Villanova’s 2009 team reuniting at The Basketball Tournament
Scottie Reynolds must not want Villanova fans to forget their former hero. After one year off, Reynolds is back for the third installment of The Basketball Tournament with SuperNOVA, a team of Villanova alumni featuring several members of the squad that reached the 2009 Final Four thanks to Reynolds’s buzzer-beater in the Elite Eight vs. Pitt. The roster also includes Corey Fisher, Reggie Redding and Maurice Sutton.
An old Big East rivalry could return in the Northeast Region as Boeheim’s Army, a roster of Syracuse alumni, returns after making a run to the quarterfinals last summer. Their roster is even more stacked this year with C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche joining Hakim Warrick, Donte Green, Eric Devendorf and Rick Jackson.
In addition to SuperNOVA, the Philadelphia area has plenty of representation. La Salle’s 2013 Sweet 16 team is back, including Tyrone Garland and his Southwest Philly Floater. Khalif Wyatt and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson highlight the Temple alumni team, and Philly natives and former Siena stars Ronald Moore and Kenny Hasbrouck lead the Liberty Ballers, a non-alumni team.
Overseas Elite, the defending champions that featured former college stars D.J. Kennedy (St. John’s), Myck Kabongo (Texas) and Travis Bader (Oakland), has been slow registering. Their roster currently lists only two players, but they are expected to have most of last year’s roster returning.
Many believe Indiana’s 2012–13 team underachieved, but Armored Athlete can help make up for that. Though not an alumni team, Armored Athlete has Jordan Hulls, Will Sheehey and Christian Watford, plus Hornets center Cody Zeller as a booster. A fresh addition to the roster is former Butler forward Roosevelt Jones.
Elsewhere around the Big Ten, Michigan State’s alumni team bridges several eras, going as far back as Charlie Bell, a member of the 2000 championship team, to Delvon Roe and Durrell Summers of the 2009 Final Four group, to Brandon Wood and Brandan Kearney of the 2012 Sweet 16 squad.
One of the biggest additions for mid-major fans is the Bradley alumni team, led by members of the 2006 Sweet 16 roster Patrick O’Bryant and Marcellus Sommerville. Some other notable teams include the Kansas State alumni with two-time All-America Jacob Pullen; the Gonzaga alumni with Dan Dickau and Blake Stepp reuniting in the backcourt; the Boston College alumni, which pairs a duo of chuckers in Tyrese Rice with Brady Heslip; the 120 Sports team with John Shurna, Drew Crawford and Michael “Juice” Thompson trying to relive Northwestern’s NIT glory days; and Team Maryland, with NCAA tournament champion Juan Dixon as coach.
Several high-profile professional athletes are serving as boosters, including Kings forward Rudy Gay, Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is the most intriguing of the bunch, as he is promoting the SMU alumni. Mudiay decommitted from SMU the summer before his freshman season to play overseas in China.
TBT starts July 9 and concludes in New York with the semifinals July 30 and championship Aug. 2. The prize for this year’s winning team is $2 million. In the style of the NCAA tournament, there will 64 teams playing in four regions (Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Charlotte). The Super 16 rounds in Philadelphia will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN2, and the Final Four will be on ESPN.
Registration remains open until June 1, so stay up to date with the tournament's official website to keep track of all the teams and new additions.