Belmont basketball makes history with national poll recognition

Monday, January 17, 2011 at 9:18pm
Staff reports

When the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll was released Monday, the Belmont men’s basketball team didn’t grace the Top 25.

The Bruins did receive one vote, marking the first time since the university joined the NCAA Division I prior to the 1996-97 season that the program has received votes in either of the two primary national polls.

Belmont is one of 20 schools to receive votes outside of the Top 25. It is 16-3 overall and 8-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference — both the best marks in the program's Division I history.

For many programs, getting a vote for the top 25 in the country would not be newsworthy; for some it would even be disappointing,” Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. “When it is your first ever vote, however, it is a milestone to be noted, and I am happy for our players and for Belmont to just be considered in the same company as some of the top basketball programs in the country.”

Byrd is one of 31 coaches on the voting panel but did not vote for his own team.

The Bruins have won seven straight and 11 of 12 as they pursue a second straight regular-season conference championship.

They shared the title with three other schools last year. Thus far this season, they have defeated A-Sun opponents by an average of 29 points. None of their conference games have been decided by fewer than 17 points, and five of their eight victories were by at least 30 points.

“I have been on a few good teams here but this one, there is something special about it,” senior forward Jon House said. “Just the way we go about playing every game, the way we go about practicing every day, it is a lot of fun to be a part of and we are excited about where we are going.”

3 Comments on this post:

By: joe41 on 1/17/11 at 8:42

Rick, go ahead and vote for your team.

By: TITAN1 on 1/18/11 at 5:48

Agree with Joe. Coach Byrd has done a masterful job. This coming from a Lipscomb first fan.

By: elmoG on 1/18/11 at 7:11

Congratulations Guys!

Keep up the great play!