The Byrd Cage

Previewing The Stetson … Hatters? – At Belmont Saturday

In Game Posts on January 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Coming off the most packed game in Curb Event Center history (going with my gut on that one), Belmont taking a big “L”, and Lipscomb running away with the Boulevard- I anticipate a “back to normal” feeling in the CEC.

This, after all, is not what I want.  But how much will this loss affect attendance?  How much will it affect morale going deep into conference play?  These questions, and more, will be answered Saturday when we play the (7-9) Stetson Hatters.

Did I just say Hatters?  Yes, I did.  And when “googling” Stetson, the first thing that comes up is a “western wear” website.  Second, is the actual university.  This is because John Batterson Stetson (pictured below) is not only the inventor of the cowboy hat, but also one of the largest philanthropists in early 1900s educational facilities in Florida (See: Stetson University and Stetson University Law School).

John B. Stetson

…so, I guess they kind of had to be called the “Hatters”.

Quick Facts

-Stetson University is located about 30 minutes from DisneyWorld, making it a “pretty cool” place to go to school, I guess

-Stetson University has about 2300 students, 58% of which are women.  BOO-YAH.

-Student to faculty ratio is 11:1 (Something Belmont still claims, and lies about- unless you are a philosophy major)

-Stetson was founded in 1883

The Game Preview

Because of their strange mascot name combined with the player’s names, confusing headlines about their wins can occur (see:  Green Powers Hatters To Win Over UNF ).  Say that ten times fast.

This article was talking about Willie Green, 6-7 Sophomore Forward, who put up a double-double against UNF.

This guy, falls on my “Players to Watch” list.  While he is not a normal starter for the team, and hasn’t played like this all season- i’m still putting him up here.  So shut it.  His “anomaly” game feels less like that when you factor in his transfer status this year and him getting used to the team.

Whilst talking about anomalies, Stetson has a serious problem with scoring.  Luckily Belmont does not, unless they are playing Lipscomb.  Stetson scores about 68.1 points a game, ranking it towards the last of the NCAA in that respect, while Belmont is still ranked 18th overall in the NCAA in scoring at 79.2.

I’m going to be honest here, guys and gals.  I played basketball.  One year.  When I was in 6th grade.  I was what you would call the “sixth” man a.k.a. the-most-important-man-on-the-team (as my Mom told me), and even I know that we need to play these kids hard below.

We need to play them down low not because they are necessarily weak on the post, or because they are tough guarding the perimeter, but because WE need to get better inside.  It was the key that lost us the game last Friday.  Other than our abysmal shooting, we just kept pumping the ball outside, lobbing up threes.  It was a horrendous sight.

But, this is a new game.  This is when the rubber hits the road.  14 games left, we need to pick up the pace.

Early Bracketology

Don’t get mad.  I almost didn’t put this up.  But I just want to talk about the “national” conversation of Belmont (there is one!).

Joe Lunardi likes Belmont.  He likes them more than ever, apparently.  If you click the word “apparently” you will see that Joe “Crazypants” Lunardi puts Belmont in a 12 seed this year.  Why?  Why did he put us in our best seed in the history of Belmont’s tournament going for this year, you ask?  I wish I knew.  But I don’t.

We won 30 games last year.  What more could you ask for?  You see, Belmont is a Mid-Major that everyone is just waiting for.  They are waiting for the signature win.  If we would have popped Duke in the mouth, gave Memphis a closer run for their money, and won 30 games again this year, I would fully expect something closer to a 10 seed.  My opinion on Lunardi’s projection this year is that he remembers us from last year.  This is a good thing.  True, we may not be the team we were last year, we may have lost to Lipscomb at home, and MTSU away- but we are carrying that “tricky” Mid-Major banner over our shoulders the whole way.

Let’s just hope we stay tricky enough in the minds of the voters in March.


-Brett McReynolds


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