Last season, a brand new tournament was started for Seniors who had used up all of their collegiate eligibility and failed to make the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four. The tournament featured teams made up of some of the best talent from every conference in college basketball. The Dos Equis 3X3 National Championship was born... and it was awesome.
Rarely does something so new go so right on the first attempt, especially when talking about college athletics. But this was near perfection:
- Include everybody? Check.
- Pay everyone’s way so they can all participate? Check.
- Let the players coach themselves like a pick-up game? Check.
- Stream somewhere everyone can watch? Check.
- Play it in the same city as the Final Four so you can openly mock the NCAA? Check
- PAY THE PLAYERS WHO WIN? Check.
Heck, they even did a great job of picking people to host and call the event, my personal favorite being Mark Titus and Tate Frazier of One Shining Podcast. They dressed in full tuxes and “dropped bags” for the winning teams. Seriously, this thing was a home run.
Thankfully they’re bringing it back for a second season and it seams to be getting even better. Not only have they doubled the prize money for the winners from $50K to $100K, they’re looking to the future of 3X3 basketball. The winning team will also gain entry to the 2019 USA Basketball 3x3 Open National Championship. That’s a big opportunity considering USA Basketball will be scouting for the new 3x3 basketball Olympic event that will kick off at the 2020 Tokyo games.
Last year’s team of Andrew Rowsey (Marquette), J.P. Macura (Xavier), Trevon Bluiett (Xavier), and Desi Rodriguez (Seton Hall) was chosen by a pannel of basketball experts consisting mostly of media members. That team came up short, failing to make it out of pool play and watching the Big Ten team walk away as the champs. So considering it’s an awesome event with a lot on the line, who will they send to represent the Big East this year?
The Potential Roster
Let’s start with who’s eligible to even be on the team. All players must be Seniors who have completed all of their eligibility with the NCAA. That means they have to be done playing in the NCAA Tournament, NIT, or any other collegiate level tournament they may end up in. It’s also a tournament that features a lot more offense and shooting, so we’re going to need all scorers on this team. Knowing that an extended run in March could remove them from this list, here are the Seniors that could be eligible for the Big East team and are averaging at least 10 points per game this season:
Big East Candidates for 2019 3x3 Tournament
|Player||Position||Team||2018-19 Stat Line|
|Player||Position||Team||2018-19 Stat Line|
|Eli Cain||Guard||DePaul||12.5 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 3.6 Ast|
|Eric Paschall||Forward||Villanova||17.3 Pts, 6.4 Reb, 2.0 Ast|
|Femi Olujobi||Forward||DePaul||13.5 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 0.8 Ast|
|Jessie Govan||Center||Georgetown||18.1 Pts, 7.8 Reb, 1.4 Ast|
|Marvin Clark II||Forward||St. John's||11.5 Pts, 5.6 Reb, 1.3 Ast|
|Max Strus||Guard||DePaul||17.2 Pts, 6.3 Reb, 2.5 Ast|
|Paul Jorgensen||Guard||Butler||11.8 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 0.5 Ast|
|Phil Booth||Guard||Villanova||18.3 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 3.8 Ast|
That’s who I would consider the “base candidates” for the selection, but they may not all be available. Going off what we saw last season, players that could be in consideration for the NBA draft may decide not to participate. Based on the 2019 mock drafts out there, Eric Paschall seems to be the only one so far that’s getting any considerable draft buzz. But as Villanova fans know all too well, draft stocks can skyrocket in March.
The Big East Team
For now I’m going to leave everyone in the eligible list, but I’ll choose two alternates in case anyone of our four finalists decide to back out. Without further ado, here are my picks for the Big East’s Dos Equis 3X3 National Championship Team.
Phil Booth, Villanova: Booth is the only player on this list at least in the discussion for Big East Player of the Year with Markus Howard and Shamorie Ponds. He’s about to finish up his 137th season in the Big East, and he could end up as the winningest player the conference has ever had. He’s the definition of a no-brainer pick. And fun fact, he scored 20 points in the 2016 National Championship Game!
Eric Paschall, Villanova: A mix of size, strength, and shooting is ideal for a 3x3 tournament, and Paschall fits the mold perfectly. So much so that if he does play in this thing there may be NBA scouts there checking him out. He’s another easy pick from the Wildcats, but whether or not he decides to skip the event to focus on the NBA Draft is the only remaining question.
Max Strus, DePaul: The Strus is gonna let loose all over Minneapo-loos! He can shoot, he can defend, and he finds ways to score at every level. If he didn’t play for DePaul, we’d be saying this kid is a flat out winner. He’s a fast, physical player that can make you pay if you leave him open, and he’s my third pick for this team.
Jessie Govan, Georgetown: In case the shots aren’t falling, it doesn’t hurt to have a 6’10” center like Govan grabbing boards and throwing down dunks. Then again, he very well could step out and make a few himself as the member of this foursome with the highest 3FG% on the season at 41.9%. Remember, at this point he won’t play for Georgetown anymore, so it’s ok to root for him.
In case one of these four can’t or won’t go, I picked out a guard and a forward that I think would best compliment the rest of the team:
Eli Cain, DePaul: I actually almost picked Cain over Strus for the final team, so he was an easy pick as the alternate guard for the Big East. He has a better handle, more assists, and makes a higher rate of threes than his DePaul teammate. All of that would be a great addition if Booth or Strus were unavailable.
Marvin Clark II, St. John’s: He’s a guard in a forward’s body, and as we’ve already said that’s exactly what you want for 3x3 ball. A 6’7” forward that hits 36.5% of his threes and can defend is exactly what this team would need if they had to replace Paschall or Govan.
Those are my picks for the 2019 Big East Team at the Dos Equis 3X3 National Championship. Who would you pick? Would you include any different alternates? How do you think this team will do compared to last season? Be sure to put your answers in the comments below, and thanks for reading!