Purple & Black accepted to play in Wichita Regional


By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31

The Kansas State alumni team will play close to home in Wichita

Thought Wichita would be painted completely yellow this summer? Purple & Black has something to say about that.

On Tuesday, TBT announced that it has accepted the Kansas State alumni team to play in the Wichita Regional. They will join the AfterShocks - a Wichita State alumni team - just under two hours away from Manhattan at Koch Arena from July 25-28.

"We're going to pack the house," said Purple & Black GM/forward D.J. Johnson. "There's no question that our fans are going to show up, it's just the K-State thing to do."

Purple & Black is the second non-host team to be accepted, leaving just 54 spots remaining in the TBT field. Last Thursday, TBT admitted Tampa 20/20 to play in the Greensboro Regional.

This will be Purple & Black's fourth year competing in TBT. After getting bounced in the second round in 2016, the team made a storybook run to the Super 16 the following summer. They were led by Kansas State legend Jacob Pullen, who averaged 21 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Although Purple & Black looked to carry that momentum into TBT 2018, logistical issues and scheduling conflicts forced them to show up with only six players. They were defeated by Dirty South, 76-74, in a first-round matchup. 

“I feel like this is a fresh start,” said Johnson. “We know what we got and we know what we’re bringing to the table, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t win the regional.”

While we don't know the full roster quite yet (Johnson has teased that some BIG additions are on the way), so far Purple & Black has a nice mix of returning vets and fresh faces. In addition to Johnson, 1,200-point scorer Thomas Gipson III, three-year TBT participant Martavious Irving, and Missouri Southern State alum Marquis Addison are all holdovers from last year's team. The squad will also welcome back Curtis Kelly, who played in TBT 2017 and averaged 12.3 points and 5 rebounds per game. Kelly finished his K-State career ranked third in school history in blocked shots (107) and fifth in field goal percentage (55.1).

To help beef up the backcourt, Purple & Black is bringing in Justin Edwards and Marcus Foster. Edwards transferred to K-State in 2014 after spending two seasons at Maine. As a senior, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 12.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Foster also spent two years in Manhattan (2013-2015), transferring to Creighton for his junior season. He ended his college career with over 2,000 points and was twice named First-team All-Big East with the Bluejays. 

“I’m happy to say they’re [all] real committed,” said Johnson. "I’m excited about that more than anything else because the preparation and commitment is going to be huge for us this year.”