Philly rivals join forces for this year’s TBT as Big 5 TBT looks to make some noise.
Consisting mostly of players from La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph’s, Temple, and Villanova, Big 5 TBT represents the basketball city of Philadelphia. With a 1-1 record all-time, they’ll look to improve upon last year’s performance.
For more TBT team profiles, click here.
- Ahmad Gilbert (Saint Thomas)
- Anthony Durham II (Rider)
- CJ Aiken (Saint Joseph)
- Clifton Moore (Indiana, La Salle & Providence)
- Devon Goodman (Pennsylvania)
- Markus Kennedy (Villanova & SMU)
- Matt Lopez (La Salle, Utah State, & Rider)
- Maurice Watson (Boston & Creighton)
- Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (Temple)
- Ramon Galloway Sr. (South Carolina & La Salle)
- Sage Tolbert (San Jose State)
- Tyree Corbett (Alcorn State, Coppin State, & University of Denver)
- Khalif Wyatt (Head Coach)
- Brandon Holloman (Asst. Coach)
- Rob Holloman (GM)
Team MVP: Maurice Watson
Not a member of the Big 5 in college, Watson played his collegiate ball at Boston and Creighton, where he averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.7 APG over 119 career games. While his college career ended with a torn ACL, he’s found success overseas, recently playing in Belgium and Romania.
While not the tallest guard, (Watson is listed at just 5’10”) he is an excellent distributor, and he led the country in APG in 2016-2017 with 8.5. Before his senior season was cut short with the aforementioned knee injury, Watson averaged 46.9% from behind the arc in 19 games, showcasing his ability to shoot beyond the arc as well. Big 5 should be ok with the point guard spot as long as Watson is in it.
Make-or-break Player: C.J. Aiken
Aiken may be one of the oldest players on the roster at 32, but he’s still one of Big 5’s best interior threats. Spending his entire college career at St. Joseph’s, Aiken averaged 3.5 BPG in his freshman and sophomore seasons before declaring for the NBA draft after his junior year.
His game might be the opposite of Watson’s, as Aiken comes in at 6’9”. He’s a paint presence and isn’t much of a threat closer to the perimeter. However, Big 5 needs his defense inside, especially if they go up against teams with a dominating power forward or center. Aiken is key to this team’s success.
See y’all July 24th! pic.twitter.com/kpEen9AdkL— Big5TBT (@Big5Tbt) June 21, 2023
Big 5 is low on former Wildcats this year, and I would like to see Kris Jenkins or Omari Spellman make an appearance for this team in due time. However, the team still has plenty of talent for this year’s TBT, as Watson is only the tip of the iceberg. Clifton Moore, most recently with Providence, was a solid defensive force at La Salle, and Ramon Galloway is a shifty guard that can help propel the offense.
Also on the team is longtime BSN (Puerto Rico) mainstay Matt Lopez, standing at 7’ tall. He should help man the frontcourt with Aiken. Brother of Rondae, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson also is on this year’s Big 5 squad.
The team kicks off against 1 seed in the Syracuse region, Blue Collar U, the Buffalo alumni team, and last year’s champions. It will likely be a very difficult matchup for Big 5 TBT, but anything is possible. An upset win would mean stopping CJ Massinburg, Nick Perkins, and a huge offensive performance from Big 5. I don’t see it happening, but the best of luck goes out to the Big 5 TBT team.