A deeper look at the projected Mass Street TBT roster

photo by: The Basketball Tournament

Mass Street's Thomas Robinson (right) and Lagerald Vick (left) celebrate after defeating Missouri's Show Me Squad 69-65 in the second round of TBT at Wichita State University on Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Mass Street, the Kansas alumni team set to participate in next month’s edition of The Basketball Tournament, is beginning to reveal more of its roster. In line with the words of former team member and now-retired Keith Langford, who wrote on social media after the 2023 tournament that he wanted to recruit “more of our YOUNGER professional alumni,” this year’s team looks to have quite a few more athletes who sported the crimson and blue not so long ago.

That will be a promising development for its chances in Wichita next month. In its first-round matchup against We Are D3 last year, Mass Street faced off against players who were an average of 7.6 years younger.

Some of Mass Street’s wily veterans, such as Mario Little, Thomas Robinson and Kevin Young, are expected to be back. But Tyshawn Taylor, the team’s current organizer now that the Mass St. Collective is only nominally involved with the event, has added quite a few new (but familiar) faces to the mix.

For example, Marcus Garrett, whose participation was announced for the first time on Wednesday, is only three years removed from attending KU and played in the NBA G League last season. Silvio De Sousa finished his last collegiate year at Chattanooga even more recently.

Here’s a look at what each former KU player has been up to of late.

Team Blue forward Silvio De Sousa (22) weaves his way to the bucket past Team Crimson players Mitch Lightfoot, Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun during the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at Free State High School. Photo by Nick Krug

Silvio De Sousa: De Sousa was a key contributor to KU’s now-vacated 2018 Final Four run, but on the whole had what could be charitably described as a tumultuous few years in Lawrence. He opted out of the 2020-21 season and then went away for his final year of college basketball.

De Sousa has made his return to Lawrence via appearances in the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic each of the last two years. Meanwhile, the Angola native has played in France and Greece. He completed his season with Aris Thessaloniki on June 6, having averaged 7.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for the Greek club.

photo by: AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Miami Heat guard Marcus Garrett (0) controls the ball after falling to the court in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.

Marcus Garrett: A four-year contributor for the Jayhawks and one of KU’s best defenders in the Bill Self era, Garrett opted not to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility provided due to the pandemic and went into the 2021 NBA Draft, where he was not selected. He showed off that defense in spurts over the course of two seasons and summer-league stints in the Miami Heat organization, and appeared in 12 games during the 2021-22 campaign, but was hampered by multiple wrist injuries.

Last season, after making a brief cameo with the New York Knicks in the NBA Summer League and then signing a deal to go overseas to a team in Germany, Garrett got his American rights traded to the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League in December. In 33 games with the Swarm, which is affiliated with the Charlotte Hornets, Garrett averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

photo by: AP Photo/Eric Gay

San Antonio Spurs’ Dedric Lawson during a NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in San Antonio.

Dedric Lawson: Lawson spent just one year at KU, 2018-19, after transferring from Memphis, and stuffed the stat sheet for the Jayhawks, averaging a double-double at 19 points and 10 rebounds and earning the honor of Big 12 Conference newcomer of the year.

He parlayed that strong season into NBA consideration, but went undrafted. He caught on with the Golden State Warriors in the Summer League, then spent 42 games in the G League with the Austin Spurs before going overseas.

Lawson played the 2023-24 season in South Korea and excelled, tallying 22.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game and earning the MVP award for the league’s top foreign player.

photo by: Mark Kuhlmann/TBT

Mass Street’s Mario Little shoots over Heartfire’s Craig Sword during a game at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita on July 23, 2023.

Mario Little: Little is 13 years removed from the conclusion of his KU career. He spent three years in Lawrence after transferring from the junior-college ranks and primarily served as a role player.

He began his pro career in Ukraine before spending several years in what was then known as the NBA D-League. In the years since, Little has become quite the international journeyman, playing in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Qatar, the Philippines, South Korea, Spain and Venezuela.

Little was a member of the Self Made TBT team in 2019 and last year’s Mass Street team.

photo by: AP Photo/John Raoux

Orlando Magic guard Frank Mason III moves the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Frank Mason III: The prized acquisition of this year’s squad, Mason is one of the most decorated Jayhawks of the modern era. He was a four-year contributor at KU who started 110 career games and as a senior scored 20.9 points per game with 5.2 assists. That got him named the unanimous national player of the year.

Mason was picked by the Sacramento Kings early in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft and received his greatest quantity of professional action as a rookie, when he averaged 7.9 points in 52 games. Since spending his first two years with the Kings he has bounced around, putting up KU-like numbers in the G League with the Wisconsin Herd in 2019-20 and earning league MVP honors but only participating in four NBA games the following year.

Mason played the 2023-24 season with Nancy in France.

photo by: AP Photo/Nick Wass

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Malik Newman (14) in action during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Washington. The Wizards won 110-93.

Malik Newman: Best known for his postseason heroics, including a 32-point showing in the 2018 Elite Eight against Duke, Newman declared for the draft after just one season in Lawrence.

He saw extensive time across three separate seasons in the G League, particularly with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ affiliate. But by the time he returned overseas to Russia, he had only appeared in two NBA games for the Cavs.

He most recently played for Avtodor Saratov in the Russian league for a second stint this spring and tallied 16.4 points per game.

photo by: Mark Kuhlmann/TBT

Thomas Robinson celebrates after sinking the game-winning putback at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita on July 19, 2023.

Thomas Robinson: Robinson will be back for TBT after scoring a pair of Elam Ending game-winners for Mass Street last year and leading the team in scoring for two of its three games. In college, the three-year Jayhawk posted 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game as he earned Big 12 player of the year honors before going fifth overall to the Kings in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Robinson had the longest and most fruitful NBA career of any Mass Street participant, seeing time for six separate teams across five seasons in 313 career games, mostly off the bench. He got traded three additional times before the most statistically successful stint of his career, a 22-game swing with the Philadelphia 76ers in which he averaged 8.8 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Robinson briefly appeared in the G League in 2019 but otherwise has been overseas, mostly in Asia. He nearly averaged a double-double in the Indonesian league this spring.

photo by: TBT

Mass Street’s Jamari Traylor contests a shot by Show Me’s Isiaih Mosley at the second round of TBT at Wichita State University on Saturday, July 22, 2023.

Jamari Traylor: Mass Street returnee Traylor was another longtime role player for the Jayhawks, receiving his greatest run as a junior in 2014-15.

He underwent a somewhat different career arc from many of his peers, starting overseas before moving to the NBA G League with the Oklahoma City Blue in 2022. However, he only ended up getting into two games with the Blue, and in years since has taken his talents to Argentina and most recently Turkey. With Balikesir in Turkey’s second division, he tallied nine doubles and leveraged a strong midseason stretch into final stats of 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

photo by: Mark Kuhlmann/TBT

Mass Street’s Lagerald Vick looks to connect from the corner during a game at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita on July 19, 2023.

Lagerald Vick: Vick had a turbulent few years in Lawrence that culminated when he came back for the 2018-19 season after initially entering the draft, averaged 14.1 points per game but then missed the home stretch of his final season while taking a leave of absence.

He has played professionally on four continents, most recently making the move to New Zealand for a high-scoring seven-game stint with the Southland Sharks in March and April.

He joined last season’s TBT team and scored in double digits twice.

photo by: Mark Kuhlmann/TBT

Mass Street’s Kevin Young looks for space during the game against We Are D3 at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita on July 19, 2023.

Kevin Young: Another veteran of both Self Made and Mass Street, Young will participate in a third TBT. The former Loyola Marymount standout transferred to KU halfway through his collegiate career and was efficient as a senior, when he averaged 7.8 points on 56.2% shooting and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Unlike many of his peers, Young has played basketball primarily in the Americas. Young, who is Puerto Rican, has joined several teams in the territory’s Baloncesto Superior Nacional league. Between 2015 and 2020, he also spent several stints in the G League, for a total of 97 games with three separate teams.

Most recently, Young played in The Basketball League for a new team, the Frederick Flying Cows, for nine games.

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