The Byrd Cage

Belmont’s Starting Five: A Primer

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

Image courtesy of BelmontBruins.com

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.)

 

BACKCOURT

Strong, sharp shooting backcourts has always been the strength of the Belmont Bruins. This year will be no different. While losing one of the best three point shooters in the country and the team’s leading assist man, Drew Hanlen, the Bruins will look to veteran guards Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson.  Last year the two combined for over 25 points per game. The third guard slot will be the big question early in the season for the Belmont backcourt. Does he go with experience or youth?

Reece Chamberlin, Spencer Turner, and freshman Caleb Chowbay will lead the youth movement on this year’s squad. Reece brings a steady, consistent game to the court. While not the most athletic player on the floor, Reece is rarely out of position. Spencer may be the best pure shooter on the team. His flawless stroke is instant offense when he hits the floor. Chowbay is a phenomenal athlete and will be exciting to watch develop. But as we all know, it is safer to bet that Rick will lean on experience, especially early in the season.

Adam Barnes brings the experience. Senior Adam Barnes has been a solid defensive option and started to show his offensive ability late in the 2011-2012 season. He is a tough, athletic kid who will give maximum effort on every possession. It is hard to imagine Adam starting the season on the bench.

Predicting the starters: 1 Kerron Johnson, 2 Ian Clark, 3 Adam Barnes.

FRONTCOURT

Mick Hegdepth and Scott Saunders anchored the Bruins frontcourt seemingly forever. The smooth, methodical approach they brought to the block was not always flashy, but always effective. Replacing these two big men will fall on the shoulders of Trevor Noack and Blake Jenkins.

For the early part of his college career, Trevor was forced to spend his time away from the basket, a place he never looked comfortable. With the block now vacant, Trevor will be able to finally feel at home on the court. As an undersized big man, expect to see an ability to score consistently down low and pop out to knock down a mid range jumper when necessary.

Blake Jenkins is the show at Belmont.  Since his coming out party last year against East Tennessee, Blake took his starting role and never looked back. As a high flyer, Blake will be expected to pick up the rebounding slack from the power forward position. His ability to finish around the rim will keep the Curb rocking.

(As to satisfy the Bruin faithful, I must mention Chad Lang here. By the far the biggest body on the roster, conditioning will still be a concern. Expect to see more of Big Chad, but for quick four to five minute bursts- Oh, and his killer right hook.)

Predicting the starters: 4 Blake Jenkins, 5 Trevor Noack

SIXTH MAN

The Man. The Myth. The Legend. He is J.J Mann.

Don’t like my starting five? Let me hear it.

-Nick Broadhead

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  1. Nick – I like your starting five. I was really excited about how Reece progressed last year. Hopefully he’ll be a much needed surprise for the team. Also, I have to think JJ will end up getting more minutes than Adam. I saw JJ the other day and he looked considerably thinner. I hope he’s been working on his shot on top of all the conditioning it look like he’s been doing.

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