As team Zip Em Up has moved through the Xavier region, dispatching Sweet Home Alabama with ease and then knocking off a very good Sideline Cancer team, They have been matched by a team united not by school, but by state. Florida TNT has been every bit as impressive in their first two games, and they represent a serious test.
The first team that Florida TNT knocked off was Team Aboutbillions. That one ended 114-57 and propelled the Florida squad to the top of the highest scoring teams list. There’s not a great deal you can take from what essentially amounted to a buy game in TBT.
Yesterday, Florida got a game from the Fort Wayne Champs. Fort Wayne is who dispatched Nasty Nati, the toothless group from UC. TNT had to actually play to beat FWC, so that game gives a bit more insight into how the boys from Florida will actually play.
TNT went seven deep with a rotation that heavily featured Kenny Boynton and Keith Clanton. Boynton is a scoring point guard who can score it from all three levels. His most recent season in China he shot nearly 50% from the floor and 38% behind the arc. Thus far in TBT he is averaging 19/3.5/4. Against FWC he racked up 34 minutes, scored 12, and was 4-5 inside the arc.
Keith Clanton is a big who plays like one. He hasn’t attempted a professional three point in nearly four years. Instead, he gets inside and cleans up the glass. Against FWC he was 10-11 inside the paint and scored 22 points to go with his seven rebounds. He will be a serious problem inside, especially if Matt Stainbrook is still suffering with whatever sent him down the tunnel near the end of last game.
Chris Warren is another guard who can stroke it. He’s listed at 5-10, but went 6-12 behind the arc in a virtuoso 24 point performance against Fort Wayne. Dominique Jones is an NBA vet who is leading Florida in assists and will log serious minutes in a guard heavy lineup. Johnathan Holton is second on the team in rebounds and played more minutes than starter Quincy Ford. Finally, shooter Brandon Robinson is capable of exploding at any time like he did against Aboutbillions, or having a quiet night like he did against Fort Wayne.
Florida is every bit as good a team as Sideline Cancer. Zip Em Up would do well to make some of the 30+ threes they are sure to take and to use Kerem Kanter to stretch Keith Clanton away from the basket if they can. The quarterfinals await, but the last step to get there will be a big one.