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The Basketball Tournament 2018: #3 Golden Eagles vs #14 Johnnies Preview

We preview the Marquette/St. John’s alumni game & give you a viewing guide for the other TBT games on Saturday.

St John’s v Xavier Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

The Basketball Tournament 2018

#3 Golden Eagles vs #14 Johnnies

Date: Saturday, June 30, 2018
Time: 4pm Central
Location: Al McGuire Center, Milwaukee, WI
Streaming: ESPN3/WatchESPN

Yet once again, it’s time for your favorite team of Marquette Golden Eagles alumni to step forward and take a crack at winning six straight games to swipe the $2 million winner-take-all prize that lays at the end of the rainbow that is The Basketball Tournament.

This year is a little different than years past, as Marquette will be hosting Golden Eagles at the McGuire Center on campus. TBT has partnered with the Big East for a four-team pod of the tournament exclusively featuring squads with Big East alumni. That sets up the MU guys against Johnnies, a team of St. John’s alumni. The winner of that game on Saturday will advance to Sunday’s game against either Jack Attack, the Georgetown alumni, or Hall In, the Seton Hall alums.

One catch, though. For the first time since Marquette started putting together a team for TBT, the squad won’t exclusively be MU alumni. Let’s rundown the roster as coached by Joe Chapman and we’ll go from there.

Maurice Acker
Willie Atwood
Lawrence “Trend” Blackledge
Cinmeon Bowers
Elgin Cook
Travis Diener
Jerel McNeal
Brett Prahl
Jake Thomas
Jamil Wilson
Derrick Wilson

Since the rosters were (allegedly) locked on June 1st, the team of Marquette alumni has lost Darius Johnson-Odom and added Cinmeon Bowers, Elgin Cook, and Brett Prahl. In theory, according to TBT’s rules, adding those guys has cost the team $3,000 already. Sure.

Bowers is a Wisconsin guy, listing Racine as his birthplace and attending Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. After attending Chipola College for two years, Bowers transferred to Auburn Tigers for his final two years of college hoops. From 2014 through 2016, the 6’7”, 278 pound Bowers averaged 11.4 points and 9.6 rebounds while starting in 54 of his 64 appearances. Prahl hails from East Troy, Wisconsin, and played for Milwaukee Panthers for four years. He went from a little used reserve his first two years to starting in 64 games over the past two seasons. As a senior in 2017-18, the 6’9”, 225 pound Prahl averaged 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

Elgin Cook is the third and final new name to the team, only recently joining the squad to replace DJO, and yes, he’s a Milwaukee guy, having attending Hamilton High School. After a year at Northwest Florida State College, the 6’6”, 206 pound Cook transferred to Oregon Ducks, where he became a notable contributor for Dana Altman. He appeared in 108 games, and started all 74 contests in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He averaged in double digits in scoring in both of those campaigns, including going for 14.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals as a senior as the Ducks made their way to the Elite Eight.

It’s probably very important to point out that those three guys may play a big role for Golden Eagles. According to John Steppe of the Marquette Wire, Acker, Diener, and McNeal were all not in attendance at the practice day at the McGuire Center on Thursday. DJO was also not in attendance, of course, but it wasn’t until after his absence was noted that Steppe uncovered that DJO was officially unavailable. We’ll see how it goes.

Let’s turn our attention to the Johnnies roster, shall we?

Bashir Ahmed
Kelvin Amayo
Felix Balamou
Malik Boothe
Jamal Branch
D’Von Campbell
Christian Jones
Anthony Mason, Jr.
Jordan Tolbert

There’s a lot of familiar names on that list, but it’s mostly guys who were role players on their various St. John’s teams, or in the cases of Amayo, Campbell, and Tolbert, the D1 teams where they played. Anthony Mason averaged 10.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in his 99 games in a St. John’s uni, but he wrapped up his career in 2010. Bashir Ahmed seems like the most likely candidate to be a major player on this roster, as he just finished up at St. John’s this past season, averaging 12.4 points, and 5.1 rebounds in his two seasons under Chris Mullin.

If you’re planning on making it down to the Al for the Golden Eagles game, I highly recommend that you get there early. That will be the second game of the afternoon, and the rosters for the Georgetown/Seton Hall game that starts at 2pm Central indicate that it might be a pretty great game.

Here’s the notable names on the Jack Attack roster:

Austin Freeman
Bradley Hayes
Rodney Pryor
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

If Pryor and DSR are going to be in Milwaukee, that’s a 1-2 scoring punch that I don’t think that any of the other three teams can match at this point.

Over on the Hall In sideline, these are the guys to watch:

Khadeen Carrington
Fuquan Edwin
Jeremy Hazell

Now, I have to immediately point out that Carrington will be joining the Pistons for NBA Summer League, so it’s up in the air as to whether or not he’ll be in Milwaukee. If you rummage around on Basketball Reference, you’ll see that Hall In has more than a few guys who knew how to score in college, so even if they’re without Carrington, the former Pirates should have enough pop to contend with Jack Attack.

If you can’t make it to Milwaukee for the games, everything will be streamed on ESPN3. In addition to the two Big East pod games, there’s also the finale of the Spokane Hoopfest pod. That game will feature the winners of Friday night’s games, which you can read about in our Viewing Guide right here. Thanks to the mid-afternoon start at the Al on Saturday, this article had to be written long before tip-off on Friday night, so for now, we don’t know who will be in that game.

UPDATE (7:00am Saturday): Gael Force beat Air Force Bomb Squad, 82-54, while Few Good Men squeaked past Team Utah, 84-83, to set up a Saint Mary’s vs Gonzaga game tonight.

Here’s the schedule for ESPN3 for the day.

All times Central.

2pm: Jack Attack vs Hall In
4pm: Golden Eagles vs Johnnies
9:30pm: Gael Force vs Few Good Men