Top players to look out for in TBT’s Wichita Regional

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Top players to look out for in TBT’s Wichita Regional

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is defended by Creighton's Doug McDermott.

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is defended by Creighton's Doug McDermott.

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is defended by Creighton's Doug McDermott.

Wichita State's Cleanthony Early is defended by Creighton's Doug McDermott.

The Basketball Tournament tips off on July 25 in Wichita, and is bringing an array of talent back into the spotlight. The teams, which feature alumni basketball teams and those who play for charity, are made up of non-contracted NBA players, some even former players in the world’s top league.

The Wichita Regional consists of top-tier alumni teams and will feature former college and NBA stars. With the regional games close to tip off, here is the player for each team to keep an eye on in Wichita:

No. 1 Golden Eagles: Dwight Buycks

Dwight Buycks played three years in the NBA, most recently with the Detroit Pistons in 2018. Now playing in China, Buycks can create his own shot off of the dribble and can straight up score at will. This is his first appearance in TBT, but his presence will be felt immediately in the Golden Eagles effort to get back to the Super 16.

No. 2 Aftershocks: Cleanthony Early

Cleanthony Early rose to stardom during Wichita State’s 2013 Final Four run, where he was named to the All-Final Four team after recording 24 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal loss to Louisville. Early, who can shoot from deep and get to the hole, is a two-way player to be reckoned with. Standing at 6’8″, Early’s efforts should help the Aftershocks make an impact in its first appearance in the tournament.

No. 3 Self Made: Darrell Arthur

Darrell Arthur, an NBA veteran of 10 years, is ready to make an impact for the KU alumni in its first appearance in the tournament. Arthur, who stands at 6’9″, is a two-way threat that can bully himself to the hole for easy buckets and stretch the opposing team out on defense. During his NBA tenure, Arthur averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 44% from the floor. His natural leadership will be felt the moment Self Made tips off in Wichita.

No. 4 Team Colorado: Marcus Hall

Marcus Hall is already a TBT veteran, averaging 28.3 points per game while leading Team Colorado to the Super 16 in 2017. Hall is now a member of the Lebanese Basketball League. A 6’1″ guard, Hall averaged 14 points per game during his senior year at Colorado and has a natural talent for scoring the basketball from wherever on the floor.

No. 5 Purple and Black: Marcus Foster

Marcus Foster spent two seasons at Kansas State before transferring to Creighton to finish out his college career. As a sophomore with the Wildcats, Foster was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team. In both years for Creighton, he was selected to the All-Big East First Team. Foster is a pure scorer who can create his shot from anywhere and make flashy passes as well. In college, he surpassed the 2,000-point mark.

No. 6 Sideline Cancer: Marcus Keene

Marcus Keene may have only played one season for the Chippewas, but his scoring ability is uncanny. In college, Keene became the first Division I player in 20 years to average 30 points per game. With a hot hand like his, Keene is a name flying under the radar in the Wichita Regional who can lead his team to a first round upset.

No. 7 Iowa United: Peter Jok and Megan Gustafson

Peter Jok is yet another top-notch scorer in the highly talented Wichita Regional. Jok spent four years with the Iowa Hawkeyes before spending last season in the NBA G-League with the Northern Arizona Suns. As a senior at Iowa, he averaged nearly 20 points per contest. At 6’6″, Jok has natural size that can prove to be an issue for smaller guards in the tournament.

Megan Gustafson will become the first women to step foot onto the floor in a TBT game this summer. Gustafson was the National Women’s Player of the Year in 2019 and Big Ten Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019. In college, she averaged 27.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

No. 8 Ft. Hood Wounded Warriors: Rashard Odomes

Rashard Odomes graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2019 and started in 15 of the team’s 34 games as a senior. On a team with not the most talent, Odomes will likely carry the scoring load for the Wounded Warriors. In his final season for the Sooners, he averaged 6.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, helping lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament, even without Trae Young.