The Byrd Cage

Murray State Part Two: For The OVC

In Game Posts on March 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

blakedunk

“I don’t know.  Between our big man problem and Murray State and TSU- I’ll be surprised to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference.”

I said this in October of last year before Media Days, and Coach Byrd basically mentioned the same thing in our interview with him on that day.  I would also venture to say that many other fans felt the same way.  In October, we didn’t know who we were.  Trevor Noack taking over at the 5? Would it work?  Kerron would have to step it up.  How would we fare against a Covington?  What about the larger-than-life NBA first-rounder Isaiah Canaan?

Fast forward five months, a number one seed, and a rematch against Murray State for the Ohio Valley Tournament Championship Game- and you have the Belmont Bruins.  It really is unreal.

I asked around last night who everyone wanted in the Championship game- “Murray, EKU, EKU, Murray, Murray, EKU”. Pretty even.  They all had their reasons.

“I don’t want to have to beat a good team three times in one season.  Not happening,” some said.  “Don’t want to face Canaan and Daniel.  Murray seems to play to the level of whatever team they play.  Inconsistent but dangerous.”

It really is a strange story that somehow makes sense- one team that exceeded expectations and the other that didn’t meet them in the regular season.  Both teams are playing for the chance to make it to the tournament.

The Nitty Gritty

Nitty.

What do you want, a bunch of stats about how we didn’t do things right in the first half of the Murray State game in February?  I could do that, I guess, but all you would have to do is look at last night’s game.  The Bruins shot ten threes in the first half and made zero.  In our first game against Murray, we shot ten as well but made three of them.  What’s the nitty?  Play the first half like we play the second half in important games.  Yes, I know- it is amazing to watch Ian Clark shoot the ball from anywhere on the court, in any position, with any number of hands in his face and make buckets in the second half- but we need to see it in the first.  Consistent play will be a major factor in who wins today’s game.  It will also be an important component in keeping my resting heart rate down (I CAN’T WATCH THESE GAMES, GUYS).

Gritty.

Last night in the TSU game, I really think it came down to turnovers.  Equally matched rebounds, and with TSU having the better overall shooting percentage last night, Belmont’s game was capitalizing on turnovers.  We scored 23 of our points from turnovers and our fast break points were five times that of Coach Williams’ Tigers.  Gotta have that killer instinct tonight.  We MUST have a killer instinct.  Hands in every face.  Contest every shot.  I want to see another Blake Jenkins dunk from a steal at the beginning of the game and I don’t want to see another six-minute scoring drought.

Relentless buckets. Ice cold buckets.

-Brett

_________________________

Tip-off of the OVC Championship Game is at 6 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium.

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  1. #winthedamngame

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