Carmen's Crew is back to defend their TBT Title this season with the core of the team already announcing their returns.
The Ohio State alumni team will once again include Aaron Craft, David Lighty, Jon Diebler, William Buford and Evan Ravenel with Jared Sullinger and Evan Turner returning as the team's coaches.
They're looking to go back-to-back, but since they can't just roll with five players, they'll be announcing a couple of new additions to the roster on Monday. Here are our best guesses as to who those new faces might be.
Thomas was supposed to make his Carmen's Crew debut last year, but he got married instead and never made an appearance during the team's title run. With the wedding in the rear-view mirror, you have to figure Thomas is a favorite to join the team this year.
Since leaving Ohio State, Thomas has bounced around the EuroLeague, most recently playing with Panathinaikos in Athens, Greece where he won both the Greek Basketball Cup and the Greek Basketball League championship in 2019.
In his EuroLeague career, Thomas has averaged 9.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, averaging double-digit scoring and more than three boards per game each of his last two seasons.
Outside of the obvious on-court benefits, his addition to a roster that's currently made up exclusively of his former teammates only makes sense.
Lenzelle Smith Jr.
Like Thomas, Lenzelle Smith Jr. was also originally announced as a member of last year's team, but never made an appearance with the team for unknown reasons. This year could be another chance.
Since leaving Ohio State, Smith has played in the EuroLeague, finding recent success in the Israeli league with Hapoel Eilat in 2018-19 and Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2019. Smith played 15 games with Eilat, averaging 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game before leaving the team with an injury. He joined Tel Aviv the next year, and dropped 25 points in his debut, while shooting 6-of-11 from three-point range, along with five rebounds and seven assists.
Like Thomas, Smith would be a great fit with the team as he's also a former teammate of all five former Buckeyes currently on Carmen's Crew's roster.
Though he has no experience playing with anyone on the current Carmen's Crew roster and would be by far the youngest member of the team, it's tough to argue he wouldn't be a helpful addition.
Tate's spent two years playing professionally overseas since leaving Ohio State, and he was among the league's best both seasons.
In 2018-19, Tate played for the Antwerp Giants in Belgium, where he averaged 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, then 13.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in the Belgium Champions League to finish as a Belgium League All-Star.
Tate spent the 2019-20 season in Australia with the Sydney Kings, where he averaged 16.4 points, 2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds and was named to the All-NBL First Team.
He hasn't played with this TBT team, but he does have two years of experience in the tournament, and he's a Buckeye. If Carmen's Crew wants to start working in the next generation of former Ohio State players, Tate would be a great start.
Maybe it's a stretch to think Koufos would be interested in playing in what's essentially an exhibition tournament after spending 11 seasons in the NBA, but since he's no longer in the NBA – playing last season in Russia with CSKA Moscow – he's eligible to play.
Koufos is a little older than most of the other former Ohio State players on the roster, but he played with David Lighty and assistant coach Evan Turner his lone season with the Buckeyes, so there's at least some familiarity.
If he is interested, Koufos would be a massive addition in more ways than one. He would give much-needed size to the undersized Carmen's Crew roster, and would add more NBA experience than the rest of the roster combined.
Since leaving Ohio State, Thompson has spent time both overseas and in the NBA G-League, most recently playing with the Saigon Heat in Vietnam.
Thompson has the familiarity with Aaron Craft (as well as Lenzelle Smith and Deshaun Thomas, if they join the roster) and his high-flying athleticism would be a welcomed addition to Carmen's Crew roster if for no other reason than to give us the most prolific Elam Ending in TBT history.
Who doesn't want to see this for the win?