Record on the year sits at 9-10-1.
The 5-1 Belmont Bruins have opened up a 7 point underdog butare now sitting firmly at 6.5 as they take on the 4-3 VCU Rams, the total isset at 139. See why we like Belmont to cover this game and possible winstraight up.
Belmont is road tested
So far this year, the Bruins are 2-0 in true road games withwins at Stanford and Lipscomb. They also have wins against Oral Roberts andAlaska – Anchorage on a neutral court. So, that is four wins that they haveripped off away from their home floor. That will give this veteran team a bigadvantage today when they play on the Rams home court.
Match up night mares
Belmont has four starters that average double digit scoringand are lead by one of the best unknown players in the nation, Ian Clark. Ianis a beast at 6”3, playing at the guard position. On the year he is averaging17 points per game and is coming off one of his best performances of the yearjust two games ago when he dropped 30 points. The kid shoots a blistering 55%from three and 51% from the floor, making him almost impossible to guard.
As we mentioned though Clark isn’t Belmonts only weapon.Blake Jenkins averages 12 a game, Trevor Noack at 13 a game and Kerron Johnsonat 14 a game. Jenkins and Noack are also match-up nightmares to go along withIan Clark as they are 6”7 but can step outside, stretch the floor and drain thethree ball.
On the year Belmont is averaging 75 points a game whileplaying lock down defense, holding their opponents to just 38% shooting and 65points per game.
VCUs slow start
Not many would expect the Rams to have a record of 4-3 rightnow but they do and although their three losses are respectable ones comingagainst Duke, Missouri and Wichita State, one would think they could have comeaway with a victory in at least one of those games, leading us to believe thatmaybe they have taken a step back from the great team they were last year.
The Rams routedStetson 92-56 to snap their 2 game slide in their last game.
As we all know Coach Shaka Smart employs one of the toughestdefenses in the nation. On the year they are holding teams to a staggering 53points per game on just 30% shooting and 20% from three.
In my opinion Belmonts ability to have their big men stepout and stretch the floor, knocking down the three ball is going to give theRams fits all day long and will be the key to this game.
The points are a gift here
These are two very evenly matched squads and 6.5 points isjust way to many in what could absolutely be a one or two possession ball gamein the final minutes. Belmont is the better FT shooting, three point shootingand offensive rebounding team and that will pay huge dividends in this game,possibly leading to an outright victory.