Get To Know TBT2018 Finalist Eberlein Drive


By: TBT Staff @thetournament


A team that has been a part of TBT since the tournament's inception back in 2014, Eberlein Drive is making their deepest run in their fifth appearance. They've got the coach, they've got the roster, and tonight they'll get their shot at undefeated 3x reigning champions Overseas Elite with a winner-take-all $2 million prize on the line. Ahead of tonight's HUGE championship game, get to know Eberlein Drive and take a look back at their road to the TBT2018 championship in Baltimore!

Road To The TBT2018 Championship:

Round 1: vs. #10 Broad Street Brawlers: 86-71

Jerome Randle and Alex Kirk scored 19 points apiece, and five players reached double figures for Eberlein Drive, which defeated the Broad Street Brawlers, 86-71. Donald Sloan (17 points), Lou Amundson (16 points) and Osiris Eldridge (10 points) all reached double figures for Eberlein Drive, which posted a 26-9 advantage in points off turnovers.

 

Round 2: vs. #2 Team Colorado: 83-76

Capitalizing off a 22-0 run in the 1st quarter, 7-seed Eberlein Drive upset 2-seed Team Colorado, 83-76. Eberlein Drive was led by Donald Sloan's game-high 32 points.

 

Super 16 vs. #3 Gael Force: 72-59

With star guard Donald Sloan out, Jerome Randle took over, leading all scorers with 34 points as Eberlein Drive ran away from Gael Force in the second half and cruised to a 72-59 victory. 

 

“It’s big for me,” said Randle of his performance. “When I get an opportunity to play here in the [U.S.], I try to put on a show.”

 

Willie Reed contributed 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting for the victors, and James Michael McAdoo registered a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Eberlein Drive came out hot in the second half, outscoring Gael Force, 20-10, in the third quarter.

 

“We can be really, really good,” said coach David Nurse. ”Everybody on our team played their role to the max in the second half.”

 

 

 

Quarterfinals vs #1 Team Challenge ALS: 78-67

Jerome Randle scored a game-high 29 points, including the game-wiining shot, to send Eberlein Drive to Baltimore. Randle finished 8-for-17 from the field.

“We get the ball to Jerome, and let him do his thing,” said guard Osiris Eldridge.

Taylor Braun contributed 14 points and Willie Reed had 10 points for Eberlein Drive, which captured its first Regional Championship.

 

Semifinals vs. #2 Team Fredette: 80-76

Donald Sloan scored a team-high 20 points, Jerome Randle had 16 points and James Michael McAdoo added 15 points for Eberlein Drive, which held off a late rally from Team Fredette in an 80-76 victory. Containing Team Fredette’s star guard, Jimmer Fredette, was crucial to Eberlein Drive’s victory.

“We threw a lot of guys at him,” said Sloan of the plan to contain Fredette. “When you go at a guy that’s as good as he is, it can’t be just one person.”

After advancing to the championship game, Eberlein Drive was asked about the tall task of facing Overseas Elite, the three-time TBT champs that have never lost in 24 Tournament games.

“Obviously, they’re very good, and I like our chances, too,” said coach David Nurse. “We have great pieces, and we all play together. The best thing about us is that we don’t care who scores. I couldn’t even tell you who has the most points for us right now...We’re just in it together as one out there.”


 

Who is Eberlein Drive? 

(Courtesy of Danny Holdsman @dholdsman)

Eberlein Drive’s co-GMs Matt Mitchell and Jacob Hirschmann have been a part of TBT since the beginning in 2014, but neither has experienced nearly the success that they’ve had this year.

After upsetting Team Colorado in the second round, Hirschmann and Mitchell decided they needed to add a couple pieces to complete the puzzle. The Drive was able to work out deals to bring on James Michael McAdoo -- a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors -- and 2012 NBA Dunk Contest champion Jeremy Evans.

These additions led to upset victories over Gael Force (St. Mary’s), Team Challenge ALS and Team Fredette.

“This is my fifth time going at it,” said Mitchell. “I thought I’ve had some good teams in the past that should have advanced at least further than we did. Clearly this team has a lot of talent; but more importantly we have a great group of guys that have bought into the idea of the team and playing for each other with no egos.”

Eberlein Drive is not just the name of this long-time TBT participant. It is also the name of the street on which Hirschmann was raised, a cul-de-sac in Fraser, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

While none of the players on the roster grew up on Eberlein Drive or in Fraser, the group is aware of Hirschmann’s dedication to his community and what this all means to him.

“We all know the importance of it,” said point guard Jerome Randle. “[Hirschmann] is a really good guy. We’re trying to win not only for ourselves but for his street and community.”

Randle is one of the primary reasons that Eberlein Drive finds itself in its current position. The 2010 PAC-10 Player of the Year has averaged 25 points per contest over Eberlein’s four games this summer. He poured in 34 points in the quarterfinal win against the TBT 2017 runner-up Team Challenge ALS.

As the Drive has begun to make a name for itself in TBT, Fraser’s support for the team has increased.

“I just saw on social media that Hirschmann received a letter in the mail from the county that Eberlein Drive is in commemorating our success so far in TBT. The community has rallied around us so far, and we’re exciting to represent them.”

One more win would bring even more notoriety to the street and the area as a whole. While Mitchell has yet to go to Eberlein Drive, he hopes to finish this TBT run on top and step foot on Hirschmann’s childhood street as champions.

“We would love an opportunity to celebrate and have a little parade on Eberlein Drive,” said Mitchell.

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