The Basketball Tournament tips off later this week, and every year it features players college basketball fans loved in college but have disappeared off the radar since their overseas pro careers. TBT 2021 isn’t any different with some serious players in the mix that I can’t wait to see compete.
These are some of the top 2021 TBT players I can’t wait to see on the court:
10 Players to Watch in TBT 2021
Marcus Keene (Sideline Cancer)
Marcus Keene was one of the best players of TBT 2020, and I expect something similar out of the cold-blooded guard, especially after falling just short in the championship a year ago.
He can create his own shot from nothing, he has excellent court vision, he can get to the rim at will. Keene should be one of the best players in TBT 2021, and getting to see him try to win $1 million again should have you very, very excited.
C.J. Massinburg (Blue Collar U)
I loved watching the Buffalo teams of the mid-to-late 2010s. Now, a chunk of the top players from those squads are together again for TBT 2021, including C.J. Massinburg.
While Massinburg was just one piece of what made that era of Bulls basketball special, he was the leading scorer, one of the best rebounders, and a key distributor for both teams. He also shot better than 40 percent from deep in his final two college seasons. I’m looking forward to seeing what he and the rest of his former teammates can do in TBT 2021.
Cat Barber (Wolf Blood)
Cat Barber was an absolute bucket in college at NC State, and I want to see if he can be the same scoring machine in TBT 2021 for the school’s alumni team.
In 2015-16, his final year in Raleigh, Barber averaged 23.5 points per game and shot 36.1 percent from behind the arc. He was one of the best point guards in college basketball that season. I want to see him and his quickness again now in his mid-20s.
Robbie Hummel (Men of Mackey)
If you watched Robbie Hummel play college basketball at Purdue, then you’re very excited to see him compete with his fellow Boilermakers alumni in TBT 2021.
Hummel was one of the premier players in the nation at his height and has since become one of ESPN’s top broadcasting talents (and one of my personal favorite color guys in the game). It’s been a while since he was in college – 2011-12 was his final season, to be exact – but I believe the 6-foot-8 machine who averaged better than 20 points per contest in 2009-10 and 2011-12 still has plenty left in the tank.
Chris Lofton (Ballinteers)
It’s been a minute since Chris Lofton was shooting the lights out for Tennessee, but I still can’t wait to see what the 35-year-old can do in TBT 2021.
In college, Lofton was known as an overall scorer, but his shooting was especially outstanding. As a freshman, he drilled nine triples in a game to set a school record and he broke the SEC mark for most three-pointers in a career with 431. I want to see him destroy opposing teams from beyond the arc again.
Ot Elmore (Herd That)
If this isn’t your first TBT, then you already know what’s up. You can’t not want to watch Ot Elmore play basketball. He draws you in, luring you with his stature and charm. He’s irresistible – clunky yet smooth, confusing yet calming, chaotic yet comforting.
He is the outspoken face of Herd That, which has had some remarkable moments in its years in TBT. Will Ot Elmore be the best player in TBT 2021? Definitely not. Will he be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining players in TBT 2021? Definitely.
Fletcher Magee (WoCo Showtime)
As you can maybe tell, I enjoy shooters. And if you’re someone who enjoys shooters, then you’re absolutely giddy about Fletcher Magee playing in this year’s TBT.
Magee was one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen in my two decades of watching college basketball. He’s the all-time NCAA leader from deep, but it’s not just about how many he makes – it’s about how he makes them. His release is unbelievably fast, his footwork is outstanding, and his general shot-making ability is off the charts. I cannot wait to see Magee contort himself in midair in ways that make my spine hurt with a swish at the end.
Mike Daum (House of ‘Paign)
Daum didn’t go to Illinois, but the Illini alumni have him among their ranks anyway, and they’re thankful for it.
Likely to be one of the best players in TBT 2021, Daum is an absolute animal. He’s the all-time leading scorer for South Dakota State, was the three-time Summit League Player of the Year, and he averaged 18.7 points per game in TBT 2020 with House of ‘Paign. He was one of the best college players of the 2010s, and any opportunity to watch him is a treat that should be cherished.
Isaiah Canaan (The Overlooked)
It’s been a while since I last saw Isaiah Canaan play, but if he’s still anything like he was while at Murray State, then I’m pumped.
Canaan was one of the best guards in the country as an upperclassman in 2011-12 and 2012-13, especially as a senior when he put up 21.8 points and 4.3 assists per game. In his entire Racers career, Canaan shot 41.9 percent from three, and we already went over how I feel about shooters. Canaan also went on to play 235 NBA games from 2013 to 2019, another testament to his abilities. He should do some damage in TBT 2021.
Joe Young (Always Us)
You may noticed a theme that I like small guards. Perhaps there’s a reason for that, and if you happen to see over my head while standing in front of me, you probably understand why.
Joe Young didn’t end up at Oregon until his upperclassman years, but he really made a name for himself in Eugene. He averaged 19.8 points per game in his junior and senior seasons and was named the 2014-15 Pac-12 Player of the Year. He also spent three seasons in the Indiana Pacers’ rotation, appearing in 127 contests from 2015 to 2018. He was fully capable of taking over a game in college, and I want to see if he can do the same in TBT 2021.