Photo courtesy of @gataverse_io via Twitter.

Gataverse Makes TBT Debut Against Shell Shock

The Louisville Regional of The Basketball Tournament will begin Tuesday. In it, Gataverse, the Florida alumni team, will take on the Maryland alumni Shell Shock. Both teams will be making their TBT debuts.

The No. 5 seeded Gataverse team, who is coached by former UF assistant Matt McCall, is hoping to win the $1 million grand prize for the winner of the tournament. However, they must first avoid an early exit in the round of 64.

Star-Studded Gataverse

The Florida alumni team is highlighted by four guys who played for the Gators on what was arguably the best college basketball team of all time when they won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. Corey Brewer, Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey are three of these stars.

Brewer played in over 800 games in his 13-year NBA career after being selected No. 7 overall out of UF. He is now a player development coach for the New Orleans Pelicans, but thinks he can still get it done on the court.

Green, who averaged over 13 points per game during his sophomore and junior championship winning seasons, has come back to Gainesville to serve as the director of player development for UF. Humphrey, a sharpshooter in his years at Florida, is now a color commentator for the Gators Radio Network.

Gataverse also has some more recent Gators on the squad. Myreon Jones, who was with Florida from 2021-23, is the most recent name on the team. In his two years at UF after transferring from Penn State, Jones averaged just under seven points per game. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. is another guy who played at Florida in the past few years who will be joining Gataverse.

The team is rounded out by Keith Stone, Egor Koulechov, Erving Walker, KeVaughn Allen, Noah Locke and LaQuincy Rideau. Rideau is the only player on the roster that did not play for Florida. He played two seasons at Gardner-Webb before transferring to South Florida for his final two years. At USF, Rideau won the 2019 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Different Looking Shell Shock

When the Maryland alumni team, Shell Shock, put their team together, they had high hopes for what was to come. These hopes have taken a bit of a slash in the past few days as some of the team’s key players will not be available for Tuesday’s matchup with Gataverse.

The biggest name on the team was supposed to be former Maryland standout and high school McDonald’s All-American, Melo Trimble. He will not be joining the team because of obligations to his team in China, the Shanghai Sharks.

Robert Carter is another guy who will not be available for Shell Shock. The 6’10” power forward who has played professionally in Europe and Asia since 2016 is out with an injury. Former Maryland guard Roddy Peters, who averaged over 11 points per game in college is out as well.

One of the non-Maryland alumni who looked promising for Shell Shock was Chris Lykes. He averaged almost 14 per game at Miami before transferring to Arkansas for his senior year in 2022. Lykes pulled out of the tournament last-minute for unknown reasons.

While they are missing some important pieces, Shell Shock are poised to make a splash in Louisville and advance through TBT.

Ready for Tip-off

Gataverse and Shell Shock will take the court at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner of this game will play again on Thursday in the round of 32.

About Hugh Green

Hugh is a third year student majoring in Journalism: Sports and Media at the University of Florida.

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