The Byrd Cage

The Weekly Wrap: Big Blue Nation Edition

In Game Posts on December 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

Cagers! Our attempt for week two streaming content is in full effect; let’s hope the wheels haven’t fallen off just yet. Dunn comes right back at you to start your week:

Speaking of “weak”

  • Our Bruins had a less than stellar showing against a mediocre (at best) 5-7 South Dakota State team. You can read the box score for stat lines, however I do want to make mention of Holden Mobley who played a solid fifteen minutes scoring zero points, committing four personal fouls and grabbing one rebound. Efficiency at its finest. In all honesty, this one came down to Blake and Drew getting in foul trouble early (seems to be a recurring trend) which decreased production on the offensive front.
  • Craig was the leading scorer with 17 points, however he also committed SIX turnovers. Egh.
  •  Fairfield. Yes, we had a game cancellation due to inclement weather.  Was it really “weather” or the fear of a beat down? The Cage would like to say the latter. The game is postponed to a later date but honestly I would be happy with just cancelling it all together as I don’t particularly get amped up for non-conference sub-300 RPI games.
  • Oh yeah, Evan Bradds is out this week due to an ankle sprain…


Previewing the Week

Our boys head out west this Tuesday to play the Denver Pioneers of the Summit League. Initially when this game was announced on the Bruins schedule, it seemed this would be a solid resume building matchup for both programs.  This season, Denver has come a bit short of expectations posting a 3-5 record with only a close game to a strong Harvard squad.   The Pioneer’s offense primarily runs through forward Chris Udofia who averages approximately 13 ppg , 6 rpg while shooting 50% from the floor and 46% behind the arc respectively. Denver ranks almost dead last (339th) in 3-pt defense holding their opponents to a high 42.2%. This should play heavily to the Bruin’s advantage provided we stay out of foul trouble and do not have to look towards our bench for production.

As Coach Byrd would put it, the Bruins continue their “murderer’s row” tour onwards to Lexington, KY. Yes, this Saturday Belmont visits Rupp Arena to take on Coach Cal and the Big Blue Nation. Before we move any further, I highly recommend our readers to view Clay Travis’ posting on the Kentucky fan base to gain some insight and perspective to what we are truly up against.

The transitive property would suggest since UNC beat Kentucky, Belmont has claim to a potential win, right? Unfortunately, no.  Kentucky is fast, large (no one in their starting line-up is under 6’6) and athletic. Essentially they are the anti-Belmont.  The offense is led by forward Julius Randle (17.2 ppg, 11.4 rpg) and guards Aaron Harris (14.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and James Young (14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg). The Wildcats are 8th in the nation in rebounding (44 rpg) while also holding opponents to 60 ppg (41st in scoring defense). In comparison Belmont is 300th (32 rpg) in the nation in rebounding and allowing 74 ppg (241st   in scoring defense).  Given our size disadvantage, I would expect us to try and play a more physical matchup as Kentucky scores primarily inside of the perimeter. This style of play of course has its shortcomings given our limited depth due to injuries (Bradds and Chamberlain).  Although I would love nothing more for us to pull off the upset, I don’t see it in the cards for us…especially not at 100%.

Closing Thoughts

  • Will Charles Van Dyke, media darling, continue his illustrious career with another star-studded performance in Lexington this weekend? If so, will Belmont exploit his actions to the fullest? Most definitely because that is so Belmont.
  • Never thought I would say it, but given recent events…I kind of miss seeing Reece in action.
  • Which Kentucky team will we see this weekend? The young, inexperienced freshman squad or a team hell bent on destruction coming off their recent losses? Here’s hoping to the first.


  1. “Holden Mobley who played a solid fifteen minutes scoring zero points, committing four personal fouls and grabbing one rebound. Efficiency at its finest.”

    “Never thought I would say it, but given recent events…I kind of miss seeing Reece in action.”

    If an 8-4 Belmont basketball squad is so horrifically bad that you’re overcome with the uncontrollable need to belittle players by name within a public forum, then maybe you’d be a happier person if you were to direct your time and efforts into following a different team. I’ve heard Lipscum needs more “fans.”

    • Pete, relaxxxxx my guy! There is no belittling here. Would you rather us talk about how awesome Holden has played??? C’mon! If you can’t call a spade a spade – especially on your own team – then you’re either living in North Korea or you’re just not being honest. We love BU enough to say this kind of stuff and hope you do too. Keep coming back.

  2. […] passes, face growing expectations (maybe that’s just from the writers on this blog and not the readers…). But the most important reality facing the Bruins is that they are still only in the midst of […]

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