Folks, it is time to start caring about Bleed Green, the Basketball Tournament entrant with a large number of North Texas Alumni.
The tournament has already begun, but Bleed Green plays in the Wichita region beginning Friday at 1pm central time.
If you haven’t heard much about it, that is fine. The Basketball Tournament was conceived about a decade ago, and made a rough appearance before linking with ESPN to fill our summer hoops cups. I remember encountering the second or third edition, and being wowed by the prospect that anyone could enter1
There have been some alumni groupings since about year four (I’m half remembering here and mostly it isn’t important, so forgive me) and the Syracuse team won last year. Former NT hoopers DJ Draper and JJ Murray got together and did the heavy lifting (finding players, getting support, finding money etc) and have put together a basketball team.
They discuss it on the inaugural GMG Cast by Hank Dickensen and Zack Babb. In that episode you get a good sense of the work involved, and the real love these dudes have for NT Hoops. It is great to see but also the ad-hoc nature of it means you get some confusing things like the roster page having no mention of Tony Mitchell, and yet the video page having him on it.
Apparently there are rules for calling yourself an “alumni” team, and that means having at least 6/7 former players. It is a testament to the quality of the NT program over the past decade that there are pros and good recent alumni on his roster.
Ron Jackson Jr
Everyone that you do not know is someone from the Dallas area and/or known to the managers. Hank Dickensen called it a “recruiting boost” and yes, I think it is an obvious one. Beyond that, it is a great way to build up a Program. Look at this:
There is a long history of top-level college programs trying to get former players or local pros in for practice, but it is a great thing to get alumni to come in and do the same. A connection is built, maintained, and strengthened. Kudos to Draper, and Murray for doing the heavy lifting and making a little special moment even for a month or so.
Bleed Green will take on Eberlein Drive, a long-time team that has a good squad of hoopers. A good portion of the early rounds is in finding some chemistry and basically surviving. It is a single-elimination tournament so bad luck and circumstance are big parts of the nature of this thing.
The best thing to come from the Tournament was the embracing of the weird. The Elam Ending came from a Ball State professor who did some math to figure out a target score and about when teams should switch from traditional time-based hoops to target-score based hoops. The goal was to eliminate garbage time, and excessive fouling.
- Elam Ending Rules – At the first stoppage at or under 4:00 of the 4th quarter, the game clock stops and timed play ends. At this juncture, a target score shall be set, equal to the leading team’s score plus eight (8). After returning from the media timeout, play shall resume without a game clock but with the shot clock, until one team matches or exceeds the target score. During the untimed portion (the Elam Ending), any foul on the floor (i.e. any non-offensive, non-shooting foul) while in the bonus shall result in one free throw and the fouled team’s continued possession of the ball.
- Example: Team A leads Team B 70-63 at the first stoppage under 4:00. The game clock is turned off while the shot clock remains on. The target score is set to 78. The first team that reaches 78 wins the game.
Bleed Green is the seventh seed and faces a stacked group of talented hoopers and TBT experienced squads. I know next to nothing about the non-NT guys, but they’ve been practicing and there are dudes on the team that have won big college games — championships — here. It starts Friday.
There are rules, but it has been the case that some random ass teams with a good buzz around them joined the tournament only to get destroyed in the first round↩