We are a little over a month away from the start of the 2022 iteration of The Basketball Tournament aka everyone’s favorite winner-take-all summer basketball competition. With the deadline to register as a team before the bracketing and selection takes place coming up next week, it makes sense that roster news is going to start trickling out into the universe.
And so, it’s not a surprise when this news comes trickling out from a host of a TBT-centric podcast:
Big pick up for @GoldenEaglesTBT!! Kaleb Wesson is suiting up for the Marquette team.— Charge Nation (@Charge_Nation) June 7, 2022
With Ohio State's Carmen's Crew not running in @thetournament #TBT2022 some other big time OSU players could be on the move.
That was followed up a few minutes later with this bombshell:
Another big add for @GoldenEaglesTBT!! NBA vet Deonte Burton making his @thetournament debut with the Marquette Alum. #TBT2022 https://t.co/VyjyRKrUkQ— Charge Nation (@Charge_Nation) June 8, 2022
Well, would you look at that.
Kaleb Wesson played for Ohio State from 2017 through 2020. In 96 career games for the Buckeyes, he averaged 12.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. The 6’10” forward turned himself into a reliable three-point shooter in his last two seasons, connecting on over 39% of his attempts. OSU didn’t really lean on him to do that, as he topped out at 3.4 attempts in the 2020 campaign, but he also hit 43% of those. He left Ohio State with a year of eligibility remaining, appeared in two games for Santa Cruz in the GLeague in the Disney Bubble season, and has been playing professionally in Israel since then.
As you can see from the tweet, Wesson is available to be added to the Golden Eagles roster because the Ohio State alumni team is not regrouping for this year’s TBT. That’s a big deal, as Carmen’s Crew reached at least the round of 16 in their first four TBT appearances, including a title in 2019 when they beat Golden Eagles in the title game. They won two games in the 2021 tournament as the #1 seed in the Columbus Regional, but bowed out to The Money Team in the third round.
Deonte Burton was recruited to play at Marquette by head coach Buzz Williams and played in 32 games as a freshman in what would be Williams’ final year in Milwaukee. He averaged 6.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game in the 2013-14 season, and while his game could easily be described as “power wing,” he also shot 50% on his rare eight three-point attempts. He ended up leaving Marquette after just eight games the following season, although that very clearly had much more to do with his mother passing away shortly before the season started than anything to do with his relationship with new head coach Steve Wojciechowski. Burton resurfaced at Iowa State in the 2015-16 season, and in 61 career appearances for the Cyclones, he averaged 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He also started every single game of his final season in Ames as the squad went 24-11 for head coach Steve Prohm and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
After that, Burton went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, but managed to collect a two-way contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder after spending a year playing in South Korea and earning the KBL’s Foreign MVP. That turned into 71 career games across two seasons with OKC, plus four playoff game appearances, and that’s pretty neat. He was last with the Maine Celtics in the G League, averaging 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists and shooting 34% from long range this past year.
Both men are already on the official Golden Eagles roster page on TheTournament.com, by the way. This is what the roster looks like so far:
#2 — Sacar Anim
#4 — Deonte Burton
#12 — Derrick Wilson
#14 — Jarvis Williams
#23 — Elgin Cook
#34 — Kaleb Wesson
#40 — Luke Fischer
That’s seven players along with general manager Dan Fitzgerald and assistant coach Joe Napier. If he’s back as assistant, I presume that means Joe Chapman is returning as head coach. Seven guys would be enough to run a team here, but I presume that this isn’t the end of the roster additions before play actually begins.
We know that Golden Eagles is already confirmed as in the 2022 tournament, and it appears that they’ll be playing in the Dayton Regional based on the listing on the roster page. That will take place July 24th through July 27th, and there’s a significant advantage to whoever comes out of the Dayton Regional as the champ. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship will all be at UD Arena starting just two days later. No travel for whoever it is that advances with that spot, as opposed to whoever comes out of Omaha, or New Mexico, or Rucker Park, or Syracuse. Will that be Golden Eagles? We will have to wait and see.