It’s prime time for a Colorado return to TBT, as Team Colorado looks to win it all.
The University of Colorado’s athletic department has been rejuvenated by the appointment of Deion Sanders as head football coach, but that shouldn’t overshadow the success of the Buffaloes’ basketball program, which made the NCAA Tournament five times in a nine-year span between 2012-2021. The Buffs’ alumni team in TBT has enjoyed some success as well, having made the finals in 2016. They hold an 8-5 overall record overall.
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- D’Shawn Schwartz (Colorado & George Mason)
- Dallas Walton (Colorado & Wake Forest)
- Dominique Collier (Colorado)
- Evan Battey (Colorado)
- George King (Colorado)
- Jeriah Horne (Colorado)
- Richard Roby (Colorado)
- Shane Gatling (Colorado)
- Shannin Sharpe (Colorado and Cal Poly Pomona)
- Tre’Shaun Fletcher (Colorado)
- Tyler Bey (Colorado)
- Xavier Johnson (Colorado)
- Josh Repine (GM)
- Remi Marder (GM)
- Zach Ruebesam (Head Coach)
- David Pavlakovich (Asst. Coach)
- Dominique Coleman (Asst. Coach)
- Tory Stewart-Miller (Asst. Coach)
- Dayton, Ohio
Team MVP: Tyler Bey
Drafted 36th overall in the 2020 NBA draft, Bey produced a flurry of awards and records in his time at Colorado, being named the 2018-2019 Pac-12 most improved player, getting nominated to the All-Pac-12 first team that season and the second team his junior year, along with being named the 2019-2020 Pac-12 defensive player of the year.
Bey spent three years in Boulder before declaring for the NBA draft. In that time, the lanky guard managed to lead the Pac-12 in defensive rebounds twice, getting to 7th on the Pac-12 career leaderboard in just three seasons. His last season may have been his statistical best, as Bey placed *first* in the conference in defensive win-shares, defensive box plus-minus, defensive rebounds, defensive rebounding percentage, total rebound percentage, and total rebounds per game. That’s not even including high ranks in effective FG% (4th), steals (4th), blocks (6th), box plus-minus (3rd), offensive rating (7th), and defensive rating (also 1st).
Bey is an elite defender and great on the offensive end, too. Currently playing for Ironi Ness, Bey is key to Team Colorado’s success and chances for another deep run.
Make-or-break Player: Evan Battey
A newer Buffalo, Battey played 4 years at Colorado before graduating in 2022. At 6 ‘8”, 262, he’s a physical presence and is more of an interior threat compared to Bey’s ability around the perimeter. Battey, still, is a sneaky good shooter, converting 48.8% of his threes during his senior season on 2.6 attempts per game.
In this year’s TBT, Battey will almost certainly make his presence felt. He’s an excellent offensive rebounder, even if he can tend to get into foul trouble. In the 2019-2020 season, Battey actually ranked first in the Pac-12 in offensive rebounding percentage. Battey will produce second-chance points for Team Colorado, and that could be the difference-maker.
CAN YOU SMELL THE CASH???🤑🏀— Team Colorado (@TeamColoradoTBT) July 24, 2023
Team Colorado goes up against Men of Mackey on Wednesday, July 26th at 3:00PM EDT
Get your tickets: https://t.co/Q6XpzTEnVG#TBTteamwork #1team #1goal #1million #teamcolorado pic.twitter.com/GObvMyLumU
As the 3 seed in the Dayton regional, Team Colorado will play the 6 seed Men of Mackey, the Purdue alumni team in the first round. On paper, this Colorado Buffaloes team is better, and that should show Thursday. Besides Bey and Battey, former NBA Buffalo George King, currently playing in the NBL, makes a big difference. Forward Xavier Johnson, currently playing in Italy, is another difference-maker.
One thing this team does differently than other alumni teams is the percentage of players from Colorado on the roster. Every single player on the roster spent at least one season with the Buffs, which means chemistry should be through the roof, one of the truly underrated aspects of the game of basketball. Besides the aforementioned Buffaloes, Jeriah Horne, currently playing in the G League, and D’Shawn Schwartz, playing overseas in Turkey, should have big impacts, too.
This team is very good, and Buff fans should be proud of the team that’s been put together. If they beat Men of Mackey, and they should, they’ll have to face either the 2-seed Friday Beers or the 7-seed Athletics Miami. Friday Beers would be a tough test, but Team Colorado wouldn’t be a shock to see in the regional final.