TBTers around the world: 2018 Final Four edition

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


We know who Team FOE and SuperNOVA will be rooting for this weekend

With the final weekend of March Madness finally upon us, only Kansas, Villanova, Michigan and Loyola-Chicago remain in contention for college basketball's biggest prize. Not surprisingly, these schools (especially Kansas and Villanova) have produced more than a handful of TBT greats over the years. Just like a team needs to be gritty, unselfish and disciplined to win in March, you need those same qualities to win TBT's $2 million winner-take-all prize.

Team FOE - whose core consists of guys from the Jayhawks run to the Elite Eight in 2011 and Final Four in 2012 - used its tournament experience to advance to the Northeast Regional Championship Game in TBT 2017. Although SuperNOVA - a Villanova alumni team - got bounced in the second round, they too have shown that they have the intangibles to make a deep run this summer. On the other side of the bracket, although several former Wolverines and Ramblers have applied to play in TBT, only one representative from the maize and blue has actually seen game action. After the confetti drops on Monday night, what better way for Michigan and Loyola-Chicago to celebrate historic seasons than get a group of alumni to try and follow it up in TBT? 

Regardless, before the action tips-off, let's check in and see what these proud alumni are doing all over the world.

 

Kansas

Elijah Johnson (Team FOE) – Since graduating Kansas in 2013, Johnson has enjoyed an overseas career that has taken him to seven different countries including Poland, Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Germany. The 6-foot-4 point guard last played in November for Hapoel Gilboa Galil in the Israeli Winner League, where he averaged 10 points per game.

Mario Little (Team FOE) – After spending his freshman and sophomore years at Chipola College, Little transferred to Kansas for his junior season in 2008. Although the team narrowly missed out on a Final Four berth in his senior season after being upset by VCU, Little has enjoyed much success both in the G-League and overseas. The Chicago native split time in Italy and Venezuela this season.

Marcus & Markieff Morris (Team FOE) – This is a duo that needs no introduction. When the two Team FOE coaches and Kansas legends are not game-planning for TBT, they are tearing it up with their respective NBA teams. Marcus is averaging 13.4 ppg and 5.5 rpg in his first season with the Boston Celtics. He even had this incredible game-winner against the Thunder just last week. Markieff continues to be a steady presence for the Wizards, averaging 11.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg.

 

Thomas Robinson (Team FOE) – Although some speculated that Robinson might make the jump from coach to player before Team FOE’s Super 16 matchup against FCM Untouchables in TBT 2017, the 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year opted to make his presence felt on the sidelines. It proved to be useful, as FOE dismantled FCM Untouchables before dropping a heartbreaker to Boeheim’s Army in the Northeast Regional Championship Game.  After wrapping up a historic career at Kansas in 2012, Robinson was selected fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the NBA Draft. He spent the next five years with the Kings, Rockets, Trail Blazers, 76ers, Nets and Lakers. This season, the 6-foot-10 forward is suiting up alongside Few Good Men’s Malcolm Thomas for Khimki Moscow in Russia’s VTB United League. Robinson is averaging 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

Josh Selby (BDB) – Although he only played one season at Kansas before entering the NBA Draft, it was a year to remember for Selby. The Baltimore native won Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 7.9 ppg and 2.2 apg on a team that featured six future NBA players. In addition to playing in TBT each of the past four seasons, Selby has had a successful overseas career that includes two Israeli League All-Star awards. This season he is tearing it up in South Korea, averaging 17.4 ppg, 3.9 apg and 3.4 rpg for the Incheon Electroland Elephants.

 

Tyshawn Taylor (Team FOE) – Taylor is one of the most beloved Jayhawks in recent memory after playing 146 games from 2008-2012 and leading the team to the national championship game against Kentucky in his senior season. His efforts landed him First-team All-Big 12 efforts. After spending two years with the Brooklyn Nets out of college, Taylor has played all over the world. The 6-foot-3 guard bounced back from knee surgery earlier in the year and is currently averaging 19.4 ppg for Samsun BSB Anakent in the Turkish Basketball League.

 

Loyola-Chicago

 

Could we see Sister Jean’s All-Stars in TBT 2018?!?

 

Michgian:

Brent Petway (Trained To Go, 2016 ) – The high-flying, 2007 Michigan grad and former Harlem Globetrotter averaged 4.8 ppg and 2.5 rpg for Trained To Go in TBT 2016. His professional career has been filled with accolades, including 2008 G-League All-Star Game Slam Dunk champion, 2008 G-League champion, 2009 G-League Defensive Player of the Year, 2013 Greek League All-Star Game MVP, 2013 Greek League Most Spectacular Player, 2013 FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion and 2015 Greek League champion. The 6-foot-8 forward is in his first year in the Czech Republic, averaging 5 ppg and 3.3 rpg for Turi Svitavy.

 

Villanova

Isaiah Armwood (SuperNOVA) – Despite transferring to George Washington in 2012 for his junior season, Armwood reconnected with his former Villanova teammates in TBT 2017. He is currently tearing it up in Hungary, averaging 17.2 ppg and 9.4 rpg.

Shane Clark (SuperNOVA) – Just like in college, Clark serves as the heart-and-soul of this SuperNOVA squad. Despite not playing professionally since 2011, Clark turned back the clock and averaged 5.5 ppg and 3 apg in TBT 2017. He currently works in the greater Philadelphia area.

Corey Fisher (SuperNOVA) – Although he turned into a fan favorite in his four years at Villanova (2007-2011), Fisher will always be primarily remembered as a street ball legend to those in his hometown of The Bronx, New York. While playing in a game at Watson Gleason Playground in 2010, Fisher scored 105 of his team’s 138 points and went 23-for-28 from 3-point land. The 6-foot-1 guard, who averaged 13 ppg for SuperNOVA last summer, is playing in Spain for San Pablo Burgos.

Malcolm Grant (SuperNOVA) – Although you would not be able to tell based on his team-high 18 points per game in TBT 2017, Grant went into last summer with just one year of experience with his former Wildcats teammates. After starting his college career at Villanova in 2007, the 6-foot guard transferred to Miami for his final three seasons. He set a school record in his junior year after starting all 36 games for the Hurricanes. Grant is suiting up for BC Astana in Kazakhstan this season, where he is averaging 7.6 ppg.

JayVaughn Pinkston (SuperNOVA) – A 2010 McDonald’s All-American, Pinkston finished his career as just one of 11 players in Villanova history with at least 1,500 points and 700 rebounds. That success translated over to TBT, where the 6-foot-7 power forward was a key player off the bench for SuperNOVA. After spending the first year of his professional career in Italy, Pinkston is in Poland this season where he plays for Miasto Szkla Krosno. The Brooklyn native is averaging 18.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg.

Reggie Redding (SuperNOVA) -  A TBT mainstay with both Liberty Ballers and SuperNOVA, Redding appeared in 124 games for the Wildcats from 2006-2010. His efforts landed him the 2009 Paul Arizin Award and a second-team All-Philadelphia Big Five selection.  Last summer he was second on SuperNOVA with 13.5 ppg. Redding’s seven-year overseas career has been filled with accolades, including 2011 Cypriot League champion, 2011 Cypriot Cup winner, three-time (2013-2015) BBL All-Star, 2013 All-BBL First Team, 2014 All-EuroCup Second Team and 2014 German Cup winner. This season Redding returned to FC Bayern Munich, where he is averaging 10.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 3.3 apg.

 

Darryl Reynolds (SuperNOVA) – The youngest member of last year’s SuperNOVA squad at just 24-years old, Reynolds is in his first year as a professional after graduating from Villanova last spring. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 8.4 ppg for Start Lublin in Poland. As a junior at Villanova in 2016, Reynolds was a member of the team that won the national championship over North Carolina.

Scott Reynolds (SuperNOVA) – Reynolds is one of the most popular players in Villanova history, and it’s not hard to see why. The 2007 Big East Rookie of the Year and 2010 consensus first-team All-American ended his Wildcats career second all-time in program history with 2,222 points.  Last summer in TBT, he averaged 10 ppg, 4 rpg and 3.5 apg in the team’s run to the second round. Reynolds is playing for BC Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia this season, where he suits up alongside Illinois Hoopville Warriors guard Malcolm Griffin.

Maurice Sutton (SuperNOVA) – One of the most dynamic players on last year’s SuperNOVA squad, Sutton gets the job done in nearly every statistical category. In the team’s two games he averaged a double-double with 10 ppg and 10.5 rpg. Although he only recorded one block in TBT, he finished his Villanova career 11th all-time with 100 from 2009-2013. Sutton played 14 games for Aaguacateros in Mexico this season.  

Maalik Wayns (Team FOE) – Wayns sent shockwaves across ‘Nova nation when he elected to play with his hometown friends on Team FOE instead of his former college teammates last summer. The 26-year old spent three seasons with the Wildcats, earning second-team All-Big East honors in 2012 after averaging 17.6 ppg. The decision paid off for Wayns, though, who advanced to the Northeast Regional Championship Game and was a couple of minutes away from a berth to the TBT semifinals. After playing with the Dallas Mavericks in the preseason, Wayns signed with Joventut Badalona in Spain for the rest of the season. He is currently averaging 10 ppg.

 

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