NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Thursday at Lipscomb.
The Bruins defeated Middle Tennessee, 92-73, Monday. Freshman Grayson Murphy (Thompson's Station, Tenn.) had 15 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and five steals for the Bruins.
Senior All-America candidate Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) also posted his 19th career double-double with a game-high 34 points and 11 rebounds. Windler was named Preseason OVC Player of the Year and Julius Erving Award Watch List. The 6-8 guard/forward was the only player in America to average 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists per game and shoot 40 percent from 3-point distance last season.
Freshman Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) has scored 18 points in each of his first two games. The 6-11 center posted five blocked shots vs. Illinois State (11/10/18) and three more Monday vs. Middle Tennessee (11/12/18). Muszynski's 16 field goals in his first two collegiate games represent the most by any Belmont freshman in the NCAA Division I era.
Belmont head coach Rick Byrd and Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander have a bond that dates back to the early 90's. Alexander, a product of nearby Brentwood Academy, played point guard for Byrd at Belmont from 1991-95. He won 119 games as a player and helped lead Belmont to the top of the NAIA. As a senior in 1994-95, Alexander directed the then-Rebels to a 37-2 record, a No. 1 national ranking, and an appearance in the NAIA National Semifinals. From there, he spent 16 seasons as a part of Byrd's coaching staff. Belmont won 287 games with Alexander on staff. More specifically, over Alexander's final eight seasons, the Bruins tallied 172 victories, six postseason appearances (four NCAA Tournament, one NIT, one CollegeInsider.com), four Atlantic Sun regular season championships, four Atlantic Sun tournament titles, a remarkable 132-41 record in Atlantic Sun play, and road victories over Missouri, Alabama, and Cincinnati.
Belmont and Lipscomb combined to place four players on the NABC All-District temas in 2017-18 (Belmont: Dylan Windler, Amanze Egekeze; Lipscomb: Rob Marberry, Garrison Mathews).
Belmont forward Caleb Hollander and Lipscomb guard Kenny Cooper were AAU teammates on the Nashville Celtics.
Belmont associate head coach Brian Ayers played for Don Meyer at Lipscomb from 1989-93. Ayers coached with Alexander at Belmont from 1998-2011 and Roger Idstrom from 2000-11.
Lipscomb assistant coach Steve Drabyn was an All-Atlantic Sun guard for Belmont from 2000-04. Drabyn led the nation in field goal percentage in 2003, and ranks ninth on the Bruins' NCAA era career scoring list with 1,237 points. Drabyn was inducted into the Belmont University Athletic Hall of Fame.
This marks the 143rd meeting between Belmont and Lipscomb, 32nd of the NCAA Division I era.
Tip-off is set for 6:30 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 and the Belmont Bruins app. In-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.