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You’re Nuts: Who should Carmen’s Crew add to this year’s TBT roster?

After a one-year hiatus, the men in scarlet and gray are returning to TBT this summer.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Ohio State vs Gonzaga Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Carmen’s Crew, formerly Scarlet and Gray, reached a crossroads last season and ultimately chose not to participate in the 2022 TBT. The old guard — Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler, William Buford, etc. — have either moved on from basketball or have families, and want to spend their off-season time doing something other than basketball.

Meanwhile, many of the Chris-Holtmann-era guys are either still in the NBA, G-League, or don’t have deep ties to Ohio State. Last year, Carmen’s Crew decided to take a year and regroup. But they’re back for 2023.

Last week, we debated which Ohio State team was our personal favorite. Justin went with the 2010-2011 team. Connor went with the 2017-2018 team. Justin earned 34% of the vote, Connor got 3% of the vote, and “other” picked up a whopping 61% — so neither of us won.

After 88 weeks:

Justin- 39
Connor- 35
Other- 10

(There have been four ties)

As previously stated, Carmen’s Crew announced this week that they are back for 2023, and are transitioning to a group of mostly younger Buckeyes, most of whom played for Chris Holtmann. Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson, Trevor Thompson, CJ Jackson, CJ Walker, and Keyshawn Woods. But six players does not a roster make, and they’ll need to keep adding throughout the spring and summer.

This week, we’re picking players we’d like to see Carmen’s Crew add for this year’s team.

Today’s question: Who should Carmen’s Crew add to this year’s TBT roster?

Connor: Kam Williams

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Dakota State vs Ohio State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

For starters, give me credit for choosing a player who A) played all four years at Ohio State and B) hasn’t already been rumored to be on the roster already.

Chris Holtmann has been at Ohio State for six seasons and has had five recruiting classes, which means the available player pool of guys who played four years for Holtmann at Ohio State is not huge. That means Carmen’s Crew will probably wind up with one or two older guys who played for Matta, one or two guys who only played for Holtmann for a year or two, and maybe even a player or two who didn’t even play for Ohio State.

However, Kam William’s game could fit really well with TBT and the Elam Ending style of play, and he played with the Wesson brothers his final few seasons at Ohio State. Williams most recently played overseas in Denmark. He was a 1,000-point scorer at Ohio State as well as a 40.3% three-point shooter — one of the best Ohio State shooters of the past 20 years.

TBT tends to speed up and run a bit more like an AAU game than a college game, but also relies heavily on guys being able to hit jump shots when the Elam Ending target score is implemented at the end of games. Adding Williams as a perimeter threat would be a wise move by Carmen’s Crew general manager Jared Sullinger if he does indeed add both Thompson and Kaleb Wesson to the team.

Both of the aforementioned big men will likely draw double teams, and having Williams lurking on the perimeter would be a big bonus for Carmen’s Crew, which will try to advance deep into TBT after getting bounced by The Money Team two years ago early in the tournament (In Columbus, no less).

If you want evidence of Williams’ ability to take over a game, look no further than Ohio State’s NCAA Tournament victory over the Mike Daum-led South Dakota State Jackrabbits in 2018.

Williams was not Ohio State’s leading scorer that day — that was Keita Bates-Diop, who had 24 — but he did score 22 points, including a crucial stretch late in the second half that arguably won the game for Ohio State and avoided a 12-5 upset. In a tie game with 1:36 remaining, Williams was fouled shooting a three by then-SDSU guard (now Purdue guard) David Jenkins Jr. Williams hit the shot, knocked down the free throw, and gave the Buckeyes a 74-70 lead. This was on the heels of a 10-0 Jackrabbits run, with all the momentum seemingly riding with the 12-seed.

32 seconds later, with Ohio State still up 74-70, Williams was fouled by Brandon Key shooting a three — although he did not make the shot this time. Williams calmly knocked down all three free throws to put the Buckeyes up a touchdown, 77-70, and they would go on to win, 81-73. Williams scored seven of Ohio State’s final 11 points, and finished with a season-high 22.

Justin: C.J. Walker

Syndication: Marion George Fleiner/For USA Today Network-Ohio, Marion Star via Imagn Content Services, LLC

To be honest, I was almost going to pick Duane Washington. As of right now, he is not signed to an NBA contract after he was released from his 10-day contract from the Phoenix Suns recently.

However, I think he played well enough and showed enough to NBA teams to find his way onto another team by the end of the season, or to at least earn a chance to play in Summer league, which would make him ineligible to play in TBT. I am putting my faith in his future.

So instead, I will go with one of his old teammates: C.J. Walker.

Walker was the Buckeyes starting point guard from 2019-2021 and helped lead the Buckeyes to a No. 2 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. No need to mention how it ended.

Walker averaged 9.5 points, 4.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game during his final season with the Buckeyes.

Walker has been overseas playing professional basketball in Germany for the Phoenix Hagen for the last two seasons and playing well. Also, he has already played in TBT when he played for the Dayton alumni team Red Scare last summer. So he has the experience playing in TBT and knows what it is like.

Shannon Scott will likely be back for Carmen’s Crew, but Aaron Craft is 99.9 percent done playing (have to say 99.9 just in case but it is likely 100 percent), so they will need someone to run the point with Scott.

We know Jared Sullinger and the team are looking for guys from this era of Ohio State basketball and the Chris Holtmann era to get some younger guys involved that can carry the torch when all of the older guys are done. Walker just graduated in 2021 and is still playing at a high level and has many years of pro basketball ahead of him, so between that and him already playing in TBT, this addition makes too much sense.


Who should Carmen’s Crew add to this year’s TBT roster? (Reminder: Most of the Matta-era players are done)

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    CJ Walker (Justin)
    (13 votes)
  • 41%
    Kam Williams (Connor)
    (15 votes)
  • 22%
    Someone else
    (8 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now