SEATTLE - - Belmont University men's basketball opens the 2017-18 season Friday at Washington as part of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
The Bruins went 23-7 a year ago in claiming their 16th conference championship (nine regular season, seven tournament) since 2006. Belmont was picked as the OVC favorite at 2017 OVC Media Day Oct. 24, with seniors Austin Luke (Rowlett, Texas) and Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) named Preseason All-OVC.
Belmont is adjusting to life after Evan Bradds, as the ultra-efficient forward graduated in 2017. Bradds scored 1,921 career points, ranks fourth in NCAA history in field goal percentage (.667), and led Belmont to four consecutive OVC championships. Belmont has led the nation in two-point field goal percentage four of the last five seasons.
Between Bradds (1,921), Taylor Barnette (1,085) and Nick Smith (781), Belmont lost 3,787 career points to graduation.
Belmont is also one of only seven non-Power 5 programs to post a Top 100 RPI each of the last seven seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, St. Mary's (CA), San Diego State, VCU, Wichita State).
Belmont is ranked No. 10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll; the Bruins have been ranked in the poll 13 consecutive seasons.
Kathleen Juergens Penner was a four-year letterwinner for the University of Washington women's soccer team (1991-94) and in 1997 became the first women's soccer coach in Belmont University's Division I era. She went 23-12 in two seasons with the Bruins.
Belmont associate athletic director and senior woman administrator Renee Schultz is a native of University Place, Washington. In fact, Schultz and University of Washington director of athletics, Jennifer Cohen, both attended Curtis High School.
New Orleans Pelicans' guard and former Belmont All-American Ian Clark ('13) made his college debut at Alaska Airlines Arena. Clark scored 21 points as Belmont defeated Portland State (11/13/09) as part of the Athletes in Action Classic. Clark won an NBA Championship as part of the Golden State Warriors in 2017.
This marks the second meeting between Belmont and Washington. Behind Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter, the [14/13] Huskies defeated the Bruins, 96-78, Nov. 14, 2009.
Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks, Pac-12.com, the Pac-12 Now app and the Bruin Sports Network. To watch the game at Pac-12.com or the Pac-12 Now app, you must login with your cable system username and password.
Pac-12 Networks availabiilty: Click here
NOTE: Pac-12 Networks is also carrying Cal State Fullerton at USC at 9 p.m. CT. Check local listings.