House of ‘Paign reloading for the 2021 The Basketball Tournament

We are just over six weeks away from the start of some Illinois basketball.

Who all is currently set to suit up for the Illini’s alumni team, “House of ‘Paign”  in The Basketball Tournament (TBT)?

In last year’s TBT, the House of ‘Paign, managed by former Illini Mike LaTulip, was sneaky good, especially when considering they were only a No. 16 seed in the tournament.

House of ‘Paign won two games in 2020’s event, dominating the first game vs. No. 17 seed “War Tampa” by a score of 76-53.  They would then advance to the second round of the tournament to knock off the TBT’s No. 1 seed “Carmen’s Crew,” the alumni team for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The run came to an end, however, when House of ‘Paign lost to Dayton’s alumni team “Red Scare” in the quarterfinals of the TBT.

During the run, the Illini were led by Mike Daum, also known as “The Dauminator.”  Daum, who graduated from South Dakota State University, led House of ‘Paign with 18.7 points per game. This includes 21-point and 23-point performances in the two House of ‘Paign wins.

The rest of the members of the 2020 House of ‘Paign squad consisted of Andres Feliz, Malcolm Hill, Nnanna Egwu, Michael Finke, Kyle Vinales, Leron Black, and Billy Garrett Jr.  Cameron Liss, who is also an Illinois basketball alum, was the team’s assistant manager.

Who will be suiting up for House of ‘Paign in The Basketball Tournament this year?

The 2021 House of ‘Paign squad will see both new and familiar faces. LaTulip will be getting his 2020 leading scorer back, as Daum confirmed he will be returning to the team.

Other returnees include Feliz (2018-2020), Black (2015-2018), and Egwu (2011-2015).  During Feliz’s two seasons with the Orange and Blue, the guard averaged 9.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. During Black’s four years with the Illini, the big man averaged 9 points, 5.2 boards, and 0.5 assists per game. Egwu averaged 5.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in his four years at Illinois.

Newcomers for the 2021 squad include Illini alumni Kipper Nichols (2017-2020), Rayvonte Rice (2013-2015), and Demetri McCamey (2007-2011).

Rice, who is most notably known for his game-winning step-back three-point buzzer-beater versus Missouri in the 2014 “Braggin’ Rights” rivalry game, averaged 16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in his two years at Illinois. McCamey recorded 12.4 points, 3.1 boards, and 5.3 assists during his four-year career with the Orange and Blue.

Most recently, it was announced last Friday that Nichols will be joining House of ‘Paign this year. Before averaging 10.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in the United Kingdom this past season, Nichols averaged 6.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest in his four seasons with the Illini.

The “Illinois Region” of the TBT is set to begin on Saturday, July 24 at 12:00 PM EST.