The Byrd Cage

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Belmont Gets To Semi-Finals; 76-62 Win Over Jacksonville

In Game Posts on February 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

As Ian Clark iced his ankle at the end of the bench, Adam Barnes took the floor with the rest of the usual starters; Johnson, Hedgepeth, Hanlen, and Jenkins.

With Kerron’s back spasms worrying Bruin fans and Jenkins’ sitting out last game as well, a very unsettling feeling made its way over me before the game started.

But it seemed to be business as usual for the Bruins.  Up by 15 at one point, the lead felt like it would get away from Jacksonville, but the Dolphins kept battling the Ian Clark-less Bruins.   Shooting 35% from the 3, the Bruins delivered a nail-biting game in the last 10 minutes.  Cutting the lead to just 7 with five minutes left, the Dolphins proved they would not go away, but Kerron’s clutch three-point basket at 4:21 started to squelch the momentum.  Johnson ultimately showered 19 points against the tricky Jacksonville defense as Belmont got its win, 76-62.  

But the game just looked sloppy overall to the avid Bruin fan.  The score simply did not equal the true feel of the game.  While only 10 turnovers were committed by Belmont, the sloppiness came in the stat-line of 23-58 from the field.  Thankfully, our consistency came from the foul line.  The Bruins got there 31 times and made 24.  Scott Saunders scored 8 of his 18 points from that line and we doubled their offensive rebounds.

After the game, Associate Head Coach Brian Ayers spoke with Kevin Ingram from the Bruin Sports Network, “We did enough to win.  The bad turnovers and decision making is something we have to correct if we want to win on Saturday.”  He also spoke about the multiple defenses Johnson faced throughout the game.  “You have got to give Jacksonville a lot of credit.  They mixed their defenses up.  Triangle 2, zone, man- but with a guy like Kerron who can beat his man, it was good to get him back in there.  But it was tough without Ian. “

Kerron also talked about his clutch three-pointer at the end of the game.  “Alot of my shots had been going in and out, but teamates kept saying keep trying… and I stepped up and made  a shot when I had to.”  He also spoke about Ian Clark’s absence.  “Everybody knew we had to step up our game… it was a big loss for us.  We are hoping he gets better.”

Belmont will play University of North Florida or East Tennessee State University on Friday.  Tip-off will be at 6 ET.


About Last Night With Mort and Hugs- Week 2

In Game Posts on February 29, 2012 at 7:41 am

If you, the reader, decide that this blog (and especially this column) are a legitimate choice for wasting your time, then you should know my absolute disdain for the hashtag. At any given time, I can go onto twitter and find 5 hashtags within 2 minutes that are downright stupid: #iworkwithher #feedbackrules #baja4life #stunnerbitch #powerinthevolumeofprayer (yes. I found this.) #wontletmechangechannel

And my all-time favorite:


#Truth? You have just made some sort of statement of pejorative fact, like “The Oscars are great television.” Or “Lady Antebellum is good music” Or “I love sandwiches!”. You then qualify your statement, which we assume to be true initially, or at least that you believe it to be true, by adding the hashtag #truth to the very end. I think this is intended to be some sort of exclamation point, some kind of definitive value judgment party where you are the emcee and we’re invited after all the beer is gone. You know what? Here’s the truth: the only Oscar nominated movie that I have seen is Moneyball, Lady Antebellum is for sissies, and your hashtag SUCKS. It implies that everything else you say that doesn’t include your proclamation of rightness is, in fact, not a fact. #Truth makes you a serial liar, and I hate you for it.  Hashtags have four distinct purposes: to organize your own tweets, target your audience, get you more retweets, and get you more followers. Notice that this list does not include impressing others with whimsical nonsense or smashing random words together. #Truth.


@itsburgtime (Jordan Burgason, top 3-point shooter in nation, Lipscomb player until kicked out for unknown reasons): I wore my Mickey mouse sweater to golf today for good luck. Screw Mickey and the whole Disney crew.

Mort:  I have a feeling Mr. Burg will be a regular in our column. Does this mean that you played a poor round of golf or that you know that Disney would never want you to wear or endorse their characters due to your expulsion from college due to undisclosed discretions?

Spencer Turner (Belmont b-ball player) (@SpencerTurner11)

Just made a 4 hour drive. My cheeks are about as numb as Dolly Parton’s chest!!

Brandon Baker (Belmont b-ball player) (@2sicksideburns)

I had no idea Harden had this kind of lock down D. He must have been hiding it in his beard.

Mort:  Have you been hiding your wit in your 2 sick sideburns?

Hugs:  If his beard is anything like mine, there is also probably some Dorito flavoring in it. Ladies…

Chad Lang (Belmont b-ball player) @WildboyZero

I’m 19 with lines on my face from smiling too much. I’ll take it.

Mort:  I’m 25 with hair on my chest from too much 70’s adult star swag. I’ll take it.

Hugs:  I’m 26 with no job.

Lewis Preston (Kennesaw State b-ball Men’s Coach)  @Lewp42

I am on our bus thinking about the upcoming week of games and recruiting and seeing future OWLS! The future is EXCITING!

Hugs:  The key word here is “future.”  I can think of nothing LESS exciting for the KSU Owls than the present.  Or the recent past. Or even the immediate future.

Mort:  You made me giggle like Jordan Burgason. Give me 85 grand and I’ll get you 0 wins in conference. Less money, same result.

Hugs:  I would do it for 39K and a dental plan.

@notmarkeithcummings (The fake basketball player for Kennesaw State)

Transferring to Belmont GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR #byrdcage

…just sayin’…



Ryan Hurd @notryanhurd

@DrewHanlan (Belmont b-ball player), Your middle name is “Hoopin’” right?

Mort:  I’m not hearing any objections.  I’ll need to see a birth certificate to prove otherwise.

Adam Barnes (Belmont b-ball player) (@Dat_Boi_AB)

Stay in to many hotels… Always forget my room number
Mort:  Code for: “So many women, always forget her name…”

Holden Mobley (Belmont b-ball player) @Holden Mobley

Vanesssa Hudgens. Wow. Underrated
Mort:  Really? I think she is just plain ‘rated’.

Adam Barnes (@Dat_Boi_AB)

Just ate the entire box of fruit snacks… Sorry team! Lol
Hugs:  It’s difficult to keep up your FG percentage when you’ve lost a foot to diabetes.

Adam Barnes (@Dat_Boit_AB)

Awww man!!! Headed to Cracker Barrel with the team… Look out world!

Hugs:  I also refer to my intestines as “world.”


An Exclusive Look Backstage at The ByrdCage

Email Thread with Adult Steve, who is in Haiti getting points in heaven for our blog:

One time in college, Steve and I created God’s Team on MVP Baseball 2006 for Xbox, where each player was a character from the Bible with infinite ability and played for the Angels.  I think his trip is making up for those blasphemies: 

Hugs: I hope you accidentally get on the wrong plane, and then have to spend one harrowing night setting booby traps for robbers in an empty hut. Also, Can we all agree that Home Alone 3 would have been semi-watchable if they had just jumped the shark and sent Kevin to Haiti?

Adult Steve: It would have been better with the afflicted and damaged Culkin.  Instead they used some cute kid.  I wouldn’t have minded watching Kevin murder people in the streets.   With Stern and Pesci it would have felt more Goodfellas meets Lord of the Flies.  Bad for family movies but good for me.

Idea: For Christmas 2014, Christopher Nolan’s gritty reboot of Home Alone.  Kevin McAlister is an Iraq War vet with EXTREME PTSD.  He just got out of a VA hospital where he’s been for 3 years.  He’s living with his parents, and due to a couple months of “good days” they figure they can trust him with watching the house for a weekend while they go out of town to visit friends.  Their new house is in a somewhat rural area; what could go wrong?


Think bear traps and knives instead of irons and bb guns.

Mort: Yeah I wanted to see an 18-year-old tweaker-Kevin whose weekend bender caused him to miss the family flight to San Diego. His drug dealer finds him passed out in an alley with no money, puts him in a crate and ships him to Somalia, where Kevin becomes a hash kingpin, because even without money, he still has more than those people. He hears the bells of the mosque on Christmas day, realized that without his mom, he’s never getting home, but also realizes that he has no means of communication. He hitches a pirate ship, which is more like a canoe, and baits them into attacking a French cruise ship. Culkin gags himself and pretends to be captive, then boards the cruise, has relations with 6 women from the Riviera, gets to the Aegean, jumps a flight back to New York, where he meets his mom at the Rockefeller tree as they are tearing it down for the season. “Mom, I’m sorry for using…I’ll try to take it easy…”




Isaiah Canaan (Ballin’ Guard for the one loss Murray State Racers) (@SiP03)

2/22/12 6:55 PM

The only different between a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins!! #fact

Mort:  This guy is bound for the NBA, where spelling and general smartness are not prerequisite. Actually, the difference between a winner and a loser is the score at the end of the game. I’ll give you a break because you are the best player on an insanely talented MSU team, but I’m deducting points for your lack of proofreading and for the most hilarious use of hashtag of all time. You substituted the oft-used #fact for the overused #truth at the end of a tweet that is neither. You see, what you said doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, and the fact that I tried for almost four minutes to understand what you were attempting to communicate just ended up making me dumber. I cannot even figure out an example of when this statement applies. Hugs? 

Hugs:  Mr. Canaan, you are aware that all sporting contests have some form of time limit, correct?  It is in fact these limits and the difference in score existing when they are reached that determine winners and losers.  And while we recognize that this tweet is a commentary on the nature of effort and self-image, it is nevertheless #factuallyinaccurate.  Consider some more reasonable alternatives:

The only different [sic] between a winner and a loser is a winner keeps his knees healthy enough to amass a respectable win-loss percentage.”

“The only different [sic] between a winner and a loser is some variable function of talent, team support, and officiating.”

“There are many differences between winners and losers, depending on how deep we want to go with this.”

I could go on.  If any of you athletes and budding tweeters want someone to edit, I will do it for $1 per tweet.  And a dental plan.

Everything You Need To Know About The Atlantic Sun Tournament

In Game Posts on February 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

The brackets are set for the Atlantic Sun Tournament, so be sure to get your office pools organized by Wednesday afternoon.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a pool for a conference tournament. If so, I bet it has never happened with that Atlantic Sun. “Hey, Jim from accounting took Gulf Coast to win it! What a moron!”

This just does not make sense.

But, we here at The Byrd Cage do not concern ourselves with trivial issues like “sense.” So- here’s your guide to the Atlantic Sun Tournament Office Pool:

The Tournament is in Macon so even though the Bears aren’t the “Home Team” they’ll be playing on the home court. This is the third year in a row for the tournament to be held in Macon.  And although Macon rhymes with bacon, it just does not smell as good.

The Matchups:

#1 Belmont v. #8  Jacksonville: If you’ve heard or read anything from Coach Byrd over the past few days, you may have noticed he’s been giving a lot of credit to Jacksonville. Granted, they’ve been playing well* but let’s be honest, they haven’t been playing well for 90% of the season. Belmont is in a class by itself and should [SHOULD] have zero problems getting out of Macon with three wins in a row. Take the Bruins. Obviously. (Wednesday 2/29 2:30 EST ESPN3)

#2 Mercer v. #7 Lipscomb: Mercer and Belmont were tied for the #1 spot in the conference two weeks ago. Then Mercer remembered they’re Mercer and commenced losing basketball games to Jacksonville, UNF and Belmont. Mercer deserves credit, they’re a good ASun team and the late season Florida road trip is always tough. On the other end, the Bison(s?) season has digressed into a state of general malaise. With the recent departure of Jordan Burgason (from the team, not life) Lipscomb finds themselves simply trying to extend their season. I’ve learned over the past few years that predicting what Lipscomb will do in the tournament is impossible. Lispcomb is 2-1 all time against the Bears in ASun Tournament play. The Bears shouldn’t assume they’ll handle the Bison(s?) but after a 63-54 W over LU five days ago, Mercer should come out on top. But I don’t think they will. Take the upset, Mercer loses in the first round on their home floor. (Wednesday 2/29 6:00 EST ESPN3)

#5 UNF v. #4 ETSU: On paper, this seems like the most even match in the tournament, as it should be. ETSU and UNF both finished 10-8 in the ASun, but ETSU owned UNF during the regular season winning both contests. ETSU visited Belmont on February 18th and put up 58 to Belmont’s 80. Prior to the game, I thought ETSU was a bit of wild card and thought the game could go several different directions. I did not consider a 22 point blowout as one of those potential directions. I don’t have an answer for why ETSU’s season has been so unimpressive, but I don’t really care. I’m glad it has been. UNF, on the other hand, has been impressive over the past few seasons. In last year’s tournament, the Ospreys went on a run and upset both Jacksonville and ETSU in route to a swift 87-46 backhand from Belmont. In a win over Mercer on February 20th, UNF’s Parker Smith scored 46 points himself. That’s the good news. The bad news is the rest of the team only managed 29. I’m a little lost on this game. In any other situation, I might root against ETSU, but should Belmont get past the Dolphins (worst mascot ever by the way), I’d really like to see ETSU again in a Thanks for the Memories type game. Take ETSU, against all my better judgment. (Thursday 3/1 2:30 EST ESPN3)

#3USC Upstate v. #6 FGCU: The Spartans of Upstate may be the scariest team in this tournament. Featuring newly named player of the year Torrey Craig, Upstate makes their first ever ASun Tournament appearance as a three seed. Upstate plays fast and tough which totally conflicts with Belmont’s slow, methodical feel. Even though Gulf Coast has managed to win eight games this season, all but one over ETSU came against lower seeds or teams that did not qualify for the tournament. The Eagles have lost their last five of six including a 87-74 loss to Upstate on February 23rd. Personally, I don’t see a way that Gulf Coast gets through this game. In my opinion, Upstate is as good as Mercer and with two regular season losses to the Bears, I think the Spartans want an opportunity to prove they can handle Mercer even on their home court. Unfortunately, since I picked Lipscomb up there, they’ll have to settle for the Bison(s?). (Thursday 3/1 6:00 EST ESPN3)

That leaves Belmont v. ETSU and USC Upstate v. Lipscomb in the Semi’s.

And in epic fashion, Belmont kicks Lipscomb in their stupid grammatically-challenged heads.

Honestly there’s no reason not to pick Belmont to win it all. They have three (THREE!) first team all conference guards. Three.

Well, that about sums it up for your A-Sun tourney preview.  But, before I go, one more thing.

If you’re going to Mercer, lock your car doors and hide any valuables. And on your way back to Nashville, be sure to hit the Marathon Mart on Mercer University Drive. It is both a petrol station and Chinese buffet. I wish I were kidding about this, but I am 100% serious.   


Belmont Beats Mercer With Bench

In Game Posts on February 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

Would the Bruins play it safe this game?


Many of us were wondering the same thing especially given Belmont’s shellacking of Kennesaw last Thursday.  It would only seem fitting given how well Byrd and co. have been playing lately to take their talents to Macon and lay it on thick to the struggling Bears, right?
Starting Lineup for the Bruins:

Ian Clark

Drew Hanlen

JJ Mann

Adam Barnes

Mick Hedgepeth

Take notice, NO Kerron Johnson and NO Blake Jenkins. So let’s recap, Belmont missing two of their starters in front of a sold out Mercer crowd AND playing a Mercer team that still has a bitter taste about the previous matchup.  This turns out to be not only a tough game but a close one as well. This one went down to the wire with a failed attempt at a last second floater in the paint by Mercer. Final score 62-61, Bruins win.

The Good
It’s always a positive to pull out a W, especially when two of your five starters are sitting on the bench for the game.  Although the team started off extremely slow, our boys never panicked and chipped away multiple leads and showed poise down the stretch when it counted. Well deserved shoutouts to both Ian Clark and Drew Hanlen for essentially playing the entire game in a hard fought contest.


On another note, as Keaton Belcher put it via Twitter, “REECE FREAKING CHAMBERLAIN!”  I had only heard the name in passing prior to this game and given I live in Atlanta; I rarely get to see bench players in action. Reece played exceptionally well and in my opinion was really the catalyst for the resurgence late in the second half. Solid effort by Reece including a tough foul call and some clutch free throws to put us up within the final minute of the game. Chamberlain finished the game solid all-around with nine points, three steals, two assists and three rebounds in twenty-one minutes of play.

The Bad
Inside Game.  It needs some work.  Some may agree, others may disagree, but our dynamic as a team is hindered when we are not effective down low. Saunders gave us ten points (4-5), four rebounds and three fouls. Hedgepeth contributed six points (2-9) and five boards.  Combined that’s sixteen points in the paint. For two seasoned veterans, there doesn’t seem to be much improvement over the course of the year in terms of offensive production.  If the fates allow it and Belmont get another chance to dance, the Bruins will get handled in the post unless they start playing aggressive on the offensive end.

All that being said, I was proud of our guys stepping up to the challenge and taking down the Bears in a tough rematch. Seems as if the Bruins are channeling a bit of momentum heading into Wednesday’s game against Jacksonville, hopefully Blake and Kerron will be ready to suit up.


Belmont plays Jacksonville on Wednesday at 2:30 EST in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Tournament.



Bruins Topple Owls 90-50

In Game Posts on February 23, 2012 at 11:03 pm

It may be time to stop and think about what the Bruins have done over the last 2 seasons to the Atlantic Sun conference.

After Thursday night’s 90-50 victory over the Fighting Scrappy’s (their mascot’s name is Scrappy, which might make sense for their indoor track team, but not the basketball team), the Bruins improved to 37-3 against conference opponents over those 2 years including 3 victories in last year’s conference tournament. It was a rather methodical performance by The Mont in front of a mostly bored Kennesaw crowd that saw their squad just reach double digits after the under 4 timeout in the first half thanks to a coming out party from my new favorite player Mirza Sabic (or as I like to call him, Kennesaw’s Dirk). Mirza scored 5 quick points and Marscrumf (or whatever) Cummings scored a quick bucket before Belmont ended the first half on a 9-0 run to lead 46-15 at the half, much to the delight of the Kennesaw dance team who arguably put on a better performance than their men, despite the fact that one girl went hopping off the floor after an apparent ACL tear while attempting a triple sow cow (or maybe it was just a pirouette).

The first half wasn’t all roses for the Bruins as they lost break out starter Blake Jenkins to an ankle injury, which looked pretty scary at first, but as I found out after the game by yelling at Blake from the stands, “I’m all good man”. So, rest assured, Blake will be available Saturday and come tournament time. He didn’t leave before providing the highlight of the night by receiving a baseline out of bounds alley pass and slamming it home over a Kennesaw defender who actually had the play snuffed out, or perhaps based on the defense they played all night, was in that spot because he was lost.

The Bruins continued to pressure the Fighting Scrappys in the 2nd half using tenacious half court defense and demoralizing ball movement to build a lead that hovered between 35 and 40 points for the remainder of the evening. All told, every Bruin who entered the game scored including The Bakery who tipped home a patented Chad Lang right handed jump hook with less than a minute remaining. The Mont got great contributions from Reece Chamberlain, who knocked down both of his threes and also Adam Barnes who asserted himself on the offensive side of the ball to go with his already dependable defense. Once again, Drew Hanlen brought his #beastmode and at one point had my buddy Gabe saying, “That little guy is freakin’ everywhere”.

The Bruins now head to Macon with the Atlantic Sun conference regular season championship in hand, which is their 5th since 2006, to face the Mercer Bears in what may be a preview of the conference championship game in one week’s time.



Kennesaw State: Part Two

In Game Posts on February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

After our win at home against Trevecca, I previewed Kennesaw State early in the season.  You can see that here.  As I already previewed the school, I won’t do what I did last time.  Instead,  i’ll break down what Kennesaw State has been doing since we last beat them 98-52 in Nashville on December 1st;

Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Win.  Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss.Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss.Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss.

I don’t say this to be mean.

I say this to show you what kind of team we are facing tonight.  They have three wins total.  At Chattanooga.  Home against REIN.  I’m serious, that is what it said.  I can’t even click on the name at  And, of course, their last win at home against the Islanders of the University of Texas A&M- Corpus Christi.  They are 0-16 in the Atlantic Sun.

Doesn’t sound like problem, does it?  Well, it sounds like just the problem to me.

Enter Markeith Cummings.

The beastly 6-7 Junior guard put up 27 points against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville.  He has scored over 20 points in 7 different games this season (18 points against Wisconsin at the beginning of the year).

The guy is no joke.  He is nothing to fool with.  He is certainly not someone this basketball writer (in a loose sense of the term) wants anything to do with.  Belmont would be wise to not underestimate this team-  Because we are going into their gym.  We have a lot on the line.  We have everything to lose.

I’m sure there is nothing more that Mr. Cummings would rather do than put up 30 and get 15 rebounds against a Bruins team that underestimated his Owls.



Tip-Off is at 7 p.m. ET at Kennesaw State tonight.

Would You Rather? The Moral Dilemma of Losing

In Game Posts on February 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

Everyone has played ‘Would You Rather’ at some point, right? That’s the game where you come up with two horrible circumstances and then ask the person which one they would prefer. For example, would you rather have your fingernail pulled off with a pair of pliers, or would you rather put a razor blade underneath your toe nail and kick a wall really hard? While Belmont doesn’t exactly find itself in this gory lose/lose situation, fans of the Bruins may encounter a moderate moral dilemma this weekend.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Belmont stands one win away from goal number one posted in the team locker room: a regular season A-Sun championship, and that will be at top of mind heading to Kennesaw on Thursday. But then what happens once that goal has been achieved? I know what Rick Byrd will tell you, “Go down to Macon and win the season finale.” But I’m not Rick Byrd. And we, as fans, aren’t supposed to think like Rick. We’re supposed to be irrational and, well, fanatic. That is why I’m about to propose the following situation (supposing Belmont beats KSU tonight)…
What if Belmont gives it a half-hearted effort on Saturday afternoon in Macon? And not one of those Jim Caldwell specials where you take a team on a verge of history and, for all intents and purposes, kill its dreams, momentum and season, breaking Peyton Manning’s neck in the process. No, I’m talking about one of those vanilla games where Rick keeps the playbook closed. But he evenly distributes the minutes, as I don’t think it would hurt to give Ian, Drew and Kerron a break from their customary 30-35 minutes per game. He doesn’t straight up throw the game, but he doesn’t exactly throw all hands on deck, and gives Mercer the chance to get their win.

Now before everyone raises hell, this isn’t going to happen. But why shouldn’t it?

You don’t have to believe it, but I firmly believe in the difficulty of beating a team 3 times in one season, especially when you have to beat them potentially twice in 7 days IN THEIR BUILDING!!! But it’s just Mercer, right? Wrong. I was there last year when arguably the most prolific team in Belmont history struggled with a fifth seeded Mercer in front of a frisky home crowd and with a team that had absolutely zero to lose. How is this year any different? In 2011, Belmont capped off the season with the Georgia double and marched into Macon with confidence, momentum and good vibrations (Beach Boys), perhaps much like this year. They went back to Nashville for a couple days before finding themselves back in Macon starring down a barrel with the bulls-eye squarely on their back. What everyone remembers about the weekend is the 40+ point shellacking of North Florida, but everyone seems to forget the struggles with Kennesaw State and Mercer in rounds one and two and this caused us just enough trouble to get me thinking.

So, you decide Belmont fans. Perhaps this theory holds no weight. Perhaps Belmont would’ve struggled through last year’s tournament with or without a season sweep of their tournament opponents. But it’s hard to admit, that despite the glaring similarities, this year is gonna feel a little different. Remember folks, we’re leaving the conference and you’re nuts if you think the Bears wouldn’t love to have us in their building next Saturday night with their first trip to the NCAA tournament on the line and a chance to send us whimpering, with our tail between our legs, into the Ohio Valley Conference. I say we give them their senior night, throw them a bone, and give them a season series split, and then rip their hearts out on national television and leave them with nothing but a clouded dream of what could’ve been. But that’s just me.

-Jono Broadhead



OVC Posts Conference Schedule

In Game Posts on February 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm

The Ohio-Valley Conference released the 2012-13 schedule today. Take a look at Belmont’s conference schedule:

12/29- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

1/3- @ Jacksonville State

1/5- @ Tennessee Tech

1/10- Southeast Missouri State

1/12- UT Martin

1/17- Eastern Kentucky

1/19- Tennessee State

1/24- @ Morehead State

1/26- @ Eastern Kentucky

1/31- Morehead State

2/2- Tennessee Tech

2/7- @ Austin Peay

2/9- @ Murray State

2/16- @ Tennessee State

2/21- @ Eastern Illinois

3/2- Jacksonville State

What do you think?  Leave it in the comments!

Belmont Seniors Win On Their Night, 88-79

In Game Posts on February 22, 2012 at 7:20 am

photo courtesy of Belmont Athletics


Goodbye Seniors, Goodnight Atlantic Sun

Monday night was a big night on the campus of Belmont University. It was the final home game of the regular season as a member of the Atlantic Sun. The Bruins entered the night with a chance to wrap up at least a share of the Atlantic Sun regular season title. And it was the last chance for the three seniors to suit up in the Curb Event Center. The night did not disappoint.

The Bruins completed their home schedule 13-1 by finishing off the pesky Spartans 88-79 in a high paced, at times, frenetic game. The Bruins used a quick start and balanced scoring to keep the Spartans from the season sweep. Blake Jenkins got the scoring off early with a free throw to put the Bruins up one and they never looked back. Drew Hanlen continued his hot shooting from behind the arc by making 4 of 8 from three-point range. The Spartans used their tenacious full court press and a big night from freshman Ty Greene to spark a 12-2 run in the second half that narrowed the lead to three, at 63-60. From there, Kerron Johnson relentlessly attacked the rim and Bruins made some timely shots to seal the victory. The Spartans defense forced the Belmont guards into 12 turnovers and 20 in total to keep the game within reach. However, poor shot selection finally did in the Spartans. The Bruin’s job was done.

Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Parker Smith was putting on a show for the ages. A Mercer loss to North Florida would mean the Bruins could do no worse than a tie for the Atlantic Sun regular season title. After a stunning loss to Jacksonville on Saturday, the Bears responded by allowing Osprey junior guard Parker Smith to score 46 points on 11 of 17 shooting from deep. Feel free to read that last sentence again. A 75-66 North Florida win paired with a Bruin victory clinched it for Belmont. If the Bruins win one of the next two games or Mercer has one more mishap, Belmont will be crowned regular season champs. Just another accolade to add for this decorated senior class.

Drew, Mick and Scott have been nothing but impressive in their time in Nashville. Over the four years Drew and Mick played in the Curb Event Center (Scott transferring in later), the Bruins posted a home record of 49-8.  From Mick’s game winner against Mercer in the Atlantic Sun tournament first round as a freshman to Drew’s lights out shooting performance against the Bison(s) this season, this class has exceeded expectations. With one banner already in the rafters, only thing left for this class to do: win it again.

Not bad for a Monday night in the Music City.

-Nick Broadhead


Belmont tips off tomorrow at Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. ET

“About Last Night”- With Mort and Hugs

In Game Posts on February 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Get ready.  A brand new segment from The Byrd Cage bringing you the latest in social media around Belmont basketball, the A- Sun, and the OVC.  We will bringing you all the important tweets, emails, and viral blunders with delightful commentary by Byrd Cage’s own Mort and Hugs.

So, without further ado, “About Last Night”- with Mort and Hugs.


Welcome to our column, meant for everyone like me who skips over the statistical cespool because they don’t have the attention span for it. I’d like to start by naming my top five rules for life as told by my friend and mentor Coach Reilly:

“It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big”
“Win, win, win, win, win, win win….”
“I taught you how to go for the W!”
“You’re not even a has been, you’re a never was”
“You got something to say to me, Bombay?”

I dedicate this first About Last Night to Patrick Brand’s sleeves, which went AWOL the moment he set foot on campus. Never to return again. Also, to the forever quotable Shane Dansby, whose daily “We gotta know this for the test?” in the one statistics class we shared inspired me to say, “Yes” to life, just like the professor who responded “Yes” every time the question was posited. Thanks for pushing me to greatness every day, Shane. On to our social media recap…

About Last Night…
Adam Barnes  [@Dat_Boi_AB]
“I think this lady at subway likes me … I just want my sandwich”Mort:  You can have your sandwich…but you have to eat it off of her belly.
Hugs:  @SandwichLady says: “I think this guy thinks I like him; I wish he’d just take the sandwich”
Ian Clark [@iclark21]
It’s the 15th I got my fooood stamps!!!!
Hugs:  I’m just so tired of these “amateur” athletes getting all these under-the-table perks.
Ian Clark [@iclark21]
Gone beef it up … Mooove tramp!!!
Mort:  I have no idea what these mean.


Chad Lang [@WildBoyZero]
No Drake concert for me. Sold my 4 tickets so I could monetarily astonish
Mort: …this can get really dirty really quick…Quick! Name every possible means of astonishing yourself…
Jordan Burgason [@itsburgtime]

The girl at Starbucks just said she liked my dress style. #ThatsAFirst#SwagPoppi ?

Hugs: Was wearing a dress what got you dismissed from Lipscomb? #IKid #MuchLove

Jordan Burgason [@itsburgtime]

I get little kid giggles when I hear the saxophone. If you guys wanted to know…

Mort: He’s a regular tickle me elmo, folks! And the hash tags…#guidogold
Hugs: How dare you demean the beauty and dignity of the saxophone.  THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT IT.


Holden Mobley [@HoldenMobley]
Who wants to go see The Vow with me this week? I can’t go alone to this one!

Mort:  Can someone PLEASE get this guy a date? This just reaks of desperation and date pandering. And if you do end up alone at the VOW, Holden, then please let us know so that we can properly astonish ourselves by shaming you.

Hugs: No.
Tweet of the Week.
Jordan Burgason [@itsburgtime]

“Dang Nashvillians…this Iowa boy has mad love for all of you. I’m gonna miss you guys so much. Never settle for bunts…always #Homeruns”

The first installment of “Tweet of the Week” comes from @itsburgtime. If the guy would just come out with what he did then I would probably be on his side, because whatever it was was so fun that he was tossed off the team and subsequently the university. Sadly we can only speculate and are left with more questions than answers and some very confusing baseball metaphors. Oh, and a hashtag that isn’t even trending in the Lipscomb athletic department. How else are we supposed to latch on to that one? “that last bong hit was “#homeruns” or “these cheese quesadillas are #homeruns.” #yourhashtagsucks.

A home run is the most highest possible outcome of any at bat in baseball. A bunt is the epitome of selflessness and by never settling for a bunt, it makes it seem like you aren’t a team player. So you  hit the ball over the fence, but missed second base, so you were called out, but then in an show of mercy they umpire told you to run around for a second time and you missed second base AGAIN! He called you out and subsequently ejected you for noncompliance.

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