The Basketball Tournament, which dubs itself “a fully quarantined tournament” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, has begun and former Arizona forward Ryan Luther’s team Herd That advanced today to the “Super 16” round.
Herd That, a team comprised mostly of Marshall University alum, defeated the Peoria All-Stars 80-65 in an opening round game at the Nationwide Arena at Columbus, Ohio. Luther finished with seven points, four rebounds, and three blocks over 19 minutes
Herd That next plays The Money Team, which includes Arizona standout Nick Johnson, the 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year, at 11 a.m. (Tucson time) on Thursday. The game will be televised by ESPN.
After playing a year in the Latvia-Estonia pro league, Luther will play in Turkey next season with Darussafaka.
Johnson’s The Money Team is a team that is sponsored by boxer Floyd Mayweather. Former Gonzaga standout Kyle Wiltjer is on the team. Johnson and Wiltjer were teammates last season on Turk Telekom in Turkey. Former Washington guard Tony Wroten and UCLA guard Bryce Alford are also teammates of Johnson.
The team that wins the tournament is awarded $1 million.
Luther played with Arizona in the 2018-19 season as a graduate transfer from Pitt. His winning share if Herd That wins the title is $100,000.
Johnson’s winning share is $150,000 if The Money Team wins it all.
ESPN reported that Luther and Herd That have quarantined themselves in a hotel for the last three weeks and practiced social distancing with facemasks to and from workouts. Daily tests are done on players. If a player tests positive, the whole team is eliminated.
Mark Lyons, another former graduate transfer who played for Sean Miller at Arizona, will play for Heartfire against the Men of Mackey at 4 p.m. today on ESPN2. One of Lyons’ teammates is former UCLA player Jordan Adams.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.