This summer, Dayton basketball fans will have a chance to see some of their favorite alumni represent the Flyers once again.
A cavalcade of former stars, led by buzzer-beating hero Vee Sanford, Devin Oliver, Kevin Dillard and Dyshawn Pierre will be joined by more recent fan favorites Josh Cunningham, Kendall Pollard and Kyle Davis on The Red Scare Team that is one of the first teams accepted into The Basketball Tournament, according to the TBT website. The 64-team event pays out $2 million to the winning team and is open for anyone to apply for a spot.
Various Dayton alumnus have played in TBT in the past, but this year former walk-ons Joey Gruden and Jeremiah Bonsu came together to lead the first ever all-Flyer team as non-playing captains. They will play their first game at Capital University in Columbus on July 19, with more to come on July 20 and 21 if they win. Their first opponent is still not known but they could potentially run into the Ohio State alumni team that reached last year’s quarterfinals.
Getting themselves into the Columbus region sets up Red Scare to play in front of plenty of UD fans, who have always been happy to drive to Columbus to support the Flyers. Bonsu told the Dayton Daily News’ David Jablonski that he is confident that trend will continue, “If you can get everyone that close together, Dayton fans might turn it into a weekend party in Columbus, even if we only play one game. That’s how Dayton fans are.” The Columbus ties are apparent on this roster, between Vee Sanford’s tournament game-winner against Ohio State and the fact Pierre, Pollard and Davis were all on the team that upset Providence in a 2015 tournament game in Columbus.
Moving forward, Bonsu and Gruden look to add a few more players to their roster, but Bonsu told Jablonski that he likes the team as is. “We’re very confident we’re going to have a very good roster.”
He later noted that they are actively pursuing Scoochie Smith, among others.
Regardless of who is added, Red Scare appears to have a balanced roster, with Oliver, Pollard and Cunningham providing a strong crew of post players. If there is a spot that should be addressed, it is likely finding a second point guard to pair with Dillard, although Kyle Davis has served as a backup at that spot before.
A great way to keep up with The Red Scare Team is to follow them on Twitter @FlyersTBT, and you can also show support by becoming a supporter on thetournament.com.