TBT Power Rankings 5.24.18

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


Only one week remains in the TBT 2018 Registration period

We're down to single digits, folks. After months of preparation and a lot of hard work, 72 teams will take one step closer to $2 million when TBT's registration deadline passes at noon EST on Friday, June 1. While most teams are busy finalizing rosters and rounding up supporters, let's take a break for another edition of TBT 2018 Power Rankngs. 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 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 were taken into consideration*

 

1. Team Challenge ALS *Accepted*

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

When you are the number one team in the power rankings and you add a six-year NBA pro, you know you are doing something right. Team Challenge ALS did just that this week in officially resigning Austin Daye for #TBT2018. The 2014 NBA champion averaged 13.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg in four games last summer.

 

2. Ram Nation (VCU Alumni)

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

If Overseas Elite did not exist, Ram Nation would be the undisputed favorite to win the South. In fact, if the two teams meet up at some point in Atlanta, it will probably go down as the most anticipated game in TBT history. Considering Ram Nation has by far its deepest roster yet, I don't think it would shock anybody if they pulled off the feat.

 

3. Boeheim's Army (Syracuse Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Eric Devendorf, James Southerland, Brandon Triche, Hakim Warrick
  • Position: Automatic bid *once they add seven players* (Northeast)

Boeheim's Army has been back for a couple weeks, but now they are OFFICIALLY BACK! I am honestly not sure how any team can match up with their frontcourt. The returning James Southerland and DaShonte Riley will be joined by 2010 Big East Sixth Man of the Year Kris Joseph and original Boeheim's Army member Hakim Warrick. I haven't even mentioned #TBT2017 All-Tournament Team member Eric Devendorf, the always reliable Brandon Triche or second-year team member John Gillon yet. This team is stacked. 

 

4. Memphis State (Memphis Alumni)

  • Last week: 3
  • Notable players: Willie Coleman, Willie Kemp, Adonis Thomas, Jarvis Varnado
  • Position: 10th place (South)

What I love about this Memphis State team is that even on an off day, they have enough pure talent to grind out a win. That's a trait that many teams aspire for, but few possess. They also have arguably the best defensive player in TBT in three-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year Jarvis Varnado. The 2010 Mississippi State grad is the Division 1 all-time leader in blocks.

 

5. Zoo Crew (Pittsburgh Alumni)

  • Last week: 4
  • Notable players: Gilbert Brown, Jermaine Dixon, Levance Fields, Antonio Graves
  • Position: 13th place (Midwest)

Although he has not played professionally in five years, Levance Fields has looked like his old self the past two years. He leads a Zoo Crew backcourt that is among the best in TBT.

 

6. Team Colorado (Colorado Alumni)

  • Last week: 6
  • Notable players: Christopher Copeland, Marcus Hall, Marcus Relphorde, Richard Roby
  • Position: 8th place (West)

There is no arguing that Team Colorado is going guard heavy in TBT 2018. With that being said, when your backcourt consists of guys like Marcus Hall, Marcus Relphorde and James Wright, this is a strategy that can certainly pay off.

 

7. Hilton Magic Legends (Iowa State Alumni)

  • Last week: 9
  • Notable players: Darrell Bowie, Diante Garrett, Tyrus McGee, Royce White
  • Position: 1st place (Midwest)

The big story this week is obviously DeAndre Kane. Although he appeared to verbally commit to playing with his former Iowa State teammates, I am not totally convinced that he leaves Overseas Elite. If he joins the team, Hilton Magic Legends immediately become a top contender to take home the $2 million. If he doesn't, they still sport a roster that features names like Royce White, Diante Garrett and Darrell Bowie, among other Cyclone legends. Either way, expect to see this squad make a deep run.

 

8. Team Fancy

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

The depth on Team Fancy is unreal. Just this week they added another big name in Middle Tennessee State alum LaRon Dendy. He was named the 2012 Sun Belt Player of the Year after averaging 14.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg in his senior season. There are virtually no holes on this roster. 

 

9. Sons of Westwood (UCLA Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Jordan Adams, Isaac Hamilton, Tony Parker, Khalif Wyatt
  • Position: 20th place (West)

After weeks of speculation, Sons of Westwood has finally started to fill out its roster. It was undoubtably worth the wait. Whether it be Jordan Adams, Isaac Hamilton or Tony Parker, Sons of Westwood legitimately sports some of the best Bruins in recent memory. They also shook things up a bit by adding former Temple star Khalif Wyatt. A little bird tells me that another huge addition could be on its way. Look out, West Region.

 

10. Matadors (Texas Tech Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Quincy Diggs, Justin Gray, John Roberson, Niem Stevenson
  • Position: 33rd place (Midwest)

This is another squad that blossomed late, but is stacked with talent. In addition to returning the core of last summer's team who led Overseas Elite by double digits in the first half, the Matadors have added Justin Gray and Niem Stevenson. Both of them were members of the Texas Tech team that made it to the Elite 8 this year. Talk about having relevant experience.

 

11. Big X

  • Last week: 12
  • Notable players: Andrew Dakich, Stuart Douglass, Duncan Robinson, Jae'Sean Tate
  • Position: 4th place (Midwest)

The word on the street is that Big X has no shot of taking down Scarlet & Gray. I do not understand this sentiment. Have people been watching TBT the past five years? Not only can any team win on any given night, but underdogs have actually faired extremely well over the years. It would be a grave mistake to count out Big X.

 

12. Team Arkansas (Arkansas Alumni)

  • Last week: 7
  • Notable players: Ronnie Brewer, Dusty Hannahs, Moses Kinglsey, Jabril Durham
  • Position: 1st place (Northeast)

This Team Arkansas squad has had its roster set for weeks now. That is huge. Not only are they extremely talented, but it shows that they are organized and have complete buy-in from all their players. That is half the battle when it comes to winning in TBT.

 

13. Bearcat Jam (Cincinnati Alumni)

  • Last week: 8
  • Notable players: Coreontae DeBerry, Octavius Ellis, Deonta Vaughn, Cashmere Wright
  • Position: 2nd place (Midwest)

Bearcat Jam GM Melvin Levett informed me on Twitter that people are doubting his squad. I cannot fathom why anybody would do that. This team is filled with some of the best Bearcats in recent memory.

 

14. GaelNation (Iona Alumni)

  • Last week: 10
  • Notable players: Steven Burtt, David Laury, A.J. English, Lamont "MoMo" Jones
  • Position: 7th place (Northeast)

GaelNation is starting to fly under the radar a bit. Do people remember that they beat two-time TBT semifinalst City of Gods last year and then took Boeheim's Army to double overtime? Oh yeah, they also improved the roster this year. While I'm sure they do not mind sneaking up on teams, I would strongly suggest that you do not overlook this group of former Gaels.

 

15. Armored Athlete

  • Last week: 11
  • Notable players: Jordan Hulls, Julian Gamble, Will Sheehey
  • Position: 16th place (Northeast)

The San Antonio Spurs of TBT officially announced that Adam Ross would be coaching them this summer. He takes over for three-year coach Daniel Engelstad, who was named the skipper at Division 1 Mount St. Mary's. Ross most recently coached at Sagemont High School in Weston, Florida. I have a feeling he will fit in quite well with Armored Athlete.

 

16. Forks Up (Arizona State Alumni)

  • Last week: 13
  • Notable players: Bo Barnes, Carrick Felix, Jordan Bachynski, Tai Wesley
  • Position: 11th place (West)

Forks Up continues to get deeper by the day. Most recently, the team added 2016 USC grad Julian Jacobs. After earning First-team All-Pac 12 honors in his senior season, Jacobs has played in the G-League the past two seasons. 

 

17. Wake The Nation (Wake Forest Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: CJ Harris, Justin Gray, LD Williams
  • Position: 6th place (South)

The 17-spot is just a temporary holding place for Wake The Nation. As they continue to build out their roster, this group of Wake Forest alumni will certainly be one of the favorites to make a deep run in TBT. What I love most about this team is that they are defensive minded. L.D. Williams was a two-time member of the ACC All-Defensive Team. Eric Williams grabbed over 850 rebounds in his Demon Deacons career. Nikita Mescheriakov is a versatile 6-foot-7 forward that can guard multiple positions. Good luck scoring on these guys.

 

18. Saints Alive (Sienna Alumni)

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Ronald Moore, OD Anosike, Kenneth Hasbrouck
  • Position: 19th place (Northeast)

Although Sienna is looking to field an alumni team for the first time, a good portion of this roster has experience in the event. Ronald Moore, Kenneth Hasbrouck and Ryan Rossiter all played on the Liberty Ballers team that made the Super 17 in TBT 2015. O.D. Anoskie joined up with the team the following summer. Having this level of comfort in the event is a huge advantage for Saints Alive over other first year alumni squads.

 

19. ATL All Stars

  • Last week: 14
  • Notable players: Shannon Brown, PJ Hairston, Josh Powell, Solomon Jones
  • Position: 11th place (South)

The last time we talked, ATL All Stars had a combined four NBA championship rings on the roster. While that number has not changed, they added another eight years of association experience this week. The team recently signed 6-foot-10 center Solomon Jones. The Eustis, Florida native played 281 career games with the Hawks, Pacers, Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Knicks and Magic. Atlanta Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley also signed on as a booster.

 

20. Team Rondo

  • Last week: 15
  • Notable players: Jazzmarr Ferguson, Larry O'Bannon, AJ Slaughter
  • Position: 28th place (Midwest)

As I said last week, Team Rondo already has an inherent advantage over the rest of the field. Why? Well, they are being coached by one of the smartest basketball minds in the world. Would it surprise anyone if Rajon was already watching film to get ready for tip-off in July? I, for one, would not be. 

 

21. CitiTeam Blazers

  • Last week: 17
  • Notable players: Bobby Brown, Kyle Gibson, Franklin Robinson, Craig Smith
  • Position: 18th place (West)

The CitiTeam Blazers made a huge addition this week in former Boston College standout Craig Smith. Although he has not played professionally since 2015, Smith suited up in 403 career NBA games with the Timberwolves, Clippers and Trail Blazers. Pair him with guys like Bobby Brown and Kyle Gibson, and the Blazers are looking primed to represent the Drew League well in TBT 2018.

 

22. Eberlein Drive

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Lou Amundson, Jerome Randle, Donald Sloan
  • Position: 14th place (West)

After playing as The Stickmen last summer, one of TBT's original squads is back. Although they have a bit of work to do on the roster in the next week, they are off to a great start. Former New York Knick Lou Amundson returns after averaging 27 ppg last summer. University of California all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle makes the jump from Always A Brave to Eberlein Drive. Four-year NBA vet Donald Sloan looks to make his first TBT appearance. If they can gel together quickly, the sky is the limit for Eberlein.

 

23. HBC Slickerville

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Kyle Hines, Charles Jenkins, Romeo Travis
  • Position: 11th place (Northeast)

Kyle Hines is widely regarded as one of the best players in the EuroLeague. And while he has had a couple of earlier-than-expected exits in TBT, this could be the summer everything changes. Hines and GM Muhammed Smith are partnering with Bryan Hurley to form HBC Sicklerville. The partnership is appearing to pay dividends. While they still have a couple of players to add, we already know that Hines will be joined by perhaps the best player in Hofstra basketball history in Charles Jenkins, LeBron James' best friend and former high school teammate Romeo Travis and former Florida turned EuroLeague standout Alex Tyus.

 

24. Louisiana United

  • Last week: NR
  • Notable players: Josh Gray, Bo McCalebb, Cory Dixon
  • Position: 1st place (South)

It's hard to not be impressed with the team Louisiana United is forming. Just two days ago the team added Josh Gray, who earned a ten-day contract with the Phoenix Suns earlier this year. He will help run the backcourt with Bo McCalebb, who has won 13 various titles overseas and was twice named the Italian League Finals MVP.

 

25. Hilltop Dawgs

  • Last week: 22
  • Notable players: Raymond Barbosa, Jourdan Grant, KJ Maura
  • Position: 15th place (South)

As the Hilltop Dawgs continue to fill out its roster, they are looking more and more like a team that can shock the world and make a deep run in TBT. If the team can convince Jairus Lyles to play insead of serve as a booster, playing in Baltimore might not be too far fetched.