History Of Teams With Locals In The Basketball Tournament
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Three teams with ties to the state of Utah are in 2019’s edition of The Basketball Tournament. A winner-take-all basketball tournament that gives the winning team $2 million.
The pairings for The Basketball Tournament were announced earlier today. Here’s a quick rundown of each team’s history and their rosters heading into 2019.
Years in TBT: Four
2019 will make the fourth appearance for Team Utah in The Basketball Tournament. Team Utah was founded with the premise of having a squad from Division One programs across the state, but the majority of the roster was from the University of Utah. Former Runnin’ Utes Shaun Green and Tim Drisdom have been mainstays. They advanced to the West Regional Final in 2016 and defeated Team Fredette in 2017. Last year, Team Utah was ousted in the first round by the Gonzaga squad, A Few Good Men.
This year’s roster features Green, Drisdom, Justin Hawkins, former Jazzman and Utah Valley star Ronnie Price along with another UVU great, A.K. Manyang. Manyang is a 7-foot center who originally played for Lon Kruger and the Oklahoma Sooners in his collegiate career.
Years in TBT: Three
Team Fredette garnered a lot of headlines last year in TBT due to the play of former BYU legend Jimmer Fredette. This year, however, Jimmer will not be playing in TBT because he is still on contract with the Phoenix Suns at the moment. Fredette will serve as an assistant coach alongside former BYU head coach Dave Rose who will be the team’s new head man.
Last year, Team Fredette went to the Final Four of TBT before falling to runner-up Eberlein Drive. Along with Jimmer, Team Fredette also loses Brandon Davies who recently signed a lucrative contract with Real Madrid.
Two years ago was Team Fredette’s first appearance in TBT and that year they lost in round one to Team Utah with Jimmer serving as an assistant coach for that squad as well.
Team Fredette adds BYU’s all-time leading scorer Tyler Haws to this year’s roster to pair him up in the backcourt with Team Fredette mainstay Jordon Crawford. Team Fredette also returns sharpshooter Jeff Ledbetter from the University of Idaho.
Years in TBT: Two
After a two-year hiatus, the Utah Stallions are back in The Basketball Tournament. The Stallions lone appearance in 2016 was brief when they faced Team Utah in the West Regional. The Stallions, which are primarily comprised of former Utah State players lost in their one appearance.
This year’s Stallions roster features former Aggies Sean Harris and Spencer Butterfield along with former Runnin’ Utes Tyler Rawson and Parker Van Dyke who just played last season for Larry Krystkowiak’s program.
Local teams not in 2019 field: Utah Valor. Made up of Weber State players, is not in the field of 64 released by The Basketball Tournament. Utah Valor had a previous appearance last year. Valor lost in a play-in game.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.