Yesterday, you picked your favorite GRIT & GRINDERS from the Damon Bailey Region. Today, we move on to the IVAN RENKO REGION, which we described in our intro piece as guys that either a) were loved because they were just so dang bad or b) rose to an unlikely role deep off the bench and evolved into a serviceable player. The team memes. This does not need further explanation.
Ben provided both sides to the story yesterday, but THEN Y'ALL VOTED OUT LEVRON WILLIAMS so to hell with that. Here's who I think you should pick in each matchup.
(1) Tijan Jobe vs. (16) Fan's Choice: Tom Pritchard
Pritchard shouldn't technically be in this category, really, but y'all voted him in anyway. Still, this isn't close. Our own David Siegel will have a profile on Tijan Jobe tomorrow that you won't want to miss, too. VOTE: TIJAN.
(8) Josiah Sears vs. (9) Isaiah Roundtree
Roundtree is a super-likeable dude that seems to be an undersized favorite of the guys on the team, who eventually earned his way on scholarship. BUT JOSIAH SEARS. Guy went from novelty white-dude short yardage back to team captain as a senior, should probably be in the GRIT GUY category. I mean how can you not like this dude running over middling MAC linebackers? VOTE: SEARS
(5) Ryan Tapak vs. (12) Mark Johnson
TEAMMATES. Confession: Ryan Tapak was my favorite Hoosier basketball player for a period in middle school. There was a period of time as a young (read: bad) point guard my on-court influences were Jason Williams and RYAN DANG TAPAK. I will romanticize this game forever, in which two walk-ons ran train on Ohio State and Indiana was about to make a cinderella run to the tournament and bring another title home to Bloomington. They missed the tournament instead. Still. VOTE: TAPAK
4) Zander Diamont vs. (13) Ty Smith
Ty Smith seems real chill, is from Bloomington, and is Tracy Smith's kid. He's also friends with Zander Diamont, who wins this matchup by approximately 6,504,974 points. He'll eventually be off this list, but when you start the year not even on the two-deep, you are technically a bench guy. Plus, did you think we'd leave him out of this tournament? PLEASE. VOTE: DIAMONT
(6) Kory Barnett vs. (11) Danny Moore
Danny Moore played some! I still have no idea if Kory Barnett has ever held a basketball. I don't think there's ever video proof of this -- stills can be photoshopped. VOTE: BARNETT.
(3) Kyle Taber vs. (14) Nate Ritchie
Taber actually made some starts, but gets docked points because Sampson. Nate Ritchie is a white-dude walk-on who beat Troy Williams & Hanner Perea in a dunk contest. VOTE: RITCHIE
(7) Jeff Howard vs. (10) Tim Priller
Y'all are going to vote for Priller on sheer #recencybias alone, but Howard actually did things occasionally. I still don't know exactly what a "Tim Priller" is. I need more weirdness from you, Tim. VOTE: HOWARD but reserve the right to change vote if it is discovered Priller is an Uber driver within the next week.
(2) Errek Suhr vs. (15) Rhett Lewis Kleinschmidt
Hulls + Fife + Moore = Errek Suhr. I really like NFL AM, Rhett, but Errek wins this one going away. VOTE: SUHR.
CAST YOUR VOTE HERE.