The Byrd Cage

Belmont at Home Tonight; Previewing the Weekend

In Game Posts on January 10, 2013 at 7:36 am


This might be the infamous London DJ ‘SEMO’s brand, but I can tell you it’s better than Southeast Missouri State’s Logo.

Belmont opened a historic weekend in the program’s history, winning their opening two games in the Ohio Valley conference over the weekend. With a couple of nice road wins under their belt, the Bruins return home to the Curb Event Center to open a 4 game home stand against OVC opponents. Belmont will welcome in the Redhawks of Southeast Missouri State and the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks.

Belmont will open the weekend Thursday night with a matchup against the Redhawks (hereby known as SEMO). SEMO comes into this contest with a 10-7 record and is 2-1 in conference play having lost their last game to Murray State. SEMO is coming off of a 15-16 campaign having bowed out to Tennessee Tech in last years OVC tournament.

SEMO’s top two scorers from last year’s team, Marland Smith and Tyler Stone, are back and are also receiving help from sophomore “big man” (at least in Belmont terms) Nino Johnson who averages almost 12 points a game as well as senior guard Cory Wilford, who contributes just over 14 a game, and shoots at a 42% clip from downtown. SEMO will not blow you away from a statistical perspective. They do force you to make shots and Belmont fans will need to know that SEMO’s opponents are shooting a measly 29% from 3-point land and only a quarter of their opponent’s points come from outside the arc. We will counter with a team that shoots almost 36% from downtown as a team and gets a third of our points from behind the arc. It will be interesting to see what gives at the Curb on Thursday. In general, SEMO is nearly a top 30 defense when it comes effective shooting percentage, but give up too many points per possession. They will rarely turn their opponents over and are not the most proficient defensive rebounding team. In fact, SEMO is 343rd out of 347 D-1 teams when it comes to forcing turnovers. As long as the Bruins can take care of the ball, which has been a problem for them at times, they should be able to score against the Redhawks.

On Saturday, the Bruins will welcome in Tennessee-Martin for a game that should allow Bruin fans to harken back to the days of playing Kennesaw State. Having seen UT-Martin in person already this year, I am more than tempted to cut this thing off right now and just allow everyone to see what the Skyhawks will or, likely, will not bring to the Curb Event Center. Martin comes in with a mark of 4-12 with wins against the likes of Fontbonne (which I believe is named after an old wooden battle ship), Lyon (which is a city… somewhere), our dear friends, Kennesaw State, and the ‘ello Guvna’s of Austin Peay. Two guys to watch out for in this one; Miles Taylor, who is the teams leading scorer at just over 16 points per game and will bring a certain “presence” to the court and loves himself some him. Also, keep an eye out for Mike Liabo a.k.a. Taylor King 2.0 for all you Duke basketball fans out there. Liabo comes in averaging just over 13 points a game and is the only other scorer averaging double figures. After that, it gets painful and having lost to Lipscomb by 24 points at the ill-lit Bison dome, the Skyhawks will do well to keep this game close.

P.S.  Don’t google image SEMO.


Belmont tips off at 7 p.m. in the Curb Event Center against SEMO.

  1. Great write up guys – y’all had me LOLing – but leave me out of this – seriously

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