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Prep for Portugal

Prep for Portugal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball opened practice Sunday night in advance of its trip to Portugal.

The Bruins will tour Lisbon and Cascais Aug. 12-19, and play three games against local teams.

Belmont returns 10 letterwinners, including seniors Seth Adelsperger (Peru, Ind.) and Michael Benkert (Greenwood, Ind.), while welcoming incoming freshmen Ben Sheppard (Atlanta, Ga.), EJ Bellinger (St. Peter's, Mo.), Michael Shanks (Bentonville, Ark.) and graduate transfer Tyler Scanlon (Centreville, Va.).

The NCAA allows college basketball programs to travel abroad once every four years. Belmont has previously toured England, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and France.

Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 13 of the last 14 seasons, including eight berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 17 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 RPIs nine consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 14 consecutive seasons (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 17 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is one of only three NCAA Division I programs to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.