Well last night did not go the way we all had hoped. A 76-53 loss to the House of ‘Paign was a disappointing end to several weeks of buildup and hype for War Tampa. It was most certainly a learning experience for everyone involved. My early takeaways from the tournament were teams that had success are the ones that have played together for quite some time and have several years of professional experience under their belt.
But after 4 months of no basketball and next to no sports at all, it was so awesome to see 3 of our former players: Bryce Brown, Desean Murray and Horace Spencer back on the court together again.
During the process of the roster forming, there were several boosters, who are former Auburn players who mentioned they looked forward to playing in the 2021 TBT. With the game fresh in my mind and looking forward to next year, I got to thinking about what a potential 2021 War Tampa/All-Auburn TBT roster could potentially look like and here is what I came up with.
It’s quite possible that Jared Harper would have been on this year’s roster but once the New York Knicks picked him up on a 2-way deal on June 25th, that possibility ended. So then it’s pretty obvious to go with the guy who stepped into Harper’s role this past season for Auburn:
Bryce was the starting Point Guard last night and he played a little bit of it last year with Maine but as we all know, he’s much better playing the 2 spot. Having a guy that primarily plays the point would have helped last night which is why I’ve chosen J’Von for this spot.
McCormick made huge strides in his 2 years at Auburn. He really found his footing toward the end of the Final Four season and then ran the point quite well in the 2019-2020 season. McCormick made some clutch shots in close games for the Tigers last year too.
J'VON MCCORMICK GAME WINNER IN OT pic.twitter.com/AhuOcHjpUG— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 8, 2020
Announcement @newwilliams_ is supporting his boys this summer! He’s the 8th person with Auburn ties to our team! Show him some love and welcome him! We are not done yet either— Team WarTampa (@war_tampa) June 10, 2020
Says he’s with us for next summer pic.twitter.com/WbokTYUkTj
Here’s another Point Guard to think about with some Auburn ties as well: New Williams. Williams began his career at Auburn before transferring closer to home to play at Fresno State. He just finished his playing career there and averaged 11.9 PPG in his senior season with the Bulldogs.
I would have Bryce Brown here but I fully expect him to get a 2-way deal or make his way to the NBA next season with the Celtics or another NBA team. Besides, it’s pretty clear Horace and Desean know what the next step is for Bryce:
Desean and Horace would NOT let Bryce commit to next year.— Justin Lee (@ByJustinLee) July 5, 2020
"He's going to be in the league."
"We're going to have to get somebody else."
They want him on to bigger and better things.
So insert this guy:
Samir Doughty with the Steph Curry shimmy. I CANNOT BELIEVE Auburn is gonna win this game pic.twitter.com/nnCe6f7pQP— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) February 8, 2020
If Bryce is unavailable, then Samir would be the perfect choice here. Doughty led the Auburn team in scoring this past season and will have a chance to get some pro experience this upcoming season. Seeing that he also played some Point Guard this past season for Auburn, he could also play some point if necessary.
Announcement TJ Lang ( @HWGNF ) is supporting us this summer! He’s apart of the 9 Auburn guys involved with the team! It’s going to keep going up as well Show him some love and continue to support us!— Team WarTampa (@war_tampa) June 10, 2020
Another one ready for next year ‼️ pic.twitter.com/58QxL8IsN5
Another War Tampa booster, T.J. Lang, was a 3-year Auburn player who then transferred to South Florida for his final year of eligibility. Lang would give the team another 3-point shooter as he shot 38.8% from 3 in his three seasons on the Plains.
Announcement @Kingheron5 is supporting his boys this summer in @thetournament ‼️ This is the 7th Auburn guy involved with the team I also have a feeling this might not be our last one either ‼️— Team WarTampa (@war_tampa) June 9, 2020
A message for you all about him for next year pic.twitter.com/6iavS4E4zM
Mustapha’s senior season at St. John’s came to an abrupt end due to an ankle injury but he’s already stated he looks forward to playing for the Auburn team next year. Heron averaged 13.8 PPG in his senior season with the Red Storm and we’ll see where he ends up next season once the NBA season concludes. It would be awesome to see Staph wearing the Orange & Blue once again.
I’ll just leave this here:
Quite frankly, it’s all I need to say as to why Malik needs to be on next year’s roster.
IT’S GAME DAY. WAR ******* TAMPA! pic.twitter.com/6u1H1hBGz6— Auburn Hoops Fan Account (@aubawn) July 4, 2020
How about a guy who not only has TBT experience, but has won games in the TBT before? Bowers has played on the Marquette alumni team Golden Eagles in the past (they are the #4 seed in this year’s tournament). Bowers could certainly bring valuable TBT experience to this roster as other than the 3 guys who played last night, the rest of the roster would be experiencing TBT for the first time.
Murray was one of the three players on this year’s team and led War Tampa with 13 points Saturday night. Murray’s contributions on defense and rebounding were paramount back in the 2018-2019 season and Auburn fans got a chance to reminisce on those moments last night.
How about a veteran presence for this group? Gabriel has experience in both Europe and the G-League, something incredibly valuable in this tournament full of those type of players.
Announcement @__Austinwiley50 will be supporting his boys this summer in @thetournament ‼️ He’s the 10th Auburn guy involved with the team. He’s a supporter/booster ‼️— Team WarTampa (@war_tampa) June 11, 2020
Maybe next year he’ll be suiting up pic.twitter.com/10W70Hmy2m
Austin was a booster for this year’s team and I would imagine he will be a likely candidate to join this group next season. I think Austin has a real good chance of making a G-League roster next year so we’ll see how that would affect his potential TBT status.
Most likely, Horace will be back next year as well. Even down big late, Horace was still giving it his all in pure Horace fashion. Horace said postgame he looks forward to being back and building off of what they learned Saturday night.
Let’s be honest: We wouldn’t have had this team without LaRon Smith. He was able to get several players he played with during his time at Auburn on-board as either a player or as a booster. War Tampa missed his shot blocking ability and defensive presence on the interior last night.
I know I’ve left Anfernee McLemore and Danjel Purifoy off of this list but those guys could very well also be considered for next year’s team as well.
What do you think? Let me know below! And thanks to all of the guys for playing in this year’s tournament as well as everyone from War Tampa for putting this thing together.
WARRR TAMPA Everyone!