The Byrd Cage

Belmont Slips Past Jacksonville; Previewing UNF

In Game Posts on January 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Belmont Beats Jacksonville 85-71

If you were one of the 2,429 fans in attendance at Saturday’s game against Jacksonville you got to see some weird, wild stuff.

Maybe it was just where I was sitting but it felt like Belmont was losing the entire game. We also got to see one of the worst officiating jobs I’ve seen in a while. The only thing that was weird about it is that the refs made a lot of really good calls and missed a lot of really easy ones.  We also got to see a Rick Byrd technical in this strange game.  I have never seen Rick as emotional and animated as I have seen him this year, and I think he feels what all of us feel; talent abounds yet good basketball seems to elude whatever squad happens to be on the floor. I would love to know what Coach said to that referee to get the technical. Whatever it was, I think Vince Gill approved.

The highpoints of the game are obvious to me: Kerron tallies another 20+ game, continuing his reign of terror. I wish he would drive the lane EVERY DAMNED POSSESSION.  Blake’s 18 point performance just shines a little light on what he is capable of doing. I don’t know that Belmont has had a player comparable to Blake in the past. He could be a game-changing caliber forward and the type of interior presence that Belmont’s forwards are generally not accustomed to being.

On To the Next One: University of North Florida Ospreys

As any tenured Belmont fan should know, UNF is historically a scrimmage. However, if you watched the A-Sun Tournament last year, you know that UNF is a much different program. Let’s go to Chago’s for the analysis:

Uno Taco – UNF is 11-12 overall, 5-5 in the ASun with two wins over Lipscomb.

Dos Equis  – In stature, UNF resembles Jacksonville; nobody to play a solid C position but several 6’6” – 6’7” that will provide fresh legs off the bench. Watch for Travis Wallace (6’6” F So.)  to fill the post the majority of the night. He leads the team in rebounds per game and is second in points per game. Parker Smith is the go-to scorer for the Sea Birds. He’s averaging 12.7 per game but Belmont held him to 10 in the last contest. UNF runs a balanced attack, Belmont-esque you might say, with every player averaging double-digit minutes. However, as a team the Hawkies have a total of 359 turnovers to 286 assists. I’m calling a Kerron Johnson triple-double.

Tres Enchiladas – Oh yeah, I should mention, Belmont beat the Fish Eagles 83-53 back on January 2nd. I think we can attribute at least some of that deficit to a lively New Year’s Eve down in Jacksonville.

Quattro Margaritas – The X factor in my opinion is Matt Driscoll. He was on the staff that turned Baylor around and also coached Clemson for a spell. When Belmont jumps to the OVC next season, Driscoll will be the #1 or #2 coach in the ASun. With the Sea Hawks finishing a four game road stretch at the Curb tonight, plus coming off a big win at whatever dredge Lipscomb occupies, Driscoll will have his band of undersized miscreants fired up.


Belmont plays Lipscomb on Friday. If you make the decision to go to that game, please make sure you hydrate before the game, avoid small children at all costs and be sure that you represent the Belmont fan base as being some of the meanest, loudest, most relentless, most clever sons of B’s in town. This may be the last time we play those postulant children for a while. May they long remember the name of the street on which they reside.

-Til I die


Belmont plays UNF tonight at the Curb Event Center.  Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

  1. Belmont actually did not gain the lead until the 15:51 mark of the first half and lost it briefly at the 8:46 mark in the second half before Kerron Johnson three ball.

  2. UNF actually has 286 assists and 139 steals (

  3. Josh Slater, how dare you comment on this blog. I will take note, however, of your corrections and send them to the author.

  4. LOL – I hope that was the real SLATER

    Matt, great write up. Truly – we need Chagos as an official sponsor of the byrd cage.

    Regarding Jacksonville – while I too was overjoyed with Blake’s performance on Satruday night, I realized that Drew Hanlen had a career night as well against Jacksonville on their first meeting earlier this season. Was Blake awesome? Yes. I especially dug the double pump three he took when the zone willfully left him open behind the arc. All I’m saying is that I hope this truly was a sign of things to come from Blake and not just an example of how bad Jacksonville was.

    I echo your thoughts on Kerron driving on every possesion – dude is like a slinky the way he weaves and wobbles around the big men. Personally, I’d like to see him drive and dish back out to the gaurds more. As of late, it seems his driving almost always results in a take at a layup. Not complaining – jus thinking.

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