Introducing 2019 TBT team Ram Nation (plus downloadable team pregame playlist!)
Ram Nation will once again field a team for The Basketball Tournament, the fourth edition since first fielding one in 2016. The group of predominantly VCU alumni has amassed an overall record of 8-3, only ever losing to four-time defending champs, Overseas Elite.
This year’s group will once again be led by a collection of VCU legends with some outside help recruited to hopefully get this year’s squad over the hump.
Below is a list of all involved officially with this year’s team. Each player/staff member was asked to contribute one song to this year’s team playlist, which you can download on Spotify.
DAVON “MOOK” ARTIS (GUARD)
Each year Ram Nation brings in a “fan” of sorts on to the team, this year’s edition just happens to be able to hoop as well. Davon Artis, or Mook, as he’s known in the sneaker world and by his friends, played for Petersburg High on two teams that competed for state championship, then later took his talents to VCU as a student where he ultimately finished his college time with a Masters in Strategic Public Relations in 2015. A friend of many former VCU hoopers, Mook is a founding owner of Cool Kicks, a wildly-popular shoe store that in three years has opened stores in Northern Virginia, Melrose and Santa Monica.
Song: Shoreline Mafia (feat. Ohgeesy, Fenix Flexin & Master Kato) – “Bands”
BRADFORD BURGESS (GUARD/FORWARD)
This will be Burgess’ fourth year with the team, his third as a player (he coached one year due to injury). Burgess is a legend at VCU, scoring the game-winning bucket in VCU’s 2011 Sweet 16. He is the all-time NCAA starts leader.
Song: GoldLink – “Crew REMIX”
COREY COFFER (COACH)
Coffer is the current head coach at Princess Anne in Virginia Beach. He has been involved with team Ram Nation all fours seasons competing, coming on officially as an assistant coach in year-two. He is a 2012 graduate of VCU.
Song: Chris Brown (feat Drake) – “No Guidance”
CHRIS EVANS (FORWARD)
A graduated of Petersburg High School, Evans played collegiately at both Coastal Carolina and Kent State where he was a First Team All-MAC selection. He has played professionally in the G League and overseas, including a recent stint with Gran Canaria in EuroLeague play, the world’s second highest level league behind the NBA (and ahead of the G League).
Song: Future – “March Madness”
JAVONTE GREEN (GUARD/FORWARD)
Having played collegiately at Radford under VCU Final 4 assistant, Mike Jones, Javonte “Woo” Green has carved out a successful professional career overseas, most recently as a EuroCup competitor for Germany’s ULM. He is coming off a successful summer stint with the Boston Celtics where he checked in as one of the team’s most efficient players and averaged 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals in just 22 minutes of action per night. A highlight machine, he is currently one of the best in-game dunkers in the word (YouTube him).
Song: Calb0y – “Envy Me”
DARIO HUNT (FORWARD/CENTER)
A three-time WAC All-Defensive team selection during his time at Nevada, Dario Hunt joins the team as an experienced overseas pro who is tough on both sides of the ball. Brought to the team via Bradford Burgess, he’ll quickly mesh with the mostly-VCU group and should win over VCU fans in no time as well.
Song: Moneybagg Yo (fea. Offset) – “Style Ain’t Free”
JUSTIN LEVINE (COACH)
Back for his second year with Ram Nation, Levine served as head coach of last year’s Ram Nation squad, helping lead the black and gold to an Elite 8 matchup with Overseas Elite. An Itheca College grad, Levine served as a graduate assistant for VCU Basketball prior to being elevated to the team’s video coordinator. Remember his name, because he is a future star in the coaching world!
Song: DJ Khaled (feat. Nipsey Hussle, John Legend) – “Higher”
JEQUAN LEWIS (POINT GUARD)
A VCU legend who will make his first appearance with team Ram Nation, Lewis has spent his time post-VCU both in the NBA G League and overseas including most recently with Kymis of the top Greek league. Lethal on both sides of the ball, Lewis will be a deadly new addition to this year’s team and a joy to watch back on the Siegel Center floor where he helped lead four teams to NCAA tournament appearances.
Song: Polo G (feat. Lil Tjay) – “Pop Out”
ERIC MAYNOR (Co-GM/COACH)
Maynor may not make it to Richmond due to what is looking like a new coaching gig in the NBA, but the VCU legend has been a huge part of the behind-the-scenes decision making of this year’s Ram Nation team. He is the all-time leading scorer and assist man at VCU and played two summers at the point with team Ram Nation after a successful pro career in the NBA.
Song: Bino Rideaux – “Boz0”
JOEY RODRIGUEZ (CO-GM/COACH)
Started out as team Ram Nation’s player/coach in year-one, then took over coaching duties in year-two and had to sit out this past summer due to a new assistant coaching job under Jeremy Ballard at FIU. Joey has helped make decisions behind the scenes, serving as co-GM and may be assisting with coaching duties as well.
Song: Chris Brown (feat. Gunna) – “Heat”
BRANDON ROZZELL (GUARD)
One of the most exciting players during his time at VCU and one of the most effective players for team Ram Nation in his three previous seasons in TBT, Rozzell returns to keep opposing defenses on their toes. Rozzell is one of the TBT’s all-timer leaders in three-point percentage and threes made.
Song: Young Thug (feat. J. Cole, Travis Scott) – “The London”
MAT SHELTON-EIDE (GM)
I’m still here. Year-four of GMing team Ram Nation. We’ve fielded rosters that have played in more ESPN games than any other VCU team outside of the men’s hoops team the past three years, attempting to crack the code that is four-time champ, Overseas Elite, each year. Is this the year we do it?
Song: Young M.A – “BIG”
JAMIE SKEEN (FORWARD/CENTER)
The only VCU player to ever make an NCAA All-Tournament team following VCU’s run to the 2011 Final 4, Skeen rejoins team Ram Nation for his third season after missing the previous year while rehabbing an injury.
Song: DaBaby – “Suge”
DARIUS THEUS (POINT GUARD)
One of the most respected players among his peers, Theus returns to team Ram Nation for his third year of TBT action (missing year-two due to a new job with the Texas Longhorns). He helped lead VCU to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and has been a key part of team Ram Nation’s TBT success as well.
Song: Mustard (feat. Roddy Ricch) – “Ballin'”
JUSTIN TUOYO (FORWARD/CENTER)
Tuoyo began his career at VCU before following Will Wade and more playing time to UT Chattanooga where he became a legend for the Mocs, earning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year honors three consecutive seasons. Has played professionally overseas since graduating in 2017. The big man impressively blocked 1.6 shots per contest overseas this year while shooting 37.9% from three, a combination that makes Tuoyo a unique player on this year’s Ram Nation roster.
Song: YFN Lucci – “POET”
B.A. WALKER (GUARD)
Walker joins Rozzell and Reggie Williams as the only players to ever play all four years for Ram Nation in TBT. The sharpshooter will enter TBT play fresh off a French championship he earned with Saint-Quintin. Walker averaged 11.4 points while connecting on 38.3% of his threes this past season.
Song: Young Thug, Future – “All da Smoke”
REGGIE WILLIAMS (GUARD/FORWARD)
Back for his senior year with Ram Nation, Williams led the nation in scoring his junior (28.1 points) and senior (27.8) seasons at VMI and is the all-time leader for points scored by a DI college basketball player in the state of Virginia. The Prince George product followed his incredible college career with six years of NBA action and has most recently taken his talents overseas.
Song: Outkast – “B.O.B.”