Yes, many called me crazy. Some even laughed at my breakdown of the Duke/Belmont match-up and my argument that the Bruins could beat a young Duke team.
And here is where I could tell you about how I was right, and how my predictions virtually came true.
But I won’t do that, because half of my prediction was wrong.
Belmont couldn’t shoot the three, a strength I said we have- that I said we would need to win.
And it wasn’t like Duke’s defense contested us on the perimeter, either. Most of our three point attempts were uncontested rim-to-backboard-clunkers.
But the statistic I found most enlightening about our play, and that gives me hope for the season ahead-
Belmont tied the Blue Devils in rebounds. 33-33. 6-10 Duke forward Mason Plumlee was strongly contested by the Bruins’ forwards, Mick Hedgepeth and Scott Saunders, combining for 12 rebounds against Plumlee’s total of 14.
Again, as I mentioned in my preview of the game, Belmont’s depth offered new life into the game. With the bench coming in taking 12 rebounds, Rick Byrd’s team showed plenty of strength and discipline against a highly-touted, albeit young Duke team.
But Belmont’s 6-19 statistic from the 3-point-line shows one of the many reasons this game was ours to lose.
Bruins fans, do not hold your held low. How many teams can go into Cameron Indoor and play the Blue Devils to the buzzer? Not many.
The Good: Belmont matched Duke’s rebounding, 33-33.
The Bad: 6-19 at the three-point-line.
The Ugly: Brandon Baker’s 0-6 shooting and 22 minutes of playing time.