Ram Up, the Colorado State Alumni Team returns to TBT for a shot at a winning record.
In its second year, Ram Up returns after suffering a loss to the LA Cheaters last year. After losing in New Mexico last year, Ram Up is hoping that the change of scenery in Wichita will play to their advantage. Ram Up is made up of mostly Colorado State alumni. The trip from Fort Collins is slightly longer this year as the team travels an additional 30 minutes to reach the ICT. This team will face off against Team Arkansas in the first-round matchup and has added a couple of players that they hope will boost them into the win column.
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- Alex Holcombe (Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Panola College, Youngstown State, & Dallas Baptist)
- Andy Ogide (Mississippi & Colorado State)
- Chandler Jacobs (Dallas Baptist & Colorado State)
- Dachon Burke Jr. (Nebraska)
- Emmanuel Omogbo (Colorado State)
- Greg Smith (Colorado State)
- Ibrahim Sylla (Northern Colorado & North Carolina A&T)
- Jeremiah Paige (Colorado State)
- John Dawson (Liberty)
- Kris Martin (Oral Roberts & Colorado State)
- Nico Carvacho (Colorado State)
- Prentiss Nixon (Colorado State & Iowa State)
- Colton Iverson (Colorado State)
- Derrick Stevens (GM, Head Coach)
- Ben Morgan (Asst. Coach)
- Delmar Johnson (Ass.t Coach)
- Jason Smith (Asst. Coach)
- Wichita, Kansas
Team MVP: Alex Holcombe
The shot blocker, Alex Holcombe, played in Montenegro-Prva B this year and averaged 3.0 blocks in the league. His ability to affect shots and his bounce will be scary to driving players or those hoping for an easy turnaround. Holcombe will limit opportunities as he is in the right place defensively for rebounds. While he will be an issue for teams defensively, he will also add some big minutes offensively.
Holcombe does not show an outside game but shoots 73.0% from the field. He averaged 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. Holcombe averaged 3.0 offensive rebounds, which added opportunity for his team and benefited Ram Up. Around the Elam Ending, extending possessions can be the difference between a win and loss, so having a guy like Holcombe could be the difference maker.
The ability to match up with and against Andy Ogide will be massive. Having two players that could be towers down low will make whoever they’re playing the tournament night into a nightmare. These two players could play off or replace each other to keep them fresh for more demanding games.
Make-or-break Player: Dachon Burke
The facilitator, Dachone Burke, will be the one to distribute and create shots. Burke played in Israel and Kosovo the past year. Burke averaged 20.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.4 steals in Israel. Meanwhile, in Kosovo, he averaged 25.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 3.1 steals. Burke creates second chances with steals and rebounds. His ability to see the floor and find open shots is valuable for Ram Up. Burke has a bag of tricks that he uses to score, and that bag of tricks needs to come out if Ram Up wants to make a run in the tournament.
CCP alum Dachon Burke 25.5ppg pic.twitter.com/A4AegqnsFp
— Coach Ian (@CovenantPrep) June 26, 2023
It’s go time!
RamUp will be taking on @TeamArkansasTBT July 20th @ 1pm CST on Espn+! We need all of Ram nation to tune in and show support!
— Ram Up (CSU Alumni) (@RamUpTBT) June 21, 2023
This team has a lot of height and can use it to benefit. The guards are all over 6 feet and include a 7-footer. Ram Up is not built like most teams in The Basketball Tournament. TBT is usually run by guards and players known for shooting 3-pointers. This team has focused on making it like a more traditional basketball team. Head Coach Derrick Stevens brought in Nico Carvacho (6-foot-11), Colt Iverson (7-foot-0), and Greg Smith (6-foot-6). Carvacho played in Chile, where he averaged 13.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his three games. Iverson, drafted in the second round of the NBA draft in 2013, took a year off after playing in Japan. Iverson averaged 8.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 blocks.
Ram Up has some solid guards that have been actively playing overseas. Besides the ones mentioned already, Kris Martin, Jeremiah Paige, and Prentiss Nixon are all averaging double-digit scoring overseas. Martin boasts an impressive average of 15.5 points on 41.1% 3-point shooting, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals in the Czech Republic. Paige averaged 14.9 points, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals. Finally, Nixon averaged 11.3 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.0 steals in Kosovo.
Ram Up returns one of the best performances from the first weekend last year in Emmanuel Omogbo. These tower players who can do it all could push this team past Team Arkansas. The issue comes in the second round, where this team could face Purple & Black, which has a slight edge in the Wichita Regional thanks to the Kansas crowd. Its best hope is to go against a less experienced DaGuys STL. This team would need to use its size and force the team into challenged shots. Getting out of this bracket in the Wichita Regional is a tough road, but one Ram Up knows they can accomplish.