Who Are: Blue Zoo TBT 2017

 


Quick Hits

Bid: At-Large

Notable Players: Laron Dendy, Adonis Thomas

Number of Active Pros: 8

TBT History: First-time participant

Nutshell: MTSU head coach Kermit Davis is serving as the team's booster. Trying to recapture some of the magic from their NCAA Tournament run in 2015.

Background

Under head coach Kermit Davis, Middle Tennessee State University has seen a bit of a basketball resurgence over the past five years. They’ve won both regular season and conference titles and have made three NCAA Tournament appearances. Perhaps the biggest moment in the school’s basketball history came in 2016, where, as a No. 15 seed, the Blue Raiders pulled off a stunning upset of Denzel Valentine and Michigan State. Now, some of MTSU’s best players from their recent run of success are joining forces in TBT to take a stab at the $2 million prize.

The Blue Zoo, whose name pays homage to the MTSU student section, is organized by general manager and point guard Bruce Massey Jr., who played at MTSU from 2011-13. Joining him will be LaRon Dendy, the 2012 Sun Belt Player of the Year, Shawn Jones, the 2014 Conference USA Player of the Year, and Darnell Harris, who contributed 15 points in MTSU’s win over Michigan State. Massey also brought in a little help from outside of his alma mater in the form of Memphis’s Adonis Thomas, who had cups of coffee with the Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers back in 2014.

If the Blue Zoo can channel some of their collegiate success from recent years, then there’s no telling how far they might go.