The Byrd Cage

Adult Steve Stirs The Pot

In Game Posts on December 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm


Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of our Double Take on The Battle In The Boro. Adult Steve lives in the ‘Boro and has been sort of ‘out of the loop’ on Belmont Basketball this season. Now he’s back and he’ll say what he wants, damnit!

Let me begin by saying, there is no reason Belmont should have won this game.  Yesterday, I spent the morning with Kermit Davis’ family during a local outreach project in Murfreesboro.  Significant trash was talked as we hoisted needy kids onto Santa’s lap, however, I felt discouraged when Coach Davis’ wife said with certainty that Reece Chamberlin and Craig Bradshaw would not be playing in this game.  Then there was the spread.  Most of the afternoon MTSU was a 6 point favorite and by game time was closer to 9.  Walking into the Murfree Center last night I was nervous… and then I watched the actual game…again let me emphasize Belmont had no business winning that game.

The Bruins had two starters foul out (Bradds and Windler) and Blake Jenkins was playing with four fouls for the last ten minutes of the second half.  They shot 38% from the field, were out rebounded and six players played 88% of the team’s minutes.  I tweeted last night at the end of the game, the only reason the Raiders lost is because they shot an abysmal 2-18 (11%) from the arc.  Both teams shooting was sloppy, the refs were whistle happy and Belmont escaped with a 12 point win.

However, if one were to look solely at the team statistics from this game and conclude it was a poor effort and a lucky win, they would significantly minimize the true achievement Belmont accomplished last night.  They showed something I’ve never seen a modern Belmont team do, they just kept winning.  Two of our top scorers foul out; we find a way to get J.J. open.  We find ourselves with a size disadvantage, we force long shots.  MTSU starts to rally and pulls within 3; Jeff Ladig comes off the bench and hits clutch, crowd quieting, transition 3.  I will concede that this team lacks the play making of an Alex Renfroe or Kerron Johnson, J.J. may never be as good as Ian Clark or Justin Hare, Chad Lang after two seasons is making me long for the Boomer years, but this group of Bruins has the grit to ‘win the damn game.’  They showed it against North Carolina when they went down late in the second half, they battled tough against Indiana State, they went down fighting against VCU and last night with seemingly all the pieces missing Belmont continued to win.  J.J. Mann stepped up and scored 32 points and played stellar defense, Caleb Chowbay only turned the ball over once in his 38 minutes (which you should really pay attention to his ball handling skills).  This team has poise I’ve never seen in a Belmont squad.  They may lack marketable talent but this squad wins ball games and in the end that’s all that matters.

Hail Rick Byrd.

– @stevenlefebvre

Read Part II here.

  1. […] Behold! This is the second installment of our Double Take on The Battle in The Boro (Read Part I here). We can’t remember if Dunn has written a post for The Cage yet, but he’s been around. […]

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