The Red Scare are back Friday after a nice win over the Big Ten Alumni team, Big X. After one day off, the boys are back in the Elite Eight, if you will, playing for a trip to the TBT Final Four.
The Flyers, as well as everyone else, including the TBT bracket makers, thought that a rematch against Carmen’s Crew was going to happen. Well, the fine boys from Illinois had other plans. The Illini Alumni team, House of Paign, pulled off the shock of the TBT and beat Carmen’s Crew, ensuring that there would be a new TBT winner this year. What a fun twist of events.
Meet House of Paign
House of Paign is the 16 seed and played their first game against War Tampa, an Auburn Alumni team. Well, they made mince meat of the War Eagle and put down that team handily, 76-53. It was hard to tell if House of Paign was really good or War Tampa was just that bad. We would figure out later that yes, this team is actually really good. They came back to beat Carmen’s Crew 76-68 even though the game was more back and forth than the final score indicated.
This team has two studs that are capable of scoring at will, which is a cause for concern for the Red Scare. The leader among the studs is Mike Daum, the scorer from South Dakota State from a few years ago. He has scored 20+ points in both contests so far. Daum is tall, lengthy, and athletic. He can do just about anything you ask him to; he’s an absolute problem. Daum also had 13 rebounds in game one and 8 in game 2. Going into this game, he’s probably the best player on the court. It doesn’t mean the Flyers can’t stop him, but he’s just going to be the best guy out there going into this game.
Their second go-to guy is also a bucket, Andres Feliz. A member from this past season’s Illinois team, Feliz scored 15 in game one and 20 in game two. He is their team’s point guard and second scorer, but he can also rebound the ball well. Both Feliz and Daum are going to be a problem. The Red Scare are going to need to limit one of these two guys to have a chance on Friday.
Another player who can also help in scoring are Kyle Vinales, a Central Connecticut State alum. He had 16 points in game one but was managed well against Carmen’s Crew, only scoring 5 points. Scoring is really hsi onyl contribution to his team so far through two games. Malcolm Hill rounds out the scorers for House of Paign, who is a former Illinois player. He had 11 points in game one and 15 in game two.
Daum, Feliz, and Hill are all starters while Vinales is the 6th man. The other two starters are Billy Garrett and Nnanna Egwu. Garrett is a small forward for DePaul. He’s the glue guy that does a little bit of everything. Egwu is their big man in the middle at 6’11” and does not score a lot, but is mainly a big body to grab rebounds, which he does fairly well. Trevor Thompson and Egwu are going to go at it all game long.
Other than Vinales off their bench, no one else provides much of a scoring contribution. The rest of the bench consists of Michael Finke (Illinois/Grand Canyon) and Leron Black (Illinois). Neither of those two guys have scored more than 2 points in either game, so don’t expect much from either of those guys.
This House of Paign team is really, really good. Mike Daum might be the MVP of TBT so far. They have multiple guys that can score at will. Even if Devin Oliver has a better game, I’m not sure if the boys could win. But it is TBT, and anything can happen. I’m going to say it is a close one, but Red Scare falls short 78-73. Please prove me wrong, Red Scare.
The game is on Friday, July 10th at 4:00 EST on ESPN.
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