The Byrd Cage

Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

Belmont Men’s Basketball Schedule 2013-2014

In Game Posts on August 29, 2013 at 12:41 pm


Shaka brings his boys to Nashville this time around…

Yeah, you’ll see the key games at North Carolina and Kentucky at first glance in the non-conference schedule, but look a little closer and you’ll see that VCU is coming to Nashville.  This is huge.

11/8  @ Lipscomb

11/11 @ Richmond

11/14 Indiana State

11/17 @ North Carolina

11/20 Lipscomb

11/23 Holy Cross

11/24 Hartford/Hofstra

11/26 Brescia

12/1 VCU

12/3 @ MTSU

12/11 Fairfield

12/14 @ South Dakota State

12/17 @ Denver

12/21 @ Kentucky

12/28 @ Indiana State


At A Glance

Lipscomb twice?  Yes, it is still there.  I don’t know how long this will go on, but when is the visitation over?  Don’t we get to the put them in the ground soon?  Don’t get me wrong, I think the once a year thrashing is necessary for tradition sake- but let’s face it, we have a new rivalry:  Virginia Commonwealth University.

The games at perennial powerhouses North Carolina and Kentucky are big games on the schedule that are necessary for RPI, but South Dakota State won’t be the same this year without newly departed star and current Milwaukee Buck, Nate Wolters.  MTSU is another good one on the books, and we’ll need to see a huge Belmont crowd in Murfreesboro this year.  Overall, the schedule is definitely challenging and I think can give us a national presence if we are able to win one of the big ones.

November can’t come soon enough.

What do you think of the schedule?  Leave a comment!


Byrd Droppings with Mort and Hugs, Volume 3: OVC Champions Edition

In Game Posts on March 13, 2013 at 10:44 am


Editor’s Note: We like to laugh here at the Byrd Cage and we hope you do too. That’s why we’re happy to announce the return of Mort & Hugs. Our two in-house professional gripers/comedians who’ve never met a D1 athlete they weren’t scurd to anonymously mock on the internet.

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Byrd Droppings with Mort & Hugs

In Game Posts on February 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

Editor’s Note: We like to laugh here at the Byrd Cage and we hope you do too. That’s why we’re happy to announce the return of Mort & Hugs. Our two in-house professional gripers/comedians who’ve never met a D1 athlete they weren’t scurd to anonymously mock on the internet.

MORT: We’re almost halfway through the OVC schedule and it is time to dust off the obligatory weekly lampoon. Hugs and I enjoyed our column last year, but have yet to muster enough inspiration this season to spend the necessary fifteen minutes to put 350 words to word processor due to the fact that our initial excitement for entering this new conference was whittled away by the drubbing of our first 5 conference opponents by a combined 120 pts. If this conference was a movie, it would have the plot twist of a yawn and the critical acclaim of “Jack and Jill”, which sucked, but was the inspiration for the greatest movie review headline of all time: 0 out of 5 stars, laughingly unfunny. What incredible headline does this conference inspire? “Nobody watched, but no one threw up.”

For the love of Marty Dickens can someone PLEASE turn up the damn speakers in the event center? There are THREE guys sitting at the sound booth. ONE of you needs to find the volume knob and turn it up to awesome. Lipscomb’s system makes my ears bleed, and it is amazing. We are losing to Lipscomb, an inferior school with an inferior team in a barely inferior conference. Then someone needs to tell God or whoever is in charge of the karaoke selection that a.) please no karaoke, and b.) please never play that Turtles song ever again. I get it. It’s a Belmont institution. But it shouldn’t be. I think “neat fact” is as far as that haunting carol should have ever gotten, but someone somewhere in the quality assurance department fell asleep when Karaoke Turtles Song in the Third Quarter Every Game was proposed before the season began.

Also, ByrdCage column DEMAND: Spreadin’ The News with Nick. Every Belmont game, Nick tells us which team he took against the spread and why, complete with his descriptions of his disgust with our opponents’ lack of quality coaching.

HUGS: Listen everyone, I don’t have time for this nonsense; I’m not in grad school anymore.  Just kidding. But not really.

In all seriousness though, I do feel a DEEP sense of shame for my lack of commitment to our Bruins in their inaugural year in the OVC.  But it looks like they’ve been doing fine without me.  Seriously, conference opponents.  Get your crap together. The one game I’ve managed to make it to this year was the least compelling sporting contest I’ve ever witnessed, and I’m a Cubs fan.  If we are just going to run roughshod over the conference, then I have little motivation to pay close attention.  I’ll have to come up with more exciting ways to fill my time, like becoming a hockey fan or watching my 26 year old roommates rediscover Tony Hawk Pro Skater for Playstation.

I am happy for our boys though.  It’s not their fault they’re playing the Globetrotters to the OVC’s Generals. Or maybe it is.  Maybe they should start shaving some points to make these contests more engaging.  It will definitely make Nick’s gambling addiction more exciting.

What does excite me is that if we continue the current pattern, it WILL make for a very interesting Selection Sunday.  Until then, wake me up when we go to Murray State.  However, I won’t be awake for very long because IMMEDIATELY after the game I will be heading to the Murray fixture and culinary GOLD MINE that is Mary’s to eat an A-Train (steak sandwich between two grilled cheese sandwiches), which will send my organs into the most pleasant meat and cheese-related shutdown imaginable.  Stay tuned to Ian Clark being amazing.

Sweet Bruin Baller Tweets:

@2sicksideburns:  I made a wish at 11:11 and it came true!! Juwanna Mann is on Comedy Central!!!

I would like to note that this tweet was composed during the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, which also happened to be on Martin Luther King Day.  This future schoolteacher chose instead to watch Juwanna Mann.  There’s a joke here somewhere.

This confirms all my suspicions. Baker is a 14 year old schoolboy in a schoolteacher’s body.

@DrewHanlen:  Just watched Shawshank Redemption w/ my mom. Love that movie! Buddy tunneled his way out of jail w/ a small hammer. Persistence pays off!

Drew, your twitter account is the one of the most consistently inspirational things I regularly read. I admire your upbeat attitude and your ceaseless encouragement.  That said, take it down.  Just. take it. down. a notch.  This is a movie of vicious beatings, corruption, and crawling through poop. It is not an after school special.

When did Hoopin’ become the single greatest person of all time? Seriously, the dude watches Shawshank (the most inspirational movie of all time save Mighty Ducks, D2, and Bridesmaids) WITH HIS MOM. He hangs out with NBA All-Stars and counts “persistence” as a hobby. Rumor is he’s both a knight and a saint. Compared to Drew, Tim Tebow is a drunk-driving prostitute. If you wouldn’t trade lives with this guy, then put me down for an eighth of whatever you are smoking.

…yeah me too.

@Itsburgtime:  Drank so much coffee I’d fail a drug test. #BurgyProbz

Remember that one time… ? Roasted.


Couldn’t Make It To Stanford Last Night? We Got It Covered.

In Game Posts on November 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This guy shaved his head and then Belmont beat him last night 70-62.

It was a fantastic night to be one of the handful of Belmont Bruins fans at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, CA on Sunday.  As the Cardinal players, coaches, and fans grew subsequently confused, frustrated, and angry when the Bruins refused to relinquish their double-digit advantage through much of middle section of the contest, there was a growing sense among the red and blue faithful that we weren’t just playing the better game—we were the better team.  Read the rest of this entry »


Belmont defeats Stanford 70-62: Quotes from the Post-Game

In Game Posts on November 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Going just 6-23 from the three-point line tonight, Belmont beat Stanford with a gutsy mix of defense and a definite lack of shooting accuracy from The Cardinal.

The Byrd Cage had someone there tonight, and we’ll be posting that exclusive article tomorrow, but here are some clips from the post game interview with Coach Byrd.

Coach Byrd stating the obvious: “We are not nearly as good without Kerron in the game.”

Coach Byrd on Stanford’s run:  “They had momentum and the crowd there towards the end, and we were in foul trouble.  To come from that and take control of the game again says a lot about the character, guts, heart- whatever word you want to use. ”

And finally, Coach Byrd on this year’s team:  “So far they love to play the game. They are there before I get there working and are there when I leave. This team enjoys what they are doing more than any team we’ve had.  And that goes a long way.”


Stay tuned for more on a huge win from Belmont…


Belmont Wins Home Opener 88-49

In Game Posts on November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

After a slow first half, Belmont turned on the gears and put it to the travel weary Maryville Saints.  Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson did their job combining for 34 points, and Trevor Noack showed a quiet confidence under the basket going 4-7 in the paint and sinking a three.

But the story of the match was freshman Craig Bradshaw, scoring 11 points off the bench while going 4-4 in the paint and 2-2 from the 3, only missing one free throw.  With four steals, Bradshaw’s intensity single-handedly changed the feeling of the game.  His relentless pursuit of the ball, and constant nagging of the opposing ball-handler gave Belmont the spark it needed after a slow start.

In the post game interview with the Bruin Sports Network’s Kevin Ingram, Coach Byrd mentioned the difficulty of covering Maryville’s Princeton offense at the start of the game.  He also was quick to point out that the score was very different than the game plan execution, and that showed on the floor.  Coach Byrd praised both Bradshaw and Noack, complimenting Noack’s growing confidence at the 5 spot and control on the floor.

All in all, the 88 points Belmont put up against Maryville was a good effort, but I think Coach Byrd might say that his team will need to put more concentration on executing the game plan at Stanford on Sunday to get another “W”.

 Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET.


Belmont Wins Big at Lipscomb, 89-60

In Game Posts on November 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Belmont won in a pretty sizeable blowout last night.  It seems that the hype of the Battle of the Boulevard rivalry will be going into indefinite hibernation until Lipscomb’s very young team does some growing up.

I’ve already heard the nay saying, that this, being an out of conference game, is meaningless.  And now that the Bruins are in the OVC, the Lipscomb game will no longer matter, because they will forever remain inferior being in our recently departed Atlantic Sun.  I beg to differ.  To be honest, if you take Murray State and Belmont out of the OVC it actually drops significantly against the A-Sun to the point that the A-Sun might actually be a far superior conference (read this article from ESPN).  Lipscomb might actually be more indicative of the teams we will play throughout the season, than say, the highly touted Murray State.


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Remembering the A-Sun, Moving to OVC

In Features, Game Posts on August 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

For the next two months, the Byrd Cage will be previewing Belmont’s new OVC opponents.  We’ll introduce you to the mascots, the history, the players- pretty much anything you need to know to get ready for the upcoming season.

With Belmont facing reigning All-American Isaiah Canaan of Murray State this year, it prompted thought on who were the best individual players Belmont faced in the Atlantic Sun era.

This list may surprise some, especially considering that talented, accomplished players like Jonathan Rodriguez (Campbell), Courtney Pigram (ETSU), and Torrey Craig (USC Upstate) did not crack the Top 10. The list was defined as ‘The Top 10 Toughest Opposing Players’ during the Belmont A-Sun era (2002-2012).

The Byrd Cage welcomes Greg Sage for a special collaboration.  Sage has been with Belmont University for the past eight years as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations.  He also teams with the Voice of the Bruins, Kevin Ingram, as color analyst for the Bruin Sports  Network.

Top 10 Toughest Opposing Players during Belmont’s Atlantic Sun Era (2002-2012)

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“About Last Night” with Mort and Hugs: HOYA! (Or, Week 4)

In Game Posts on March 16, 2012 at 7:45 am

“About Last Night” is a weekly feature where no good tweet goes unpunished.  Mort and Hugs serve up their weekly opinions on all tweets, links, and viral blunders relating to Belmont basketball… loosely.

The theme of this week’s About Last Night with Mort AND Hugs is “If you need to ask what the theme of this week’s ‘About Last Night with Mort and Hugs’ is then you are a mouth-breathing idiot who clearly accidentally stumbled across this page while looking for World of Warcraft forums or for sexy dudes (like Mort and Hugs) to pin to your ‘Hottiez w/ Bodiez’ board on Pinterest.”

It’s March Madness and this is a basketball blog, you dummy.  Thus, this week’s column is devoted (almost) entirely to all things tourney.  I need to give a shoutout to our D.C. Doppelgangers, @CasualHoya.  They are classy guys with a great blog who are willing to engage in some good-natured, competitive repartee during the week leading up to our matchup.  That said, Mort and Hugs would like to go on record as saying that Casual Hoya and all of their brood can go die.  Anyone who is not a Bruin or Bruin supporter is in our eyes, for at least the next 48 hours, a festering pile of human garbage.  But more on that later.

FIRST, allow me to explain why I’m fairly certain that Nashville will be one of the first cities to perish in burning sulfur under God’s righteous judgment (that’s what the movie 2012 was about, right?).  I would like to direct your attention to the screenshot below:

This was taken at around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, mere hours after the selection show.  TWO Nashville teams are in the tournament, and there was not a single reference to Belmont, Vanderbilt, Bruins, Commodores, NCAA, or March Madness (unless that’s what The Announcement refers to.  The world may never know).  The only overtly basketball-related topics were Magic Johnson andThe NIT, which of course stands forNobodygivestwocrapsaboutyourInsignificant Tournament.  I just about lit my own house on fire out of bewildered anger tinged with the sadness that comes from acknowledging societal decline.  Topics that were somehow MORE relevant than the biggest Nashville sports news since Matt Hasselbeck (not a high bar, I know) include:
(More after the jump)


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Speaking With The Enemy

In Game Posts on March 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

We’ve got everything covered here at the Byrd Cage for you leading up to the big game tomorrow.  We even took some time to get some answers from the enemy.  Below are our questions to Georgetown’s blog, The Casual Hoya.

Let’s cut to the chase, what in the world is a Hoya? Really?

CasualHoya: Yes.
BelmontByrdCage: What?
CH: That’s correct.
BBC:  What’s correct?
CH:  What is.
BBC: A Hoya is a what?
CH: Exactly.
BBC: What’s exactly?
CH: What is.
BBC: I don’t know what is.
CH: I don’t know is third base.  A Hoya is what.
BBC: What?
CH: Exactly.
BBC:  Look, let’s say I want to start a blog about a Hoya.  I go down
to my mother’s basement, start up my computer, get on the internet and
start a blog about what?
CH: Exactly.
BBC: I start a blog about exactly?
CH: No, you start a blog about what.

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