Belmont 2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Belmont Bruins - Atlantic Sun (25-8, 14-2)
Seed: #15 - West Region
Big Wins: 11/9 at Cincinnati (86-75), 11/19 at Alabama (85-83), 11/26 Middle Tennessee State (85-62)
Bad Losses: 11/10 vs Bowling Green (67-78), 1/5 at Campbell (75-83), 1/24 at Kennesaw State (79-81)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, First Round loss to Georgetown
Coach: Rick Byrd (0-2 in 2 NCAA appearances)
Probable Belmont Starters:
- Andy Wicke, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 3.0 apg
- Justin Hare, Senior, Guard, 14.9 ppg, 2.9 apg
- Henry Harris, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg, 1.3 rpg
- Matthew Dotson, Junior, Forward, 11.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg
- Will Peeples, Junior, Forward, 4.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Key Belmont Roleplayers:
- Shane Dansby, Junior, Guard, 13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg
- Alex Renfore, Junior, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 3.7 apg, 4.0 rpg
- Jon House, Freshman, Guard, 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
- Jordan Campbell, Freshman, Guard, 7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg
- Keaton Belcher, Sophomore, Forward, 6.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Why The Bruins Can Surprise:
Belmont and Coach Rick Byrd do a great job running a three-point oriented offense. Five players, including a couple forwards, are very dangerous from long range. Part-time point guard Andy Wicke is not the most efficient three-point shooter on the team, but he will knock down over two per game. Justin Hare is not a one-dimensional scorer. Not only will he hit the long ball, but the lone senior on the team will also get to the basket very effectively.
However, the most dangerous shooters on the team might just be 6-8 forward Matthew Dotson and 6-9 forward Keaton Belcher. Dotson hits more long balls per game than anybody else on the team and he shoots a solid 42.4 percent. Belcher will not take as many shots as Dotson, but he does hit any outside shot he takes pretty consistently.
Why The Bruins Can Disappoint:
The Bruins share the ball well, but they turn it over a little too much. No one player has a massive turnover problem, but everybody contributes to give Belmont 14.7 turnovers per contest. Since the team will be outmatched physically, the Bruins will not be able to carelessly give away that many possessions. They also tend to give up too many easy buckets on the defensive end. There is not much of an interior presence for this year’s Belmont squad and that allows the opposition to shoot almost 46 percent from the floor.
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Who To Watch:
Despite all the weapons on this team including the shifty Alex Renfroe and the versatile Jordan Campbell, Shane Dansby is the most dynamic of them all. The 6-4 wing will do a little bit of some things and a lot of everything else. He is a great scorer from anywhere on the floor and a monster on the glass and actually leads the team with 6.2 boards per contest. With a guard who sometimes comes off the bench as the leading rebounder, it would be logical to think that the Bruins have trouble on the glass. However, the team outrebounds its opponents by nearly two per game on average. For a team that has forwards who usually hang around the perimeter and a group that will miss more shots than their opponents, their overall ability to hit the boards is quite impressive.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.1 (16th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.5 (271, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (118, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.7 (269, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.6 (4, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.5 (108, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.9 (138, 4)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (117, 3)
Assists Per Game: 17.4 (11, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.7 (195, 1)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Duke
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Guest Writer
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