The Belmont Bruins have entered year three of preseason workouts under head coach Bart Brooks, as the Bruins near their 2019-20 season opener against the Chattanooga Mocs on Nov. 6.
"I think we are in a good place right now with our conditioning, energy and excitement to get to work and get better as a team," Brooks said. "We obviously have a long way to go to be ready to compete with a program as talented as Chattanooga, but I am pleased with how our players arrived on campus after some time off between our summer workouts and the fall semester."
Brooks and the Bruins are coming off a 26-7 (16-2, OVC) record in 2018-19 and their fourth-straight OVC Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. Belmont joined the UConn Huskies as the only other program to win its last four conference tournament championships. Overall, the Bruins feature a 50-2 record in conference play over the last three seasons.
"Each day our goal is to be a little bit better at all the things we worked on yesterday, and a little sharper with our execution and paying attention to details," Brooks said. "We have three more weeks of preseason work before our official practice begins, and my goal each preseason is to have our team prepared physically and mentally for the challenge of everyday practice."
Belmont returns three of its starting five from the previous season, including the senior trio of forward Ellie Harmeyer, forward Maddie Wright and guard Maura Muensterman. The three veterans combined for nearly 40 points per game in the 2018-19 season.
"I'm excited for this year's seniors to step into more prominent leadership roles," Brooks said. "We have a really good group of returners in the sophomore class whose experience from last season will be extremely valuable as we play a strong non-conference schedule."
Four highly-touted newcomers will also make an appearance on the roster for the Bruins to start the 2019-20 season: Guard Kiki Britzmann, guard Nikki Baird and forward Cam Browning. The Bruins also added junior transfer forward Madison Treece to the program, who previously played at Duke.
"We graduated four seniors last year who were not only impactful on the floor, but had major impact in the locker room as leaders in our program," Brooks said. "The four newcomers we have added to our roster this year are going to bring great energy to our team. They are all very talented players, but the more importantly they are great teammates."
UP NEXT: The Bruins open up their 2019 slate with three of their first four games at home in the Curb Event Center. Belmont is set to host Chattanooga (Nov. 6) and the UCF Knights (Nov. 9) in back-to-back games to begin the season.