TBT Power Rankings 5.18.18

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


Only two weeks remain in the TBT 2018 registration period

TWO. WEEKS. LEFT. The TBT registration period is nearing its dramatic conclusion. Which teams will finish in the top nine and receive an automatic bid? Who will get an at-large bid? Where in the world is Overseas Elite? If I had the answer to any of these questions, I probably would not be here right now (OK, yes I would). But nonetheless, I present to you this week's power rankings. As always, please remember that this is just one guy's assessment of the field.

*Note: Only teams who had five players on their roster as of 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 were taken into consideration*

 

1. Team Challenge ALS *Accepted*

  • Last week: 1
  • Notable players: Sean Marshall, Jeff Ayres, Marvelle Harris, Casper Ware
  • Position: Automatic bid (West)

Like I mentioned last Friday, it is going to take a huge shakeup for any team other than Overseas Elite to knock Team Challenge ALS off the top spot. That did not happen this week. With a couple new additions in hand, Sean Marshall and company are looking poised for another deep run in TBT.

 

2. Ram Nation (VCU Alumni)

  • Last week: 2
  • Notable players: Eric Maynor, Brandon Rozzell, Jamal Shuler, Reggie Williams
  • Position: 2nd place (South)

I am really looking forward to seeing this Ram Nation team. The usual cast of VCU legends (and adopted Ram Reggie Williams) will be joined by newcomers James Farr, Melvin Johnson, Darius Theus and Juvonte Reddic. Will it be enough to finally overtake Overseas Elite? Who knows. But if one thing is for certain, they will give the three-time champs a run for their money in the South Region.

 

3. Memphis State (Memphis Alumni)

  • Last week: 3
  • Notable players: Willie Coleman, Willie Kemp, Adonis Thomas, Jarvis Varnardo
  • Position: 9th place (South)

Between guys like Willie Coleman, Willie Kemp, Adonis Thomas, Jarvis Varnardo and Wesley Witherspoon, among others, the core of Memphis State has valuable TBT experience. Considering the amount of pure talent on the roster, it is only a matter of time before they break through and make a deep run.

 

4. Zoo Crew (Pittsburgh Alumni)

  • Last week: 4
  • Notable players: Gilbert Brown, Jermaine Dixon, Levance Fields, Antonio Graves
  • Position: 16th place (Midwest)

While the PITT guys will deservedly get a ton of attention, do not forget about Marcus Cousin (Houston), Ricky Harris (UMass) and Jesse Morgan (Temple). Cousin racked up numerous G-League awards during the 2011 season and has since played in some of the top leagues around the world. Harris and Morgan, both shooting guards, also bring a wealth of overseas experience. These three will be valuable assets for Zoo Crew.

 

5. Team Fancy

  • Last week: 5
  • Notable players: D'Angelo Harrison, Delroy James, Mark Lyons, Zamal Nixon
  • Position: 17th place (Northeast)

Team Fancy continues to get deeper by the week. The team's newest addition is former Rutgers and Iona guard Mike Poole. Since graduating in 2014, Poole has had two successful seasons in Canada. He'll join a frontcourt that already includes names such as Malcolm Grant (Miami), D'Angelo Harrison (St. John's) and Mark Lyons (Arizona).

 

6. Team Colorado (Colorado Alumni)

  • Last week: 8
  • Notable players: Christopher Copeland, Marcus Hall, Marcus Relephorde, Richard Roby
  • Position: 10th place (West)

While he was always expected to return, Team Colorado made a huge addition this week in officially resigning Christopher Copeland. The four-year NBA veteran averaged 20.7 ppg and 8.3 rpg in TBT 2017. While guard play gets a lot of attention in TBT, the addition of Copeland gives Team Colorado one of the best frontcourts in the West.

 

7. Team Arkansas (Arkansas Alumni)

  • Last week: 6
  • Notable players: Ronnie Brewer, Dusty Hannahs, Moses Kingsley, Jabril Durham
  • Position: 1st place (Northeast)

In addition to racking up nearly 2,300 supporters in less than seven weeks, Team Arkansas has one of the deepest teams so far in the TBT field. Need 3-point shooting? The team can turn to Dusty Hannahs and eight-year NBA veteran Ronnie Brewer. Need a ball-handler? Jabril Durham is one of the best passers in Arkansas history. What about defense? 2017 Conference USA Player of the Year JaCorey Williams and 6-foot-10 center Moses Kingsley have you covered.

 

8. Bearcat Jam (Cincinnati Alumni)

  • Last week: 7
  • Notable players: Coreontae DeBerry, Octavius Ellis, Deonta Vaughn, Cashmere Wright
  • Position: 2nd place (Midwest)

Cincinnatti fans have really rallied behind this Bearcat Jam team the past couple weeks. It's not hard to see why. The team has one of the scariest frontcourts in TBT in 6-foot-10 forward Coreontae DeBerry, and centers Octavius Ellis (6-foot-10) and Anthony McClain (7-foot-1). If you somehow manage to contain them, guards Cashmere Wright and Deonta Vaughn are among the best in school history.

 

9. Hilton Magic Legends (Iowa State Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Tyrus McGee, Curtis Stinson, Royce White 
  • Position: 1st place (Midwest)

Hilton Magic Legends picked up a ton of momentum this week after staying relatively inactive for the first month and a half of TBT registration. It has been worth the wait. Although they only have five players currently on the roster, when they include Royce White, 2011 G-League MVP Curtis Stinson and 2017 Italian League champion Tyrus McGee, you know you are off to a good start. 

 

10. GaelNation (Iona Alumni)

  • Last week: 9 
  • Notable players: Steven Burtt, David Laury, A.J. English, Lamont "MoMo" Jones
  • Position: 7th place (Northeast)

While some people might dismiss GaelNation because Iona does not compete in one of the Power Five conferences, that would be a grave mistake. Whether it be Steven Burtt, David Laury, A.J. English or Lamont "MoMo" Jones, among others, GM John Kiggins has quite literally gathered some of the best players in program history. With a year of TBT experience now under their belt, GaelNation has a legitimate shot at shocking the world and winning the Northeast Region.

 

11. Armored Athlete

  • Last week: 10
  • Notable players: Jordan Hulls, Julian Gamble, Will Sheehey
  • Position: 15th place (Northeast)

Like I said last week, Armored Athlete is the San Antonio Spurs of TBT. It does not matter that they only have five players on the roster right now. You know by tip-off in July that they are not only going to have one of the deepest teams in TBT, but they'll also win a lot of games.

 

12. Big X

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Andrew Dakich, Stuart Douglass, Duncan Robinson, Jae'Sean Tate
  • Position: 5th place (Midwest)

What happens when you take a couple of Michigan and Ohio State alums and put them on the same team? You get one of the most interesting squads in the TBT 2018 field. Former Wolverine and Buckeye Andrew Dakich formed Big X after unsuccessfully trying to convince Scoonie Penn to let him join Scarlet & Gray. Add in guys like Stuart Douglass (Michigan), 2018 NCAA title game participant Duncan Robinson (Michigan), Jae'Sean Tate (Ohio State) and Kam Williams (Ohio State), and all of a sudden you have a team that can give Penn and company a run for their money.

 

13. Forks Up (Arizona State Alumni)

  • Last week: 12
  • Notable players: Bo Barnes, Carrick Felix, Jordan Bachynski
  • Position: 11th place (West)

Don't look now, but Forks Up is quietly forming one of the most talented teams in the West. What started with G-League star Bo Barnes has turned into a roster that includes former Cleveland Cavalier Carrick Felix, 7-foot-2 center Jordan Bachynski and a host of other Sun Devils alumni. The one outsider is Utah State product Tai Wesley, who has won multiple championships in both Australia and New Zealand and was twice named Finals MVP. The 2011 WAC Player of the Year was also the 2012 Dutch League Statistical Player of the Year.

 

14. ATL All Stars

  • Last week: 11
  • Notable players: Shannon Brown, PJ Hairston, Josh Powell
  • Position: 12th place (South)

When you have a combined four NBA championships on your squad, it is a pretty safe bet that you will find yourself in the top 25. That is exactly what GM Charles Ridley has in Shannon Brown and Josh Powell, who both won the 2010 and 2011 titles with the Lakers. While ATL All Stars still has some work to do filling out the roster, they are in a great position heading into the stretch run of the application period.

 

15. Team Rondo

  • Last week: 15
  • Notable players: Jazzmarr Ferguson, Larry O'Bannon, AJ Slaughter
  • Position: 30th place (Midwest)

Team Rondo made one HUGE addition this week. Any guesses? If the name did not already give it away, it was none other than 2008 NBA champion Rajon Rondo, who officially signed on to coach this group representing the Bluegrass State. As if having one of the smartest basketball minds in the world was not already a big enough advantage, Rondo has known the majority of the guys on this team for years. In a way, this means that Rondo has been preparing for this job for quite some time. I would not want to be the coach going up against that.

 

16. Broad Street Brawlers

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Justin Harper, Vee Sanford, Dyshawn Pierre
  • Position: 21st place (West)

After advancing through the TBT Jamboree and into the second round of the West Regional, the Broad Street Brawlers return for TBT 2018. Leading the charge once again will be a trio of Dayton alums in Vee Sanford (24.5 ppg), Dyshawn Pierre (20.5 ppg) and Devin Oliver (16 ppg). Add in former Richmond Spiders Justin Harper and Darrius Garrett as well as Kansas Satate product Justin Edwards, and the Brawlers are putting themselves right back in position to make a deep run.

 

17. CitiTeam Blazers (Drew League)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Bobby Brown, Kyle Gibson, Franklin Robinson 
  • Position: 18th place (West)

If you like West Coast basketball, this is the team for you. The CitiTeam Blazers will be representing the world famous Drew League in TBT 2018. Leading the charge will be four-year NBA veteran and former TBT participant Bobby Brown. One of the faces of the Drew League, Brown averaged 24 ppg for LAUNFD in TBT 2016. Joining him will be Drew League mainstays such as Larry Andrson (Long Beach State), three-year NBA veteran Orlando Johnson and longtime oversess professional Franklin Robinson.

 

18. Team Fredette *Accepted*

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Charles Abouo, Jamario Moon, Xavier Moon
  • Position: Buy-in slot 

It is a little bit of a new look Team Fredette squad this summer. The team's biggest addition so far is Jamario Moon, the former Harlem Globetrotter who played five years in the NBA with the Raptors, Heat, Cavaliers, Clippers and Bobcats. Moon also has TBT experience with Trained To Go. With a spot in TBT already secured, the only question that remains is will we finally see Jimmer suit up with the team that bears his name?

 

19. Team 23

  • Last week: 13 
  • Notable players: Augustine Okosun, Larry Owens, Davin White
  • Position: 9th place (West)

As long as Davin White is playing, Team 23 is always going to be in contention for the $2 million. After he took last summer off, the team made another big addition this week in resigning former Seton Hall standout Augustine Okosun. In the team's run to the Championship Game in 2015, the 6-foot-10 center averaged 10.4 ppg and 6.6 rpg.

 

20. West Virginia Wildcats

  • Last week: 14
  • Notable players: Ot Elmore, Tyquane Goard, Ryan Taylor
  • Position: 7th place (Midwest)

After making a name for himself during the NCAA Tournament this year, Ot Elmore is looking to show that West Virginia is home of the best basketball players in the world. Whether it be Marshall alums such as Stevie BrowningTyquane Goard and Ryan Taylor or guys from Elmore's hometown of Charleston, the West Virginia Wildcats have the potential to be one of the best 3-point shooting teams in TBT. 

 

21. Fort Wayne Champs

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Tra-Deon Hollins, Steph Hicks, Trey McKinney-Jones
  • Position: 20th place (Midwest)

It has been a roller coaster past couple of years for the Fort Wayne Champs. In TBT 2015, the team reunited members of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants team that won the 2014 G-League title and made a run to the semifinals. The past two years they have not made it out of the regional rounds. This summer, the team is totally overhauling the roster and bringing in some younger faces. It will be interesting to see how this pays off.

 

22. Hilltop Dawgs (UMBC Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Raymond Barbosa, Jourdan Grant, KJ Maura
  • Position: 14th place (South)

It is quite possible that UMBC is the most famous basketball program in the world right now. So, it only makes sense that they enter TBT and try and carry that momentum into the summer. After becoming the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed in NCAA Tournament history, the Hilltop Dawgs will look to bring together different generations of UMBC alumni and replicate that success this summer. The two players from this year's squad are 5-foot-8 point guard KJ Maura and 6-foot-1 guard Jourdan Grant. The talent does not stop there, though. Raymond Barbosa helped lead the Retrievers to its first NCAA Tournament in program history in 2008. Andrew Feeley has been tearing it up overseas for 13 years. This is a talented roster that can make a deep run in TBT.

 

23. NC Prodigal Sons

  • Last week: 16
  • Notable players: Al'Lonzo Coleman, Damier Pitts
  • Position: 8th place (South)

Despite only having two active professionals on the roster in Al'Lonzo Coleman and Damier Pitts, the Prodigal Sons are consistently one of the most dangerous teams in the TBT field. Why? It boils down to two words: unselfish basketball. 

 

24. DC On Point

  • Last week: 18
  • Notable players: Torin Francis, Tre Kelley, Andrew Washington
  • Position: 8th place (Northeast)

DC On Point continues to get deeper by the week. On Monday, the team signed 2012 South Florida grad Augustus Gilchrist. The 6-foot-10 center, who has both G-League and overseas experience, will join 2014 TBT champion Torin Francis to form one of the best frontcourt duos in TBT.  Gilchrist competed for the Tampa Bulls last summer.

 

25. D3

  • Last week: 19
  • Notable players: Joey Flannery, Lucas Johnson, Johnathan Ivy
  • Position: 4th place (West)

After I stated last week that I could see D3 either shocking the nation and making a deep run or losing its first game by 30, they made sure to dispel the notion that the latter is a possibility. I LOVE this confidence. As Fran Fraschilla eloquently stated on Twitter, "Ball don't lie - no matter where you played!" This is so true. While I could still see either of my scenarios playing out, not many teams are going to come into TBT hungrier than D3.

 

In the hunt: Air Force Bomb Squad; Brothers Dat Ball; Huntington Huskies; Jackson TN Underdawgs; Louisiana United; PrimeTime Players; Reach 1 Teach 1; Showtime; Sideline Cancer; The Founding Fathers