Tennessee State Game Preview

Tennessee State Game Preview

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

The Bruins defeated Morehead State, 96-86, Feb. 9. Senior All-America candidate Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored a career-high 41 points for Belmont en route to his second straight OVC Player of the Week honor. The 6-8 guard/forward was also named National Player of the Week by CBS Sports. Windler currently ranks among OVC leaders in 10 statistical categories, including first in rebounds per game (10.3) and third in points per game (20.3). He is the only player in America averaging at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
 
Windler is a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award and Julius Erving Award.
 
Senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) is also enjoying a senior year to remember. The 6-3 guard has posted 20 double figure scoring games, including 20 or more points in nine of his last 15 games. McClain is averaging 19.6 points and 4.3 assists per game in OVC play on 51 percent shooting. The Jennings, Florida native had a game-high 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals - and hit the game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining - in Belmont's victory at UCLA.
 
Freshman Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) has been a force on both ends of the floor for Belmont. The 6-11 center has posted 19 double figure scoring games, including 12 or more points in 11 straight games. Muszynski leads the OVC in field goal percentage (.604) and blocked shots per game (2.30).
 
Freshman Grayson Murphy (Franklin, Tenn.) remains a steady fixture for the Bruins. The 6-2 point guard has three double-doubles this season, including 17 points and 15 assists at Austin Peay (1/26/29); the 15 assists setting a Belmont NCAA Division I era single-game record. Murphy had 13 points and five assists at Morehead State, and he leads the OVC in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.22).
 
Sophomore Nick Hopkins (Fayetteville, Tenn.) continues to impress. The 6-0 guard has started four consecutive games, averaging 9.7 points per game over his last 10 games on 41 percent 3-point shooting. Hopkins scored a season-high 21 points at Samford (11/29/18).
 
Former All-OVC players Ian Clark of Belmont and Robert Covington of Tennessee State are enjoying solid young careers in the NBA; Clark for the New Orleans Pelicans and Covington for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
 
Tennessee State head coach Brian Collins is a 2006 Belmont graduate, playing point guard for Belmont head coach Rick Byrd from 2002-06. Collins helped Belmont to the 2006 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
 
This marks the 33rd meeting between Belmont and Tennessee State.
 
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ 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.