Get to Know Boeheim's Army's Next Opponent: Team Heartfire

Team Heartfire has former Syracuse rivals and other productive college players on its roster.
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Boeheim's Army knocked off Forces of Seoul in the first round of The Basketball Tournament 65-53. The Army now faces Team Heartfire in the second round. Here is what you need to know about Heartfire. 


Head Coach: LaPhonso Ellis - Former Notre Dame player in college and played 11 years in the NBA. 

Player: AJ Walton
Height: 6-1
Position: Shooting Guard
College: Baylor
College Stats: 5.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.1 bpg, 40.1 FG%, 33.3 3PT%, 65.3 FT%
TBT Bio: A former Arkansas Mr. Basketball in 2008, A.J. Walton played collegiately at Baylor from 2009-13. He then embarked on a pro career overseas, most recently playing for Peja in Kosovo during the 2020-21 season.

Player: Aaron Epps
Height: 6-10
Position: Power Forward
College: LSU
College Stats: 5.9 ppg, 3.6 rpb, 0.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.5 bpg, 50.8 FG%, 35.0 3PT%, 72.8 FT%
TBT Bio: Aaron Epps played collegiate basketball at LSU from 2014-18. Following his collegiate career, Epps has played professionally in the NBA G-League with the Northern Arizona Suns and most recently the Canton Charge. Epps had a short stint in France where he played eight games with Chalon.

Player: Branden Dawson
Height: 6-6
Position: Small Forward
College: Michigan State
College Stats: 10.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.1 bpg, 55.9 FG%, 0.0 3PT%, 55.8 FT%
TBT Bio: Dawson is returning for his second year with Team Heartfire in TBT after having played with them in TBT 2020. Dawson played collegiately at Michigan State from 2011-2015. In his senior season, he averaged a career-high 11.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. After college, he was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He then played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers for one season. After his NBA stint, he played in the G League for the Bakersfield Jam, Grand Rapids Drive, and Erie Bayhawks. He has also played overseas in Israel, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan.

Player: Gary McGhee
Height: 6-11
Position: Center
College: Pittsburgh
College Stats: 4.5 ppg, 4.7 rpb, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 1.0 bpg, 58.3 FG%, 0.0 3PT%, 51.2 FT%
TBT Bio: McGhee will be making a return to TBT since he last played in 2018 with Zoo Crew. He played college basketball at Pittsburgh from 2007-2011 and led the Panthers to a Big East Regular Season Championship in 2011. Since then, he has played in the NBA Summer League for the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Golden State Warriors. He has also played overseas in Turkey, Germany, France, Kosovo, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.

Player: JJ Avila
Height: 6-7 
Position: Small Forward
College: Navy, Colorado State
College Stats: 15.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.5 FG%, 30.3 3PT%, 74.6 FT%
TBT Bio: Avila will be returning to TBT for his second season after previously suiting up for the Matadors in 2018. The 6’7 forward was a college star at the U.S. Naval Academy for two seasons (2010-12) before transferring to Colorado State where he played from 2013-15. During his time at Colorado State, he averaged 16.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game – earning 2014 All-MWC Third Team and 2015 All-MWC First Team honors. Since college, Avila has had a variety of professional experiences including an NBA training camp stint with the Chicago Bulls in 2016, overseas runs in Mexico and Belgium, and five seasons in the NBA G League.

Player: Jared Wilson-Frame
Height: 6-5
Position: Shooting Guard
College: Pittsburgh
College Stats: 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 39.1 FG%, 35.9 3PT%, 80.7 FT%
TBT Bio: Wilson-Frame played collegiately for 2 years at Northwest Florida State from 2015-2017. He then transferred to Pitt where he played from 2017-2019. In his senior season at Pitt, he averaged 12.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game as a starter. Since college, he has been playing overseas in Belgium and now currently plays in the NBA G League with the Raptors 905.


Player: John Florveus
Height: 6-11
Position: Center
College: Georgia
College Stats: 2.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.7 bpg, 45.0 FG%, 0.0 3PT%, 46.5 FT%

Player: King McClure
Height: 6-3
Position: Point Guard
College: Baylor
College Stats: 6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.1 bpg, 41.4 FG%, 36.0 3PT%, 72.8 FT%
TBT Bio: McClure played at Baylor for four years from 2015-2019. In his final season at Baylor he averaged a career-high 9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. McClure also helped the Bears get to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2017. He currently works as a college basketball analyst for ESPN.

Player: Stefan Moody
Height: 5-10
Position: Point Guard
College: Ole Miss, FAU
College Stats: 18.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 40.5 FG%, 36.3 3PT%, 84.8 FT%
TBT Bio: Stefan Moody began his collegiate career at Florida Atlantic before transferring to Kilgore and finishing his career at Ole Miss. Moody was named to the All-SEC First Team both his junior and senior year at Ole Miss. In February 2018, Moody became the first player to score over 42 points in a Greek League game. He has most recently been a member of DEAC in Hungary.

Player: Tevin Mack
Height: 6-6
Position: Shooting Guard
College: Clemson, Alabama, Texas
College Stats: 9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 41.2 FG%, 31.9 3PT%, 60.1 FT%