2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule: Belmont

March 8th, 2008


Atlantic Sun (25-8, 14-2)


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 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 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 They 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 They 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 14.8 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 47 percent from the floor.


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 6.1 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 three 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.



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