The Byrd Cage

The Weekly Wrap – Contain Your Excitement…

In Game Posts, Weekly Wrap on December 9, 2013 at 8:03 am
He's smart.

He’s smart.

Editor’s Note: So, even though Dunn’s recent post on the boro has MTSU fans googling our home addresses in fits of rage – I think we are starting to get our act together here. Each week, we are going to try and have a post up on monday morning reviewing what happened last week and looking ahead at the coming week. Consider it a weekly state of the state address. Nicky B is kicking things off with some talk about Craig’s Brain, Brookings South Dakota, and Ian Clark’s mediocre Senior year.

Not So Glamorous

The non-conference season drones on for the Belmont Bruins. The excitement of UNC is quickly wearing off and Holden Mobley is spending too many important minutes on the floor. Reece (foot) and Craig (brain) are still on the mend and we don’t have enough inside information to know when they will be back. But in the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying Caleb Chowbay run this team. While he is struggling with his jump shot early in the season, Caleb played 38 fantastic minutes in Murfreesboro turning the ball over only one time. If there was an opposite of Reece, it’s Caleb. Caleb is quick, exciting, and fun to watch. The point of that was to say that I am looking forward to this young kid’s future. However, this team cannot survive too much longer without the return of its two starting guards. Rick has been forced to play a slim rotation with guys who are having problems staying out of foul trouble. This has led to more zone defense than Rick has played in his entire coaching career (unconfirmed). It is clear that from a results-based standpoint, Rick Byrd coached teams are more comfortable playing man-to-man. Get back soon Craig and Reece. Anyway, I know this part of the non-conference schedule is boring but hold off on the caroling and pay attention here.

Previewing the Week

The Fairfield Stags are making a trip down to the Curb to presumably add to their embarrassing resume. (I would take the time to Google where Faifield  is for you, but I really don’t care.) If you look at the Stags on paper, they might be one of the worst teams in the country. They are 1-7 on the early season that includes an offense scoring a measly .88 points per possession. How bad is this you ask? That puts the Stags at 336 out of 351 Division I college basketball teams. Every other stat validates this: 330th in effective field goal percentage, 332nd in turnover percentage, and I really don’t feel like going on. This is not the pride of the MAAC but hey, enjoy Stags sophomore Marcus Gilbert jacking up as many shots as he can. I’m sure it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone. After this Wednesday nighter, the Bruins will travel to the frozen wasteland that is Brookings, South Dakota to face the mighty Jackrabbits.

As you might recall, the Bruins hosted current Milwaukee Buck Nate Wolters and this same Jackrabbits team last season. The bummer part of these home-and-homes is you have to return the favor. As I am writing this it is 0 degrees in Brookings. (The extended forecast looks better.) This version of the ‘Rabbits (4-6) are led by senior Jordan Dykstra who is getting to the line and clearing the glass early on this season. This long, rangy forward can shoot it and presumably still needs a haircut. Belmont fans should be excited for this one because South Dakota State has allowed its opponents to shoot 41.9% from behind the arc this year. The Bruins are just a hair under 38% percent on the year and it appears that they will continue to get good looks in this contest. Don’t be shy Belmont, jack up those threes.

Here are a few things to watch going forward:

-Drew is good at this “shooting the basketball” thing: .556/.596/.741 (2P/3P/FT). Yes, 59.6% from behind the arc. If he keeps this up, Ian Clark’s last season will be viewed as painstakingly mediocre.

-After starting the season 1-16 (6%) from deep, JJ has 22-53 (41.5%) from deep in his last 8 games. He has always been a streaky shooter. Lets not get comfortable.

-Blake Jenkins is in his own head. Despite his great minutes off the foul line, his trips to the line have been a disaster. He is currently shooting 43.8% from the line, just over 21 points worse than his career average. Here is where we hope for small sample sizes and severe regression back to the mean. Hang in there Blake. We love you.



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