In its second year, Bleed Green is set on winning the Lubbock Regional.
Bleed Green, the North Texas alumni team took the quarterfinalist, AfterShocks, to the wire last year, losing on a last-second shot in the Elam Ending. In its first year, the team went 2-1, a pretty impressive debut and one they look to build off of. Bleed Green is bringing back Shannon Shorter, Thomas Bell, Brandon Jefferson, Ron Jackson Jr., and Jordan Stevens.
Having this experience, Bleed Green has a definite advantage as the only team in its region with a winning record. This team has a fight that is not seen often in the pros and limited their opponents’ shots by grabbing rebounds and forcing turnovers. In the Lubbock Regional, there are four first-time teams, so that extra year of experience will definitely come into play.
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- Brandon Jefferson (MSU Denver)
- Brett Reed (Chaminade & Saint Martins)
- James Reese V (North Texas/South Carolina)
- Jordan Stevens (Duquesne/Midwestern State)
- Ron Jackson Jr. (North Carolina A&T)
- Jordan Williams (North Texas) – no longer with team
- Jorden Duffy (North Texas) – OUT
- Kai Huntsberry (North Texas)
- Shannon Shorter (North Texas)
- Thomas Bell (North Texas)
- Zach Simmons (North Texas)
- Andre Shaw (Head Coach)
- Alex Cerda (Assistant Coach)
- Chris Blakely (Assistant Coach)
- David Anderson (General Manager)
- DJ Draper (General Manager)
- J.J. Murray (General Manager)
- Lubbock, Texas
Team MVP: Brandon Jefferson
Last year, Brandon Jefferson was an offensive Juggernaut for Bleed Green. He averaged 19.3 points and handed out 2.67 assists last year. He scored double-digits in every game and was unstoppable. When Jefferson slowed down, he could find a teammate to score. The offense was spurred by defense and rebounding, and his will to win excited his teammates. If North Texas wants to continue its winning ways, they’ll have to continue playing through Jefferson.
Make-or-break Player: Jordan Stevens
This two-way player impressed as a compliment to Brandon Jefferson. Stevens could do damage and force the issue on both ends of the floor. He could read players so well defensively last year as he came up with a couple of big steals. When defense turns into offense, Stevens often led the way for Bleed Green. He had a positive double-digit plus-minus. Stevens had found his stride and his best game against the AfterShocks. He scored 25 points, five rebounds, a block, and three steals.
Stevens will need to remain a leader and hope this culture remains as it is intense and engulfing for the players and the crowd.
Raid / (rād) / noun
: a sudden invasion on one’s home base
Year 2 starts in West Texas🏜️ pic.twitter.com/sQ6S12ZUn0
— Bleed Green (@BleedGreenTBT) May 17, 2023
Bleed Green will come in with a nice edge in the Lubbock Regional. With four-first time teams that include In The Lab, Rise and Grind, Austin’s Own, and Purple Hearts, Bleed Green faces off in the first round against one of these teams in Rise and Grind. Outside of those first-time teams, the Air Raiders (Texas Tech Alumni) and HBCUnited are both newer teams. The Air Raiders is 1-1, and HBCUnited is 2-2. so the only winning record belongs to Bleed Green. With the uncertainty of being a sure thing in The Basketball Tournament, Bleed Green has a solid road to winning its region.
This team has proven to be a close one and gained significant experience in its first year in the hostile environment of Charles Koch Arena. Bleed Green was a fan favorite until it faced off against the hometown AfterShocks, and now being in Lubbock they should be again unless they play the Air Raiders.
This team brought back six players. The three new players include extremely recent alum in Kai Huntsberry, who put up 21 points this year in the NIT championship game as a point guard. Huntsberry could be a piece that pushes this team further. Jorden Duffy is a point guard who has been playing overseas for Lithuania after graduating in 2021 from North Texas.
Status Report Thread for Lubbock Regional
Bleed Green vs. Rise & Grind
OUT: Jorden Duffy
Jordan Williams is no longer with the team. All other players active.
Rise & Grind
Active: All Players Active
— TBT (@thetournament) July 18, 2023
Finally, Brett Reed is a forward that has been playing professionally in Germany. Reed has been a small forward and has an impressive ability to score around the basket.
With these players, Bleed Green is set for a fantastic run and can play any style of play with various players and player types.