Teams for the ever-growing The Basketball Tournament (TBT) are continuing to be announced on social media, with a ton of college alumni teams. It makes me think of this tweet from former ASU guard Shannon Evans II.
It does not seem like an ASU-oriented TBT team is in the works anytime soon, but it does not hurt to just whip up an All-Sparky squad that would have a shot at competing for the $1 million prize pool.
Obviously we have to start with the trio of Tra Holder, Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice. These three helped vault ASU into the national spotlight in 2017, winning games against No. 15 Xavier and No. 2 Kansas.
After his ASU days, Tra Holder had a few stops overseas, and was playing in the G-League for a few teams. He most recently helped the Thai National team win its first gold medal in the 3x3 SEA Games.
Evans is currently in Spain and led his team this past season in scoring with 17.1 points per game and assists with 6.8 per game. Yeah, this dude can still get a bucket and facilitate at a high-level.
Kodi Justice is having a very successful overseas career, winning championships his last two seasons in Croatia and Poland, respectively. The 6-6 guard is still shooting 35 percent from deep, which would help space the floor with some size on the wing.
Jahii Carson, the former Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, will round out our current lineup for the guards. Despite not playing under current head coach Bobby Hurley, he still fits perfectly into the “Guard U” mantra.
During his time in the maroon and gold, he averaged over 18 points per game and nearly five assists. Since then, he has moved overseas and made a name for himself with multiple all-star selections.
Zylan Cheatham has to be the first name out of this group. Even though his time was short in Tempe, it packed a punch. The versatile forward has bounced around in the G-League and would be an explosive addition to the squad. His improved three-point shooting would also be utilized as well.
Jeff Ayers last played in the NBA in 2016, but is still hooping in Japan. The 6-10 center is 35 years-old, but can still haul in rebounds. He was a two-time All-Pac-12 selection and his mural watches over the current team in the Weatherup Center.
Since he can obviously still ball, he should suit up for Sparky.
Last but not least, we will add Jordan Bachynski, some much-needed rim protection. The nickname “Blockchynski” is much-warranted for the conference’s all-time leader in that category (if you need a reminder, that number is 314).
The 7-2 big man out of Canada spent some time on the Boston Celtics staff as a player enhancement coach, but is no longer listed on the organization’s website. That doesn’t mean he can’t lace ‘em up again, right?
Here is a replay of one of his greatest blocks in an ASU jersey, just for the fun of it. Yes, we know the quality is not the best, but wow, what a play.
So this is what I think the lineup would look like:
G - Tra Holder
G - Shannon Evans II
G - Kodi Justice
F - Zylan Cheatham
C - Jordan Bachynski
6th man - Jahii Carson
7th man - Jeff Ayers
I feel like this is a solid seven-man rotation as the squad. Who else would you want to see in this hypothetical TBT team? How far do you think they would go?
I guess that’s what NBA 2k is for.