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Second Half Push Powers Carmen's Crew Past Mid American Unity
Ohio State basketball is back! Well, the old guys are.
The Buckeyes alumni team, Carmen’s Crew, has claimed the top seed in this year’s TBT Tournament. Lead by Jared Sullinger, Ohio State is looking to avenge last year’s first-round exit with a deep tournament run. They opened their tournament off with a battle with 16-seed Mid-American Unity.
I’m still a little torn up about the actual Buckeyes heartbreaking March Madness defeat to Oral Roberts, so I don’t think I could have handled another big-time upset.
Despite their slow start, Carmen’s Crew really started to settle in and ran through a less talented squad with a solid second-half push.
Who Played Well?
Ex-NBA role player, Kosta Koufos did a nice job of keeping things under control for the alumni squad. He paced the Buckeyes with a double-double, but more importantly, he dominated the paint on both ends of the floor.
Two other ex-Buckeyes topped double figures with David Lighty leading all scorers with 19, and William Bufford totaling 14. Bufford was the MVP of Carmen’s Crew when they won TBT back in 2019, so he can’t have a repeat of today’s first-half performance as we go through the rest of this tournament. He shouldered a lot more of the scoring in the second half and was one of the main reasons Carmen’s Crew was able to separate themselves from Mid-American Unity.
Two other non-OSU alumni were on the team and they were phenomenal. The 6-foot-2 power forward Jeff Gibbs recovered from a slow start to finish with eight points. He might be one of the strongest players I’ve ever seen back someone down. Ex-Miami Redhawk Julian Mavunga also had a solid night sneaking his way into double figures. Mavunga is awesome at getting to the hoop but when he settles for jump shots he ruins the flow of the offense.
Who Needs Work?
Lastly, I didn’t really want to talk about Aaron Craft’s poor opening night performance, but I have to. I love him to death, but his one point, zero assists, and two turnovers we’re a huge hindrance to this team. I understand that he’s much more focused on medical school at the moment, but he needs to find his basketball legs ASAP if the Buckeyes want to have any chance at winning TBT.
It wasn’t pretty but a wins a win. Carmen’s Crew is back in action tomorrow versus big-time rival Men of Mackey, the Purdue alumni team. The Boilermakers were phenomenal against the Tennessee alumni team, so Ohio State can’t roll right through them. Slow down Purdue’s outside shooting and you’ll be fine. Let Robbie Hummel and the boys get going, you’re in for some trouble.
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