It’s almost Friday every day, as Friday Beers (Armored Athlete), formerly just Armored Athlete, brings some fun to TBT.
Friday Beers is reloading this year, bringing over Mitch Creek from Australia and Dee Bost from Boeheim’s Army. Fan favorite Rusty Featherstone, the 5’11” center with a mustache that rivals anyone else at TBT, returns to anchor the bench, while the rest of the team is undeniably stacked.
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- Alex Leder (Gettysburg College)
- Aubrey Dawkins (Michigan & UCF)
- Christian Mekowulu (Tennessee State & Texas A&M)
- Coty Clarke (Arkansas & Lawson CC)
- Dee Bost (Mississippi State)
- Deshawn Freeman (Hutchinson CC & Rutgers)
- Gabe York (Arizona)
- Ian Miller (Florida State)
- Julian Gamble (Miami FL)
- Mitch Creek (Australia)
- Rion Brown (Miami FL)
- Rusty Featherstone (Rollins College)
- AJ Mahar (GM)
- Adam Ross (Head Coach)
- B.J. Dunne (Asst. Coach)
- Brian Litman (Asst. Coach)
- Raphael Chillious (Asst. Coach)
- Vinny Vetrone (Asst. Coach)
- Dayton, Ohio
Team MVP: Mitch Creek
Coming over from down under, Mitch Creek is a star in the NBL, making the NBL first-team in 2023 and the second-team in 2021 and 2022. Playing in the NBA as recently as 2019 for the Timberwolves, Creek is in his prime and one of the best off-season additions for this year’s TBT.
Creek can play either the 2 or the 3 spot in a lineup, and he’s one the best pure scorers in this year’s TBT. Never playing collegiate basketball in the states, Creek has always played professionally, mostly in his home country of Australia. He’s one of the NBL’s best players right now, and at 31 years of age, he’s not stopping anytime soon. Not many TBTers can attest they’ve played in the NBA, and Creek is one of a few.
Make-or-break Player: Aubrey Dawkins
Dawkins, the son of UCF coach Johnny Dawkins, played his collegiate ball at Michigan and UCF. Forever etched into March Madness lore with a tip-in that spun around the rim and out against Zion Williamson and Duke in 2019, Dawkins battled through injuries in college and early in his professional career. When healthy, however, Dawkins is quite the player.
He averaged 7 PPG as a freshman at Michigan, and 15.6 PPG in his only season at UCF. While his tip-in right before the horn didn’t fall against Duke, he still managed 32 points against a team led by Cam Reddish, RJ Barrett, and Zion Williamson. Currently playing in Turkey, Dawkins is a threat to be reckoned with when he’s able to get onto the court. 6 ‘6 ” and physical, Dawkins is a prototypical wing with the ability to guard any position 1-4.
Kicking off against Athletics Miami as the 2 seed in the Dayton regional is a bit ironic, as Friday Beers has 2 former Hurricanes on their roster: Julian Gamble and Rion Brown. With Creek, Dee Bost, Gabe York, and Aubrey Dawkins on the roster, they shouldn’t have much difficulty making it to the second round.
A potential opponent in the second round, however, is either 3-seed Team Colorado or 6-seed Men of Mackey, the Purdue alumni team. Team Colorado is led by former Buffs Xavier Johnson and Tyler Bey and could pose a threat. Men of Mackey aren’t too shabby, either, with Purdue legend Robbie Hummel. Friday Beers, however, with the additions of Bost and Creek, should make it to the third round, and they’ve got a real chance to upset Red Scare, the Dayton alumni team seeded first in the region.
Friday Beers is serious about winning, no doubt, but it’s nice to see a team also have some fun at TBT. Throwing a social media figure like Featherstone into an actual, for-prize money basketball tournament is objectively hilarious, and I wish more teams did this. It’s time to lighten up TBT, and Friday Beers is doing it with a roster that can excel as well.