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You’re Nuts: Which TBT team (other than Carmen’s Crew) should you watch?

The Basketball Tournament tips off July 19 on ESPN+

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It is July, which means it is time for The Basketball Tournament, AKA TBT. This is one of the most entertaining basketball tournaments of the year, and Carmen’s Crew, the Ohio State Alumni team, is back in action this season after sitting out last year to revamp their roster and bring in some new blood.

This week, we are talking TBT. Specifically not Carmen’s Crew, but everyone else. Which TBT team we think you should watch that isn’t Carmen’s Crew, since we know you already will watch them.

Last week, we debated which Ohio State men’s basketball record would be broken next. Check that story out below. Connor chose single-game defensive rebounds for Felix Okpara, and Justin chose total games started by Bruce Thornton. Connor won with 81 percent of the votes to tie up the all-time standings.

Here are the updated standings after 107 (!) weeks:

Justin- 46
Connor- 46
Other- 11

(There have been four ties)

Today’s Question: Which TBT team (other than Carmen’s Crew) should you watch?

Connor: Shell Shock

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shell Shock — the Maryland alumni team — tips off July 25 at 4:00 p.m. It’s the first Maryland team to participate in The Basketball Tournament in its 10-year history, and they’ve got some high-powered guards on the roster that could take them pretty far.

Ohio State fans will recognize several names on Shell Shock, as the roster is littered with former Terrapins who gave the Buckeyes fits. First and foremost is Melo Trimble, the former first team All- Big Ten guard who led the Turtles from 2014-2017 before entering the NBA Draft. Trimble averaged 15.9 points on 43% shooting during his three years at Maryland.

Also on the roster is Darryl Morsell, a four-year starter at Maryland from 2017-2021 and the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He transferred to Marquette for his final year of college ball, and is now playing in the G League in the Toronto Raptors organization. He will bring a stout defensive presence to Shell Shock in their opening round game against Gataverse, the Florida alumni team.

But that’s only half of the fearsome four-pack this team has! Chris Lykes, the former Miami and Arkansas guard, has also joined up with the Turtles for TBT. Lykes came off the bench at Arkansas during his last year of college, but from 2017-2021 he averaged 13.7 points per game on 41% shooting for Miami. At 5-foot-7, he’ll threaten Marcus Keene this year for the title of most exciting little guy.

Rounding out the Maryland squad’s talented lineup is Maurice “Mo” Creek. Creek had very good seasons at both Indiana and George Washington between 2009 and 2014, and has played for Sideline Cancer each of the past five summers in TBT. His game-winning shot in the 2020 semifinals to upset longtime juggernaut Overseas Elite is considered one of the biggest moments in TBT history. He’s a veteran who always seems to knock down big shots when they matter.

Ohio State fans should root for Carmen’s Crew, but if they want to keep an eye on the other Big Ten alumni teams, Shell Shock will be a fun one to watch. With a first-round matchup against an underwhelming Florida alumni team, I think Shell Shock could potentially win two or more games in their first ever TBT.

Justin: Happy Valley Hoopers

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round-Ohio State vs Villanova Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

I went with another first-time team and another Big Ten alumni team. The Happy Valley Hoopers, or the Penn State Alumni team. The Penn State team is appealing to me because if how young they are. Most have played on the Nittany Lions since COVID, and some even played as early as last year.

This team also hits all the beats. They have the defense with Jamari Wheeler (also a former Buckeye) and Josh Reaves. They have the size with Mike Watkins and John Harrar. They have the shooting with Myles Dread, Sam Sessoms and Dwayne Cohill. They also have the depth needed to compete in an intense tournament when you play a lot of games in a short amount of time.

This is also one of the newest and youngest teams in the tournament, so they are still in their best shape. All of these teams have pro hoopers that can still get up and down the court fine, but this team is used to playing high minutes in college and lots of games, so they shouldn’t have any issue with the physical demand of this tournament.

Guys like Dread and Sessoms will be key for this team, because it is important to have a couple of guys who can fill it up on offense. For the Happy Valley Hoopers, Dread and Sessoms are those guys.

I am not sure how good they will be, but they should be fun to watch.


Which TBT team (other than Carmen’s Crew) seems like the more fun team to follow?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Shell Shock (Connor)
    (2 votes)
  • 25%
    Happy Valley Hoopers (Justin)
    (4 votes)
  • 62%
    You want me to care about Maryland and Penn State?
    (10 votes)
16 votes total Vote Now