Purple & Black is back in TBT and in Wichita, and wants to leave with a winning record and 1 million dollars.
Purple & Black, the Kansas State Alumni team, is back again with a solid first-round matchup. This team will face off against the DaGuys STL in their second year. The hometown crowd will be there to support the K-State alumni team with the short drive from Manhattan to Wichita.
The excellent news for Purple & Black is the experience they bring back, including the impressive firepower in Wichita last year. Last year, they had a surprising loss to Bleed Green as every player outside of Pullen, McGuirl, and Gipson struggled to put points on the board.
With most of the Purple & Black TBT team returning, a couple of changes could benefit them. This team only lost Michael Beasley and Terrence Joyner. Luckily, Purple & Black were able to reload with some familiar names and impressive talent. Purple & Black are looking to make a run in Wichita with all of these players returning.
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- DJ Johnson (Kansas State)
- Henry Walker (Kansas State)
- Jacob Pullen (Kansas State)
- Justin Edwards (Maine & Kansas State)
- Kamau Stokes (Kansas State)
- Khalid Thomas (Portland State)
- Lamont “Momo” Jones (Arizona & Iona)
- Marcus Foster (Kansas State & Creighton)
- Marquis Addison (Missouri Southern State University)
- Martavious Irving (Kansas State)
- Mike McGuirl (Kansas State)
- Thomas Gipson III (Kansas State)
- Desi Sills (Kansas State & Arkansas State)
- Abayomi Iyiola (Kansas State)
- Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (General Manager, Head Coach)
- Clent Stewart (Assistant Coach)
- Curtis Kelly (Assistant Coach)
- Ryan Deppen (Assistant Coach)
- Steven Mitchell (Assistant Coach)
- Wichita, Kansas
Team MVP: Jacob Pullen
Jacob Pullen was a massive draw to the Wichita Regional last year and showed out for Purple & Black. He truly backpacked his team in the first game and included one of the most memorable Elam Enders in 2023.
It can’t be… THAT’S JACOB PULLEN’S MUSIC!
— TBT (@thetournament) March 6, 2023
He has not missed a step and has even more offensive weapons on his team. Also, Martavious Irving returning from the 2017 TBT team, where he played exceptionally well. The issue that could pop up is his physical ability. Since then, Irving has been relatively quiet in the basketball world. Pullen continues to grind and will be challenging to shine brighter, but for Purple & Black, he may get even better looks this year.
Make-or-break Player: Kamau Stokes
Stokes is in his first year with the Purple & Black but has played with Mike McGuirl, and that connection is strong. He went undrafted but has been playing professionally overseas and in the G League. Stokes is a shot-creator for himself and his teammates. If he is coming off the bench, which is unlikely, he would likely be in to replace Justin Edwards as he sees the floor. Adding firepower is essential. In the loss to Bleed Green, Edwards went 0-for-4 from the field, and having Stokes may have led to some additional points.
Stokes also has a nose for the ball, and having other opportunities for points would be a considerable boost. Kamau Stokes will need to pick up this different style of basketball, but it could be the piece that Purple & Black needs to move forward.
Purple & Black (@KStateMBB Alumni) will head into TBT 2023 with their highest seed ever (#2) and their most STACKED roster yet!
— TBT (@thetournament) June 21, 2023
Purple & Black has a nice bracket until it reaches the third round. This team starts with DaGuys STL, who only played one game last year. There is more talent on the Purple & Black team. After that, this team will face off between Team Arkansas and Ram Up. Team Arkansas has the experience as the team is 4-and-4 in The Basketball Tournament. Ram Up is in its second year and lost in its first game in 2022. Purple & Black has the talent and experience advantage in all these matchups. The youth of these other teams may be beneficial, but the lack of experience will give these teams issues.
The issue comes in the third round, where Purple & Black could meet up with the AfterShocks, Beale Street Boys, or Broad Street Birds. The experience and cohesiveness will be an issue for Purple & Black and the hometown crowd. If this team gets either Beale Street Boys or Broad Street Birds, Purple & Black TBT will have a battle against that talent.
This Purple & Black TBT team has all the right pieces and has seemed to reload with the people. There is talent and experience there. This team will be difficult to beat if these pieces come in and provide consistent output. The Wichita Regional is exciting as the championship could easily be against two Kansas Alumni Teams. Which one will come out on top? Only time will tell.