Meet The Men’s Basketball Alumni Team Competing For $2 Million

Michael Crouchley
Sports Editor

Dayton missed out on March Madness last season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of tournament basketball. 

A team of Dayton men’s basketball alumni, called “The Red Scare,” has entered The Basketball Tournament, a 64-team bracket formatted similarly to The NCAA Tournament. 

Teams from around the country, including college alumni, international professionals and many more come to compete for a $2 million prize. The tournament starts Friday, with the championship game taking place on August 6. Here’s a sneak peak of what you need to know before cheering on The Red Scare during the tournament.

The Competition

The Red Scare is in the Columbus Regional section of the bracket, meaning all of their games will be played at Capital University. The Dayton alumni are the third seed in the region, behind the top seeded Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State alumni) and the second seed Kohl Blooded (Wisconsin alumni).

Carmen’s Crew lost the firepower of Greg Oden and Jared Sullinger, two former NBA players that have played in the tournament in past seasons, but they still boast an impressive group lead by former college star Aaron Craft.

Kohl Blooded will also be stiff competition, lead by big man Ethan Happ. Happ was a consensus second-team All-American in 2019 and just signed to play for Olympiacos, a professional team in Greece.

If The Red Scare manages to make it out of the Columbus Region, it will be a tough road to the championship. The favorites to win the tournament are Overseas Elite, a team made of professional players not playing in the NBA. They have won each of the last four years and with former NBA players like Kevin Pangos and Bobby Brown on the roster, it’s hard to bet against them getting a fifth.

The Team

The Red Scare lost two heavy hitters just three days before the tournament. 2019 graduate Josh Cunningham, and 2016 graduate Dyshawn Pierre both pulled out just three days before the tournament is set to start. 

Despite the losses, the team still has high expectations. These are the players fans will get to watch at the tournament.

Darrell Davis – The shooting guard graduated in 2018, finishing with over 1,000 points scored in his Dayton career. He was the go-to perimeter scorer for the Flyers during the 2017-18 season, and has had short stints in the Hungarian and Dutch pro leagues since graduation.

Kyle Davis – The older of the two Davis’ graduated in 2017, and is known for his defensive pressure as a guard. He was named to the Atlantic-10 All-Defensive team as a senior. Davis played 16 games with the Rio Grande Vipers of the NBA G-League after graduation.

Kevin Dillard – Dillard transferred to Dayton from Southern Illinois for the 2011 season and the point guard found great success in his two years as a Flyer. Dillard was named Second-team All Conference in the A-10 in both of his years at Dayton. He has gone on to play for numerous professional teams overseas.

Devin Oliver – The small forward was on the Dayton team that made the Elite Eight in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Oliver is a strong rebounder from the forward spot, and currently plays for Nanterre 92, a professional team in France.

Kendall Pollard – Pollard gives The Red Scare a much needed post presence. The big man graduated in 2017 with Third Team All-Conference honors in the A-10. He has since played in the NBA G-League and the professional league in Iceland.

Vee Sanford – Sanford is another player that featured heavily on the Elite Eight team as a senior in 2014. The guard has featured for professional teams in France, Germany, and Iceland since graduation and currently plays for Chalon-Sur-Saone in France.

Ryan Bruns – A player that may not be so familiar to Flyer fans, Bruns was a late addition to the team after the two departures. He played his college ball at Ohio Northern, winning Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2018.

The Red Scare will be coached by Damon Goodwin, Dayton basketball alum from 1982-1986 and the current head coach of Capital University’s men’s basketball team. Joey Gruden and Jeremiah Bonsu, two former Dayton walk-ons and fan favorites, are serving as the team’s general managers.

How to watch

The Red Scare’s first game is against “The Region,” a team made of players from northwest Indiana and the south side of Chicago, at 5 p.m. on Friday. You can watch the game on ESPN3, with future games airing on ESPN3, ESPN2 or ESPN. To stay up to date with all of the action, you can visit The Basketball Tournament’s website. You can also keep up with the team by following @FlyersTBT on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Erik Schelkun, Elestar Images