The Byrd Cage

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.

EIGHT.

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.

Needless to say, Lipscomb lost in the first round of the tournament.

So when I finally got to looking at Lipscomb’s 2012-2013 team, to my shock and amazement, Marvin Williams, Damarius Smith, and Stephen Hurt had all returned to the roster after their previous year departures. Not sure what all happened, but this is great news for Lipscomb and bad news for us and any team lacking an inside presence.

This is bad news in large part (and I mean large) to Stephen Hurt. Dude is a 6-10, 285 freshy. To give you some perspective, Belmont’s big Chad Lang is listed at 6-11, 275. The difference between the two big boys is that Hurt grabs tons of boards, is more versatile, and is considerably more athletic. In Lipscomb’s November 1st exhibition game against Freed Hardeman (NAIA) Hurt posted a double-double with 21 pts and 12 boards and 2 blocks – in his collegiate debut. From this video he looks pretty good (he’s #41).


I know you’re still lol-ing: “Yeah but it was against some NAIA team!” I thought the same thing. But for some added perspective, Freed-Hardeman lost a quasi-close game on Monday night vs our Isaiah Canaan led OVC chums, Murray State, 87-74. So there’s that.

In other Bisons (old spelling left intact for obvious reasons) news, Lipscomb’s Coaching staff seemed to be pretty stoked on Freshman Guard J.C. Hampton’s (#22) ball control and three-point shooting. Hampton claimed 3 of Lipscomb’s 11 three-pointers in their first exhibition game in which the team shot .407(11-27) from behind the arc.

If this Lipscomb team brings their A-game, they may appear to be a bit more well-rounded than Belmont – albeit considerably younger with; 7 Freshman, 4 Sophomores, 3 Juniors, and 1 Senior. After last week’s exhibition win, Coach Sanderson pointed to turnovers and offensive rebounds to be the team’s early problems.

Another small point that just makes things a bit more quizzical/troubling is that the first Battle of the Blvd will be on ESPN3 thanks to a newly inked six game agreement between Lipscomb, the ASUN Conference, and ESPN3. Which just kinda makes you wonder, “Lipscomb, ESPN? Really?? REALLY?” Do they know something we don’t? We’ll see tonight.

Per-usual, this game makes me nervous. This year, I blame my anxiety on the fact that Coach Byrd has been doing his annual overly-gloomy pre-season talk about the Bruins. But I’m sure we’ll be much better than he’s leading on, as we always are.

This Lipscomb team, while young, seems to be nothing to chuckle at. I’d say look for #41 to take a lot of minutes (for a 285 lb beast-man, that is) scoring on the Bakery (Baker) and the Hay-Bailer (Noack). I’d also expect plenty of 3’s from #22 who’d I imagine Ian to be guarding if he’s not on the team’s lone senior gaurd, Deonte Alexander.

-Kyle Williams

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  1. Lang is far more athletic than Hurt. I’m an avid Bison fan and can admit that. While I hate (HATE) Belmont, I have a thing for Lang. He is only a sophomore and while his skill set may not be that of Hurts; His touch, length, footwork and ability to finish at the rim is more appealing to me than a 6’10” 285 post that works from the perimeter, doesn’t look to score and can’t handle pressure. Lang outscored Hurt in the 1:51 that he played in the end (With a broken hand). Hurt 21 minutes and 2 points. Before anyone calls me mean, I have to love Hurt because he’s a Bison but that snippet about him being more athletic, etc. is a joke. I read this and had to get that off my chest, anyone else like Lang? He’s unproven but dang I wish he went to LU. Anybody agree? Disagree? Well, I like him. I will continue to hate Belmont but hope his hand heals so he can play more. GO BISONS.

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