The Basketball Tournament makes a stop in West Valley City this weekend, and while perhaps the most famous TBT player won’t be on the floor, his team and former coach will be.
Team Fredette — minus Jimmer Fredette, who will likely be looking on from the bench — is one of eight entries (and the third seed) that begin play Thursday at the Maverik Center. Coaching these guys? None other than recently retired BYU men’s basketball coach Dave Rose.
How’d Rose get the gig?
TJ Fredette, Jimmer’s brother, initially asked Rose to hang out with the team since the tournament was making a Utah stop. Then Jimmer, who just signed with a team in Greece, got into the act. The former Cougar great asked his old coach if he’d be up for, well, coaching again.
“Jimmer and I golfed together a couple of weeks ago and I said, ‘hey, listen, let’s just do it together,' " Rose said. Then, of course, Fredette signed with the Warriors to play on Golden State’s summer league team, left abruptly and signed with Greek team Panathinaikos. Which effectively benched him for the TBT.
“He will be there for the first game for sure, and for practices and stuff,” Rose said. “He doesn’t know from there what his schedule is going to be. I just felt like it would be a fun thing to do. I know a lot of the guys. I know about the others from what TJ has told me. It sounded like it would be a fun few days to hang out with the guys and coach another game, see how it works.”
THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
At the Maverik Center, West Valley City
Seeds in parentheses
Eberlin Drive (1) vs. Team Utah (8), 3 p.m.
Sons of Westwood (UCLA) (4) vs L.A. Cheaters (5), 4:50 p.m.
Challenge ALS (2) vs Utah Stallions (7), 6:40 p.m.
Team Fredette (3) vs CitiTeam Blazers (6), 8:30 p.m.
Team Fredette will be facing a fairly loaded field when play begins Thursday at 3 p.m.
The Utah event is part of a 64-team, winner-take-all tournament with a $2 million prize.
The top regional seed, Eberlin Drive, features Cal’s all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle, five-year NBA vet Donald Sloan, and former UNC star and NBA champion James Michael McAdoo.
Second-seeded Team Challenge ALS boasts include six-year NBA vet Austin Daye, former Mississippi State star Dee Bost (2012 First-team All-SEC), and decorated overseas pro D.J. Strawberry (son of eight-time MLB All-Star Darryl Strawberry).
Team Fredette will include former Bowling Green star Jordon Crawford, one of the shiftier guards in TBT. First-team All-AAC member Rob Gray and 2012 Mississippi Mr. Basketball award winner Devonta Pollard will rep the Houston Cougars. Tu Holloway (Xavier), the 2011 Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, rounds out the cast.
Two other teams — the seventh-seeded Utah Stallions and eighth-seeded Team Utah — lean heavily on local talent.
The Stallions are a Utah State-oriented team, led by Spencer Butterfield, who hit a FIBA Europe Cup record 11 three-point field goals in 2017, and will make his presence known from beyond the arc. Preston Medlin was a 1,000-point scorer for the Aggies.
Team Utah is loaded with former Utes and includes Tim Drisdom, Justin Hawkins and former sixth man Dakarai Tucker. The squad got a major boost this year with the addition of former Jazzman Ronnie Price, a Utah Valley alum who spent 12 years in the NBA.
The tournament gets underway Thursday with four games. Friday and Saturday’s games begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets prices range from $12 to $100. A Family 4 Pack goes for $17 per ticket (in 4-ticket packages). A 3-day tournament pass goes for $18 per day.