Only four teams remain in the quest for $1 million at the second annual edition of The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
In the single elimination tournament that started with 97 squads made up of former college and NBA players, only the Ants Alumni, Team 23, Overseas Elite and Team City of Gods have survived. They will compete this weekend at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx, with the winning team taking home seven figures.
Here’s a look at the roster for each team:
Roster: Matt Bouldin, Brian Butch, William Frisby, Stephen Graham, Anthony Harris, Ron Howard, Trey McKinney Jones, Chris Porter, Sadiel Rojas, Tommy Smith, David Teague, Roderick Wilmont
Team chemistry isn’t a problem here. All of these guys played together on the 2013-14 NBA D-League champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Ron Howard was the leading scorer on that squad, but he hasn’t played as big of a role in TBT.
Rojas, who interestingly enough is the only player on the roster who didn’t play D-1 basketball (Oklahoma Wesleyan University), has led the way thus far, averaging a double-double (18.3 points and 11.0 rebounds) per game. Anthony Harris is also averaging 18.3 per game, while Stephen Graham, who started 43 games with the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets, has averaged 17.0 points after missing the team’s first two games.
The Ants Alumni took out the defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni in the Round of 16, 89-84.
Roster: Zach Andrews, Travis Gabbidon, Andrew Kelly, Augustine Okosun, Larry Owens, Dwight Pederson, Gabriel Sandoval, Alex Scales, Marcus Wells, Davin White
Team 23 is a big team with six players standing at 6-feet-7 or taller, but it has been one of the squad’s smallest players, 6-foot-1 Davin White, who has shined brightest during the tournament. In five games, the Cal State Northridge product who played last season in Spain’s top league is averaging 22.4 points and 4.0 assists per contest.
Although Team 23 has arguably the least amount of recognizable names and is the only double-digit seed remaining in the tournament, it has been thoroughly dominant. It has been the most efficient of the final four teams both offensively (1.28 points per possession) and defensively (0.94 points allowed per possession), and it has won its five games by an average margin of 23.2 points.
Roster: Travis Bader, Kyle Fogg, Paris Horne, Jhondre Jefferson, Myck Kabongo, DJ Kennedy, Shane Lawal, Errick McCollum II, Todd O’Brien
They only have nine players on the roster–and only used six in South Regional Championship–but Overseas Elite has easily some of the best talent in the tournament.
Myck Kabongo is a former McDonald’s All-American who played point guard at the University of Texas and is now in the D-League. Travis Bader broke J.J. Redick’s record for three-pointers made in a college career. Kyle Fogg was the Finnish League MVP in 2013-14, and D.J. Kennedy was a first-team player in the Bundesliga (Germany’s top league) last season.
And then there’s Errick McCollum. The older brother of Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J., he scored a record 82 points in a game in China in January. A bit unsurprisingly, he’s leading Overseas Elite in scoring with 20.8 per game.
Team City of Gods
Roster: Lafonte Johnson, James Gist, Phil Goss, David Hawkins, DerMarr Johnson, Lasan Kromah, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Hamady N’Diaye, Xavier Silas, Roscoe Smith, Omar Strong, Devin Sweetney, Mike Sweetney
Finally, we have the team with the most NBA experience. Xavier Silas, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Hamady N’Diaye, Mike Sweetney and DeMarr Johnson have all played in the Association, while the latter two were both top-10 draft picks.
Of course, none of them are leading the team in scoring. That distinction would belong to Devin Sweetney, the second-cousin of Mike who is averaging 13.6 per contest. It’s a balanced attack, though, as Silas is averaging 13.4, while Mensah-Bonsu and Johnson are each chipping in 12.8.
City of Gods is right behind Team 23 in average margin of victory, winning their five games by an average of 22.6 points. That includes an 80-76 nail-biter against tournament favorite Boeheim’s Army in the Midwest Regional Championship.
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