware)

    14. Katy Karayannis (Illinois)

    15. Zach Monroe (Rhodes B)


    Witnesses

    1. PJ Jong (UC Irvine)--Incredibly entertaining and tough to cross. In such a character-heavy case, I can't see anyone out-witnessing him.

    2. DeAnna Oliver (NYU)--When she takes the stand, it's truly the DeAnna Oliver show. Her presence is incredible, and every judge falls for her.

    3. Narke Norton (Georgia)--His qualities are similar to Jong's, but his character can seem a little too over-the-top. Incredibly smart on cross, and will wait to pick up on any slip-up his crossing attorney might make.

    4. Yancy Cobb (Northwood)--Cobb has consistently been one of the best witnesses in the nation. He's very funny, and draws everyone's undivided attention to the stand.

    5. Tim Hooyenga (UCLA)--He may play a hillbilly, but he's incredibly smart on cross. He's so funny your sides may ache by the time he leaves the stand. Likes to bait attorneys into impeachments; he should be careful, as such a risk may not always pay off.

    Sleepers
    6. Sara Qahoush (UC Irvine)

    7. Catherine McCaffery (Duke)

    8. Elizabeth Smiley (University of Arizona)

    9. Ayman Tartir (Georgia)

    10. Amanda Tesarek (Columbia)



    Eleazer Division

    Top Teams

    1. Rhodes A--If I had to choose one word to describe this team, it's experience. And, as we all know, experience can go a long way in this activity. Rhodes returned most of their division winners from last year, and went on to place at Downtown and make the finals at Beach Party. They have perhaps the best witness in the country in Jackson, and Hubbell and Blanton anchor an excellent bench. Throw that in with the coaching staff they've got, and I can see them bringing home yet another national championship.

    2. Miami A--It's incredibly difficult to be perfect at both Regionals and ORCs. With a massive talent like Block, complemented by Ouambo and Co., I see no reason why Miami shouldn't be in the running. Their style is unlikely to offend anyone, and their stars are amazing enough to take them over the edge against most teams.

    3. Virginia--Winning Beach Party and GAMTI in the same year is no small feat. They'll put on an excellent presentation, and Swanson and Ryder are true stars. Ressler provides a different type of presence on the bench, and Cadigan is a fantastic witness. They've gone a long time without the trophy, and if things go their way, they could very well bring it back to Charlottesville.

    4. Furman--They're well-coached, as always. They're clean and polite, two qualities that should play well in Orlando. Martin is excellent, but they may not have the superstar to match up against those on the others teams in running.

    5. Yale A--They're strong top-to-bottom. They have all the ingredients for a run for Round Five, but they really need polish to make it there. Hutchinson stars on the stand, and Nayak is a grade-A rockstar. Their openings leave a lot to be desired, but Nayak is so good that he can make up lost statement points with his closings.

    Six to Ten
    6. Chicago A--They can get a bit creative with the facts, but they do so in a manner that works, and keeps opposing teams on their toes. Their performance is very bland, and their witnesses a bit fighty, but it seems to consistently work out in the end. I don't think they have quite enough to make the top five, but they should give some of the contenders a run for their money.

    7. Harvard--This is a team of great kids who've overcome a lot of adversity to make it here. For most, going Orlando would be enough. I have a feeling that, for Fields and Co., that isn't the case. They have very unique and interesting case theories, and are all very good performers. They also have experience in Florida, and have done exceedingly well there in the past.

    8. Tufts--Their bench doesn't really have any weaknesses. Their witnesses range from good to very good. They may not be good enough to beat the best, but every team will have work very hard to take ballots off of them.

    9. Wash U--Boyce and Dumas make for a very tough bench to out-perform. Their witnesses, while not great, are still good enough to keep them in most rounds. With some luck, they could have a say in which teams make the final round.

    10. Michigan--They were supposed to struggle without Ryan Allison. These guys seem to have missed the memo. They may not be particularly spectacular, but they present very good material in an clear and concise, if slightly boring, manner.

    Honorable Mention
    11. George Washington

    12. Penn State

    13. Macalester

    14. Pomona

    15. Ohio State



    Attorneys
    1. Alex Block (Miami A)--He's just so damn good. He walks juries through directs, eviscerates witnesses on cross, and argues in a uniquely compelling manner in his closings. The occasional judge may not like him, but in my most humble opinion, those judges are wrong.

    2. Zach Fields (Harvard)--The best crosser in the country. Fields's extensive mock trial experience is evident. He's seen everything, and he's prepared to beat anything you can throw at him. He can get too aggressive at times, but he seems to have toned that down a bit recently.

    3. Vinay Nayak (Yale A)--He's good enough to single-handedly carry his team to glory. He's incredibly likable, is careful to tread--but never cross--the line with judges, and is forceful and passionate in his closings. Some people may find him a bit unimpressive, but it's unlikely that anyone will find him off-putting.

    4. Amanda Swanson (Virginia)--This is Swanson's swansong. She'll be looking to bookend her career with a nationals performance to match her freshman year. With all her Southern charm, she can get away with more aggression than other attorneys can, and her likability should translate itself to a successful end to her career.

    5. Jared Blanton--He's really come into his own this year. His ability to stand out on a bench with Hubbell speaks volumes to his quality. Isn't the greatest on objections, but his speeches more than make up for that.

    6. Nick Dumas (Wash U)--His closings are fantastic. He's more subtle than his co-counsel, but his ability to break down complex concepts so that even a drunk Danny Dawson can follow them sets him apart in most rounds.

    7. Nick Teleky (Tufts)--He's great on his feet. His closings are extremely responsive to trial, and he's better than most at objections. His openings and directs aren't quite as good as his crosses and closings, but he's still a good bet to win an All-American.

    8. Claire Ryder--She's reeeeeeeally good. She may have a lot to learn, and she may not be the most responsive attorney, but she manages to pick up ranks regardless. An award here would cap the most dominant freshman season in recent history.

    9. James Boyce (Wash U)--He's the Ernie to Dumas's Bert. Whereas Dumas could be more dynamic, Boyce can sometimes be too much so. That being said, his openings are top-notch, and he makes sure that everyone remembers him at the end of a round.

    10. Mido Aly (Chicago)--He's the star of Chicago's team. His statements can be a bit monotone, but he's very responsive to trial. His objections are also generally spot-on.

    Sleepers
    11. Katherine Martin (Furman)

    12. Anneliese Mahoney (George Washington)

    13. Brett Caplan (Brown)

    14. Hannah Brown (Macalester)

    15. Jared Frantz (Michigan)


    Witnesses
    1. Taylor Jackson (Rhodes A)--She's really good; probably the best witness in the country, as GAMTI and Downtown results attest. At the very least, her old lady is definitely the best in the country.

    2. Will Cadigan (Virginia)--He's very believable and likable. He's not as good on cross as he is on direct, but he's charming enough to make it work. Plus, his directs set an unfairly high standard for everything else.

    3. Travis Hutchinson (Yale)--He's hilarious on direct, and is great at taking the edge out of tough questions on cross. He can stack up favorably against the very best in the country.

    4. Bradley Ouambo (Miami)--He's dynamic and likable at the same time. He brings a dose of realism to his characters that others sometimes miss, and this helps boost his scores.

    5. Samantha Sokol (Tufts)--She's amazing on cross. She's charming, but she'll still exploit every single hole she sees. Sokol manages to help her side out without seeming too biased.

    Sleepers
    11. Ryan Leonard (Delaware)

    12. Jihad Komis (Michigan)

    13. Justin Bever (Arizona State)

    14. John Culhane (George Washington)

    15. Oya Aktas (Wash U)


    Final Round Prediction: Georgia v. Rhodes
    I'm taking Georgia in this one. I'd expect it to be a tight round, but Georgia has greater depth than Rhodes, and I think that it would be just enough to see them win.

    Do you agree or disagree with anything I said? Do you think I missed something? If so, comment below!

    And with that, I'll see you guys after the tournament. Make sure to get your nominations in!

    Deuces,

    PP

  • Nur Rauch
    replied
    Originally posted by boruman View Post
    Iain is the prime example of how name recognition gets weighted too much on perjuries. You can't be the best closer in the nation when you are getting out ranked by the opener on your team.
    Ah shit, some judges arbitrarily decided they liked one guy on a team over another at one tournament. Iain needs to kiss his trophies goodbye.

    Leave a comment:


  • MOCK-MAN
    replied
    Originally posted by boruman View Post
    Iain is the prime example of how name recognition gets weighted too much on perjuries. You can't be the best closer in the nation when you are getting out ranked by the opener on your team.


    I respectfully disagree. In terms of awards, Iain was double-sided All-National and took a perfect 20 at UCLAssic over Kyle. He also was the top-ranked competitor at Beach Party with record-breaking ranks. On top of that, ranks=/=scores. Iain's closings clearly scored well enough for UCLA to end up ranked as the best team in the whole competition, which seems to suggest that he's one of the best closers in the whole competition. I don't see how anyone can watch his final round closing and dismiss him. Kyle winning awards doesn't diminish Iain, it just proves how good and UNDER-hyped Kyle has been.


    Best at Evidence: Jacob Hansen. He knew evidence like no other, and had a good analogy to explain every rule

    Best Directing Attorney: Alex Block. That voice, that presence, that dismissive, cantankerous way to swatting down bad objections like flies. I love it.

    Best Crossing Attorney: Zach Fields. Dominant. No question.

    Best Opener: Kyle DeCamp. Double All-American (prelims and final round) opener against top-tier competition from both his own side of the bench and the other. Calm, conversational, likable, a great speaker. (Close runner-up: Matthew Covert. The tie is broken on the fact that Covert didn't have much competition on his own team, and didn't win nationals this year.)

    Best Closer: Iain Lampert. He ends his career with a slam-dunk final round closing, and has been winning closings everywhere all year against the best.

    Rookie of the Year: Zach Monroe. PERFECT regional tournament, statement-giver on a top ten B team that only lost to the national champions.

    Best on Cross: Samantha Sokol. The top-ranked, double-sided All American in a place that liked fighty witnesses but punished them for fighting too much. Struck the perfect balance.

    Best Character: Sara Qahoush. The fortune teller was charming and hilarious. A fresh take on the foreign eyewitness.

    Most Believable: Tim Hooyenga. You look at him, and you think 'hillbilly.' I believe him, I believe the accent, I believe the hat.

    Best Witness: Deanna Oliver. A second All-American, top-ranked at Beach Party. Knows when to fight and when to give it up. Lovable.

    Best Attorney: Iain Lampert, who would also win "Best Mocker of the last four years." Two National championships, All-American witness, All-American attorney, Downtown Championship, Top Beach Party award. No contest.

    Biggest Surprises: PRINCETON. FSU.

    BIggest Disappointments: UVa. MIAMI A.

    Top Teams: UCLA, Harvard, Rhodes, Miami, Princeton, Northwood, UVa.

    Leave a comment:


  • boruman
    replied
    Iain is the prime example of how name recognition gets weighted too much on perjuries. You can't be the best closer in the nation when you are getting out ranked by the opener on your team.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harry Caray
    replied
    Best Directing Attorney: Alex Block. He has a unique style that walks juries through evidence while also commanding the attention of judges. He's an automatic 9 or 10 every time.

    Best Crossing Attorney: Zach Fields. Very direct and dominant. Wins with ease.

    Best Opener: Amanda Swanson. Yes, her accent is off-putting, but it is also engaging. Her content is usually flawless leading to very powerful statements.

    Best Closer: Tie between Iain Lampert and Alex Block. Lampert has a professional presentation that is encapsulating and invigorating all in one. Block is authentically aggressive and reached the point this year where he could make a mockery of an opposing team's argument. Between the two it comes down to a question of preference.

    Rookie of the Year: No vote.

    Best Witness: Brandon Holt. That performance in the final was incredible. I completely bought into the character and 27 ranks at Nationals is nothing to sniff at.

    Best Attorney: Alex Block. Two time All-American, more awards than every other attorney, etc. This one is a no-brainer in my mind. When he's at his best there's no one better.

    Biggest Surprise: Princeton. Duh. Also, Northwood had a surprisingly strong nationals for a team that did not get a large amount of attention coming in. Good for them.

    Biggest Disappointment: UVA at nationals. Winning the Beach Party, GAMTI, and many others should have led to a stronger showing than 7-5. Expectations were high for this team all year and they failed to capitalize at the end. Qualifying just one team to Nationals and then not making it to the final round after the start they had is deflating. Irvine's performance at nationals earns them a spot on my ballot for this category as well. 3-8-1 for a team that had one of the best attorneys in the nation (Bousmail) and a veteran crew is very unusual.

    Top Teams: (In order)- UCLA, Harvard, Rhodes A, Miami A, Princeton, UVA, Northwood. Justification is that UCLA won and seems to just will itself as a unit to victory at every tournament.
    Last edited by Harry Caray; May 6th, 2014, 03:46 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Prodigal Prognosticator
    replied
    Originally posted by BishopBarkley View Post
    how about some witness awards like

    Best on Cross
    Best Character
    Most Believable
    Gimme some nominations and info! If I can gather enough info to make these categories work, I'll definitely do them.

    Leave a comment:


  • BishopBarkley
    replied
    how about some witness awards like

    Best on Cross
    Best Character
    Most Believable

    Leave a comment:


  • Prodigal Prognosticator
    replied
    It's been nearly 3 weeks, and only one person has given me any info for my awards post. Please please please give me something--anything! I've set a deadline of May 6 to get info and any potential nominations to me. The categories that I plan to give awards for are:

    Best at Evidence
    Best Directing Attorney
    Best Crossing Attorney
    Best Opener
    Best Closer
    Rookie of the Year
    Best Witness
    Best Attorney

    Biggest Surprises
    Biggest Disappointments
    Top Teams

    If you have any other ideas for categories, please let me know. If you have any​ info that you think might be helpful for me, please let me know!
    Last edited by Prodigal Prognosticator; April 30th, 2014, 05:24 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hurst
    replied
    Thanks for the edit! So, still no love (or hate) for PP? Oh well. I though s/he did a fine job and am glad someone went through the effort.

    Leave a comment:


  • Church Boy
    replied
    Mistake. Northwood got second in the Jacob division.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hurst
    replied
    Grading the Predictors....

    Jacob Division -- Prediction and Actual Finish

    1. Georgia -- no hardware - 5.5 ballots
    2. UCLA -- 1st
    3. UC Irvine -- no hardware - 3.5 ballots
    4. NYU - 3rd
    5. Duke - no hardware - 4.5 ballots
    6. Columbia - 9th
    7. Florida State - 5th
    8. Northwood - 2nd
    9. U. Washington - no hardware - 3 ballots
    10. Maryland - 10th
    11. Brown - no hardware - 3.5 ballots
    12. Rhodes B - 6th
    13. Wheaton - 11th
    14. Miami B - 7th
    15. Delaware - no hardware - 5 ballots

    Left Out - American, Colorado College, Georgetown

    Not a bad effort here, but the disappointing finishes by Georgia and UC Irvine certainly took Prodical Prog by surprise. You might be able to forgive PP for not having Colorado College (8th) on the radar screen, but not putting American (4th) - who performed well at NCT last year and this year in a very tough DC ORCS - in the top 15, really hurts the overall grade (especially since IoF was able to name both American and Colorado College as top finishers). Overall Grade = C+

    Eleazer Division

    1. Rhodes - 3rd
    2. Miami - 5th
    3. Virginia - 8th
    4. Furman - 7th
    5. Yale - 14th
    6. Chicago - 11th
    7. Harvard - 2nd
    8. Tufts - no hardware - 5 ballots
    9. Washington University - 9th
    10. Michigan - 4th
    11. GW - no hardware - 4 ballots
    12. Penn State - 10th
    13. Macalaster - no hardware - 4 ballots
    14. Pomona - 12th
    15. Ohio State - no hardware - 3.5 ballots

    Left out - Princeton, New Mexico, Florida State B

    Much better effort here. Leaving out the division champion, Princeton, is pretty egregious, but IoF didn't see that one coming either. I had no idea the Princeton win was such a surprise. IoF also was more prescient with the deeper picks again by knowing New Mexico would be in the running. Final Grade = B.

    All of which shows that predicting NCT results is a ton of fun (and I hope these two do it again next year), but it is sooooooooooooo very difficult.
    Last edited by Hurst; April 22nd, 2014, 05:12 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Memphislaw
    replied
    PP Goes to Disney World--Pre-Nationals Rankings

    Having said all of that: the way that you place your heart into the case is far more important than where you place.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leon88219
    replied
    Swanson's swansong.

    Enough said.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nur Rauch
    replied
    But before we get to that, I have one quick announcement. After Nationals, I'll be continuing PD's proud tradition of year-end awards.
    Woops -- you just made a promise for future content. That's the single-biggest indicator of an infected prognosticator account that will fall ill and cease posting for at least the next four months.

    Leave a comment:

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