Team Fredette aiming to complete epic turnaround in TBT 2019

 

By: Edward Moran


Two years after losing in the first round, Team Fredette has championship aspirations 

If TBT gave out superlatives, Team Fredette would win "Most Improved" in a unanimous decision. Just two years ago, the TJ Fredette and Dan Britten-lead squad was bounced in the first round by Team Utah. Now, after making an epic run to the semifinals last summer, Team Fredette is prepping to host TBT's Salt Lake Regional at the Maverik Center from July 25-27. While many will point to the fact that Jimmer went from coaching in TBT 2017 to scoring a tournament-high 31.5 ppg in TBT 2018, that's far from the entire story. Between bringing in longtime overseas coach Mike Taylor and learning how to play in TBT, Team Fredette underwent a systematic change that brought about unparalleled results.

While in Shanghai visiting Jimmer, we caught up with TJ to talk about the team's epic turnaround, bringing TBT to Salt Lake, and expectations for this summer. Enjoy!

How would you describe the excitement level among the team about hosting games in Salt Lake City?

The excitement level is very high. Coming off of a successful run to the [semifinals] last year, our team is looking forward to making another run in the wonderful city of Salt Lake.

What was the team's reaction when they found out TBT was heading to Salt Lake City?

Our roster is not complete yet, but the guys that I have spoken to about it are very much looking forward to playing in Salt Lake - especially the players who live in the state of Utah.

What sort of environment do you expect in the Maverik Center?

I expect to have an incredible atmosphere. I know first-hand how passionate and knowledgeable basketball fans are in Utah. They are some of the greatest sports fans in the world and they bring electricity to the building every game!

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What makes playing in Salt Lake City special for you, Jimmer, and the rest of the team?

Playing in Salt Lake is special for us because we have players who played their high school and college ball in the state. It's always special to play in front of fans who have shown our players love in the past.

What did you learn from your first-round exit in 2017 that helped you make a run to the semifinals last summer?

One thing we learned in Year 1 is that if you want to win TBT, you have to play every game like it's the Super Bowl. I think in Year 2 we took that lesson to heart and played with more urgency in each game. In order to continue our progress, we will need to maintain that urgency and even step it up to another level.

What else contributed to the team's turnaround?

Our improvement from Year 1 to Year 2 came as a result of a couple different factors. One - we added more talent on the roster as well as a professional head coach in Mike Taylor. Two - experience. Getting our feet wet in Year 1 helped us gain a better understanding of what it takes to win TBT games.

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How motivated is the team to get over the hump and win the $2 million?

Our team is beyond motivated to win that $2 million this year! Getting so close last year and falling just short has left us all unsatisfied. We are going in with the mindset that anything short of the title is a failure!

Any roster updates other than Jeff Ledbetter and Jordon Crawford?

We are expecting to have most of our core back from last year and then bring on some top-level talent to go with them. The roster is not finalized yet, but we promise to have some big surprises for the fans in Salt Lake!