Basketball

Team Arkansas Loading Up for TBT 2022

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Image for Team Arkansas Loading Up for TBT 2022

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is a winner-take-all, $1,000,000 prize tournament that has been creeping onto the basketball scene since 2014. It has hosted over 400 games and essentially introduced the NBA to a potential game-changing rule called the Elam Ending.

This ending sets a target score based on the winning team’s given score after a current amount of game time, then forces the teams to hit the target score rather than dribbling out the clock while maintaining a lead. This leads to crazier comebacks, a faster-paced ending, and a generally better overall product more often than not. The NBA All-Star game has adopted this concept in 2020 and has used it ever since.

Now, Team Arkansas – a team made up mostly of Razorback Alumni – is set to take the court in TBT 2022, their fourth appearance in the growing summer tournament. This season projects to be Team Arkansas’ best roster to date, headlined by a Razorback legend making a name for himself on the global stage.

Sonny Weems

Weems is a familiar name for Razorback fans, averaging 13.3 points per game during his two seasons with the Hogs from 2006-2008. Since then, the 6’7 wing has seen stints in the NBA, EuroLeague, and most recently the Chinese Basketball Association where he remains a member of the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

He won three consecutive titles with the Tigers from 2019-2021 and was named Finals MVP in 2020 after averaging 34.7 points per game in a 2-1 series victory. Weems is now set to make his first appearance in TBT after being involved with Team Arkansas as a GM during the last tournament run.

Jaylen Barford

Another, more recent, familiar name for Hog fans, Barford averaged over 15 points per game during his two seasons with Arkansas, including 17.9 PPG as a senior, earning himself All-SEC First Team honors. Barford will be making his fourth appearance at TBT – his second with Team Arkansas – and is already known as one of the most explosive scorers in TBT history.

He averaged 24 PPG during his final run with Jackson TN UnderDawgs and earned All-TBT honors before leading Team Arkansas with 18.5 PPG in 2021. Barford provides not only explosive scoring but also a level of experience and leadership to a revamped Team Arkansas.

Dusty Hannahs

Hannahs is yet another Hog with both NBA and TBT experience. After his first stint with Team Arkansas in 2018, Hannahs inked a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies and appeared in his first NBA game in March of 2019. Most recently he took the court with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL), perhaps the most competitive league outside of the NBA.

Hannahs, as Arkansas fans know too well, provides Team Arkansas with a knock-down perimeter shooter who is also more than capable of finishing tough floaters in the paint. His scoring and floor-spacing will be vital for Team Arkansas as they attempt to make their deepest tournament run to date.

Jimmy Whitt

Making his TBT debut in 2022, Jimmy Whitt joins what projects to be a loaded backcourt for Team Arkansas. After spending his freshmen season with the Hogs in 2015-16, Whitt returned home to be a part of the first Eric Musselman-led Razorback team, laying the foundation for what turned into back-to-back Elite Eight appearances for the Hogs.

Whitt most recently played for the Canton Charge – Cleveland’s NBA G-League affiliate – where he averaged 4.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 80% from the charity stripe. He adds a lock-down defensive presence and another capable ball handler to the Team Arkansas backcourt, along with an unconventional mid-range jump-shot that Razorback fans have grown to know and love.

Trey Wade

Despite only scoring 3.6 points per game during his lone season with the Hogs, Wade quickly became a fan favorite once he become part of the defensive-minded starting lineup that essentially saved the Razorbacks’ season. After announcing his intent to pursue a career as an NFL Tight End earlier this year, Wade is now ready to make his TBT debut with Team Arkansas.

At roughly 6’6 and 220 lbs, Wade is a defensive force to be reckoned with. Throw in his 39.4% 3-point shooting with the Razorbacks last year and he holds the potential to play a pivotal role for Team Arkansas frontcourt in TBT 2022.

Courtney Fortson

Fortson averaged 16 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.4 rebounds during his two seasons with the Hogs from 2008-2010. Since then, he has played stints in the NBA (Rockets and Clippers), NBA G-League, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and China. While playing in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in 2019-20, Fortson recorded averages of 27.4 points, 7.3 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Now, the 34-year-old point guard is ready to make his TBT debut with Team Arkansas in TBT 2022. He provides a level of experience and ball handling that could prove to be vital for Team Arkansas’ backcourt. He’s likely their best “true point guard” on the roster currently, and projects to play a big role in the revamped squad.

CJ Jones

Jones, a 6’5 sharpshooter, spent two seasons with the Razorbacks from 2016-2018 before transferring to Middle Tennessee. During his time with the Hogs, Jones shot 39.9% from the field, including hitting 12 of 24 attempts across 21 games as a freshman in 2016-17. Jones also led Middle Tennessee in scoring during his final collegiate season, averaging 16.2 points per game on 40% 3-point shooting.

Most recently, the former Razorback played for Zeeuw and Zeeuw Feyenoord in Holland during the 2021-22 campaign. He now gears up to make his second consecutive appearance with Team Arkansas after hitting a game-winning three in the first round of last year’s tournament against Fort Wayne Funk. His elite shooting touch will be key for Team Arkansas in TBT 2022.

Hunter Mickelson

The 6’10 Jonesboro, AR product spent two seasons with the Hogs from 2011-2013 before transferring to Kansas to finish his collegiate career. Mickelson set the Arkansas freshmen block record with 2.2 blocks per game during 2011-12 (this record has since been broken by Daniel Gafford in 2017-18).

Mickelson is set to make his second appearance with Team Arkansas after recent playing stints overseas in Latvia, Poland, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic. A known rim protector, Mickelson provides a presence in the paint that this roster desperately needs. He likely won’t be asked to be a primary scorer with the three-headed monster in Team Arkansas’ backcourt, but his size, defense, and finished ability will serve this Arkansas Alumni squad well.

Spencer Reaves

Spencer Reaves, a 6’3 guard and brother of current Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves, is the first roster member on this list that did not spend any amount of time playing for the Razorbacks. Instead, he spent three years playing at the University of Central Missouri where he averaged 15.4 points per game. Reaves is still playing basketball overseas in Germany after a stint in Spain. He currently plays for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen where he averaged 14.1 PPG and 3.4 APG in the 2021-22 campaign.

Kahron Ross

Ross was a four-year starter at Lehigh from 2014-2018, averaging double-digit points in three out of four seasons (9.8 PPG as a junior). The 5’11 point guard then took his talents overseas and has played for teams in Austria, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Most recently, Ross averaged 13 points and 6.5 assists per game for BC Nokia of Finland in the 2021-22 season.

Jakob Lowrance

Joining Team Arkansas for TBT 2022, Lowrance played four years at Central Missouri, appearing in over 100 games during his collegiate career. The 6’8 center has three years of professional experience under his belt, including averaging 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for ABC Athletic Constanta in Romania during the 2021-22 season.

Monty Patel

Team Arkansas will be coached by Monty Patel for the second consecutive tournament. Once a mentor for current Razorback Davonte Davis, Patel is currently the head coach at eStem Public Charter High School. He also serves as the head coach for Hooplife 16U in the AAU circuit.

Team Arkansas Set to Tackle TBT 2022

This team is loaded with talented guards and explosive scorers. The presence of complimentary big men such as Mickelson and Wade alongside what projects to be a backcourt loaded with offensive firepower and capable defenders will make this year’s Team Arkansas a force to be reckoned with in TBT 2022.

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