clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Belmont Bruins vs. Ohio Bobcats: Q&A With Parks Smith of Mid-Major Madness

Ohio welcomes Belmont into Athens with an eye on revenge.

Maurice Ndour and the Bobcats welcome to town a talented Belmont squad.
Maurice Ndour and the Bobcats welcome to town a talented Belmont squad.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

We sat down with Mid-Major Madnesses' Parks Smith to preview the the Belmont/Ohio game, which is bound to be a doozy.

HB: So when it comes to the Bruins, Head Coach Rick Byrd is virtually synonymous with the program's name. With a 5-1 record, he's obviously got a good squad in his hands again. What do you think that this Bruins team does well, and in what ways has Byrd worked with this younger group?

Parks: I'm not sure how Rick Byrd and his magical sweater vest has coached up this group compared to a year ago. The one thing I will say is the schedule this year is a A LOT softer thus far. The big memory last November was when Belmont took down UNC and this year this Bruins team have yet to face a Power 5 opponent.

Of course when you watch Byrd's teams they are just solid fundamentally. This is one of the best two point shooting teams in the country and Byrd's fingertips are all over this squad. The one thing I will say is that this year's team is turning the ball over more than normal.

Kaleb: The Bruins have three guys that can really fill it up on this team with Craig BradshawTaylor Barnette, and Sophomore forward Evan Bradds. All average above thirteen points per game. Is there a way to try and neutralize all these guys at once, or do you just have to try and shut-out Bradshaw and hope for the best?

Parks: Short answer...No. Reece Chamberlain isn't far off the other three as well. Belmont always has really balanced teams and this year's squad is no different. Someone will step up no matter who you shut down.

HB: The team already has a couple solid wins under its belt already. How do you think this team stacks up against an arguably more athletic Ohio squad?

Parks: I think Ndour could give the Bruins some problems but really what is expected is that fundamentals and team basketball will trump more athletic teams. If there is one mismatch then it would be in the frontcourt where maybe that athleticism could cause a little more havoc.

HB: Are there any big player-on-player or style matchups between these two teams that could make a big difference in this contest?

Parks: I don't think so. I think both teams have made their reputation on being balanced, well-coached teams. There really isn't anything that stands out to me here. I'm now realizing how boring and lame my answers have been thus far but hey, that's Belmont!

HB: Any guesses as to how this game goes?

Parks: I'll take the Bobcats 73-69 just because they are at home. I think this is a very even match up and should be a good one to watch.