Basketball is back, and so is one former Louisville basketball player.
Ladies and gentlemen. Life without basketball is officially over. After 115 days without live basketball on our television sets we can finally kick back and watch the round ball once again, as The Basketball Tournament returns for its seventh season starting today. Some of you may be familiar with the tournament that is rising in popularity, and if not, this summer you should tune in as one of our own will compete.
The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is a 5-on-5, winner-takes-all tourney from July 4-14. Teams are assembled via application. Anyone over age 18 can enter as long as they are not currently rostered by one of the 30 NBA teams. Typically, these teams are formed by players who are alumni of popular basketball programs that are currently playing either overseas or in the NBA G-League.
The prize money is $1 million-plus for the winning team, to be distributed semi-evenly according to each player’s agreed-upon amount. McMahon’s share of the potential winnings is $100,000.
There were rumors a while ago about a group of former Louisville players getting together to form a team to enter in 2020. That never materialized (if it would’ve, Louisville’s guys easily could’ve won with a roster like this) and because of it, all eyes will be on the “Sarasoaka.”
Ryan McMahon’s path to The Basketball Tournament
Ryan McMahon’s journey at the University of Louisville wasn’t a cake-walk by any stretch. The guy participated in just three NCAA Tournament games in his four year college career never making it past the second round.
As a redshirt freshman UofL powers-that-be self-imposed a postseason ban on a very promising squad. The next season, McMahon participated in two tournament games, going 1-1 overall, falling to 10-seed Michigan in the second round. Next came the NIT as interim head coach David Padgett was unable to lead the team to the Big Dance after the firing of Rick Pitino. As a junior, with yet another new coach, the Cards exited in the first round of the NCAA Tourney. In 2020, well, let’s not go down that pebbled path (eye twitch).
Nevertheless, McMahon has not missed a beat, as he was picked up for the Dayton Alumni team, called the “Red Scare,” which had a pretty strong showing in last year’s tournament.
You’re probably asking yourself “how did Ryan McMahon wind up on a Dayton alumni team?”
Well, it’s actually a matter of just knowing the right person. Former Dayton player and Dayton Alumni GM Joey Gruden recruited McMahon to join the squad after being a Graduate Assistant at Louisville this past season. Small world.
What Ryan adds to the Red Scare
McMahon is the best three-point shooter on Dayton’s Alumni team. In his Louisville career he shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, and 43.6 percent in his senior year. He also accumulated a 93 percent free-throw percentage in his college years.
Last season, he started 15 games for Chris Mack’s team that climbed all the way to #1 in the Associated Press poll early in the season. He dumped in 8.7 ppg as a senior, proving his consistent ability to contribute, even at 6’0”.
With TBT using the Elam Effect (games are ended on game-winning shots instead of a running clock) to end games, this should value McMahon into paramount importance in the waning segments of games in which the Red Scare have opportunities for victory with a single shot.
The Red Scare’s schedule
As the first eight seeds received a first-round bye in this year’s TBT, McMahon and 8-seeded Dayton play their first game on Wednesday July 8th at 2 p.m.
They’ll take on the winner of nine seed Big X vs 24-seeded D2. That game will be played on July 4th at 3 p.m., which is the tournament’s first matchup. The quarterfinals will be held from July 10-12, and the title game on July 14th at 7 p.m.
All games and potential games that McMahon will play in will be televised on ESPN.