Jacksonville State Game Preview

Jacksonville State Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Thursday vs. Jacksonville State.

The Bruins dropped a 73-62 decision at [rv/--] Purdue Dec. 29. Senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) continued his fine play, scoring a season-high 21 points. The 6-3 guard is averaging 17.7 points, 5.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game over his last three games. McClain was named OVC Player of the Week Dec. 17.
 
Senior Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) posted five double-doubles during the non-conference slate, including 34 points and 11 rebounds vs. Middle Tennessee (11/12/18). Windler ranks among OVC leaders in 11 statistical categories, including first in rebounding (9.3) and third in scoring (18.1). The 6-8 guard/forward is 16 points shy of 1,200 for his career.
 
Belmont's freshmen triumvirate of Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio), Caleb Hollander (Nashville, Tenn,) and Grayson Murphy (Franklin, Tenn.) have made their presence felt. In fact, they lead OVC freshmen in scoring, rebounding and assists, respectively; Muszynski (14.1 ppg), Hollander (7.3 rpg), Murphy (6.5 apg). In addition, Muszynski ranks 11th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.6).
 
Belmont received national Top 25 poll votes Dec. 17 and Dec. 24; the Bruin program has received national Top 25 poll votes eight of the last nine years.
 
Belmont has strong ties to the state of Alabama; including all-time greats Kerron Johnson (Huntsville) and Mick Hedgepeth (Crossville) and assistant coaches James Strong (Huntsville) and Tyler Holloway (Decatur).
 
Belmont and Jacksonville State met five times as Atlantic Sun Conference members from 2000-03.
 
This marks the 19th meeting between Belmont and Jacksonville State, and 14th in OVC play.
 
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and the ESPN app. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. Live in-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.
 
 
 
Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 12 of the last 13 seasons, including seven automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 16 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 RPIs eight consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 13 consecutive seasons (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 16 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is one of only three NCAA Division I programs to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.