Men's Basketball Opens Regular Season at No. 6 Duke
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont men's basketball opens the 2011-12 regular season at No. 6 Duke Friday as part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
The Bruins are the reigning Atlantic Sun Conference regular season and tournament champions, returning 10 players from their 12 man rotation from a year ago. With head coach Rick Byrd electing to play uptempo and exchanging players early and often, Belmont led the nation in both bench production (40.2 ppg) and scoring margin (+17.5 ppg). Though versatile swingmen Jordan Campbell and Jon House were lost to graduation, Belmont returns nearly 83 percent of its offensive output from last season.
Seniors Mick Hedgepeth and Scott Saunders, and junior Ian Clark were named Preseason All-Atlantic Sun after earning all-conference honors last season. Clark, a Mid-Major Freshman All-American in 2009-10, led a balanced Belmont scoring attack last season (12.2 ppg).
The game features two of the most successful head coaches in college basketball, Belmont's Rick Byrd and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. The two men have totaled 1,510 career victories.
This marks the second meeting between Belmont and Duke. The Blue Devils claimed a 71-70 victory over the Bruins in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Tip-off is set for 8:00pm CT. The game will be televised live on ESPNU, with the live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram on the Bruin Sports Network.
Bruin Sports Network pregame will begin at 7:45pm CT.