Preview: Belmont Bruins

Talented newcomers should keep Bruins in OVC title contention

Updated: October 9, 2013, 3:23 PM ET
By Corey Schmidt | ESPN Insider

Rick ByrdJamie Sabau/Getty ImagesRick Byrd and the Bruins look poised to contend for another automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

Belmont Bruins

2012-13: 26-7 (14-2)
In-conference offense: 1.18 points per possession (1st)
In-conference defense: 0.95 points per possession (1st)

In its inaugural season as an Ohio Valley Conference member, Belmont finished with just two losses in league play on its way to earning an NCAA tournament berth. Last season's squad was laden with seniors, including Kerron Johnson and Ian Clark, who comprised arguably the greatest backcourt in program history. It is unlikely that any two Bruins will make up for the lost production from Johnson and Clark, but with the culture of consistency that coach Rick Byrd has created in Nashville, one can bet there are skilled players waiting in the wings.