Carmen’s Crew, the 2019 TBT winner returns looking to add another title to their name
2019 was a magical year for Carmen’s Crew. First, they took down Overseas Elite, a team that had won the previous four tournaments and was thought to be unstoppable. Then, they took down the Golden Eagles in the championship to win the first championship by a college team since 2014.
After taking a year off last year, Carmen’s Crew come into this year’s tournament looking better than ever. They’ll only have two members of the championship team on their roster this year, but arguably the two most important. Those would be Jared Sullinger, who is back as head coach, and William Buford, who was named the MVP of the whole tournament that year.
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- Andre Wesson (Ohio State)
- CJ Jackson (Ohio State)
- Jalen Tate (Arkansas)
- Javon Bess (Saint Louis & Michigan State)
- Kaleb Wesson (Ohio State)
- Keyshawn Woods (Charlotte, Wake Forest & Ohio State)
- Kyle Young (Ohio State)
- Malik Dime (Washington)
- Scott Thomas (Bowling Green)
- Trevor Thompson (Virginia Tech & Ohio State)
- William Buford (Ohio State)
- Jared Sullinger (GM, Head Coach)
- James Sullinger (Asst. Coach)
- Leon Rodgers (Asst. Coach)
- Dayton, Ohio
Team MVP: Kaleb Wesson
Many Buckeyes fans remember the success that Kaleb and his brother Andre (also on the team) had at Ohio State. Kaleb was the leader, earning Big Ten second-team honors in 2019-2020 after averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds per game. He hasn’t slowed down much, averaging 16.4 PPG and 7.9 RPG in 2021-2022 for Indios de Mayaguez, a team in the Puerto Rican league. He’s still only 23 years old as well, so he has a long career ahead of him.
Carmen’s Crew will look to Wesson to control the game. If he can dominate down low and give the opponent trouble, that’ll open up opportunities for the rest of his teammates. At around 6’10 and 270 pounds, he’s tough to guard, and he should be a 20-point scorer in their opening game.
Make-or-break Player: Kyle Young
Everyone who watched Kyle Young knows he’s the definition of an X-Factor. He’ll never be the leader in scoring or the guy that the media talks about after the game, but he does all the little things that have made this Buckeye program so successful. He’ll make the right play more times than wrong, make the big shot to cut the opponent’s momentum, and is a plus defender.
If Coach Sullinger gives Young enough minutes, he can be the difference. It obviously depends on game flow; if Carmen’s Crew is down big, he’s probably not the one you want in the game. But, in the Elam Ending when things are tense, he can make the play that can be the difference between keeping their hopes alive and sending them packing.
These teams know a thing or two about winning 😎 pic.twitter.com/mGxJEi5FKQ
— TBT (@thetournament) July 10, 2023
It’s so good to have Carmen’s Crew back in the tournament. It just feels right, and hopefully, they can compile a winning streak. Playing in Dayton, they should have a crowd behind them, as it’s only just over an hour from OSU to Dayton. They’ve got an interesting first-round opponent in Team Overtime. They are very tall, with three players over 6’10, compared to the two that Carmen’s Crew has. With experience behind them, it should be Carmen’s Crew getting the victory.
The bracket doesn’t get any easier after that, as they’ll most likely have to take on Red Scare, last year’s semifinalists, and the hometown team. If that happens, expect a packed arena and a really fun TBT environment.
Some other notable players include Andre Wesson, brother of Kaleb who should provide an impact for the team. As mentioned earlier, Buford is back, and he should be able to still contribute at a high level. He might not be the best player in the tournament again, but he won’t have to be for them to succeed. Trevor Thompson stands at 7’0, which might be enough of a reason for him to get valuable minutes if Team Overtime goes tall.
TBT historians can’t wait for tip-off, and this team should be a team to watch out of Dayton. O-H-I-O!
image via @carmens_crew