The Byrd Cage

Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Can Belmont Wreak “Havoc” in Richmond Tomorrow?

In Game Posts on November 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Shaka-SmartVCU Head Coach Shaka Smart

Coming off a less than impressive stint in the Great Alaska Shootout, our boys are geared up for what, in my opinion, is one of the more challenging games (aside from Kansas) on our schedule. I have to admit I’ve had this game circled on my calendar since it was announced for numerous reasons.  Perhaps a little bragging right between my brother and I (my brother attended VCU), home town nostalgia (I am a native of Richmond, VA…home to the VCU Rams) or maybe it’s just that I am excited for what I believe is going to be a great game of college basketball.

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What We Learned In Alaska

In Game Posts on November 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

Facing severe cold and daunting elk herds, the Belmont Bruins left Alaska with a third place finish at the Great Alaska Shootout. The Bruins defeated Division II Alaska-Anchorage in the opener then dropped the semifinal match up with the Colonial Athletic Association’s Northeastern.  The Bruins rebounded (despite being grossly outrebounded) Saturday night to beat the Golden Eagles from Oral Roberts in the consolation game. If you were not able to stay up all night to view the action, some of us did and this is what we learned.

Some of it might be painful.
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Belmont Tips off at 1 a.m. CT!

In Game Posts on November 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm


“This elk tried to kill @CBrad_23 !!!!!! “-Brandon Baker, via Twitter

After a huge win at Stanford on Sunday, Belmont jumped on a plane and landed in Anchorage, Alaska this week and are prepping to play in the Great Alaska Shootout tonight (or tomorrow our time).  This tournament first tipped off in 1978 and was originally known as the “Sea Wolf Classic” (which is obviously a superior name).  The University of Anchorage Alaska hosts the event, and Belmont gets a piece of them tonight at 10 p.m. (Alaska Time), 1 a.m. (Central Time) Thursday.

So if you live in Nashville and are reading this, the game starts at 1 a.m. tomorrow morning.  As in, early this morning.  Thanksgiving morning.  Get it?


Between Holden Mobley loving the fact he can’t sweat in Alaska and Kerron Johnson doing a lot of “SMH” on Twitter, it looks like it has been quite the adventure .  The team was able to practice at the local Air Force base, Elmendorf, all the while dodging 1 degree temperatures.  But spirits seem to be high…

Except when I see this: “‘I’m so tired right now and tomm ill b in the middle of a game no good.”- Kerron via Twitter.

Let’s just hope all this travel doesn’t transfer into tryptophan.

Here is the specific information on finding the Belmont game on TV (via ):

Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. AST Wednesday night (1 a.m. CT Thursday). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, which is available on the following cable/satellite providers in middle Tennessee:

  • Comcast ch. 721 (1720 HD)
  • Belmont University Cable ch. 16
  • AT&T U-verse ch. 643 (1643 HD)
  • DirecTV ch. 613
  • Dish Network ch. 158

Couldn’t Make It To Stanford Last Night? We Got It Covered.

In Game Posts on November 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This guy shaved his head and then Belmont beat him last night 70-62.

It was a fantastic night to be one of the handful of Belmont Bruins fans at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, CA on Sunday.  As the Cardinal players, coaches, and fans grew subsequently confused, frustrated, and angry when the Bruins refused to relinquish their double-digit advantage through much of middle section of the contest, there was a growing sense among the red and blue faithful that we weren’t just playing the better game—we were the better team.  Read the rest of this entry »

Belmont defeats Stanford 70-62: Quotes from the Post-Game

In Game Posts on November 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Going just 6-23 from the three-point line tonight, Belmont beat Stanford with a gutsy mix of defense and a definite lack of shooting accuracy from The Cardinal.

The Byrd Cage had someone there tonight, and we’ll be posting that exclusive article tomorrow, but here are some clips from the post game interview with Coach Byrd.

Coach Byrd stating the obvious: “We are not nearly as good without Kerron in the game.”

Coach Byrd on Stanford’s run:  “They had momentum and the crowd there towards the end, and we were in foul trouble.  To come from that and take control of the game again says a lot about the character, guts, heart- whatever word you want to use. ”

And finally, Coach Byrd on this year’s team:  “So far they love to play the game. They are there before I get there working and are there when I leave. This team enjoys what they are doing more than any team we’ve had.  And that goes a long way.”


Stay tuned for more on a huge win from Belmont…

Belmont Wins Home Opener 88-49

In Game Posts on November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

After a slow first half, Belmont turned on the gears and put it to the travel weary Maryville Saints.  Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson did their job combining for 34 points, and Trevor Noack showed a quiet confidence under the basket going 4-7 in the paint and sinking a three.

But the story of the match was freshman Craig Bradshaw, scoring 11 points off the bench while going 4-4 in the paint and 2-2 from the 3, only missing one free throw.  With four steals, Bradshaw’s intensity single-handedly changed the feeling of the game.  His relentless pursuit of the ball, and constant nagging of the opposing ball-handler gave Belmont the spark it needed after a slow start.

In the post game interview with the Bruin Sports Network’s Kevin Ingram, Coach Byrd mentioned the difficulty of covering Maryville’s Princeton offense at the start of the game.  He also was quick to point out that the score was very different than the game plan execution, and that showed on the floor.  Coach Byrd praised both Bradshaw and Noack, complimenting Noack’s growing confidence at the 5 spot and control on the floor.

All in all, the 88 points Belmont put up against Maryville was a good effort, but I think Coach Byrd might say that his team will need to put more concentration on executing the game plan at Stanford on Sunday to get another “W”.

 Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET.

Belmont’s Home Opener: The Maryville Saints

In Game Posts on November 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm

“Yeah!  That’s what a D-1 school looks like,” yelled the Lipscomb fan in a sea of 10 students while the Bisons’ center Stephen Hurt took a free throw against the Maryville Saints tonight.  My compadre on this “scouting” trip to Allen Arena even cringed as the taunt echoed throughout the empty seats of the auditorium.

You shouldn’t have to taunt a D-2 school, Bisons.  And you don’t taunt while your own player is at the free throw line.  But, the Byrd Cage is not here to instruct others on trash talking, we are here to inform on the Bruins’ pursuit of basket ball perfection.  Nonetheless, Lipscomb won handily 73-55.

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Belmont Wins Big at Lipscomb, 89-60

In Game Posts on November 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Belmont won in a pretty sizeable blowout last night.  It seems that the hype of the Battle of the Boulevard rivalry will be going into indefinite hibernation until Lipscomb’s very young team does some growing up.

I’ve already heard the nay saying, that this, being an out of conference game, is meaningless.  And now that the Bruins are in the OVC, the Lipscomb game will no longer matter, because they will forever remain inferior being in our recently departed Atlantic Sun.  I beg to differ.  To be honest, if you take Murray State and Belmont out of the OVC it actually drops significantly against the A-Sun to the point that the A-Sun might actually be a far superior conference (read this article from ESPN).  Lipscomb might actually be more indicative of the teams we will play throughout the season, than say, the highly touted Murray State.


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The Battle of the Boulevard: Take 131

In Game Posts on November 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

Belmont faces Lipscomb in their 131st matchup tonight at Allen Arena

If you wasted your time following the latter half of Lipscomb’s Men’s Basketball program last year , you’ll remember the team shamefully spiraling into the abyss despite a fairly promising start.  By the time the ASUN Conference Tournament got underway EIGHT PLAYERS had either left the team or had been suspended.


This included the suspension of Lipscomb’s two leading scorers: the country’s leading 3-point shooter (you read that right) Jordan Burgason, (violating school policies), and forward Robert Boyd (deemed academically ineligible). Milos Kleut, Zach Brown, Brett Stall, Stephen Hurt, Damarius Smith, and Marvin Williams also left or were suspended from the team.

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Belmont’s Starting Five: A Primer

In Game Posts on November 9, 2012 at 7:59 am

Image courtesy of

With Rick Byrd at the helm, Bruin fans have seen a wide array of early season starting line ups. Getting prepared for their first season in the Ohio Valley Conference, we should expect nothing less. Coach Byrd has never been afraid to tinker with his five man units and utilize his bench early in the season. What will the Bruins starting lineup look like in their first season as an OVC member? (Think lots of three balls.)


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